APAD: Akismet

April 11th, 2007
WordPress, WordPress Plugins

After covering Spam Karma 2, it does go without mention that the second best (IMO, though others may differ) spam fighting plugin on the block is Akismet.


Plugin Page

Automattic Kismet (Akismet for short) is a collaborative effort to make comment and trackback spam a non-issue and restore innocence to blogging, so you never have to worry about spam again.


Installing Akismet is absolutely no problem at all, since it comes bundled with your WordPress installation. However, using it requires you to have a account.

Akismet is available in two flavors, the personal version which is free for use and the commercial version which is meant for those earning more than $500 from their blogs or for commercial usage. Commercial keys have better service and no limits.

The major plus point of Akismet is that it is updated in real time. The service learns which comments are spam and which are not.

When your blog receives a comment, pingback or trackback, it is submitted to Akismet for verification. If Akismet identifies this as spam the same is notified to the plugin and it is flagged as spam. Good comments come through and get posted.
The spam comments are stored in a database for your review and are deleted automatically after 15 days.

There are currently few perceivable problems with Akismet.

The first and the more frequent of problems is false positives. My comments on several blogs running Akismet have been flagged as spam. And I am not the only one complaining about this.

Another problem with using Akismet is that you rely on a single service to protect you. There have been a few instances in the past when the Akismet server when down and blogs were filled with hundreds of spam comments in a matter of moments. Many of these landed in the queue, some got posted.

The new version of the plugin made it easy to handle these situations with a recheck queue and the ability to search through the comments in the spam queue for false positives.

Akismet is definitely providing a fantastic service to not just the WordPress users, but users of other systems for which plugins to use Akismet have been written. It is indeed a boon for most normal users, but it should actually we auto activated and made to run without an API Key or a default API for users who don’t even know that they have to turn it on to prevent spam.

For more experienced users, just relying on Akismet isn’t a recommended solution. You should have a self hosted protection for your blog, which could optionally use akismet as an extra test.

Are you running Akismet exclusively? Have you faced any problems with this? Have they resolved satisfactorily?
Ever been flagged as spam? What did you do then?




  1. Benedict Herold (2 comments.) says:

    I’m running Akismet exclusively for Spam prevention in my blog. Did not face much problem till now. There were a few instance of issues like marking good comments as Spam and vice versa. Both the case I have used “Not a Spam” and “Mark as Spam” option to tell Akismet about the issue, hope their system learns from there on.

  2. hangy (3 comments.) says:

    My blog is just really small, thus I rely in Askimet to filter out my spam. However, I do check the spam messages in the review-queue frequently, without ever noticing a false-positive, yet. :)

  3. Dave (16 comments.) says:

    So far, I’ve yet to have a spam comment make it through Askimet, and though I check for false-positives a few times were week and don’t find any, nor have I had any complaints, I tend not to worry about the few innocent comments that may get lost in the mix.

  4. Rasmus (10 comments.) says:

    I’m also relying exclusively on Akismet. Like the others, I check the queue and the list of comments frequently. I haven’t yet seen false-positives, but I had a couple of false-negatives recently.
    But right now, I don’t see any reason for changing to another plugin, since my blog is quite small and the amount of spam comments manageable.

  5. nikkiana (5 comments.) says:

    I’m also relying on Akismet as my only spam prevention method at the moment. I think I’ve maybe had two-false positives in the entire time I’ve been using it… and both times the commenter alerted to me the fact that their comment may have been flagged as spam. I keep an eye out for false positives just to be safe, but it’s not been a huge issue (if I was getting false positives daily, I’d be upset, but since it’s been a fairly isolated occurance, I’m not going to be bugged).

  6. Jason says:

    I use Akismet along with an IP blocker called WP Ban. When there is a persistent stream from a few sources it seems better to stop at the source rather than take the bandwidth hit and slow down the performance of the site for something that is so easy to solve.

  7. Len (4 comments.) says:

    I’ve been using Akismet in conjunction with Bad Behaviour and have never had a problem. (knock on wood)

  8. Bob says:

    Unfortunately, non-profit organizations have to pay $25 per month to use Akismet. That’s a ridiculously high amount and is way beyond our budget. So, I disabled it. My setup is that only registered users can comment, and I disabled trackbacks, so I don’t think I need any other spam blockers.

  9. Storm (6 comments.) says:

    So far I love Akismet. I did instantly I read about the concept behind it. Now I have also turned off comments on older postes due to a lot of trackback spam sliding through.

    To be honest I have only checked my spam folder three times since I began using Akismet. No false positives those times. But I do feel that it’s a little underwhelming that I have gotten only three comments in six months. Even though I realize that I’m not all that interesting :)

  10. Pi (9 comments.) says:

    I am running Aksimet on my server for a WordPress-based weblog in conjunction with a plug-in which allows me to close comments after a certain period of time. Akismet catches everything – including splogs, which pleases me immensely – and the closed comments remove the rest. Many comment spammers go for the older posts when launching their attacks, and Akismet doesn’t get to touch these on my weblog. At present Akismet has made only one false positive – from nearly 15,000 spam comments – and the servers only failed once to my detriment in the last seven months.

