I sometimes hear folks complain about how much comment spam they receive on their blogs. Some people get so much that they end up disabling comments entirely. I was thinking about comment spam this morning, mostly because I don’t have that problem, and decided to look at the spam this site has received over the last 12 months. I was surprised to find just how much spam I get, but also impressed by how Akismet–the comment spam blaster I use for this site–manages to catch most of it before I ever see it. Here is a chart showing the spam and “ham” (legitimate comments) over the last 12 months:
The site has received a total of 73,755 comments. Of those comments, an astounding 71,237 have been spam that Akismet has snared before they ever appeared. That leaves 2,518 legitimate comments. Akismet does hold the spam comments–about which I’ve written before–in a bin in which I can review them. And a couple of times a month, I’ll glance at them to see if I find any false positives. As you can see, over the course of the last 12 months, I’ve found 9 false positives–comments marked as spam that were legitimate comments. There have also been 37 comments that were spam that Akismet missed. And yet, considering the vast number of overall comments, the fact that Akismet missed only 37 is rather remarkable. It is 99.94% accurate and I can tell you first hand that this saves me an incredible amount of time, and keeps comments to the various posts focused and clear of spam.