The Beleaguered Moderators Who Keep Hacker News Focused on Intellectual Curiosity

David Cassio:

When venture capitalist Paul Graham unveiled Hacker News in 2007, he’d formulated its goal of stoking “intellectual curiosity.”

“Paradoxical as it sounds, the thing that makes hackers such good startup founders is that they care about more than business. They have intellectual curiosity driving them as well as the desire to make money. So the way to make a news site for startup founders is to make it be about more than just startups,” he wrote at the time.

Last Thursday The New Yorker offered an assessment of this goal, in “The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News.” The article revealed that the tech news and discussion forum now has 5 million unique visitors each month, and wonders if “the site’s original tech-intellectual culture can be responsibly scaled up to make space for a more inclusive, wider-ranging vision of technology.”