Comment Spam Management

It’s a fact of life that if you have comments enabled on a website such as this, you will receive spam comments. Everyone who’s ever run even a mildly read blog understands this, and the problem has only gotten worse over the past decade. So what’s a poor blogger to do?

If you’re like me, you installed WordPress 1.5 in 2005 (as explained in the About this Blog page), you were inundated with comment spam nearly immediately, and considering the lack of an effective solution packaged with WordPress you went looking for 3rd party plugins that could manage this problem. Like many people, I selected Spam Karma 2 (SK2), and I’ve kept it running for all these years. In return, it’s been good enough to filter (most) of the baddies, as exhibited by the current stats (I’m pretty sure these stats have been reset once or twice due to database issues):
Spam Karma 2 Stats

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and on this day I am announcing that this solution has been disabled. Comment spam is still a major problem; however, the Akismet plugin has been shipped and enabled by default with every version of WordPress since 2.0, which was launched December 31, 2005. This is important, for reasons that might become clearer later in this post.

Over the years, the development activity on SK2 declined significantly, in part due to the bundling of Akismet of WordPress, until finally on 7/14/2008 the chief developer Dr. Dave penned the swan song for SK2, citing a lack of interest developing for WordPress anymore. Yes, technically he open sourced it and put it up on Google Code (later moved to GitHub), but there has been a significant lack of development on the code since it was uploaded.

I did not encounter any issues with SK2 being installed, despite not having any development work done on it since the WordPress 2.5 era, but at the end of the day I’m going to do what’s best for me – and going forward that is going to be using the native functionality of WordPress insomuch as it’s possible. To that end, I’ve disabled SK2, and barring any major issues I’ll fully remove the files and tables fairly soon.

At the end of the day, SK2 will go down as a piece of software which was important in its own right whose usefulness was superseded by native functionality within the system it was designed to work with. Thanks, Dr. Dave, for all the years of protection you’ve provided various blogs I own and manage. It’s truly been a blessing.