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Hackernews.com (hackernews.com)
333 points by related 47 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 223 comments

For a moment I thought this was going to be a version of the site with megabytes of javascript, 50+ third-party tracking/ad network/analytics scripts, facebook/twitter/reddit "share" links, a cookie consent dialog allowing me to accept all or "manage my preferences", autoplaying videos about an unrelated story on each page, a sidebar with thumbnails + clickbait headlines that distracts from the main content, and a popup window that appears once I scroll down past 30% inviting me to subscribe.

I was pleasantly surprised.

"the" hacker news?

Drop the "The", it's cleaner.

I assume he's referring to this site[0]

[0] https://thehackernews.com/

With a different registrar to ycombinator.com, this is likely not owned by Y Combinator, and therefore difficult to trust that it won't start being malicious in the future.

It's owned by YC now. We got it earlier this year. That's why it redirects to HN!

Shouldn't news.ycombinator.com redirect to hackernews.com instead?

We'd need a compelling reason to do a major surgery like that. It's possible to imagine scenarios, so it's great to have the option, but I think it would be a mistake to exercise it just-because. I say that for at least two reasons: (1) users hate change; and (2) the feedback loops between HN and YC are vital to both, so it would be bad to weaken them.

If I might suggest a major: (3) breaks SEO for potentially a very long time causing HN to fall out of search results to common queries on the major search engines. (I'm aware of site move tools and 301's, but we almost always see some decline on a domain switchover that takes time to recover)

Now that you mention it, I hardly ever see HN results on Google. Not that I would necessarily expect to — or maybe I’ve just learned to not expect them to.

But there is quality content here that doesn’t seem to show up in search the way Reddit and Stackoverflow content often show up in search.

Have dang/others looked into SEO? Or maybe it’s explicitly not a priority?

I've actually been surprised how quickly HN is indexed. When I see comments about a seemingly niche thing, I often google for more details - and often enough the comment that made me google it is among the top results.

Odd. I get HN results. You're right that it's not as frequent as SO or Reddit, but it seems to surpass the "hardly ever" threshold.

> I hardly ever see HN results on Google.

Got to DuckDuck #1 with this string: "propulsive thrombosis survivable flotation counterexample" (Interesting picture collection)

Kept making NASA #1 until I threw thrombosis in. Got slow though :)

To what end? Accelerating towards Eternal September?

Would that really be such a bad thing? I don’t imagine HN sees much traffic from search.

I can see a world where drawing people in from search could be a bad thing. But I know I’ve found many things at Reddit and Stackoverflow (for example) by searching, when I very rarely frequent those sites (only ever visit from search results).

So I could imagine others similarly would find content here valuable via search queries.

Generally SEO should work fine if the migration is managed well (on Google at least). Google has a tool to verify ownership on both sites and notify them of the move explicitly.

Great point.

That's really interesting, that you take advantage of symbiosis between the YC and HN functions. Have you ever published or written about the relationships and benefits to each? I'd be fascinated to read more. I'm sure some of it is completely obvious and some much less so. Curious to hear what would surprise me.

I don't know if this counts, but I did write https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23285793 a while back.

HN is an YC platform where YC companies and founders have special perks by design. It is nice to have it on ycombinator.com subdomain for clarity.

Biggest problem with this would be broken password managers.

Wouldn't be a problem if auth is still handled on ycombinator.com

That introduces a problem where certain browsers ask the user to confirm the cross-domain interaction before proceeding (which I suppose mitigates various silent credentials theft and tracking problems) unless you do whole-page SSO, in which case you end up with cookie, anti-tracking, and container-routing problems.

What browser prompts for permission to follow a redirect? OAuth flows don't require cross-domain interaction in any of the ways that browsers have fought to reduce.

Redirects are fine as long as no container-type things are in play (since those don't necessarily carry the origin's cookies across the boundary), it's embedded cross-domain auth forms in an iframe that can cause a dialog.

Congratulations. I am very happy to read this, as, imo, that's value and a win for some very solid people all around!

Does this indicate other incoming changes?


That’s great news! Thanks.

Couldn't strike a deal with lanxiongchuanmeiyouxiangongsi for hn.com?

We need to pass Go a few more times first.

Doesn't hurt to ask :)

Maybe contact them?


Get dat PG piggy bank going

Go? Isn’t Rust all the rage these days?

I think it was a monopoly reference

I was thinking of hackernews.com as Park Place and hn.com as Boardwalk. Those are the primo properties yes? it's been several decades.

Yeah, but rust is very rigid about ownership

I'd just assumed that a recursion joke had managed to get onto the front page for some reason. I suppose it's just an aliasing joke then.

Out of curiosity, is it the result of this "Ask HN": Why is YC not owning the domain Hacker News.com yet? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25375903

I don't really remember but judging by the timing, I don't think so. Sorry!

...and there was much rejoicing!

Can you share the price?

I don't feel like it's my place to publish the specific number but if you think of something high-but-reasonable, you'd probably be close.

;) cheers

What's your viewpoint on thehackernews.com?

It irritates me. It's clear that some people confuse it with HN and that sucks. There's even an example in this thread.

YC owns Hacker News as a registered trademark. I don't know if that means we could do something about it. Assuming we could, I don't know if that means we should.

That's kind of the point of a trademark, and you'll want to talk to an IP lawyer about it. It's important to distinguish the three vastly different types, but trademarks are the one that requires you enforce it, or lose it. (I'm not a lawyer.)

