Quick Logistical Post

I get a lot of spam comments. A lot of it. I clear out probably five or so spam comments a day on both of my blogs combined– and that’s not counting the several thousands that Akismet has caught in its spider-web.


Most of the spam tries to cleverly disguise itself as not-spam, which is how it gets through the filters. But it’s still not something I want to deal with every day.

As a result I have decided to auto-close commenting on all posts older than 14 days. I hate to do this, because I know some people have a lot of blogs to catch up on and don’t get around to individual posts for a while, but it will help tons with the spam situation (as 90% of it happens on old posts).

You are, of course, always welcome to contact me via e-mail, Twitter, or by commenting on more recent posts, though!

7 thoughts on “Quick Logistical Post”

  1. Nooo! there is a better way!

    The first thing is to understand how the spambots work. They are programmed to go after blogs running specific software, because the comment system is fairly consistent and easy to spam. They struggle with websites which don’t conform, and it’s easy to trick a spambot into making mistakes.

    If you can do a little scripting, try this little trick:

    1) Hide the current comment textarea with a rule in your stylesheet.
    2) Create a new comment textarea with a different “name” attribute.
    3) Now tweak the wordpress scripts to look for input from the new comment input when the form is submitted instead of the old one.
    4) Now here’s the clincher: If any text is submitted in the old comment input textarea, you can assume either:
    a) A bot didn’t realise that the textarea was a hidden spamtrap.
    b) A genuine user is using an ancient browser which doesn’t support CSS.

    A bot will not go to the trouble of downloading your stylesheet to check for hidden elements or spam-traps simply for the fact that the effort:reward ratio is not favourable.

  2. @ Pike – Oh ok then, sorry 🙂

    I was basically just describing a way to trick bots into flagging themselves as spammers, pulling the old bait-and-switch on them.

    I dare say it has a higher success rate than Akismet and a lower false-positive rate too.

    It’s not perfect though – it doesn’t stop people from coming here and posting spam comments manually.

  3. Good grief! That… is a lot of spam.

    Imposing a 14-day limit is quite reasonable considering how much time you spend manually clearing spam. Hope it saves you some time and irritation!

  4. Before you auto-close comments, something that helped me was to download Conditional Captcha which works with Akismet.


    Basically if it thinks you might be a bot, it asks you to fill out a captcha, and if you succeed, you get your comment through. If you fail (all bots fail) the comment goes directly into your trash or is deleted outright (up to you).

    Though I don’t get as many comments as you do, I have found this plugin to be very successful and no coding knowledge required. Plus, I no longer have to browse my spam folder for legit comments getting flagged.

    Fortunately, this plugin won’t make ALL your commenters fill out a yucky captcha, just ones that Akismet thinks MIGHT be a bot.

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