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, “Old Map (90)” 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 ;)

Akismet 3.0.4 Plugin for WordPress Released

Version 3.0.4 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

This update adds better compatibility with Apache 2.4, allows https author URLs to be removed from comments, removes the “Check for Spam” button from the “Trash” and “Approved” queues, and allows for automatic API key configuration when Jetpack is installed and connected to a WordPress.com account.

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.

November Stats Roundup

The streak of breaking records at Akismet is not coming to an end. In November, we broke 500 million spam message caught per day. Maybe the streak will continue, with 600 million spam messages caught in a day in December, we can only hope.

Since last month, we saw a rise of 44% in spam comments caught, and a 136% rise since last year in November. You can see the daily stats in this chart:

Akismet daily spam and ham numbers

The busiest day of the month for spam was November 11 with over 526 million comments caught. The slowest day was November 16 with just over 326 million comments caught. We missed only about 1 in every 32,243 spam comments this month.

In total, Akismet caught 12,204,897,000 spam messages in November. Let’s compare the number of spam comments Akismet caught to the distance between the Earth and Saturn, which is 1.2 billion kilometres when the two planets are closest together (that’s 746 million miles).

If each spam comment were one kilometre, the total number of spam comments Akismet flagged in November would be enough for 9 one-way trips to Saturn.

"Saturn at the equinox" by Phil Plait is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Saturn at the equinox” by Phil Plait is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As usual, Akismet saw much less ham going around, for a total of 159,568,500 this month – making up 1.3% of all comments Akismet checked. If each ham comment were one kilometer, they would make only enough for a tenth of a trip to Saturn. That’s only enough distance to get to Mars and back.

Your own blog’s comments may have also seen some dips and rises. If you’re having any trouble with missed spam comments, false positives, or any other issue, please feel free to contact us about it, and we’ll be happy to 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 3.0.3 for WordPress Available Now

Version 3.0.3 of the Akismet plugin for WordPress is now available.

This update fixes a bug that could have prevented old spam comments from being deleted, and it gives you more control over how Akismet deletes old spam comments: the maximum age and number per batch are both filterable. You can also disable Akismet’s debug logging even if you have WP_DEBUG enabled. Lastly, we’ve removed the “Check for Spam” button from the Spam folder; that just seemed reasonable.

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.

October Stats Roundup

Akismet had another record-breaking month in October. While in September we hit and surpassed the 300-million spam messages per day milestone, in October we saw over 400 million spam messages come through per day on 12 different days.

Here are the daily stats:

akismet-spam-and-ham-stats-october-2014

There was a rise of 44% in the number of spam comments caught from last month, and a 185% rise from last year in October.

In total, Akismet caught 11,337,365,500 spam messages this month, and 207,939,000 ham messages. As usual, the amount of legitimate messages going around is much less than spam – coming in at 1.8% this month.

Tellurian

This is an image from page 390 of “School funds and school laws of Michigan: with notes and forms” (1859) published by Internet Archive Book Images

To help visualize the numbers, picture a trip from the Earth to the sun. It is 150 million kilometres long on average (that’s approximately 93 million miles). If each kilometre represents one spam comment, it would take 75 trips to the sun to account for all the spam comments Akismet saw this month. On the other hand, if each legitimate comment were one kilometre, it would make up only one trip and a third.

The busiest day for spam for Akismet this month was the 29th, with over 482 million spam comments caught. The slowest day was the 12th (coming in at only 273 million).

Akismet missed only about 1 in every 11,475 spam comments this month. Your own blog’s spam comments may have followed similar rises and falls, and seen some missed spam comments. Please mark those missed comments as spam so that Akismet can learn from your feedback. If you notice a large number of spam comments coming through uncaught by Akismet, please contact us and we’ll be glad to 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.

September Stats Roundup

akisbot-partyT’was an exciting month around Akismet headquarters. We caught over 300 million spam messages in just one day for the first time, on September 26. And if that wasn’t enough, we saw over 300 million comments in one day again on September 30.

But wait, there’s more… we also broke our daily record a total of 4 times this month. Our last daily record was 269 million spam messages on August 21, here’s what happened since then:

  • We broke the daily record on September 4th with 280 million spam comments
  • And then again on September 7th with 284 million spam messages
  • And then again on September 26th with the groundbreaking 312 million comments
  • And finally, just yesterday – on September 30 -we broke our record again with 366 million spam comments

Phew. What a ride. :mrgreen:

There were two other times in Akismet history when we broke the daily record this many times in one month. In November 2011 we broke the daily record 8 times (!) and in December 2012, we broke it 6 times. Though, the numbers were much easier to beat then – 90 to 100 million daily spam comments in November 2011, and 177 to 196 million in December 2012.

Here are the daily numbers for September, with the previous record marked for comparison:

We saw 7,955,568,000 spam comments go through this month, and 357,739,000 real comments.

We saw 7,955,568,000 spam comments go through this month, and 357,739,000 real comments.

You may have also seen a rise in your own spam comments this month. If you’re noticing a larger number of comments than usual being missed by Akismet, please do get in touch through our contact form so we can help out. Let us know what your API key is, and on what website you’re seeing the increase, and we’ll be happy to take a look.

Our slowest day this month was September 14, with a mere 218 million spam comments going through. Compared with September of last year, the number of spam comments going through Akismet increased by 112%, and it increased from last month by 10%. This month, we missed about 1 in every 4,574 spams.

As usual, real comments make up only a small portion of the total comments we see coming through – at 4% this month.

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.

August Stats Roundup

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.

In August, there were 7,203,785,500 pieces of spam that came through Akismet. If each piece of spam were one word, it would take 6645 copies of the Harry Potter series to accomodate them all.

Here’s a breakdown of the number of spam and legitimate comments (what we call ham) we saw last month:

Akismet spam and ham stats Aug 2014

Our busiest day was August 21, with about 269 million spam messages, and the slowest day was August 3 with 173 million. We missed only about 1 in every 5,916 spams.

The number of spam message is up 92% from last year, which is a similar large rise we’ve seen in previous months. It’s also up from last month by 28%.

The number of legimate messages that went through this month is 33,377,8500. If each legitimate comment was a word, they’d only fill 307 copies of the Harry Potter series. The amount of legitimate content going around is only about 4% – and the large difference is business as usual.

As always, if your own missed spam or false positive numbers are on the rise, we’d love to help. You can reach out through our contact form.

August was a big month in the spam universe, three services were in the news. Google added new spam filtering support to Gmail – you can find more info on PC World. Twitter announced its new spam filtering system, BotMaker. And, Apple’s iMessage seems to have been hit with a bout of spam. Wired explained why, though MacWorld showed us why the numbers may not in fact be so dire.

And now for a question for the readers: what other data tidbits would you like to see mentioned or discussed in these monthly spam reports? We’d love to hear from you, and accomodate where we can :)