Please don't change it, I like it as it is; 'ycombinator' is a cool word.


Explain me this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28055839

glad you do now! how much did it cost?


It's been registered for a very long time too. I recently launched a hacker news app for iOS and am using hackernews.cloud for the various backend services (favicons, summaries, read-time, etc)

Right. Once upon a time, it used to be a decent resource for computer security-oriented news items.

That's ringing a bell, I feel like I once had that site in regular rotation with slashdot.

This solves a longstanding problem. When recommending "hacker news" to people, they would immediately get suspicious. What's up with this weird address? Why combinator? It would immediately devolve into weird discussions. It's actually linked to Haskell Curry, who was neither Indian, nor Greek, despite this lambda thing. And no, this is not a new Covid variant. A real nightmare. But thankfully, all this is over now.

I feel the opposite. The harder to get here, the more exclusive it feels.

The problem isn't recommending, it's that HN is a niche community that most people are not going to find very interesting. We all adore this place because where else can you casually comment back and forth with folks that run VC firms and unicorn startups and other legends of this field.

But that's the thing, if you're not in this field, it's very hard to tell someone why they should care. You can be all excited that you just had a back-and-forth on here with Paul Graham, tell your friend, and your friend is probably not going to have a clue who you are talking about.

And TBH that's a good thing. HN is a niche community that will never appeal to many people, but we love it because to the folks that it does appeal to, its a truly magical place on the internet.

I don't think that's true. I meet people all the time who love HN and have no particular connection to "this field", if by that you mean startup investing, or even technology. The mandate of the site is to gratify intellectual curiosity, which literally everyone has.

That's what HN needs, more paranoid idiots.

Trying to close this community would be a disastrously bad idea. All are welcome, as long as they want to use the site as intended.

Not all newcomers want to use HN as intended, but not all oldtimers do either. Discriminating in favor of the latter would be a grand way to shoot this place in the foot, if not the head. As my son used to say when he was 2: that what we not do.

Does anyone here remember what this URL used to serve in the 90s and 2000s?


Was one of my favorites, classic.

Ha - that'll make it easier to refer folks to the website. I hope to never need to utter - "Oh you should checkout Hacker News, go to news dot why combinator dot com, I think it will be right up your alley."

That's been my primary motivator behind "I read it online/on a forum," vs "I read it on news DOT why combinator DOT com."

The other reason is that I'd prefer not to navigate the conversation toward "why I'm on a website with 'Hacker' in the name." That's a separate issue for which I am ill-equipped to discuss, given the mainstream connotation.

I just say Reddit.

Realistically too, a lot of the content on Hackernews is also on Reddit. However the difference a lot of the time is the intelligence level in the comments can vastly differ. I find Hackernews is where you come for a less political, more logical set of opinions on different articles. The nerdier version of reddit.

I just say Reddit because it's easier to explain than a site called "hacker news"

Normal people don't type urls. They type "hacker news" into google and click on the first result.

host.io shows 65 other domains that re-direct to ycombinator.com. Can't search specifically for ones that re-direct specifically to news.ycombinator.com afaik


Particularly enjoyed ireallylikechicken.com that redirects to an HN thread talking about squatting that domain

yc.run and yco.mba redirect back to https://bookface.ycombinator.com/

phoenixbenchmarkingtruth.com links to https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22894191

c47jl.tk and fa26j.tk links to http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3539792

ycfounders.com, ycombinator.org, ycombinator.net, ycombinator.org are AWS S3 static sites

hacker.news and yc.run return CloudFront headers

The servers serving the redirects run the gamut of Google GCP, Google Registrar, AWS Global Accelerator, AWS S3, Dreamhost, Uniregistry, Cloudfront, Gandi, Fastmail, and more

Registrars include Namecheap, Gandi, GoDaddy, Google, NameSilo, Wild West Domains, Global Domains International, Key-Systems, PDR Ltd, NameSilo, ENOM, Tucows, Dreamhost

Most of those are probably not YC-owned, but if people are using them expecting to get to YC, it's a very large attack surface. It's probably a safe bet that one or two registrar or hosting accounts could get popped and redirect traffic through a malicious site and then onto the real site without anybody noticing. I know a few of those registrars don't check for identification before they accept a zone transfer. I'd also bet most of the hosting and registrar accounts don't have MFA enabled.

Funny, thanks for sharing.

It's convenient, but I've developed muscle memory to just type news.ycombinator over the last 10 years, so I guess it doesn't matter much for me.

When I first discovered the site, I definitely had to google 'hacker news' in order to find it consistently, however, so maybe someone else can get good use out of it.

You mean type 'n' and hit enter.

I just configure the New Tab to go directly here, Ctrl+N for News

I just reroute all of my outgoing traffic to HN. Whatever I try to do I end up here. /s

I just glue hn to my face. I see it when I open my eyes.

I have hn CRISPRed into my genes, programmed carefully in multi-core OCaml backed by Postgres.

Sorry, but if you check your so-called junk DNA you’ll find I Base64-encoded it there already

You mean Base4?


The ultimate productivity hack

Or, to be honest, a "more productive procrastination hack".

I'm a Neuralink alpha tester. I configured it to open an HN tab on every device when I wink my left eye.

Do I win?

I have a dedicated monitor - so no.

when does neuralink hit beta? i can't wait to train myself into a new facial tic whenever i'm feeling slightly bored

That hits me where I live. I too have taught firefox that `n` means "please autofill to news.ycombinator.com".

