Block Spam Using Math

In a normal day, I usually get over 1000 spam comments on my blog. Although I don’t have to delete the spam, it still takes up resource on the database. By the way, Akismet deletes all spam comments after two weeks. This gives the blog owner time to recover if a valid comment was mistakenly classified as spam.

If you really want to cut down on spam comments, you can implement Captcha. But, lots of people hate Captcha including myself, especially the ones that are unreadable. What is more frustrating than trying to guess a mangled captcha only to be thwarted again and again because it’s unreadable. Enter a solution using simple math.

So, I decided to install a WordPress plugin called Block-Spam-By-Math. The plugin adds a custom field to the comments form by posting a simple math problem. Anyone who passed at least first grade should be able to answer the addition problem. After all, 8 + 2 = is not that difficult to solve.

Automated bots that send spam will have problems submitting past the math problem. Unless, the bots become sophisticated enough to read text and solve the math problems themselves. It sounds like a whole lot of trouble, just to add that feature to send spam.

At least temporarily, spam has been cut down to almost zero. Now, I just have to deal with humans who send them. And that’s infrequent compared to bots.