Type of site
|Launched||February 19, 2007|
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. In general, content that can be submitted is defined as "anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity".
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. 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.
Vision, practices, and criticism
While the intention was to recreate a community similar to the early days of Reddit, Hacker News differs 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. As of 2013[update], approximately 100 votes were needed to promote a story to the site's front page. Comments however can be down-voted after a user accumulates  "karma", which is computed as the "number of upvotes on a user’s submission and comments minus the number of downvotes."[clarification needed]
Graham has stated he hopes to avoid the Eternal September that results in the general decline of intelligent discourse within a community. The site has a proactive attitude in moderating content, including automated flame and spam detectors. It also practices hellbanning in which user posts stop appearing for others to see, unbeknownst to the user. Additional software is employed to detect "voting rings to purposefully vote up stories".
According to a 2013 Tech Crunch article: "Graham says that Hacker News gets a lot of complaints that it has a bias toward featuring stories about Y Combinator startups, but he says there is no such bias. [...] Graham adds that he gets a lot of vitriol from users personally with accusations of bias or censoring."
- Graham, Paul. "Hacker News Guidelines". Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- Leena Rao (May 18, 2013). "The Evolution of Hacker News". TechCrunch. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "Startup News Becomes Hacker News".
- Paul Graham. "What I've Learned from Hacker News".
- Colleen Taylor (29 March 2014). "After Stepping Aside From Y Combinator, Paul Graham Hands Over The Reins At Hacker News". TechCrunch. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- Isaac, Mike (29 March 2014). "Paul Graham Steps Down From Daily Hacker News Duties". Re/code. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- Paul Graham. "New: Y Combinator Startup News".