Announcing Akismet

So for all of you who were wondering what the API keys are for, go check out Akismet, a new solution to comment spam. Of course this is just the first of several things in the oven. 🙂

Of course on we’re already handling all your spam problems for you, so no need to install Akismet or similar.

To clarify, you use your API key to run Akismet on your own blog. 

Published by Matt

In 2002 I started contributing to Open Source software, and life has just gotten better from there. Co-founder of WordPress, founder Automattic.

71 thoughts on “Announcing Akismet

  1. I get it but I don’t. A free account is only for, but you say:

    “Of course if you’re only blogging on you don’t have to worry about this, we’re already handling all your spam problems for you. ”

    How do you reconcile that? It seems to be an obvious drive for cash dressed up as if it was a free gift and good for the community. Matt, I don’t mind you and the WordPress team making money. In fact, I think you should. What I resent, as a loyal WordPress follower, is being decieved.

    Am I missing something here?


  2. Hey Aaron,

    If your blog is hosted on you’re just protected, you don’t have to do anything. If you want to use Akismet on other sites it’s completely free for the vast majority of people out there, as very few bloggers make more than $500/mo from their blog, and if they do paying %1 of that to completely stop spam is not a big deal.

    Is something about the sentence in the post confusing? I can edit it if you think it could be clearer.


  3. w00kie, it would be improved because it’s always 100% up-to-date, you don’t need to update the plugin. However if you have never gotten spam, I’m a believer in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Most people I talked to though still get a fair amount of spam even when using one of the several plugins already available for WP, and Akismet worked perfectly for them.


  4. Matt–

    I just posted a blast on my blog but I’ll make an update to it after this comment. Thanks for your clarification. However, I believe the wording that is at issue is from the Akismet site itself

    Akismet is free for personal use.

    In the spirit of helping the blogosphere as much as possible, we’ve decided to make Akismet free for as many people as possible. All you need to start using it today is a API key. Sign up on to get an API key.


    We offer two subscription options for Pro-blogger API keys:
    Billing Cycle:

    * $5 a month
    * $55 a year (1 month free) Account:

    * I do not have a account yet, invite me
    * I already have a account

    If it’s free for WordPress or MoveableType users who don’t make over $500 then you should say that. As it stands, it only indicates being free for users/blogs

    I have a blog that I don’t use. Can I use it’s API key on


  5. w00kie, no parts of Akismet use code from SK2, which I haven’t looked at in about a year. The server (where the real work is done) was built from scratch. The plugin is GPL and uses some code from CJD’s Spam Nuker for administration.

    Aaron, sorry things aren’t clear, I’ll try to update the text to be easier. The point of your API is so you can use Akismet on other sites, so yes you can use your API key and Akismet on for free.


  6. Very cool. I am running Askimet on now. I am looking forward to seeing how this puppy works Matt.

    And that rocks that you were able to find some of my code useful, big compliment to me man thanks.


  7. Hi, I’m getting an error when testing Akismet out on my personal, off-site blog. On the Manage > Akismet Spam page the PHP error
    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare ksd_config_page() (previously declared in <filename removed>:14) in <filename removed> on line 17
    is appearing. I’ve had this problem with other plugins in the past, but I don’t know why. I’m guessing it has something to do with my install.


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  9. Oops.

    Sorry for the double post.

    The problem on my comment above seems to have stopped.

    Note: I used Firefox to post the above comment instead of Flock.

    But really, what was going on?


  10. Wow, this looks real spiffy, Matt!

    Do you recommend disabling Bad Behavior and clearing the moderation word list? I’m only asking because I saw that you had help with Michael Hampton..

    Yes, I saw the FAQ – sorry if the answer is “yes”. 😀


  11. I would recommend turning off all other spam plugins. However BB can be complementary so it might be worth turning it back on if Akismet is letting any spam through or if you get massive spam attacks that eat up lots of resources. Clearing the moderation word list of spam words is recommended.


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  14. THis is fantastic, works great. But what about referer spam? Does it catch that? And if not, will Referer-Karma work ok with it?


  15. I activated the plugin, but I can’t see where to get the key, which makes it pretty useless. There’s nowhere on to sign up, and I have my blog hosted elsewhere anyway. I give it an “A” for concept, but a “D-” for execution.


  16. Here’s the trouble I’m having:

    I installed the Plugin on and 60 comments were identified as Spam that were caught by my own handmade keywords. Akismet now invites me to delete them from my database or release the false positives.

    There are four comments that were caught and I want back. When I try to “undelete” them I get taken to an Akismet that my API key is invalid. I re-certify my API with your system and nothing happened to the 60 messages I have in queue for processing. When I try to get my messages back again I get an error message my API key is invalid.

    Any idea what’s happening and how to fix it? I really want to try to delete all those messages from my database but I want to pick out the non-Spam messages first.



  17. Whoops! Sorry! I was logged in before as “Invisible Blogger” — that’s my wife’s blog and I was trying to get her API key for her.

    The API key giving trouble is the one related to my blog: and I’m trying to install it on and it’s interesting that the instant I activated the Plugin it “found” 60 Spam messages that, I guess, were sitting in my local database. There was no time for any of those messages to be scanned by the Akismet system.


  18. So, I need to have a blog in order to filter spam from my blog?

    When are you going to offer API keys to non users?


  19. Owen, you don’t need to blog at, you just need an account. This will always be true.

    Chris, everyone who uses K2 has that problem, you should report it to Michael.

    David, yes it will expose spam that’s already in your database.

    Hardincomp, if you have Flock you can get an account for free without an invite.

    Steve, it doesn’t stop referrer spam, only comment and trackback spam. Sorry!


  20. Matt —

    Okay, all is working great now but I “lost” the 60 Spam comments originally identified — and when I say “lost” I mean they were visible now they are not and I didn’t do anything to change that. Are the 60 comments still in my database or were they deleted by the Plugin?

    Also, do we still need to check “Blacklist comments from open and insecure proxies” in Options | Discussions or does the new Plugin handle that for us now?

    Oh, I’m using K2 and I don’t have the problem Chis is having. :mrgreen:


  21. Cheers for that Matt,

    I’ll be moving off K2 when I have time anyway.

    Also, something i’ve noticed – not sure if this is the most appropriate place to post, when selecting comments identified as spam and clicking “Not Spam” i’m taken to the configuration page saying my API key is invalid – yet the plugin is still working and my spam count has risen to over 300 in a few hours.

    David, which revision are you using?


  22. Well it’s probably unfair to call it a solely a K2 bug, it’s something in the K2 template which triggers undesirable behaviour in WordPress.


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  24. How would it stop somebody from handing out their API key to friends (or strangers for that matter) to use on their blogs without them having a account? Obviously this seems silly since accounts are free (for the time being), but is there any prevention for this?


  25. Your API key is like a password, it can be used to access information about your account. You should only share it with people you would share your password with.


  26. Aaron, if it’s something that is incorrectly identified simply marking it as spam or not spam is sufficient. If it’s something else use the contact form on the site.


  27. Where the hell does one go for assistance ??

    I signed up and never received my password and the retrieve password function don;t work

    can someone PLEASE assist me?


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