I black-holed news.ycombinator.com on my work computer by adding it to my /etc/hosts file, but my subconscious compensated by going to news.google.com often enough that now ‘n’ + enter takes me there.

At some point in time I drilled this sequence into my fingers:

ctrl-t, ne, ctrl-w

i.e. new tab, start typing news.ycombinator.com, immediately interrupt myself and close the tab.

These days I have hn mapped to in my hosts file.

And yet both if you are here.

starts closing his 42 open HN tabs

yep, but less during work hours I hope.

In my case, it is 'n' + '↓' + enter

At least once a day firefox lags out, doesn't autofill and instead takes me to search?q=n

This trick does not work anymore since I visited netflix :(

If you're using Google Chrome, shift+delete offenders.

works in firefox as well.

Using Firefox or Chrome solves this problem as you don't get full quality for Netflix on them, hence there's no address collision as you resort to using Edge (or else?) for Netflix.

Huh? You don't get full quality on Netflix in some browsers?

That’s correct: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/13444

> Netflix is available in Ultra HD on Windows and Mac computers with:

> - Microsoft Edge for Windows

> - Windows 10 App

> - Safari for MacOS 11.0 or later

I believe this is for DRM reasons — Firefox is open-source, so they don’t want you modifying your copy of Firefox to bypass DRM or whatever.

Does spoofing your user-agent bypass that?

You probably can't spoof the DRM.

I think that is because there is actually DRM technology in the browser that communicates with Netflix when on their site. So it's definitely a lot more than just checking a UA. But it would be nice if it were that easy.

yes as tragic as it is for over a decade already

Newegg is the worst collision for me.

My new tab has 3 buttons: HN, Google search, Wiki


Sometimes I think I am the only person left in the world who still uses the "Bookmarks" feature of my web browser.

I only really use the bookmarks in the toolbar. Anything that gets bookmarked away from that is in the "will read it eventually but not really" territory.

Same, and I edit all my toolbar bookmarks to have no text, so it's just a row of favicons.

Same, it would be cool to color the favicons differently (looking at my multiple Grafana bookmarks...)

Bookmarks is where interesting links go to die and resolve to dead sites when you try and visit one 5 years later.

It's because the UX for them is awful and takes up valuable real-estate unless you put them in a folder that's nowhere near your toolbar in which case you will never see them again, especially after a Mozilla update corrupts them, leaving you without the URLs you so carefully curated and with a vague sense of regret that you trusted one of the most important things (your memory) to a company that gets the largest majority of its revenue from search engine deals and the other tenth for a half-thought out proprietary bookmarks replacement they force you to waste hard drive space with.

I use the bookmark bar in Chrome but edit all bookmarks to remove their title… so I have a bar full of favicons, which is enough to have one click access to most sites I use.

> unless you put them in a folder that's nowhere near your toolbar

Hum? My bookmarks toolbar is full of folders. Some are of the "open all and close each when there's nothing interesting" kind, others are of the "will probably be useful later" kind.

In firefox, you can configure the bookmarks toolbar to only show on the new tab page, which is super useful because it doesn't steal screen space on your normal tabs.

I'm aware (that's how I have it configured), but that doesn't solve many of the problems with bookmarks.

In Firefox, you can "keyword" your bookmarks so that typing a specific string goes to your bookmark

It's definitely more convenient. I have mine set to 'hn' in Vivaldi browser to take me there.

Think some of my bookmarks date back to mosaic. About once a year I sweep them and purge a good amount of them as I have hundreds nicely organized into categories. They 'rot' so not worth keeping. Sometimes I will point them at archive but usually I can not even remember why I bookmarked them in the first place.

I was just away from the Internet for 8 years. When I checked my bookmarks 99% of them were dead links. I wonder how many from Mosaic days would still be valid?

Serious question: were you in prison? If not, how/why did you take an 8 year break?

Close enough! County jail waiting for a trial.

Yikes, eight years waiting for a trial? Whatever happened to the 6th amendment?

There were people with me who are about to pass into their 12th year.

See here: https://www.cookcountysheriff.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09...

saw this charge in there:


You can go to jail for that? I've had to break into my own home several times since living here because I've accidentally locked myself out.

Yes, in Illinois. Things like bump keys are illegal.

Here's the full list.. most of it centers on intent, but intent can be inferred in some cases: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K19...

Maybe they had a friend named Wilson on a long vacation on an island? Maybe they were the star in a day time soap where they were in a coma for 8 years.

not many. Also many times even if the site is still around the content may not have been updated in years.

Who would want a lifetime searchable, contextually indexed, history of all the sites you've ever been to and perhaps a couple of sub-pages automatically scraped, all stored locally to be shared at your discretion, I'm sure Google would love to add that asap.

I think I stopped using them when the browsers inexplicably lost their menus.

I don't really understand why the menus went away from the top of web browser, since desktop screen space hasn't been an issue since the late '90s, even on laptops.

You can put a bookmark folder with no title in the toolbar next to the addressbar, into which you put whatever you want. In Firefox, that works out of the box. Recently I switched to Vivaldi, and I had to use some css tweak to do it:


Same reason as many other design problems:

- prioritizing graphical design over usability

- and prioritizing copying Chrome and Mac OS over following "local" OS guidelines

Firefox has menus on the top, unless the user hides them.

Isn’t it hidden by default? I installed Firefox on a new machine a few months ago and I could swear I had to unhide it.

