Chrome on iOS (which uses a Safari webview internally with some custom handlers) lets me long-hold and open in new tab, but single tapping on story links does nothing.
Similar situation on other sites. I don't have any content blocking apps installed that I know of. Seems totally random which sites work in which browser and which don't. Phone is worse than useless now.
Edit: more context
Going to try an upgrade to 9.3 and see what happens.
UPDATE: iOS 9.3 (13E233) Japanese Ver.
Still broken. No blockers.
I can't even click on the "online support" from the Apple Support page! That is, it doesn't work.
I bought the 6sP this year and restored it from my local backup. Usually I have tons of tabs opened in Safari. Thus, I initially suspect this issue may related to those many tabs or some corruption in backup data.
After upgrade to 9.3, I still have this issue. Not sure whether my problem is related to the problem discussed here, though they had similar behavior.
After I Google something on my iPhone, if I click on any link that is the result of the Google search, the Mobile Safari stays frozen for me. Even switching to another application (with the "big physical button") gets delayed and then occurs in sequence more times, which means that some tight loop (or the flood of priority events) prevented the processing of the button, and only later the buffered presses are handled.
I've deleted cookies, history and the website data and rebooted, nothing changes.
I don't have any ad blocker installed, unless some app installed it behind my back? The only app I've installed recently is booking.com.
There are also other forum topics with the same bug:
I wouldn't be surprised that some of the apps which adds some "handler" is the problem just like the Windows Explorer extensions made problem to Windows. However these can't be controlled by the user, and I would prefer not deleting all my apps and adding it one by one to discover if it would work then.
Even in Firefox for iPhone the links don't work directly. Obviously the "long hold" handling is different however: I can "open new tab" in Firefox but in Safari the whole Safari blocks and I have to kill it once I manage to wait enough for the phone to be responsive again.