Idiot spammers

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This post was written manually using Donncha’s fingers. Check out the Akismet anti comment-spam plugin to stop the idiot spammer at using “Blog Comment Poster”.

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

63 thoughts on “Idiot spammers”

  1. I use Akismet for both my blog and my guestbook (a simple php script I threw together to let my friends leave notes). Akismet seems to work great for my blog, but its been letting more and more comments slip through to my guestbook lately. If I look at the cache of rejected comments it’s obvious that Akismet was doing an ok job, but “ok” just isn’t good enough. I had to shut my guestbook down because it was letting 1-3 spam notes through per day. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it’s really horrible considering they’re all advertising porn sites.

  2. Pakman – if you have a blog, why use a guestbook? If the guestbook is only for you and your friends you should probably only allow them access to it by limiting entries to their email addresses or a secret password only you as a group knows.
    Either that, or moderate any entries from people with new email addresses.

  3. Wow, Donncha, you must be pretty angry to use the word “idiot” 😛

    The things people go to these days to build backlinks to their sites :roll eyes:

    Akismet has done wonders for my blog. I’m planning on coding myself a comment system for my static pages which will have my poetry… and I plan to use Akismet for it. In fact, I think Akismet ought to be enough to not have captcha which can sometimes get a little irritating. By the way, I read a post somewhere that Spam Karma is an ideal companion to Akismet, because Akismet will likely let spam through if the Automattic server is down, and SK can act as a backup.

  4. Small satisfaction: opening my htaccess file and finding the spammer’s IP address already included with a “deny from.”

    Akismet rocks.

  5. Bill – you automatically block IPs of comments Akismet marks as spam? Neat! That was a feature of an Akismet hack I tried a while back but it was a bit buggy unfortunately.

  6. I’m getting different kind of spam today. They are like “nice”, “sorry” and those kind of single word comments. And the URL mostly belongs to a car blog. If there is no Akismet, then I would have had a bad time detecting and deleting them manually.

  7. Auto deny from ip via .htaccess is a neat trick, but it would be a good idea to let them timeout after a while.

    For most users, IP’s rotate pretty often and a lot of these spam submissions are probably from some poor saps machine that has been zombied.

  8. It looks like people themselves have been getting into a different kind of spamming again since I’ve seen a lot of suspicious comments obviously written by a real person that lead back to a specific post on a “legit” site rather than the home page. The problem arises when the comment, rather than vague and badly phrased, is well written and relates exactly to the post content.

    One, for example leads to a specific post on a health related site. The post was about cluster headaches (the content is real enough) but there’s a Google ad for a specific prescription med at the top which prompted me to keep the comment but remove the link on the name. I’m almost sure that these comments are left for back linking purposes (since I use the “DoFollow” plugin) as well as for promoting their site ads.

    Any ideas on this?

  9. I’m thinking of blocking the useragent Opera/9.0 (Windows NT 5.1; U; en) from my server because all they seem to do is spam.

    apparently I got 58293 post requests to the comment script. and there probably isn’t even 93 legit ones

  10. I don’t honestly think it’s a good idea to ban IPs for any spam that Akismet catches. For example, all of Singapore has a common IP address. By blocking one Singaporean user, you could be blocking out a major part of the city, if not entirely.

  11. Donncha – not “automatically”. I wish! No, I skim the Akismet spam-pit and add repeat offenders to htaccess. Satisfying to see subsequent “Client denied” entries in the server logs.

    Probably could be semi automated, though. Hmm…?

  12. I’ve installed the Bad Behavior plugin in addition to Akismet. It’s a great helper, blocks most bots from even getting to your blog and you only have to check a few spam comments for false positives, instead of the hundreds that usually end up the Akismet queue daily. Bad Behavior blocks about 500 access attempts a week (which each would make up for even more spam posts). Akismet has blocked 60,193 spam comments for me up until now. That number would even be much higher without Bad Behavior.

  13. Thankfully I never got that one, but I did get one or two through the Akismet filter that surprised me (as one was full of link spam) but the other looked perfectly ‘normal’ except for a few choice words here and there.
    On the whole – loving Akismet! 🙂

  14. I use Askimet but to mop up the ones that slip through I use the math comment plug-in – it whoops ass I can tell you 🙂

    I don’t receive any spam comments now 😀

  15. What is interesting about askimet beyond the fact that I love it, I am trying to train it for my site, at first it hated myspace news and university update, had to tell it to let them through, so glad it is sharing those manual changes with the group. Cool product though, I just get weird things linking to me.

