Wow, wow, and wow… I am very tempted to ponying up some paypal dough for Spam Karma 2, the powerful plugin for Word Press 2. It assigns incoming comments and trackbacks a karma value, based on your moderation habits, content in the comment, remote blacklists, and more.
There is a raft of options for you to select how finely it works, but more or less it jumps into action before the bad spam hits your blog notification. You do get to monitor its logs, delete the bad spammies, get a regular report by email. You can “rescue” items that ahve been mis-identified (this does not happened yet).
My approved comments (legit ones) have a positive karma average of 28.37 — and the bad stuff caught? It is a huge negative karma average pf -21784! Off the scale! The beauty again is that it is cutting off the spam (like the one with 285 URLs to a site I would not even share with my poker buddies) and I do not even need to see it. And the blacklists/whitelists it creates are adaptive to my moderation habits (which WordPress does not do, no matter how many times you moderate comments as spam).
The downsides are that the documentation is thin, and it is hard to know what some of the settings do. I also found I had to disable the Captcha Check option- apparently, if a comment is within a specified margin of being declared spam, it is supposed to provide a captcha to allow a legit commenter to prove they are nota bot. However, the captcha code apparently generates errors and does not work. The docs reference something to the “Kubrick” template, but I cannot find anywhere the support for generating captchas, and lots of techie references to installing server font libraries.
SK2 is the best defense I have played with so far.