Comment Spam Pack needs some LOVE, guys.

It’s been a year since there was any significant development on the Comment Spam Pack.

For those of us who rely on it to prevent spam on our multisite networks, can we get an update here?

We had to turn off ReCaptcha 2 weeks ago, and since then, our entire network has been inundated with spam.

(1) The Comment Spam Pack is on version 2.0.2, and I’ve just checked the other plugins that make up the pack.

AVH is now on version 3.4, incidentally.

Also, many feel that ReCaptcha is a poor way to block spam anymore. (a) It annoys users, UX suffers, and the # of legit comments goes way down. (b) It can be defeated, as has been discussed in the past.

(2) Since the Comment Spam Pack now seems to be architected as a “main plugin + add-ons”, can you add a couple of ReCaptcha alternatives, like WP Pineapple or Block Spam By Math Reloaded (with Network Admin config settings, instead of blog-by-blog settings)

(3) The instructions for the Comment Spam Pack still reference Peter’s Custom Anti Spam Image Plugin (and a file called custom_anti_spam.php), although that hasn’t been in there for over a year now.

Thanks guys.

  • nickd32
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Perhaps this thread goes to a larger discussion of what *should* we be using to prevent spam on a Multisite install these days? Is it the WPMU DEV comment spam pack, or some combination of its individual plugins? Or some of these below?

    1. Akismet is too expensive

    2. TypePad AntiSpam for WordPress is antiquated (isn’t it?)

    3. WP-Hashcash hasn’t been updated since 2010.

    4. .htaccess rules don’t work if you’re on NGINX.

    5. Botblocker sounds cool, but I think this is what AVH already does.

    I know there are others, but these were the ones on my immediate list to consider.

    The other wrench in the mix is that many of us use caching like Quick Cache and Domain Mapping and CloudFlare.

    Would love to hear some recommendations from the crowd.

  • PC
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hello nickd32,

    Thanks for your detailed advice. I am going to mark a note to the developer to pitch in and provide comments on it while I look forward to get the usage instructions updated on this

    (3) The instructions for the Comment Spam Pack still reference Peter’s Custom Anti Spam Image Plugin (and a file called custom_anti_spam.php), although that hasn’t been in there for over a year now.

    Cheers

    PC

  • Vladislav
    • Dead Eye Dev

    Hi,

    The latest plugin release (v2.1, just released) comes with an optional Asirra challenge as ReCaptcha replacement, along with some of the fixes and updates. As for the AVH base update, that’s currently in the works as well, as some code will need to be merged in.

  • nickd32
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Well, it appears Asirra may not work for us after all — at least not with my crowd. Check out this frantic email I just got from a client. Sigh…

    HELP – I have a really important post this week and I’m asking people to submit comments. I just received this message from a friend:

    >>Hi- Trying to submit to your blog, but PetFinder keeps coming up. It won’t let me submit till I “adopt.” Is that legit?

    PLEASE HELP!!!

    THANK YOU

    If one person is confused by this, then others might be. What about simpler alternatives, like one of these:

    WP Pineapple

    Block Spam by Math

  • Lorange
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    >>Hi- Trying to submit to your blog, but PetFinder keeps coming up. It won’t let me submit till I “adopt.” Is that legit?

    lol this is really funny…

    Regarding Block Spam by Math, from my experience (essentially on Mediawiki wikis) this kind of math operations are really easily solved by spambots. You may eventually generate it as an image (ex: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/mediawiki/d/dd/Special_VisualMathCaptcha.png ) and this might give better results (I did not test).

    A plugin based on https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-plugin-spam-wp-pineapple/ that would allow us to add new customized set of images might be interesting as well… but I think it should have more than 4 images for better security.

    I recently saw an idea that looks interesting:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/comment-spam-pack-update-idea

  • Vladislav
    • Dead Eye Dev

    Hello,

    Sorry to hear that Asirra didn’t go all that well with your users, it seemed nice enough to me (then again, I like cats and dogs both) – I do see your point about “adopt me” link though, and how that can be confusing. As for the math questions, I very much agree with @lorange – it’s near trivial for the bots to go through that.

