FAQ

Are there rules about submissions and comments?

See our guidelines.

How are stories ranked?

The basic algorithm divides points by a power of the time since a story was submitted. Comments in threads are ranked the same way.

Other factors affecting rank include user flags, anti-abuse software, software which demotes overheated discussions, account or site weighting, and moderator action.

How is a user's karma calculated?

Roughly, the number of upvotes on their posts minus the number of downvotes. These don't match up exactly. Some votes are dropped by anti-abuse software.

Do posts by users with more karma rank higher?

No.

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?

Markdown

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 text submission?

You can't. This is to prevent people from submitting a link 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.

What do green usernames mean?

Green indicates a new account.

What are Ask Us and Show Us?

Ask Us lists questions and other text submissions. Show Us is for sharing your personal work and has special rules.

Why hasn't my submission appeared on Ask Us or Show Us?

All submissions appear on newest, and all Show Us/Ask Us on show newest/ask newest, but there is a small points threshold before a post appears on ask or show.

What does [flagged] mean?

It means that users flagged a post as breaking the guidelines or otherwise not belonging on Hacker News.

Moderators sometimes add [flagged] for the same reasons, and sometimes turn flags off when they are unfair.

How do I flag a comment?

Click on its timestamp to go to its page, then click the 'flag' link at the top. There's a small karma threshold before flag links appear.

Are reposts ok?

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

Please don't delete and repost the same story. Deletion is for things that shouldn't have been submitted in the first place.

Are paywalls ok?

It's ok to post stories from sites with paywalls that have workarounds.

In comments, it's ok to ask how to read an article and to help other users do so. But please don't post complaints about paywalls. Those are off topic.

Can I ask people to upvote my submission?

No. Users should vote for a story because they personally find it intellectually interesting, not because someone has content to promote.

The software penalizes submissions, accounts, and sites that break this rule, so please don't.

Can I ask people to comment on my submission?

No, for the same reason. It's also not in your interest. Bitcoin Hub readers are sensitive to this, and they will detect it, flag it, and use unkind words like 'spam'.

Can I post a job ad?

Please don't post job ads as submissions.

A regular "Who Is Hiring?" thread may appear on the first weekday of each month. Most job ads are welcome there. Only an account called whoishiring is allowed to submit the thread itself. This prevents a race to post it first.

Why can't I post a comment to a thread?

Threads are closed to new comments after two weeks, or if the submission has been killed by software, moderators, or user flags.

Why is A ranked below B even though A has more points and is newer?

You can't derive rank from votes and time alone. See "How are stories ranked?" above.

Can I delete my account?

We try not to delete entire account histories because that would gut the threads the account had participated in and is unfair to commenters who replied. However, we care about protecting individual users and take care of privacy requests every day, so if we can help, please email us. We don't want anyone to get in trouble from anything they posted.