Minor Code Change – Bye Bye WordPress Trackback Spam

I’ve been getting a bit frustrated with thirty or more trackback/pingback spam emails per day from my blog. I’ve been trying to ignore it for about a month, but my inbox keeps filling up. So, I did some research and, surprisingly, most of the anti-spam WordPress blog posts are from five to six years ago. I’m currently using WordPress 3.2.1.

Some of the fixes/hacks crashed my blog faster than you can blink an eye. Others, such as turning off trackbacks/pingsbacks in the WordPress settings did nothing to stop the waterfall o’ spam. Simply put: most of the old hacks don’t work on the latest version of the WordPress. One fix was to install the Askimet plug-in, but that required registering for a key and I didn’t feel like doing that.

So, I decided to actually look at the WordPress code and create my own home-made hack just to see if it might work. What I’ve done is rather brute force.

Step 1. Locate the php file responsible for trackbacks. On my system it’s under /htdocs/WordPress/wp-trackback.php.

Step 2. [Update: 11/18/2011] Comment out the following two lines of code. Then save your work and make sure your blog still runs. These lines of code are the one that writes the trackback to the database. In theory, if I stop that from happening then I won’t be annoyed by spambots for at least a little while.

 //do_action('trackback_post', $wpdb->insert_id);

So, now that’s done I’m going to sit back and wait. I’ll update the post if my “experiment” is successful. Or, if I have to dig further into the WordPress code.

[Update: 11/18/2011] With the additional line commented out all trackbacks are now ignored and they cannot be written to the database. Sweet!