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Blog Save The Akismet, Long Live The Akismet

In the beginning there was a great void and then a wise person started the first blog and all was good. In time more and more blogs came to life filling the great void with information, bad good and indifferent. Then people came to life who saw a way to use the blogs for their own purposes when they found that leaving comments with their url attached impressed the omnipotent Google who would then give them a high PR.

Over time this pissed Google off because it upset his algorithm and Google wanted all blogs to go no-follow. And yet there was a growing number of bloggers who said NO, stuff you Google, we want to reward our commentators and in defiance of Google’s wishes these bloggers went D0-Follow.

Things were going swell for a time but then an evil group of trolls was born who in time were known as spammers. These people were not content with leaving good comments in order to get a link back to their site. No, they would not even read the post and would therefore leave nonsensical comments. They would even fail to follow a blog’s comment policy by leaving a keyword instead of a name.

At first bloggers would delete these comments but there came a time when the spam grew to unmanageable amounts and bloggers were left in despair. Then came the great Akismet, a simple WordPress plugin that was able to detect the greater majority of spam sending them to Hades where they met their just fate. But Akismet was unable to detect all spam and so Akismet gave bloggers control over their comments. Akismet said to the bloggers; “Thou hath the right to mark as spam any comments that I miss in my spam busting mission”

Unfortunately there were some bloggers who used Akismet unwisely spamming some comments for the wrong reason. Then came a time when some people grew angry at the benevolent Akismet for spamming their comments. They jumped up and down waving their hands in the air demanding that Akismet was going too far, but Akismet was quiet for Akismet was not at fault.This upset them no end and they were forever unhappy with their lot.

But all was not lost for there was those who worshiped Akismet, for they appreciated all the work and continuous  upgrades that Akismet  supplied at no cost. They were also very thankful for Akismet for taking the great burden of spam off their shoulders, and they were happy with the blogosphere.

Who would have thought that something like this would actually come about, that there would be two groups of Akismet people, those who were happy with the plugin and those who were angry with it.

Personally I love Akismet because it does save me so much time, and not only that it is really pretty accurate and I hardly ever have to fish any comments that it’s picked up as spam. Another thing I like about it is that it allows me the option to mark comments as spam that it’s missed out. This virtually teaches Akismet so that next time it will recognize such comments as spam.

The trouble is some people may be marking comments as spam that may be legitimate, but do you blame Akismet for that? Nope, it’s not the plugin’s, nor the developer’s, fault if people abuse their power on how it’s used.

Wikipedia’s interpretation of Spam is;

Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social networking spam, television advertising  and file sharing network spam.

This is a rather broad description and the problem is that as far as comments go what one person finds quite acceptable another person sees it as spam. I can’t vouch for other blogs but I’m going to list some of the things that you may do on this blog that will cause you to be sent to Akismet’s spam hell.

  1. Using Keywords instead of your name: I think this is a no no for most bloggers, especially if it’s listed as such in their comment policy. Personally, if it’s a good comment I will either delink it or remove the keywords from the url.  If the comment is of no value and the commentator obviously hadn’t read the post I will spam it.
  2. Not following instructions: I will sometimes point out to people, either via email or withing a comment, if they are doing something wrong and if they continue on their merry way disregarding my instructions I will spam them. Honesty I have better things to do than deleting their comments.
  3. Leaving stupid comments just for the sake of a link: While I normally delete these, I will spam repeat offenders.

A bit harsh you reckon? I don’t think so. I devote a lot of time to this blog and I cherish those commentators who take the time to not only read my posts but take the time to leave comments that add to that post. If you’re not willing to do that and I leave your comments then I am doing a disservice to those who do the right thing.

Why not just delete the comment rather than spamming them? Because that will not resolve the problem. People need to respect the fact that do-dollow blogs are there because bloggers wish to reward their commentators but that does not mean they have the right to abuse that bloggers generosity, and when you decide to ignore comment policy and other explicit instructions you are stepping out of line and have to wear the consequences.

In summation, if you do not want to be spammed do all the right things, behave when commenting and not only will you live a spam free existence others will come to respect you as diligent commentators.

