Akismet: Presumed Guilty

I don’t use Akismet. Can’t stand the system. I turn off the comments on my posts after so many days, and then provide an email address is someone has a comment. It may inhibit later comments, but it stops most of the problem and at least ensures there’s no frustration for my commenters because of Akismet’s P2P spam control.

Bill from Prairie Point is now being marked as ‘spam’ wherever he comments. This is happening, most likely, because he commented at a weblog post that was being moderated, and when the person moved to approve him, clicked the wrong button and marked him as spam. Checking around, evidently Bill is not the only person having this problem.

From what I’ve read, how Akismet works is that when a comment is marked as spam (or unmarked as spam), this information is communicated back to the Akismet centralized data store. The question then becomes, is the person treated as spam from that point on, or does it take more than one click to then mark that email address as spam? I’d have to think with Bill, once was enough. Unless Bill has an evil twin, I’ve never know his comments to be even remotely spam like.

According to this WordPress forum post if you’ve been defined as spam from Akismet, have people unmark you as spam. Supposedly, eventually the system will learn you’re ‘good’ people and unspam you. There’s also contact form for the Akismet people, but from the forum post comments, don’t expect a quick response.

Really, Akismet is foobar by design. I’d rather not have any comments than make it so easy for the clumsy, and the malicious, to mark someone as spam not only for my site but for every Akismet site.

In the meantime, let’s help Bill. If you use Akismet (I don’t), drop a comment in Bill’s post to come over to your weblog to comment. Then, when his comment comes through, unmark it as spam. Let’s see if we can’t help the dumb machine learn faster.

Seems the Akismet folks have ‘unspammed’ Bill.

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