Moderating and approving trackbacks with SpamLookup plugin

| 2 Comments | 1 TrackBack

One of the latest tools for fighting MT comment and trackback spam is Brad Choate's SpamLookup plugin. I have it installed here along with MT-Blacklist, and between the two of them, well over 99% of comment and trackback spams are blocked automatically.

Joe Katzman at Winds of Change submitted a SpamLookup ticket, asking for the ability to approve trackbacks blocked by SpamLookup. I e-mailed this reply to Joe's ticket:

Blocked trackbacks are literally blocked. They are not saved into the MT database at all, so there would be no way to later approve them.

In order to approve trackbacks, MT must have the ability to moderate them. MT currently does not provide the ability to moderate trackbacks, nor does SpamLookup. If you want to be able to moderate and approve trackbacks, you would need to install Chad Everett's MT-Moderate plugin, which can be downloaded from his web site.

SpamLookup is aware of MT-Moderate, so once you have MT-Moderate installed, it should properly moderate trackbacks if you configure SpamLookup to do so, and give you the ability to later approve moderated trackbacks (on the Trackbacks page in both SpamLookup and MT).

If you already have MT-Moderate installed, but still cannot moderate or approve trackbacks, that would most likely be an installation or configuration issue.

Moderation of trackbacks is a feature that has been long missed in MT3. MT-Moderate fills that hole nicely, and it's even better when paired with SpamLookup.

1 TrackBack

Six apart has a good guide. Winds adds some general principles of blog defence, talks about our own measures, and concludes by talking about the source of this comment problem and what can be done. Read More

2 Comments

David,
I'm using MT-Blacklist 2.04b and MT 3.16 I want to be able to moderate questionable trackbacks (but I'm thinking nothing helps me on content). But if MT-Blacklist is going to delete most of them (and it does) before it gets there I'm not sure where the advantage of moderating the old one is going to help me. Maybe it's not.

I'm just thinking I've got a few MT-B items that moderate comments based on content that might be valid but MT-Moderate is just going to moderate based on date (I'm talking here assuming I'd only use the moderate trackback function, I like how MT-Blacklist moderates the older comments).

I'm trying to get my head around this - basically MT-Blacklist is going to delete whatever it deletes (Right? MTB will run first). But if it's past a certain age MT-Moderate will force moderate it for me. I'll still need to check it when I get the trackback confirmation e-mail to make sure if I need to approve it.

Thanks for any thoughts/help...

MT-Blacklist currently does take priority and processes trackbacks (and comments) before any other plugin. If any plugin decides to block a trackback, it doesn't matter if any other plugin would have moderated it - the trackback will be blocked.

The advantage in using MT-Moderate for trackbacks is the case where MT-Blacklist does *not* block a trackback (which happens more often than you might think). What would you like to happen with a trackback that gets past MT-Blacklist? Without MT-Moderate, the trackback is published straight to your weblog, regardless of whether it is spam or not.

MT-Moderate does two things for you with regard to trackbacks: 1) it provides the general ability to moderate them, which other plugins such as SpamLookup can take advantage of, and 2) as a trackback plugin filter, it can automatically moderate trackbacks on entries older than 7 days by default (but this can be changed or disabled).

You don't have to use MT-Moderate's automatic moderating of trackbacks based on the date of the entry. If you install SpamLookup along with MT-Moderate, SpamLookup provides many more choices for determining when to moderate and when to block trackbacks.

If you leave MT-Blacklist installed and enabled, it will still process trackbacks first, and SpamLookup/MT-Moderate will only have the ability to choose what happens to trackbacks that get past MT-Blacklist. SpamLookup and MT-Moderate will process all trackbacks, but if MT-Blacklist has decided to block a trackback, it will be blocked even if SpamLookup or MT-Moderate decides that the trackback should be moderated or even allowed.

Some people have switched to using only SpamLookup instead of MT-Blacklist. I have not - I still run both - but it does look tempting. SpamLookup with MT-Moderate does a fantastic job of blocking spam trackbacks for me (better than MT-Blacklist), but I think MT-Blacklist may do a better job of blocking spam comments for me.

Hope this helps...