Letting Spam In For a Day?

Jesper Rønn-Jensen is planning to remove all spam protection from his blog on December 15. It’s easy to forget just how much anti-spam solutions help bloggers. It’s not just Akismet — there are many other methods from CAPTCHA to Spam Karma.

It was not so long ago that a blogger could wake to find a couple of hundred (or more) spam comments that arrived overnight. Deleting them not only took time but it also took some of the fun away from blogging.

So to remove all protection — and to announce it ahead of time — is interesting. Will you join in? How much time will it take to delete the spam on just that day? And how much time does Akismet therefore save you? If you participate, let us know!

89 responses on “Letting Spam In For a Day?

  1. Thanks for mentioning. And please do spread the word. Actually to be correct, we are two people writing the Justaddwater.dk blog. Don’t forget to mention Thomas Watson as well :)

    /Jesper

  2. I don’t get that much spam per day, but I still don’t think I’d voluntarily remove spam protection. That seems a bit like having unprotected sex to illustrate how much better protected sex is.

  3. I do not need convincing, I already believe you. I am not turning the protection off for a minute. I have got lots of other things to do, I do not have the time to sit and delete spam.

  4. Not a chance, I was burned a long time ago, until I found Spam Karma and Akismet. It took me over two days to clean up the spam from my comments on one blog, that had come in over night. I have better things to do than clean up garbage from mindless drones. Thanks to Akismet, I can do my work and enjoy checking my blog.

  5. well, after having circa 520 possible (ok, real but Akismet leaved to me decide that) spam comments in 36 hours I don’t even think so :-D

    so thanks, but NO THANKS !

  6. Seems like these people have too much time on their hands if they are willing to leave their blogs open to spam attacks, but hey, rather them than me!

    Personally, Akismet has been a saviour for me and I’m sure thousands of others.

    Keep up the fantastic works guys! :-)

  7. Absolutely not. I have had so much referral spam that I’ve taken to backing up akismet with the Apache “Limit GET” directive. Together they work really well, and I’m not touching them.

  8. Interesting. Not sure if I have the will power to disable spam protection for a day. All it takes is 24 hours until at least 100 spam comments are on the blog.

  9. That is indeed an interesting idea. It’s kind of like just standing there and letting yourself get slapped. If anything it might serve as a reminder. Reminds me of also how Christians wear crosses around their neck.

    I hated those days and I too remember spending at least an hour a day cleaning up spam. The concept of blog spam (we all accepted email spam) was simply bizarre. But unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll participate. I bid the rest of everyone who does – good luck.

  10. What about turning off comment moderation, and “Before a comment appears” too? Surely that would make thing a little more interesting :)

    Akismet / other spam controls are handy, but I don’t exactly generate a lot of spam / blog traffic, so I would estimate, maybe 1-2 minutes on the 16th cleaning up the spam

  11. No, I will not be removing the spam protection software from my blog.

    It is an interesting experiment though and I will watch for the results of this experiment.

    Gene

  12. If it weren’t for the effectiveness of Akismet, I definitely wouldn’t be blogging anymore. I wouldn’t entertain the thought of turning it off for even just an hour. I’m trying to think of a good analogy–performing in a honky tonk bar without chickenwire across the front of the stage? Something like that.

  13. Sounds like a great idea. I guess I’ll also be disabling all my installed anti-spam plugins on that day, and post on my blog the next day how Akismet helps me!

  14. That guy is nuts. you could not pay me to remove my spam protection.

    I used to run a forum to catalog my writing before then the spam bots found me. Then it was not fun to run the forum anymore so I trash canned it and started a blog.

  15. I’ve done this in the past. Disabled Akismet for an hour or two. What is very odd, and it has to be a bug, is that when I re-enable it the Akismet moderated comments will still have dozens of spams in it, even though no spam comments would have been showing in the mod queue…

    db

  16. I prefer to stay safe myself. Akismet is too valuable of a tool NOT to leave on – and for someone who doesn’t have the time to remove spam and monitor his site … yeah, not happening. I wish Akismet was a pre-installed plug with WordPress!

  17. Am I the only one that thinks that’s a pretty stupid idea??

    That’s like disabling your car alarm, and putting up TV ads in advance letting the theives know where its parked and when the alarm will be disabled.

    It’s like turning off your fire drills and removing all fire extinguishers for a day just to see how important you are.

    Not a smart idea

  18. My site has been totally garbaged with spam earlier, akismet took care of it all. I accepted your challenge to try without akismet and have been completely naked for 24 hrs now. Not one single spam-comment…

    I’ve been loosing readers i guess.

  19. I would have to hire a team of monkeys to delete all the spam I would get if I turned Akismet off. I wouldn’t mind paying them but I would have to put them up in my apartment and I think the smell would be prohibitive. Monkeys can be very dirty creatures.

  20. Considering that Akismet has prevented (as of this minute) 77,163 spam comments on my main blog, no, I do not plan on disabling it!

