Spam milestone

Today, Akismet caught the 100,000th spam comment sent to this site. The first 50,000 took 139 days to arrive, whereas the next 50,000 were posted over just 95 days – so the rate of spamming is increasing, in spite of the fact that not a single one of these comments has been published.

Over the last three months, 527 spam comments have been posted on grayblog each day, on average. This equates to one new spam comment every 2 minutes and 44 seconds.

6 Replies to “Spam milestone”

  1. Ouch. That’s a lot.

    Out of these 100,000 spam comments, how many times have you had (a) false positives and (b) false negatives?

  2. Hey, I just about ready to jump off the empire state building because of the amount of spam I’m getting on my blog. An average 500 per day. How can I deal with this? I’m clueless. What is this Akismet and how does it work? My blog is powered by wordpress. Hope you can help.

  3. Pete: false positives: only two that I have noticed, but I stopped checking some time ago as they were so infrequent. False negatives: occasionally I get a batch of them, maybe twenty or so from one IP and with similar content, but this has only happened three or four times so far and Akismet “learns” as we go along. In any case, false positives don’t get published but end up in the moderation queue, as all comments from new commenters are set to be moderated and not immediately published.

    Itai: if you are using the latest version of WordPress, Akismet is built-in but you need to activate it. Check out under PlugIns and you will find it there. You will also find detailed instructions in the WP Codex, I believe. The WP Codex also has information about other spam-killing techniques. Oh, and don’t jump!

  4. Surely not all comments from new commenters get put in the moderation queue – only those which are judged not to be spam.

    By “false positive” I mean that a comment was marked as spam when it isn’t. These are the most problematic one, because unless the author emails you to say “why didn’t my comment appear?”, it is lost forever.

    “False negatives” are the ones which end up in the moderation queue for your approval even though they are actually spam. These are annoying, but preferable to false positives.

    The beauty of Akismet is that it is learning based not on just the spam that you receive, but the spam that all Akismet users receive. A comment can look legitimate to one user, but if identical comments have been posted to another 1000 blogs simultaneously, it’s a different story.

  5. Did the 100,000 include any from a well known blogger trying to get you to buy a conservatory?????? Window shutters are another possibility!

  6. Dave: quite probably.

    Pete: my earlier comment was confused because I was tired and useless. I meant to say this:
    False positives – there have been only two or three, but I stopped checking the Akismet spam lists as there were so few, so there may have been a couple more that I inadvertantly deleted.
    False negatives – I get some batches of these that go straight to the comment moderation queue in WP because I use the WP settings (i.e. not the Akismet settings) to send all comments from new commenters to the moderation queue, regardless of content – it’s a safety net to stop any Akismet-evaders from getting published.

    I hope that is clearer.

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