Akismet Woes

Akismet is the technology used by WordPress.com in an attempt to filter spam comments in the blogs they host. The idea is simple:

  1. The user posts a comment.
  2. The comment is submitted to akismet.com
  3. Akismet gives a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” and the comment either gets posted or goes to spam.
  4. The owner of the blog has the chance to revoke the decision, and Akismet “learns” and improves its accuracy.

Of course, the system is not perfect. There have been multiple “false positives” during the life-time of this blog (i.e. valid comments that got flagged as spam). Most of them were non-English comments, so clicking “Not Spam” must have thought Akismet a lot ;)

But what is more alarming to me is that some of my own comments on my own blog were detected as spam. This is annoying and silly. Why do my comments on my blog even go through the spam filter? Would I post spam on my blog?

a spammer with mannersHaving to check the spam for lost treasures every now and then, today I’ve stumbled upon something that caught my attention. Check it out!

And here’s another funny one. You can figure out where the spammer comes from.

2 Responses to Akismet Woes

  1. Alex says:

    This is just a lame social engineering trick aimed at inexperienced people, especially the non SEO-aware.

    I am very familiar with “wow, nice site!” or “great post” comments, followed by a list of links.

    The logic of the spammer:

    the victim will be flattered by “nice site” and ignore the links
    the victim doesn’t know that links are a way to increase the relevance of a page in the database of a search engine
    the victim may honestly think that leaving a link to a site is a good thing, because they help the community; I mean, someone needs that product, they’ll find it easier if there is a link to it

    One way to counter comment-spam is to either prohibit HTML in comments (bad idea, since people use it to make the text more readable), or to prohibit the A-tag. Hmm, I don’t know if you remember, but you asked once why links are not allowed on my site; well, there you go (-:

  2. Constantin says:

    Sorry about the ul/li tags. I’ve no idea why they don’t work. I’m going to ask the support staff…
    As I was searching the forum for list-related issues, I found this. Looks like I’m not the only one with this spam issue :(

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