  16. That IP was a bit of a bummer— is another silly one if anyone is counting. Can’t remember was being posted anymore, but I had to manually spam it five times before adding it my blacklist a month back or so. Not that I am complaining, I mean one or two weasels getting through isn’t so bad. Yay! for akismet.

  17. If the comment is well written, and the link is to a site that doesn’t sell drugs or porno, then I will keep it, even if I think they are only posting a comment for a link. The comment adds value, and the link is a little prize for them.

    Comment spam has gotten pretty bad, but I can’t see how someone doing something like that gets anything out of it. I know I don’t let any spam comments appear on my site. Or one word comments for that matter. I don’t care if you think my post is nice! I only care if you have something to say about my post.

    Hehe…very funny…I feel good inside knowing that they are wasting their money.

  18. geez, for a second there, I thought that was my IP address!
    I have seen the script and used it until realizing it was a spam tool.
    But in the big scheme of things, it didn’t do anything for me.

  19. I use Akismet and Comment Timeout, and set all my aside posts to disable comments and trackbacks (since it doesn’t seem necessary to comment on asides anyway). Works like a charm.

    @Dankoozy: I’d rather block IE6 from viewing my blog than block Opera because of spammers! 😛

    @Gurdit: I agree with you wholly, and I’m from Singapore. But that common IP address is from our ISP’s proxy; we could just block the true IP address and check for that anyway, even if it’s a little more work it’s better than blocking a legit proxy that supports at least half a country’s users.

  20. I oversee a small blog. To keep the nuisances away, I use all the following:
    – BadBehavior
    – SpamKarma
    – Akismet
    – WP-Ban
    – AntiLeech

    … plus entries in .htaccess, and I check the logs several times a week. Haven’t seen anything slip thru yet, but its only 3 weeks since I opened comments 🙂

    BTW, I don’t understand what the SK2 Akismet plugin is supposed to be good for, I’ve read that it makes either of them less reliable.

  21. I have zero comment spam getting through. Between Akismet, and sending everything to moderation until a user has 1 approved comment, my problems have gone away. Might be more work for someone with a LOT of anonymous/new user comments, but it works for me.

  22. For some reason, people keep leaving links to adult sites in the comments for my blog. Thankfully, I can moderate them so they never reach the actual site. It still begs the question, WHY are they leaving me these links? I certainly don’t want them…

  23. will the stupidity of folks never cease to amaze me… akismet seems to have developed a few holes over the last week as amount getting through has increased… still, does a pretty good job…

  24. Ironic that I had the same problem with the same spammer, checked my WP dashboard, saw ‘Spammer’ in the ‘news’ section, come here, and who is it about.

    I made a special insert in my site to ban the IP period from any of my subdomains. “It’s” been that much of a bother. is it’s runner up as well with me.

    Cheers, and thanks for the info on the plug in too!

  25. I use GamerZ’s WP-Ban plugin and Akismet together manually…I’d really like to find a way of getting WP-Ban to import IP addresses from the Akismet spam queue. Akismet’s been letting a few through lately and I’m considering adding something else to the War on Spam, though I hesitate because I want to keep the ability to gather the IP addresses. My WP-Ban IP block page includes the message “If you believe you are receiving this message in error, it may be due to IP range blocking or IP address reassignment. Contact the webmaster” just in case. I’ve gotten a couple of borderline-possible-spam comments in which I removed the brand names.

    I also publish my IP ban list at if anyone’s interested in comparing notes.

  26. Levi Blackman says he can’t see what anyone gets out of it, I do, links! It is one of the reason I come around posting on blogs. Except I try and stay on topic an be well behaved, wish every one did.

    I don’t have a word press blog, but right now I am banning every 4th user that signs up to my forum (punBB). I also fixed the comment system on my news system last night, so it works for the first time in weeks (wonder why I let that happen). I delete all posts that contains http: right now, and would like to change that. So that PHP class that I see on their site looks well worth looking in to.

  27. Just posting again to say I have managed to get it into my self written site news script and everything seams to be working fine. Now to take on the forum, which I think is going to be a bit harder.

    Oh and yeah, Akismet rocks!

  28. How dumb can it get? Are that spamers idiotic ignorants or are they just lazy fools?
    Please donate or contribute to akisment, it’s so necessary!

