Stopping Spammers

No SpamAnyone who has owned a blog using some standard blogging software will have dealt with horrible spam at sometime. It’s a frustrating and time consuming annoyance, and many people give up to the torrents of spammed comments or trackbacks. Obviously there must be some economic reason for spammers to continue, but I do (and I’m sure that you too) hope they pay dearly for it in karmic retribution later in their life.

I’ve tried several attempts to stop spammers, but most techniques require additional work. I considered the Captcha plugin, that is a popular tool many people adopt, but forces real commenters to work more (by typically reading an image and inputting some numbers or characters) and reduces the accessibility of your website.

My most recent attempt which seems to be working (so far) is the Akismet plugin for WordPress. For other wordpress users out there, I suggest giving it a go.

7 Replies to “Stopping Spammers”

  1. Akismet is ok, but I’d strongly suggest going for Spam Karma 2 instead. It uses a series of different rules (SpamAssasin-style). I’ve yet to see a single false-positive with it, and only two false-nagatives in the last 6 months.

    Some of the rules it uses are fairly cool – such as ‘Flash Harry was here’ – which scores a comment badly if it got posted a few seconds after the page loaded.

    More info:

    I’m very lucky to be with TextDrive – they make heavy use of mod_security to filter out traffic from known open relays using the black hole lists. You can use a plugin for Spam Karma which also uses the RBL lists to do something similar (see although stopping it at the apache level is obviously much more efficient.

  2. How much spam do you get at your site? I average about 25 spam comments a week. I have turned on comment moderation on wordpress and find the ‘mark all as spam’ button makes the task of moderating comments easy enough. I only spend about 20 seconds a week on it, those 20 seconds are just finding the one or two serious comments from the bunch.

  3. I have to agree with Sam. I installed the Spam Karma 2 plugin (on his recommendation) and now I get a mail every day or two telling me how many spam comments were dropped (usually several) and how many real comments were left (usually none!).

    It’s one of those great pieces of software that Just Works. No false positives, the occasional “not sure”.

  4. I have found that most of the spam that now makes it through to my Typo blog is from the same IP addresses. It is so well written and references the appropriate articles that I think it is humans doing it. I have started just dropping packets from their IP with iptables.

    I used to get hundreds a week when I was on WordPress before I installed Spam Karma.

  5. Josh – I don’t get that many spam comments, probably less than what you get a week. I find it just annoying having to really moderate them and block suspect ones.

    Everyone else – Thanks for the tip with Spam Karma. I might try it as the next level if this one doesn’t work. So far so good (he says knocking on wood!)

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