How to Stop Akismet from Auto-Deleting Comments

Did you know that Akismet can auto-delete valid comments, which it considers as spam, and WordPress admins might never even get to review them in the spam comments queue! But I am sure that as an old time WordPress blogger you always thought that Akismet (the superpowerful WordPress anti-spam comment plugin) would send ALL spam comments to the spam comments queue, which would always give you a chance to moderate and choose valid comments to approve.

But you might have given Akismet the power to auto delete comments…

I never realised it was such a big issue till I got this support email. A blogger friend was recently puzzled by a commentator repeatedly leaving comments, emailing him about missing comments, but these comments were never to be found either in the pending comments queue or in the spam comments queue! He recently approached me and I was able to help him with a WordPress setting which we often overlook. So here it is…

Akismet Delete Settings

Look closely at the Akismet configurations settings. You will find the setting which authorises Akismet to “Auto-delete spam submitted on posts more than a month old”.

Akismet deleted settings

This basically means that if your post is older than one month, and if Akismet encounters a comment which it considers as spam, it will auto delete this comment and not send it to the spam queue for moderation.

Should you allow Akismet to auto delete comments?

Akismet is very good at blocking spam – it has blocked 3 million spam comments on our blog alone! (and we can’t even think of turning it off for one day).  If your blog gets a lot of spam comments and you are not bothered about missing valid blog comments, and are too busy to moderate comments from the spam queue ( which gets thousands of comments everyday)  – then probably it’s a good option to allow Akismet to auto delete spam comments on posts more than a month old.

But Akismet often gets it wrong! Sometimes Akismet does decide to mark valid comments as spam (you might want to recheck spam queue), and if you moderate the spam queue, you will realise that there are several such comments you will need to approve and mark as Not-Spam. So for bloggers who do spend time in moderating  spam comments, realising the importance and worth of every reader comment – it might be a good idea not to check this box, and NOT give Akismet the power to auto delete.

Go ahead right now and check your Akismet configurations settings – you might be missing a lot of good comments from your readers. Now you know why.

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About the Author: P Chandra is editor of QOT, one of India's earliest tech bloggers since 2004. A tech enthusiast with expertise in coding, WordPress, web tools, SEO and DIY hacks.