It's hidden but it shows up if you press Alt.

I've never hidden anything, yet my Firefox only has an out-of-place mobile style menu.

I've always liked hackerne.ws :)

I have bookmarked HN and added it to my iPhone Home Screen so does not matter to me either. It shows up just like a normal app on my iPhone :)

Muscle memory is big with this one. But Chrome now has an icon right at the start page to go here.

I just type “new” enter

Then I must be the worst person in the world because I still Google HN to get here.

seems that hn.com is unused..

i google hacker news and click the first link

When I first found out about Hacker News, but saw the domain (news.ycombinator.com), I had to make sure I wasn't on the wrong website.

After all, it was discovery from a Torvalds Q&A session.

Oh wow they obtained the hackernews.com domain?

There's another website named hacker news ( https://thehackernews.com ), more focused on the security realm. Every time I mention this site, my colleagues in security think I mean that other one. That one's nothing special though.

I think the new domain will help recognition of this site. I hope the old one will remain the primary though! Though I'm kinda happy if HN doesn't grow too huge. If it becomes the new reddit I won't want to be here anymore.

>There's another website named hacker news ( https://thehackernews.com ), more focused on the security realm. Every time I mention this site, my colleagues in security think I mean that other one. That one's nothing special though.

It's incredible that people would actually read that website, some of the worst quality blogspam on the internet.

I agree.

The funny thing is, these people heard from people like me about this great website "hacker news", and didn't want to miss anything, so they went looking for it and probably came here first. Thought "?? This can't be it ??" and kept on looking. They then find the blogspam site and think they found it.

Only the real techies I know, read this site. A lot of wannabe techies read the other one :) It's almost becoming an in-joke. Not to say anything bad about non-techies, but this site has a razor-thin target community. Which is great of course in a time where everything is trying to become more mainstream.

I'm not saying this site should change. I personally love the compact no-nonsense style here. It's exactly what I want in a website. In fact I use custom CSS to make some other sites mimic it :) But it does put some people off, and this other site seems to have jumped in to feed off that group. This is why I think it's great that they got hackernews.com, it will give it a bit more profile for that group.

This community is most certainly not just for "techies". That's really important.


Good point, sorry. I was aware of this. I didn't mean it in a bad way.

But what I mean that in general it does tend to attact 'techies', or at least those interested in technology. The compact style and topics just seem to gravitate in that direction. More 'mainstream' readers will not align with it in my experience. For example, the design fits in much better with users that are spending their day in terminal windows than those that just have computing on a phone. Some exceptions will occur of course :)

Again this is one of the things I love about this site so please don't change it :) What really speaks to me in the guidelines is the 'curiosity' bit. And I totally agree. This site actually offers me things to read about which I didn't know on a daily basis. Whereas the algorithms of the big guys like Facebook seem to be intent on showing me more of the same constantly. Which is the opposite of what I want.

Also, the discussions here are more friendly and open than on most other sites. Probably due to the guidelines and also the community. It feels more like the "old" internet of the early 90s when we were all friends and thought we were building something great.

PS: When I mentioned reddit, I didn't mean to say that this site is heading towards reddit. I wasn't aware of this item in the guidelines and I'm sorry for having mentioned it. I just meant that this site would not be as valuable to me if it were more mainstream, and I used reddit as the closest example of something which is.

> the design fits in much better with users that are spending their day in terminal windows

pg specifically designed it to look like `top`, so you hit the bullseye with that one!

It is already a lot more like Reddit than it used to be just a few years ago. For example, the comments on some submissions are full of stupid jokes now, gradually drowning out actually interesting discussion. IMO HN was better when it was dry, boring, and insightful. It is less and less of that every year.

Example from this very submission: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28962122

I'm sure there are more people who want to see these content-free comments than not. That's exactly why Reddit is full of them, and why HN was special.

The perception that HN is trending Redditward has been around for so long, it even predates HN itself!


Of course there are vectors pointing that way, and datapoints on those vectors, but there are also countervailing forces. I think after 14+ years we can at least say it's not collapsing. That's the reason for the final guideline of https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html (note those carefully curated links! I spent an afternoon on that.)

I didn't say that HN is collapsing, just that the signal to noise ratio is noticeably (to me) going down over time. Slowly, but with huge inertia.

If there's truly some illusion going on, I'm not sure what the mechanism would be.

The mechanism would be whatever cognitive bias makes it seem like things are always getting worse. I think nostalgia plays into this, and also status—everyone enjoys feeling superior to late-comers. It's one status you can never lose!

I think the fact that people have literally been making the same complaint over and over about how HN is turning into Reddit since literally before it was even called HN is strong evidence (not proof, but strong evidence) that that perception is bogus. Had it ever been true, HN would have become dramatically different a long time ago. Not only the perception but the phrases people use to express it have been unchanged for almost 15 years. That's an internet eternity.

> I'm sure there are more people who want to see these content-free comments than not

Two rules of thumb about how this stuff works:

* Never underestimate the number of children on the internet

* Never underestimate the number of people intoxicated/high on the internet

Using those as a guide, lots of popularity metrics make sense.

It's mostly like real life, if your community can avoid attracting children or people actively doing drugs, it'll mostly be fine.

Reddit decided at its redesign point to pull hard and accelerate to both these groups as fast as possible.

Slashdot is kind of interesting. After floundering for maybe 2 decades it's starting to get a new focus as effectively legitimate tech journalism.

