I’ve just spent about two hours rummaging thru 64 pages of spam flagged by Akismet (that’s over 3,150+ spam comments/trackbacks in the last 4 days alone). Of the lot, I found at least 4 legit comments and 7 trackbacks which I had to un-mark as spam and they were not all easy to spot amongst tons and tons of actual spam. A margin of error for false positives of about 0.3% is actually pretty good but don’t we all want those precious comments and trackbacks to get thru without a hitch, right?
So, I tried several tricks to find the false positives using the search:
- Search for the term “blogherald” or “blog herald”. Most legit trackbacks would mention the name or the URL so that’s a good start to find them.
- Search for author names. Usually, when readers leave a comment, they address the author as well.
- Search for unique keywords in recent post titles. Trackbacks often include the post titles too so that’s another way to find the legit ones.
Despite the above quick tricks, I wasn’t sure I got all the real comments and trackback so I had to check out and scroll all 64 pages in the Akismet admin section. I had better chances sorting them out via PHPMyAdmin. I wish there could be some nicer way to manage the spam box and I was thinking of the ff:
- Ability to delete all spam entries on a “per page” basis. Right now, all you can do is delete ALL spam and that could include the legit ones.
- Categorize all flagged entries as either spam comments or spam trackbacks. The trackbacks will be fewer so you’ll easily spot the real ones from the fake ones.
- Ability to filter spam by the ff. parameters – number of links per entry, type of language/characters used, originating IP addresses, email, or even the length of comments.
- … and maybe even a spam intensity rating filter: smells like spam, spammy, spammier, spammiest.
I know I could be demanding too much from a service that’s practically free but it doesn’t hurt to give suggestions for improvement. :)