When a post is fairly new, it seems that the highlighted posts are now defaulting into first or most recent comments, such as the one I shared below from the article on a watch repair man. The "highlighted" comment asked if the store's owner was "jewish by any chance."

I'm not a rampant follower of Sam Biddle's but I have read enough of VW to guess that he, as the author of the post, did not select this comment as the highlight of the discussions.

Shortly after this, the highlighted comment was the gimmicky godblesstexas posting again about the death penalty. Again, didn't seem like the choice Sam Biddle would have made. Finally now there is a relevant comment and reply from Sam as the highlighted comment.

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Have things changed to default in a formulaic choice until the author picks highlighted comments because so few authors were going back to choose comments and there were so many posts with no highlighted ones?