I'm neither high nor a child, yet I like making and reading jokes. Human beings like them. They reflect well on the jokemaker's creativity, spontaneity, and ability to improvise. They test the reader's ability to tolerate ambiguity and the unexpected. You will tend to like them less, the worse you are at it, the more you're caught up in playing a status game ("I'm way too mature and serious for these 'jokes'") and the more closely you resemble the machines we work with.

Absolutely. The problem is one of dominant forcing not of constituent coexistence.

Digital spaces are like physical spaces. Intentional social rules dictate that say, punching people is ok at a boxing gym and not a library.

Spaces are always created through a stochastic collaboration of randomness and intent

The randomness part is controlled by who's coming in and staying through the physical or digital door and part of the intent is what kind of randomness is being actively invited.

Alright, back to the brass tax. Most people with the capability of building such communities and dictating such rules surround themselves in their physical spaces with a narrow range of people that completely misrepresent the internet audience as a whole.

Because nobody knows if you're a dog on the internet, the creators can go quite a long time before realizing the community they've built is populated by say middle school children.

Keeping in mind that Everyone is on the net and what that actually means is a really important part of creating such spaces.

One of reddit's aha moments happened about maybe 8 years ago and I wish I could find the article. After a site wide audit they banned a number of child pornography subreddits that had become quite popular. But after further investigation they discovered it wasn't adult pedophiles posting photographs of others but teenagers posting their own self produced content. It was a big self reflection for them on the question of "who have you brought on your platform and what are they doing in it?" Is it a boxing gym, a brothel, a bar, a bureaucracy? Better figure it out

> It is already a lot more like Reddit than it used to be just a few years ago.

From the Guidelines:

> Please don't post comments saying that HN is turning into Reddit. It's a semi-noob illusion, as old as the hills.

Last few words are linked:




And three more, but I have other things to do.

What are these old comments supposed to show? That it has been happening for a long time? I'm not disputing that.

I was reading HN in 2009, but I don't remember how it was back then. I do remember how it was a few years ago, and the difference to today is obvious, to me.

Trying to silence this opinion is not going to make it less valid, you know.

"Don't say HN is turning into Reddit, because it has consistently been so from the start"?

We all want to know it. How much did this domain cost?

It would be interesting if YC ran two instances of the same HN app at different URLs, to see how the content & communities diverge over time. But it would only be interesting if you launched them at the same time, due to the effect of domain authority.

I want hackernews.com to be an overlay so that appears to be the same as the real site, but nobody there affects the one here.

I clicked twice.

Seems to be full of finance-obcessed man-children and brogrammers.

Minimalist version of Slashdot. Meh.

I wonder what their take on racism in America is… oh… never mind…

Besides being snarky, that's a canard. HN is divided on topics where society at large is divided, just like any large-enough population sample. There's no "their" there, and defining the whole by the part you most dislike is a cognitive bias (https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...) - a common one. The people you disagree with are complaining just as much about how your side dominates.

If there's a difference with HN, it's that the site is non-siloed, meaning everyone's in one big room, so you're more likely to run into people and views you deplore than on other sites where you choose in advance whom to follow. I believe that's to HN's credit, at least for those who believe in communication as opposed to just smiting enemies. But it's a credit that people usually experience as a defect, because it can be so unpleasant to run into. I wrote about this here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23308098.

Usually when I mention society being divided, people assume it's about polarization in the U.S., which is true. But it's worse than that, because HN is a highly international site. I can tell you that cross-national and cross-cultural divisions are at least as much of a stress, and much less understood. People often misinterpret and assume that they're dealing with an extremist next door when they're actually talking to someone on the other side of the world.

In person, we automatically recognize and modulate such situations; even when we find someone's views abhorrent, we're more willing to take into account their different background, realize they're not working with the same information that we are, and go for persuasion and explanation rather than jump into aggression and battle. But on an internet text forum where nearly everyone has excellent English, people are at the mercy of these misunderstandings and don't even realize it.

I appreciate the response, and yes I was being snarky. That said, I don’t think this is simply a matter of HN being divided the same way society is divided. HN has a bias in favor of capital, which I think is pretty observable in a typical thread on e.g startups, and if you don’t share my observation you can agree this is at least likely given the high rate of tech workers and would be investors on this site. I think open discussions of race and racism can be threatening to capital, particularly when one wants to believe that the system is good and just. Discussions of race usually have large societal change as their stakes, and that is not always to the benefit of the currently wealthy.

There is a claimed interest in open dialogue on HN, but it doesn’t go as deep as it seems. The HN community has rules about what counts as valid logic or what is appealing and worthy of upvote that favor the status quote. Further, because the population bends a particular direction you need to put in massive effort in order to make a point that contradicts this view, or else you will be swarmed with criticisms, which may be defeatable, but in sum are overwhelming. There are also tactics that are commonly employed in HN comments which shut down discussion but allow the commenter to retain the position of the rational freedom lover.

I can’t prove it to you without much more time and knowledge than I have, but I think it is none the less true that HN has a culture with a bias, and that it tends towards maintaining the status quo and shutting down revolutionary dialogues.

Thanks for the reply! In my opinion you're overstating this. I can give you dozens, maybe hundreds by now, of examples complaining that HN is overrun by socialists, the mods are SJW, you name it. People just find it irresistible to leap from a few data points to dramatic overgeneralization. In my observation, quite consistently, the main variable driving this is the intensity of someone's passions on a topic. The more intense the passion, the more convinced they are that HN is dominated by the enemy side. It works that way about everything. The most passionate Linux fans feel like HN is overrun by Microsoft shills (though that example's a little dated now).

