AntiSpam: TypePad and the Trio

May 30, 2008

There’s a new spam fighting service in town: TypePad AntiSpam. To put it another way, the spam sheriff of TypePad town is now available to lay down the law elsewhere.

TPAS competes directly with Akismet. The table compares the two spamfighting services with each other, and with two other competitors. I’ve ordered the columns from earliest to most recent (so the alphabetical order is coincidental).

Akismet Defensio Mollom TypePad AntiSpam
Previous post at Changing Way? Yes Yes Yes No
Service offered by Automattic Karabunga Mollom: shares founder with Acquia Six Apart
If in doubt, challenge with CAPTCHA? No No Yes No
Service has own API? Yes Yes Yes No, uses Akismet API
Open source engine? No No No Yes
Free of charge for personal use? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free for commercial use?* No No No Yes

Each of the four is the odd one out in at least one sense. Akismet was first out, and remains the service against which each rival positions itself.

Defensio is the one that doesn’t share developers or an organization with a prominent publishing or content management platform (Akismet/WordPress, Mollom/Drupal, TPAS/TypePad and Movable Type).

Mollom uses CAPTCHA when unsure whether a comment is ham (the good stuff) or spam, whereas each of the others queues the suspect comment for moderation. That’s something of an oversimplification about the others: for example, a TPAS client can use CAPTCHA when told about a suspect comment by the server.

TPAS is open source (GPL V2). I found this particularly interesting, given that the other three are not. They explain that source code access would help spammers. I then realized that while the TPAS inference engine is open, the rules are hidden.

TechCrunch is currently using TPAS via the WordPress plugin that Six Apart provide. Mike Arrington reports that TPAS is doing well so far.

Anil Dash wrote the announcement post at the Six Apart blog. TPAS also has its own blog.

Missing from the table are two of the most interesting potential comparisons: performance and market share. I suspect that we will before long see data relevant to these comparisons, and challenges to the data, and…

Update, after a few hours sleep and some further research. I made a few changes to the above.

I’d like to add that I find the name TypePad AntiSpam interesting. Or rather, I find the choice of name interesting. The name may give the impression that it’s more specific to TypePad than it really is. My guess is that Six Apart think they have a winner on their hands here, and that the success of TPAS will raise awareness and reputation for TypePad.

* Final update to this post. I decided that the last line of the table, while close to the mark, needs clarification. Hence the followup post (see the first comment to the current post).

10 Responses to “AntiSpam: TypePad and the Trio”


  1. […] of spam of course creates an need, and hence an opportunity, for spam-fighting services. Last week, I compared four of them: Akismet, Defensio, Mollom, and TypePad AntiSpam. The comparison was prompted by the launch of the […]


  2. […] that are clients for spamfighting services. I’m aware of four such plugins/services, and I recently compared them on at Changing Way. Now it’s time to try them […]


  3. […] the use of a plugin to handle step 4 (assess the spam-ness). There are many such plugins. A previous post focused on four of them. One of them is Akismet, which handles spam at the hosted blogging service […]


  4. […] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by jbliens on 2008-08-13 AntiSpam: TypePad and the Trio http://changingway.org/2008/05/30/antispam-typepad-and-the-trio/ – bookmarked by 2 members […]


  5. […] 9, 2008 Mollom is one of four spam comment fighting services that I’ve covered before. Mollom has enough recent news to merit a fresh post. Centernetworks’ Allen Stern […]

  6. sayenjole Says:

    Awesome. Just another example of how Typepad and Six Apart are looking out for the entire blogosphere. Thanks!


  7. this is always a issue i think all spam should be gone from the face of the earth

  8. Single Mom Says:

    Great site! Keep it up!


  9. Hey, i came across your blog on google and i think it’s great!

  10. xenki Says:

    hey thanks very much i love this blog


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