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Home » Personal Asides

Damn the Spam! (Filter)

Last updated by on 12 Comments

Hi all.

Many regular commentators here will have noticed that some of their comments are not immediately getting published, when submitted.

One reader recently sent me this note:

“I have commented on your posts in the past and everything was fine, but lately I’ve been trying to join the conversation and none of my comments seem to be showing up.  I have tried 3 times now and they don’t show up.  I am making sure to fill out every box, and actually hit the submit button – aka I’m ruling out something on my end that I’m not doing right. But when i hit submit nothing really happens, it just takes me back to your article.”

Yep – that’s a bummer. Here’s the story. I use the Akismet WordPress spam filter (the go-to spam fighting plugin for WordPress). It’s always been really good at capturing all of the wonderful offers on penis pills, luxury handbags, and Ugg boots you could ever dream of – aka spam. It’s also been great at letting the good, wholesome, non-spam comments through.

But lately, it’s capturing a lot more than it should – in other words, false-positive spam. I’m not sure if this is due to heavy spam attacks and the Akismet algorithm is being a little extra cautious or what. Please be assured that it’s not me marking your comments as spam, it’s Akismet. And I apologize for any frustration on the behalf of Akismet.

I literally have had to go through every single comment and approve the good ones that don’t automatically make it through. The alternative is I let all the junk through and then mark the spam – but that’s a horrible reader/comment subscriber experience – so I don’t want to go there.

So here’s the deal:

  1. spam filter failI have noticed lower commenting levels since this issue started. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE keep commenting. I am big on discussion on this blog. If you don’t see your comment show up right away, I will get to it to approve it (I may miss a few, but 99.9% of the legit comments will get approved). Low comment volume = serious motivational issues for me to keep blogging. If you stop commenting, I may jump off a cliff and then this blog ceases to exist, so please don’t do that. And if you have been a silent reader, now you know how much I’m hurt by your lack of comment love. =(
  2. There is no need to re-comment – that only makes matters worse. I will try to approve any false-positive comments same day. Just hang tight and don’t get frustrated. Meanwhile, I am going to keep tinkering around with Akismet and my web host to try to solve the false-positive issue. I’m making progress, but still have some work to do.
  3. As before, you can subscribe to comments when you place your comments by checking the little check box below the submit comment button that says “Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.” If you’re interested in an article, this is a great way to keep up with the discussion.
  4. Question: Would some of you comment more if I were to use multiple social commenting options such as Facebook, Google+, and Discus?

A few questions for the bloggers out there:

  1. Have you run in to similar issues? How did you resolve?
  2. What social commenting plugin have you used effectively?

Side note: if you’re a regular reader here, you should join the 7,500+ who have signed up to get free email updates of new posts, or by getting notification of new posts and other commentary via my Google+, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.


About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 7,500+ others by getting FREE email updates. You'll also find every post by category & every post in order.


12 Comments »
  • Steve says:

    I’d recommend using Disqus. With Disqus, you can stipulate what types of profiles can comment (Twitter, Facebook, Disqus-specific accounts, etc.) and whether or not comments must be pre-approved. I used to run my company’s blog and added Disqus, allowing all types of profiles and all comments went live immediately. Almost all spam went away and the discussions were still fairly lively. There are a few people who won’t comment with Disqus, but that number is pretty low if you allow Disqus profiles. If you’ll only allow Facebook, Twitter, or Google profiles to comment, expect the participation rate to go down as people lose their anonymity.

    Of course, I write this now, but don’t expect my message to actually show up on your site :[ Joking…

  • Ryan says:

    Spammers suck!

    I actually prefer keeping comments anonymous (or at least not linked to a social networking profile) since comments are typically dealing with personal finance.

  • Feeling a little guilty about not commenting for over a year…. So here’s some comment love! I adore this blog so please keep the posts coming. Not only is it fresh, relevant and useful but you present otherwise boring information with a touch of humor and flair making it more digestible for the reader. In response to your question, I’d be more prone to commenting if you used a Facebook plugin. That would eliminate the need to fill out a form with each comment. Also if you’d like a shortcut to manage all your social media outlets try Hootsuite.

    -Michelle
    Philadelphia, PA

  • KA says:

    Despite being in my mid-forties ;D I am a regular reader, and your blog has been INVALUABLE for my finances. I look forward to your messages in the inbox every weekday, and they arrive at just the right time for me to reflect on each topic, ahead of going home for the day. As a result of reading your blog and readers’ comments, I’ve nearly maxed my 401(k) contribution for the year — in 16 weeks. THANK you, for your consistency and diligence; it has helped me develop my own.

    I’m most likely to comment on a blog, if at all. FB is a great arena for staying in touch with life’s roller coaster ride, but for finances, I like that your blog is steady and controlled. I find FB is full of too much lesser information (and writing, honestly), and open to so much irrelevance.

    I recommend your site to anyone who feels puzzled by their finances. Your knowledge is clear and your writing is top-notch. Thank you again for being a solid and enjoyable resource!

  • Ron Ablang says:

    Yeah I’ve had the problem where my comment did not show up right away so the instinct is to re-try submitting it again but it’s good to know now what’s going on.

  • Ryan Wilder says:

    G.E.,

    Just wanted to give some encouragement to ya! I’ve read every article you’ve posted and taken down many notes in what to do when the case arises. I’m recently graduated, married, and one kid within the last two years, so financial independence is a very high goal for my wife and I. We’re very money conscience (yes, we compared credit scores before we got married) and excited about buying our first home some day plus many other experiences. Wanted to encourage you to keep posting!

    So to comment on, “Low comment volume = serious motivational issues for me to keep blogging,” I have read every article and this is my first post. I just enjoy the writing and take many notes! Thanks again!

  • Ryan says:

    G.E.,

    I have read tons of your articles and really enjoy them. This website was exactly what I was looking for. Keep up the good work!

    Ryan

  • Mark Ross says:

    There are other WordPress plugin that you could use to stop spam like including a captcha.
    I think Disqus would be great for you and your site. You should check it out!

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