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I can’t imagine what it’s like to moderate large sites like HN. I read it with Show Dead turned on and I’m amazed at how many people have been shadow banned with no clue they’ve been posting frequently for years with no idea 99% of people will never see what they wrote.

In most cases it looks like dang does give them a reason when they’re banned but I don’t think many of them read it.




When we see a banned account that has been consistently posting good comments, we unban it. If you see one of those, you should let us know at hn@ycombinator.com. We appreciate users looking out for each other and always look closely at these requests.

Much more common is banned accounts that post a mixture of good comments and ones that break the site guidelines. Those, unfortunately, we can't unban, for the obvious reason that the bad comments do more harm than the good ones add value. That's why we introduced vouching: so the good comments can still make it through.

Sometimes we unban accounts and as soon as they're unbanned they revert to breaking the site guidelines. Then we ban them again and they start posting good comments again. The human heart has murky depths.


I make it a habit to check seemingly frivolously killed comments and vouch for them in the case of apparent shadowbans. You can help too!


It's a fine idea, but ISTR that if you do this too often to what they consider validly killed comments then they just tune your vouching value to zero. You have no way to know this, so it's really hellvouching.


Can’t you just look at the comment while logged out?


One vouch doesn't unkill a comment (just as one downvote doesn't kill a comment). If you vouch and the comment is immediately unkilled, then since you were probably the person whose vouch made the final difference you probably do have a positive vouching value. It is rare to see that, however, so you don't really know your own (or anyone's) vouching value. The term "hellvouch" was intended to represent that we don't know what our vouching power, not that we don't know whether a comment has been unkilled or not.

We can see whether someone else's comment has been killed whether we're logged in or out, so maybe I'm not following your question...


Just before I saw this I actually read this: https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-silicon-valley/th...


Dumb question - how can you tell what posts are from shadowbanned people?


Turn on showdead in your options and click on the name of someone with a dead comment, their history will show all of their comments in the same condition.




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