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FWIW, I've been feeling like the comments on HN have been more negative and combative than usual over the last month or so, too. (I've been a HN user for about 5 years, too). I've not been quite sure why - there just suddenly seems to have been a bit of a tidal wave of snark.

It may be seasonal, or something similar, and I'll admit to having anecdotal evidence only, but I have had a similar impression to the OP, albeit not quite as strongly.

I wonder if some of it is defensiveness from users scared HN will turn into Reddit? Certainly, I've seen a lot of "downvote this post, it's not something that should be on HN" comments lately.

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