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Am I the only one who noticed the number of spam comments is too high?

Jun. 18, 2018

I noticed this trend that the number of spam accounts and the number of comments left by these bots? is increasing. Just take a look at this thread here:

managewp.org/articles/17402/woo-edd-users-how-to-reduce-credit-card-fraud-by-98-using-stripe-radar

Or this:
managewp.org/articles/17522/gdpr-compliant-form-builder-for-wordpress#comments-section

Or this:
managewp.org/articles/17250/preparing-your-wordpress-site-for-google-s-upcoming-mobile-first-index

Any ideas or solution?

Comment
38 votes   Flag
JS Morisset

It's really annoying, and ManageWP doesn't seem to care -- I've sent lots of feedback and flagged comments -- no change.

I've started to visit ManageWP less and less since the quality of comments is going to shit.

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John Locke

Have noticed this too, and flagged tons of these spam comments. Make the comment links nofollow, will deter this behavior.

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pol taj

There has been no moderation since months now...

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Binod Kumar Anand

And for obvious reasons. John has a point.

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Nemanja Aleksic

@Pol I have to respectfully disagree. The moderation team is just one person, and I have been busy with WCEU in our own back yard. Otherwise I clean up comments once a week, or whenever I have some extra time.

On a related note, there has been too much spam going on lately, but not sure if nofollow would be enough. My knee-jerk reaction would be to remove links altogether. What do you all think?

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Tom Zsomborgi

Hi Nemanja,

I think nofollow wouldn't be enough, removing links altogether might be a better solution, but I have the feeling that even without links spam won't disappear. Isn't there a way to manually review and approve or reject new accounts? I know this could be definitely a time-consuming task.
Btw. I hope you had a great time on WCEU!

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Nemanja Aleksic

I did, I just need a weekend to sleep it off :)

Account approval:
1) I already vet posting rights, and the process is not as smooth. With the karma removal right around the corner, we will be able to automate it more
2) Comment rights are automatically given, and I believe it should stay that way

I will explore the automated options, like Captcha.

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pol taj

Hi @Nemanja

please don't take it personally, I didn't mean to offend anyone, but deleting comments flagged by users once a week (or when you have free time) is a stretchy definition of moderation.

For example, after I noticed that spam comments where not deleted right away, I stopped flagging comments as spam and those that I haven't flagged are still there.

Given that you are on your own, to reduce spam significantly I would:

1) Remove links from comments.
2) Use a service like Akismet or similar to filter as many spammers as possible,
3) Auto spam comments that are flagged by the user who shared the post. (they are the 1st who will want their content preserved from spammers)
4) Auto spam comments that are flagged by X established users (karma system).

I love this website and I honestly hope spam will not ruin it.

Let me know if I can help or contribute in any way...

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Nemanja Aleksic

Thanks, and I am sorry for coming off a bit curt. Yours and other people's feedback has always been appreciated, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

I like the ideas thus far, but there are also some things we can do at the registration level, to make it a bit harder for bots to register at all.

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David McCan

Nice suggestions @Pol. People who share the post get notified when there is a comment then they can help moderate. It could also be when more than one person with some history flags a comment then it is moved for review.

Thank you @Nemanja for keeping it going.

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Ryan Love

I second that, thanks Nemanja for the work you do.

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Kobe Ben Itamar

Best suggestion so far, IMO.

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Sallie Goetsch

It seems like it's not just spam comments, but spam commenters. I'd suggest a stop spammer registration plugin (or equivalent) to prevent these accounts being created in the first place. (But not CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA is the instrument of the devil.)

I've noticed a huge amount of form spam getting past Akismet and Gravity Forms' honeypot lately, and more comment spam on sites that have previously been able to block it. I suspect that spammers have figured out a new trick. But I've always set up moderation to be required on all comments on the sites I build. That might be pretty overwhelming on a site like this, yet prior to all the spam, many articles got no comments at all, only up or down votes.

I'd certainly be happy to moderate comments on anything I shared, and based on this discussion, I think others would, too.

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Tom Zsomborgi

+1 for this

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Nemanja Aleksic

I will hold you to that promise, Sallie :)

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Sallie Goetsch

Absolutely.

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Tom Zsomborgi

This made my day ^ :D :D :D

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Brian Jackson

Wow, spam within the spam... lol.

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