Henrik Blunck, Wayne John, and Christopher Roberts are three people who frequently add comments here. They write prolifically and intelligently. But for some reason that I was never able to understand, their comments were considered spam by Akismet — the most popular anti-spam plugin used by nearly all WordPress blogs.
Even when I moderated the first comment people wrote, their subsequent comments kept getting flagged as spam — along with the hundreds of true spam comments left both manually and robotically every day.
To them and to everyone else who tried to publish a comment that seemingly went nowhere, I apologize.
I’m tired of apologizing. I’m tired of scouring through hundreds of spammed comments to find the one real comment.
I deactivated Akismet from this blog’s list of plugins and installed a new plugin with the memorable acronym of G.A.S.P.
You can see it in play by scrolling to the area after the comment form and adjacent to the Submit button. See the optional checkbox with the request to check it if you are human? That’s G.A.S.P. If you don’t check the box when submitting your comment, you will see a message ensuring you’re human. If you do check the box, your comment is automatically published without any moderation.
Before echoing me and downloading the Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin (which only works on self-hosted WordPress blogs), please understand its purpose according to Gail Gardner, also known as Growmap, who explains the rationale in developing a plugin that favors real people leaving real comments.
Why Use the GrowMap Anti-Spambot Plugin?
1. No false positives – your favorite commentators and new readers WILL be able to easily comment in your blog.
2. Blocks spam that Akismet was letting through. We are getting ZERO bot spam. Only those commenting manually who check the “I am not a spammer box” can leave comments.
3. Easier for commentators than using a Captcha or math plugin – never a “wrong” answer that isn’t wrong or a problem with cookies!
Why Not Just Use Akismet?
1. Large numbers of bloggers and regular commentators who never spam have been flagged by Akismet as spammers.
2. Any commentator who has been flagged as a spammer is treated rudely by your blog. They never see the message your comment is being moderated so they have no way of knowing what happened to their comment.
3. If you have a particular box checked in the Akismet configuration, comments left for real people who have been flagged incorrectly as commentators in posts more than 30 days old are immediately deleted and they see a blank white page.
4. Read the many other posts and hundreds of comments related to problems with Akismet.
Occasional fake comments are passing through the system. These are caused by manual people who check the box. When this happens, I’m adding obvious fake words to the blacklist in my Settings->Discussion panel box. But the frequency of my marking a comment as spam is far less than the frequency of my perusing through spammed comments to find the real one. Fact is, the level of spam comments has decreased from around 100 or 200 a day to less than 10 a day.
If you’re a self-hosted WordPress blogger, give it a chance.
Get rid of Akismet, too.