In a small plugin I’ve written to add an IP address column to the comments list I want to remove the avatars.
In line 156 I tried to use remove_filter:

remove_filter( 'comment_author', 'floated_admin_avatar', 50 );

Well … I know this function fails sometimes, but why does it fail here?

My workaround is:

$_GET['comment_status'] == 'spam' 
    and add_filter( 'pre_option_show_avatars', '__return_zero' );

I guess I stared too long at this code to see what went wrong. I need a hint into the right direction.


As usual with hooks this is issue of timing.

  • your init function is hooked to admin load process, which works fine for most things;
  • however in this specific case function is added to filter in constructor of WP_Comments_List_Table class, and object is created in edit-comments.php after admin loader had been processed.

In my plugin for similar stuff I am removing it at manage_edit-comments_columns hook.

Simplified example from my class:

static function on_load() {

    add_action( 'admin_init', array( __CLASS__, 'admin_init' ) );

static function admin_init() {

        add_filter( 'manage_edit-comments_columns', array( __CLASS__, 'manage_columns' ) );

static function manage_columns( $columns ) {

    remove_filter( 'comment_author', 'floated_admin_avatar' );

    // stuff

    return $columns;
  • May just be my coding but when I use the suggested hook I get an awful lot of php foreach errors. @Rarst could you expand your answer with a code example when you get 5? Thanks :) – studioromeo Jan 22 '12 at 23:44
  • @studioromeo added example code – Rarst Jan 23 '12 at 9:38
  • thanks! I totally forgot about the CLASS magic constant looks better than &$this – studioromeo Jan 23 '12 at 21:13

May be its the priority 50. Instead let it be default.

From http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/remove_filter

$priority (int) (optional) The priority of the function (as defined when the function was originally hooked). Default: 10

So change

remove_filter( 'comment_author', 'floated_admin_avatar', 50 );


remove_filter( 'comment_author', 'floated_admin_avatar');
  • The priority parameter just says in which order to add or remove a filter. I used it without a priority first and this didn't work too. – fuxia Dec 29 '11 at 10:34
  • When removing an action or filter, you must match the priority exactly, to whatever priority the callback was attached. – Mark Duncan Dec 29 '11 at 15:54

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