Posts tagged with Akismet

Yes, we have a spam filter and yes, sometimes it catches your non-spam comments

A few months ago, you may have noticed a rash of spam being posted to our comments.

It looked something like this:

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Air jordan(1-24)shoes $33
Handbags(Coach l v f e n d i d&g) $35
Tshirts (ed hardy,lacoste) $16
Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30
Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,A r m a i n i) $16
New era cap $15
Bikini (Ed hardy,) $25

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We removed those comments as fast as we could, but unfortunately they came faster than we could ever get them. So, we implemented a technological fix that prevented those comments from ever being posted. That fix is known as Akismet.

It's a simple web service that allows websites to run their comments past the akismet algorithm, which determines whether a comment is spam.

Since we implemented akismet filtering of our comments in April, nearly 4300 comments have been marked as spam and intercepted. That means you all never see them and we don't have to chase them down and remove them.

But let's be honest: the algorithm isn't perfect. For instance, Agnostick and smitty have both had reasonable comments marked as spam and intercepted.

Trying the same post over and over again generally won't help. What you need to do is look at your comment and think about what would be tripping the filter.

For example, with Agnostick's comments, his signature with an e-mail address likely gave a very high spam score. With smitty, it was the use of odd symbols and odd spacing, behavior not normally seen in human posters but often seen from spammers, that caused the spam filter to mark the comments as spam.

Another common trigger is a comment that is almost exclusively a link. Put some normal text with your link, and it likely will go through just fine.

The great thing about Akismet is that it's always getting smarter. While it may mismark your comment now, in a few weeks it may know that your comment is fine. On the flip side, a comment that went through before may be blocked the next time, because it's similar to a new spam technique.

Have some patience and do let us know if you run into the filter catching something that just doesn't make sense at all.