I’ve just spent a rather painful 45 minutes recovering legitimate comments from my Akismet admin panel. Painful because Akismet had over 1400 comments marked as spam from the last week.
That number is not excessive for my blog: Akismet has caught over 12,000 spam comments since I installed it; but I’ve not been keeping on top of the list this week. Unfortunately checking for false positives is impossible once you have more than 150 spam comments.
The Akismet plugin displays the newest 150 comments each with a check box to allow you to separate the legitimate ones from the rubbish (the ham from the spam). That’s great: check the boxes, push the “not spam” button.
However, the only other action is to delete all the comments that Akismet has determined are spam. But if you have legitimate comments that are not in the most recent 150, you cannot see them to rescue them.
Luckily for me, I’m technical enough that I can figure out how to get round problems like this, but most people are not.
In the end, I rescued somewhere between 40 and 50 comments. I’m not sure of the exact number because I wasn’t paying attention, and releasing them from Akismet’s clutches doesn’t trigger the email notification so I can’t count the emails either. Not one single comment was let through in the last 6 days. I don’t know whether this is a minor hiccup from Akismet or the start of an alarming trend.
I then spent another 20 minutes responding to some of them. Oh yeah, and I’ve spent another 30 minutes writing this post!
I think I will have to look at enhancing the Akismet plugin. Either by adding a ‘delete just spam in the list’ button or by adding pagination to the list of spams. The former sounds far easier than the latter.