It of course wasn’t perfect. Spam bots are getting smarter and a plugin such as SK2 alone just couldn’t be accurate enough. So, a year or so ago, I added an Akismet plugin for SK2. The idea is the plugin talks to Akismet and gets a ham or spam rating for the comment. This result is then given to SK2 to use in it’s overall score. It worked great, at least for a while.
However, even with the help of Akismet, SK2 just wasn’t cutting it lately. Akismet was too often saying it was ham when it really was spam or on occasion, the other way around (that ham was spam).
So, two weeks ago today, I decided to give Defensio a try.
It’s very similar to Akismet in how it works from the standpoint of the user. Every comment, pingback, and trackback is automatically submitted to Defensio’s servers for evaluation. However, the big difference, besides the increased accuracy I’ve observed (more on that in a minute), is that each comment is given a “spaminess” rating. For comments that Defesnsio feels is for sure spam, that spaminess rating will be 100% and less for ones that it’s really sure on. This makes it incredibly easy to make sure Defensio is doing a good job. You just visit Defensio’s comment spam page on your blog and glance at the short list of non-obvious spam. It hides all the obvious spam, although you can show them if you really want to.
Another great thing about Defensio is that it learns on a per-blog basis, something that I don’t believe Akismet does. Yes, Akismet uses data from everyone else out there to help learn what spam is and isn’t, but Defensio also learns about your blog specifically. For example, if you blog about Viagra (what an odd blogging subject), you’d obviously get a ton of comments about Viagra. Well, Akismet may for example think these comments are spam since Viagra is a common spam subject. Defensio would learn as you correct it and eventually get better. As they say on their site, “one person’s ham might be another person’s spam”.
They also have a section on their website where you can go to view graphs of your total spam, total ham, and accuracy. However, I had some weird bugs with their graphs. I had two March 23rd’s with the 2nd showing zero (hence the dip) as well as a spike for some reason on about the 3rd. (The large increase on the 2nd was real — my server was hammered with spam on that day.)
So, now to the important part — how did Defensio do on my blog over the past two weeks? Well, quite good actually even though they say it may take a week or two to fully adapt to your site. Here’s the stats from my Defensio spam page for the past two weeks:
- Recent accuracy: 99.86%
- 10628 spam
- 116 legitimate comments
- 9 false negatives (undetected spam)
- 6 false positives (legitimate comments identified as spam)
Okay, so it did indeed get 6 false positives, but they were very easy to find as they were right there at the top of Defensio’s page since the spam is sorted by spaminess.
So, will I continue to be using Defensio on blog? Definitely, and I recommend you do too.