Listed in topics: Moderation, Settings, Troubleshooting

Moderation »Troubleshooting Moderation

Got questions about moderation? You’ve come to the right place!

Too Many Comments Flagged

If you’re noticing that just about every comment submitted on your blog is being held for moderation, then there might be a couple of reasons for this.

1. Check your Comment Settings.

  • If you have enabled the setting to auto-approve comments submitted by commenters that you have previously approved, this will flag all comments submitted using Facebook Connect, Twitter Sign-in, or as Guests.
  • This setting only applies to IntenseDebate and users since those users’ comments are tracked.
  • Comments submitted using Facebook Connect, Twitter Sign-in, and Guests are not tracked, so this setting will cause all of their comments to be held for moderation.
  • Solution: Either disable this setting, or enable the setting to require readers to sign up for an IntenseDebate or account.

2. Check your Moderation Keyword List.

  • Entering a keyword will flag any instance of that particular word, including partial matches. This means that if you flag a word like “the” then any comment containing a word that includes “the” will be flagged. This would include “them”, “theme”, “thesis”, “theory”, “theoretical”, etc. This is done so that you don’t have to identify and enter every instance of a keyword.
  • Choose your keywords wisely! Proceed with caution when adding two or three letter keywords – this might cause a lot of false hits and flag tons of comments for moderation.
  • We auto-populate your keyword list with words that are commonly found in spam. One of these words includes “cialis” which can cause some false hits with comments containing the word “socialist” and “socialism”, since both of those words include the word “cialis”. Keep an eye out for this if loads of comments are being held for moderation.
  • Separate multiple entries with a space – a space in an entry designates that it is a separate entry. Unfortunately this means that you cannot stipulate phrases to be flagged since phrases contain spaces. In other words you cannot/shouldn’t enter a phrase in your keyword list like “the mouse ate the cheese”, as these words will all be identified as separate entries – you would in fact be entering “the”, “mouse”, “ate”, and “cheese” in your keyword list.

Spam Getting Through↑ Table of Contents ↑

1. Make sure you have Akismet enabled. See Spam Filters.

  • WordPress Users: IntenseDebate imports your comments from WordPress including any spam that’s submitted via WordPress. Don’t worry though! We run all imported comments through our Akismet integration as well as our own proprietary spam filters. It is still a good idea to keep your Akismet enabled on your WordPress blog to make sure that no spam comes through.

2. Blacklist problematic IP addresses and keywords. See Blacklisting IP Addresses.

CAPTCHA's↑ Table of Contents ↑

Currently we don’t offer a CAPTCHA plugin, but we will keep CAPTCHA in mind. One of the reasons is that we don’t think CAPTCHA is a long-term solution to spam, but more of a band-aid. We think it is becoming less effective than ever because it’s cheap for spammers to pay people to fill out CAPTCHA’s all day long. Right now our focus is on content-based solutions, like Akismet, so that we can keep the barrier to participation as low as possible. We’re currently working with our colleagues at Automattic to improve our Akismet integration.

  • WordPress Users: If you would like to install a CAPTCHA on the WordPress end we recommend installing Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress. That will only show up in the WordPress comment section when JavaScript is disabled and it will help cut down on any spam coming through WordPress.

Re-check approved comments for spam↑ Table of Contents ↑

There’s a nifty option in your moderation page to re-check all of your approved comments for spam with the click of a button.

Just click on the “Re-check For Spam” button and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you, and run all of the comments on your site through Akismet again.

If we’ve found any spam, there will be a notification waiting for you the next time you go to your Moderation page. If there isn’t one, then your site is spam free.

Keep in mind that the more comments you have, the longer it will take for us to re-check them all. If you return to your moderation page while we’re still checking, then the “Re-check For Spam” button will be greyed-out and inactive.

If your “Re-check For Spam” button is greyed-out for more than 24 hours (and the re-check hasn’t finished), then it’s possible that the process timed-out due to the number of comments on your site. It’s an easy fix though. Please contact us and we’ll take a look.

Changing Primary Admins↑ Table of Contents ↑

The primary admin is the user who originally created the blog account. This cannot be changed on your end, and must be done by us (something we plan to change in the future). If you require the primary admin to be changed on your account, first add the new user on as an admin, and then send us an email13 with the subject line “Primary Admin Swap” along with details and we will take care of it.

  • DO NOT delete the blog account or your user account when attempting to change the primary admin. This will not solve the issue, and will only lead to further issues.

Email Notifications↑ Table of Contents ↑

1. Multiple Admins & Moderators: unfortunately you cannot stipulate which admins and moderators receive email notifications for new comments and comments held in moderation. This is a blanket setting available in your Account Settings page. We plan on offering this in the future.

2. Not Receiving Emails: check your email notifications settings in your Account Settings page. If you’re settings are correct, check your email spam folder, and whitelist in your mail settings (if possible).

3. Reply-By-Email: make sure you leave the subject line and original message in tact. Try adding !END at the end of your response. That will ensure that it is parsed correctly. So it would be: Approve!END

Can't find your answer here? Let us know.

Last modified: February 3, 2012 by Michael

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