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[flagged] Ask HN: Why is the Peter Thiel Trump donation story buried by HN?
83 points by pesenti on Oct 16, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 36 comments
The story http://nytimes.com/2016/10/16/technology/peter-thiel-donald-j-trump.html has been submitted multiple times but each time it was flagged and removed. It made it twice to the front page https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12716514 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12716678 with many points and comments but still got removed... Given that Thiel just became a part time advisor of YC that's a weird coincidence.

Moderators have not intervened on these donation stories. They received a number of flags from users who believe they don't belong on Hacker News, probably because political stories are specifically called out as off-topic by the submission guidelines.

(See also https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12716673)

I would bet it's because all political stories get buried on HN. Per HN guidelines:

"Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic."


Given that Thiel is one of the most prominent figure in the tech world + a YC advisor this is a valid tech story.

tangentially, but its not about tech policy. so unless you are planning on doing business with him, and this changes your mind, why do you consider it tech news. people come here for javascript framework debates, not updates on people flushing money away.

When Peter Thiel funds the World's Worst Startup it's totally HN-worthy! (LOL)

Oh get the hell out of here. Political stories are on HN all the time.

They frequently rise to the top of the front page (because politics always rises to the top of everything...it's the nature of politics to grab your emotions and encourage you to do something) and then they frequently get killed (because a number of users flag them down once the discussion starts generating more heat than light).

Few weeks ago there were constantly at least 5/30 pure political stories on the main page. And this wasn't a problem. They weren't flagged or manually 'downweighted' by moderators like now (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12715332).

But these stories were mostly anti-Trump...

Perhaps they changed their policies.

Isn't it nice to be able to go somewhere and not discuss the same [series of colorful expletives expunged] topics we can discuss everywhere else? It's not like HN has much of a unique take on the topic, at least from what I've seen. Well, except for maybe being more generally grammatical than the usual set of flamewars. But it's still the usual set of flamewars.

I doubt this very much. The practices around how we moderate HN have been pretty stable for a long time, including about politics. There are fluctuations for various reasons, but not huge swings or shifts. If it appears so, it's likely because of (a) sample bias plus (b) whatever the bias is that always makes people feel like their side is being treated unfairly.

We're thinking about taking HN a conscious step further away from political stories, actually. But I think it would be a mistake to do that because of behavior during an election season, since that's such skewed data.

This is partly why I like hckrnews.com as my front page. Stories that are flagged yet have massive upvotes still appear there, and I'm happier for it.

It's getting flagged because people are tired of reading about Donald Trump and tired of reading about Peter Thiel. I doubt there's any larger conspiracy.

I'm not very political and I haven't decided who to vote for yet, but I don't understand why the tech industry is so anti-Trump.

He seems like a relatively sincere and smart guy to me, and some of his policies seem to be better for business.

Is it because of tougher immigration laws? Are there other reasons based on his policies, or is it mostly just emotional?

In terms of tech-related policies, he's against Net Neutrality (or was previously) [1], for NSA wiretapping [2], and for encryption backdoors [3]. Many of his views go against what (most of) the tech industry believes. Although much of the anti-Trump talk you'll see here is just because a large portion of the posters here live in Silicon Valley, are young/students, immigrants, etc.

[1] http://gizmodo.com/the-2016-presidential-candidates-views-on...

[2] https://www.isidewith.com/candidate-guide/donald-trump/domes...

[3] https://www.isidewith.com/candidate-guide/donald-trump/domes...

Hillary's not significantly different in that respect -- unless the story is surprise that Peter Thiel's not backing Gary.

Interesting. This is the first time I see anyone refer to him as a smart guy. I'm not political either but it's very clear from most of his talks that his behavior doesn't encourage confidence or respect.

You aren't the target audience.

There is a strange anti-elitism bias in politics. To win, you have to be aware of this. You need to avoid seeming to be too intellectual.

The real expert at hiding IQ was probably the second Bush. Years later, people who worked closely with him report that he was shockingly smart. Had he let this show in public, there is no way he would have won. This is especially true for the primaries.

Simplistic thinking and an air of confidence goes a long way. Insulting the values of your voters will do you no good. (insulting voters in hopeless states and 49% of the voters in swing states is OK though) Trump clearly understands this. I wouldn't bet on him being dumb.

- "Simplistic thinking and an air of confidence goes a long way"

Agree, and btw this is a big lesson for anyone trying to get into any management position.

He seems like a relatively sincere and smart guy to me

I challenge you to post one quote from Trump that "seems smart".

I watched a few of his recent speeches and a lot of what he says seems pretty reasonable. I think he started out being more extreme to grab attention and now that he's got momentum he's mellowed out and actually developed rational policies.

Most people are very emotional about it and seem to have knee-jerk reactions, so I'd like to hear from people who actually read his finalized policies and have specific criticisms about them, not just referencing scandals.

Absolutely has to be a troll. EOM

The smarter he is, the less likely such a quote can be found.

The anti-elitism bias is real. It's tough to win the election, and probably impossible to win the republican primary, if you get into subtle things of an intellectual nature. People don't want to hear it. It prevents voters from having a strong emotional connection with the candidate.

Dumb = smart now?

Idiocracy has arrived

Who are you trying to fool?

He's too unstable to be anywhere near the big red button.

Yet the alternative announced we should shoot down Russian jets over Syria? Even Jill Stein recently said Hilary is more likely to bring us to nuclear war.

... see this is why political posts get flagged. Back and forth we could go, to no end.

So you should let Russia do whatever they want? When did the US became a country of pansies?

Pro-Torture Anti-Encryption Snowden is a criminal Would give nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia Pro-Putin

Then there are the multiple sex abuse accusations.

Seems like an all-around anti-tech candidate to me.

So, pretty much the same as Hillary, except we must add "by proxy" or "accomplice" after the word "abuse".

The real difference is having played opposite roles in bribery. We have a choice between a president with a history of paying bribes and a president with a history of getting paid bribes.

Thiel was on the fence about donating earlier, but Trump's alleged acts of serial sexual predation, accusations that Hillary was on drugs and should be in jail, that people are rigging the election in the media and at voting booths...it took those to really seal the deal!

more on-topic, seems problematic for the tech community when prominent tech folks take a strong stand against free speech, for authoritarian anti-free-press candidates. (while claiming libertarian leanings, to boot!)

(At the risk of getting downvoted by HN folks...)

Isn't it obvious? It's because Peter Thiel is a part-time partner at Y Combinator.

> I’m delighted to announce Peter Thiel is joining YC as one of the (now 10!) part-time partners.

Source: http://blog.ycombinator.com/welcome-peter

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Thiel#Y_Combinator

To the HN mods. Now how do you explain that this post got flagged and removed...?

When a story says [flagged], it's because users flagged it.

So a handful of users can decide to bury a subject even though a great majority of HN users find it useful? This post is within the HN guidelines (it's not about politics it's about HN processes).

That's how user generated content works.

How many flags are required to kill a link with, let's say, 50 points? Is this less than 50?

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