Some of WordPress‘s features to control spam in comment and discussion areas trip you out. Unfortunately, some annoy you till dead.
Requiring my email address tops my list of annoying bugs features purporting to limit comment spam. I already get tons of gooey, sticky email spam in my Inbox; I want to limit what I get in the future, thank you. Only my closest friends and associates need my email address, and most of them already know it. If they do not, they can use my handy-dandy email form to email me. If I think them worthy of a reply, then — bingo! — they have my email address. Requiring me to reveal my address annoys me when I know the owner of the blog and frightens me when I do not. Once you have my address, what exactly do you plan to do with it?
Adding to the obvious privacy issue, one must ask: What exactly is requiring an email address supposed to do? I find just as many spam attempts with email addresses as without. Additionally, legitimate comments from readers wishing not to give me their address are usually worth it. (See the privacy issue in the previous paragraph.) Plus, it usually seems not to matter if a fake address is provided, like
Another annoying bug feature is holding all comments in a queue until they are moderated. This is not nearly as bad as the previous feature, but it slows down conversations. Some of the best conversations in blogspace explode in seconds. Good insights can be lost when a moderator loses track of time. This is especially the case on a blog like mine, where sometimes days elapse before I get a chance to moderate.
The best spam killer is holding comments in a moderation queue if they match certain conditions. There are two ways WordPress checks for conditions that look like spam:
These catch nearly all the spam I ever get. If I start getting spam with a new word, I go back and delete the comments (very easily done with WP’s new comment moderation interface), and I add the word to my no-no–list. Easy, and transparent to users. Transparency++
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