Your argument about capital, tech, etc. seems to me to be a just-so story (I don't mean that as a swipe, I just can't think of a better term right now). People with a different starting position can come up with other stories that sound just as convincing. Here's one I just made up: HN's politics slant left/liberal because the main predictor of political leaning these days is education, and the audience here has a relatively high education level.

If you're looking at this from a left-revolutionary point of view, then sure you're in a small minority, but that just confirms the point, because that view is a small minority in society too. That doesn't mean HN is biased towards capital, wealth, and racism (except in the sense that, to a left revolutionary, almost everybody is). It just means that most of HN sits not-that-far from the middle of the bell curve, just like most people in general.

As a person who spends a lot of time trying to get people to truly listen to each other on HN, I don't think it's very nice to say "claimed interest in open dialogue". If you really think that's fake, I'd like to see links to the places where we're shutting down "open dialogue" as opposed to moderating commenters for breaking the site guidelines. If you think the site guidelines are poorly designed for "open dialogue", I'd like to see a better set.

Sorry, I didn’t mean the moderation team is shutting down dialogue, I meant that the culture of HN has its own rules which stifle particular points of view. Will respond to the rest of your comment later.

All cultures that promote discussion tend towards biases, status quos, and shutting down revolutionaries. That's part for the course of coexisting as human beings. Each society forgives some things and prohibits others. Each society has some topics which are difficult to discuss rationally within that society, requiring much more heavy-handed moderation than other topics. HN's specific set of such topics can be particularly unusual ("/e/" is an example), but as you correctly indicate, it's difficult to discuss race and wealth rationally too.

Open dialogue is a platonic ideal of how a community can try to be. No community can deliver perfectly that ideal, because every community must compromise that ideal if they wish to continue functioning rationally — both when there are disagreements over strongly-held views, and when there are malicious actors who seek to exploit the platonic ideal of openness for a dizzying number of outcomes.

It's fine to declare that HN has these properties, but it's also important to remember that all social communication systems share these properties. For example, in my opinion [1], the voting system used on posts and comments here biases the site away from rational discussion when malicious actors use downvoting not to silence irrationality, but instead to silence rationality that they disagree with. I think this is a critical flaw in the site. In a sense, my view intersects with yours; we both consider voting to promote 'status quo' behaviors, and we could probably discuss at length what 'status quo' means and whether that's the right phrase for both minority and majority views.

The mods do their best to ensure that unpalatable but rationally-presented viewpoints are given their due consideration, but it's very hard to overcome the problem of "downvote to disagree", even when it's a blatant guidelines violation, without risking the essential nature of HN as a discussion forum centered around upvoting. The mods are, when I email them about instances of this, willing to communicate with me about what I perceive as malicious behaviors within their forum, while also recognizing that the site does not always deliver on the ideal of open dialogue.

In my estimation, delivering perfectly on the ideal of open dialogue, would require a human moderation council that considers every single post and comment in realtime before it goes live, deduplicates redundant comments into upvotes, binds together related topics into topic-focused headings, and actively shuts down conversational warfare (such as sealioning and others). This would, without fail, have biases and a tendency towards status quos, just as HN does today. They would be different biases, but they would still fail to deliver perfectly on the ideal of open dialogue.

Whether the site delivers a form of open dialogue that is acceptable to you, or to me, or to others — that's absolutely up to each of us to decide, and it's probably something we can't discuss very rationally, because what community can consider itself rationally without bias? None that I've met to date. But the mods have built in enough safeguards to try and protect those who question the mods. It's not even remotely perfect, and it's certainly not heavy-handed enough for my tastes, either. But the sum of moderation approach, and biases, and loudly-held viewpoints, and flaws, and to what degree open dialogue takes precedence over social compromise — that's what makes each community unique.

So I do support you in describing the flaws of HN. Yes, "open dialogue" at HN is not given ultimate priority, is not inlaid as deeply as is theoretically possible. That's the price paid to have human communities at all. Whether HN's payment of that price is acceptable is worthy of discussion, but payment of that price in some form is universal. From that position, it's possible to rationally consider "is HN making the appropriate tradeoffs vs. open dialogue", and it's absolutely appropriate to say "I think the mods should intervene in this discussion, to counter irrational behaviors by the users, the mods, and/or the algorithms". If they don't understand the biases or status quos or other irrationality that you're pointing out, then that's a great time to provide proof, but certainly I think you're generally right.

There are a couple of points I've been "once or twice a year" emailing the HN mods about for what I suspect is probably several years now (I refuse to look), because occasionally I trip over some proof of something that I didn't have proof for, or I find some new form of an old problem, or I just feel so strongly that I open my email client and write them a plea to make it better, to bias the site towards "open dialogue" and away from whatever I'm seeing that's truly upset me. They do not reliably agree, and I don't expect them. I don't desire them to. I'd like someday to see the site deliver better at open dialogue, without taking away from what makes it uniquely HN, and whatever my opinion may be any given day, I do not envy them considering all of our opinions, and being responsible for the compromises that they have to make as leaders of this community.

I do not believe that I could run a community with fewer compromises. I would run a community with different compromises, and those compromises would draw objections about how I'm restricting "open dialogue", too. So that such restrictions exist here is almost uninteresting as a surface-level fact. It's how those restrictions exist here uniquely, or how they interact in unusual ways, or how they contrast with how I would have restricted things instead, that's interesting and novel and opens the door for me to consider and participate in such a discussion.

