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:

Overview

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
9 minutes
2121 4 Successfully updated comment entry ID: 596 to status: approved. sk2_anubis_plugin
40 minutes
2115 5 2 blacklist matches. for comment ID 591. Removing 21.78 karma points. (66 = 208.66.193.5 [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.

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Posted on 14 May, 2006, in Blogging/WordPress, Computer Stuff, Generalities. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. As I still haven’t upgraded to WordPress 2.0, I’m still using Akismet – which works brilliantly!

    Hmm.. I still get those ‘Hey, nice blog’ comments from time to time. You’ve made it convincing to at least try Spam Karma 2 when I upgrade my blog platform (if I ever do! hehe) 😉

    Slackware’s going great! Oh, and have you tried SUSE 10.1 yet? From the screenshots, it looks like they’ve taken GNOME to another level – just like FC5 did. Maybe it’s time I considered GNOME as my default DE 😛

  2. 😦

    It removed the offtopic tags around my last paragraph! Ah well.. consider it [offtopic]ed 😉

  3. I use SK2 as well. It’s a great usable plugin without hassling the commenters with Visual confirmation.

    And I think it removed the “tag” because the comment form strips HTML tags which are not allowed. Nothing to do with SK2… 😉

  4. I know Hari – I meant ‘it’ (the blog) had removed my HTML tags 😉

    Looks like you’ve been on a short hiatus as well 😀

    I don’t like CAPTCHAs – sometimes they’re so difficult to read that you end up typing in the wrong code, and bam! Your whole comment is gone just like that. Luckily, I now have the habit of copying all my posts/comments before I click ‘Submit’ 😛

  5. Hey each 🙂

    I haven’t tried Suse 10.1 and probably won’t. As I’ve said before, I feel hamstrung by packaged distros – I just work better in Slack!

    Captchas are annoying – especially the ones that try to make the numbers/letters too obscure.

    I would definitely recommend Spam Karma – for the first week (depending on your traffic) you need to watch it carefully and teach it whose naught and nice 😉 But after that – it just works.

  6. Slackware just works.

    It’s simplicity at it’s greatest. 🙂

  7. true dat 🙂

  8. Slackware ‘just works’ only if it’s configured properly 😀 But then, it rocks 😉

  9. Mine pretty much “just works” out of the box.

  10. Mine works out of the box, well, for my laptop it does. Just small regular configurations to get online and such. But for my servers, it takes just a little more to get going the way I like.

  11. Ditto. I have a bit of tweaking to get my wireless card working and sound, but video, ethernet, etc all work first time.

  12. Aye, on my laptop I didn’t have a single problem! Well, apart from configuring my network card and alsa (both fixed).. And several ‘human’ errors 😀

    And Slackware doesn’t seem to like the ATi drivers without recompiling the kernel – which I didn’t really feel like doing.. So I’m running Slack at 1024×768 on a 1280×800 screen 😀

    But it’s a great distro overall.

    Well, it’d be a tiny bit better if I could install dsniff, but that’s a different story 😉

  13. Looks as if someone did compile dsniff for 10.0..

    http://www.linuxpackages.net/pkg_details.php?id=4716

    So you shouldn’t have any problems compiling from source.

  14. Someone else below asked this already about antispam scripts.
    I am getting nailed with Spam on my website mails and in our blog website – now its offline too

    much spam. Is there anyway to stop this? If not, there really isn’t any point in leaving it up

    and active. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for help, Keep up the good work. Greetings from Poland

  15. I find that Spam Karma 2 and Bad Behaviour work very well together, you could also check out Akismet which is very popular.

    Sorry to hear about the spam troubles.

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