UPDATE: the new GASP Anti-Spam WordPress plugin has been released and is available in the WordPress Plugin Repository.
THIS is the ALTERNATIVE TO AKISMET that provides the SOLUTION to being Flagged as a Spammer! Spread it throughout the blogosphere and your comments will work again.
URGENT: Please DO NOT leave comments in unrelated blog posts in this and especially in OTHER blogs about the Akismet issue.
Leaving comments in the blogs of those who have commented that they flag non-spam as spam solves nothing and brings you down to their level.
If you wish to respond to them please do it IN THIS POST or on your own blog.
If you identify yourself in your comments it reflects badly on you and there is a very real possibility that they will flag you as a spammer!
Leaving comments in their blogs using fake information is a waste of your time. It will only make them feel they are correct in what they are doing and they will simply delete the posts.
If they do not understand now nothing more we can say or do is likely to make any difference at all.
NEW: I have created two test pages anyone can use to test their names and URLs. See Akismet Test Pages.
UPDATE: June 7 Akismet has removed the ability to use the test page mentioned in this post to determine if your comments are being sent to either SPAM or being deleted outright by Akismet.
MESSAGE TO AKISMET: How does removing our ability to find out if our names or URLs are blocked by your plugin improve this situation? That makes this worse – not better – and makes you look guilty. You should be willing to TELL US that your plugin does indeed delete comments. If that is how you believe it SHOULD work honesty is the best policy.
If you love commenting in blogs you are in for a shock. Did you know that Akismet is censoring comments?
Yes, there are still plenty of really spammy comments showing up in our spam folder so it LOOKS like we get to moderate them.
I owe Dr. Ann and her students an apology. They were correct.
Akismet IS censoring their comments
And mine – and probably yours too!
Yesterday and today I saw with my own eyes that comments I wrote and left in blogs I moderate were simply vanishing into thin air. I waited 48 hours just to make sure they weren’t just delayed. They were not.
My very real comments went straight into the bit bucket!
In Are You Banned By Akismet For Spamming? Ashish wrote:
Akismet system relies heavily upon blog owners marking your comments/trackbacks as spam and reporting them back to Akismet as such via the WordPress plugin. This means that many innocent bloggers are “false positives” in the Akismet system due to either malicious or ignorant behavior on the part of other bloggers.
What we need to realize is that many bloggers have a VERY BROAD definition of spam and if they report you as a spammer you could be banned even if you have never left a spam comment in your life and don’t even know what a keyword is!
Here are some unusual definitions of spam that I have come across:
- Any comment that has a business in the URL field.
- Any comment left by anyone the blogger doesn’t recognize.
- Comments that include a link not related to their blog’s niche.
- Any comment that has keywords in the name field EVEN IN BLOGS THAT HAVE KEYWORDLUV installed.
- Any comment they don’t like.
- Any comment from a commentator they don’t like.
- Any trackback = spam to some bloggers because so many of them are from scraped or MFA (made for AdSense sites) – even high quality incoming links from major sites and blogs!
I hope any blogger reading this will reconsider what they are labeling spam. These all fit my definition of spam which I hope you’ll adopt. These really ARE SPAM:
- Comments that have nothing to do with your post including generic “one size fits all” comments.
- Comments that are lists of words or links to junk sites of any kind.
- Objectionable or profane comments and comments that link to adult or illegal sites.
- Any comment that is an advertisement for a business or another site even if it IS related to your blog.
- Copied text or comment spam.
- Comments that are obviously intended only as a way to slide in a link and mention of another site.
- Ridiculous suggestions to “keep posting”, requests for help subscribing, over-the-top flattery, insults (do they really think THAT would work?), “I just found you in a search engine” and short comments that add nothing to the conversation like “great post” or +1 or me too.
I want to encourage bloggers and especially CommentLuv bloggers to welcome QUALITY comments from business owners, entrepreneurs and bloggers. Please read my tips in that post on best practices for both bloggers and commentators.
UPDATE: Akismet has removed the ability to use that page to test to see if your comments are being sent to either SPAM or being deleted outright by Akismet.
I discussed this issue today Andy Bailey from CommentLuv and he sent me this:
Akismet Test link. By submitting a comment there you can determine whether it is being automatically deleted by Akismet or not.
This is NOT as simple as most might think. You might be ok when you enter your name one way but not another. Your comments might go through if you enter your URL some ways and not others. If you ever comment in KeywordLuv blogs any comment with @ one keyword might work while another with @ something else won’t.
Even if you test every combination you ever use in the name and URL fields Akismet might cause your comment to disappear based on any word in the comment itself.
Unless you test every comment you ever leave you will never really know if the blogger ever sees it until it appears live (or likely doesn’t)!
The bottom line for me is that this is totally unacceptable. I would rather have to pre-moderate every comment than have real commentators censored in a way that I never even see their comments.