    Unfortunately, Akismet currently doesn’t work so well with b2evo.

  29. I had a very bad comment spam problem until I started using Askimet. For the few that do slip through I use reCAPTCHA. My only remaining problem seems to be scripts that register themselves as users. I don’t want to have to manually accept each new user but at the same time I’m too lazy to do anything about it and I won’t start blocking IP’s either…

  30. Thank god for Akismet. I used to get the most asinine spam that would just trash my site. The spam wasn’t relevant to anything. Then i’d have to waste time manually going through the comments. What a waste.

  31. I set WordPress to automatically moderate comments with two or more links in them, and that all posts from unknown users (non-members and/or persons who have not yet had a post approved). Unless I’ve approved a comment from a user that I shouldn’t have, doing this catches all the messages and allows me to moderate them and keep my comments pretty clean (if you see some that have slipped through, please let me know!).

    Recently I’ve been getting between 12 and 35 comments per day that fall into the “missed by Akismet, one-word, one link) variety. While this isn’t a problem per se, it’s annoying.

    I decided to turn off anonymous comments and force users to register with the site (sorry, it take a little longer, but a blogger’s got to do what a blogger’s got to do). I let this setting stick for about a month, then decided to turn it off and see how the cards fell. Ironically, I didn’t get any comment spam to speak of for about two months. W00t!

    Then I slowly started getting comment spam again just last week… so I’ve turned on the “require registration” flag again, and again, no comment spam.

    I’m going to keep toggling this off and on every month or so (at semi-random intervals) just to keep the spam-bots frustrated. If you’re getting slammed by comment spam, give these concepts a try on your ‘blog; let me know your results.

    I recently started using a custom Captcha and haven’t had a single spam comment make it through, and the amount of comments I’ve had to moderate have dropped into the single digits each week.

  32. I use Spam Karma wit the Akismet plugin (that is, Akismet runs within Spam Karma as one of its many tests). Alongside Bad Behavior, it’s quite rare that an actual spam comment gets through.

  33. This plugin indeed works fine. But once I was tying to do comment on something and drop a youtube link, it blocked my perfectly legit message.. So? Well I’m scare of putting a link here.

  34. we got this recently:

    hello , my name is Richard and I know you get a lot of spammy comments ,

    I can help you with this problem . I know a lot of spammers and I will ask them not to post on your site. It will reduce the volume of spam by 30-50% .In return Id like to ask you to put a link to my site on the index page of your site. The link will be small and your visitors will hardly notice it , its just done for higher rankings in search engines. Contact me icq ########## or write me xxxxxxxxxxx(at) , i will give you my site url and you will give me yours if you are interested. thank you

  35. I found this blog while searching themes for my cat blog. Being new to blogging, I had no idea that those could get spammed too. My site is in progress and what you have shared could save me hours of work. Thank you so very much for this information.

  36. Most of this tech stuff is over my head. But I will chime in that in the last few weeks I get spam every day from auto dealers who are looking for backlinks. They write one stupid word like “interesting” or “nice”. Inane. I have no idea what to do, but you folks are mentioning Askismet so I will check it out.

  37. Lol, I had received the same message but luckily akimset caught it. There’s actually a software for autocommenting on wordpress blog on the ‘underground arena’ but even though some of it can fool akimset but you would still have to manually approve comments so if you see and “stupid pointless annoying message” just delete it 🙂

  38. Akismet definitely is a blessing, a bit annoying though that it still let’s about 10 comments go through each day for me which are obviously spam but the dozens of others which it does block quite make up for that :).

  39. If a spam comment looks to be manually created, I mail the author and offer him a sponsored post. Otherwise, Akismet & Bad Behaviour manage to catch around 95% of spam, so I don’t spend too much time in my moderation queue.
    I don’t understand the comment I recently received that was similar to yours (this comment was made by… …) – there was no content to the comment other than that, so unless someone was testing out which blogs would let it through before sending some real spam, it seemed pointless…

  40. That’s a classic spam comment right there. I wish I could get a few like that on my blog just to brighten my day for a second. My blogs never been spammed before though so I feel like I’m missing out.

  41. LOL! I should activate the Akismet plugin cuz i receive tons of spam comments everyday. They do not even have the intelligence to leave a smart comment that might get approved plus their sites have that spammy look all over.

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