Less Spam Since Jetpack Comments

October 15th, 2012
Spam, WordPress, WordPress Plugins

A week ago, we made a few minor changes here, most notably a switch to Jetpack Comments. Since then, spam has dropped dramatically. Prior to the change, we received an average of 10,000 spam comments a day. After Jetpack Comments, we have received a grand total of 429 spam comments for the entire week. So, that’s a drop from an average of 10,000 per day to an average of 61 per day, 9,939 less spam comments per day.

Jetpack Comments makes use of javascript and iframes, which are both a bit too complicated for most spam bots, and that does line up with the almost complete lack of obvious bot-generated spam in our spam queue. Besides the comforting bot-breaking ability of Jetpack Comments, I have a feeling that our change from a basic form element comment form to the comment_form tag finally enabled our other anti-spam plugins to work properly. I honestly haven’t tested that last bit, because I really have no wish to open the flood gates again.

For the record, we use Akismet, CloudFlare, Cookies for Comments, and now Jetpack Comments to keep spam off of this site.




  1. Donncha (1 comments.) says:

    Nice to see that drop in comment spam! :)

  2. Steve says:

    That’s a lot of different methods of stopped spam. What always amazes me is that each of the tools is supposed to stop spam, but you were still getting so much. I have similar issues with these products.

    • James (184 comments.) says:

      To clarify, the 10,000 a day were all being caught by Akismet, I’d lose my mind if that much made it through.

      The recent changes have prevented most of those from even being posted in the first place.

  3. Jan Rossi (1 comments.) says:

    At WordCamp Denver there was a big emphasis on the new JetPack commenting system in particular they mentioned how much it was tested and retested for user comfort in commenting and blocking spam as well. I will be adding it this evening to many of my sites to increase comments. If Automattic put it through the rigorous testing….I’m in too!

  4. Todd (1 comments.) says:

    I’m really surprised you’ve never tried Spam Free WordPress, since it would have replaced all of your other spam plugins, and you would not need JetPack comments.

    • James (184 comments.) says:

      We had tried that, but the results were less than impressive.

      Also, to clarify, we did not switch to Jetpack Comments to fight spam. This was just a nice side effect.

      • Inga says:

        Todd is the author of Spam Free WordPress, and, of course, he would recommend his plugin.

        However, we found that the claim of “No False Positives” of Spam Free WordPress was greatly overstated. For us false positives are far more serious than letting a few spam comments through, since Askismet catches pretty much all spam that gets through. Additionally, we found Todd’s responses to our report as extremely rude.

  5. Nico (1 comments.) says:

    I currently using disqus, because I do hate the builtin commenting system in wordpress.
    Reading this article, maybe I will try jetpack in my other wp sites.

  6. Shane Gowland (1 comments.) says:

    I found an identical drop in spam on several blogs since migrating to Jetpack comments. Jetpack has quickly become a must-have plugin for me.

  7. K Bharath says:

    Thank you for recommending Jet Pack Comments i will give it a try, my blog also receives a lot of spam comments each day i am deleting them daily. so i think jet pack comments will help in this regard.

  8. Gostovanje (1 comments.) says:

    Good to hear that! Think that will install Jetpack on all of my sites.

  9. ebuddyuk (1 comments.) says:

    Nice one!
    Just a shame that spam bots will find yet another way to attack us again..

  10. Mollie (1 comments.) says:

    Thank you for the great recommendations! I am currently using Akismet but am still having some problems with a few of my clients’ blogs. I’ll look into Jetpack.

  11. stevemccomish (1 comments.) says:

    I can’t believe you were getting 10,000 spam mails a day. That is outrageous.

  12. Ribice (2 comments.) says:

    I really like Jetpack. didn’t use it before, but after reviewing all its features I installed it on all my websites. It’s great.

    Well I suppose you had Akismet installed before, right? Seeing the comments in spam box isn’t such a problem, at least for me.

  13. Vince (1 comments.) says:

    I switched over as well to Jetpack comments about 2 weeks ago and have found similar results. Highly recommended. Thanks for the article.

  14. Colin Tsui (1 comments.) says:

    Hello James,
    did you use akismet before moving to jetpack? i’m thinking of using jetpack too, is it same as intensedebate? Thanks for your answer.

    • James (184 comments.) says:

      Yes, we used Akismet prior to Jetpack Comments. Akismet caught most of the spam, but Jetpack Comments is keeping most it from being posted in the first place.

      Jetpack Comments and IntenseDebate are entirely separate.

      • Inga says:

        Thanks so much for this report, James, because that’s exactly the kind of plugin I’m looking for. I’ll just have to test it to ensure that there are no false positives.

  15. adventurecyclistve (1 comments.) says:

    I honestly cant believe how much spam there is out there. I only have to cope with a dozen or so a day!. So glad you solved what was a massive problem for you!

  16. Steve S. (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve had no problems with Akismet. It’s been very efficient so far. I am going to try out JetPack. It has a few other features I want to play with. Hopefully they work as well as the spam filter.

