Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Des Moines Register grapples with how to handle reporter’s past tweets (matthewkeys.net)
45 points by smacktoward 17 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 86 comments



As long as we continue to hold things people said as teenagers a decade ago against them, this will continue happening. People started tweeting their every though long before they began considering the potential future consequences of that action. People grow and mature, and assuming the worst thing they've ever said is an accurate reflection of their entire character is wrong. And finally, norms have changed drastically over the last decade. I think it's foolish to hold historical figures to today's societal norms, and I think the same about any of us a decade ago.

We're in a state of mutually assured destruction right now. I can't imagine that this state of affairs can hold much longer. Eventually, for all our sake, I hope we can remember the wisdom in Christ's words, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".


This is IMO the fundamental problem with the Internet (particularly today, Twitter and Facebook): it doesn't forget. One of humanity's greatest strengths is that we forget. We forget slights made against us, we forget things we and others have said, and we move on with our lives. Otherwise it would be very difficult to live with each other.

We even have proof of this. Some people have perfect memories and never forget anything, and while some learn how to live with it, for others it is absolute hell. Social media has broken that contract for everyone, and we still haven't figured out that storing and indexing everything indefinitely is actually one of the worst decision tech companies have made.


It's the worst decision for a few people who made disparaging comments on social media and then are put in the spotlight. The Internets permanent memory is one of it's greatest strengths IMO not a "fundamental problem". These stories blow over and people get on with real life, but the knowledge base and access to information remains.


I have to agree I like having a time machine to look back on and think it is important almost like a history book. But a big part of me sympathises with people who find themselves in those situations. I don't think I have said anything I would regret on line but know there were some times in my younger life where I held some pretty charged views. Unless you are in someone's shoes it is hard to understand why they are saying the things they did. Perhaps they grew up in a completely racist house with parents that fed them that information. It doesn't make what the person said any less terrible but I think as a society we should be open to forgiveness where it is due. I don't think everything should be forgiven as some things cross the lines that can never be taken back but hope as a society we can realize that racial beliefs and political views and thoughts about police can change as one matures and is educated. What a mess.


Can you really, honestly say that you have never said anything that you regretted later?


Of course not, but that's also the case in real life and that doesn't mean the permanence of the internet is a problem that needs fixing. Like the other comment mentioned, things from the past should be taken with a grain of salt online or otherwise.


Yes, and what's crazy is that what is socially acceptable (or even 'progressive') today might be totally unacceptable years from now.

Read some of what John Cleese has said. Totally hero-level entertainer back in the day, cutting-edge progressive, today Monty Python has been criticized.

It's probably best to just try to wipe out everything you say from public record. Else years from now someone will take your most kind statements and twist them into something horrible.


The scary thing is that I don't see the norms of this decade much different than the previous one. I have no idea what landmine I'm going to hit because of this.


I keep seeing this argument everywhere (basically whenever anyone is criticized for a past Tweet or FB post), and it's really confounding to me. Perhaps it's that many of the people making this argument have grown up as part of the 'social media generation' and are therefore more apt to identify with this sort of thing? I grew up during the dial-up days and was always taught to be careful with what I did and said online, as far as it was attached to my name. Has that knowledge been lost?

> And finally, norms have changed drastically over the last decade.

You're so right, but I'm not sure that it's in the way you think: in what other period of time, and in what other sphere of social life, have past actions not mattered?

You're presuming that he has 'grown and matured' and is therefore beyond reproach; did he offer any evidence that he has changed, or is the mere fact that his behavior is from 'several years ago' what makes you take up his cause? If I yelled racist and homophobic things at people ten years ago, does the passage of time alone make me 'innocent' in your eyes?

> teenagers a decade ago > I think it's foolish to hold historical figures to today's societal norms, and I think the same about any of us a decade ago.

We're not talking about a teenager saying something 'a decade ago;' this was only several years ago, and in a similar job. He is young, yes, but does that mean that his professional conduct does not matter? At all? Because a couple of years have passed? He didn't know that being hateful and shitty to people was bad then, because his cultural context was so different? I call bullshit on that.

The author of this pieces makes the same assertion about King: > decades-old tweets

Twitter has been around for 13 years. There are no 'decades-old' Tweets, period, that anyone has been attacked for, ever. It gives the impression that it is in the much more distant past than it really is.

