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The top story on HN as of this comment is a Slate article debunking the bacteria claim, validating not only the newsworthiness of the original story, but also highlighting the full-arc drama HNers got to follow by seeing both stories featured prominently on the front page.

On the other hand, let's consider scenarios where your concern might be totally valid -- say, if the same article was simply link-bait to a spammer's penny stock advertisement. In that case the article might pop fast to the top of HN, but likely just as quickly flagged and removed. So, flagging of articles that are crass advertising, flaming link-bait or just plain inappropriate for HN is the remedy there.

The question is -- is there a case where a story is appropriate for HN and not likely to get flagged, but also is not nearly as worthy or compelling as the title suggests?

I'm having a hard time coming up with that scenario, but in true HN-form I'm willing to be corrected. While I disagree with your statement that "It would be a very interesting result IF it were confirmed to be true," (and that seems to be the emerging consensus), I pose the question back to you and HNers -- what would be the scenario where reading the comments prior to upvoting would help improve the quality of story on HN page one, where flagging is also not the appropriate remedy?

The problem is that many of us have lost our flagging privileges (accidentally tapping "unflag" after tapping "flag" really quickly seems to remove flagging abilities), so by the time the right people can flag the article it might already have the upvotes to stay at the top.

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