UPDATE: Andy Bailey who created the WordPress Plugin CommentLuv has created an anti-spambot plugin that is far more effective than Akismet. Read this page about our Akismet alternative.
SPAM REVIEW WORKAROUND: I wanted to share a tip to get your regular commentators comments approved faster. If most of your readers are CommentLuv bloggers, search for the wording that precedes their featured blog post. That should bring up all the real comments for fast approval. (There are spammers using CommentLuv so be sure to check and delete those.)
As Gardening expert Stephanie Suesan Smith and I brainstormed about the best way to control spam, it occured to us that what we really want are blacklist and whitelist functions under our own control.
Any spam control plugin that censors our favorite bloggers and new real visitors while allowing the same junk through to the spam folder – which we then have to trudge through every day – simply is NOT the solution we need.
Is there a blacklist whitelist WordPress plugin that WE can control?
The SI-Captcha I tested blocked hundreds of spam per day, but because it relies on cookies it sometimes told commentators that they were entering the captcha incorrectly no matter how many times they tried. That was the same issue I ran into with the math plugin.
Clearing cookies on the commentator’s computer would probably resolve those issues, so one potential fix would be to turn math or a captcha back on and add text near the comment function suggesting clearing cookies if they entered correctly but it said they didn’t.
Stephanie suggested we “start with something that has false negatives but not false positiives, then teach it to recognize the false negatives for what they are”
Does anyone know about (or have the ability to correct) a WordPress plugin that can be used to whitelist our regular readers and blacklist obvious spam? Specifically, we need to be able to blacklist:
- Specific URLs (because spammers leave 100s of comments and that is the one field they have to make accurate or their spam is useless)
- Commonly used spam phrases – We need to block specific PHRASES and NOT the words within the phrases.
I don’t know that a plugin can over-ride WordPress refusing to immediately allow comments to go live when the commentator has been flagged as a spammer by Akismet.
The way I have this blog configured, if you have one comment approved your subsequent comments should appear immediately – but they don’t. Since Akismet is turned off in this blog, that indicates that WordPress is using Akismet or some other blacklist function to prevent comments from appearing.
If the plugin can not force WordPress to immediately publish comments left by our whitelisted commentators, it could at least put them into a separate section for fast approval or include a way to notify us by email or Twitter so we can approve it quickly.
If you know of any plugin that does this OR can create one or know someone who could do please leave information including related links in the comments of this post.
The WordPress IP Ban is the closest we’ve found but it doesn’t block URLs or phrases. Incorporating some of what it does into the blacklist whitelist plugin we are seeking might be useful.
We have 3,043 comments we are reviewing right now; we WILL rescue yours as soon as we find it. The Akismet delete comments fucntion is NOT active in this blog.
I have temporarily reenabled SI-Captcha because in the few hours since this post was published over forty more spam dropped in primarily left by bots. If you get a message that you entered the captcha incorrectly when you didn’t try clearing your cookies. That is the most likely cause.
If you ever have difficulty leaving a comment please do let me know using the information on the contact tab or by an @GrowMap message (not a DM) to me at Twitter.