Announcement: Spam Filter Free Day

Get ready for a suicide mission: On this blog, we will remove our spam filter completely for one day, December 15th.

Today we got our spam comment number 500,000. Pretty scary to think how much energy, computer power, network traffic is wasted on a completely useless activity: To spoil the content with irrelevant comments.


Currently we get somewhere between 2000 and 3000 spam comments each day.

The thing is, that Thomas and I are discussing: We don’t know exactly how much work our spam filter does for us… Granted, 500,000 spam comments is a pretty high number. But we want to know how much pain this saves us for. How much blood and sweat do we.

I have one suggestion: How about declaring spam-filter free day one day a year. What about December 15th, which is available according to wikipedia?

The purpose of Spam Filter Free day is to

  • put focus on how much energy, computer power, network traffic, and manual work is wasted by the completely irrelevant comments
  • put focus on spam filters and their current effectiveness
  • We remove the filter a saturday, where traffic is usually lower (so the annoyance for the end-users will be as little as possible)

For this to work we have to:

  • Disable our secret server-validation (that we use before the comment hits wordpress)
  • Disable the plugin that emails subscribers when a new comment arrives
  • Disable Akismet
  • Disable our blacklist that holds comments for moderation if certain words are in the comment
  • Disable the function that holds a comment for moderation if it has a certain number of links
  • Disable any plugin that makes spammers gain from the fact that we disable our spam filters. (For instance the “no nofollow” or “dofollow” plugin)

Join us if you like, and drop a comment about it here :) And if you do drop a comment here on December 15th, please forgive us if we accidentally mark a correct comment as spam. We will probably have a hard time cleaning up afterwards. If your comment dissappears, contact us as soon as possible.

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73 Responses to “Announcement: Spam Filter Free Day”

  1. Päev ilma spämmifiltrita » Aarne bloog Says:

    […] Rønn-Jensen ja Thomas Watson on oma blogis välja tulnud huvitava ideega: nad keeravad üheks päevaks, 15. detsembril, oma blogi […]

  2. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    Aarne blog above pointed me to Comment timeout plugin, where you can choose to close comments on old posts — or even better — hold comments on old posts for moderation.

    That’s a super tip! and I’m sure we will seriously consider that for our setup here at

  3. jez Says:

    just saw my akisment score passed 127.000 spam comments. what the hell :)

  4. Billiges Angebot & Tests » Are You Willing To Go Naked For One Day For Akismet? Says:

    […] No, it isn’t time for CSS Naked Day. Mark on Akismet was intrigued by the announcement by Jesper Rønn-Jensen to turn off all comment spam protection on December 15, and now challenges all Akismet users to turn off Akismet for a day. It’s easy to forget just […]

  5. | Today is Spam Filter Free Day Says:

    […] When we announced the Spam Filter Free Day 18 days ago, we didn’t think that it would draw so much attention. But the amount of comments and buzz around the blogosphere have been really overwhelming. Most notably is that we caught the attention of the comment-spam fighting company of all times: Akismet. […]

  6. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    Short update: I spent a total of 2 hours deleting 1111 spam comments, re-activating Akismet etc., and re-finding the 6 valid comments and trackbacks recieved during the last 24 hours. More info in separate post later.

  7. WordPress Wednesday News: Akismet Day, Two Million Bloggers, Plugin Security Warnings, And WordPress is the Best CMS : The Blog Herald Says:

    […] Day Lessons Learned: When Jesper Rønn-Jensen announced he was turning off Akismet for the day, many thought it was an outrageous thing to do, but now the results are in and Jepser shares the […]

  8. Ditching anti-spam solutions for a day ~ BoltPress Says:

    […] catch: Jesper Rønn-Jensen is disabling all spam filters for a day on December 15, to see how much time actually is wasted sorting out spam comments, and how Akismet […]

  9. close protection Says:

    I take it the spam day has been and gone. how did it go?

  10. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    @close protection: take a look at “Cleanup Time — Spam Filter Free Day” december 18th 2007:

  11. Akismet Spam Protection : Update Time | STCFX - Web Everything Says:

    […] see an experiment conducted by JustAddWater where they turned off their spam filter for a day. The results will amaze you! Related PostsWordPress Week: AkismetWordPress 2.3 Disable NoFollowPR Update October […]

  12. close protection Says:

    I’ve just added an Akismet counter to our front page (see the right column) that shows how much spam Akismet have caught so far :)

  13. meme Says:

    Everybody should fight with spam. A useless effort.

  14. Rafael Franco Says:

    Currently, I’m only using Simple Trackback Validation at my blog Mega Bonus and I manually approve posts by authors.

  15. pokeren Says:

    I’ve just added an Akismet counter to our front page (see the right column) that shows how much spam Akismet have caught so far :)

  16. Evelyn Bates from Compare NYC Accommodation Says:

    oh, darn… missed the spam filter free day!!!

    so what are you’re conclusions?

  17. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:


    take a look at “Cleanup Time — Spam Filter Free Day” december 18th 2007:

  18. Marc minellis Says:

    so how was the spam free day? and will it come back?regards from germany

  19. SEO Zombie Says:

    I never thought about the pure about of energy and resources wasted by spammers, comment spam only being one part of the whole spam arena. I cannot imagine the pure volume of spam generated every day.

    My main blog doesn’t get much spam and my filters do a really good job of catching it, so I don’t waste much time managing it.

  20. BandwidthTest Says:

    WITH great interest I was reading your post and at every instant I was remembering my experience which where just likely to be same. I must say that I am chocked by the 2000-3000 comments spam figure. I get about 3-5 spam comments per month, none of which is automatic (all from people who manually write a comment to get their website known).

    Frankly to say I was unkown about your suggestion but as I read I was feeling somebody else has told me same but who? Than I got that My neibour with whom some time before freely I ask about this matter and he said same. But sorry to myself I ignore him and now I get its brief explanation…. Thx.

  21. koby vyzel Says:

    i’ve made some seo to a place that runs spamming robots, and i was shocked by their sophistication. the robots used to go through the post and compose a relevant comment, and they got response from people…

    in addition for spamming in order to promote their websites, i think pr is also a very important parameter, people love the link juice.. but i guess when google 4 example’ll find a better formula, everything’ll be different.

  22. Erik Says:

    Well on the one side I happy that I am not the only one who has to fight with spam (email Spam) and on the other side it scary me how this could happen. Without spam filter it would not be possible to do some work.

  23. john Says:

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    AntiSpam uses UIDL extensively. This key feature is not present in many spam filters, wich can lead to wrong inbox operations with them!