I know that I'm pissing in the wind of the prevailing attitude that what's said online is somehow sacrosanct and should be free of criticism, but I find the conclusion that we can't judge people on their past ONLINE actions, specifically, very fucking strange and self-serving.

> wisdom in Christ's words

If you want to be Christ-like, try not saying hateful things online AT ALL. I'm pretty sure Christ wouldn't have said, "Let he who is hateful be without reproach because it was funny at the time."


> If you want to be Christ-like, try not saying hateful things online AT ALL. I'm pretty sure Christ wouldn't have said, "Let he who is hateful be without reproach because it was funny at the time."

I left out the part of the story where he turns to the woman who was to have been stoned and says "go and sin no more". We must be responsible for our actions and try to do good, but none of us are really very good at that, and will always make mistakes. Because of that, it's also our responsibility to show grace and forgiveness to others. If it's impossible to leave behind foolish or terrible things we've said or done, we're all doomed.

For what it's worth, I didn't really want my original comment to be read as aimed at King or the reporter. I think the reporter (and his editor) was wrong to do what he did and got a taste of his own medicine. It would've been far better had the whole story remained untold.


Well I didn't expect this to turn into a theological conservation, and I don't really have time at the moment for all of that, but I will say that there is a difference between innocently screwing up and asking for forgiveness and the idea of 'indulgences' where we essentially say, "We know we're going to screw up so good thing we have an 'out' and it's no big deal in the end." Saying that everyone screws up so it's not that bad sounds more like the latter to me.

> If it's impossible to leave behind foolish or terrible things we've said or done, we're all doomed.

I don't know; I'm embarrassed by some things that I've said or done in the past, but I can acknowledge them without it destroying my perception of myself. Plus if you think small, family-based societies in the past had shorter social memories than we do today, I'd wager that you're dreadfully mistaken.

Most schools of thought around forgiveness, especially Christian ones, involve acknowledgement and atonement, not blaming our youth or social context or the fact that it was online. We may leave things behind, yes, but that does not mean that they didn't happen. Denial is not acceptance.


It's not that complicated, Carson King's tweets were not newsworthy and not even remotely part of the story. By digging into the subject's background for dirt and then leveraging that dirt to get Busch Light to cancel the relationship, Aaron Calvin inserted himself into the story, opening the door to the backlash.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.


I mean to be fair, he might have dug into the old tweets just as a matter of course, not necessarily to "find dirt".

Publishing them is a different story, however.


Going through 7 years worth of tweets? That seems excessive for a cursory "background check" of someones social media - which, according to the letter from the editors - was how they found them, and was "standard policy" [1].

That being said, I am not a journalist. So am ignorant of standards for something like this.

[1] - https://twitter.com/DMRegister/status/1176705031468457985


I was going to counter-argue that hey maybe "7 years' worth of tweets" was only like a hundred tweets but no, there's more than a thousand. And since I doubt Calvin read every one, it was probably a fishing expedition for key words.


I agree that it was wrong to bring up the tweets during the reporting (the subject went public with his apology before the DMR ran their profile), but when you rhetorically ask, "Going through 7 years worth of tweets?", are you aware of how Twitter advanced search works? You don't have to "go through n years worth of tweets" – you can search by keyword and by author, and in seconds, Twitter will show you any and all tweets with that keyword, across all of time.

So it's like someone asking, "You went through billions of webpages to find my homepage?", because they aren't aware of how Google is used. Yes, reading through 7 years of tweets would be a huge investment of time, but searching for keywords like "Holocaust" or the n-word is not. I haven't had to write a profile of someone in the age of social media, but back when I worked for a newspaper, I would routinely do a courts search for anyone I was doing a profile on, even for fluff profile. Not because I was looking for dirt, but because it's a process that takes a minute and prevents me from unknowingly whitewashing someone with a fluff profile.


He went public after the DMR asked him about it, to get ahead of it. At that point they could have left it out of their yet unpublished piece.

Absolutely fair points and I totally missed the advanced search bit - you are 100% right there.

But, to that point, wouldn't it suggest even more bias if someone were simply searching: @SUBJECT_HANDLE + <RACIST_OR_SOCIALLY_UNACCEPTABLE_TERM_KEYWORD> ?

