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I think what I love most about HN is that PG (and others?) take an active role in trying to steer the tone of the comments in specific directions, and don't try to make it a super democratic site like Reddit where everything about the community is allowed to just grow organically in a hands-off manner.

I see lots of complaints about supposed censorship or excessive moderation or hellbans, and I understand why those things might frustrate people. Really, I do. But it's not like this is the only place on the Internet where people can go to post comments about tech news. The fact that HN isn't trying to be all things to all people, and isn't trying to be as fair as possible to everyone at all times, is actually what I love about it.

I'm glad that there's places like Reddit where everything is community-driven and the maintainers are totally hands-off as to the content of the site, and I frequently enjoy Reddit as well. But I'm also glad that there are places like HN which are actively molded into being a specific kind of site with specific standards of discourse, even if I don't always agree with it. I wish more news sites had such specific visions for content and comments. Not necessarily the same vision, just some vision other than avoiding even the perception of censorship at all costs.

I don't quite know why, but your post made me open up 4chan for the first time in years.

Maybe because it's cool to enjoy 4chan even though it is fundamentally effed up in so many ways. :) Just like it's cool to enjoy HN even though it's fundamentally effed up in a completely inverse way. I figure all of these places are great sources of information seen through different prisms, you just have to understand the prism to get the most out of it. I try to make up for it by hitting up a bunch of different places with different approaches to moderation and different kinds of communities.

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