A Few Words on SpamKarma2
As all bloggers know, once you open up your site to comments within a short time the spammers will appear. These are annoying people who decide that your site would love to help them advertise dodgy meds (that may or may not turn you purple), sex sites or online gambling. Or whatever they are currently claiming $0.0001 cents on the click for (or whatever the rate is). Think of it as someone defacing your diary.
What’s even more annoying is that there is no easy way to stop this and make your blog usable. You could try only opening up your blog to members, WordPress has that facility but that means that you only restrict the blog to people you know which is unsuitable for every blog. You could spend time going through each and every post you make and delete them all manually, but this only works if you have a handful of posts and the time to do this. Or you could get something which does it automatically for you.
Originally, I used Akismet, but this gave me problems when I upgraded to the current version of WordPress. This is not to say that Akismet is a bad plugin, but at the time there didn’t seem to be a fix for those problems and I had neither the time nor the knowledge to fix it. So I went hunting for another solution. Spam Karma 2 was the solution I used. And am still using.
So, what is the point of all of this? I was looking at the digest sent to me by Spam Karma via email. It does this regularly and I don’t really check it very often, it tends to tell me that it’s caught some things but as my regular visitors (and you know who you are) are trustworthy sorts, I know I don’t have to worry about the spam.
But today I thought I’d have a look through the listings. It’s catching far more spam than I would have thought I’d ever get. Most of them start “Hey, nice blog” and initially I thought it had been catching innocent people. But then I had a look at what is actually being caught. And Spam Karma is doing it’s job very very well.
From the overview on the webpage:
Spam Karma 2 (SK2) is an anti-spam plugin for the WordPress blogging platform. It is meant to stop all forms of automated Blog spam effortlessly, while remaining as unobtrusive as possible to regular commenters. Spam Karma 2 is the proud successor to Spam Karma, with whom it shares most of the development ideas, but absolutely none of the code
It can create (and you can also do this manually) IP and domain blacklists. I get a lot of spam from cba.pl and they are all automatically blacklisted. You can also create whitelist entries – so if you get a lot of spam from Yahoo emails, but you know three people are not spammers, you can let them comment but no others from that domain.
It kills comments by running them through a number of tests, and you can dial up or down the strictness of the testing or cut out some of them altogether. Here is a short entry from one of the logs:
|ID||Level||Message||Component||How Long Ago|
|2127||5||Successfully purged 0 comment spam entries.||web_UI||
4 minutes2006-05-14 11:00:31
|2126||5||Successfully purged 0 blacklist entries.||web_UI||
|2121||4||Successfully updated comment entry ID: 596 to status: approved.||sk2_anubis_plugin||
|2115||5||2 blacklist matches. for comment ID 591. Removing 21.78 karma points. (66 = 126.96.36.199 [x1], 62 = cba.pl [x1])||sk2_blacklist_plugin||
1 day, 2 hours
The actual log is much much longer.
So, thank you Spam Karma 2 for making this whole blogging thing safer and more friendly for all. And for stopping me from drowning in a sea of crap.