WordPress Antispam Bee Plugin Adds Option to Trust Commenters with a Gravatar

photo credit: Osmia pumila, M, Face, MD_2013-06-25.18.39.16 ZS PMax - (license)
photo credit: Osmia pumila, M, Face, MD_2013-06-25.18.39.16 ZS PMax(license)

Version 2.6.5 of the popular Antispam Bee plugin is out today with a new feature that allows administrators to trust commenters with a Gravatar. The idea for the function was suggested by Caspar Hübinger, a long-time user of the plugin.

“Have you ever seen a spam comment with a Gravatar image? I haven’t,” Hübinger said in a post introducing the new feature. “So I suggested to include an option in Antispam Bee to trust commenters with a Gravatar by default, and Sergej, creator of Antispam Bee, was kind enough to implement it.”

Although the plugin was mentioned by Matt Mullenweg during his Q&A at WordCamp Europe 2014, English speakers have largely overlooked it in the past. Antispam Bee was created by German WordPress plugin developer Sergej Müller and its description page on WordPress.org is written in German. He has actively developed and maintained the plugin since 2009. It is currently used on 200,000+ installations of WordPress.

One might think that it would make sense to include an English copy of the description to gain a larger user base, but Müller elected to keep it in German due to the plugin’s incompatibilities. Antispam Bee is incompatible with many of the major commenting systems used by English speakers, including Disqus, Jetpack Comments, and AJAX Comment Form.

English speakers who use Jetpack Comments often use Akismet, since the two work together seamlessly. Akismet is far more well-known, since it comes packaged with WordPress by default. However, Antispam Bee has a solid set of features that make it a decent alternative:

  • Ad-free
  • No storage of personal data
  • No registration required
  • Free for commercial projects
  • No adjustment required by theme templates
  • All functions can be controlled by the user
  • Statistics for the last 30 days displayed as a dashboard widget
  • Supports six languages: German, English, French, Russian, Dutch, and Slovenian

The plugin also comes with 20 configurable options for customizing its spam-blocking features, including the ability to disable spam email notifications, block comments from certain countries, allow comments only in certain languages, delete after X days, and much more. These options allow you to tailor your anti-spam shield to lessen your moderation load.

antispam-bee

If you’re intrigued by Antispam Bee‘s latest feature that allows you to trust commenters who have a Gravatar, give the plugin a try the next time you’re reviewing spam-blocking solutions. The option is a creative use of WordPress’ built-in support for Gravatar. Current users of the plugin can find the new setting in the admin under Settings > Antispam Bee.

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8 Comments


  1. Hey

    Don’t check this feature, new spammers got gravatars too, this is why akismet let so many spams goes in.
    I switched to ASB years ago, all is fine, but really, don’t check that!

    See you :)

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    1. @Julio Ah, p*****, I didn’t know they do. I currently have 797 spam comments in my database—not many, but from looking at every one of them I can say not a single one has a Gravatar.

      I’d still say yes, by all means, do activate the feature and see how it works for your site. ;)
      It might work very well, but if it doesn’t, there are additional counter measures one can put in place such as the free Blacklist Updater plugin that will automatically update your comment blacklist from a public source.

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  2. I switched from Akismet to Antispam Bee years ago and I’m very happy with my decision. Not needing to create an account anywhere to get an API key is a plus.

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  3. I made the switch to ASB in 2009 and never looked back! :-)

    Thanks for introducing ASB here on the Tavern, really appreciate it!

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  4. I’m not convinced this is a good idea. It is simply a check to confirm you haven’t accidentally sent a legit comment to the spam queue. But that could result in a ton of checks back to gravatar.com just to confirm the spam is legit, which could potentially cause performance problems on sites which receive a lot of spam comments.

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  5. A good plugin I use on one of my sites. Strangely, it did not the same work on another site. And I am trusting Julio Potier if he says the option is not the best thing :-)

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  6. I did try plenty of anti-spam plugins but for me the winner is GoodBye Captcha.
    Fred Meyer from WPShout.com discovered it and recommended to us.
    http://wpshout.com/goodbye-captcha/
    This is what I call a super life-saver plugin. A HUGE thank-you to the author of this plugin!

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  7. I have seen plenty of manually added spam comments with Gravatars, I think I saw the first one in 2013. At first I wasn’t sure it was spam, but when I Googled the domain they used, yuppers, ’twas spam.

    Currently, I use a combination of WordPress Zero Spam and WP Spamshield. Spamshield is better for comments, giving me the option of allowing pingbacks (where Zero Spam blocks it all without giving me the option to choose), but Zero Spam will protect Gravity Forms where Spamshield does not.

    Have been slowly removing Akismet and keys from sites ever since.

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