To me, that seems like the definition of digging for dirt. But, I guess it depends on who's side you identify with more.

I would totally be fine if they could present some sort of SOP or protocol for doing their social media background checks in a standard way. I've seen nothing like that.


Note: I definitely don't hold it against him for going public. And the fact that he felt the need to do so suggests to me either he is an extremely stand-up guy, and/or the reporter asked him about it made it seem inevitable that the tweets would be written about.

> To me, that seems like the definition of digging for dirt.

Again, my opinion (and limited past experience) only, but I think the easy and quick mechanics of tweet-searching makes it a routine check and not "digging for dirt". Just like how Google and court searches can be done in a few seconds/minutes. When I did a cursory criminal background check for the subject of a positive news profile, it wasn't because I wanted to find dirt. It's because I don't want to put out a happy naive fuzzy article about an award-winning local business leader, only to find out via letters from victims/litigants who tell me he's the target of serious accusations/lawsuits.

Now if finding bad tweets from someone actually required collecting and reading years of tweets, that would be more akin to digging for dirt, because you have to work for it. You only put in that work when you really want to find something.

That said, if I were the DMR reporter in this case and stumbled upon those controversial tweets in my cursory check, I would've done the math in my head (i.e. King was only 16 at the time), and I would've put in the work to see if there were any recent tweets that indicate his purported bigotry is an ongoing character trait. And if I couldn't find such tweets (which seems to be the case with King), then I wouldn't even bring it up. I just wouldn't see that relevant to this kind of profile, same as I probably wouldn't find it necessary to report on or ask about minor juvenile crimes long expunged.


Thanks for explaining. I found your take here quite refreshing:

> I would've put in the work to see if there were any recent tweets that indicate his purported bigotry is an ongoing character trait. And if I couldn't find such tweets (which seems to be the case with King), then I wouldn't even bring it up.

I suppose I am genuinely curious in the details of tweet searching mechanics from an Info retrieval standpoint: Do you iterate through a list of "bad terms" to search against the subject? If so, what is your source for such list and how is it maintained?

I guess what I'm looking for, is could this be a standardized process set at the 'organizational level' - or is it a process created by individual reporters based on personal experience?

Again - genuinely curious - no snark intended.


I can't say from personal experience since I haven't had to write a profile on anyone in the time when social media backgrounding became a common thing. In terms of what things to search for, I imagine it's all subjective, just as it's subjective on what you should judge someone for (social media, criminal background, etc), but I'm sure looking for common bigoted slurs would be standard practice.

One thing worth noting: As I understand it, Mr. King's charity campaign was heavily based off of social media (after the initial appearance on ESPN GameDay) – meaning that he spread it via his own Twitter account. Which makes looking at his Twitter account and past tweets more routine, since social media is essentially a large part of his current fame/notability. For other kinds of profile subjects, such as "Teacher of the Year" or "veteran recalls memories of war on war's anniversary", I'd be surprised if reporters did a social media check. Because unless that person themself says their social media profile is a big deal, then the reporter probably won't even be aware of it.


Someone on twitter made a comment along the lines of

"the reporter should have taken the tweets to Carson King and said 'hey I found these tweets you should delete them so they don't get in the way of your fundraising campaign'".

Would have been a pragmatic solution at the time.


You only do that if you care more about helping children than you care about clicks.


Isn’t that inserting yourself into the story?


It would not be part of the story.


A journalist digs into old tweets as a matter of course to find dirt. Clickbait is the norm not a dodgy tactic.


What is the matter of course? What is the point of doing the search if not to find something controversial?


Yeah but he had to have ran that story by an editor, and the editor approved. Right?

So tired of the easiest scapegoats getting all the flak.


Reminds me of the VW emissions, blame it on a low-level engineer.


I think the editor mistakenly thought this was a now-acceptable way to make the story even bigger


And I’m sure the reporter thought the same. So why was only one punished?

For the record, I don’t think either should be punished as long as they give a legit apology.


King posted stuff that was basically a civil discussion on /b/ circa 2012. His mistake was posting it on twitter. This is basically a normal teenage mistake.

