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Is Akismet Wrongly Blocking Your Not-Spam Blog Comments?

Do your posted blog comments never go live? Do blog owners have to find your comments from heaps of spam? Are you always contacting bloggers about missing comments and angry with them for deleted comments? It is happening to us for last few months. Akismet, a popular anti-spam wordpress plugin had labeled our comments as spam and actively blocked them across the thousands of wordpress blogs where it is active. This issue could be affecting you too…

Akismet Blocks WordPress Comment Spam

Akismet is a powerful tool to block spam comments on your blog, in fact it blocked over 400,000 spam comments since this blog started. But the intelligent spam solution might interpret your valid, non-spam comments as spam and block them.

When a new comment, trackback, or pingback comes to your blog it is submitted to the Akismet web service which runs hundreds of tests on the comment and decides if it is spam. It saves the spam in the database for 15 days in case you want to check it out manually and then automattically deletes it. You can also enable an option to “Automatically discard spam comments on posts older than a month”. Thus, if Akismet decides to block your comments, it blocks them on all blogs where Akismet is activated (since Akismet comes preinstalled, that is a lot of WordPress blogs!)

When Akismet Wrongly Blocked Our Comments

I was first notified of the issue by a few friendly bloggers, who had to dig around their spam queue to find my comments. I had to contact some bloggers to trace my missing comments too. So obviously Akismet has to be tweaked to fix the spam labeling issues.

I checked the Akismet FAQ for a solution.

Akismet is catching a regular comment as spam!
Don’t worry, if you see a regular comment on your Akismet page, just click the “Not Spam” checkbox and submit and the comment will be sent back to Akismet as a mistake. The system will learn from your submission, though it may take a day or so in some cases. False positives, as they’re called, are extremely rare and we watch them closely.”

Though a few bloggers were kind enough to actually find and label our comments as “not spam”, it was not enough to get our comments out of the Akismet blacklist.

After continued blockage of comments for the last few months, and no solution in sight, I contacted Akismet. In the feedback form I selected “I have a support or feature request” button and proceeded to describe my problem. And then I was surprised to see a math puzzle to keep out automated spam, but they read my mind as written below was –

“You might wonder, if these guys are so good at spam blocking why would they put a stupid question like this on their contact form to keep spam out? Well, Akismet is great at protecting contact forms, we use it on all our other sites, but on Akismet.com sometimes people use the contact form to tell us they’re being blocked by Akismet.
If you think about that, blocking people when they’re trying to tell us they’re wrongly blocked would probably frustrate them, hence the math question.”

In a few days, the nice folks at Akismet sent me a reply that they had fixed the issue. And indeed the comments are going live now. It was a frustrating experience for me to post comments and never see them go live. Now I feel like commenting again…

Is Akismet blocking your valid comments on other blogs?

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