Cleaning Comment Spam

If you recall from Chapter 15, I mentioned that WordPress doesn't give you any way to access comments marked as spam. For that, you need a third-party plug-in. Chris J. Davis's Spam Nuker is one such plug-in.

Download the Spam Nuker plug-in from http://www.chrisjdavis.org/2005/03/05/ spam-nuker-151/. Install this as a plug-in on your blog and activate it. Go to WordPress's Manage page, and you will see an extra tab labeled Spam. Click the Spam tab, and you will be presented with a page like the one shown in Figure 18-7. The tab includes the number of spam comments in its title. In the example, a rather excessive 39,000 spam comments were found. Note that the e-mail and URI in the figure have been intentionally blurred.

Figure 18-7. Spam Nuker management page

The plug-in has two functions:

Mass Spam Nuke: This allows you to remove all the comments marked as spam with a single click. Simply click the Nuke em, nuke em all! button. However, as the page cautions, this step is irreversible (database backup not withstanding). You might want to look at the other function first.

Unspammer: This allows you to change the status of a comment marked as spam. Depending on how you detect and mark comments as spam, you may end up with some false positives—some comments marked as spam that should not be. This function allows you to correct that and rescue those comments. Look down the list of comments. The name, e-mail, URI, IP address, and a count of duplicates are provided to help you decide the status of a comment. If you find any comments that should not be marked as spam, click the check box to the left of the comment. When you have finished with the list, click the Unspam me! button at the bottom of the page. The comments you marked will be changed to be ordinary comments, disappear from the spam list, and appear on your site as normal comments.

When you are sure you have rescued all the legitimate comments, go ahead and click the Nuke em button. All of your spam comments will be removed from the database, saving you valuable space.

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