Unless we start Tweeting to each other every time we leave a comment or send an email or use the contact form to ensure the blogger knows to look for our comments, an ever increasing number of comments will simply vanish.
We have these choices:
- Ask Akismet to clarify precisely how their plugin works and consider modifying this behavior.
- If Akismet will not change how their plugin works for everyone, at least let us opt out of this behavior so that we see every comment to moderate it.
- I was going to say that if they will not let us opt out they should at least NOTIFY US every time any information we use when commenting is banned but I can already predict they would not be willing to do that because then real spammers will simply change what they use.
- Find an alternative spam management plugin.
- Disable Akismet and switch to pre-moderating comments BEFORE they appear. If we just disable it our blogs will be flooded with objectionable real spam and we can not have that.
I call on all bloggers to make your feelings about this known to Akismet. You can try tweeting to them but they are not highly interactive on Twitter. A better way would be to use their contact form. Be specific about what you would like them to do.
If you know of an alternative plugin please let me know.
I am already not a big fan of WP-SpamFree because they block many words automatically including business and marketing and in many blogs if you trigger their spam filter you lose your comment. (In others you don’t and I do not know why. Perhaps someone will share that with us.)
If I do not hear back from Akismet and do not find an alternative I will disable Akismet and set this and all my blogs to pre-moderate all comments.
I hate to do that for two reasons:
- It makes it more difficult for commentators to use my Comment Share strategy. In blogs where comments are moderated I recommend saving the links where you leave comments and coming back later to see if they are visible. I use Tomboy Notes for that but others use spreadsheets.
- I dread finding out how many more comments are disappearing into the Akismet ether. I already review 150+ spam comments daily and rescue several real comments each time I check them.
Have any other recommendations? Please leave a comment. Not sure this applies to you? I urge you to go check to see if you are banned by Akismet. Do other bloggers a favor and leave a comment in this post either way so we can get an idea how many are being affected.
Here are the two comments I have left in the Akismet test blog post in case anyone reading this would like more details:
I have proven to my satisfaction that Akismet is deleting valid comments we as bloggers never see. If you get taken to a blank white page when you comment that comment probably got deleted.
If you sometimes use your full name and other times your first name one can be blocked and not the other. The same is true if you use your first name and your blog name as I often do. In non-KeywordLuv blogs I often put Gail from GrowMap so the blogger will recognize me as I am best known across the Internet as GrowMap but many prefer a first name.
If you comment in KeywordLuv enabled blogs you might have name @ keywords so you might be blocked using some keywords but not others. It is also possible that even if you come here and verify that the name, email and website you intend to use when commenting is ok but some word in your comment causes it to be blocked.
Akismet might treat http://YourDomain.com differently than http://www.YourDomain.com differently than http://YourDomain.com/ and individual PAGES on your site that you have left in the Website field might be blocked.
If you are going to be commenting you almost have to come here and test your entire comment first if you really want it to show up OR you could leave the comment and if it doesn’t show up immediately THEN come here and test.
I am not willing to let Akismet delete comments I never see. That is dangerous and censorship and it just won’t do. Why can obvious spam end up in my spam section but not all the real comments? Why are THEY singled out?
Either Akismet needs to change this or at least let us opt out of it OR we need an alternative that does not censor our commentators OR we will have to go to pre-moderation and moderate every comment.
Testing to see if GrowMap @ Support Small Businesses is blocked. It is. Then I tested to see if having that post in the Website was blocked. It is. Now I’m testing just using Gail and my home page works and have the link in the body of the comment. That doesn’t work either.
Any comment that includes a link to the post on my site about the importance of supporting small businesses is automatically censored by the Akismet plugin.
In case anyone wonders why I want bloggers to support small businesses it is because they are the solution to the economic crisis in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Bloggers can choose to be a big part of the solution or they can delete (or let Akismet censor) quality comments from small local and online businesses and let our economies collapse because we are too blind to see where we are headed. You can find a link to that post on my best-of-growmap page and in the comment replies on most posts.
If you want to see what the Akismet test page looked like it is currently still in cache in the search engine and I will add before and after screen captures below:
Screen capture of what was on the page when I wrote this post:
Screen capture of my comment live on that past when I wrote this post: (Only what would fit on one screen is shown below. The full comment is shown above.)
Screen capture of what is on that page since this post was published (click image to go there):
I can now see part of the two comments I left last night in Cache showing “Your comment is awaiting moderation“. Only one of them appears in the cache version for some reason.
Here is what I see when I go to that page now:
- NEW: Akismet Huge CrowdSourcing Fail – What Akismet is doing now is what Google search is planning to do later! CHANGE SEARCH ENGINES NOW- and encourage everyone you know and your readers and followers to do the same!
- See our complete anti-spam process
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