Comments waiting but no comments found

WordPress Development Asked by Athoxx on January 4, 2022

So, I have a weird problem, and I’m not sure this is the right place to ask it, but I’m going to try because all other options have failed.

I have a site that is running WPML and WooCommerce. On this site, I have a page called Guestbook, which is just like any other page, but it accepts comments. Anyways, I recently decided to do some clean-up of all the “awaiting comments”. They’re all spam so I hadn’t bothered until now. But going into the comments section of Admin, there is nothing there!

So my question is first of all, how do I rectify this? And could it have something to do with my code in the theme? I can’t think of anything personally, but perhaps someone has stumbled upon this before and might have some insight?

Swedish WordPress Admin, displaying all languages.

“Kommentarer” is “Comments” in Swedish, just FYI.

3 Answers

Similar problem, showed that we had comments even after deleting the entire list -- disabled WooCommerce and then refreshed the Comments list -- poof, gone!

Answered by ioweyouacoke on January 4, 2022

Try to check on DB level.

This SQL should give a list of all spam comments (which I assume skräpposter means):

SELECT * FROM `wp_comments` WHERE `comment_approved` = 'spam';

If the SQL gives 0 lines, the issue is with WordPress counting those comments, but in fact there are none. If the SQL gives a list, the issue is with the listing of those comments.

It may be an issue with the term spam being translated when writing comments to the db, but not when reading or vice-versa. You can check all approval status tags in your db using this:

SELECT DISTINCT `comment_approved` FROM `wp_comments`;

(or in some dialect: SELECT UNIQUE `comment_approved` FROM `wp_comments`;)

This should show terms like 1 (approved), 0 (pending), spam, trash etc. If you see translated string here, like skräpposter and similar, you may be in for a ride to find out why those terms are not written in the db as they should.

If all seems fine on the db level, it's trickier to find the reason, why those are not listed. Definitely needs the target system to be investigated more.

But anyway, this is where I'd start my investigation.

*: assuming your db prefix is wp_


It may be a malware infection, which may benefit from removing your ability to manage comments. They could as well hide spam comments from logged in admin user on the frontend, while showing them to regular visitors, so check your site in incognito and probably run some kind of a malware scan on it too!

Answered by on January 4, 2022

This might be a conflict/issue with your theme. What theme are you using? Have you checked any comment or translation related settings in your themes settings (if any)?

You can also try this method for troubleshooting WPML.

  1. Go to the WPML > Support > Troubleshooting page.
  2. Find 'Clean up' section and click on the following buttons:
  • Clear the cache in WPML
  • Remove ghost entries from the translation tables
  • Fix element_type collation
  • Set language information

Answered by dylzee on January 4, 2022

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