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When I first started commenting, I remember being shocked (and annoyed) at how downvoted I got for making the kind of reply-snark that gets tolerated (if not upvoted) on Reddit – and that tone-setting is certainly a function of the community.

But that was almost a decade ago. The mindset of the tech community has gotten far more political (not a bad thing, but a natural consequence of "software eating the world"), and it's really hard to imagine that HN would have turned out like it is today through self-policing alone.

Even if we assume HN were to collectively agree on taking a hard stance against anything political in nature (which still seems to be the case sometimes, given that the mods have to occasionally step in and manually de-flag and protect threads), that would've likely turned off a number of current HN users who see HN as a great place to discuss tech's greater implications and role in society.

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