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on June 12, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite

I would guess that people aren't aware that it doesn't require moderators to kill an item. There are plenty of people on HN who don't want to see meta, or meta-on-meta, and who will happily flag meta items.

Enough flags, and it's dead.

Other submissions:



Tyranny of the crowd, eh?

472 points in less than 2 hours, 37 comments mostly expressing civil agreement ... clearly this is a topic HN shouldn't be discussing.

I hope it was just a software glitch of some kind.

This is far from the first time something like this has happened. It may be that moderators killed it (and that the rules state they should), but numerous debates have been 'flagged to death' by users that disagree with them, and killed without moderators even being involved. I forget the exact context, but a few months ago there was a post about sexism in the tech industry that got over 100 votes and made it's way to third place, only to be flagged to death within half an hour.

It happens. But it concerns me more that someone arriving after the flagging has no idea that anything even happened- it's been erased from history. Rather than deleting all trace of these threads, perhaps we should put [dead] next to them and close them off for future comments? Seems it would achieve both goals.

You can choose to show dead. It is a personal setting in your profile.

Yes, but then you see all the spam entries as well. Of course, that's because there is only one "flag" option.

Eh, if I wanted a most popular opinion site, I wold be on the main page of reddit. I am glad the HN mods are being "mean".

This is ridiculous. It had 472 upvotes. Moderators, please do not respond to criticism this way.

Because in the guidelines we ask people who have questions or complaints about moderation to contact us directly rather than posting on HN:

    Please don't post on HN to ask or tell us something 
    (e.g. to ask us questions about Y Combinator, or to 
    ask or complain about moderation). If you want to say 
    something to us, please send it to info@ycombinator.com.

It didn't, the title got changed to "I analyzed the chords to 1300 popular songs for patterns. This is what I found."

No, that's another post. If you click through to the parents post you'll see it marked as dead.

This is the post you're talking about: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4101992

Edit: Why is this downvoted heavily? It appears pretty obvious to me that the parent is mistaking two posts.

It's silly that you got downvoted, but I think the parent was tongue in cheek.

Really? Because it seemed pretty obvious to me that the parent was making a joke... you know... about titles getting changed. (However, I did not down vote you.)

It appears pretty obvious to me that the parent is joking.

He was joking. You missed it. I am trying to behave, so I deleted my reply saying "and all the comments were also edited as part of the cover up..."

I'm quite saddened that certain people in HN have lost their sense of humor.

It violated the policy stated in the submission guidelines (http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html)

"Please don't post on HN to ask or tell us something (e.g. to ask us questions about Y Combinator, or to ask or complain about moderation). If you want to say something to us, please send it to info@ycombinator.com."

I see psychological parallels between this policy and Microsoft's recent attempts to crack down on class-action lawsuits.

I see psychological parallels between your comment and Godwin's Law.

Reposting and replying to a deadpost:

Freshhawk>> And really: are you going to leave HN because of heavy moderation with a bias against criticism?

Yes, if it gets bad enough. I'd prefer the moderators to chime in (you know, like rational human beings responding to what is apparently a common criticism) and and let the thread run its course instead of acting like a bad Reddit mod on a trip. This is probably the LAST place on the internet that this kind of moderation should happen.

Whenever I see these/those posts, I think Jeff Atwood described it best: Meta is Murder


It violated the policy of "no criticism of Hacker News". :P

Moderators got killed? Did I misread that or do we need a title change here?

R.I.P. Moderators.

Meta threads have traditionally not fared that well. They don't all get axed, but many do.

Rule 1 : You don't talk about the HN moderators

Rule 2 ...

I thought we were discussing 1984 in another thread... it seems applicable here too. sigh

HN is changing...

Who the fuck are the mods? Surely the most qualified people to be mods who use HN are far to busy and productive to change post titles.

Irony abound!

It looks like HN moderators behave very similarly to politicians. Better hide the evidence, ban all the posts that try to expose the evidence.

Even small power corrupts.

I would suspect it's more likely that PG etc. have no interest in the politics of HN and just want a community for hackers so the submission was killed because it's never going to be addressed, not because they're "hiding" this problem.

I don't think that's accurate. PG is very much concerned about the social health of HN (and sure politics to some extent), but I'm not clear that either PG or other mods think that threads such as the one under discussion are constructive.

I'd like to hear an actual statement from one of the mods before jumping to that conclusion. You never know. heh.

time to fork it?

Is this really that big a deal? Not all administrative details should be a matter of public debate. I hope this thread gets killed too.

It seems the community was largely expressing agreement with the poster, though. From past experiences with online communities, if you want to keep the community around [let alone high-quality], you listen to feedback from its members.

From my past experiences with online communities, if you want to keep a good community from regressing to the mean, you have to consciously ignore a lot of its members' wishes.

Put another way: More people like Failblog than LWN. This does not mean that LWN should listen to people who want it to be more like Failblog.

(Just so there's no confusion: This is just a general comment about online communities, not the original "Attention Moderators" thread.)

Personally, I don't care to read meta posts about HN itself. I would rather read "news for hackers" and not "news about Hacker News." So I am glad that thread got killed, and I would like all these threads complaining about the moderation policy to also get killed. I suspect this view is the "silent majority", because most people who think that way just won't read these meta posts, and will just silently note that there are a lot of boring self-referential stories on HN.

Meta posts about HN itself are useful if they help improve the quality of HN down the line. I don't come here to read "news about Hacker News", but if the news about Hacker News thread helps frontpage content become more relevant, clearer, or more interesting, that's a net win.

IMO, we need appropriately descriptive headlines. Sometimes there's a little too much spin and moderators should step in to fix it, but sometimes moderators step in and worsen the problem; that's a legitimate issue to solve for the benefit of HN.

Nobody forces you to click the links and read them, pass over them and click the ones you want to read.. Like stated before, that subject got 427 upvotes, apparently it's a big concern of many users of the community.

I don't want to name call anyone here, but just as full disclosure from your hn bio: Founder of Parse (YC S2011) and Gamador (YC W2010).

- Submitter of one of the threads you want to get killed.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

-- Margaret Mead


I think HN should take a page from SO, and introduce meta.news.ycombinator.com and chat.news.ycombinator.com. Then again, there are lots of things I'd change about HN, but it's not my site and it's free.

I agree. Moderators, know that if you kill this thread too, you have my support. HN isn't a democracy, and anyone who thinks the readers somehow own it is welcome to go somewhere else.

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