Blog Spam filter – Mollom vs Akismet

Spam for bloggers is a big pain, you need to go over 20-80 spam comments to get a single genuine comment. There are, however, applications that automatically filter your comments.  I have used  Mollom and Akismet quite a bit, and in this article will try to explain the differences between them.

Both Mollom and Akismet try to automatically get rid of spam comments, but do it in a slightly different way.


Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. If Akismet thinks the comment is a spam it puts it in the spam queue, and you get no notification about it. I found Akismet to be very accurate in finding spam. I found 1 false positive (spam which was not really spam) out of thousands of spam messages.

Major strengths –

  • Well integrated with WordPress look and feel – provides a seamless experience to the user and blog owner.
  • Comes as default for WordPress – This is a very strong advantage, because most people use defaults.
  • Does not use CAPTCHA – some real users find CAPTCHA really hard to work with.

Major weaknesses –

  • Blog owners still needs to go though the spam queue and find genuine comments and empty the spam queue


Mollom is a web service that helps you identify content quality and, more importantly, helps you stop spam on your blog, social network or community website. Mollom works very much like Akismet – the major difference is that if Mollom thinks the comment is spam, it provides the submitter of the comment a CAPTCHA challenge (and only when a possible spam is detected and not always like other CAPTCHA solutions). If the submitter fills in the CAPTCHA correctly, them Mollom sends the comment to the pending queue, no comments ever get to the spam queue.

Major strengths –

  • Near zero spam management, comments never get to your spam queue.
  • Integrates well with Drupal
  • Does not use CAPTCHA unless it absolutely needs to (users only see the CAPTCHA if Mollom thinks their comment is spam)

Major weaknesses –

  • The current Mollom WordPress plugin does not provide a seamless integration with WordPress theme –  in cases were CAPTCHA is presented to the user, the CAPTCHA is shown in a separate pages that does not look like your blog.

Both Mollom and Akismet provide an amazing service to bloggers worldwide. The differences between them are subtle but important. For this blog I use Akismet because I want a seamless integration with the theme of the blog, but for an older blog I am maintaining, I use Mollom because I can’t be bothered to check its spam queue.

Think about your blog requirement and choose the best filter for you.

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Amir Shevat

Amir Shevat is the global Startup Outreach lead in Google Developer Relations ( Previously, Amir Led Google Campus Tel Aviv and was the co founder of several startups.

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1 Response

  1. Vic says:

    Before using Mollom, see what Randy Fay has to say (google “randyfay[dot]com mollom). Seems like a lot of genuine commenters are tagged as spammers and not allowed to appeal to Mollom. Even some site owners are not allowed to comment on their own site!

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