Do you have a regular commenter or two who are always ending up in the Akismet “spam dungeon”? Does this happen to you when commenting on blogs? In this post, I’m going to cover several possible options to prevent this from happening.
As every blog owner knows, there are a lot of people out there who will try to leave comments on your blog that are considered spam.
What is spam?
Most spam comments are pretty easy to spot – they are completely off-topic, often are quite long with nonsense words and many links. There is another group of spam that is harder to spot – some site owners will leave comments with a link to their own site in the comment or the comment url. If these comments are too basic or complimentary “Great post!” then they are probably spam.
To combat this problem, there are plugins which will filter out the spam. Akismet, NoSpamNX are a couple of examples. The problem is that they sometimes get a little overzealous and mark legitimate comments as spam. The blogger has to unspam and approve the comments which can get time consuming.
According to the Akisment webpage:
Help! Akismet is catching a regular comment as spam!
Don’t worry, if you see a regular comment on your Akismet page, just click the “Approve” button or the “Not Spam” checkbox and submit and the comment will be sent back to Akismet as a mistake. The system will learn from your submission, though it may take a day or so in some cases. False positives, as they’re called, are extremely rare and we watch them closely.
All I can say to this is Bull!!! I have one commenter on my main blog, who’s comments have been marked as spam for over a year. I must have approved him 500 times and yet Akismet never learns. I came across another blogger who had some information from Akismet. Apparently the “spam” status is set for each blog – not a collective vote which I had assumed. I’m skeptical.
How to remove commenters from Akismet blacklist
These are the methods I’ve used with varying degrees of success.
1) Ask the commenter to change their name and email address. Akismet uses these fields so sometimes changing them can fix the problem.
2) Ask commenter to change their IP address. This can usually be accomplished by having them reboot their cable modem. The IP number is the main identifier for Akismet.
3) Contact Akismet and ask them to remove a person from their blacklist. You must be able to provide that person’s IP address.
4) Try another spam filter. I suspect this might have mixed results, but it’s worth a try if all else fails. Invest It Wisely has switched to Bad Behaviour and SI Captcha anti-spam and says it’s working well.
5) Don’t bother fixing it. I hate to suggest this strategy, but there has to be a limit on how much work you should spend on this problem.
Does anyone else have any other ideas on how to deal with this problem? Is it worth the time to deal with it or should you just let some commenters go?