Akismet WordPress Plugin 3.1.2

Version 3.1.2 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

This update includes seventeen fixes and enhancements; they’re summarized in the changelog (or for all of the details, the revision log), but notably, Akismet will be easier to set up, use less space in your database, and be better protected against security holes — specifically ones in other plugins.

To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in the WordPress plugins directory.

April 2015 Stats Roundup

April turned out to be a slow month in Akismetland. The highest number of spam comments we saw come in this month on a given day was about 177 million. The total amount of spam we saw come through this month is 23% less than last month, and 33% less than April of last year.

Here’s a chart showing the number of spam and ham comments we saw come through each day this month:

graph of akismet spam and ham daily stats April 2015

This image, .Time Machine. by Sachin Sandhu, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This image, .Time Machine. by Sachin Sandhu, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The total number of spam comments this month is 4,167,247,500 – just over four billion, which is still a big number even though it’s a slow month ūüėÄ. To help visualize this number, let’s say it takes a second to count each spam message. In that case, it would take 132 years and two months to finish counting.

As for ham – we saw a total of 145,308,000 real messages come through. If we were counting each one of those, it would take only 4 and a half years to finish. As usual, there’s much more spam going around than real messages – only 3.4% of all messages sent this month were not spam.

We missed only about 1 in every 10,443 spams this month. If you are seeing spam in your comments, please mark it as spam – this will help Akismet learn from your input. Similarly, please mark any real comments that end up in the spam folder as ‘not spam’. If you’re seeing very many mislabelled comments, please contact us about it and we’ll be¬†happy to help dig into the issue.

This post is part of a monthly series summarizing some stats and figures from the Akismet universe. Feel free to browse all of the posts in the series.

March 2015 Stats Roundup

In March, Akismet saw 5,426,166,500 spam comments go through. Though this was a rise of 32% since last month, it’s a decrease from last year’s March by 19 percent. It’s been a quiet March.

If we wanted to visualize this number, we could write down each spam comment on a piece of paper and ask each person in the USA to hold on to them. In that case, each person would be holding onto 17 pieces of paper to cover all of the spam we received.

As usual, Akismet saw much less ham go around this month – only about 2.7% of all comments were real comments. We’d need only half of the people in the United States to hold just one piece of paper to cover all the ham comments – there were 147,994,500 total ham comments going through.

Here’s a chart breaking down the numbers per day:

graph of akismet spam and ham daily stats February 2015

The busiest day of the month was the 20th, with 198,630,500 spam comments. The slowest day was the 15th with 146,041,500.

If you’re having any trouble with spam comments getting through on your site, or any false positives in your spam folder, feel free to contact us so we can help :).

This post is part of a monthly series summarizing some stats and figures from the Akismet universe. Feel free to browse all of the posts in the series.

Akismet WordPress Plugin 3.1.1

Version 3.1.1 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

This update includes an improvement to the “Remove comment author URL” feature and merges the pingback DDOS protection from Akismet 2.x into the 3.x plugin line.

To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in the WordPress plugins directory.

Akismet 3.1 Plugin for WordPress Released

Version 3.1 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

As of version 3.1, all calls to the Akismet API are now made using SSL, increasing the confidentiality of your commenters’ data as it travels over the wire. Developers of other Akismet libraries are now free to use https URLs for Akismet API endpoints as well.

This update also includes a bugfix that prevents Akismet from inadvertently modifying a comment’s content during the spam filtering process.

To upgrade, visit the Updates page of your WordPress dashboard and follow the instructions. If you need to download the plugin zip file directly, links to all versions are available in the WordPress plugins directory.

February 2015 Stats Roundup

February was another slow spam month for Akismet. We didn’t even hit 200 million comments on any day this month. You can see the daily breakdown of the spam and ham comments Akismet caught in the graph below:

graph of akismet spam and ham daily stats February 2015

The busiest day was the first of the month, with about 178 million spam comments ‚ÄĒ and the slowest day was the 18th with about 106 million.

ohio state football fieldThe total number of spam messages caught this month was 4,090,182,500. To visualize this, let’s say each spam is represented by one blade of grass in a football field ‚ÄĒ to commemorate the football season ending this February.

How many football fields would it take to cover that much spam? Twelve and a half.

How about the real comments? We got a total of 131,465,000 of those this month. And if each one were represented by a blade of grass, they would take just under one half of a football field to account for. As always, real comments account for much much less than spam comments ‚ÄĒ about 3% this month.

This month was unusually low in spam numbers not only compared with last month (with a 14% decrease in volume), but also since last year ‚ÄĒ decreasing by 38%¬†compared with¬†February 2014.

