Ask HN: Why are all posts about David Koch’s death being flagged on HN?


I’m not a fan of Koch but I don’t find this answer satisfying. I really hate to say this, but, it sort-of feels like HN is censoring news.

I would think the death of a prominent business figure would be relevant to our community. But I guess not.


> sort-of feels like YC is censoring news.

Only in the sense that every venue that chooses what news is in scope and out of scope for that venue (including every news outlets ever) is censoring news.

It’s not, legally or effectively, prohibiting other people from publishing or distributing news, so it’s not doing the thing that makes public censorship (and arguably widely dominant privately-run communication platform censorship) a problem.


Large community sites need never censor anything, then. For any subject even slightly controversial, there will always be at least some users flagging/reporting to justify removing it.

Wouldn’t you consider selective enforcement a type of censorship?


It’s not selective enforcement.

HN users get to vote what shows up on the front page. A certain ratio of votes-to-flags triggers removal. It’s no more censorship than voting for a politician censors their opponent.


I guess you’re right, then, if it’s truly always a result of user reporting and HN never overrides that. I know that’s not the case for Reddit, so kudos to HN.


Sometimes we override user flags but as far as I know moderators haven’t touched any of these submissions.


Lots of celebrity deaths have been allowed to have threads here, authors, business people… this seems odd


It’s hard to imagine that any discussion of Koch’s legacy won’t be political, which is something HN’s moderators generally prefer to avoid.


To answer your question: I personally flag all death articles, unless it is sudden as in important tech person dying young. For any other case there is generally nothing to talk about, as there are no actionable consequences. Though some people like to praise accomplishments now and then.


Every few months or so a new “yes the Koch brothers really are that evil” post makes the rounds, but interestingly not here (HN). Seems that the family is off limits.


“Some people don’t agree his views”

Pretty sure it will be closer to 100% amongst the HN community.