Akismet Plugin

The Akismet Plugin works with AnswerHub version 2.5.0 and later.

Akismet Plugin Overview

All posts to the community, from users below the configurable reputation threshold, should run through Akismet's checking process.

If the post passes the check from Akismet, then it will post to the community. If the post fails the check from Akismet, then it will go to the new Spam Queue page where a moderator can evaluate it.

There is a new tab in the Moderation UI and two new buttons, as follows:

  1. A new tab called the Spam Queue.
  2. A new REJECT AS SPAM action button in the Moderation tab.
  3. A MARK AS SPAM action button in the Reported tab.

In the Moderation Queue, below the action buttons (PUBLISH, REJECT, REJECT AS SPAM or MARK AS SPAM), there is a description that states why that content is in the Moderation queue.
We will structure the description as follows:
“Source:

Two Possible Source Details:

  • Sent by community member, date and time: When a post gets reported by a member in the community or the user does not have the correct publish permission.
  • Sent by System, date and time: When a post fails to pass the shield plugin or Akismet plugin.

If a spam post makes it into the community (passes the Akismet check), then a moderator can put it into the Moderation queue where they can select the REJECT AS SPAM button. The REJECT AS SPAM button will only show if you enable the Akismet plugin and if the source of reporting is from a community member, admin or moderator. Pressing the button will add the post to the Spam Queue and report the post as spam to Akismet. Clicking the MARK AS SPAM button will remove it from the Reported Queue.

Akismet User Personas

Community User Interactions with Akismet

There will be a privacy notice, on the Question, Article and Idea form pages, to make a post will have a new statement that the site is using Akismet for spam protection and any additional information provided by the site administrator.

If you are a community user with permission to report (send) posted content to moderation you can report a Question, Comment, or Answer as spam and have it moved to the Moderation Queue or Reported Queue for the moderators to handle it.

Moderator Interactions with Akismet

You can expect to navigate to the Moderation queue and see several additions, as follows:

  • A new Spam Queue tab.
  • New text stating the source that sent the content to moderation.
  • A REJECT AS SPAM button.
    • Clicking the REJECT AS SPAM button will move the content to the Spam Queue. The PUBLISH button will allow the content to publish to the community and the REJECT button will remove it from the queue. You can also see these new additions in the Reported Queue tab.

On the new Spam Queue tab you can see the content captured by the Akismet plugin, going back to a configured time period. You will have a PUBLISH button on each post and if you select it, the content will post to the community. You cannot remove items from the queue. They get removed from the queue when they reach the configured time period.

All the filters that exist in the Moderation and Reported Queues also apply to the new Spam Queue.

Admin Interactions with Akismet

You can navigate to the Control Menu under the Content category in the admin console to see the new Akismet Spam Protection menu. You first need to generate an API key through Akismet’s websit; there is a fee for an API for commercial uses. Enter the Akismet API key in the API Key text field on the page. You can enter the number of days for the Spam Queue Retention Period with a maximum of 90 days. You can enter any text and valid HTML for your privacy notice to adhere to privacy laws by displaying a privacy notice on each Question, Article, and Idea form page to make a post.

Content in The Spam Queue

There is a new tab in moderation called the Spam Queue. This new queue is where all the posts stopped by Akismet or rejected as spam will list. The PUBLISH button will allow the post to publish to the community but it will also report the post as non-spam to Akismet. If the moderators choose to not publish, then it will remain in the queue for the configured time.

If you disable the Akismet plugin then the Spam Queue tab will not display. The items in the queue do not get deleted, they simply do not display. When you re-enable the plugin, then all the items should display according to the time set in the admin (max 90 days).

Items in the Spam Queue are “invisible” to community members. Items caught by Akismet or rejected as spam will only be visible in the Spam Queue and will not show in any search results.

Akismet Spam Protection Menu in the Admin Console

There is a new page in the admin console under Content > Control > Akismet Spam Protection.

This new page will have a text field to enter the Akismet API Key, set the number of days to store in the spam queue (max of 90), reputation point bypass configuration and an option to display and configure a privacy notice, on the Question, Article, and Idea form pages to make a post, that will display at the bottom of the form just below the SUBMIT button (Post Your Question, Post Your Article or Post Your Idea).

The queue will retain up to 90 days of posts on this list. You can publish items in the list (meaning they are false positive spam, which also gets reported to Akismet) or leave them in the queue for the system to automatically remove them from the list after the configured number of days for retention.

The Spam Queue Retention Period and the minimum reputation point bypass text fields accept numbers from 1 – 90 for retention and 1 – 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 for the bypass text field. The bypass text field will have a description that states, “Most spammers would be new users and wouldn't invest time to reach a high reputation level, so setting above 10 reputation points would be safe, although you can set it higher. Akismet has a 300k API daily limit and this is one way to help assure busy communities do not reach that."

Admins can also configure Akismet’s “pervasive spam” feature. For configuration options, the admin can choose the strictness level, which will either show the pervasive spam or not. The default is not showing the pervasive spam.

A checkbox displays the privacy notice. If you select the checkbox, then the privacy notice will display on the Question, Article, and Idea form pages to make posts. The new privacy notice will display directly after the space drop-down and above any other checkboxes or drop-downs.

The text box for the privacy policy notice allows valid well-formed HTML for community admins to include a link as part of the notice. For instance, link out to their more expanded privacy policy. The default text for that text box is: “This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.”

If a call to the Akismet API fails, then a message will display to users that says, “Your post is awaiting moderation.” You should then put the comment in the Moderation queue. The reason for it would state: "Sent by Akismet Failure." When the Akismet API fails the first time, we will send an email to the super users group notifying them of the failure with as many details as we have available.

Analytics

Admins can see a report of the contents stopped by the Akismet API and see how many there are, over a selected period of time.

Azure Key Vault

You can store the Akismet API key securely using the Azure Key Vault. Navigate to the Using Microsoft Azure Products with AnswerHub section if you would like more details regarding Azure Key Vault used with AnswerHub.

GDPR

When you enable Akismet on your site, the system only collects the personal data needed to carry out its core function of protecting you against content spam. In the language of the GDPR, this is a "legitimate interest" use of that data. By displaying the notice that states, "This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your content data is processed." (which you can enable in the plugin settings), you're letting visitors know that Akismet is collecting data for our legitimate interest and how we're processing it.

For details on how Akismet handles GDPR, visit the Akismet site.


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