We’ve been getting hit with a lot of spam bots as of late so we’ve added an automatic captcha to all sites comments. It’s a simple one and is meant to thwart spam bots, rather than spam people.
How this works is if the comment appears to be spam, a new page is presented with a simple captcha question to answer. By default, a successful answer’s comments are placed in the moderation queue just as all comments are (unless the person has a previously approved comment in which case it’s automatically approved) while unsuccessful answer’s comments are placed in your Comments spam box which you can review if you wish.
To change the default settings, log in to your site and go to Dashboard > Plugins > Conditional CAPTCHA and Under “Comment Handling” you can change the action that is taken when spam is detected. If you don’t want your spam box filling up, select “Delete the comment permanently” under the “When a CAPTCHA is not completed correctly:” setting. If someone or somebot does not answer the simple captcha correctly, this will immediately delete the comment and you will not be notified nor will it appear in your spam box. This also has the added benefit of decreasing the amount of junk comments in our database so free candy* to everyone who sets this to auto-delete.
Finally, your blog’s spam box auto-deletes spam posts that are more than 15 days old, you do not need to empty your spam box manually. Comments dumped to comment trash do need to be emptied and both of these take a very long time to empty so it’s always best to auto-delete spam when you can.
*there’s not really any free candy, sorry.