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Hacker News Needs Honeypots

There has been a lot of recent debate regarding how to improve quality control on HackerNews (HN), and to his credit, Paul Graham (pg) has tried a lot of tactics. There is a very clear set of HN guidelines, which very few members these days probably read. For a while, pg tried playing around with the karma formula and, even if I disagree about the way karma should be measured, at least he gave it an effort. He also hid comment karma from everyone but the author, to help slow the demonstrable deterioration of the discussion section; apparently this has been successful in pg's observations. Nevertheless, I do believe that we are seeing a continuing trend downward in overall article quality on the front page1.

In this post, I present a honeypot approach to combating group-think and quality deterioration in article selection on social news sites.

  1. For instance, see this front-page article from 10/23/11.