In the meantime, here are three comments that explain how moderators had nothing to do with this.
Maybe it is due to the users, but if that is so, it feels wrong enough to give me a pretty big loss of faith in the dynamics of the community.
The issue isn't that you or other users had that perception; that's natural, which is why I've posted half a dozen explanations of what actually happened, i.e. moderators didn't touch the post (other than in one routine way I described) and its prominence on the front page was because user upvotes dramatically outweighed flags. It was purely a community response.
The reason I used the word 'nasty' is because this user has a long history of insinuating that we're lying (("it's the algorithm", "it's the user", blabla)), when they have more reason than any other HN user to know we don't do that. I've spent hours personally, patiently explaining this to him over at least a dozen occasions where he has made stuff like this up (most often, accusing us of moderating HN to be shills for Microsoft, which is silly). Good faith doesn't act this way.
I can't vote "don't flag this". So if there are approximately two sides to a discussion, and one side wants to flag it to silence the discussion, then the discussion is going to get flagged no matter what.
So the side that wants to silence just selectively silences the opinions they don't agree with, and they win.
I thought you can repudiate a flagging, isn't that the "vouch" control? I'm not familiar with exactly when it is or isn't offered.
Ironically, but not surprisingly, you're down voted for sharing that possibility.
The silencing happens because there is a huge left/right discrepancy on this site and because silencing your opposition became acceptable, due to victimhood culture.
One thing I would be very curios to know is the age distribution of people advocating silencing and no platforming.
I suspect that younger people support this due to the helicopter parent style they were more likely to have grew with, where the parent suppresses anything discomforting for the child instead of letting the child deal with it on it's own. So when that child grows it's normal for him to demand 'the state' or 'the corporation' to do the same thing, because only his comfort and views matter.
I'm a leftist. But what I see right now on the left deeply concerns me and makes me reconsider, stuff like black people advocating black only areas or events, which is ironic, because in the 60 they were fighting exactly against this, or leftists justifying and advocating violence against the extreme right, using the all time favorite excuse that "bad people deserve to be beaten".
FWIW I also got the impression that certain kinds of articles quickly disappear from the front page, and you can see on them more comments than upvotes, which is in general unusual and which suggests heavy downvoting. So to me it doesn't appear that the community is balanced. Which is not to say that this is a bad thing, many times some views are better than others.
No, it's really just that this misperception is so universal that I can't help but answer it even though I know it will do no good. Maybe it's a Beckett play.
However, flagging does seem to serve a purpose while at the same time it could be abused. Could a throttle for flagging be introduced to slow down abusive flaggers? What I mean is maybe the ability to flag postings is only possible if you haven't flagged something in say 7 days.