Calvin posted similar stuff more recently and while working as a reporter. This fails to meet the standard of behavior we expect adults who work in journalism to hold themselves to. Simply put, posting that kind of crap indicates he is not qualified to do his job. If he was working in a different industry it would be different (e.g. if your accountant is a neo-nazi it probably doesn't impact their ability to do their job) but the fact of the matter he is in a publicly facing role and in those kinds of roles being able to at appear neutral (or at least not too extreme) matters.


Well then lets do away with punishment and let everyone off with an apology.


To be fair, the story didn't run/go to print before Carson King went public with his apology. We don't know for sure that the editors and reporter would have included the tweets in their final draft of the story.


As someone currently living in Des Moines, this is all the city can talk about right now. Facebook is on fire with people going after the Register, pitchforks in hand. It is kind of ridiculous they'd dig up 8ish year old posts this guy made in a story about his generosity towards a children's hospital, but it seems that is what media has to do now to get eyes. The backlash on the Register has been swift and harsh, though, and with print media already on the decline, is probably pretty bad news for the paper overall.


Des Moines resident checking in.

I can't believe how quickly this has escalated. From a feel-good local story to national news and now the reporter getting fired.

What leaves the worst taste in my mouth is that the Register still hasn't apologized, and in their "statement", they still tried to shift blame back to Carson.


To get eyes and to CYA. In the current witch hunt environment you have to be be careful about ever praising someone. Later someone digs up a racist tweet and now you are the guy who praises a racist!


I feel like the most recent “battle cries” are along the lines of:

“In the name of tolerance, I cannot tolerate even one tweet disagreeing with my world view!”

I’m glad this journalist was punished, but honestly it’s a systemic issue.


Whenever tolerance is used as a scapegoat for intolerant behavior, it’s always important to consider the Paradox of Tolerance: "In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance


And the definition of what it means to be intolerant is shifting daily.


Intolerance is pretty easy to identify. I would guess that what you’re referring to is the degree of intolerant behavior that people choose to respond to or not.

That is, certain types of intolerant behavior have been “accepted” by society when it is directed at certain marginalized groups or concepts. What’s changed is that the behavior is now deemed as wrong, but it was always intolerant.


I'm talking about things like calling it racist that a black girl in an H&M catalog has messy hair.


There’s a difference between behavior and discussion. Most of the intolerance today seems to be intolerant of speech.

I agree we should not tolerate behavior, but someone saying (or in this case tweeting) something isn’t necessarily the same.


Being tolerant of intolerant speech, leads to intolerant behavior and intolerant laws. When someone suggests that it is acceptable that there are groups of people who it is acceptable to discriminate against, they are encouraging intolerant behavior against those people.

In this case, it's mild, seems like a statement from the person that they will delete their related tweets, have realized they were wrong in their younger years, etc. would probably be enough. It all depends on extremes.

So yes, I agree that speech and actions are not the same. There is a social response to intolerant speech, and there is ideally a legal response to intolerant actions.


Every time I see this article linked in a context similar to this one, I question whether the linker has read the third sentence within:

"Popper took pains to make clear that he did not mean the expression of intolerant words and ideas, but in fact the opposite: They who must not be tolerated are those who wish to silence discussion and debate."


When the philosophy is "we should have tolerance for other world views" then intolerance of world views is in fact a problem. The apparent contradiction is one of semiotic similarity, not content or hypocrisy. If you say, "I believe in non-violence!" It's no contradiction to fight an attacker that will otherwise kill you. You cannot maintain a tolerant community with large swathes of intolerance.


The thing is that there are some things you shouldn't tolerate. Ideas like racism or homophobia are deeper than just a difference in worldview, they actually hurt real people. For me personally I won't tolerate homophobia for public figures because I have multiple people in my family who are LGBTQ and I've seen that sort of rhetoric hurt the people I care about.

That being said I always believe people can grow so if they've apologized for it in the past I'm willing to give them a second chance.

Edit: the whole point of what people generally term tolerance is to lessen pain for people who have been marginalized. "Tolerating" the people who cause that pain is running counter to that movement.

Edit2: tolerance has not and should not be unconditional, to point out an extreme case no one has ever asked me to tolerate an unprepentant rapist or murderer, lack of tolerance for people who are actively causing harm is fairly well established.


I also won’t support racism or homophobia in public figures. But I’d also add (big-S) socialism to the list. In terms of deaths caused and prosperity foregone, socialism is right up there in terms of “actually hurting real people.” How many fewer babies would be dead in India or China had those countries embraced market mechanisms decades earlier? That’s a quantifiable harm, and it's massive.

