Akismet 2.5.4 Adds Easy Link Removal Button

Easily Remove Comment URLs With Akismet 2.5.4Earlier this morning, I discovered that while moderating comments, a small little X icon appeared that I’ve never seen before. After inquiring on Twitter why WordPress never gave me a new feature pointer to explain to me what this feature was, I was told that it came with the newest version of Akismet. On January 5th, 2011 Akismet released version 2.5.4 of their plugin and amongst the changes was the addition of a button that allows site administrators to easily remove the commenter URL. This particular feature is something I’ve become used to using as it’s part of the Ajax Edit Comments plugin. I think it’s pretty slick that this feature is now available despite it not actually being in core. In fact, if you didn’t know any better or forgot that you recently upgraded Akismet, you might think that it was added with WordPress 3.3.1 like I did.

I use this feature quite a bit because even though a comment may come across as spam, it appears relevant enough to the post that I publish it without the benefit of the commenter URL. Some folks don’t like this behaviour and would prefer that either the comment is deleted or published in its entirety. Are you one of those people?


9 responses to “Akismet 2.5.4 Adds Easy Link Removal Button”

  1. On the one hand, unlinking URLs is a pragmatic-enough ‘solution’ or ‘action’, in the face of what certainly seem like ‘marginally-exploitative’ comments.

    On the other hand, ‘adjusting’ – editing – comments (even just the source-link) to make them more suitable to our own purposes/aims can clearly nudge us in the direction of various slippery slopes.

    I noticed in recent years, that our large corporate media and institutionalized journalism have consciously dropped the casual, common practice of ‘benevolently editing’ quoted speech.

    It used to be normal to ‘clean up’ what a person (actually) said, usually just to ‘fix’ little mistakes & glitches. Going back many decades, my eyes have squinted down on occasion, when I see someone speaking on film, and realize that in print the words had been doctored ‘just a teensy bit’, to give the delivery a better polish … or to put it differently, to remove distractions. And I think that really was the – entirely honorable – intent. As here.

    I’m certainly not having a cow over selective editing of URLs … but if folks are scratching their head over whether this is something to put more of an effort into addressing at a higher level of principles, I’m going to guess that those who chose to do so will eventually be glad they did.

    Basically, using ‘shady’ comments without compromising ourselves will probably mean more work & time. We are on solid ground to visit a suspect comment-site, then edit-in a warning/disclaimer. We moderate comments anyway (properly), so we might communicate with dubious commenters, encourage them to ‘work with us’, before ‘passing’ a comment.

    But of course, pragmatically, the usual crude-but-proper recourse will be simply to mod them out.

  2. If the originators of auto comment spam bots and other rogue comentators don’t like removal of roque URLs – TOUGH – mind you akismet is now at 2.5.5 – it had 2 minor bugs

    I have noticed and am amused that I get a lot of comment spam attached to a page entitled “Pollution reporting” on my site. – part of the subject area of the site is conservation and environmental protection/improvement.

  3. I guess it is a nice option to have but site owners should think long and hard about the particular dynamic that persuades users to visit and contribute comments to their site.

    I suspect that for many commenters the link is seen as a small, mostly symbolic, “payment” for contributing their time and thoughts. My own site gets quite a few visitors from the comments that I make on various sites (mostly probably motivated by the question “Who is this asshole?”) and, although that is of no monetary value to me, it is certainly something I am aware of.

    I also value being able to quickly visit the site’s of other commenters, so, yeah, I suspect that removing links from comments that you otherwise judge to be worth publishing is likely to make your blog worse, not better. If it is spam, delete it, otherwise let it stand.

    One funny thing I have noticed is that, very occasionally, a site owner will remove text from my name, the “from WordSkill” part, seeing that as a form of spam, although I only use that in order to avoid people confusing me with Automattic’s Donncha O’Caoimh – it would be so unfair if he was to get blamed for my rants :)

  4. I noticed this one as well. It is a nice feature, but I don’t think I will use it much.

    If the comments are good, I don’t mind giving them credit (unless they use a spammy keyword as “Name”). If the comment is some kind of automated or manual spam attempt I move the comment to trash. I also don’t think “great post. fake questions or fake general observation.” adds much value, so I delete those as well (unless their from real people).

  5. LOLing at Donnacha’s comment above!

    I noticed this addition to the moderation queue this morning and it’s welcome. I tried to do something similar a while back but couldn’t get the right filter and lost interest in it when I realised I’d have to do some Javascript!

    Donnacha’s right about a comment being worthy of publication but I’ll still delete the link and call the user “John” :)

  6. Currently on the top of Google News is the decision to ‘revert’ a ‘slightly edited’ version of Dr. Martin Luther King’s words, which were engraved in his new monument.

    Chiseled into the granite:

    I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.

    What he said, re his hypothetical funeral:

    Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.

    from: Report: Quote on MLK Memorial Will Be Changed

  7. A couple of years ago, I had a spam bot post comments to my site and it had some email forwards as the body of the comment. While email forwards are something that people do not look upon highly, the spam bot did post some select email forwards that were among the best reads so I did share them with my readers after ‘doctoring’ out the links and I didn’t feel guilty about it. Sure, there’s a limit to which you can edit a comment but simply taking away links does not cross any boundaries.


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