Support » Fixing WordPress » How to stop scraper pingbacks

  • kabitzin


    I don’t want to shut off trackbacks/pingbacks because I do get some legitimate ones, but I also get a lot of pingbacks from scraper sites. However, my plugins do not catch these pingbacks (until I add them to my blacklist) because the pingbacks are legitimate in that the scraper site includes a link to my site so the pingback validates. I use Bad Behavior and Spam Karma 2.

    Is there a plugin that will send all approved pingbacks/trackbacks into the moderation queue? I did see one from mtdewvirus, but it hasn’t been updated in 3 years.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Les Bessant


    There’s a plugin for Spam Karma 2 which will enforce your settings for

    • An administrator must approve the comment
    • Comment author must have a previously approved comment

    If you set the options you want in the normal comment settings, then add this plugin to SK2, trackbacks and pingbacks from unapproved sources will sit in the queue until you clean them up.

    SK2 moderate Plugin

    Works nicely for me.



    I’m having the same problem as the original poster.

    The “Moderate Pingbacks” plugin by mtdewvirus does not seem to work at all in WordPress 2.X (or simply will not work with Spam Karma 2 or Akismet).

    The Spam Karma 2 Moderation plugin seems wrongheaded for a couple reasons:

    1. It moderates ALL comments, pingbacks, and trackbacks. Why not just do that through the normal WordPress controls? Also seems to defeat the entire purpose of having Spam Karma installed in the first place! If you’re going to moderate everything, why use Spam Karma?

    2. It penalizes normal commenters, especially first-timers. I don’t have a problem with commenters. Spam Karma does a fine job discriminating bogus comments. It’s the trackbacks and pingbacks (especially) that are a problem.

    WordPress doesn’t allow a function to moderate trackbacks and pingbacks separate from regular user comments. That seems to me to be a glaring oversight, especially in this age of splogging.

    Are there any better workarounds?

    Les Bessant


    The SK2 plugin only moderates all comments if the “An administrator must always approve the comment” option is ticked under “Discussion options”, so it’s not quite as “wrongheaded” as you suggest.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with moderating the first comment made by a visitor, but I can see that wouldn’t work for everyone.



    My problem is exactly as edelen describes. SK2 already does a great job on normal comments. However, WP does not seem to have a way to split the moderation of trackbacks/pingbacks from normal comments, and that is exactly what I am looking for.

    SK2 might be great for comments, but the only checks it performs on TB/PB is a blacklist check, and a valid link check. As scrapers include a valid link, their initial pingbacks get through.

    I do not want to have to approve every comment from a new commenter, and I also feel it discourages readers from coming out of lurking. I just want a solution that will either filter TB/PB better or moderate all TB/PB without affecting comments.



    Pardon my n00bishness, but what is the purpose of the ‘scrapers’ pinging back my web site? It’s a personal/family only website, so serves NO purpose to anyone save myself.

    And there’s nothing to approve, just a dumb []..Foo..[] comment…



    Hmmm, if SK2 & SK2 moderate Plugin really doesn’t fullfil your requirement. Try this one, and see if it can be of any help to you:

    Simple Trackback Validation



    Thanks for all the feedback.

    @ Rok: according to the “Simple Trackback Validation” page, it checks to see if a trackback actually contains a link to the page trackedback. In the case of all these splogs lifting content, it will contain a link. Not sure how that plugin helps in this case.

    I’ve got “Antileech” installed, all the SK2 plugins, “Moderate Pingback” and “Moderate Trackback,” and yet nothing seems to be able to do the simple job of sending all pingbacks to moderation.

    How hard can that be?

    And the main problem is with pingbacks, not even trackbacks. I never get spam through trackbacks, only pingbacks.

    I’m no genius when it comes to PHP, but I’ve got to believe SOMEONE out there would know how to send all pingbacks to moderation. I sure wish the “Moderate Pingbacks” plugin still worked, but it hasn’t been updated in years and I think newer version of WP break it.

    Oh well. I can’t believe this is not a problem for everyone! I posted just a few minutes ago on my blog and in ten minutes had four splog pingbacks!



    Try this one: Moderate Pingbacks. I’m sure this’ll help you getting results.

    Download Link




    That plugin is three years old and either does not work with v2.X of WordPress or does not work with Akismet or SK2. No matter the situation, it simply does not work. I know–I have it installed.



    Besides Akismet, I use a combination of these three plugins:

    I’m not sure which one of them works, but somehow, all my spam trackbacks and pingbacks are being appropriately held for moderation. 🙂



    Again, the mtdewvirus plugin for moderating ping/trackbacks is very old and does not work. Also, as edelen mentioned, the main problem is with pingbacks. A pingback, by its very nature, will have a link and so no trackback validator will ever catch a pingback.

    The blogwaffe plugin you linked prevents all self-pingbacks. I am looking for a plugin that will send all pingbacks to moderation, not prevent them. Even better would be to send all

  • approved
  • pingbacks to moderation, just to save myself some work.



Regarding the trackback validator, I wonder if there would be a way to hack this plugin so that all trackbacks and pingbacks that are not-spam go to moderation instead of being approved.

I am not a php wizard, but perhaps bits could be cut and pasted into the appropriate locations. Then if you set it to strict moderation, it should send all trackbacks and pingbacks to your moderation list. Does anyone with programming skill know how to do this?

The validator plugin is pretty well documented in the code, and the portion I am referring to is right after this:

It is Trackback Spam
We put trackback in moderation queue, mark as spam or delete right away

Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

(@otto42) Admin


Plugin Name: Force Pingback Moderation
Description: Forces pingbacks to get moderated manually
Version: 0.1
Author: Otto
Author URI:
License: GPL Version 2 -
function force_moderate_pings($commentdata) {
	if ($commentdata['comment_type'] == 'pingback') {
		add_filter('pre_comment_approved', create_function('$a', 'return 0;'));
add_action('preprocess_comment', 'force_moderate_pings', 1);


Otto, please correct me, if I’m wrong. I think, this’ll not work, if one has SK2 enabled untill, the plugin itself made as SK2 compatible plugin.



I cut and pasted the code, but when I went to activate it, on line 13 I had the following error:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘}’

Thanks in advance for this plugin code, though.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • The topic ‘How to stop scraper pingbacks’ is closed to new replies.