So I’ve started running into some folks who have been getting comment moderation emails from their WordPress installs that look like this:

From: WordPress <wordpress@example.com>
Date: May 12, 2011 16:20
Subject: [WordPress] Please moderate: “Hello World!”
To: admin@example.com

A new comment on the post “Hello World!” is waiting for your approval
http://example.com/hello-world/

Author : (IP: , )
E-mail :
URL :
Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/
Comment:

Approve it: http://example.com/wp-admin/comment.php?action=approve&c=0
Trash it: http://example.com/wp-admin/comment.php?action=trash&c=0
Spam it: http://example.com/wp-admin/comment.php?action=spam&c=0
Currently 0 comments are waiting for approval. Please visit the moderation panel: http://example.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=moderated

Now I didn’t go and redact any information there — the emails are totally void of any comment data outside of the moderation links. That’s not right at all.

So why does this happen? The answer is actually really simple. Almost embarrassingly so.

To put it as plainly as possible, when comment moderation emails start showing up as blank, the wp_comments table has gone missing. If you look at some of your more popular posts or your comments panel, you’ll notice that everything is missing.

It’s almost like your mom doesn’t even read your blog.

Sometimes the table has completely disappeared, sometimes it’s just in need of a repair — but either way, you need to restore it to working order to make your comments happy again. And since hosts vary, I’m not going into the grizzly details of running that restore. I’m sure there’s plenty of nerds on the internet who’d be happy to help tho.

Addendum: I’d like to hope that you’re backing up your install and database regularly. And if you’re not, maybe your hosting company is. Any worthwhile host will. But you should never ever depend on a single point of failure. I like to keep around 3 to 5, but I’m sort of paranoid.

Remember, there’s never such a thing as too many backups!

Good luck!