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Ask HN: Why is there almost no humour on HN?
9 points by wombatmobile 9 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

The community here eliminates it because they don't want to be Reddit. There's lots of silly humour, in jokes and long threads on Reddit and they can be great fun if you enjoy that. HN steers towards more serious discussions and there's been a general attempt to stamp out clever quips and responses as, as fun as they are, they would change the tone of the site significantly.

Having said that one of my most upvoted comments was a parody: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4166183

Agreed. This site is one of the few places I trust for holistic discussion. It is VERY hard to find the quality of HN’s discourse on Reddit.

Pretty good.

It takes big comedy muscles to write something like that. I suspect HN contributors tend to have spent their 10,000 hours in disciplines where comedy writing doesn't get so much oxygen.

Here's another thread about this[0] titled "Ask HN: Why does HN hate humor?".

My reply to that thread:

>Humor is like seasoning: it enhances the meal; it is not the meal. When a comment has substance (food/meal), humor can enhance it (seasoning).

>Furthermore, not all humor attempts are funny. Even professional comedians "bomb".. We can't force people.

>This, or the jokes go unnoticed because of HN's small font size.

- [0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25278680

No added value. Most internet humor is low-quality, so post jokes only if you think that they will add to the discussion, and not divert from it.

Personal opinion only ...

HN doesn't hate humour, there are cases of humour not merely tolerated, but significantly up-voted.

But most of the things people try to pass off as humour are simply just not funny to a large enough proportion that they get down-voted and flagged. Most of the "funny comments" are tired, derivative, old, or predictable riffs on things we've seen far too often. Some of us have been around a long time, and when we see things like this we just sigh. It's tedious.

Quoted from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25278829

Most people here are already funny on the inside.

There is some humor, but many prefer to keep things on topic and humor often gets more upvotes than earnest answers, which would get buried for those that have an interest in the topic at hand.

I'm not the usual demographic for HN, and I'd say much of the humor is in the content not intended as such. Sometimes I am not even sure of what is satire and what isn't.


That's exactly the type of flippant remark that would pass through inoffensively as banter in other forums, but which gets downvoted to invisible quick smart on HN.

I suppose that's because other places exist as diversions or aimless time out, whereas HN seems to be a place to practice technical and commercial advocacy, or to explore intellectual leanings pointedly. Perhaps humour mostly gets in the way of that, or requires an extra cognitive hat that's easier to leave in the closet.

And/or perhaps humour works best amongst a known homogenous crowd, whereas HN is a pluralist, fragmented collection of knowledgeable individuals from different fields... ?

It’s way more simple: comments that add to the discussion get upvotes, comments that don’t get downvotes. An insightful joke can do just fine.

I imagine so, but they’re rarely seen.

I wondered the same, well that and why there is almost no pr0n on HN either...and forget about finding any humorous pr0n here!

Sorry for that, just my attempt at dry humor! (Not dry pr0n, as that chaffes me)

I find plenty of whit in the comments but many times the whitty or sarcastic comments are misinterpreted aND are quickly down voted by humorless readers.

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