Can you block sites from hacker news ? Who would want to do it and how? I know it sounds funny, everybody’s wanting to get on hacker news, and sometimes i get my blog posts or posts about projects i’m working on posted to the site. I’ve never tried to engage in black hat hacker news manipulation, but i have stumbled across various ways it would be possible. Here’s how it works. First off, once a url has been posted, it’s done, the original user who posted it gets a lock on it and the karma associated with it getting popular or not. I noticed that sometimes the www and non www versions of websites, two links to the same thing with different urls, are treated separately. When other people try and post it, they just upvote instead. I first discovered this when i posted a link to asciiflow.com not using the www. It was cool, and i was surprised it wasn’t already on hacker news. Turns out it was posted about a month earlier. Nobody seemed to mind my reposting although there was some discussion about it . The yesterday i posted a link to drawastickman.com , the cool animation of a stickman you create. I wanted to know, with a really cool link, and myself with decent karma, 890, would it get on the front page without me asking anybody to vote for it. It ended up with 14 points, but didn’t make it on the home page. Maybe i gave it a bad title, “Draw A Stickman – Interactive Canvas Story Telling”. A few hours later it got posted again as “Bring a stick man to life.” by kgthegreat who had little karma a the time, but now has about the same as me. Perhaps he/she gave it a much better link title, i’m not sure. What’s more likely is that s/he got a few friends to upvote in the first few minutes after posting. I think it’s fine that kgthegreat got the karma and the link posted, and i don’t really care who gets credit. It’s a cool link and i’m glad it got shared with the community. My real question is this, what if somebody else had done like me, posted the link and ignored it? What if both the www and non www versions of the url had been posted and lost in the flow. Then those links would be on hacker news, but never float up and sit on the top like they deserve. Now imagine instead of two hackers posting links they think are interesting, and instead think, what if somebody wanted to keep things from hacker news. The best way to do it would be to post links you wanted buried at high traffic times with two low karma accounts. Simply make it so nobody notices or upvotes the pages. Give them terrible titles. I wonder if anybody’s done this to their competitors websites? The new way to censor stuff is not to delete it, but rather to let it get lost in the noise. With crowd sourced content discovery platforms, like hacker news, it’s possible for participants to play the role of censor. It’s fascinating stuff. Update: According to PG , the karma of the poster is not used in calculating whether or not the posts get moved to the front page.
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How to block sites from Hacker News?