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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 80 Comments

  1. I have been guilty of flagging comments as spam when they may just be borderline. Maybe what’s needed is, instead of making Akismet change the algorithm, to have the plugin flag up that by marking a comment as spam we could be restricting someone else’s internet experience and to just trash it if we’re not sure it’s spam. Education rather than enforcement.

    Personally, if I think it’s borderline but the comment is at least on topic I’ll let it through – though I do check where the URL leads first!

    1. That’s not a bad idea. Actually they could even put that in the admin section which would be a lot easier.

      Still, I reckon if people did the right thing fewer of them would be getting spammed. I know of a couple of regular commentators on this blog who I’ve had to fish out of Akismet who have left a comment that only survived because I know who they are. Another blogger could have acted otherwise.
      Sire recently posted…FlexSqueeze Latest Update Absolutely RocksMy Profile

  2. Long live the Akismet! ;)

    Yup, I am also really grateful to Akismet since it really save my team to deal with spam comment. Akismet is not perfect though, however it is acceptable.

    1. Nothing in this world is perfect Akismet, that’s a fact of life and we just have to deal with it the best we can. Akismet even with it’s minor flaws is, in my opinion, an indispensable plugin.

  3. I adore Akismet. Between the GAB blog and my personal blog, it (they?) has saved me from 2,339 comments (yes, I did just pull out a calculator) Keeping in mind that I’ve been playing this game for just 6 months, that’s a lot of comments they rescued me from.

    I have my own rule when looking at a pile of spam comments and it goes something like this: Do I know the person and/or does the commentator use gravatar? The second is a biggie because, so far, only one spam comment has ever had a gravatar registered image attached to the email address. Have I just given the game away? Nah, we all know spammers never read comments anyway :doh_tb:

    Great post Sire. Love the story telling.

    1. Hey Eleanor, I just pulled these stats for this blog regarding Akismet

      30,929 spams caught, 12,842 legitimate comments, and an overall accuracy rate of 99.109%.

      As you can see it’s doing a darn good job, and the fact that I rarely have to save a comment means it is actually very accurate, at least as far as this blog is concerned.
      Sire recently posted…Taking Off Your Clothes For The Greater GoodMy Profile

  4. I am a great fan of Akismet and have no complaints whatsover with it.

  5. I love Akismet. Is it perfect? No. I know of at least one blogger whose comments are always tossed into Spam and I have to periodically dive in to fish them out. A few slide in under Akismet’s radar, and I have to teach it about those sneaky commenters. But for the most part, Akismet and I agree. Where we dont’ – oh well.

    I figure if your comments routinely disappear in Akismet’s spam bucket, there’s a reason – and maybe you should work harder at not LOOKING like a spammer.

    1. I figure if your comments routinely disappear in Akismet’s spam bucket, there’s a reason – and maybe you should work harder at not LOOKING like a spammer.

      That’s exactly right Holly, and how nice it is to see you here again. Reminds me that I haven’t popped into your domain for awhile. How remiss of me, I will have to do something about that.
      Sire recently posted…In Life And In Blogging Observation Is ImportantMy Profile

  6. Akismet does a reasonable job of blocking comment spam, but it does have problems with blocking some commenters completely. If akismet decides it doesn’t like something about a comment, it might not even end up in your spam folder. Sometimes it will just completely block people. So while it is an alright system, it would be nice if they could somehow resolve such problems.

    1. I know that some people have said that it completely blocks people but I’ve never seen this happen and I don’t think that blocking people is Akismet’s intention, which is to block spam.
      Sire recently posted…Tuesday OZ Lottery Jackpots To $50 MillionMy Profile

      1. Well obviously that is akismet’s intention, but they are a little overly aggressive in their attempts to block all spam. As a result it is quite easy for a particular domain or e-mail address to get permanently blocked.

        1. True, but there is normally a good reason for them getting blocked, and if it’s because someone else is being malicious Akismet also has the facility where it can learn that a particular person is not spam.


