Anti-spam Ideas and Alternatives


I admin a multisite installation of WP 3.2 with just over 3000 blogs and users in an EDU environment. I currently use WP-SpamFree and SI-Captcha Antispam together to prevent comment spam. It works quite well.

However, I noticed that development on WP-SpamFree has apparently ceased completely. Obviously, I want to continue updating WP core, and now I have no guarantees that SpamFree will continue to work with newer versions of WP.

Do folks have any suggestions for good (free?) anti spam alternatives? I really need plugins I can simply mass network activate - a set it and forget it scenario.

Any thoughts?


  • Timothy Bowers

    Hi ds281.

    To be truly spam free the only way to do this is behind a paywall which is not always acceptable.

    There are some other options here at WPMUDev:

    Anti Splug - For Blogs:

    Comment Spam:

    Content Monitor:


    Of course there is also the Askimat plugin which comes with WordPress.

    I know some people only allow registration through Facebook and commenting through Twitter, Facebook and Google to cut down on spam.

    Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

  • jimnastics

    I hope you don't mind but I'm going to "unresolve" this just because I think it is an on-going issue for multisite admins.

    I'm in a similar position with school blogs, and have recently installed a version of Bad Behaviour which has been modified for multisite:

    So far, I'd say it's worked incredibly well. However, I have read recent reports that it (the original BB plugin at least) has been blocking googlebot (and others) on peoples blogs, which would be disasterous for me, so I've got no choice but to remove it.

    It's frustrating that there is seemingly nothing out there that is fool-proof. Any form of captcha isn't good for me as a lot of children are posting comments across my network, and it could get really frustrating for them. I think that all I'm going to be able to do is say to schools is you'll either have to put up with spam and moderate it as usual, or use captch if you think your students will be ok with it.

    If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears...

  • Timothy Bowers

    Hey jimnastics.

    Captcha are pretty useless as well, they only serve to create another hurdle for the end user not for the spammers.

    There is software out there which attempt to negate the signup process and go straight for comments. Then you have automated bots. But even if you could stop that you can stop the cheap labour going on in countries where they charge a dollar or two per 1000 captchas.

    As you found, if you get to stringent then you risk locking valuable traffic out. You could ban their IPs, you could link into projects like HoneyPot but nothing ever is full proof.

    Is Askimatt not working for you?

    If you want to stop spam, a Paywall would work where you charge say $0.10 to register. Or restrict account sign up to something more manual.

    Spam is a royal pain and you might succeed at stopping it for a while but ultimately it seems to come back.

    Take care.

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