Tres Million

There have been some big spikes in spam lately, and yesterday was the first day we processed more than 3 million comments. The spam has been coming in hard and fast, according to Six Apart’s status blog it was even the cause of Typepad downtime this morning.

Load-wise we’ve been fine, but there has been some reduced effectiveness the past week, especially with the “nonsense spam” of random characters and domains. We’ve not sure what the point of that comment spam is, but we’ve modified how Akismet learns to better deal with random nonsense content, so over the remainder of the week you should these drop off and eventually disappear, most likely around the beginning of next week.

When we do have blips, thank you being so diligent in marking things as spam, not only are you nuking things off your site you’re also protecting the entire Akismet community and helping the system learn from its mistakes. Working together is the only way we’re going to beat the spammers in the long term!


  1. I recently noticed a massive increase in the amount of spam coming through. Thankfully Akismet is doing a good job and getting rid of it 😉

  2. I have noticed a huge jump in the number of spam comments over the last four or five days. Typically I get 20 or 30 a day, but for the last few days the number has been closer to 100, with yesterday being the worst yet – almost 150.

    Keep up the good work – I can’t even imagine the swamp of spam I’d be getting if it weren’t for you guys.

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  4. This is having a terrible effect on developer communities using Trac, as we have a large ratio of acronyms to content, that gets blocked even though it’s not spam…

  5. And Thank You! I saw the “spam stopped by Akismet” counter on my blog jump by more than 100 in the last 24 hours. Your product has taken the frustration out of maintaining my weblog.

  6. Thank you thank you. Some of those were destined for my site and Akismet caught them all. I was dispairing about even being able to allow comments at all but today I changed my setting back to allowing comments thanks to Akismet. BTW I’m using a WordPress 2.0.4 install on my own host.

  7. My blog was hit with over 1,250 spam posts within a day, but only 5 snuck through and were stuck in moderation. I wouldn’t blog without Akismet.

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  9. I can’t praise Akismet enough. So far this weekend alone it’s caught over 3,000 spam items without letting one through. Total spam caught has now passed 81,000.

    Thank you.

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  11. Could the massive amount of seemingly random spam be designed to overload things like Akismet? Seems to me it would be a fairly nefarious plan, grab a couple hundred thousand zombie computers, plonk down a couple billion (or at least several 100 million) random and worthless (even for the spammer) comments, and watch all the filters go down. When the filters go down you can then bring in the real comment spam (the seo stuff) and go nuts…

    Just blue skying here. But i have noticed hundreds of seemingly random spam comments, stuff that would be no good for anyone. They don’t link to anything (many don’t even have links in them) and they are random letter combos, this is the only thing I could think they might be trying.

  12. I think the spammers are trying out new techniques. Poking for holes. A small % of spam always gets through – I know, because I have to delete them – and that seemingly small % remains worth it for the spammers.

    The reason a % gets through is that the first pass always misses the first few hundred thousand comments, until someone marks it as spam, THEN it catches the rest.

    Akismet needs to be modified to have a double-pass over comments. That way it will get the now-marked-as-spam comments on the second pass.

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