  17. Kelly Anthony (1 comments.) says:

    I get a bit of spam – not as much as 10000 per day – so I will look into this Jetpack plugin

  18. jimi ellis (2 comments.) says:

    Ok so don’t laugh! But because my site is new and low traffic, i actually enjoy reading the spam, i will checkout The Jetpack plugin though, mainly because i love reading about cool plugins.
    I use Akismet which is the default on WordPress so thanks for pointing out Jetpack.
    Thanks, Jimi.

  19. Inge Anderson says:

    I checked into Jetpack comments a bit further. I activated it on a test site, and it comes as part of the Jetpack package. It is possible to activate or inactivate various features.

    I use the Weaver II Pro theme, and Jetpack came up in several discussions in our forum. And it seems that Jetpack has a fairly large footprint in terms of processor time, etc. Since I’m particularly looking for saving processor time on a very busy site (over 100,000 pages and over 1,000,000 million hits on the busiest day of the week, and that concentrated in the evening hours), I decided to forego Jetpack. I suppose I should have tested it with the P3 Plugin Profiler, but it’s probably difficult to get an accurate picture without actually installing it and profiling it on the real site.

    Currently I’m just using Akisment and Conditional CAPTCHA. So far, it has kept the Spam folder empty, and it seldom imposes on those who wish to comment. (Akismet seems to catch 100% of our spam after being well trained. ;) )

    Conditional CAPTCHA acts like an extension to Akismet. When Akismet flags a comment as possible spam, it is piped to Conditional CAPTCHA. Quite clever, really. And it allows multiple tries, without losing the submitted comment, contrary to some other plugins.

    But I’m still looking for a reliable plugin that turns spam away at the gate and saves processor time. And it should NOT generate false positives. (I’ve worked myself only partly through the gazillion or so plugins for keeping out spam. ;) )

    Spam Free WordPress is actually a great concept, and I wish it worked as advertised. Perhaps some day it will. In the meantime, false positives that allow serious comments to just disappear into the bit bucket are a total deal breaker. I understand that further testing might uncover the cause of the false positives, but there was no indication in the instructions that false positive could actually be happening without the blog owner knowing about it.

    Say, does anyone know of a plugin that stops spam at the gate, but saves submitted comments on a user’s computer via the cookie system or something similar?

    • James (184 comments.) says:

      Have you tried Cookies for Comments?

      • Inge Anderson says:

        Hi James, I don’t remember why I decided against that plugin, but there must have been a good reason, because I remember evaluating it. ;)

        My current combination of Askismet plus Conditional CAPTCHA works flawlessly so far. It’s still theoretically possible to lose comments, but highly unlikely because the CAPTCHA allows multiple tries.

        If a plugin that stops spam at the gate also saved the user’s comment on his/her computer so the person could contact us through our contact link, I’d give it a go. But until then, I think I think we’ll stick with what we got ..

  20. Sanjib Kumar Saha (1 comments.) says:

    Hi James,
    Indeed spams are irritating. They are just too peevish to tolerate 10,000 a day. Its good to know that Jetpack comments worked so efficiently for you. Moreover it acts at the first place as u mentioned so that is the most worthy element in it.
    Thanks to share such important information.

  21. Demetrios Kehagias (1 comments.) says:

    I agree all I every found myself doing when maintaining my website was deleting spam. It was frustrating when reading the comments that almost 100% of them were spam comments. So now having put limitations on the comments has reduced spam to 0% which makes me very happy.

  22. Nikhil (2 comments.) says:

    I got it installed in my new blog but i really had no idea, what it is for and it also have that feature, i used akismet before, i am excited to check this one out now

  23. Dwayne Ziggler (1 comments.) says:

    It got so bad with one of my sites, I stopped trying to get rid of spam. So good job! And thanks for the recommendation, I think it’s definitely about time I give it a try!

  24. Inge S Anderson (1 comments.) says:

    Update re Akismet and Conditional CAPTCHA combination:

    I believe that there is no better spam filter on the market than the venerable Akismet. It has been highly accurate for us. Conditional CAPTCHA is the perfect companion to Akismet to prevent the spam folder from filling up like it used to.

    I note that I mentioned installing Conditional CAPTCHA on October 24. It is now Nov 6, and there are exactly 2 comments in our spam folder. These were not caught by Akismet because they were human-submitted and could only be humanly identified. Even our moderator was confused. We judged them to be spam because they were generic and demonstrated no evidence that the humans had read the content of the posts under which they were submitted. (They were not the usual generic “Great post. I learned so much!” sort of comment. Akismet identifies those and sends them to Conditional CAPTCHA which kills them.)

    (I uninstalled Jetpack for the second time, because it just did not meet our particular needs. The large footprint is a real deal breaker.)

  25. Inge Anderson (1 comments.) says:

    The combination of Akismet with “Conditional Captcha” is still working flawlessly for us, and we used to get hundreds of spam comments (filtered out by Akismet) a day. Akismet is accurate in flagging spam, and Conditional Captcha stops automates spam at the door by throwing up a Captcha. Our regular commenters are not affected.

    We’re happy with the combination. (Jetpack had issues for us.)

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