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Website Development

Reduce Blog Comment Spam Using The Bad Behavior WordPress Plugin

I don’t normally make recommendations until I’ve used a product or service for a couple of weeks. I’m making an exception with Bad Behavior. The creators label it as a supplement to your existing comment spam protection, Akismet in our case, and claim that it helps stop spam from ever reaching the filters on your website. So far, I agree with them because it’s doing a bang up job.

This website isn’t high profile but still had days where Akismet flagged 50+ blog comments as spam. Most of them actually were spam but I still had to go through occasionally looking for comments from a real person. It pissed me off that I had to waste time doing that so I started looking for something automated to help. That’s when I found the Bad Behavior plugin for WordPress.

Bad Behavior looks at a bunch of things (HTTP headers, website blacklists, etc) to determine if something is spam and then eats it up before reaching your other spam filters. It also keeps a log of what it’s doing for anyone who cares. It’s supposed to work on other content management systems (Drupal, Joomla, etc) but I’ve only tested it with WordPress. I started running it four days ago and just two comments made it into the existing filter so far. Both of those were actual spam, caught by Akismet, and it doesn’t look like any comments from real people got blocked to this point. Very cool.

One thing did come up while installing the plugin. Anyone using the caching plugins, like WP Super Cache, needs to add one line to the PHP code. That’s pretty simple but it’d be nice if the coders would work together to make it easier on people. It talks about making that change in the installation guide.

I’d definitely give this plugin a whirl to find out if it works for you.

Wondering if I just invited more comment spammers.

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2 comments for “Reduce Blog Comment Spam Using The Bad Behavior WordPress Plugin”

  1. Let me be among the first real people to comment, then.

    Most anti-spam systems look at the message and try to determine if it’s spam. Bad Behavior ignores the message and looks at the way the message is delivered. Spammers have to use botnets with custom payloads, open proxies, and other such tools to deliver high volumes of spam, and these turned out to be relatively easy to detect.

    Bad Behavior also stops many scrapers from harvesting email addresses and comment forms, preventing future attempts to spam your site — or your inbox!

    Posted by Michael Hampton | September 28, 2009, 3:30 pm
  2. @Michael

    Thanks for leaving a real comment 😉

    I appreciate you talking about how Bad Behavior works. It is an important distinction and I don’t think I put enough emphasis on that.

    Posted by 47 | September 28, 2009, 6:21 pm

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