But I suspect many people would agree with two of mine, but not the third. So that brings me to the question: how do you decide what’s intolerable? Harm can’t be the only criteria because many genuinely held positions are so held because people believe that other approaches will hurt real people. And who gets to decide what falls into the category of “intolerable ideas?” People don’t usually express comic book villain versions of those ideas. Who is racist--Harvard, or the asians suing it over its admission policies?

In response to your edit: defining tolerance in terms of effect on marginalized groups is admirable, but it leads to somewhat paradoxical results. Ideas that hurt a broad segment of society are tolerable, while ideas that affect fewer people are intolerable?


We never will all agree on what is intolerable and that's overall healthy for society, it's how we allow ourselves to grow. I don't want to argue for what is tolerable or not, just that for me I'm comfortable not tolerating certain things.


Tolerating certain things, or tolerating certain people? OP is about kicking people out of society for single past errors.


EVERYONE is racist. So what do we do? Cancel humanity? "Intolerance of intolerance" is just the latest nickname for tribal battles, that relies on insane acrobatics like computing who has the most intersectional victimhood in order to determine who has to be #cancelled and who is a hero "punching up".


Journalists have become the biggest hypocrites for what is right and wrong, and I think it’s because they feel immune to the values and norms that the rest of the society is held to.


Sarah Jeong still works for the NYT, after far worse and more recent behavior at non child age than what got Carson King "cancelled", but since her intolerance is about old, white, men, it's celebrated.


This sort of thing is inevitable given the trend of weaponizing social media history. No one with any online presence can, over a long enough time scale, go without eventually posting something stupid, or something that can be construed as offensive. Especially when the line between what is acceptable humor and not shifts over time.

The media has made a lot of hay crucifying people lately. The only way to push back against that effectively does seem to be deploying their own tactics against them in this kind of mutually assured destruction.

There is a high level of hubris in penning a story dragging someone for stupid tweets made as a teenager, and not bothering to at least scrub your own timeline before publishing.


The problem is that I'm not sure there can be "mutually assured destruction" when one group has much more power to dictate the narrative. The media can't completely control the story, but they certainly have lots of influence. Just over the last couple years there have been:

* NYT editor apologizes for racist tweets about Jews and Indians [0]

* NYT editor demoted for past racist tweets [1]

* NYT editor apologizes for racist tweets about white people [2]

* NYT stands by editor who made racist tweets about white people [3]

However, the only punishment received by any of these people was a demotion in the case of [1]. Meanwhile, the paper has the power to put out articles that shape the narrative, deflect attention away from the tweets in question, and reframe the story as an attack on journalism by nefarious actors [4]. Meanwhile, if a non-member of the media, particularly in the case of an average person like Carson King, has their past tweets dug up and reported on, they don't have anything close to the same voice to defend themselves, and are more liable to be treated as a pariah by the public or fired by their workplace.

[0] https://thehill.com/homenews/media/458466-new-york-times-edi...

[1] https://nypost.com/2019/08/13/ny-times-demotes-top-dc-editor...

[2] https://www.rt.com/usa/469408-nyt-editor-racist-tweets/ [3] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45052534

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/25/us/politics/trump-allies-...


I always thought that "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." quote attributed to Richelieu was hyperbole (and so not likely to be an actual quote).

I'm no longer sure about either of those assumptions.


That reminds me of the Richard Nixon (or LBJ) recordings. There was literally years of conversation captured. It would be pretty easy to piece together some damaging utterances with years or recordings.


I don't understand the thought process that leads to Calvin publishing (well, submitting to his editors for review and publication) King's quotes in a negative light when he has said similar. Wouldn't you just chalk those kind of posts up to "meh, I'd do that, nothing to see here"?

That said, if going looking to see if someone said something stupid on social media a decade ago is part of a "routine background check" then I think that speaks to something larger being wrong.


Saw it written elsewhere:

We live in a world where a crime you committed as a teenager is washed away but not something you said.


> I don't understand the thought process that leads to Calvin publishing (well, submitting to his editors for review and publication) King's quotes in a negative light when he has said similar. Wouldn't you just chalk those kind of posts up to "meh, I'd do that, nothing to see here"?