    I started another blog a few weeks ago. After updating the DNS for the newly registered domain name, installing WordPress on a new hosting account, and publishing my first “Hello, World!” entry, I received a spam comment within four hours of publication!! Dang, those suckers are fast!

  21. No way I’m gonna let my guard off. Akismet has help my blog a lot and I intend to let them do just that. Thanks for that. No Spammer day for me.. I’m not that crazy yet. LOL.

  22. Turning off protection is pretty irresponsible, I believe. We know numerous span comments lead to phishing sites and the like. The experiment will only ‘prove’ what we already know. Sounds like a stunt to me.

  23. This whole thing is a bad idea, and it’s extremely irresponsible to encourage other bloggers to join in. For anyone with shared web hosting (which most have), you can potentially take town all the other sites on your server, and cause a lot of damage to businesses with sites on the same server as yours.

    When botnets find a site where they can get spam comments through (and they do use automated methods to check) they will hammer that site to get links posted for their various sites. They don’t care if it’s “nofollow” or not, because they just want to get their product in front of as many eyes as possible. Granted their first choice is a followed link so they can get their sites ranked, but they’ll take any link they can get.

    In extreme cases they’ve pounded sites so hard that they have brought brought the entire server to a crawl, effectively taking down all the sites on the server. With a static html site that’s hard to do, but not so hard with WordPress blogs with their many database calls.

    It would be one thing if you have a dedicated server…in that case, do what you want. But, when others are affected, and this could potentially cause damage to other individuals and business, this is an irresponsible and foolish thing to do.

  24. Well, if your blog is on the top, off your spam protection might be suicide but for me just 2 weeks old blog, no worry of all the spam comment. I’ll take part.

  25. It’s interesting just to read how many people refuse to even think about turning it off. Akismet is free (well for personal use) people spend hours developing and improving the plugin yet we are to self centered to actually turn it off. Yet, if they wanted to they could just disable all the API keys for a day.

    oh how great technology and the 21st century is.

  26. What exactly does this hope to prove? Hey, if I smoke crack for a cause, will you join me? That’s about what I see this equating to. You’ve got to be nuts to do this.

    Especially to announce it well before the event. What’s keeping the bots the spammers employ from opening up and attacking your site during those 24 hours you disable your protection? Have you considered the possibility you might wind up suffering a denial of services (DNS) attack? Get into some hot water with your blog’s hosting provider? Piss off your readership in the process?

    Maybe a better analogy is to remind ourselves how important another kind of protection is: have unprotected sex and get a good case of the clap or crabs or some other STD just to make certain we don’t forget how important it is to be safe.

    Absolutely insane.

    I think a far better “challenge” would be to go to each of the people who’ve commented at your site that were legit, read through their own blog and leave some poignant, insightful or even cheerful comments for them to remind them how important they are to you. And do the same for all the blogs that link to you and vice versa.

  27. “you never know what you’ve got until you lose it.”

    Big Yellow Taxi has a lot to answer for. I think its only insensitive and self-centered clods who don’t know what they’ve got until someone slaps them with divorce papers, or a mountain of spam.

    I’m thoroughly convinced I know what I’ve got, after all, its not like Akismet doesn’t keep stats.

    Suggestions like this are clearly aimed at those clueless about their spam, which will be the only people clueless enough to actually join in.

  28. I think it’s a neat idea but I’m afraid that it might only promote more spamming if they succeed? I’m not really sure how the bots work but I wouldn’t want to encourage it.

    Also, what about the day after? I don’t think it would look ‘professional’ to have a bunch of spam comments everywhere.

  29. Interesting idea! Dec 15 could be the World Blog Spam Day.

    Although it is an interesting idea, I think I would not participate. If I do it, I will have to spend the whole Sunday (Dec 16) to remove the spam.

    I will watch out at this blog to read about the interesting result.

    Good luck guys. May the force be with you.

  30. Spam Filter Free Day UPDATE. We are now 8 hours into the experiment (we’re on central european time, remember).

    So far we have got 336 spam comments in the past 8 hours. And 2 legit comments.

    (there may be more, but we really encourage people to keep copies of their legit comments and follow up to make sure we don’t accidentaly mark it as spam when we mark comments as spam as we end the experiment in 16 hours)

    One thing we learned so far is that strangely enough, our spam comment number dropped from 2000-3000 each day down to 100. We don’t know why, but there may actually be spammers that understand they have absolutely no value by writing comments (nofollow on links, etc).

    One other thing we learned. This topic has split blogger in two: The majority which think this is an insane experiment, and a minority that want to follow us in this. And furthermore, as the day has now started, I can see that a some of the blogs that wanted to follow, have actually not done it.

    Thanks to everybody who left comments both here and on our blog. I really appreciate the comments and respect both points of views.

    Find an update on justaddwater.dk within the next 24 hours.

    PS. There are some guessing in comments about traffic numbers and inability to serve regular users. I can see from our MeasureMap that we had 118 visitors the first 8-9 hours. Thats exactly one third of total traffic on normal weekends. So it seems that availability of the webserver is not an issue at all. (but we never know if things changes the next 15-16 hours…)

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