You haven't the time to prove in detail your beliefs, but I am happy to say that at least in a couple of your specific complaints, I agree with you, and I'm doing my best to convey my concern with proof when my limited time permits. I don't know if it'll help or not, and sometimes I go months without saying anything at all. But if you never end up having time, be assured that you are not wholly alone in being concerned, and that someone else is too. We may not agree wholly, but that's community for you.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19745267

I appreciate this comment, sorry I don’t have time to write a more complete reply yet.

I like a good revolutionary dialogue as much as the next fellow. I think there are lots of people here who feel the way I do about economics, and many many more who don't. I don't mind representing an unpopular position in a civilised forum like this.

I think that showing up with an axe to grind isn't going to appeal to the people who are here to discuss the articles, regardless of whether you're pro- or anti-whatever.

but, if you’re deeply committed to capital, you probably don’t like a revolutionary dialogue thats got capital in its sights. I don’t think characterizing my position as somehow wrong and inherently unappealing is accurate, I think my position is unappealing to those who feel threatened by it. But threatening dialogue isn’t bad.

I don't know if you're speaking in generalities or not, but I'm absolutely not a capitalist, although I do respect that position. Personally try to be open to any good argument, but it's easier for one that's close to an opinion I already hold.

It wasn't my intention to attack your position, in fact I'd bet it's not far from my own.

What I wanted to convey is that it can be unpleasant to have a discussion with someone when they seem to be trying to win you to their side. I want to pull ideas, rather than have them pushed to me. My guess is that this effect contributes to "revolutionary dialogue" being poorly received, even by those who aren't necessarily put off by the ideological content.

Yes I was speaking hypothetically, not about you specifically.

I think it's really hard to say where the weight lies politically here. Comment favouring one view inevitably prompts responses favouring the converse view, so they catalyse each other.

There are no shortages of anticapitalist comments here, but there's no way to put numbers to that. A handful of dedicated proponents of a view can generate a lot of comments.

> In person, we automatically recognize and modulate such situations; even when we find someone's views abhorrent, we're more willing to take into account their different background, realize they're not working with the same information that we are, and go for persuasion and education rather than jumping straight into aggression and battle. But on an internet text forum where nearly everyone has excellent English, people are at the mercy of these misunderstandings and don't even realize it.

I really love this insight. It's something that we see so often on here as a point around Twitter, Facebook, and engagement. Mark Twain's quote about leaving your house (sure it was your community at the time) still rings true today: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

At first, and not very bright, I thought this would be a link to an hours earlier version of itself, which would be repeated every hour until it want on infinitely, looping and looping

I like it, and I don't. I guess I'm kind of attached to the original name, and I'm glad hackernews.com redirects to it instead of the other way around.

I’ve always used hckrnews.com I actually wonder what’s the % of people that use this site directly vs the number of people that use an aggregator.

Same here. I certainly find the chronological listing better than an opaque algorithm. Also able to filter the top 20 posts of the day.

Wow, never heard of that website before! Now spending an hour every day, because it's so cool!

Interesting, the redirect works on all the news.ycombinator.com/PATH urls except /user

hi dang, i see you’re replying to some of these comments. would hn ever consider releasing vague stats about viewership, submissions, etc.

i, and i think others, would be super interested to see how the community has grown over the last.. however many years i’ve been here!

Sure, we do that sometimes, just ad hoc rather than systematically. It's currently at something like 5M monthly unique users (well, IPs - hard to count unique users) and 6M daily page views. 1200(ish) submissions per day and 12k comments per day.

HN has been growing much the same way for 10+ years - linearly, but with fairly large swings up and down. If you step back and squint, it's unmistakeably linear. We like it that way. Growth is important, but rapid growth would be unstable. This is a community not a startup!

The one thing that hasn't grown much, since 2012, is the number of submissions per day. Comments yes, but submissions no. Why? I have no idea. Maybe there's a cap on how much content is out there.

I’m glad googling hacker news always brought me to ycombinator!

What’s the justification for spending money on this? So many more useful things to do than buy an expensive domain to redirect it here.

I can tell you my personal reasoning: it's a risk mitigation. There are weird long-tail scenarios (unlikely, but impactful if they did happen) under which HN might need to be spun out from YC. In such a case we'd need a different domain name and this is the only one that makes sense for that.

To be clear, it would be bad if HN had to split off from YC - bad for HN, bad for YC, bad for the community here. The feedback loops between HN and YC are complex, rich, and vital. So there's no plan ever to do that, but I still want the fallback just in case. I don't see why HN (and YC) shouldn't exist for a long time, and this is a long-time-frame sort of move.

In the meantime, it would be silly to let hackernews.com lie fallow, hence the redirection.

> To be clear, it would be bad if HN had to split off from YC - bad for HN, bad for YC, bad for the community here.

To be clear, it would be extremely good for the community if YC and HN were not the same company. The conflict of interest is stark and a violation of every tenet of journalism. I cant tell if you're purposely lying for the sake of profit motive or just very ignorant of the history and foundation of journalism.

I've never, ever before seen someone claim that a conflict of interest was "good for the community"!

We're not journalists, and HN isn't journalism, so this seems a bit askew.

The site is literally called Hacker News. The conflict of interest of a venture capital firm running a "news" site is not even a grey area of ethical violations. It's clearly problematic, and your refusal to even acknowledge it is a great example of how the contents of this site are highly untrustworthy.