Hubris, presumably.

"I'm not the subject of the story. Why would anyone go after me?"


Try entering politics. People complain about the quality of politicians in the electorate, but that’s because a lot of people just don’t want the scrutiny that will inevitably come should they seek office.


I'm mostly surprised that, in reporting on it at all, he didn't also think to himself, "Oh crap, I've said some bad things too. I should clean that up first."


Do as I say, not as I've done.


If you're in the right victim group, you can get away with anything. E.g.,

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2018/08...


That reporter is no longer with the Register.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/f...



At this point, I'm surprised people don't routinely go in and look at what they've written in the past and get rid of this sort of thing proactively. Though I suppose a person who writes these things may be the type that wouldn't think to go back like that.

However, I believe that as a society we need to realize that people can change. The issue of gay marriage is a case in point: We didn't get to this level of support just by having older folks die off with younger more accepting folks left to support it. Prior to these systems, a person might have been homophobic a decade ago and reconsidered their views since then, only you'd never know it-- you would only be left with their current actions to judge them. In my view that's much more important that what they believed 10 years or even 2 years ago.


I agree. Offensive statements and actions should be considered with their age along with the offending parties age.

In fact, I'd argue that reflection upon mistakes is one of the most important drivers of growth and maturity. I personally have been deeply changed by learning that I've wronged someone, and been motivated to change my actions in the future.


Just be aware that you are victim-blaming here. The people pillorying people for minor ancient errors are the villains, not the people who forget to hire reputation management firms to clean their internet history.


Assuming we are talking about the initial victim, Carson King, I would agree with you. He's just some guy who happened to land in the limelight.

The second person that got ripped to shreds and fired over his stupid tweets is a journalist, indeed the journalist who incited the outrage over Carson's stupid tweets. It's little more than karmic revenge to be hoisted on his own petard in this fashion.


I actually purged my online presence of anything risky a few years ago but archive.org still has stuff! Whoops, all I have to do is hope no one goes looking there.

It was all this "America is the Great Satan" from when I was fairly anarcho-syndicalist. Fortunately I cleared it all before it became mandatory to share your social media with immigration officials. Phew!


Last I checked, archive.org respects robots.txt retroactively so if this was posted on domains you control, you can fix it.


Respect, brotherman. I will complete the purge posthaste.


I heard something almost exactly like this addressed before: “They are a fantastic person. They’re almost the perfect person. How close to perfect? Shy by just two tweets.”

Witch hunts like this are part of the reason why countries think that the right to be forgotten might be a good thing for their citizens.


I think it’s called being a hypocrite. People evolve, people change, just because you posted something racist 10 years ago doesn’t mean you’re a racist, doesn’t mean you’re a bigot, it means you’re an idiot. This crap of holding things over peoples head from long ago, and then continuing to beat him with it has got to stop.



That one was even more egregious, in my opinion.


Interesting counterpoint, interview with the reporter: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/juliareinstein/des-moin...

Also includes a summary of what the reporter's own tweets were (not included in the OP).


The problem was with the editor Carol Hunter. Firing the cub reporter for writing the tabloid copy she wanted made it all the more worse. Until the Register removes Hunter the paper is defacto dead to much of Iowa.


He was a kid, he grew up and has made it clear he doesn't support those past tweets anymore.

We want people to move on from bigoted ideas right?

If so then it appears he has and that should be the end of it.


Get off Twitter. Get off Instagram, get off Facebook. Get off social media before it's weaponized against you. The eye of Sauron could be upon you at any moment.


How'd he find "decades old tweets" when Twitter is only 13 years old?


1.3 decades


"Calvin used two decades-old tweets"


I cannot fathom how this story is possibly in this sites purview.


It's at the cross section of modern technology & its impact on society. Seems right to me. Also, take a look at the community guidelines: They don't specify "tech news only", and in fact specify as on-topic "anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity". By that definition, pretty much anything that gets enough up-votes to rise to the community's attention is de-facto on topic.

Your comment, on the other hand, is decidedly against the community guidelines: "Please don't complain that a submission is inappropriate. If a story is spam or off-topic, flag it."

guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Given that it’s about real world impact of tweets, and the changing social expectations around personal comments, I’d say it’s highly relevant.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: