With all the comment spam hitting blogs, including mine, I've trialed several different spam protection plugins, including Spam-Karma and a couple other methods. Now I know I get a fair amount of comment spam, but these plugins also seem to be a bit harsh on the comments my mum leaves, and I'm sure I'm missing out on other comments, pingbacks and trackbacks. As internet access in South Africa is a bit slow, many ISP's use proxy servers (blind to the users) to cache web content. One of the big problems is most of the spam filtering plugins assume that everyone who comments via a proxy must be a spammer. As a result, ALL of mum's comments get put on the moderation queue - even if she's been approved before - I've tried adjusting a couple of things here and there, but I don't feel I should have to go digging through someone else's code to fix problems like this.
One of the blogs I regularily read (BinaryBonsai) made a good point this morning, (and several times before)... these plugins are just hampering the user's experience. Someone's not going to become a regular visitor if everytime they comment, they get some warning saying the site thinks they're a spammer... it's a bit of an insult to the innocent.
Another valid point made is that most comment spam is placed on old posts. I've had a quick run through the list of comments I've had to moderate recently and 99% were made on comments over 7 days old. Granted, you do get legitimate comments on older posts from people who's just found your site, but most are spam.
So as a result, I've disabled Spam-Karma and all the other spam filtering plugins that I was using and am now only using the Optional Comment Moderation plugin. This basically allows through all comments except those made on posts that are over 7 days old.
Of course I still have my moderation blacklist that picks up words like "poker" and "blackjack" which are blatantly spam as I have absolutely no interest in any of these subjects.
So mum, your comments should now come through and be on the site straight away... no more accusatory messages about you being a spammer.