    As for pineapple, once again I agree with what’s been said. I’m thinking of another captcha replacement plugin that could perhaps be totally configurable – meaning, the admins could set the images they want to show (plus maybe a set of out-of-the-box images), as well as number of images to show.

  • Kimberly
    • Champion of Loops

    Hi!

    Just checking in :slight_smile:

    I’m guessing that because we haven’t heard back from you that you’ve got your issue worked out or that we have reached the end of our convo here. If you are still having problems or need any other answers on this particular topic please feel free to come back to this thread at anytime. Just be sure to mark it Not Resolved so we don’t miss it!

    This ticket is only being Resolved due to lack of activity. It is by no means an action to avoid, brush off or minimize your issue. We are ready and here if you want to re-open at any time and I apologize in advance for any lack of communication if this ticket is being closed in error.

    Thanks for using the WPMU Community!

    Best,

    Kimberly

  • nickd32
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hi,

    Actually this has not been resolved. Asirra has not shown to be a good replacement for ReCaptcha, as it is confusing for many (shall we say… “less technical”:wink: users.

    My users are still getting bombarded with spam daily. :slight_frown:

    I just saw this in my email — perhaps the plugin isn’t working??

    An error has been detected

    Error: http_request_failed – connect() timed out!

    IP: 78.3.5.118

    Accessing: /wp-comments-post.php

    Call took: 5.0057151317596

  • PC
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hello Nick,

    Apologies for the delay in response on this thread. For some reasons I did not get notified by the email.

    I have sent another note to our lead developer to have him provide a comment on this one.

    Cheers

    PC

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings nickd32,

    Just chiming in to keep this ticket from falling into the ticket system abyss.

    I find your statement hilarious

    Asirra has not shown to be a good replacement for ReCaptcha, as it is confusing for many (shall we say… “less technical”:wink: users.

    Which further proves my statement I made some months ago that some people should not be allowed to own a computer not limited to but including any of these people: http://freegiftsgiveaway.com/humor/leno_dealing_with_the_public.htm

    Just having some fun …. lol

    Cheers, Joe

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings nickd32,

    I am taking the appropriate and applicable action of moving this ticket to the feature requests area since it certainly meets the criteria.

    This way it will put it onto the radar of the developers for possible inclusion of something else.

    Cheers, Joe

  • dmpress
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I’ll chime in here… Assira is inappropriate for multisite users for many reasons. For one, it does look ‘spammy’ and unprofessional. More importantly, it is geared toward sighted users – even those with some level of vision impairment could have a problem with this, as the images are so small that sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s a cat or a dog.

    I may be in a slightly different situation than many of you. Being at an educational institution, we must ensure our sites are as accessible as possible.

    ReCaptcha does try to work for more users, with audio options and whatnot, but I think most of us agree that there are still issues with it and that it can frustrate our legitimate commenters. The compact version seems to strip out the accessible alternatives, so that’s not an option, and I’ve found that it simply doesn’t load on all of the themes on our network, and will simply reject the comments even though ReCaptcha never loaded in the first place.

  • ice3studios
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Any chance this is going to be updated? The “Usage” tab for the plugin is worthless and the plugin really hasn’t been updated. I’d suggest you remove it or at least update the page to reflect the current state of the plugin with correct instructions.

    Spam is huge issue for blogs and not having a viable solution is a big hole in your suite of products. I love you guys but I’m finding more and more that it looks like you are interested in quantity and not quality. I’d pay the yearly fee gladly for 5-10 ROCK SOLID plugins that I couldn’t live without. Instead, I’m starting to look for alternatives becuase some of the plugins (Spam, Ecomm) are mediocre solutions and there are better alternatives out there.

    Sorry to rant but you guys need to get on the ball with some of these.

  • Kimberly
    • Champion of Loops

    I’ll put Comment Spam Pack on the list for updating as soon as possible!

    Thanks for the feedback!

    We try hard to make useful plugins that help out everyone, any feature requests or comments are always considered in development. We do wish we had more time to to code in additions. We’d be glad to hear any of your specific recommendations if you’d like to create a new post with Feedback :slight_smile:

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