In common with (probably) all wordpress based blogs, trivia has the aksimet plugin in place. Akismet is shipped by default in the base wordpress installation and new users are encouraged to sign up for an API key. On first configuring the blog’s plugins, users are greeted with the following commentary about akismet:
Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep. To get started: 1) Click the “Activate” link to the left of this description, 2) Sign up for an Akismet API key, and 3) Go to your Akismet configuration page, and save your API key.
So of course I did, as I guess most people do. And I have used akismet ever since even though I really don’t like it. Having once started to use akismet, I was impressed by the apparent volumes of spam it blocked. The plugin gives statistics through the wordpress dashboard and the reported volumes held at bay are quite remarkable. The graphic below shows my stats since 2009.
Note that in 2013 the plugin reportedly stopped over 56,000 spam posts aimed at trivia. In April 2013 alone, the plugin reports that it blocked over 13,500 spam posts. That is a /lot/ of spam. But of course I still had to handle the odd one or two comments (largely from russian sites with dodgy looking URLs) which appeared to get through.
Then I tried an experiment. I turned akismet off. I initially did this in September of this year. I still got the odd one or two russians and ukrainians popping up, but I did not see the expected deluge of rubbish that aksimet would have me believe was out there. I turned it back on in October for short period and noticed no difference so I finally switched it off completely at the beginning of November. It has been off ever since.
Guess what? No deluge. So it stays off. That way I can be sure I am no longer reporting anything back to the aksimet servers.