  7. Twitter:
    I do pretty much the same as you, Sire. I spam the comment if it’s spam – simple as that :)

    Akismet cannot educate all their users on how to use the delete/spam buttons properly, it will be an impossible mission. If the plugin has flaws, Akismet will need to update their algorithm so that it requires more “spams” before a commentator is immediately flagged for spam – or introduce some kind of “score system”, where one bloggers “spam” would score low and other bloggers might score how, depending on various factors.

    All in all, I’m quite satisfied with Akismet. I’m getting 100 spam comments a day, I wouldn’t want to manually go through and delete/spam them, that’s why I have Akismet doing it for me.

    1. Actually, they’re both good ideas Klaus and they may even be on the drawing board. Either way, considering they’re letting us use it for free, even if there are a few problems I don’t think we have too much to complain about.
      Sire recently posted…Taking Off Your Clothes For The Greater GoodMy Profile


      1. Twitter:
        I agree. If people doesn’t like it, they are free to use another plugin or make one themselves, or pay somebody to do it for them.

    2. I don’t think askimet is the perfect solution
      sometimes good comment will go to spam folder


  8. Twitter:
    Preaching to the choir, Sire. I don’t indiscriminately move things to spam, especially once WordPress gave us the “trash” option. But yesterday was a day… nope, don’t get me started on that again. Akismet is a great program, and like you, it’s taken care of a lot of stuff I’d rather not have show up as even pretending to be legitimate. And when I’ve pulled things out, I assume Akismet learns that stuff might not be spam as well; I really don’t know if it works in reverse, though.

    But it’s up to each blogger to make those determinations on what they receive, and that will be that.

    1. I think it is safe to assume that Mitch, otherwise why have the option of telling Akismet it’s not spam if it didn’t actually educate the program?

      As you can see from my reply to Eleanor above Akismet is doing a damn good job and just goes to show how much spam is out there.
      Sire recently posted…Why Does Sex In Advertising Sell?My Profile


      1. Twitter:
        And there are enough supporters of it as well; that works for me.

  9. I use Akismet plus WP-SpamFree on all 5 of the blogs I administrate, I get over 200 spam comments per day on DragonBlogger, and even Akismet alone wasn’t enough because I had to review pages of spam folder entries to find the few good entries. WP-SpamFree which sets a cookie so only allows comments from legit browsers really helps cut down on how many entries show in your spam folder, I don’t think I am missing very many comments, only had about 3 complaints about comments not showing up in 3 months from ppl.
    Dragon Blogger recently posted…Upgraded to WordPress 3My Profile

    1. So far Akismet is doing a really good job, but I’ll keep WP-SpamFree in mind if I ever find it’s struggling with the load. Thanks for the tip.
      Sire recently posted…Why Does Sex In Advertising Sell?My Profile

  10. Must check this little turk out- Akismet. good Post Sire.

    peter

    1. Thanks Peter. I’m sure you’ll like it.

  11. Hi Sire. I’m in total agreement with what you said about “those” people at Akismet making the the blogosphere a better place. I like it and I use it and I don’t intend to deactivate it from my “must” use list of WP plugins. It is a real time saver and the fact that it gives you with options is what I like about it. Interesting though is that there are people who like you said, are angry with it. Then again, a perfect world does not exist and so is true in the blogosphere. Everyone has the right to choose…
    DiTesco recently posted…WordPress Thelonious Version 3.0 ReleasedMy Profile

    1. Honestly I can’t see why they are making such a fuss, if they don’t like it get rid of it. I mean it’s not like they paid for it or anything.

      Also if they are upset that it’s deleting their comments go about it the right channels, don’t go spamming other peoples blogs complaining about Akismet because that will only increase the amount of people who will spam their comments.
      Sire recently posted…Cool Blog Links Top 10 Coolest BlogsMy Profile

  12. I have been reading your blog for a long time Sire and I have to say this is probably one of the most entertaining posts I’ve read, it’s written perfectly and had me laughing throughout. That’s rare these days btw.

