Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Tell HN: Flag PR "April fools pranks"
261 points by unimpressive on April 1, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 43 comments
Fellow lusers,

I would like to appeal that you flag all uninspired april fools pranks until april second. The truth of the matter is that april fools (Which I think some have called the "hackers holiday") has been ruined by oversaturation and PR departments. Instead of being a funny unexpected string of pranks and absurdism, the experience has become a droning hum of buzzing marketers and disrupted services.

By keeping the front page pure, it may be possible for a few good pranks to actually surprise and entertain.

Thank you.

Hear. Hear. I promised myself today that I would upvote the general thread this year that reminds the community not to let the front page of HN get filled with April Fools jokes. (There has been a thread for the same purpose each of the last three years.) I like a good joke as much as anyone, but we can keep links to the good stuff in this thread, and let the front page go on being mostly about the year-round core topics of HN.

Just in case someone here hasn't seen it, there is a link to a listing of the top 100 April Fools hoaxes of all time


from the Museum of Hoaxes, of which my favorite is the 1957 BBC story about the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland.


In my opinion, the HN community is always best served when posts and comments rise and fall on their merit, not because of flagging rings and ideology.

Exactly -- I happen to enjoy a lot of these April Fools pranks, and can especially appreciate that the HN crowd filters the best on their own. Who cares if it's a PR effort if the community likes it?

Or, you know, lighten up. If it bothers you so much, I'm not sure what to say. Other sites will have plenty of these too.

"Keeping the front page pure", really? It's only ever as "pure" as we as a community want it to be. It's not your own personal RSS.

Agreed. The worry here is that eventually in the coming centuries as more and more days are assigned various meanings that the HN frontpage will decline dramatically in quality. We must nip this in the bud.

Rather! Just think of it- we've already lost Christmas, April Fools, New Years, and probably a few others to the unstoppable force of PR departments. The nerve of these people! Just find any decent day of the year and pollute it by pretending to be real people with a sense of humour and personalities. I can imagine a future where they've turned every day into a holiday and spoiled the whole year acting like humans, when they should be doing the same day to day job they have to do for the rest of the time. It sickens me.

Erm, I seem to be getting a negative response. This is, I hope you are aware, a joke that carries on the joke of the post above it. I do not actually agree with the sentiments I have given, they were to be imagined with sarcasm.

I downvoted your apology because you gotta own it, no apologies!

You know, I completely accept that. \grin.

Did you consider that people with a negative response might not agree with the intentional message you are conveying via sarcasm, and not just mistakenly having a negative response because they can't perceive your sarcasm?

I rather did not, and for two reasons: Firstly, the post that I was attached to that was offering the same joke, almost precisely, was getting very positive attention. Secondly, after I added the footnote, the total score for the comment increased from -2 to +4, making it the second most karma-profitable post I have made, as far as I'm aware.

Not that I'm being karma obsessed. I just wanted to make sure that people realized that it was a joke, and the metric I have available seems to prove me right.

>HN >Centuries >Internet

Nothing to see here; I'm sure that there will be a new thing in 5 years max.

How about what people likes gets voted up? And what people don't like doesn't? If people are voting on things, why shouldn't they hit the front page?

I'm somewhat with you here; April Fools has turned into a big advertising campaign, but I don't think we ought to go as far as flagging every April 1st link, as I have seen some rather neat side projects come from April Fools pranks on the web.

Ok, there is no more April fools pranks on front page, but now we have this 'Tell HN: Flag PR "April fools pranks"' ...

How did you contribute to the pureness of front page?

While I wouldn't claim this to necessarily be the case, if my post were working you wouldn't see the pranks on the front page at first glance because the silly obvious ones would be downvoted.[0]

Ideally the front page would look normal, until you took a look at some of the stories and realize you've been had.

[0]: In other words, theres no distinguishable difference between my post helping or being unnecessary unless it doesn't work.

This is preempting the onslaught

Many April Fools jokes are being posted now since it's past midnight GMT.

Yes, please, flag any b.s. "april fools day" garbage right into the freaking abyss. There's a great site that you can visit on AFD that will helpfully collect any and all such links for you and display them prominently for your enjoyment: It's called Slashdot.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are tired of the same recycled, derivative, boring, inspid gags and so-called "pranks" and would really rather not be bothered with that crap.

I kinda look forward to them. It's not a big deal. I basically assume that all posts are April Fools' jokes for this 48 hour period. It's a nice change of pace. It'll be over soon.

What would be considered a non-PR April Fool's prank?

I think you may be thinking about this the wrong way. Instead of identifying stuff that we all agree is good, lets start with stuff we can almost universally agree is bad (Sieve of Eratosthenes style.):

* Articles on sites like techcrunch about the prank.

* Really obvious stuff like "youtube shutting down".

EDIT: * Duplicates.

* Anything that announces it's a "prank" in the title.

Can we generally agree that forbes.com and techcrunch should not be upvoted? Both seem toxic.

I don't know about everything on forbes, but contributor (i.e. random blogs hosted on forbes.com) writing does seem to be low quality with linkbait titles.

Yeah, I'm starting to feel like I'm not part of techcrunch's target audience.

Their constant rss spamming is a drag. I realized that tc is just one level above engadget and lifehacker I would opt in for weekly summaries or another aggregator, ya know any?

Thats unfair to Forbes to be lumped in with the scum that is TC.

April fools was really a pre internet event.

36 hours of the world doing mostly lame pranks wears a bit thin every year for me anyway.

Pre internet it was lame jokes from friends or really complicated pranks that filtered through the noise. It seemed more community based and thought out.

Maybe those of us that think this way should have an annual IRC chat so we can continue to learn things while others act like monkeys. Actually I have got a lot of papers I can get caught up on reading today.

April 1st is national "do not surf the internet" day.

What do you consider a "good" prank?

Gmail's April 1 launch comes to mind, the "prank" being that the 1 GB e-mail storage was real at a time when other webmail providers gave 1-10 MB.

This is decent.


I think it could be a bit more subtle, but it's better than "Google changed a few lines on their expensive web properties to obvious bullshit."

It's a shame that one got flagged, it's a well done hoax with some amusing yet highly plausible examples:




How about creating a thread just for April Fool's pranks? link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5471242

How about we just let people vote up and down on stuff they like? Why do you think it is important to control this democratic process? If you haven't noticed there is some commercial aspect to pretty much every post on HN. Let the people decide.

I, for one, am going to flag everyone who complains about April fools posts. It's tradition at this point so lighten up.

Just let them be downvoted

Stories can't be downvoted, only flagged, as the OP suggests.

So, is this a prank?

I think so. Let the downvoting commence!

I got it! This post is a prank itself! LOL

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact