Is Akismet Wrongly Blocking Your Not-Spam Blog Comments?

By Posted 2007 Updated   BloggingSecurityWordPress

Do your posted blog comments never go live? Do blog owners have to find your comments from heaps of spam? Are you always contacting bloggers about missing comments and angry with them for deleted comments? It is happening to us for last few months. Akismet, a popular anti-spam wordpress plugin had labeled our comments as spam and actively blocked them across the thousands of wordpress blogs where it is active. This issue could be affecting you too…

Akismet Blocks WordPress Comment Spam

Akismet is a powerful tool to block spam comments on your blog, in fact it blocked over 400,000 spam comments since this blog started. But the intelligent spam solution might interpret your valid, non-spam comments as spam and block them.

When a new comment, trackback, or pingback comes to your blog it is submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and decides if it is spam. It saves the spam in the database for 15 days in case you want to check it out manually and then automattically deletes it. You can also enable an option to “Automatically discard spam comments on posts older than a month”. Thus, if Akismet decides to block your comments, it blocks them on all blogs where Akismet is activated (since Akismet comes preinstalled, that is a lot of WordPress blogs!)

When Akismet Wrongly Blocked Our Comments

I was first notified of the issue by a few friendly bloggers, who had to dig around their spam queue to find my comments. I had to contact some bloggers to trace my missing comments too. So obviously Akismet has to be tweaked to fix the spam labeling issues.

I checked the Akismet FAQ for a solution. They advise that if you see a not-spam comment blocked by Akismet, click the “Not Spam” checkbox and Akismet will reavaluate the comment and their system will learn from the mistakes. They claims such false positives are very rare. Though a few bloggers were kind enough to actually find and label our comments as “not spam”, it was not enough to get our comments out of the Akismet blacklist.

After continued blockage of comments for the last few months, and no solution in sight, I contacted Akismet. In the feedback form I selected “I have a support or feature request” button and proceeded to describe my problem. And then I was surprised to see a math puzzle to keep out automated spam, but they read my mind as written below was –

“…sometimes people use the contact form to tell us they’re being blocked by Akismet. If you think about that, blocking people when they’re trying to tell us they’re wrongly blocked would probably frustrate them, hence the math question.”

In a few days, the nice folks at Akismet sent me a reply that they had fixed the issue. And indeed the comments are going live now. It was a frustrating experience for me to post comments and never see them go live. Now I feel like commenting again…

Is Akismet blocking your valid comments on other blogs?


39 comments on “Is Akismet Wrongly Blocking Your Not-Spam Blog Comments?

  1. Anand says:

    I agree with you on this. I have encountered quite a few times when my comments simply did not go live because I had a hyperlink on my comment.

    If this is the only parameter that anti-spam tools use to judge spams then I am afraid, I will never go for one on my blog..

  2. Thilak says:

    Great! I think you were lucky here. I had a similar problem and Akismet never considered replying to my email. I wonder if this comment will end up in your spam bin :P

  3. Nia says:

    Could you give us an example of a post that was recognized by Akismet as spam?

    I have found a couple of situations in which the comments caught by Akismet were not particualrly mass produced and spewed by some “mass posting” program however the content was weak.

    You know one or two liners with some stuff like “Nice post, Keep up the good work.” Yu know stuff that was totally non-contributive to discussion.

    Some times it’s a friend trying to get my attention. So I delete it and shoot them an email thanking them for dropping by blah blah blah. I don’t even say I deleted it or ask them not to contactme in that way. It’s all good. They get the picture.

    Sometimes it’s just someone doing drive-by linking for backlinks. Some of these people I know it’s not just some nameless being from eastern Europe.

    That’s why I asked what was initlly caught of yours by Akismet? I find it catches junky comments–from any source.

    BTW, I think it’s very easy to scan down a list and “train” Akismet that indeed such and such item is not “spam”

    Wihtout Akismet can you imagine the deluge we’d have to contend with?

    Akismet save me a lot of time.

  4. QuickOnlineTips says:

    @Anand – You can configure Comment moderation in WordPress to activate moderation when a comment has 1 or more links. But that is independent of Akismet. You can also block comments by email, IP etc.

