Those of you who do not have a blog miss out on one of life’s most boring tasks, checking for comment spam! Never fear, for I am here to help you experience this wonderful pastime.
When you have your own blog there are a few options that you can tweak to increase the difficulty of posting a comment. My setting forces each person to provide their name and email address, but it’s possible to have a free-for-all or even force people to register as a user of the blog. Once a comment is received my setting forces it to be reviewed by myself unless the person has already posted a comment recently. Again, there are a couple of options, so you can also let all comments appear immediately, or force every comment to be approved.
Even with my reasonably restrictive settings I still get a number of spam comments everyday. I used to manually handle all the comments myself and determine which were spam and which were not, but after getting more than 20 in one day I decided it was time to check out one of the default plug-ins for WordPress, Akismet. I wish I had turned Akismet on earlier, as it easily detects the majority of spam comments, with an accuracy rate of near 99% from 268 comments.
By reviewing each spam comment I began to see a pattern forming. There doesn’t seem to be much originality with multiple bots (automatic programs), using the same comment samples to try and get through as a legitimate comment.
Then the other day I received a huge comment that made me want to write this post and share it with you. Someone had obviously not configured their comment spamming bot correctly resulting in one comment containing all the different comments that the program would use! If you are not using Akismet or something similar then this list may be helpful for you to work out if some comments that seem genuine are really just spam.
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Well if you made it this far you can see that some of the comments are obviously spam with spots to be filled in for a link to some service, while others do seem to be genuinely gushing with praise which is hard to not approve ;).
I particularly liked the “I am gonna watch out for brussels” part of one of the comments. I have no idea what on earth they were thinking with that. I’ve actually received this one quite a few times so far!
Anyway, there you have it, an experience in determining which WordPress comments are spam. I’m sure your life is much better for it now!