I have previously given the Akismet WordPress plugin glowing praise for almost completely eliminating my comment spam problems. While that is true, in the last month or so, I’ve had more of a false positive problem. In fact, it has now caught my own comments several times.

I wonder if there isn’t some kind of poisoning going on, where spammers try hard to create messages much like legitimate ones in order to make more false positives happen. As we’ve seen in countless movies, the true way to defeat an alarm like those in store doorways isn’t to keep the alarm from sounding, it’s to cause so many false positives that people just wave you through. If the scumbags can increase the level of false positives to the point the tool is no longer useful, they have won. I hope that isn’t what is happening, and instead it’s just some flukes.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

4 thoughts on “Akismet”

  1. hugh says:

    Of course the spammers are trying to mess with Akismet. These are the same people who run Dickens novels through a cut-up generator to try to foil Baysean spam filters. They fill blogger.com with their splogs using our scraped content.
    I’m not using Akismet. I find that Bad Behavior (note: Dave also runs BB) has given spammers the boot. If it’s the case that BB does a adequate job, running another anti-spam tool might well produce mainly false positives. There is one important difference between us, though. I don’t display trackbacks. I do get spambacks, but I just clear out all of the trackbacks in the database from time to time. If I want to know who links to me, I’ll ask the Googlebird or look at my referrer logs. Regardless of whether or not you ever thought trackbacks were a good idea, the spammers have turned them into a nuisance.

  2. dave says:

    Hugh, your thesis is pretty flawed. I am running Bad Behavior and it does stop some things, but Akismet has stopped 3,000 spams that made it past that. Are you telling me I should have manually deleted those 3,000 and that they are no big deal? I didn’t install Akismet until I had an actual real world problem of having to moderate 20 – 100 spam comments every morning.

    Also, almost every spam I’ve ever received is via comment. I have almost no trouble with trackbacks at all.

  3. Ken Nelson says:

    I finally installed Akismet over at my place. I’m a low traffic schmoe, but it’s catching 6-8 per day for me.


  4. PJ Cabrera says:


    I’m not only king of TWACs, I’m a lower low-traffic schmoe than you (how’s that for a self-congratulatory pat on the back? 🙂 I’m such a non-happening blogger, I get no Akismet traffic AT ALL.

    Or maybe BadBehavior is stopping them in their tracks. I do have some entries in the BB table, so maybe it’s that.

    Whatever! I’m basking in the dark glory of my stealthness.

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