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Reviewing spam

  1. The first thing akismet ever caught as "spam" for me was the third comment on http://bahumbug.wordpress.com/2006/10/23/half-open-source/ . There's nothing remotely spammish about it. So I've checked my "spam" ever since, and never seen another non-spam there.

    In the past couple of days, that's got much harder, due to a huge volume of *long* spams. So how about a couple of tweaks to the interface:

    • Reduce the font size, to improve use of screen space. A glance will pick out a non-spam, and noone wants to read spam in detail.
    • Truncate display of spam messages after, say, 200 characters.

    That'll make it much easier to review at-a-glance.

  2. Without seeing the details of teh spam that you mention, there's little we can tell you about it. Best bet would be the IP address from where it was posted from probably. Seems like most of teh false positives we see here in the forums are due to the IP addresses that they are being posted from.

    I like the idea of 200 characters though although it wouldn't work. All spammers would have to do to get around it is put the links in after the cutoff.

  3. i believe the OP is purely talking about the usability of the spam moderation page, not about akismet's spam catching rubrics.

    and i have to say i agree. my favorite thing about tiger admin is that the font size is smaller, so i can see more than 1 spam per screen height. excerpting the spam would be even better.

  4. Reread the first few lines. :)

  5. drmike, I think you're missing the point about 200 characters. A quick inspection is just to determine *not spam* at a glance. And 200 chars is ample to determine that a comment has any relevance whatsoever to the subject one has blogged about, and thus not spam.

  6. Just to add a bit of perspective here.

    I just looked at my spam again. I last looked 7 hours ago, when I posted this topic. In that time, akismet caught 10 new spams. Nine of them were the "1 loan resource" one that's coming in all the time. It's huge: a single instance takes as much space as this entire discussion (which is quite a bit more than fits my browser).

    So that's a lot of scrolling. Or rather, having to tab through them using a search string. It shouldn't be that much hassle.

  7. I have been offline for 24 hours and in that time I have recieved 31 pages of spam, 20 spams to a page. I cannot scroll; the only way I have of knowing a real comment has been held in spam is if someone emails me and asks about it.

  8. opened my first bug because it's such a brilliant solution.

  9. Good job, Adam! I agree we shouldn't need to read (or be exposed to!) every single line of Spam in the Akismet view to know if we want to keep it or not.

    In Gmail we get a 25 character or so preview and, at least for me, 99% of the time I can tell by that figurative glance I don't want -- or need -- to open the whole Spam message and I just touch "delete forever" and it's all gone.

    Having a briefer preview for Akismet caught Spam would be delightful and also not expose not even our eye for a single successful "full view" for those Spam fiends!

  10. There's one more feature that would be good with spam moderation. Once I click a comment as non-spam, its immediately published, even though all my comments are moderated. And there maybe a comment in the spam list that I would want to edit before approving. I do know that I can edit it later but since comments have been an rss feed, I am sure some feed reader will sniff it even before I have edited it!

  11. Good suggestions, all of them. I wish we could separate spam into two categories: one with the user names "Car insurance, cheap drugs," etc and one with non-spammy names. Then we could preview the non-spammy ones first, saving time. None of my friends are called "Canadian pharmacy".

  12. Two things that would make my life easier when dealing with spam:

    1. Ability to delete the page viewed
    2. Navigation buttons (next page) at the bottom of the page.

    I like the idea of a one-click to post for mis-identified spam.

    All the scrolling in the morning takes way too much time.

  13. I wrote a Firefox + Greasemonkey extension to fix this issue.

    I'll write up the documentation and then release it.

  14. Sun, if you see this, your ticket got closed for being on teh wrong trac.

  15. It's available for install now:

    http://engtech.wordpress.com/tools/wordpress/akismet-auntie-spam/

    * Moves navigation bar to the bottom instead of the top.
    * Reduces text size.
    * Truncates long comments.
    * Click to open a popup with full comment.

    I had it on my mind to write this for about a month, I figure now was the time. :)

  16. I'm on limited time tonight (the italian class is coming in shortly) but Doncha linked to another akismet rewrite a few months ago where it would write to htaccess and a couple of other things. If you want to murge the two different plugins...

  17. It's not a plugin, just a greasemonkey script. You install it in your browser and it changes the view of the page.

  18. engtech -- that looks great. My blog is new, so gets very little spam so far. But as the amount grows I'll be adding your script. Thanks!

    BTW, the only problem I've had with Akismet so far is that it tells me it's stopped more spam comments than I've seen. I think it's functioning fine, but that does make me wonder, just a little, if there's any chance it has deleted some before I've even had the chance to moderate them. is it capable of that?? (I have nothing in my blacklist.) More likely, I think it's just part of the count problem mentioned in other threads.

  19. @growthmad: It deletes anything over 15 days old.

  20. Sorry about that. Had been too long of a day. :(

  21. mike: no problemo

  22. Thanks engtech. Your script does the job nicely with firefox. It's a shame WordPress inflicts such a painfully slow and cumbersome API on firefox composing new posts.

  23. @engtech:
    Your script is sweet. Thanks!

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