The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Did you pass math?

Posted by Deliverator on October 6th, 2006

I have been using Akismet for a while to catch comment spam. In general, it works quite well, with an extremely low false positive rate and an equally low false negative rate. I have noticed a few more of late that have managed to sneak through as legitimate. This doesn’t perturb me too much, as I moderate all comments anyways before they are actually posted to the site. Also, once I have labeled the few that sneak through as spam, Akismet usually becomes very good at catching similar ones in the future. Still, I have become loath to spend my time to login and review Akismet’s. In an effort to ensure that reader comments get posted in a timely manner (and that they don’t continuously repost because their comment didn’t go through right away), I decided to install another spam filter plugin in addition to Akismet and to start approving comments through email. I initially played around with a spam plugin called Hashcash, which has an excellent reputation for being an utter brick wall against comment spam. However, I didn’t like its reliance on javascript, as it would require readers of my page who wish to comment to be using a modern, desktop web browser. A small but significant percentage of readers of this site are browsing on HPC devices with antiquated web browsers with flaky javascript support. So, instead I decided to try a plugin called Did You Pass Math?. DYPM simply requires a commenter to answer a grade school level math question when attempting to submit a comment. If they don’t answer the question correctly, the comment is completely rejected. If they answer it correctly, it gets thrown through Akismet and thenceforth into my moderation que, triggering an email to YT to approve the thing. So far, I have not had a single comment suceed in even getting to the secondary Akismet review stage, which may say a lot about the readership of this site. The plugin does appear to be working with the few test comments that I have generated. Let me know if you notice anything wonky….if you can!