Working out karmic issues in WordPress

“Spam Karma” that is.

I’ve set up a couple of WordPress blogs over the last year or so. Some (unlike, say, this one) have become quite popular. Especially with comment and trackback spam.

Tried Dr. Dave’s Spam Karma 2 for awhile. SK2 comes with a host of modularized spam countermeasures. The good Doctor calculates a spam “karma” per module for each inbound comment. Comments with good karma pass through to enlightenment and… the dashboard. Those with outstanding karmic issues find themselves in purgatory to await ultimate review.

SK2 worked quite well for us, though there was the occasional false positive. And periodically reviewing hundreds of messages in comment purgatory was getting to be troublesome.

Recently however I’ve come across two plugins that seem to completely eliminate spam: WP Hashcash and Simple Trackback Validation.

Hashcash uses a JavaScript proof of work countermeasure to test that a browser, not a robot, is visiting one’s site. (Robots don’t run JavaScript.) STV uses two simple checks to confirm the validity of incoming trackback links.

Since implementing these two plugins last month, spam has gone from hundreds per day, to zero. What’s more, no missed comments.

All due respect to the good Doctor, but enough of karma. I’ve finally seen the light.

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