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[flagged] Ask HN: HN Invaded by Mass Media?
44 points by talkingtab 37 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 18 comments
Right now of the top six stories on: bloomberg.com economist.com facebook.com

Why are these on HN? Bloomberg seems omnipresent and todays top story "The Dying Mall's New Lease on Life: Apartments". This seems like spam and since Bloomberg is behind a paywall (after a couple of reads) why is this at the top?

Can someone explain this to me?

I'm not sure how facebook.com is considered mass media in your example, the link is to their AI research microsite.

Bloomberg has around 20k HN listings[1], of which a majority are around technical topics or relating to scientific/technical topics i.e patents or law which are valuable to HN community, granted some of them are duplicates and possibly spam but I wouldn't rule out clicking on one.

[1] https://hn.algolia.com/api/v1/search?query=bloomberg.com&res...

This is normal. Mainstream media articles have always been in the mix. The proportions fluctuate.

Paywalls with workarounds are ok. People post workarounds in the threads. This is in the FAQ at https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html and there's more explanation here:



It's not Bloomberg it's Citylab, which only recently got bought by Bloomberg and has always rated well.

No idea why Facebook's technical blog is included in the list since it's exactly what HN is.

And the Economist I'd hardly call Mass Media.

And complaining about paywals has been explained many times before. And should be downvoted since it's explicitly against the rules.

It's annoying, but I usually flag it (if the title is clickbaity and vague), hide it and move on.

Explanation: people catch on that this is the new “hip” thing and try to exploit it for profit. Not sure there is any real way to solve this.

Wait, how? Is Bloomberg so desperate for views to profit from spamming here? Do people get a commission for spamming it here?

At least with HN, no matter the article posted here, you can comment on here if the authors of the article decide to not open the comments section, for some strange reason.

Trouble is, the comments will only be on this site unless the comments link is pasted on other websites and there's a risk of the comments box itself being closed because of it being flagged and dead.

> since Bloomberg is behind a paywall (after a couple of reads) why is this at the top?

That part I can help with: HN has a policy that paywalled content is okay as long as it's a soft paywall and there's a way to bypass it. AFAIK that's what the "web" button is there for, even if in my case it has not worked even once.

Maybe we should get rid of it. I wonder if 'past' is doing any good either.

Edit: taking them both out.

Edit: got pushback on 'past' so put it back. 'web' is still toast.

Thank you for returning past. It is one of my favorite HN features.

I'm not sure about bloomberg, but Facebook Engineering blogs and the Economist have been here forever. The Economist is only second to the wall street journal for comments that include "Why is paywalled content on HN??? :'("

The Facebook link is to AI research. Seems very on topic.

The Bloomberg story is interesting to this cohort as many people pay a ton of money for it and thus are interested in seeing how it might be disrupted.

And why would paywall deter a group of techies? Getting around them is trivial.

As everything else on the clearnet, it's been corrupted by corporativism. Cultural homogenization truly seems unstoppable from here.

Really the only sane way of parsing hn is hckrnews.com. That way you can not only quickly go past threads you don't like but also see those popular threads which were killed or punished on the HN frontpage.

HN is for sure used to gain a specific audience. It takes about 10-20 managed accounts to get a thing on the frontpage if you distribute the votes right. This is why I in 2016 made the "no noise hacker news" chrome plugin. I could link directly but I think its bad practice - so search on your preferred search engine. From the description:

    This extension will filter stories from domains that - per november 2015 - had more than than 2500 submitted stories but less than 40% had more than 3 votes. Domains with usergenerated content (as github.com or youtube.com) are not included.
    Is this censoring? 
    - No, this is a way of limiting domains with a high amount of noise.

I've personally spent countless hours working on HN's anti-abuse systems. From everything I've seen, what you're saying is quite false. It's also pernicious because it undermines people's faith in the community, so unless you can point to actual evidence, please don't post such insinuations. There's a site guideline about this, so please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html. Lots more explanation at https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20astroturf&sort=byDat.... Short version: people make these accusations up based on nothing more than patterns they imagine they see.

If you do have any evidence, such as links to posts that you think "get on the frontpage" with "managed accounts", you should be sending it to hn@ycombinator.com so we can investigate. It's highly unlikely that the Economist or Bloomberg are trying to game HN. There are plenty of voting rings but the ones we've seen come from quite different places.

> Can someone explain this to me?

I think it's lock-down. a lot of people have lots of time now, either they lost their job or are now struggling even more than previously. They are being sucked into the hell of MSM trying to fill their time.

can't blame people for tuning into weak content - it's a form of escape which leads to more such content getting eye-balls and ultimately being submitted and upvoted.

it's not all bad. People now maybe read things they never paid attention to before. I now also see a lot more links to arts and the humanities being shared.

it's easy to just ignore something that doesn't match my interest. weak content hardly ever makes it past 100 upvotes and doesn't stay long. the best way to combat this is to find and share great things yourself. after all the quality of this site depends on what everyone here submits

These kinds of links have been posted on HN for quite a while now. Take a look for yourself: https://hn.algolia.com/api/v1/search?query=bloomberg.com&res...

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