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Support #12004

Notifications for spam blog comments

Added by Gina Cherry almost 2 years ago. Updated almost 2 years ago.

Status:
Reporter Feedback
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
Category name:
-
Target version:
Start date:
2019-10-22
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:

Description

You recently added functionality to the Commons so that the site administrator receives an email notification when a comment goes to spam. This worked for awhile, but today I noticed two comments in spam for which I was not notified.

jetpack.png (91.5 KB) jetpack.png Raymond Hoh, 2019-10-22 05:10 PM
comment-awaiting-moderation.png (5.85 KB) comment-awaiting-moderation.png Raymond Hoh, 2019-10-23 09:09 PM

Related issues

Related to CUNY Academic Commons - Bug #11313: Overly aggressive spam filtersResolved2019-04-11

History

#1 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 2 years ago

  • Related to Bug #11313: Overly aggressive spam filters added

#2 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 2 years ago

  • Assignee set to Raymond Hoh
  • Target version set to 1.15.13

Ray, could you please have a look? #11313 Gina, Ray may follow up to ask about details, including URLs and/or specific comment IDs.

#3 Updated by Raymond Hoh almost 2 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Reporter Feedback

Hi Gina,

As Boone mentioned, can you let me know which site you were using the Akismet spam email notifications plugin on, as well as the spam comments that did not generate email notifications?

Thanks!

#4 Updated by Gina Cherry almost 2 years ago

It's on the CETLS web site. Here are the two comments (which I have since unspammed and approved):

https://bmcccetls.commons.gc.cuny.edu/blog/2019/10/21/six-things-prison/#comment-170

https://bmcccetls.commons.gc.cuny.edu/blog/2019/10/21/six-things-prison/#comment-169

I just noticed a third comment that is currently in the spam folder (despite the fact that the commenter is a site subscriber who has commented on posts in the past - it seems like Akismet does not learn what is not spam).

#5 Updated by Raymond Hoh almost 2 years ago

Hi Gina,

Thanks for the info. I looked into the comments in question and it looks like the Akismet plugin never marked those comments as spam.

We have the "Disable Akismet Anti-Spam" plugin enabled on your site, so the Akismet plugin isn't being used. This would mean that you would no longer receive email notifications for comments marked as spam by the Akismet plugin.

I took a look at the BMCC site and it looks like you're running Jetpack Comments. Externally, it looks like Jetpack Comments uses the Akismet API (ha!) to check for spam in comments. I'm not too familiar with Jetpack, but it looks like someone at BMCC might have created a WordPress.com account and connected it with the BMCC site. I've attached a screenshot of the Jetpack dashboard to explain what I mean.

What happens when you click on the "Moderate Comments" link after you have logged in with your Jetpack-connected account?

#6 Updated by Gina Cherry almost 2 years ago

Thanks, Ray. I must have turned on Jetpack Comments at some point, but I'm not sure why. Perhaps the salient question is what will happen if I turn it off? Will I lose any functionality that I'm actually using? It looks like I would not be able to have a custom greeting on the comments form if I turn it off. That may cause a different problem. I am moderating comments on the blog. In the past, commenters submitted their comments multiple times when they did not appear immediately. The custom greeting lets commenters know that their comment will not appear immediately. Do you know of another plugin that would allow me to customize the greeting?

#7 Updated by Raymond Hoh almost 2 years ago

I must have turned on Jetpack Comments at some point, but I'm not sure why. Perhaps the salient question is what will happen if I turn it off? Will I lose any functionality that I'm actually using? It looks like I would not be able to have a custom greeting on the comments form if I turn it off.

It looks like Jetpack Comments allows others to comment by logging in with their social media accounts if they wanted to, as well as having comment email notifications:
https://jetpack.com/support/comments/

I would guess comment email notifications is the main reason why you're using Jetpack Comments. If it's just to customize the comment header greeting, then since the BMCC CETLS site is already using a custom child theme of Canvas:
https://github.com/cuny-academic-commons/bmcc-cetls-theme

It may be possible to add a greeting that way. Keep in mind that WordPress already has some functionality to tell the comment author that their comment is awaiting moderation. I've attached a screenshot of what it looks like on the Canvas theme.


If you wanted to keep Jetpack Comments and are worried about the spam filtering by Jetpack/Akismet, was a WordPress.com account connected with Jetpack at any given point? If so, you might be able to manage comments through Jetpack as I mentioned in my previous reply.

