Hacker News FAQ

Are there any rules about submissions and comments?


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 submissions 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 submissions. They only appear on comments after users reach a certain karma threshold.

What kind of formatting can you use in comments?


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.)

How do I submit a poll?


This is an experimental feature so there is currently a fairly high karma threshold for submitting new polls.

In my profile, what does showdead do?

If you turn it on, you'll see all the submissions and comments that have been killed by the editors. They're mostly spam and duplicates.

Who are the editors?

About 30 YC alumni. They can kill stories and edit the titles, and in extreme cases (e.g. spamming or deliberate trolling) ban users.

In my profile, what is noprocrast?

It's a way to help you prevent yourself from spending too much time on News.YC. 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.

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