Anyone else notice that Premium articles show ‘0 Comments’ after a few days? Obviously, a bug of some kind. Is there a fix coming for this?

As a limited access reader (i.e. non-Premium) I use a fairly subjective method for helping me pick articles with the most potential for the deeper, richer articles advertised as Premium to unlock. That method is the number of comments. Typically, the article title piques my interest, and the presence of a healthy amount of comments can often sway me to spend one of my 3 monthly allotment, as a lively discussion typically means the article has sparked a (usually) healthy debate.

The issue is Premium articles after a day or two show ‘0 comments’, which is problematic for my selection process, as I typically wait until the end of the month to read my Premiums. Lacking that qualifier makes finding noteworthy articles that much more difficult, and often fruitless, as some Premiums can be barely more than glorified Tweets. That is not a flame, just a fact. And I get that with the larger volume of Premium dedicated articles, some will be short and sweet, so it doesn’t bother me. But that does not discount my problem to find and consume those hidden gems that I have long been coming to this site for.

So back to my original question is: Are there any plans to rectify that? It would be a nice tool to have for my (admittedly imperfect) selection methodology arsenal.

Comments (22)

22 responses to “0 Comments”

  1. Paul Thurrott

    Will throw this by Tim, thanks!

  2. dftf

    The Premium articles do this immediately for me, every time.

    At the top-right of the article there is a speech-bubble graphic with a number in, that shows how-many comments the article has; but when you scroll to the bottom, it always says "0 comments". You are able to post a comment, but not see any of the existing ones.

    • Brad Sams

      These are two different issues - as of right now, non-premium users are not able to see premium comments on premium posts.

      • pecosbob04

        So my question would be is this a bug, a spam mitigation tactic, or a feature. And if it is not a feature is there a hoped for resolution with an approximate time line that you can share?

        • whistlerpro

          Yes I reported this to the helpdesk a little while back and got told the same thing. There's nothing more frustrating than being told there are 41 comments to read, clicking through to read the article, scrolling down excitedly to see the comments and seeing zero comments and an empty comment field. Like others have said it just gives the impression the site is broken.

  3. bschnatt

    I think a bigger question is: Why does it take so long for fixes / changes to be made? We've been wanting to be able to edit our comments for months now. Surely there are turn-key commenting / forum systems (Disqus?) out there the Blue Whale Web guys could use rather than rolling their own (assuming they're trying to roll their own)? Is this a WordPress site? There are a bazillion plug-ins for this kind of thing, right? I don't mind paying for Premium when the value is there, but not being able to edit embarrassing spelling mistakes is hardly valuable to me...

    • Tim Speciale

      Having been a part of the initial rollout of the comment system (I've since moved on from BWW), we explored 3rd party solutions and in fact at one point had one implemented. None of them provided the functionality we needed to accommodate the premium functionality we wanted with our comments.

      I'm quite removed from where things are at today, but that's the reason we ended up where the site is now.

  4. matthewitt

    Remember when the site used Disqus? Thems were the days.

    • miamimauler


      Couldn't agree more. The entire comment and notification system of this site is utter shite and it seriously detracts from the excellent journalism the site provides.

  5. phil_adcock

    Not currently a premium subscriber due to a financial set back, thanks Covid. But I was a happy Premium subscriber for at least a year. The premium articles is definitely worth the $7 a month. I'd also say yeah if the team wants to keep this as a feature instead of a bug, go ahead. Make it worth our while to spend the extra $7. I'll start as soon as I get back to a decent paying job again.

  6. reservoirmike

    It appears with the switch to the new comments section this has become an issue again. At first I thought it was just older articles not being ported to the new system, but even the most recently published articles are now showing Comments (0).

    • pecosbob04

      "Everything old is new again". Support says that the problems that non-prem users have with comments on prem articles is due to the steps they are taking to mitigate the spam attacks they are coming under. Also, too no timeline for a resolution so it may become permanent. No idea how making comments invisible addresses the problem.

      • dftf

        While I understand there has recently been a major issue with spam, it does seem odd to lock things down and not advise this is being done; it just leaves the impression the site is broken.

        I don't see why they don't just make it so whenever you create a new account on here, your comments have to be manually-approved within say the first two-weeks (maybe a month) and any spam during that time results in an instant account closure.

        But yeah, hiding all the comments on a Premium article, but still allowing a new comment to be posted seems odd -- a spam comment could still be posted. It would be better to simply make it so non-Premium members can read all comments on a Premium article, but have no option to reply on them.

  7. reservoirmike

    The fix is finally in. Support confirmed a code release was going in yesterday and it does appear to have fixed the '0 comments' issue for non-Premium members.

    Thanks to Tim and company for seeing this thru!

  8. navarac

    Obviously as a Premium member, I don't see this problem, as someone else has posted. I would say, though, that I find my premium subscription to be excellent value and would seriously miss having it.

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