|Type of site||News aggregator|
|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, 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 sufficient "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".
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.
Hacker News employs the practice of hellbanning, in which a user is secretly made invisible to all other users. The hellbanned user can still post comments and submit stories, but other users will not see them without special configuration. Paul Graham and the moderators of Hacker News have been criticized for this practice, which has been called "cruel", "childish", and "unacceptable", not only because the ban is done in secret, but because the reasons for its use appear to be arbitrary and capricious. Users who are hellbanned receive no warning, and generally have little recourse outside of sending personal email to Paul Graham. Some users say they have had luck with this approach, while others receive no response at all ("my polite and apologetic emails were never answered", reported one).
Moderators have also been accused of changing submission titles without warning or explanation.
- Graham, Paul. "Hacker News Guidelines". Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- "Startup News Becomes Hacker News".
- Paul Graham. "What I've Learned from Hacker News".
- "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."
- "Ask HN: Hellbanning Unacceptable".
- Joshua Stein (June 13, 2012). "Hellbanned from Hacker News".
- "Hacker News, hellbanning is unacceptable". January 17, 2012.
- Andrew K. Kirk (December 02, 2012). "How I Got Unbanned from Hacker News".
- "Why are submission titles manipulated without notification?".
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