Nov 242010

I have been using the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin for WordPress for over a month as my primary anti spam system.  The plugin is amazingly efficient but over the past few weeks I was seeing a little more spam comments from real users end up in my pending approval section of my WordPress blog.

I did have some suggestions over the last few weeks on how to improve G.A.S.P. and had sent them over to Andy Bailey @commentluv who runs the ComLuv Network and created the highly regarded and incredibly social CommentLuv plugin for WordPress.

In less than two days he had sent me a beta of version of G.A.S.P. 1.1 which included the latest suggestions I had made.  These included the ability to analyze comments and mark them SPAM if certain criteria was met.


The first configuration is to set the Maximum number of allowed URL’s in comment text and you can set any # you like.  0 turns off this check but I recommend you set any comment with 2+ URL’s to be auto flagged as SPAM as seldom would any valid commenter leave more than 1 URL in a comment.

The second is to help block KeywordLuv abuse and is limiting the number of words a user can use in the username filed before flagging the comment as SPAM.  In this case I recommend 4 or 5, “user @ keyword keyword” or “user @ keyword keyword keyword” is a perfectly acceptable and generous allowance for people to leave comments.  I can’t stand when people leave comments which are barely legit with usernames like Bill@The Best Damn Road Show or something completely obnoxious.

Now when you configure these options with Growmap Anti Spambot you can set the comments to go to “Spam” or to your “Pending” area.  I highly recommend just to have them sent to spam bucket as they were all ending up in my pending area anyway before the G.A.S.P. plugin had these options.

@Growmap and @Commentluv have done a fantastic job collaborating on putting this WordPress Anti Spam plugin together and I am happy to help contribute suggestions and features to help make it even more effective.

-Dragon Blogger

Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino


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  • Nice additions to the plugin. I have been noticing a few spam comments getting through, and these options will help eliminate them. Since I don’t use KeywordLuv, I’ll probably reduce the number of words allowed in the name field to 2.

    The addition of the dropdown where we can specify where to send the suspicious comments is a nice feature to allow the blog owner to review any of the suspicious spam comments.

  • Do you run this along side of askimet or instead of?

    • You can use it with but it was designed to be instead of. Akismet sometimes has false positives and lets occasional spam through, with this plugin no valid comments will ever accidentally be marked as SPAM and it makes it so you don’t have to spend so much time managing your SPAM folder (for those blogs that get hundreds of Akismet marked SPAM per day).

  • Josiah @ Free Windows Phone

    Looks pretty neat. What plugins are you using along with this? Actually, what are all the plugins you’re using for anything having to do with comments(on this blog). I’d like to use them because i like the setup, makes it very tough for spammers to try and get any followed links in.

    • Simple TrackBack Validation with Topys Blocker is the only other anti spam plugin I use in conjunction with Growmap Anti Spambot.

  • Dana @ Cell Phone Info

    I use both of GASP and Akismet for my blog. GASP really work to reduce the SPAM numbers and then Akismet do the rest.

  • I’l be keeping an eye out for the next update, I use GASP with Akismet, and it works a char,

    • Yep, I have been using this latest version for almost a week and it has helped.

  • Rahul @ Mazakaro

    hi justin, spamming, really a great problem for us. how is it working, 100%? hey, i’ve some blogger using captcha to check spam and bot comments. what’s your suggestion about this. does it work alright? is there any security leakage with captcha? pls suggest me.

    • Catpcha can work but I find most people don’t want to enter it, GASP will block 99% of your SPAM and Simple TB Validation with Topsy Blocker will take care of the trackback spam. You can use Akismet as a final addition, but really you don’t need it with these two.

  • Having only used Akismet I would only switch to another plugin if it really did manage the spam problem better.

    My opinion is that no anti-spam technology will ever be 100% and it really needs a human eye to look over any comments.

    If someone does ever come up with a foolproof anti-spam technology I am sure it will be one of the biggest events since the introduction of the internet.

    After all the same technology is used to filter spam emails.

    • Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing

      Al – 1.5 months with it and not one spam bot so far. 😉

      • Well I hope it turns out to be all it’s cracked up to be.

        Spammers always seem to come up with a way around any protection put in place.

        • Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing

          Very true, but with Andy at the helm, very few are worried about it. He can fight back just as fast. 🙂

  • Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing

    I have yet to have these issues with it, fingers crossed.

    2 URL’s is perfect, that was Akismet’s suggestion also.

    I love the keywordluv idea. I have it in my comment policy, 3 words MAX.

    When is this to become available, any idea? Are they still looking for testers?

  • Hi Justin, I almost missed seeing this post, until I clicked on the Archives link for this month.

    Wow these are some awesome updates for GASP. I wonder if Andy uploaded the new version to the repository or not. He responds so quickly when updates are needed, he’s must code in his sleep. What an awesome guy.

    Thanks for the update Justin.

    I’m loving this new layout too.

    • Thanks Ileane, I don’t think it is available yet I was the first blogger to beta test it I think.

  • The new 1.1 version of GASP should be available from the official wordpress repository in the next few minutes.
    Thanks for testing it out Justin.

    I have made a slight modification to the code that checks for number of names allowed. It now checks the amount of spaces between words and rejects any that are equal to or more than the number set. (makes checking a lot easier)

  • I wish that my hosting support WordPress, I guess I should change my hosting with the one which can support WordPress. WordPress got many great plugin and I miss it all. Pity me.

  • I use this plugin on my philosophy blog and it works fantastically!

    Seems like you have a big influence on Andy Bailey Justin!

    Nice to see great changes to a great plugin 🙂

  • It is a smart improvement for GASP. By the way do you still use Akismet in this blog?

    • No, I don’t use Akismet on any of my blogs anymore. I still have to remove some spam manually but it is worth it.

  • This has been good as I find lots of trackback spam making it through askimet and lots of REAL users comments ending up in my spam folder. Because I get so much spam each day there is no point in wading through hundreds of comments to check. I’ll give this one a try thanks….

  • sounds like a good plug in, hope it works on things like spam email, thats the worst so irritating!