As I was still researching and setting up the technical aspects of this blog, I suddenly got an email telling me that someone had commented on a post. At first I was really excited – our first reader! The comment read something along the lines:
“I agree completely with your thoughts in this post, it’s like you read my mind. Really nice blog you have”.
A comment like that would normally have given me a feeling of great acknowledgment, but when I realized to which post the comment had been made, I started laughing. This person commenting on our blog was either a master of meditation or holds the world record for lowest recorded IQ in a human. Why?
The post in question was a blank placeholder inserted as a sticky at the top of the blog for later use. This persons mind would have to be equally blank for me to read his/her mind and come up with such echoing emptyness. I was pretty sure we were being spammed. The following hours a steady stream of similar comments started trickling in reaffirming my suspicions.
At first I thought I would be able to handle the spam manually, but when more than 10 spam comments arrived in less than an hour, I knew I needed a system to contain the flood. Akismet plugin to the rescue! In their own words this is what Akismet does:
“Akismet is an advanced hosted anti-spam service aimed at thwarting the underbelly of the web. It efficiently processes and analyzes masses of data from millions of sites and communities in real time. To fight the latest and dirtiest tactics embraced by the world’s most proficient spammers, it learns and evolves every single second of every single day. Because you have better things to do.”
The plugin was preinstalled in wordpress and just had to be activated and registered for a free personal API key. The process is described in easy to follow steps on the plugin aktivation/installation page of the wordpress plugin.
Since installing the plugin, all spam comments have been redirected directly to my spam folder. Whether Akismet can distinguish between real and spam comments reliably has yet to be seen. For now we are happy with this plugin.
What is your experience with comment spam and how do you address it?