Removal of „Allow comments only in certain language“

This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.

The antispam plugin for WordPress has a handy feature to allow comments only in a certain language – incoming comments in other languages are automatically classified as spam. See the description in the manual.

To be able to execute this option/function, the unofficial interface of Google Translation (Browser) API was used until now – the interface was free of charge and could be used without restrictions. Until a few days ago.

Google has now restricted the use of this unofficial interface in that it is no longer available for automatic scripts (which is a plugin). To use Google Translate API now, the paid version must be implemented. Sooner or later this time had to come 😉

Since the function is very effective in the plugin, I would not like to remove it from the feature set. On the other hand, I don’t want to pay the costs for API usage myself (I already pay Maxmind, etc.) – the uncertainty of usage alone worries me. Also I can’t/won’t want to make the plugin (partly) chargeable, because that would mean an enormous effort for me.

Summarized

Antispam Bee users with active option “Allow comments in one language only” have to expect that the filter will not work because the speech recognition does not work anymore.

I am thinking about a solution – feedback welcome 😉

Update 11 April 2015

In order to ensure the functionality of the mentioned function, a version of the plugin has just been put online with the use of the paid version of Google Translation API – until further notice I will cover the costs (whatever they may be). Also, the API consumption is to be determined/measured with it. After a few weeks, you will know more about how much the function and the translation interface behind it were used. Accordingly you can see the resulting costs.

Update May 03, 2015

Just got an invoice from Google: $55.22 at 2,696,066 units in the period 11.04. – 30.04 (so it’s only 20 days). Since it can be assumed that the plugin update was not immediately installed by all users, one would have to expect at least $90 per month.

Update May 16, 2015

With today’s plugin update, the two functions that are cost-related for me as a plugin author, allow comments in only one language and block or allow certain countries, have been removed from the plugin’s functionality. With a heavy heart, even if it is not easy for me to reduce the Antispam Bee functionality by such strong antispam filters 🙁

Option “Consider comment time” in Antispam Bee 2.6.4

This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.

Consider comment time” option in Antispam Bee

The idea of the time between writing and sending a WordPress comment has been with me for an eternity. However, I was not sure in which time the fastest (meaningful) comment can be submitted to distinguish it from a bot. Some time ago I did hundreds of tests and found out that spam bots need on average 2 seconds to fill out and send the comment form in WordPress. A human would never be able to do that, I claim.

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Antispam Bee 2.5.8 available

This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.

The update brings two – in my opinion exciting – features. In detail:

1. Dashboard widget revised

Google Charts was used as a JavaScript library to display the spam history in the WordPress dashboard. For many plugin users, the Google “connection” was/is a thorn in the side (privacy concerns, etc.) – the number of real complaints increased. So I decided to swap the JS-Library. From now on, Raphaël takes over the coloring of the spam history.

2. Stop forum spam instead of Tornevall

Plugin users with the option “Consider public spam database” enabled will enjoy it. Reason for the change of the spammer database: Tornevall uses the same database as Stop Forum Spam, but the spammer data is not matched until hours or days later. And with spam, topicality plays an enormously important role, as the spam can be detected more reliably. Stop Forum Spam is definitely ahead. It is an internal plugin change, end users do not have to adjust anything.

The documentation is also adapted.

The update is now available in the WordPress-Admin. Good luck fighting the parasites 😉

Tip for Antispam Bee: reduce Spam database

This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.

I recommend not to delete spam detected by Antispam Bee immediately but to keep it in the WordPress database – the plugin option “Mark detected spam, do not delete” is responsible for this. The reason: If the function “Include local spam database” is activated, Antispam Bee considers already detected spam comments.

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New patterns in Antispam Bee 2.5.6

This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.

If you’d ask me, I would say, that I’ve become an expert when it comes to exclusive shoes, clothes and watches. Not to mention Viagra 😉

Since the last update for Antispam Bee 2 weeks ago, I’ve looked at hundreds of spam comments every day and tried to get another pattern from them. I could identify at least two common denominators that work reliably and trouble-free. After numerous tests these filters have now been put live.

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Use Antispam Bee as a AntiMalware Plugin

This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.

Most of you have been in the sun today. I, on the other hand, have developed and implemented a solution for Antispam Bee which ensures that the exploitation of the recently published vulnerability in caching plugins W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache in WordPress comments is detected and suppressed by Antispam Bee.

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Anniversary edition: Antispam Bee 2.5.4

This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.

In January 2009 I released the first version of the antispam plugin for WordPress. So it is 4 years ago. Four years of research and development. From insignificant small to world famous. Copied several times, never reached. With a total of 35 update cycles.

The current version not only brings a new Antispam Bee mascot. Also a function extension for even better spam detection is on board.

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Update for Antispam Bee

This post originally appeared in Sergej Müller’s Google+ profile (in German) and is no longer accessible there. It’s now kept here by the Pluginkollektiv.

Yes, again an update for the antispam plugin for WordPress. The third one in the last weeks. But believe me, I publish updates not to annoy you, but to help you. Meanwhile, update cycles are as often as with the AntiVirus software on your desktops.

Recently, the volume of spam has increased enormously. Especially the techniques of spammers are becoming more and more sophisticated. I analyse the spam, react to user feedback, develop and test new defence mechanisms. It’s slowly becoming a full-time job, which robs me of a lot of free time 😉 Some people say I should change the plugin to paid. I won’t do that. It’s still working.

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