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FOREIGN LANGUAGE SPAM!!

  1. Dear WordPress,

    Spam is getting intolerable! I moderat the site "Wattsupwiththat.com", one of your more heavily trafficked blogs.

    I request that you arrange things so that foreign language posts [Chinese, Arabic, German, French, Italian, Spanish, etc., etc] are automatically deleted without appearing anywhere. They are getting so numerous lately that they are becoming pests.

    Please consider this. I am sure it would be a minor change to simply eliminate foreign language comments — which we NEVER use, or respond to, except to delete wholesale.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    X.X. Xxxxxxx,
    Moderator
    WattsUpWithThat.com

    The blog I need help with is wattsupwiththat.com.

  2. Spammers are always trying to find new ways to get their links on our blogs. I do not use the comment blacklist because I am well aware that blocking by IP address is useless. IP addresses have not been unique for a decade. ISPs save money by placing hundreds of us in the same IP block. So using the blacklist for IPs means we may block legitimate commenters. Moreover, spammers can get a new IP in seconds flat and some have dynamic ie. ever changing IPs.

    May advice is stop wasting you time fretting over a single spammer.
    Akismet is a very accurate learning engine. The vast and overwhelming majority of all so-called information on the internet is spam. Over 80% of all so-called comments submitted to .wordpress.com blogs every day are spam. Spam comes in waves. There are human beings who get paid to post spam. There are robotic programs that post spam.

    The worst of all spam containing malware and viruses is not sent to us. It's removed as it could bring down many blogs if opened.

    On the spam that Akismet catches it takes only seconds to click "empty spam" and you don't even have to click "empty spam" if you don't want to. Akismet will maintain comments it has caught for 15 days from the time they were received, and then it will delete the comment automatically.

    If you get spam that slips by Akismet then mark it as spam (do not delete it) and over time Akismet will learn it's spam.

    There is no such thing as eliminating all spam but Akismet works very well. For more information please take the time to read "5 things every blogger should know about spam" on this page Akismet: How it works http://akismet.com/how/

  3. Edit: I said:
    May advice is stop wasting you time fretting over a single spammer.

    I should have said:
    May advice is stop wasting you time fretting over a single kind of spammer.

    If all foreign language comments to your blog are spam that's easy to deal with in bulk mode.

  4. I want to never see a foreign language post again!

    I cannot delete spam wholesale with the "Delete Spam" button, because a few legitimate comments are always hiding among the hundreds of spam posts. This is a problem with a heavily-trafficked blog. So I have to scroll through all the crap — and foreign languages are adding a lot to the crap. I long for the days when we had 3 – 4 spam comments every 24 hours. Now a thousand a day is not unusual.

    Akismet does not learn about foreign languages! There is an accelerating number of them. If Akismet learned, there would be fewer, no? There are more of them every day.

    As you can see, bulk mode would not work either. This is entirely up to the WP software engineers. Either they will arrange to pre-delete foreign language spam, or they don't care.

  5. If Akismet learned, there would be fewer, no? There are more of them every day.

    The basic structure of spam is the same, comment content that may or may not be relevant plus a link to a site selling something. And Akismet works for languages other than English http://akismet.com/support/#ua7

    I cannot delete spam wholesale with the "Delete Spam" button, because a few legitimate comments are always hiding among the hundreds of spam posts.

    Then I guess it comes down to how you wish to prioritize your time. If you feel reviewing what Akismet catches is not an efficient use of your time, then, yes, you will lose a few legitimate comments. Apologize to your readers, explain the situation and move on.

  6. justjennifer says:

    "Apologize to your readers, explain the situation and move on."

    That is extremely unprofessional. We cannot treat our numerous commentators like that. Which forces moderators to take the time necessary to do what a simple automated task would provide.

    The answer is obvious and easy: WP can pre-delete foreign language posts. Give us an option, for the moderator/site owner, if that is what is desired, to tick a box pre-deleting foreign language posts [which are all spam in our situation; every one of them].

    In our case we would immediately take advantage of such a way to eliminate a growing subset of unwanted spam [is there any other kind of spam?].

    How hard could that be? Certainly it would be not much more difficult than writing the various excuses I see here. It would be but a minor software change, which would not impact the overall WP program, and it would benefit literally thousands of blogs that also do not want to deal with the proliferation of foreign language spammers — the newest bane of bloggers, and everyone else who uses a computer/internet interface, such as email.

    It is now up to the WP "Happiness" engineers, who are not doing much to promote happiness on this issue. This would be an easy fix. Why the resistance?

    We are not asking for much. We cannot force the issue, but surely WP can see the benefits and value in providing such an option to users of the WP blogging platform.

    The ball, as they say, is now in the WordPress court. Will WP accommodate a site like ours, which provides them with constant income? Or do we just have to "suck it up"?

  7. Let's be clear, then. Neither timethief nor I are Staff, work for Automattic or Akismet. We are knowledgeable forum volunteers in this mostly peer-to-peer support forum who have offered our suggestions on how to deal with the spam problem you are having with the tools we currently have at hand. Whether Akismet or Automattic choose to add such a feature as you are requesting is not in our hands.

    Since I am certain that WUWT must have at least one paid upgrade here on WordPress.com, have you considered contacting WordPress.com Staff directly through the Support contact form? http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

    Regardless, I will tag this for Staff assistance. Please subscribe to this thread so you will see their response and be patient while they get back to you as threads marked for their assistance are dealt with on the basis of oldest first. Kindly do not bump your thread unless you have new information to give them.

    Best wishes.

  8. justjennifer,

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  9. Hi dbstealey,

    We do our best to reduce spam, and by marking spam comments as spam (or unspamming real comments) you contribute to making our Akismet anti-spam engine more accurate so it works better on your blog. Spam is always changing and increasing, but we do our best to catch what we can and put it in straight into the spam folder so you don't have to.

    If foreign language spam is sneaking through, please be sure to mark these comments as spam (and not just send them to the trash) so the Akismet filter can learn and send these comments to the spam folder right away.

  10. rachel,

    Maybe I didn't make myself clear: I would prefer that foreign language posts of any kind never appear, not even in the Spam folder.

    I do not want to see them. At all. They are a pest; a flea. A nit. They are a fly in our soup.

    Our readers read and post exclusively in English, not in any other language. We do not want to even see other language posts, ever. We do not want to take the time to delete them as we scroll through the Spam folder.

    Spam is becoming intolerable. I recall not all that long ago when we might get 3 – 4 spam posts a day. Now it is not unusual to get a thousand, and each one must be viewed, and either deleted or, if legitimate, approved. Spam has become an enormous time sink for popular blogs like ours.

    That is why I suggested providing blogs with a box that we can tick, giving us the option of completely deleting foreign language posts before they are even at the Spam stage. We do not want to even see foreign language posts, in the Spam folder or anywhere else.

    This would be easy to do, and it would make life easier on moderators, who now must wade through all comments in order to rescue the few that are legitimate.

    That can be done, there is no question. Operating systems make it possible to sort by language. So either WordPress can help us, or they do not care to help. It is not as if what is being requested is either impossible, or even difficult.

  11. Hi dbstealey,

    Thank you for explaining the issue further. I passed along your suggestion so it can be considered for future updates! We appreciate the feedback. :)

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