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Pick for CIA chief linked to torture site (theguardian.com)
51 points by shaki-dora on Mar 13, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 15 comments

To the submitter: You've posted this story three times in an hour. Maybe it's time to give it a rest?

I’m pretty sure I posted those three stories in something more like a minute than an hour.

I could neither believe that torture could be a controversial subject, nor that any controversy could be enough of a reason to bury this subject. There have, after all, been dozens of stories on the front page about this Googler and his misogynistic screed, and the inevitable controversy was deemed acceptable in light of this poor fellow’s freedom of speech.

I figured dozens of people been tortured by the government might lead to a similar balancing of interests. But I guess I was wrong.

Maybe it's time one of these threads wasn't flagged/shadow-flagged.

If HN's readership decides something is flag-worthy, then they've decided it. That's really all there is to it.

It’s not. Flaggings are routinely overridden by mods, in both directions.

Not routinely; occasionally, when an article clearly fits the site guidelines and the site mandate as described at https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html. That's not clear with this story. Indeed one can make a somewhat stronger argument that it doesn't: would they cover it on TV news? (yes) — is it evidence of a new phenomenon? (no, unfortunately) — is it likely to turn into a flamewar? (highly). We'd need stronger answers to those questions in order to turn off the flags.

What does seem clear is that most of the community doesn't consider this a good story for HN. If they did, the upvotes would have outweighed the flags, and the opposite was the case. I know a smaller set of users feels passionately the other way, but that's not enough for us to override community opinion. In fact, that would be a strategy for turning HN into a mostly-political site.

To try to walk very lightly and not be political, I'll put it this way.

A nomination sometimes (usually?) reflects an administrations views and policy.

Good luck finding anyone who is a CIA lifer who isn't linked to anything morally dubious somewhere along the line. It's kind of their job to fight dirty in the shadows.


It can still be morally dubious if you remember this was probably applied to a proven terrorist, who killed or helped to kill hundreds.

This article covers considerably less of the torture Ms. Haskel is responsible for than the other two threads on this, which were both flagged in under an hour.

Maybe since this one sanitises the gory details it'll be allowed live past the hour mark - but I doubt it.

... And it's flagged.


Looks like this one was unflagged. There seems to have been some funny business on these threads. Three others previously reached the front page and then were flagged.




Try to find this thread on the front pages of HN...

It's not there, at least in the first 150 results.

It seems to have been unflagged, then "shadow flagged". Which is even more fucked up.

Your first two links are the same btw, did you mean to link to this one, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16577485 , where I asked for a discussion on removal of such an important story? According to moderator 'dang', I was just "creating drama".

Thanks, I meant to link this one, but upon looking again it appears it likely never got enough votes to hit the front page before being flagged/shadowflagged


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