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03 October 2014
Heavy-handed HackerNews: Mods are Unnecessarily Editing Titles and Swapping URLs
This post didn’t make the frontpage thus the experiment didn’t work. Still, the content is still valid.
I have been less than thrilled about the increase in administrative “duties” that have been going on with HackerNews since pg stepped down administrating the site.
As an experiment, I’ve changed the title of my post to see if it happens first hand.
The title of the submission should be Heavy-handed HackerNews: This Title Should Differ from the Article.
Here is the submission: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8405771
URL Hot Swapping
In particular, dang has a habit of hot swapping out URL submissions from underneath the comments.
The comment section for the submission started off discussing the original posting. Yet at some point, the submission was changed to point to Brian Kreb’s post which had a less technical take and more general.
This hot swapping was noticed in the comments as well.
Doing this is unfair for a variety of reasons:
- The original submission could be from the author.
- The comments can cease to be relevant (like the previous example).
- The submitted article might add on to a more “credible” article that it refers to (like the previous example).
There is some rule that says submissions should have the original title of the web page. This is quite inane in various circumstances.
I have actually been the victim of this title changing as being an author of something linked to.
This makes sense as the title of the article doesn’t include Neovim. That’s
because “Neovim” is prepended to the Jekyll template that is used for
rendering the page. The final
<title> tag in the HTML becomes `
- Better Late than Never - Neovim</title>`
It was then changed to “Issue #3 – Better Late Than Never” which makes absolutely no sense without seeing the URL. I wasn’t the only one to notice either as this comment points out.
I understand that moderation is a necessity for spam, insults, sensational titles and the like. However this micro-moderating of submissions that degrade and change the original submissions needs to stop.