  11. LiewCF (8 comments.) says:

    I just switched from SpamKarma2 to Akismet after recent WordPress upgrade. Akismet has improved a lot in detecting spam comments/trackbacks.

  12. Ozh (88 comments.) says:

    I’m running BB + Akismet on my blogs. Sometimes a spam gets in, but I never check spam catched though (did a little a while ago, but I got tired of reading real spam)

    As for the “I am not spam” problem, there’s a feature I’d love to be implemented on Akismet : a form where you would enter your name, email, blog URL, and which would tell you if those informations (along with you IP) are supposedly clean, suspicious or unknown. Not that you could do something with it, but it would be nice to know :)

  13. Guy R. Vestal (10 comments.) says:

    I use Akismet alone as many here have stated. Other blogs I have been on have never shown false positives, maybe I was just lucky huh? I just got my fist spam caught yesterday on my new blog, and I must admit it makes me feel more like a member of the blogosphere when I get that first spam! Kinda like a ritual of passing, I finally have grown up and become a member of the family. :) Somebody loves me now, they spammed me. hee hee.

    Besides, I love to read through the spam, I get a kick out of the folks who think that peddling their viagra will make them multi-millionares!

  14. Anthony (4 comments.) says:

    I use Akismet exclusively as well. I would say in the year or so I’ve been using it, it has suffered from maybe 5-10 false positives. I have found it is a matter of checking the queue daily to ensure any false positive gets approved. Really the only false positives I’ve suffered come from a reader who is posting a few links to help further the conversation. Other than that, perfection!

  15. Laszlo Mag (1 comments.) says:

    Akismet has for me been briliant thus far…it has detected all spam attempts and no “real” comments have been filtered as spam by accident.

  16. Squawkbox (1 comments.) says:

    We use Akismet on my blog. I am seriously considering dropping Akismet and going back to Spam Karma. In the past 2 weeks the false positives have increased to a level that have become unacceptable. I have 8 to 10 long time commenters that seem to get flagged as spammers on a regular basis. There are no entries in the comment moderation or comment blacklist boxes under Discussion Options to cause the problem. Furthermore their IP address are from my local telco as are there user email addresses.

    I restore their comments time and again including their attempted reposts yet Akismet continues to hit them hard. I’m sorry but their is something in the Akismet filters that does not learn that these commenters ARE NOT spammers.

    I do have to commend Akismet for stopping legitimate spam.

  17. Krow says:

    I understand you believe that Akismet is second to SK2 but it would have been nice to get a more balanced review of both. The Akismet review is much more indepth compared to the one for SK2, which imho could have done with a more critical perspective as given to Akismet.

    I visit your blog daily and really do respect your opinion and recommendations on matters particularly relating to WordPress so I believe its only fair that all APAD reviews should be given the same yard stick.

  18. Ajay (209 comments.) says:

    Hi Krow,

    I can understand that from the length of the review, it does seem to suggest that they might not be balanced.

    However, let me assure that this isn’t the case. I have tested both SK2 and Akismet on my blog for lengths of time to get a feel of the working and effectiveness of both and the reviews now are from that experience.

    I do not think that comment spam can be caught by a single service / check alone and you need to have several checks.
    Akismet as a service does a lot of checks and is a reliable solution for most users. But, if you want to run several checks yourself as well as tap the power of Akismet, you’ll need to use another solution like SK2.

    The reason I recommend SK2 over akismet, is that I can run more checks on my incoming comments and use the Akismet service as well.

  19. Ajay (209 comments.) says:

    BTW, when you say you read my blog, do you mean ?

  20. Gavin Ingham (1 comments.) says:

    Until about 3 months or so ago Askimet span worked fine for me stopping 90%+ of spam and with what seemed high accuracy. Then over night everything changed. Askimet stopped catching spam and stopped being able to see what was and what was not spam.

    I am sure that I do not get that much spam compared to some but comments on other sites such as read your spam comments are not really practical (I get several hundred a day and rising) and totally negate the point of having it in the first place.

    Over the last day or two the stats were as follows…

    Total comments & spam 359.
    Awaiting moderation 174 – Spam 170, legitimate 4.
    Askimet spam 185 – Spam 168, legitimate 7.

    This would imply that Askimet is guessing and not that well at that. I have emailed Askimet to ask for advice but would be interested if anyone else has experienced a rapid change in fortunes with Askimet, what caused it and what the solution is…


  1. […] 这篇文章翻译自本人作者把他排在covering Spam Karma 2之后,我没有用过covering Spam Karma 2,对他没有任何评论,但是个人觉得Akismet是一个比较好的反垃圾留言的插件。作者对他介绍也比较公允。 […]

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