FSK Asks – WordPress Comment Spam

I’m starting to have a comment spam problem.  It’s only 1 comment per day, but it could add up if I’m not careful.  It’s starting to get annoying.

The comments don’t show up because I moderate them.  Still, I want a better more automated solution.

I already know about Akismet.  I was reluctant, because it requires a login and API key.

My requirements for comment spam filtering are:

  • People who leave comments regularly get auto-approved.  That feature seems to working right now.  HOWEVER, some spammers are tricking that, by publishing one decent comment and then spamming.
  • I get to review comments that are flagged as spam, in case there are false positives.
  • Not too many false negatives or false positives.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I noticed now that some spammers are publishing one semi-on-topic comment, so that their later stuff will be auto-approved. I may have to ban auto-approval for everyone, or pick an option that lets me manually choose who gets auto-approval.

8 Responses to FSK Asks – WordPress Comment Spam

  1. Are there any countries such as China, Pakistan or India that are responsible for the majority of spam?

    If so there is a file you can put in an Apache directory that will ban a whole range of IP addresses. You should be able to roughly get IP ranges for certain countries.

    MaxMind ( http://www.maxmind.com/ ) used to produce some PHP geolocation software. Some versions were free for non-commerial use. I haven’t looked at their website for a few years so I don’t know what the current status is.

    For a short while I did experiment with some JavaScript and PHP code that turned away certain countries from one of my websites.

    India! Someone in India stole the equivalent of 500 dollars from me via Google Adwords back in the day when their 3rd party display network was full of click fraud. At the time I was just starting off and had a large monthly budget. Obviously I wasn’t on the ball for 2 months.

    I’ve had my software reverse compiled by people in Eastern Europe and India. The Eastern European attack completely failed to produce a working product. The Indian attack managed a vastly stripped down version of my functionality, but on real world data it failed. So far I’ve been lucky, but some countries may be more responsible for bad Internet things that others. I suspect the India people successfully stripped away my security software after reverse compilation, but lacked the resources to successfully put the code back together again.

    • I’m not going to ban-by-country.

      What I want is a list of people who get auto-approved, everyone else gets moderated, and very good spam filtering (few false positives and negatives).

      I had a bad experience on other blogs with Akismet. My comment was falsely categorized as spam, and the blogger was too lazy to check for false positives (or he was being a jerkwad and censoring me).

  2. You are quite right. Banning by country is too extreme, especially as there might be people in China that want to learn what is going on in the USA.

    There could be a refinement. If you find most spam is coming from India, Eastern Europe and Pakistan, then you could let through comments from USA and UK IP addresses by default and queue all other comments for moderation.

    Or let all comments thought and only queue for moderation those that contain web links.

    • There are several options.

      Option #1: Full moderation of everyone’s comments. I did this on Blogger. Only after several years of using Blogger, did they implement spam filtering.
      Option #2: Use Akismet or other plugins.
      Option #3: If I can find a plugin that does it, auto-approve comments for a specific set of people, moderate everyone else.
      Option #4: Write my own plugin.

      • FSK, Robert here. Greetings and well wishes as always! Like the new site! For now, why not just put a week or two in of good posts? Putting your keen perspective and experience on things with insight? I can’t speak for anybody else but i would like to get back to some level of normalcy, just awesome daily FSK articles. Btw, i think you are going to hit it big with your blog one of these days! Free market, Austrian economics, and human liberty with limited government are rapidly becoming mainstream and you’ve been here all along speaking the truth. With you always FSK!

        Robert Ferguson

    • I am from India, and I don’t have a staic ip but each time I am assigned a new ip by my provider. Banning a whole country is idiotic, spammers will use a proxy server to circumvent it (or any other method) but it will be inconvenient for regular users (similar to DRM solutions in the games).

      Moderation is better option.

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