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I've been here 5 years as well, and there's always been an element of knee-jerk negativity, but if anything I've noticed less of it lately. The community has always valued intellegent discussion over mindlessly cheerleading eachother. I do see unconstructive negativity here and there, but it tends to fall to the bottom pretty quickly.

I think the difference now is, the negativity was dealt with by the community pretty severely. I lurked for a long time, then joined and now I rarely participate, in total I have probably been reading HN for over 5 years, and actively commenting for over 3. To me it seems like the community policing itself, and the individuals that helped have been overrun by a larger community that is apathetic to the negativity.

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