The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

A reader’s guide to commenting: How to get past my spam filter

The title did not say “how to post spam comments for free here”. The title sells an article that tells legitimate readers how to ensure their comments are not accidentally marked as spam. Spammers will have to defeat my anti-spam filter some other way. I personally suggest learning to not use Google Translate as a starting point.

Like the countless other WordPress sites out there, my blog is defended by Akismet, an excellent online service that blocks against spam by checking them against a database and placing them in a queue for me to review. When I first started, I was initially hesitant to allow comments, but the power of this tool has since convinced me to change my stance. This tool has already shot down 207 spam comments already since I began this site back in October 2011, and for the present, as long as there are spammers, this tool will complete its task and ensure that my site is spam-free.

  • Because of the Akismet spam blocker’s specificity and sensitivity, I am not particularly worried about spam comments. To the spammers, this blog’s comments section are like the anime girls depicted in the images: not accessible.

That said, the spam filter is not perfect: sometimes, legitimate comments are accidentally filtered out, and I go through the process of reviewing all of the comments that come through to this blog to ensure that actual comments are retained. Thus, how does one ensure that their comments are sent directly to my moderation queue rather than the spam directory? The answer is simple: the following guidelines determine what make a post worth keeping or whether or not it gets deleted without a second thought.

  1. Any post that appears to be written by someone using a machine translator will be deleted immediately. There is a fine distinction between bad grammar from someone trying to translate from Google Languages and the natural style that individuals have in their writing.
  2. A post with links not pertinent to my article will be deleted if it is found that the links are hazardous. These links can be inside the main body or in the comments section. If I have an article about K-On!, and someone tries to link to some site giving away free iPads, the comment is obviously spam and can kiss my ban stick.
  3. Posts signed by anonymous will be deleted immediately. Misspellings or variations of anonymous will pass because it indicates originality. The name is the last thing I look for in deciding whether or not a post is deleted: if an individual has a unique name but makes a comment that violates either one of the two points above, the comment will be annihilated.

Thus, to ensure that a post makes it past the spam filter, comments must not contain excessive links and must make sense. This mechanism holds true for almost all present websites and blogs powered by WordPress.

  • Insofar, the spam filter has only misidentified one comment from a re-blog about the TF2 Tux. All of the other spam comments have been summarily deleted, and the senders’ IPs permanently black listed. Now…are you finding this topic interesting, or are you staring at that girl with the nice anatomical features?

Spammers typically have one objective: to silently masquerade as real commenters to essentially carry out free advertising using the blog owner’s site as a platform. The links they supply often lead back to sites with malware and viruses that may compromise an individual, or else are simply to line the spammer’s own pockets. The use of tools, such as Akismet and other anti-spam measures, serve a dual purpose of preventing our viewers from succumbing to identify theft and dent the spammer’s profits. I have a similar measure at my other site, using a Captcha to ensure that only human comments are permitted. Score one for us bloggers, website owners and web developers 😀

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