I just thought I’d make a quick post about two WordPress plugins which seem to work great for spam detection. The first one is Akismet. Alone it seems to catch most spam here. The problem with this plugin alone is, there may still be false positives. This requires more time on my part to skim over my spam to see if there was any legit comments.

This brings me to the second plugin, Conditional CAPTCHA. What this ends up doing is first trying to submit the comment. If everything looks good and Akismet is happy, it just goes through as normal. If Akismet thinks it’s spam, a page shows up to the user with a CAPTCHA to prove that they’re human. If they succeed, the comment is posted. If they fail, the comment is put in the spam comments as usual. This two step approach to spam seems to be working well enough to the point where I don’t think I’ll even skim over the spam before removing it.

This hopefully shouldn’t alienate anyone wanting to comment. Typically, if Akismet flags your comment as spam, there’s something fishy about your comment to begin with (too short, nonsensical, many links, etc.) I’m sorry to anyone who dislikes CAPTCHA’s (either for accessibility reasons, or otherwise.) This is just required because I don’t typically have the time to scan through more than 25 spam comments to see if any valid ones were false positives. (Seriously, sometimes I’ll check, and after a couple days, the site is hammered and there’s 200 new spam comments.)