    I know that my comments now go to spam or someone said that they go to spam, it’s a pain because I either have to get a new email address or just not waste my time commenting. I ould rather just comment as usual.
    Extreme John recently posted…Before and After Spray Tan VideoMy Profile

    1. Your the man John because even though it’s a serious subject you saw the humor I was trying to project into it. Thanks mate, and I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

      I think I’ve had to fish you out of spam before John, probably because you rubbed someone the wrong way, but the fact that your comment didn’t go into spam this time just goes to show that Akismet’s learning capability works both ways.

  13. great post, it’s like a blog creation story. “and wordpress said let there be light”

  14. Right now Akismet is sucking on my site, no SPAM is getting filtered at all, it’s all getting approved, not sure why, but hopefully it will stop soon. Also, noticing a huge decrease in SPAM overall, like from 300 spams per day to about 4, not sure what’s up with that either.

      1. Oh your funny Sire!!!!!

        1. Just your typical Aussie male. :laugh_tb:

  15. Well Thanks to blogs like this I’m on the first page of google for John Sullivan and if you think about it Besides just me there have been some impressive John Sullivan’s since the planet started so we can assume there’s evidence of using the same kw over and over will get you to the first page :) Eventually
    As far as letting people use keywords for their @ and using KW LUV which is off the topic, I do AFTER checking SOMETIMES let these obvious business sites go through if the site looks legit and it looks like the site will be around for a while and they say something relevant.In other words I don’t mind people who use John @Bloggers who smoke weed all day etc because in all honesty I want to see everyone make it.Note I don’t approve MOST of these business orientated sites period.
    As far as SPAM I like this saying I made up :)
    One man’s spam is another man’s steak.
    I don’t think I ever hit the spam button on any site I hit trash.Just never gave it much thought and spam and all that is the least of my problems.But I will hit spam on obvious ones in the future.
    Thanks Sire
    47,313 spams caught, 8,691 legitimate comments, and an overall accuracy rate of 99.086%.
    PS not to jinx myself but out of the 14k plus comments on my blog none are negative but keep that on the DL so We don’t ruin that LOL :)

    1. Hey John, you’re the man dude. There’s no what I would want to jinx you mate.

      In regards to keywords, you’d be surprised at the amount of people who still use a keyword as their name even though it’s not necessary because I use Keywordluv. There’s no excuse for it either because there are explicit instructions above the comment form. Depending on the quality of the comment I may mark them as a spammer.
      Sire recently posted…Taking Off Your Clothes For The Greater GoodMy Profile

  16. “Personally I love Akismet because it does save me so much time…”

    Amen to that! Me too, I really appreciate the time Akismet saves me. We get 10-20 spam comments per day. I couldn’t imagine having to filter through all those.
    Colleen recently posted…Full DisclosureMy Profile

    1. Yeah, I just had a look at one of my other blogs, that I update less frequently, and there was close to a hundred spam comments so I agree it does save a whole lot of time.
      Sire recently posted…Important Link Love That You Should All ReadMy Profile

  17. Having finally yielded to the power of Akismet, I’ve realized that I should have joined the cult long ago. Now, I can’t imagine blogging without Akismet. With it’s long powerful arm, it sweeps spammers off their feet and drags them into the pit of spammer hell where there will be grinding and gnashing of teeth.

    1. Ah yes, the grinding and gnashing, that sound like a fitting end for spammers as they ponder over why they didn’t take the time to comment the right way. :thumbup_tb:

  18. I’m cooking up something for you and Mitch :) Pls mention the new site for the ladies :) @ BloggerLUV we will keep the basement for the dudes and the Penthouse for me and the ladies :) Your bounce rate is going up cause I had this page open a while OH I know I see that your blog is about the same as poor old potpolitics was going to try and entice myself into actually working on that blog more with a gentlemans bet who is under Alexa more by end of summer but sounded to crazy so I didn’t mention it :)
    Will have that post up soon I mentioned ABOVE :)
    Thanks for your genuine support of myself and bloggers around the world :) Good Day

  19. Askimet is a wonderful plugin that saves headaches for bloggers across the world. I think it is fair for the most part but I don’t think its fair for some people who leave good comments to be marked as spam. This will prevent them from leaving good comments on other blogs with the askimet plugin just because someone is trigger happy with the mark as spam comment. Overall I think it has greatly cut down on excessive spamming for links though.

    1. While there may be some ‘trigger happy’ bloggers as you suggest, I put it to you that their comment may not have been the best to start off with.

      I agree that some people may spam a comment because they disagreed with something the commentator said, but that’s not Akismet’s fault. Also I’m sure the learning facility would tell Akismet, after someone fishes it out of spam, that they can actually be trusted.
      Sire recently posted…How Would You Like To Win An Apple iPad?My Profile

  20. I like the benefits of Akismet as well. I think that it would be nice if they had a blog level vs. global level spam marking though, so I could say I think a comment is spam, but not contribute to banning them across the entire network so that others who might let the commenter get through get the opportunity. That way everyone gets a chance to create their own perfect world of commenters.

    1. While I agree that is a great idea Kristi I reckon it would take a whole lot of coding for that to happen and I don’t think one could expect someone to do all that for free. I don’t think that there would be too many people who would be willing to pay for that option either.

      Personally I think that it’s up to everyone to do the right thing by taking the time to write good comments so that they won’t be taken as spam.

      Besides, I’m pretty sure that you can teach Akismet that a comment is not spam just as easily as saying it is. If people aren’t ‘unspamming’ as set of comments then I would say more than one person thinks it’s spam.
      Sire recently posted…Tuesday OZ Lottery Jackpots To $50 MillionMy Profile

  21. Akismet is my secret lover. She saves me so much time and me love her long time. Also, nice story of the evolution of blog comments. You should write a book, put a few pictures in there and have some pop star endorse it by making a tape.

  22. Bloggers are kinda like spider man with akismet.

    ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ :)

    The marking of spam is highly abusable as I can simply post in the name of my competitor and get him banned or flagged by akismet depriving him back links from akisment using blogs. The scoring system with positive and negative points is the best way to go according me

    1. Scott while that is true there would be many more bloggers who would mark that same blogger as not being spam thereby educating Akismet as to their true nature. If on the other hand you comments look like spam, well you can’t blame those same bloggers if they don’t save their ass.
      Sire recently posted…Tuesday OZ Lottery Jackpots To $50 MillionMy Profile

  23. The odd time akismet has marked some of my comments as spam and the odd time it has marked some comments left on my blog as spam, but most times it works pretty good.

  24. I love Askimet! It’s great plugin that i think it should be the first plugin every wordpresser should activate from the day one. It’s indeed useful to combat spams.

  25. Commentators not following instructions is what irks me the most but after reading a post over GrowMap I’ve decided to just delete their comments instead of marking them as spam. I even take time to rescue some from the spam folder before deleting them so as to keep them off Akismet’s black book
    .

  26. Love the intro to this post. It did make me laugh.

    Great post though, I must admit that I have sometimes spammed borderline comments before and I hadn’t really considered that it might teach Askimet to spam genuine comments.

    On a side note, one thing that is a tricky one is comments like “great post dude” or whatever… I can’t deny that my ego enjoys these comments, but are they spam? or is it just someone wanting to show appreciation?

    I tend to allow these comments (unless the URL is pointing to a viagra site of course), but I do often strip out the URL. My policy is; if you want to rub my ego that’s absolutely fine, but unless you are leaving something of value, no link for you.

    If you allow lower quality comments with links, you are just encouraging other commentors to put less effort into their comments…

    1. Honestly Mark it could be either because there may be some newbies that don’t know any better. I would probably delete those just to be on the safe side.

      It’s always been my opinion that the quality of comments enhances the post and so I don’t have a problem deleting inferior ones, especially if it seems they haven’t put any effort into it.
      Sire recently posted…Looking For US Citizens Who Buy Alternative Milk ProductsMy Profile

  27. I read about various Akismet related blogging incidents on Mitch’ blog as well. Though personally, I believe that Akismet has to evolve, at the moment there don’t seem to be too many alternatives other than putting complicated captcha logic.

