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Ask HN: Why is my two day old submit on HN frontpage shown as 1 hour old?
34 points by taubek 6 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments
Why is my two day old submit on HN frontpage shown as 1 hour old?

Here is direct link - it says 1 hour old https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=33667439

And in list of my submits I can see that I've submitted link two days ago https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=taubek

Title of my submit is Service Resilience — part 1: Startup Technology






Yes, that feature is confusing. It's called a 'second chance' and explained here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26998308

Thank you! But why does it change the timestamp?

So that people don't complain about a 2 day old post still being on the FP.

Weird. I personally consider a modified timestamp more confusing/worrying than an old post being on the front page, as the former modifies something that should be immutable, while the latter doesn't.

Edit: Semi-related issue for comparison: one time, a contact DMed me on Discord to ask where a certain event was going to be held. Before I saw the message, she found the answer through other means and thus "helpfully" deleted her message to me.

Same problem: that actually makes it more confusing because I see inconsistent state: the notification lives on in my phone, but it's no longer present in the chat history. Better to just say "never mind" than to modify history.


I agree. Modifying timestamps for features like in this case "second chance" is a very bad practice IMHO.

yeah - split the difference maybe and have the UI indicate "second chance" somehow.

but I suppose HN likes to keep things simple (even if it's a bit confusing).


The algorithm uses timestamp with a kind of gravity calculation to make it fall off the page. They maybe just didn't want to have a separate display timestamp and second chance timestamp in the codebase and it was simpler to change it when reupping a post.

Because it's plain and simple manipulation. If it wasn't meant to manipulate the front page it wouldn't alter the timestamp.

And just because it's manipulation doesn't mean it's bad (in my opinion) - it does what it intends to do and if it dies in second chance, it rots away.

Any good community discussion site that maintains for years needs various forms of "manipulation", and this is a pretty minor one.


Taking arbitrary submissions to the front page manually (without the necessary upvotes from users) and on top of that manipulating the timestamp so it looks like the submission is new and got there organically is bad.

HN already automatically takes some of the new queue and puts it on the front page (there's always a very recent few votes link on any given homepage for a logged in user) - I see no problem with this at all.

Adding an * footnoting what was done wouldn't serve much purpose.


Nah, I like it. I'm here for interesting news & discussion, not for a demonstration of some voting algorithm.

“Bad” is subjective. Counter to your expectations, sure, but “bad” seems a bit of a simplistic take.

Yes, and it also changes the timestamps of the user comments to perpetuate the illusion.

Interesting. My submit didn't have comments so I didn't notice that :)


Also of interest and related is the second chance pool: https://news.ycombinator.com/pool

Posts here don't get pushed on to the front page, but have some level of vetting and are placed on that list to see if the community thinks they should be voted up.


Sooner or later submissions in the second chance pool are actually placed roughly into the middle of the frontpage and given a few extra upvotes for that. The community reaction to them decides their further fate.

Huh. TIL. Thanks for letting me know.



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