    @Thilak – You comment just went live. Akismet likes you.

    @Nia – I don’t know which comment actually got us blocked. I guess you need a series of spam comments to get Akismet to flag you as spam. I think that we should avoid posting comments like “Nice site”, “Great job” etc. which actually resemble spam. Comments need to add to the discussion. I cannot imagine blogging without Akismet – its truly great.

  5. Maria says:

    That happened to me too, but it’s fixed now after I contacted them.

  6. seoreef says:

    Well, the risks of the job. You can’t always get away with spammy comments. Or, you can always stumble upon someone who will flag you as spam just for the heck of it. It happened to me more than once. So you are also at the discretion of people and their moods.

  7. Tasarim says:

    yEs akismet is blocked me too, Now I contacted with akismet publishers and I’m waiting, I don’t know what I did wrong :S ….

  8. QuickOnlineTips says:

    Dont leave super short comments like “Good article” or “Excellent” since most of such comments will be marked as spam by admins.

    And if Akismet gets too many such “spam marked” comments, your filter is tripped and your comments will always land up in Spam on all blogs using Akismet.

  9. vb2010 says:

    thanks

  10. James says:

    I agree w/Tasarim. It’s frustrating not to know what you did to get blacklisted. The Akismet service is great, but false positives aren’t :-(

  11. Carl says:

    That’s good to here, I actually ran into the same problem a week or so back, for some reason I couldn’t post on other peoples blogs, I realized it must of been Akismet, so I gave them an email and about a week later I was unblocked. I have also noticed this on my own blog, a few of my readers get their comments blocked. I guess these kind of errors happen occasionally when they have so many other spam comments, but when it comes down to it they are generally pretty accurate at spam detection.

  12. Jake says:

    You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.” Yeah, if I’m posting too quickly then I better slow down from 3-4 times per week. I’ve removed it from my blog completely. If Matt has better things to do than keep up with his plugin he needs to hand it over to someone that will actually do something positive with it, like catch real spam.

  13. noname says:

    Everytime I try to drop a link on someone’s “do follow” blog, I get a blank page. I do not, nor have I ever spammed anyone’s site. I do drop a link to my website, but I also provide a well-though out comment to offset the link drop.

    Am wondering if a lawsuit can be filed against Askimet, charging them with tortuous interference with a business and challenging them to prove that my site is “spam”.

  14. Dr. Mike Wendell says:

    We’ve actually removed Akismet from all of our client sites. The issues with false positives (we had a medical doctor’s blog average about 85% false positives with no response from Akismet on the issues) to getting blacklisted by Akismet ourselves showed us that that service was not for us. We moved to a self hosted anti spam solution running off of Spam Assassin and now we can monitor ourselves what is occurring.

  15. Kairu Ishimaru says:

    Yeah. Me too. They are blocking my comments Y_Y

  16. izak farbiarz says:

    I dont know if they are blocking me. Please tell me if they are

  17. Joseph Alvini says:

    I wrote to akismat and they fixed the problem for me

  18. SEOsean says:

    Thanks for this post, I’ve been looking around and reading up on why my comments are not getting posted. I’ve had the issue before and went through the whole contact Akisment cycle. They where pretty nice and helped as much as they can.

    Hopefully this comments goes through!! :)

  19. David Malka says:

    Hi
    I have the same issue when leaving comments on blog and just did as you suggested. I contacted them and hopefully they will remove us from their blacklisted list as we are a genuine business commenting on post.

    I’ll wait to hear from them.

    Thanks for the great info.

  20. drivelocity says:

    Akismet has saved me from some massive headaches, BUT, I frequently have to sift through the spam queue to approve non-spam comments. It’s annoying, but has become as standard practice.

  21. Kai Lo says:

    I can’t comment on any WordPress blogs at all. Hopefully Akismet staff would get back to me soon.

