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I think it was a very valid thing to post. His comment made me dive into OPs history to discover that he might as well be a paid propaganda spreader. Or at the very least not someone worth engaging or taking seriously. Why is it considered unsubstantive?

It's unsubstantive because it brings up a personal point solely (if implicitly) to cast aspersion on another user.

Internet commenters are a million times too likely to assume that someone they disagree with is posting in bad faith. This is probably the biggest poison we see on HN, and it's growing. When it comes to minorities of any kind (such as nationality), the effect is to gang up on others and hound them. If that sounds odd, imagine how you'd feel if expressing your personal view on something led people to accuse you of being a spy or a paid agent. That's happening commonly now. For an example from a few months ago, see the thread at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19401961.

This comes from a cognitive bias rather than malice—the bias that, because my views are so obviously bright and light to me, anyone disagreeing must be coming from a dark place—but it's no less poisonous for being unintentional.

It's unsubstantive because it's purely conjecture.

Not everyone who has a differing view from the common consensus is a "paid propaganda spreader" and a differing view does not make someone any less worthy of engaging or taking seriously.

I would not classify the OP's post as unsubstantial. He makes an effort to type fully formed opinions and many of his comments are backed by citations. If you want to see an example of objectively unsubstantive posts, please see [1]. You will only find one-liners and unsubstantiated, inflammatory statements.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=scoot_718

By the way, your comment also break HN's rules on accusing others of astroturfing:

> Please don't make insinuations about astroturfing. It degrades discussion and is usually mistaken. If you're worried, email us and we'll look at the data.

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