As my blog grows in popularity so does the amount of comment spam that I receive. I know that comment spam is generated by computers but I can’t fail to notice that the computers seem to perversely enjoy sending comment spam on articles relating to fighting comment spam. 🙂 Go figure.
When a new comment, trackback, or pingback comes to your blog it is submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down.
When the plugin catches something as spam it saves it in the database for 15 days in case you want to check it out manually and then automatically deletes it. In the unlikely event something gets incorrectly identified as spam you can correct it and it submits the “false positive” back to Akismet for analysis and improvement of our system. If a spam comment happens to get through and you mark it as spam within WordPress, it does the same thing. Akismet becomes more effective the more you use it.
The service is free for non-commercial use. It does require that you enter a WordPress API key. (An API key is a unique string of characters. Think of it as a long, geeky password.) The API key is free when you register for a WordPress.com account. And that’s free too so no worries.
Akismet is so popular that it’s now included in WordPress installation packages. So if you’re interested look at the Plugin page of your WordPress dashboard. If it’s there click “activate” and the software will help you with getting the API key.
If you don’t already have Akismet then you can download it here. Just follow the instructions.
I’ve turned Akismet on today. ll keep you all posted as to how it’s going.