You're misinterpreting the word "news" in the name to mean the same thing as journalism / news reporting, which HN plainly is not. It's a place where readers post and discuss links they find interesting. Sometimes those are articles from news publications, sometimes they're blog posts, sometimes they're a lot of things. HN is a conversation place—an online watercooler, basically. That's not a journalistic operation. If anything it's more of an entertainment site.

There's certainly a conversation to be had about how we manage YC's interests vis-à-vis community interests—I've discussed that with many users over the years [1, 2], the principles have been well-established for a long time, and I'm always happy to explain more. But not on the basis of a giant non sequitur!

[1] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&so...

[2] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...

> You're misinterpreting the word "news" in the name to mean the same thing as journalism / news reporting

That's laughable, you don't get to redefine "news". It's right there in the name. If this place was honest, it would be called yc-announcements.com or something with transparency as to the goals of the site's owners.

You're really trying to dodge this, but again, it's cut and dry. Here I'll help you and any reader that actually want to learn about the media's responsibility to not hold conflicts of interest:


Again, there is no excuse for this. You're arguing a point that's been well decided by people far brighter than those running this VC firm.

I guess we disagree about whether words sometimes mean different things in different contexts? The real judge here is the community. I doubt you'll get very far making your (rather extreme) argument to them.

As for dodging, I've repeatedly unkilled your comments (which have been getting killed by one of HN's software filters) and replied. With dodges like that, who needs engagement? It has become repetitive, though, so if you'd like to continue the conversation, it would be good to say something new.

> The real judge here is the community. I doubt you'll get very far making your (rather extreme) argument to them.

I stopped posting here because, dang, your moderation and preference for YC-positive narrative and companies was I thought excessive, especially compared to moderation on even Reddit. Your thread here with this poster, to be honest, belies to HN guidelines to "not feed the trolls." I have never seen a successful moderator troll other users so intensely. Please take a step back from the keyboard and think about why you feel the need to respond here, to "correct the record", to post "related threads" at the top of so many posts, etc etc. Whatever feedback you're getting today is clearly an echo chamber of YC energy. I won't even talk to YC start-ups now because of the bias you have personally shown.

If I don't respond, then we get accused of not responding to criticism. So I try to add enough information for readers to make up their own minds.

As for moderating HN vis-à-vis YC - I've explained exactly what our approach is on countless occasions (https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...), including to you: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27685595.

You've repeatedly expressed that you don't like how we moderate HN and consider it inferior to your own practices as a moderator elsewhere. I'm sorry to hear that (and you may be right about the latter!), but your posts about these things have included several false statements as well as things that the bulk of the community just doesn't agree with you about. For example, when I post about related threads, that has nothing do with YC. I do it because readers like looking at links to past threads. It seems a strange thing to complain about.

What's wrong with engaging with someone who has concerns how the site is run?

And I have never really seen any indication of excessive "moderation and preference for YC-positive narrative". It should be unsurprising that his personal views are positive towards YC, but I see no problem with that as I have seen many people freely criticize YC, Paul Graham, and dang without being moderated away or kicked off the site (indeed, that is happening right here and now!)

Dang didn't engage with my argument at all. He threw up a smoke screen and claimed they're not journalists (they just happen to have called the site Hacker News, but it's not really news I guess?). The parent is correct, dang is not acting as a moderator, but as a pro-YC participant in many threads. That along with the lack of transparency, "launch hn", yc hiring threads with no comments, opaque moderation (no mod log)... are all exactly what you'd expect from a site run by a venture capital firm.

If YC was going to take on the herculean task of trying to prove that their venture capital run message board was somehow not biased, they would need to really lean into transparency. As it is, they've done the exact opposite. I strongly disagree with dang that the general sentiment is that HN is unbiased, maybe amongst the faithful here people will say that (hoping someday to get some YC cash), but in the wider industry no one thinks HN is anything but YC's media outlet and the policies, features and moderator actions here back that up.

The onus is on the platform to prove that their conflict of interest isn't effecting the contents of the site, not on the audience to take their word on faith.

SEO matters a lot. And first contact conversion matters a lot. There's a reason landing pages market is quite popular.

You can also read about people's preference for clean/relevant domains an example about hey.com

This site already ranked #1 in Google for “Hacker News”.

Buying the domain is an insurance policy on that reality

I think they have a lot of money.

search.HackerNews.com -> https://hn.algolia.com/ ?

So, should we meta discuss the site now?

In general no, but occasionally we have carnivals.

Ha, I also bought hackernews.dev so I didn't have to remember this weird URL.


redirects to news.ycombinator.com

hacker.news too

It's been hckrnews.com for me for ages.. and loving it:)

firefox lets you assign labels to bookmarks. i just type `hackernews` in the URL bar and it opens the URL associated with that bookmark.

i’m a big fan of https://hackerne.ws

Took you decades before do this?

I use https://hckrnews.com/ for Top 10 filtering.

hckrnews.com is the only way I view the site. Just needs dark mode (I guess I can just use darkreader, but built in would be cool)

We’ve requested native dark mode so many times in the past and ‘dang’ has been sympathetic about it, but we must rely on addons and other solutions, when in fact it’s a very simple addition. Let’s hope we’ll have it soon ;-)



I've used this for ages.

[hackernews.com] the news that hack the hackers

old/not news

some previous discussion about it:


But did the domain redirect to this site before?

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