Tackling Comment Spam for Good

Blogs are everywhere today; just about everyone has one and because so many people of various backgrounds, cultures and personal interests are involved with the caring and keeping of personal or entertainment websites, they have easily become the leading form of web media when it comes to attracting spam.

Web publishers need to constantly be on top of their comments, checking for spam and getting rid of it promptly before viewers see them and suddenly think we condone the buying and selling of illegal pharmaceuticals or we are unnaturally concerned about their personal and intimate relationships. Spam comments are equally bad for everyone involved in a particular website. They are irritating for the webmaster, having to check sometimes daily or even multiple times a day for comments that are inappropriate for the website and are offensive to readers and it also shows readers that a website may not be as professional as it would like to be seen. If a website fails to look the part of a multi-faceted, entertaining and above all, polished and mastered website, it does not matter how well your website does stat-wise, your viewers will not be interested and potential-advertisers will not take you seriously.

Dealing with spam comments can quickly become a second job for a webmaster, especially since the bigger a website gets, the more spam it attracts. The secret is to finding an efficient and user-friendly spam comment program to help eliminate the worry of unprofessional and inappropriate spam. If you are running WordPress, you are most likely still running the spam monitoring system Akismet that came with your original WordPress install; however, there are other programs out there, for WordPress in particular, that I have found to work much better than Akismet.

Defensio anti-spam Defensio is a comment spam monitor and eliminator whose entire mission is based off of outsmarting evil spam, which it does miraculously. In my opinion, you cannot get any better than Defensio for taking the edge off when you’re thinking about how your website is doing and if any spam is leaking through.

With its innovative technology, Defensio actually adapts to the content you post and is proven not to work in the exact same manner for two different bloggers; instead, it adapts to the webmaster’s specific way of managing their comments and follow suite. Every comment that is posted on your website is given a level of “spamminess” and is determined whether or not the level it is given is low enough to be posted. On a personal level, I have seen comments with a spamminess level as low as 20% be held for moderation, just to make sure that it wasn’t someone trying to plug their site or a company looking for some shameless exposure.

With 99.77% accuracy, Defensio definitely gives you the security you need to be a successful, professional and efficient webmaster with absolutely no worry about back doors being left open for spam comments to get away with accessing your content. It tackles comment spam for several different user interfaces such as WordPress, PixelPost, Mephisto, Text Pattern, Movable Type and Drupal. It is also supported by several different web developer platforms such as Ruby on Rails, Java, Perl, PHP (4 and 5) and Python; all of which can be downloaded here.

14 thoughts on “Tackling Comment Spam for Good”

  1. Holly, that was an -awesome- review! You really understand what we do, how Defensio works and why it’s better.

    Your post should keep the team motivated for a few weeks! Thanks!

  2. Defensio is my pimp! Akismet used to eat up my REAL comments so I had to stop using it. I get so many spam comments in my quarantine but at least they aren’t out in the open annoying the public!

  3. Holly,

    I appreciate your post. I am currently using Akismet but have had issues in the past with it. So it is nice to have another alternative that will work in a different (and most likely) better way than Akismet.
    Thank you for your thorough analysis of the program.

    I love to blog however, trying to control the spam can deter my enthusiasm sometimes.

  4. I’m going to have to try this out. It seems that I can’t get it perfect with Askimet. Either its letting too many spam comments in or its keeping too many real comments out. I tend to err on the side of inclusion because I really think comments are the backbone of blogging. But like you pointed out a lot of the spam keywords are pretty graphic or intimate, so I can’t really leave them up. Suffice it to say hand deleting comments is becoming too tiring for me.

  5. I am still using Askimet to tackle spam. So far so good… guess I have to wait for my blog to get bigger for me to really start worrying about spam.

  6. That was awesome to read! I’m running Akismet and I have had so many emails from people telling me my blog is eating their comments. The first few times I thought they were full of crap, but I finally checked Akismet — didn’t really cross my mind before — and there were a boatload.

    I’m going to look into that immediately. Thanks for letting us know!

  7. Spam is such a problem and you are right, getting rid of spam can very quickly eat up your time

    Problem is some comments do add value to our blogs and in the world of web 2.0 interactive is the name of the game

    Never heard of defensio but will definitely look it up

  8. I’ve been using Akismet and honestly, that’s all I need. I probably get 1 or 2 spam unfilteres spam comments a month. I guess I don’t have the same amount of traffic as you get though.

  9. Sebastien: In my opinion, how good a spam filter is should not be measured by the number of spam it lets through, but rather by a combination of false positives and false negatives. How many good comments is your current spam filter eating?

    If you’re like I was before, you probably don’t know and don’t even bother looking. It’s too much of a chore. Defensio gives you an easy to navigate quarantine which makes it a breeze to find false positives.

    When I switched to Defensio, I realized that I was missing a lot of good comments. They were buried in pages and pages of spam (ie: needle in a haystack). Now, the very rare FP just bubbles up to the top, making it extremely easy to identify.

    Needless to say, we’d be thrilled if you gave us a shot 😉

  10. Well, one major way to reduce spam is simply to turn off allow follow… since that is what a lot of marketers are attracted to when they go out to annoyingly promote their products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *