Fight against Spam – Round III, with Defensio

defensio graphs
On the last round, the spam comments were making a come back to this blog. So I decided to install a new plug-in called Defensio (a similar but claimed to be more powerful than Akismet). I’ve also taken out my captcha commenting system completely afterwards.

The result: the spams were as tough as ever, even when Defensio was turned on. However, by the end of the round, I’ve decided to re-install my captcha system (+Defensio) and the spam comments are now practically ZERO!

Why you should use Defensio instead of Akismet (Defensio vs Akismet)

Defensio works the same like Akismet: comments coming in, “spam-look-a-like comments” are put into the quarantine, and you then need to approve or reject the comment (manually check whether they really are spam comments).

However, Defensio sorts the order of the comments in the quarantine based on the “spamminess” of the comments. Therefore, if’s quite practical to go through the comments from top to bottom (Very Spammy, Quite Spammy, Somewhat Spammy, etc). The less spammy ones are actually put on top, so it’s easier for you to moderate them.

As for the accuracy, I don’t think any spam protection plug-in can identify spam comments 100% perfectly. After 2-3 weeks, here is my statistic on Defensio’s performance:

defensio anti spam statistics

Still not perfect but there is no perfect solution who can identify spam comments completely (except for the ones that check cookies and javascripts).

Why you shouldn’t depend on Defensio and Akismet

Whichever plug-in you decide to use, it doesn’t matter. You still have to get down and dirty: checking your quarantine, reading the comments identified as spam to make sure they are not legitimate comments, approving/rejecting them, and so on. Depending on the popularity of your blog, you can receive hundreds of these every day!

Imagine me checking 5401 spam comments one by one for several weeks and you better stop being a blogger and find a newer job as a spam investigator or something. The bottom line is, you have to reduce the number of spam comments to your anti spam quarantine area! This way, you don’t need to spend much time in dealing with the spam ones.

Conclusion of Round III

At the end, I installed my captcha plug-in back and make it as simple as possible so not to annoy my readers too much (If you can’t even answer what 1+1 is, then you shouldn’t even be here reading my post!). I still keep my Defensio active, though.

The result is very satisfying. Instead of getting hundreds of comments everyday, I only get legitimate comments and 1-2 spam comments a day! If you want to know why I’ve never mentioned Trackback spams, they are long gone thanks to the Anti Trackback spam plug-in that I installed last year.

Having a captcha may annoy your reader a bit. However, if you have to spend long minutes to check your quarantine every single day, then you really have to sacrifice something!

My question is: how annoying is it to you to comment on my blog with the captcha system?

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