Some time ago I installed spam blocker software to help me manage the tons of spam I’ve been getting. Meanwhile, I have revised my choice of spam blocker, tried another one, and I’m giving up that one, too. Here is the story…
Incapable Invisible Defender
My first spam blocker of choice was Invisible Defender. It probably isn’t the best spam blocker out there, but it sure was (and probably still is) the simplest of the anti-spam plugins I found, while it seemed to do a reasonably good job in blocking spam. It did not block all spam, but enough to make reviewing the spam queue a feasible task again.
However, the amount of spam attacks continuously increased over time, and with it the amount of “false negatives”, until at some point it became beyond all bearing to manage them by hand. So I revived my quest for a spam blocker utility again.
An Overeager NoSpamNX
NoSpamNX was another anti-spam blocker that looked very promising at first. Regarding simplicity very close to Invisible Defender (code fingerprint of 20K against Defender’s 12K), NoSpamNX seemed to do a much better job. After I installed and activated it, the amount of spam in my spam queue dropped to zero! I was delighted!
My delight was put to an end by an increasing number of emails by users reporting to me NoSpamNX had rejected their regular comment. What?!?
Here is what the NoSpamNX plugin author says about false positives:
Due to the functionality of NoSpamNX false-positives are nearly impossible.
Impossible my ass!
With a spam blocker, false positives are particularly infuriating, because there is no way to know about them. A blocked comment is a gone comment. While this is welcome with real spam, it is intolerable otherwise! I’m don’t want to think about how many prospective commenters has left frustrated without bothering to leave me a message.
Needless to say: NoSpamNX is history here! 👿
The most downloaded and most rated anti-spam plugin for WordPress is WP-SpamFree Anti-Spam. Alas, it is also the most bloated one (WP-SpamFree’s code fingerprint is nearly 400 KBytes, compared to about 20K of NoSpamNX, or roughly 12K of Invisible Defender). Before I resort to such a bloated solution, I’d like to know that leaner spam blocker software won’t do it. Unfortunately, the list of leaner plugins gets pretty short.
Regardless, I’m adding one important criterion to my spam blocker software requirements:
Zero false positives!
Still the question remains: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best spam blocker of all?
The quest continues…
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