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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Akismet is really annoying me right now (Edit: Not anymore!)

Note: Semi-technical and unrelated-to-puppetry post ahead.

Recently I’ve been having problems commenting on some other people’s blogs. I would enter a comment and then it will not show up. It would not give an error message either. And if I tried to send that comment again, it would say duplicate comment detected. So that meant the comment was stored somewhere into the database. So what’s wrong? I did a little bit of Googling around and I think I found the reason. And the culprit? Akismet.

In case you are not familiar with Akismet, it’s a spam filter that’s installed on many blogs. The idea is that it would look at the comment, and if the system thinks it’s comment spam, it would mark the comment as spam and not show it. However, recently it’s been marking all my comments as spam, as long as I enter my web address. Now, any automated systems can have what we called false positives but the system is also supposed to learn from the mistakes when the comments it blocked are marked “not spam”.

Well, it didn’t. Derek unblocked a comment and Michelle unblocked a comment from me, but the system didn’t seem to be learning. Ah, this is all very annoying.

That said, I installed the plug-in myself to observe its behavior. They say to keep your friends close and enemy closer, right? While Akismet is not really “enemy”, I’d like to start using it so I can monitor its behavior and hopefully figure out how it behaves… although it’s a black box and what I can do is probably limited.

EDIT: A few hours after this post went live, I received a comment from “Mark” (from Akismet support, see comment below) that the problem has been fixed. I’m surprised by how fast they responded, especially since I didn’t even try to contact them directly. I did not bother to contact them directly because all the articles I’ve read online said that they got no response when they filled out the contact form on the Akismet website for similar problems. I guess they do check their trackbacks? Anyway, I’m glad that it’s resolved in a timely manner. And I think at least I owe them this quick follow-up to explain what happened afterwards. :-)


  1. April 14th, 2008 | 1:22 am

    Hi – sorry for the trouble this caused. Your comments should be good now, my apologies for Akismet not learning so fast on your details.

  2. April 14th, 2008 | 1:56 am

    Thanks. I am actually suprised by how fast that’s responded. =)

    Kelvin Kao’s last blog post..Akismet is really annoying me right now

  3. April 14th, 2008 | 12:33 pm

    Very cool, I’ll be looking forward to seeing your comments go right through and not get caught in my Akismet filter!

    Derek’s last blog post..Did You Win The Free Advertising?

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