Hacker News

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Hacker News
Web address news.ycombinator.com
Type of site News aggregator
Registration Free
Available in English
Owner Y Combinator
Launched February 19, 2007
Current status Online

Hacker News is a social news website that caters to programmers and entrepreneurs, delivering content related to computer science and entrepreneurship. It is run by Paul Graham's investment fund and startup incubator, Y Combinator, and is different from other social news websites in that there is no option to down vote submissions; submissions can either be voted up or not voted on at all, although spam submissions can be flagged. In contrast, comments can be down voted after a user accumulates 500 "karma" or points gained when submissions or comments are voted up. In general, content that can be submitted is defined as "anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity".[1]


The site was created by Paul Graham in February 2007. Initially it was called Startup News or occasionally News.YC. On August 14, 2007, it became known by its current name.[2] It developed as a project of his company Y Combinator, functioning as a real-world application of the Arc programming language which Graham co-developed.[3]

The intention was to recreate a community similar to the early days of Reddit.[4]

Graham has stated he hopes to avoid the Eternal September that results in the general decline of intelligent discourse within a community.[3][5]


  1. ^ Graham, Paul. "Hacker News Guidelines". Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  2. ^ "Startup News Becomes Hacker News". 
  3. ^ a b Paul Graham. "What I've Learned from Hacker News". 
  4. ^ Paul Graham. "New: Y Combinator Startup News". 
  5. ^ "Hacker News News". "
    • 24 Mar 2008: Effects of TechCrunch Article -- There has been some dilution as a result. The stories that get voted up are not quite as good, and the average tone in comment threads is slightly less polite. But this has happened before when there were influxes new of users, and every time so far the effects have worn off as they got used to the culture of the site.
    • 8 Dec 2008: Growth -- Growth can't keep going at this rate forever without ruining the site, though. [...] The way to ensure that is to be fairly strict about keeping meretricious stuff off the frontpage.
    • 15 Jan 2009: Faster -- The growth has affected the character of the site slightly. The number of new accounts being created is about double what it was a month ago, and there has been a slight uptick in comments that are insulting or inane. But we're hoping that, as in past influxes, the new arrivals will with some prodding from the existing inhabitants learn the local customs." 

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