// Internet Duct Tape

Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2

WordPress Tips and Tricks

Akismet Auntie Spam is a maintenance script for WordPress administrators. One of the problems with the Akismet spam protection service is that sometimes it misidentifies a real comment as spam. WordPress has a spam recovery console that I like to call the spam inbox.

akismet auntie spam helper script for akismet administration

Have you ever stuck your hand as far back at you can into the crannies of your couch and pulled out what you found? That’s kind of what going into the default Akismet spam inbox is like. It’s a dark and evil place, filled with things that will make your eyes burn. You only wanted to find the quarter you lost, but before you know it your hand is stuck and something is touching you back.

Akismet Auntie Spam is a kind old lady who will come to your house and give it a thorough cleaning. She’s not afraid of the dark corners, particularly the spam inbox because she knows exactly how to handle the creepy crawlies hiding out of sight.

Akismet Auntie Spam is not a WordPress plugin. It is a script for the Firefox web browser that will work with any installation of WordPress or WordPress Multi-user — that means you can use it with WordPress.com, Edublogs.org, Blogsome.com and any site that is running WordPress with Akismet. Version 2 is a complete rewrite from scratch, and it is much less complicated now. There are no knobs and buttons for users to twiddle with — it works out of the box, the same way for everyone. Auntie Spam is here for one reason and that’s to save you time.

Akismet Auntie Spam is in no way affiliated with WordPress or Auttomatic — it’s a script I created to make it a hell of a lot easier to watch out for false spam.

How to Install

Slight gotcha: if you are an old time user of Akismet Auntie Spam (from before August 2007) then you’ll want to uninstall your old version before installing the new version of the script. Find out how to uninstall a Greasemonkey script.

What Does Akismet Auntie Spam Do?

Much less time is spent navigating your spam inbox. You can see it all on one page, and it doesn’t take nearly as long to scroll through as it would without Akismet Auntie Spam installed.

  • Fetches all of your spam comments and displays them on one page.
  • Sorts spammers by the amount of spam they’ve sent.
  • Shows only the first line of spam, so less time is spent scrolling.
  • Completely hide obvious spam.
  • Automatically checks for a new version of itself every two weeks.
  • Install it once into your Firefox browser and it will work with *ALL* your WordPress blogs.

Show Me How It Works

Go to your spam inbox on your WordPress dashboard console.

wordpress comments akismet dashboard

Auntie Spam will immediately kick in and download all of the spam at once — no navigating between 10s to 100s of individual pages of spam.

Akismet Auntie Spam will automatically download all of your spam

You can do something else like check your RSS feeds while she grabs all of your spammy comments and organizes them.

Auntie Spam has finished downloading

Spam is sorted from newest to oldest and categorized from most spammy to least spammy. She groups spam by identifying the computer it came from, so surprisingly enough the more spam you have the easier it is to look through it all. She even summarizes it all by only showing the first line.

Spam is compressed - only the first line

Auntie Spam hates those idiots who keep sending you spam again and again. They can be completely ignored.

obvious spam is completely hidden

As you read through all the comment summaries, you may come across one that looks like it isn’t spam. Click on the ‘# comments’ link and Auntie Spam will show you the full text of the comment and give you the option to mark it as not spam.

Click to see the full comment and to mark it as not spam

Once all the spam is loaded there no need to reload it all because you want to search for something specific — hit Ctrl+F and use Firefox’s built in page search.

Search from within your browser instead of using the website

When it comes to de-spamming marked comments, or deleting all comments, Auntie Spam gets out of the way and things work the same way they always have.

despaming or deleting all comments

all spam deleted -- no spam found

If Auntie Spam is doing something you don’t want here to, you can return to way things have always been with a single click on the Greasemonkey icon and reloading the page.

turn greasemonkey on and off

What Are You Waiting For?

If you’re running WordPress and you’ve ever had to go dumpster diving for a comment that was accidentally marked as spam then you need Akismet Auntie Spam.

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44 Responses

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  1. [...] fixes and everything about blogging, especially with WordPress. Go ahead, subscribe to our feed!Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2: engtech has updated his “Akismet Auntie Spam” greasemonkey script. This new version [...]

  2. [...] Auntie Spam Ver 2 Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2: engtech has updated his “Akismet Auntie Spam” greasemonkey script. This new version [...]

  3. David Bradley said, on September 13, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Auntie Spam is my favorite distant relative! I’ve been using it for a few months now but it really came into its own when I disabled the captcha on one of my comment forms and got a real crapflood. It was easy to scan the half a dozen pages rather than the dozens I would have had. But, that said, Akismet is actually so well trained that it is very, very rare that I see a false positive in the spam box anyway.