    PS: Btw, did you change something about the theme in the last one week or so? I am not able to figure out what’s changed :) And surprisingly your blog URL doesn’t have any archives (archive.org). Is it achieved via some robot.txt setting? I mean stopping web archive bot or something like that.
    Ajith Edassery recently posted…AdSense Clicks but No EarningsMy Profile

      1. Sire,
        By archives, I was mentioning the public web archives of your site in archive.org. Somehow, though your blog is pretty old, it’s not indexed at archive.org (I was trying to check your old theme). Not sure if there’s a way to block a site from archiving, if so I wanted to know that :) I was asking you about it.
        Ajith Edassery recently posted…AdSense Clicks but No EarningsMy Profile

          1. In fact, archive.org automatically archives all known sites. I do not know if there’s a way to submit there. But I was surprised that your blog was not picked up that and hence wanted to know if you did anything specifically to stop archiving :)
            Ajith Edassery recently posted…AdSense Clicks but No EarningsMy Profile

            1. Nope, like I said I didn’t even know they existed. Perhaps they don’t like Aussies. :guns_tb: :laugh_tb:

  28. It’s like reading ‘Story of Akismet’s Life’ — people got so used with its existence, soon gratitude becomes unappreciation. Voice of ‘blaming’ mounted but truth is, if there’s no Akismet we’ll be living in a horrible life deleting spams all the time (which leads to extinction of do-follow blogs). After reading Growmap’s post about whether to mark spam or delete, I really hope nobody who’s playing by the rules ends up in a ‘block’ list. Guess Akismet is really pissed now.

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker

    1. Actually, I think it’s about time I continued the short story series Ching Ya. Hopefully something will come to me soon.

      I don’t think Akismet is pissed because Akismet hasn’t done anything wrong and it can’t help if some people don’t like the way it does it’s job.
      Sire recently posted…Reviewing MyLikes As An AdvertiserMy Profile

  29. Hi Sire
    I love Akismet but sometimes I am in two minds if something is spam or not.
    Trouble is… we all want lots of comments and it’s tempting to let some of the not so spammy ones through.
    We have to be strong and follow the one they call Akismet and we will all be lead to the promised land.
    BTW – love the way you started this post. Very original.
    Keith Davis recently posted…A splash of colourMy Profile

  30. Since i lanuched my blog site, I have gotten almost 30 spam comments in 2 weeks and i was like, what the hell is going on here but kudos to Akismet anyway because am busy getting rid of the spam comments.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

    God bless.

  31. We tried making our comments dofollow for a while as a way to encourage comments / reward commenters. Used Askimet and ReCaptcha to limit spam but still found quite a lot of spam… Also heard that it waters down the value of your internal links if you have too many going out of one page? Especially if they are to dodgy sites – something which it’s sometimes hard to tell.

    I like the Key Word Love plug in though – a good way of rewarding comments and stopping them looking spammy.

    Natasha

    1. I’m not sure that it does water down the value of your links. I did a post where I said that idea was a fallacy as I’ve always been a dofollow blog and I still managed a PR4
      Sire recently posted…Sharing Something Unique About Where You LiveMy Profile

      1. Thanks just reading that now – lots of SEOs have warned us that it does but I’m not so sure, will def do more research and reconsider

        Natasha

  32. That was probably the best introduction to Spam that I’ve ever seen in all of my life. But I have to agree with you, there are so many people that abuse the power of the all mighty Akismet and blame it on the program or developers. Silly little humans. I personally don’t mind it if people use keywords as their username just so long as the comment is relevant and actually contributes to the conversation or topic at hand. I’ve noticed that a number of blogs are also accepting commentluv as an alternative (much as what you’ve done here). I think that’s a happy and healthy compromise, wouldn’t you agree?

    1. The thing is Sullivan when you’re asked specifically not to use them and they ignore your instructions, well that’s just plain rude and they should suffer the consequences.

  33. Goodness Sire!
    It looks like I’ve found a wealth of information on your blog! And this post was fun to read! You have caught my attention and I will visit and learn from you often!
    Thank you!
    ~Linda

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