I have sent the following message to WordPress Support, and I would urge every WordPress user who is experiencing this same Akismet/Comment bug to do the same, letting WordPress know that this is a MAJOR and intolerable problem -- but that there IS a temporary fix that could be easily implemented:
I am writing about a matter that I -- and apparently numerous other WordPress users, as well -- consider to be a MAJOR problem -- namely, that the mechanism by which readers of WordPress blogs can post comments is, at this point, essentially broken.
The reason I say this is that while Akismet may be stopping a ton of spam from getting through, it is also catching an abundance of perfectly legitimate comments in its net -- and for some time now, WordPress site users have been unable to sift through the comments that Akismet is flagging to determine whether or not these embargoed messages are spam OR genuine responses from visitors to our sites.
In the past, EVERY SINGLE ONE of the comments to my site that Akismet had "caught" turned out to be legitimate comments -- some of them, very important ones -- which I then posted.
I realize that WordPress is aware of this problem, but the fact that no solution for it has yet been devised means that in the absence of a viable workaround, the ability of visitors to leave comments on WordPress sites is currently, for all intents and purposes, severely restricted, if not completely sidelined.
On my own site, I have implemented a temporary patch (and I hope that TEMPORARY is exactly all that it will need to be):
It isn't pretty (especially as compared to the ladies that it bumped down the page), but I suppose that for now, it's better than losing still more comments to the voracious and indiscriminate jaws of the Akismet shark.
However, only one person has thus far taken advantage of this alternative, indicating that most feel more comfortable leaving comments the conventional way. And most of my fellow WordPress users haven't even tried applying the band-aid that I did -- possibly because the majority of them aren't even aware that an enormous number of legitimate comments that their sites are receiving are just winding up in a black hole.
And that's precisely what's so troubling about this situation: How many hundreds of readers of WordPress blogs are being alienated because their perfectly legitimate comments are being perfunctorily and permanently discarded due to a bug of which they're not even aware?
And how can that help but result in their making the assumption that their comments are being rejected, leaving them feeling disenchanted toward the site(s) in question?
I can understand the reluctance (perhaps "unwillingness" would be the more accurate term) of WordPress.com to turn off Akismet. I appreciate how much real spam it catches.
But UNTIL THIS BUG IS ONCE AND FOR ALL CORRECTED, COULDN'T WORDPRESS AT LEAST GIVE BLOGGERS WHO PRE-SCREEN ALL COMMENTS TO THEIR SITES THE OPTION TO TURN OFF AKISMET? Under this arrangement, turning off Akismet would automatically turn on the requirement of bloggers to screen all of their messages.
Such a workaround would at least give those of us whose sites are really suffering because of this problem some much needed relief until WordPress solves the problem for good.
Why can't the above suggestion be implemented? Please...Give us beleaguered bloggers a break.
Respectfully and Sincerely,