    Definitely worth installing GreaseMonkey and this script, oh and Pagination is a good one too…

    db

  4. sterlingcamden said, on September 13, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Fantastic! This shall be blogged.

  5. [...] …then you really need to get to know your Auntie Spam. [...]

  6. Mr. Dew said, on September 13, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Wow! Thank you so much! I just discovered this tool. It’s very useful.

    Perhaps they can be a way to count how many “http://” are there in each of the comments too. And give those with more than 4 links a big red background too!

  7. Douglas Karr said, on September 13, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Wicked cool! I’ll be pushing this to the masses.

  8. links for 2007-09-13 - [LINICKX].com said, on September 13, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    [...] Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2 « Internet Duct Tape Akismet Auntie Spam is a maintenance script for WordPress administrators (tags: wordpress blogging anti-spam akismet) [...]

  9. engtech said, on September 13, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    @David Bradley:

    I find that akismet’s behaviour comes and goes. I’ve had at least 4-5 separate occasions where it has gone haywire and started marking my own comments as spam.

    There’s also at least one of my regular commenters who *always* shows up as spam.

    Having to deal with those situations were the impetus behind why I created it :)

  10. Jan said, on September 13, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    I love this! I get more spam than genuine comments, but I have accidentally deleted an actual comment that contained three links; so a big thanks for Auntie Spam. Hope you don’t mind me using the Auntie Spam pic as a button link to this post.

    [OFFTOPIC]-Love the new header. :)

  11. engtech said, on September 13, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    @sterlingcamden:

    Thanks for blogging about it Sterling. Reading praise about something you built is what makes this all worthwhile.

  12. engtech said, on September 13, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    @Mr. Dew:

    That’s a really good idea about counting the http:// and [url=] links in a post. The only drawback I can think of is that a lot of the time the false spams are because someone posted too many links — or a post with only a link in it.

    I’ll have to mull on it.

  13. engtech said, on September 13, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    @Douglas Karr:

    Thanks for helping promote Auntie Spam.

  14. engtech said, on September 13, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    @Jan:

    Don’t mind at all. I created the pic in hopes that people would use it for linking.

    Thanks for the compliments on the new header, I won some logo design from a competition on http://dailyblogtips.com

  15. Jan Dembowski said, on September 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    This new version is fantastic but does not seem to work with the Admin SSL plugin.

  16. Best of: Greasemonkey Scripts said, on September 13, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    [...] Auntie Spam (by Engtech)- Shows 16-18 spam comments within Akismet instead of the default 3-5 [...]

  17. engtech said, on September 14, 2007 at 12:11 am

    @Jan Dembowski:

    That’s strange that they don’t work together. Akismet Auntie Spam is
    running in your web browser, so if your browser is authorized then you
    should be authorized.

    I’m even using document.location.protocol, so if you’re viewing it
    over https:// then auntie spam should use whatever you had. I just
    confirmed it by connecting to my admin panel over https and Auntie
    Spam works…

    Does the Admin SSL plugin do anything other than forcing https?
    Unfortunately I cannot install it.

    Could you respond to this email with two things:
    – a screenshot of what it looks like when it doesn’t work
    – the saved HTML file of when it doesn’t work.

    Or we could try to arrange a time and I we could set up a connection
    to your machine using http://crossloop.com and I could debug it live.

  18. engtech said, on September 14, 2007 at 12:13 am

    @engtech:

    … and akismet proved to me yet again why I wrote Auntie Spam in the first place by marking my reply to mr.dew as spam.

  19. Avrila said, on September 14, 2007 at 1:53 am

    I think I heart this script. Extreme timesaver for my preferred spam-fighting strategy (Akismet of course, with spammers’ IP addresses added to WP-Ban list). When I let it go for a few days I sometimes get a ton of messages from the same IP address; this is going to make it so much easier to keep from duplicating things, as well as not having to click around several pages of spam. Hooray!

  20. sciencebase said, on September 14, 2007 at 2:03 am

    I almost forgot…

    I actually blogged about Auntie back in June this year in a post entitled Greasing the Spam

    I guess I just don’t get enough genuine comments to see those false positives, although the site is well over the 100k mark for comment spam…

    db

  21. Jan Dembowski said, on September 14, 2007 at 5:30 am

    @engtech:

    I’ll comment with a link to the plugin turned on pict later on today; the laptop I am using has your old version which works fine with the Admin SSL plugin.

    What appears to happen is that when I go to the Akismet link, the yellow Auntie Spam graphic does load but the content does not update so I don’t see any condensed spam list. When I click on any other link in the WP admin screen or even if I refresh the page, I get the WP login screen.

    Disabling the Admin SSL plugin lets Auntie Spam work perfectly.

    It’s like the login cookies are being munged and I am being forced to re-authenticate. Bizarre since the old Grease monkey script works fine.

  22. [...] WordPress blog rather than other alternatives, then you will be glad to know Engtech has released a new version of Auntie Spam, which helps you manage your Akismet spam more [...]

  23. engtech said, on September 14, 2007 at 9:18 am

    @Jan Dembowski:

    The old script only looked at the current page — the new script uses
    xmlhttprequest to read all the same at once.

    So if the old one works then it sounds like the akismet spam box page
    hasn’t changed, the problem is with downloading xmlhttprequests over
    SSL.

    Hrm. Tricky.

  24. [...] Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2 « Internet Duct Tape This is a fantastic Greasemonkey Script for managing comment spam with Akismet. Brilliant! Thanks Engtech! (tags: akismet comments spam comment-spam greasemonkey firefox wordpress blogging) [...]

  25. engtech said, on September 14, 2007 at 10:51 am

    FYI, you can now beta test my next helper script for WordPress administration: WordPress Comment Ninja

    http://internetducttape.com/tools/wordpress/wordpress-comment-ninja/

  26. Andrew said, on September 15, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks very much. It’s especially cool for those of us at WordPress.com that Auntie is a browser script, not a plugin.
    You might want to file this post under something other than Uncategorized, though…

  27. Jan Dembowski said, on September 15, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    @engtech

    Just shot you an e-mail; I may have a way to show you the problem with Admin SSL.

  28. links for 2007-09-16 at orioa said, on September 15, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    [...] Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2 « Internet Duct Tape (tags: wordpress spam akismet greasemonkey firefox) [...]

  29. engtech said, on September 16, 2007 at 12:15 am

    @Andrew:

    It’s pretty amazing how many things are plugins when they don’t have to be. Putting it in the web browser makes installing a little easier plus opens it up for WordPress MU. I think I’m the only person who writes stuff like this with wordpress.com in mind though.

  30. engtech said, on September 16, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Looks like Jan fixed the problem with Auntie Spam and the AdminSSL plugin. I’m going to update the script once WordPress.com decides to stop suspending my account.

  31. Sudar said, on September 17, 2007 at 4:26 am

    Thank you very much for the script. I get around 1000 spams a day and this script really helps me to find out the false positivies easily.


    Sudar

  32. engtech said, on September 17, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    @Sudar:

    You’re welcome

  33. [...] no more! When I realized that Akismet Auntie Spam is not a WordPress plugin but a Firefox Greasemonkey extension, I was ready to give it a try. (I [...]

  34. [...] Duct Tape talks about use Akismet Auntie Spam, a Greasemonkey script for Firefox, to manage spam in [...]

  35. [...] Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2 [...]

  36. archGFX | Buckshot, Ep. 5: Sidegrading said, on October 01, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    [...] has the usual social consequences (sorry Trent, Engtech). It does marry the excerpt concept from Akismet Auntie Spam with “Spaminess”, which is vaguely similar to SK2’s karma, giving it the best usability of the 3. [...]

  37. Jody Sachse - Wandering the Webernet said, on October 09, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    [...] Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2: engtech has updated his “Akismet Auntie Spam” greasemonkey script. This new version has some nice improvements including collation of spam from the same IPs, grouping by sender, better usability and quite a few other slick new features. If a lot of spam gets caught in your Akismet plugin and you need to run through them quickly to weed out false positives, this script is the ticket. I have been using it since the original beta and I like it. Up? Something to say? [...]

  38. [...] Auntie Spam (by Engtech)- Shows 16-18 spam comments within Akismet instead of the default 3-5 [...]

  39. [...] Managing Spam Maintenance with Akismet Auntie Spam Version 2 [...]

  40. archGFX Habari said, on January 12, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    [...] has the usual social consequences (sorry Trent, Engtech). It does marry the excerpt concept from Akismet Auntie Spam with “Spaminess”, which is vaguely similar to SK2’s karma, giving it the best usability of the [...]

  41. [...] ways of using Greasemonkey scripts with WordPress is with the administration pages. For example, Engtech’s Akismet Auntie Spam speeds up your spam checking, by limiting each spam comment to one line, and grouping spam by the [...]

  42. WordPress Greasemonkey Competition said, on September 17, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    [...] ways of using Greasemonkey scripts with WordPress is with the administration pages. For example, Engtech’s Akismet Auntie Spam speeds up your spam checking, by limiting each spam comment to one line, and grouping spam by the [...]

  43. rap said, on September 21, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Looks like Jan fixed the problem with Auntie Spam and the AdminSSL plugin. I’m going to update the script once WordPress.com decides to stop suspending my account.

  44. Simon Walker - SEO Expert said, on September 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Awesome tool. Thanks!


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