Ok, htAkismet is now enabled. So if you can’t read this you’ll know why. Er, waitasecond…
Background: There are two programs we’re working with here: Akismet examines posted comments, and if they meet some secret criteria then it flags them as spam and holds them for me to moderate later. htAkismet looks at the IPs of these flagged comments, and bans some of them. Sometimes.
htAkismet is a little vague on how it works, but the docs hint that an IP address must spam me more than once before it gets banned. Still, for people with dynamic IP’s or who share an IP, this might eventually become a problem. Worse, the ban is done by adding the offending IPs to the .htaccess file, and I don’t see any way of un-banning IPs once they get banned. (I’m not going to decend into madeness and edit that sucker myself.)
Akismet has a habit of “picking on” certain readers for no reason I’ve been able to discern, and flagging their comments as spam no matter how many times I approve their comments. Now add to this the fact that htAkismet will look for repeat offenders and ban them. I’m seeing the opportunity for emergent stupidity here, with the added bonus that once it screws up I’ll have no way of knowing. And if I do find out, I have no easy way of fixing it.
I’m less and less keen on this idea.
Still, I’m hoping that if htAkismet can cut down on the volume of crap I have to sort, then I can deal with the remaining stuff by manually reviewing flagged comments. I did this for months, and only stopped once the volume overwhelmed me.
Also: My spam trap has about 2,500 comments in it. Before I enabled htAkismet I plowed through several pages of them and rescued a half dozen legit comments, so if you see comments showing up in the middle of long threads, you’ll know why.
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