Hacker News FAQ

Are there rules about submissions and comments?

http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

How are stories ranked?

On the front page, by points divided by a power of the time since they were submitted. Comments in comment threads are ranked the same way.

Stories on the new page and comments on the comments page are listed chronologically.

How is a user's karma calculated?

Roughly, the number of upvotes on their stories and comments, minus the number of downvotes. The numbers won't exactly match up, because some votes aren't counted to prevent various types of abuse.

Why don't I see down arrows?

There are no down arrows on stories. They appear on comments after users reach a certain karma threshold, but never on direct replies.

What kind of formatting can you use in comments?

http://news.ycombinator.com/formatdoc

How do I submit a question?

Use the submit link in the top bar, and leave the url field blank.

How do I make a link in a question?

You can't. This is to prevent people from using this method as a way of submitting a link, but with their comments in a privileged position at the top of the page. If you want to submit a link with comments, just submit it, then add a regular comment.

Are reposts ok?

If a story has had significant attention in the last year or so, we kill reposts as duplicates. If not, a small number of reposts is ok.

Please don't delete and repost the same story, though. Accounts that do that eventually lose submission privileges.

Can I ask people to upvote my submission?

No. Users should vote for a story because it's intellectually interesting, not because someone is promoting it.

When the software detects a voting ring, it penalizes the post. Accounts that vote like this eventually get their votes ignored.

Can I post a job ad?

A regular "Who Is Hiring?" thread appears at the beginning of every month, and you're welcome to post there. The rest of the time, job posts are reserved for Y Combinator-funded startups.

An account named whoishiring is the only one allowed to submit the regular threads. This prevents a race to post them first.

A single YC startup job post may appear on the front page at a time. Job posts have no vote arrow and just a timestamp in place of the usual story details. They begin partway down the front page and fall steadily in rank.

In my profile, what does showdead do?

If you turn it on, you'll see all the stories and comments that have been killed by the HN software or by moderators.

In my profile, what is noprocrast?

It's a way to help you prevent yourself from spending too much time on HN. If you turn it on you'll only be allowed to visit the site for maxvisit minutes at a time, with gaps of minaway minutes in between. The defaults are 20 and 180, which would let you view the site for 20 minutes at a time, and then not allow you back in for 3 hours. You can override noprocrast if you want, in which case your visit clock starts over at zero.

How do I submit a poll?

http://news.ycombinator.com/newpoll