Experimental Comment Spam Prevention System for WordPress Blogs

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Comment Guard StatisticsAfter being thoroughly fed-up with the state of WordPress comment spam protection, I have decided to solve the comment spam problem in WordPress blogs once and for all. I have installed an experimental commenting system which is designed to completely stop (read 100%) robotic spam (spam generated by bots and not humans) in all my blogs and with no (read 0%) false positives. I have used all my blogs for beta testing of the system. Between all of them I receive several thousand spams daily which woud be an ideal proving ground for the plugin. I will be fine-tuning this plugin over the weeks with the basic premise of triggering 0% false positives (or “do no harm” doctrine). So far the results have been very positive with early volunteers like Anaconda theme blog:
“1036 spam comments were blocked by Angsuman’s Comment Guard plugin in 2 days 10 hours 49 minutes. 99.711% of the comments you received during this time were spam.”

I have just activated Comment Guard plugin on this blog. Please let me know if you face any problems in commenting using my contact form or directly by email to angsuman [at] taragana [dot] com.

February 25, 2010: 4:13 am

Thanks for making the plugins!

February 5, 2010: 8:01 am

Nice Blog!!!
Thanks For Great Information

June 25, 2009: 11:29 am

Thanks for sharing the information. Lots and lots of stuffs are very useful for me. Keep writing. Thanks again :)

February 7, 2007: 12:22 pm

I’m happy to hear that there will be another spam comment plugin since I’ve been noticing a big spike in spam comments (they’re getting smarter now with 1 link or even no link except the spam link in their homepage) but I’m getting a few hundred already in a span of hours when I used to have that amount in days. Grrr. Waiting and hoping that it will be released soon.

Thanks for making the plugins!

January 19, 2007: 12:03 am

That is great… if you’re not touching the DB it is perfect :)

Let me know when you want me to begin testing.

January 18, 2007: 10:35 pm

Thanks for the offer to beta test it. I have included you in the list.

> being free / paid.
I haven’t decided yet. I will decide it based on the amount of effort we put in. Most of my plugins are free. At this stage of development I can release it for free, however with source code obscured to hinder spammers. However if I decide to include more capabilities to provide more comprehensive coverage from live human spammers, then I may charge a nominal fee.

It is designed to be the very first, and hopefully only required, line of defense, without requiring any database queries. The only query we use so far is to save the statistics. So it not just stops spams but also saves several SQL queries that are required for a normal comment processing.

January 18, 2007: 9:42 pm

Sounds good. Makes sense that you don’t discuss the technical details at all.

Posted a comment in your new post today about it being free / paid.

Btw, if you need a beta tester count me in. I’ve got SK2 on all my blogs, so you can see if your plugin plays along with that as well.

January 18, 2007: 6:32 am

> Does this include trackbacks as well?
Yes, it does.

> Also, is there a way to check if there is a false positive?

One simple way is to have a feedback form for users to let you know if they faced any problems commenting. The technology has been designed to make it virtually impossible to trigger false positives.

> Any release date planned?
I plan to test it on our blogs for few weeks and with any beta testers to iron out the kinks, if any. So far I am very excited at its uncanny accuracy.

BTW: It works fine in conjunction with other spam prevention techniques like Akismet too.

I am somewhat hesitant in discussing the technical details in a public blog because fighting spammers is game which both sides can play. While we can observe spam bots and create technologies to stop them cold, they too can learn from available code and discussions and adapt they engines. In such a game (or fight) every bit of help counts, even “security by obscurity” :)

Already my MySQL server load has started to come down.

January 17, 2007: 9:24 pm

Any insight on how the comment blocks out spam completely? Does this include trackbacks as well?

Also, is there a way to check if there is a false positive?

Any release date planned?

will not be displayed