I’ve already mentioned that our comments system is back up, but really it was only half of the story.
After I was able to track down the comments that were left, but not being shown, I pulled out my magnifying glass and tried to determine why WordPress thought each and every comment was spam. I started ripping apart functions within the core of WordPress and was still coming up empty. Testing comments with all types of values, turning off moderation all together, and many other tries at fixing the problem yielded nothing.
Today I finally figured out what it was, and as always, it was right under my nose. Our list of black listed items was short and sweet, yet it had one extra list item than it did before. This extra list item was unique in that it contained two words rather than one. Removing that list item from our blacklist repaired the comments on our site, and we’re back in business.
Note to all you WordPress users out there, beware of setting multiword blacklist items.