  22. David says:

    If your running this program you are doomed. Akismet is blocking everything. Yes it does get some spam, but it gets alot of legit comments that have links to legit sites. I no longer run it because it ran several of my blogs search engine rankings into the ground. There are alot better spam blocking software out there. Just remember Akismet claims that linking to any site where spam is coming from is bad. This is not true. If your site is a blog and even if the comment is a one liner like nice blog, if it has a backlink to a relevant site with page rank it helps your SEO. Not to mention the traffic helps your alexa rankings. Google understands blogs and gives more credit for who you link to than comment content. Akismet denies this, but trust me unless you have a .edu, .gov or .mil this software will drive your traffic and SEO into the ground. Just do a search on Google and see how many people are going away from it.

  23. Rickin says:

    I wish there was a way to view the blacklist. It seems to hit me quite a bit and I really don’t blog comment all that often.

  24. Richard Cummings says:

    Astute comments are a great way to generate links but occasionally you do get on the Akismet list if you do not use your own name. Thus, to some of the posters above, it may not be your comment…it may be the name that you used…like “LCD TV”…I don’t know if anybody has that name ;)

  25. Melanie says:

    One tip for how to get out of the database is to comment on another blog you own and mark that comment as “not spam”

  26. Arkenor says:

    I’m having a huge problem with getting blocked at the moment. I don’t know why, as I’ve never done anything that could remotely be called spamming.

    Lets see if this actually gets through. It seems a bit random, depending on the exact words you use in the message.

  27. e-commerce education says:

    i hate when my comments get blocked. it makes me so sad

  28. pot racks says:

    the hardest thing about blog commenting are the captchas. i have not so good vision and this makes it worse

  29. wacom accessories says:

    i hate captchas, they make me not want to leave comments

  30. Büyü Nasıl Yapılır says:

    Great article. I do have one question that I’d love to get your advice on though pertaining to the topic. How do you find tweeps who are more on your level of popularity?

    For instance, many of the people I follow are business men or tech writers, or even celebrities. While I find their tweets interesting and do try to interact with them, these are not always the best people to build these “meaningful relationships” with.

    So how do I find the “smaller” or less popular people on twitter who are interested in the same topics I am and, more importantly, willing to build the same meaningful relationship with me?

  31. Baby says:

    How do we find out if we are being blocked by Akismet? However, I still get that sometimes. Usually I get something showing like “your comment will be posted after it is reviewed”. This seems normal to me, but is it possible that Akismet is set up with wordpress to post that message and then tell the blog owner that it’s spam??

  32. Andiii says:

    I didn’t know what was wrong at first, but it appeared that random media sites which allowed you to comment had broken comment forms since they would lead to blank white pages when trying to join a discussion – then a clue came which indicated a third party spam filter service and your post today convinced me to shoot off a message to the team at Akismet and going by the feedback of other users, I’m hopeful that they will resolve this and pull me out of the blacklist as I see other users have actually gotten responses from Akismet, which is good to see that companies are taking the time to respond to end-users.

  33. Retete says:

    I don’t know why I always write relevant comments and on topic and it seems that I also got blocked in Akismet for some reason. I guess some bloggers are not that kind and mark your comment as spam if you write in your homepage (I wonder why they leave that field in there, then)
    Can you be so kind to confirm that I am blocked or not? thank you, this article has great value!

  34. Ross says:

    Akismet is fantastic at catching real spam, but I’m now a casualty and have been added to the blacklist, though I’m not sure why. I’ve asked for help, with no joy yet, but hopefully soon I’ll see something. It’s so disconcerting to write a well thought out reply to someone’s post and it just disappear!

  35. Mike R says:

    This is a really good post. I have been blocked when trying to leave manual comments myself and I am going to use the form to keep myself from getting blocked again. Just as a side note to anyone who has been blocked and askimet does not lift the ban, you can buy another domain name and use a 301 redirect in order to keep commenting.

    Mike

  36. Ahsan Raza says:

    same issue with me. they are blocking my non-spam comments :(

  37. Tim Schiffer says:

    Well, came from google to this page. Want to try out if I am marked as a spammer.

    • Tim Schiffer says:

      Ok that worked thanks :) Actually that post you wrote with really good because Informed akismet that thez shall unlock me…

  38. Kitchen bath remodel BEAUMONT tx says:

    I think they just don’t want any posts. Thanks for sharing though

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