The recent WeblogToolsCollection post about a new antispam plugin “WP Mollom” got me thinking. What’s the main problem with Akismet? It’s certainly good enough at catching spam – it only misses about 4 spam comments per month on this blog and has nearly 99.9% accuracy overall. However, the situation might not be so rosy when it comes to comments being incorrectly labeled as spam. I say “might” because there isn’t really any practical way to check – on a large site you can get over ten thousand spam comments per month; you can’t just check each of them manually to fish out a (hopefully) few false positives.
And you shouldn’t have to.
Enter the TanTanNoodles Simple Spam Filter. It’s a WordPress plugin that, among other things, gives comments caught by Akismet a second chance by asking the user to enter a reCAPTCHA. This brilliant compromise between fully-automated spam detection and bothersome CAPTCHA systems should virtually eliminate false positives. In fact, I’m surprised this approach wasn’t used in WP right from the start.
Regarding other features of the aforementioned plugin, there’s :
- a simple word blacklist,
- a regexp blacklist,
- an option to block comments with more than X external links (Huh? This has been in the WP core for years!),
- and an option to block comments that are too similar to existing comments.
The plugin also discards posts that contain nothing but links. Overall, it lives up to it’s name by providing a number of simple yet sometimes useful functions. Personally, I would install it just for the “second chance” reCAPTCHA feature 🙂
A note of caution : I’d advise against enabling the “block similar comments” feature. The algorithm is extremely resource-intensive ( O(N^3) ) and could really bog down your server if your blog has a lot of comments.Related posts :