The vendor responded with a fix within hours!
The compressed label should never be allowed to refer to itself in the first place, so there's no point in counting how many times you loop.
Turning "laid off" into "let go" sounds like nothing we'd do, and there's nothing like it in the logs, so I don't believe we did this.
Did the user edit it? I remember commenting at the time bacause I had two tabs open to the same discussion opened some time apart from each other and the title was different on them.
If you noticed all the times we've changed "f* * *" to "fuck" in titles, I doubt you'd have suspected us of bowdlerizing that one. :)
That's without getting into the separate tendency that original user-submitted titles (whether or not it matches the article title) often capture the essence of what's actually interesting to the audience here. Subsequent edits then lose that association -- making it less likely that I (or other people) will click through. Linkbait, you say? That's the whole point, I say.
In this case: Sure, the article's original title was hyperbolic. But so what? It's hyperbolic to good effect, and gives a feel for the tone of the rest of the article.
If we allowed linkbait in titles, the threads would mostly be about linkbait in titles. This effect is strong, reliable, and immediate. Therefore we don't allow linkbait in titles.
As for "unless we feel like it," nothing could be less true. The way we edit titles isn't algorithmic but it's at least semi-objective, and you'd be surprised at how meticulous we are. It's easy to defend in nearly any specific case (we make mistakes, of course, but that's not a policy), which is why when people complain about it, they tend to either kvetch vaguely or use inaccurate examples.
Anyway, I understand it's a hard thing to balance systematically. Titles aside, HN is still a much improved place under the "new regime". Thanks for your ongoing efforts with transparency and communication here.
I have to think you're falling prey to sample bias here. I'm the one setting the enforcement policies and can assure you they haven't changed. I also don't see as many complaints about title changes as I used to; that may be because we started posting comments about particular edits, so it's easier for people to know what's going on.
The current thread is an exception, but it's ok if this stuff comes up occasionally and has a hearing.
This new title, however, is far more interesting and the article was fantastic.
The old title was "how I nearly almost saved the Internet starring afl-fuzz and dnsmasq"
That title gives enough detail to be interesting while still being a bit cheeky -- and the article itself is a bit cheeky. That cheekiness makes the article all the more fantastic, IMO.
The current title of "Finding a vulnerability in dnsmasq using afl-fuzz," while a factually accurate description, reads like a dry research paper.
Anyway, there are situations where changing the title is appropriate. I just don't think this was one of them.