We missed only about 1 in every 10,917 spam comments this month ‚ÄĒ not bad!

Your own blog’s stats may have followed a similar pattern of decreased spam activity this month. If you are ever finding that the spammers are winning and more comments than usual are getting through Akismet’s filters, please feel free to reach out and let us know. We’re happy to look into it and help restore order :)

This post is part of a monthly series summarizing some stats and figures from the Akismet universe. Feel free to browse all of the posts in the series.

January 2015 Stats Roundup

January has been a slow and steady month in Akismet-land. Whereas in months prior, we’ve broken daily spam records, in January the spammers took it easy and we never saw¬†a day with over 300 million spam comments caught.

graph of akismet spam and ham daily stats january 2015

The busiest day in January was the 4th, with almost 257 million comments, and the slowest was the 29th with just over 174 million comments.

The total number of spam comments caught in January was a mere 6,586,661,000 – compare that to the over 10 billion comments in December,¬†that’s a drop of¬†35%. We did have more comments this month than the same time last year – 5% more.

Antique map of the world

This image, ‚ÄúOld Map (90)‚ÄĚ by rosario fiore, is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Let’s put this number in perspective. The latest figures for the world population were published in 2013 by the world bank, and the number was¬†just over 7 billion.

If we wrote down each spam comment caught this month on a piece of paper, and handed out each of these¬†notes to one person in the world, we’d have enough people on earth to hold all of the papers. In fact, we’d have some people left over that didn’t need to hold a piece of paper.

In contrast there were only 157,555,500 legitimate comments that came through this month. Legitimate comments account for about 2% of all the content Akismet sees come through.

If we wrote down each legitimate comment we got this month on a piece of paper and gave each to one person, we’d need just 2% of the world population in order to hold them all.

As for Akismet’s uptime: there were no service interruptions this month. You can find information about any performance issues on this blog, via Twitter, and on this status page.

You may have also seen a drop in spam comments this month on your own blog. If you are having any issues with spam or with Akismet, please feel free to contact us, we’re happy to help :mrgreen:.

This post is part of a monthly series summarizing some stats and figures from the Akismet universe. Feel free to browse all of the posts in the series.

December and all of 2014 Stats Roundup

Gone with the Wind is the highest-grossing movie of all time – making over 3 billion dollars1. The next highest-grossing film is Avatar, with just over 2.7 billion dollars to its name.

Avatar movie poster

Gone with the Wind movie poster

 

In December, Akismet caught 10,136,855,000 spam comments – that’s just over 10 billion. If each spam comment were one dollar, that amount would be about equal to 3 times the total sales of Gone with the Wind. Not too shabby.

On the other hand, Akismet saw just 156,497,000 real comments go through in December. If each one of those were one dollar, they’d make up about 4% of the total sales of Gone with the Wind. As is usual, we see much less real comments than spam comments – at a ratio of about 1 to 65 this month.

Here’s the day-to-day breakdown:

Akismet spam and ham numbers plot for the month of December 2014

The busiest day of the month was the 5th with just over 409 million spam comments, and the slowest day was the 10th with just under 267 spam comments.

 

For the first time since June, Akismet saw a drop in the number of spam comments month-to-month – we dropped 16% compared to November. However, we still saw a rise of 52% since last year in December.

Now… what about 2014 as a whole? Here’s what that looked like in plot¬†form:

Akismet monthly spam and ham numbers for 2014

 

How do the numbers fare against the highest grossing movies of all time? In January 2014, Akismet saw about 6 billion comments go through in total. If each comment were one dollar, that’s like the total sales of Gone with the Wind and Avatar combined.

Things were moving along at about the same rate until August, when we started noticing much more spam coming through. In September we hit the 300 million spam caught per day mark. In total, there were 8 billion comments caught.

November was our highest-traffic month with over 12 billion spam comments caught. Continuing with our movie example, that would be like adding up the totals for the top 4 highest grossing films and then a little more: Gone with the Wind and Avatar and Star Wars and Titanic.

What about the total amount of spam for 2014? That’s¬†90,326,951,500 – like adding up the total sales of the top 10 movies… and quadrupling that number.

Over the year, you may have seen similar trends in the amount of spam comments that you see come through on your own blog or website. As always, if you’re having any issues please do contact us, we’re happy to help!

We’re looking forward to an even more fruitful 2015, with Akismet continuing to save¬†you from your spam. All of us from Akismet wish you a thrilling, successful, and happy new year!

This post is part of a monthly series summarizing some stats and figures from the Akismet universe. Feel free to browse all of the posts in the series.

Footnote
1when adjusted for inflation in 2011 dollars, which is what really counts ;)