APAD: Spam Karma 2

April 2nd, 2007
WordPress, WordPress Plugins

Let me kick off the Plugin a Day series with one of my favorite and indeed a must have plugin for all WordPress blogs.

Name: Spam Karma 2

Plugin Page:

Spam Karma 2 (SK2) is an anti-spam plugin for WordPress. It is meant to stop all forms of automated Blog spam effortlessly, while remaining as unobtrusive as possible to regular commenters.

How it works:

SK2 comes feature packed with everything you need to keep your blog spam free. It includes a whole arsenal of filters that incoming comment has to go through. Each of these filters assigns a score called karma. Comments which end up with a negative karma are flagged as spam.

Some of the inbuilt filters include javascript payload, link count, page load time (stopwatch), post age and blacklists.

My Review:

I’ve been using spam karma right from its early days and have been a loyal supporter of the project, the only obvious reason being its ability to keep spam off my blogs.

Installation of the plugin is extremely simple and involves you to download the file and dump the contents into your plugins folder. Activate it and visit Options > Spam Karma 2 and your ready to go.

The default settings should be good enough for most blogs out there and you always have the ability to fine tune them as I have done.

SK2 neatly lists comments in moderation and Approved Comments in two separate tabs. It has the ability to clean caught spam at regular intervals as well as cleanup the blacklists and logs, so you don’t have to do it manually.

Another good feature of SK2 is the ability to extend it using various plugins a.k.a. modules.

Two of my favorite modules are the Akismet Plugin for SK2, which adds the ability to check Akismet and the Moderate plugin, which respects the moderation settings you choose in Options » Discussion.

Are you using Spam Karma 2 on your blogs? How has the performance been so far. Any complains or suggestions?




  1. John (17 comments.) says:

    Do you think that Spam Karma 2 is redundant to Akismet? Or do the two cover each others weaknesses (if there are any)?

  2. Ajay (209 comments.) says:

    Actually, with the Akismet plugin for SK2, you make the Akismet plugin redundant.

  3. Ollie (2 comments.) says:

    Like you, I’ve used SK2 for as long as I can remember! It keeps the spam away, is yet to give me a false positive and is easy and simple to use. I’ve never used Akismet as SK2 is enough for the moment.

  4. pablopabla (2 comments.) says:

    I’ve been using SK2 for 2 of my blogs so far and it’s been doing okay.

  5. Kirk M (4 comments.) says:

    I’ve been using Spam Karma since version 2 and I have no complaints so far. I do have to point out that the large amount of options, blacklists, etc and very professional air about the plugin may put off a new comer to WordPress. I don’t think the fact it can be a “set it and forget it” type plugin is advertised well enough. Otherwise…no problem.

    With that said, I’ve experimented with various combinations of anti-spam type plugins and I’ve found that one is not enough in stopping everything. Currently I use SK2.3, Akismet and Bad Behavior. These three work very well together and Bad Behavior has cut down a significant amount of wasted bandwidth by blocking spam bots before they get onto the property so to speak.

    For most bloggers though, I believe SK2 with the Moderation plugin and Akismet plugin for SK2 would be more than enough protection as you pointed out.

    Wordy ain’t I?

  6. Otto (215 comments.) says:

    I tried Spam Karma, but I found that the plethora of options was too much and also rather pointless. I went back to using just Bad Behavior and Akismet and have not have the need for SK2. It’s too complex and involved, and I just can’t recommend it to new users.

  7. TechZ (11 comments.) says:

    I used SK2 with Akisment, but then stopped using Akisment altogether and let SK2 run on its own, so far 1000’s of blocked spam comments later, I’m a satisfied customer of SK2.

  8. keith (10 comments.) says:

    not really sure of what use a complicated spam blocking plugin serves, when a client-wise simple one (akismet) blocks all spam. or does akismet not block 100% spam for some people? i’ve never had a problem with it so far.

    does SK2 rely on an external source for deciding what spam to block? if it doesn’t then it has the possibility of being gamed, whereas akismet grows stronger over time without the need for downloading a new version of the plugin.

  9. Michael Wales (1 comments.) says:

    I have given Spam Karma a try before, but as others have stated there are simply way to many options.

    I’m an Akismet fan – simple to use, just turn it on and let it do it’s thing.

  10. Leftblank (3 comments.) says:

    I’m a happy Akismet + Bad Behavior user and I see absolutely no reason to change to Spam Karma, simply because Akismet blocks everything BB lets slip through, which isn’t a lot at all…

  11. Deanna Marie (2 comments.) says:

    For me, SK2 starts where Akismet stops. Whenever Akismet misses a spam comment, SK2 always catches it, so there is zero display of spam on my site. SK2 lets me teach Akismet what’s spam without having to worry about spam making my front page.

  12. Owen (2 comments.) says:

    I have used it for several months and am very happy with it. While I understand Otto’s comments, I actually agree with Kirk M. The main problem with SK2 is that it appears complex when the truth is that it is powerful enough to use in its default state. That is what I have done and it has stopped all the spam that was plaguing me and never thrown away a legitimate comment. In the end the only fine-tuning that I did was to change how often it reported to me because after a while I started to trust it :)

  13. Shane (1 comments.) says:

    I’m with Ollie and TechZ. I use SK2 exclusively and have never had a need for Akismet or anything else. Activate it and let it run. Nothing could be easier.

  14. BJohnM (7 comments.) says:

    I use SK2 with the Akismet plugin. I simply use the Severity setting in General options and have never tweaked the other settings…other than to turn on the Akismet plugin.

    I agree that Akismet is simpler on the surface, but because it is a hosted solution, at least of couple of times, Akismet servers have gone down (they do a great job, but it does happen). I was never even aware of Akismet being down until articles were posted about it later. This was because SK2 was also hard at work.

    So, I’ll stick with the combined solution.

  15. dvg (1 comments.) says:

    I have been using Akismet since late August and it’s caught well over 100k spams since then. That’s over 450/day; it’s a misleading number because it’s jumped to over 1300/day for the last week or so.
    I’m wondering if SK2 will do better to stop these $*@&@#! at the server level. If I install SK2, do I disable Akismet first? Or do I completely remove Akismet?

  16. Ajay (209 comments.) says:

    Neither of the two can do anything on the server level. SK2 works better than Akismet because you can use Akismet as an additional check for SK2, besides the numerous other filters.

  17. Oluniyi David Ajao (1 comments.) says:

    My problem with Akismet is that it sometimes catches good trackbacks from reputable websites, as spam and so I am obliged to look through the spam before deleting them permanently.


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