I guess you'll have to decide what to do with comments on the BMCC site. If Jetpack Comments is disabled and since we have disabled Akismet on the BMCC site, you will most likely receive more spam comments as a result.

If you disable Jetpack Comments and re-enable Akismet, this would mean going back to the set up we had beforehand where you can receive email notifications when Akismet marks a comment as spam.

Let us know if you have any follow-up questions or concerns.

#8 Updated by Gina Cherry almost 2 years ago

Thanks for all this information, Ray. A couple of things:

- I'm pretty sure that the customized greeting was my primary purpose for turning on Jetpack Comments.

- Yes, you can manage comments through Jetpack, but I don't think that's any different from managing them through the dashboard. And I don't see any way to alter the Akismet settings through Jetpack. So I think turning it off would be the way to go.

- I tried submitting three comments when I was logged out of the Commons. I did not see the comment held for moderation notice that you send me a screen shot of. Instead, I briefly saw a message that I was submitting a duplicate comment. That message disappeared very quickly, too quickly for me to get a screen shot. So my blog commenters do not have any indication that their comments were received.

- Oddly, although all three of my test comments were held for moderation and were not posted on the blog, one of them was emailed to all the members of the Commons group connected to the site. Even more oddly, I used a personal email address for that comment and used my BMCC email address for the two comments that were not emailed to group members.

- Boone created the custom child theme for us to address issues with the Co-Authors Plus plug-in. Unfortunately, at the moment I do not have anyone who could customize the theme to add the custom greeting. So it would be great if we could figure out why people are not seeing that their comments are awaiting moderation.

#9 Updated by Raymond Hoh almost 2 years ago

Hi Gina,

Just going to reply to a few of your points:

I tried submitting three comments when I was logged out of the Commons. I did not see the comment held for moderation notice that you send me a screen shot of. Instead, I briefly saw a message that I was submitting a duplicate comment. That message disappeared very quickly, too quickly for me to get a screen shot. So my blog commenters do not have any indication that their comments were received.

When you were doing your testing, did you have Jetpack Comments enabled?

I forgot to mention that my screenshot was taken from my testing environment where most plugins are disabled. Maybe you can try your comment testing on the CETLS dev site:
https://bmccetlsdev.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

Ensure that Jetpack Comments is deactivated. You'll also want to make sure that your "Settings > Discussion" options are the same on both sites.

If you want me to disable Akismet on the CETLS dev site for your testing, let me know.

Oddly, although all three of my test comments were held for moderation and were not posted on the blog, one of them was emailed to all the members of the Commons group connected to the site. Even more oddly, I used a personal email address for that comment and used my BMCC email address for the two comments that were not emailed to group members.

I'm not sure why the comment posted with a personal email address was able to bypass the moderation settings. Is it possible that in the "Settings > Discussion" admin page, you had "Comment author must have a previously approved comment" checked on the CELTS site? If not, perhaps it has something to do with Jetpack Comments?

Boone created the custom child theme for us to address issues with the Co-Authors Plus plug-in. Unfortunately, at the moment I do not have anyone who could customize the theme to add the custom greeting. So it would be great if we could figure out why people are not seeing that their comments are awaiting moderation.

Let me know what happens when you try commenting with Jetpack Comments disabled.

If disabling Jetpack Comments does not solve the "Comments are awaitng moderation" message, I can add the custom comment greeting to your custom child theme since the child theme already exists.

#10 Updated by Gina Cherry almost 2 years ago

Yes, I did have Jetpack Comments activated when I did this test. I turned off Jetpack Comments and re-tested and I now see the message "Your comment is awaiting moderation," though I might not have noticed it if I hadn't been looking for it. I know that commenters did not notice it in the past because they attempted to submit their comments multiple times, thinking they had not been received. That is what prompted me to turn on Jetpack Comments in the first place. If it would be simple to add a custom greeting to our child them, I think that would be helpful. The Jetpack greeting was "Join the Conversation. Comments are moderated and will not appear immediately."

Regarding the comment that bypassed moderation settings, I am sure that "Comment author must have a previously approved comment" was not checked, and in any case, I had never before submitted a comment using that email address. So that's a bit of a mystery.

#11 Updated by Gina Cherry almost 2 years ago

Update: after I turned off Jetpack Comments, I tried another test comment, this time with a different personal email address, and like the previous comment, it was held for moderation within WordPress, but triggered an email to the group.

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