David's Blog

How Do Comments Work on HackerNoon?

5/22/2022 by David Smooke

Story Image

Pictured story, https://hackernoon.com/the-joy-of-using-single-purpose-tech

Anyone can comment on HackerNoon! All comments are reviewed by the individual writer or staff editor before publication on the story page. We hope this moderation approach will encourage high-quality human discussions about technology or whatever it is that is driving our collective futures.

This publishing approach does ask for something from you - that in today’s overloaded internet, you rarely get asked for - patience. There is a second human on the other side of the screen and she or he or they will read and review your human words. IMHO internet comments too often favor bots and/or instant gratification instead of thoughtfulness about how to help the next visitor.

At HackerNoon, we’ve learned a lot in publishing tens of thousands of stories and have tried a number of different commenting systems (discourse / medium / disqus / gun)… Naturally, we reached the conclusion to start over with one that is more native to our core product, the content management system that powers HackerNoon. The text editor itself is the 3.0 text editor build with outline open source - it’s a clean typing experience with a few extras like bullet points, breakout quotes, and code blocks.

==This is HackerNoon’s first native story commenting system, we are very open to comments below about how it could work.==

:::tip Sidenote: if you think all this second human rule quality curation is bullshit, or just think you have a story/AMA/real-time-words-craving - anyone can instantaneously comment on your story if you toggle YES to Townhall Mode in your story settings.


Right now (in QA), writers can review submitted and published comments on their stories here and manage comments settings here. All HackerNoon accounts can find their published comments on their profile pages.


And one of the great things about comments is that they extend to words and code, creating extra value for our users.

So what do you say - how should our internet comments work tomorrow?


Linh Dao Smooke
Linh Dao Smooke 5/22/2022

Yay! Comments are finally back on the site! Was never a feature but perhaps our longest running bug 😂 How do you think this feature will evolve across the site?

Valerie Ejegi
Valerie Ejegi 5/23/2022

hmm…it could evole to a point where readers can like comments. Let’s face it, some folks are way better with words. lol. We need to honor those sort of people. Who knows it could inspire them to write more. And how about posting a story’s comment thread as a story like slogging? yeah..lol

Joshua Omale
Joshua Omale 5/23/2022

Yes I totally agree with you. I think readers should be able to like comments, just to encourage commenters. And would comment slogging be called “clogging”😂?

David Smooke
David Smooke 5/26/2022

💚 💚 💚

Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic

No room for evolution of comments. It’s pure manifestation of creationism, lol. A divine act of HN creation. Perfect! Shared some suggests in my comment to David.

David Smooke
David Smooke 5/26/2022

😂 😂 🤣

undefined 5/22/2022

I have a good feeling about this feature! Real people's feedback on our stories makes it way more rewarding. So don't mind the haters. After all, killing comments won't do us any good.

David Smooke
David Smooke 5/26/2022

✊ ✊🏽 ✊🏾

Mónica Freitas
Mónica Freitas 5/22/2022

Comments for the win!! It’s great that we can now show our support to our favorite articles and writers! For anyone worried about how to write meaningful comments or why to do it, there are a lot of helpful articles online just like this one: The Psychology of Online Comments

Valerie Ejegi
Valerie Ejegi 5/23/2022

The Psychology of Online Comments is good read Monica! Thanks for sharing. I am particularly entralled by this section “A dog will often make himself known with a stray, accidental bark. Then, hopefully, he will be treated accordingly”. In other words, when the haters come, and come they will, we’ll be ready for them but nothing should stop us from relishing the joys of human interations and community building.

Mónica Freitas
Mónica Freitas 5/22/2022

Here's another interesting article on Comments on Blockchain as we're on the topic. It's worth the check. Happy commenting!

Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic

My note on your “Sidenote: if you think all this second human rule quality curation is bullshit, or just want people to be able to instantaneously comment on your stories, simple toggle YES to Townhall Mode in your story settings.” @David - It’s not BS. It’s a choice, to hear everyone’s voice. I couldn’t help myself to throw a rhyme, lol. Joke aside, it’s awesome. If someone thinks my story is BS, np. I want to hear it. Don Johnson “Tell It Like It Is.” Before I lost almost all of my hair (my ‘sidenote,’ no Alopecia, thus no Will Smith, gimme a beat), I used to look like him, Miami Vice phase. God, I love that song. P.S. In Slack, you make a new line in your message by pressing shift/enter. We should have something similar. Or, we have, but I don’t know how to use it. P.S.2. How’s @monicafreitas using hyperlinks in her comments. What kind of sorcery is that? Using memes in comments?! Sounds delicious.

HackerNoon 5/23/2022

Yay for comment :) a great way to connect HackerNoon’s community together. I imagine it would be greatly rewarding to writers as well. And did I mention how much I enjoy being able to format text for my own comment :pinched_fingers:

Limarc Ambalina
Limarc Ambalina 5/23/2022

As someone who has been working with the dev who shipped this feature, there is a lot of thought that goes into something that seems as simple as a commenting feature: should all comments be auto-approved? If not, who should approve them? What kind of profanity should we censor? All of these questions and 100 more are asked and debated throughout the development and shipping of such a feature

Limarc Ambalina
Limarc Ambalina 5/23/2022

I’m most excited about how this will strengthen engagement around stories that were created to start a debate, especially slogging stories like this one: https://hackernoon.com/is-social-media-doing-more-harm-than-good-zt68333x

Joshua Omale
Joshua Omale 5/23/2022

I think comments are a good way to make stories interactive. Giving and getting feedback encourages readers and writers to develop a relationship with each other and with stories published. This feature would definitely improve story interactions. Since the comments would be vetted, I think that would also help with fighting bots.

Daniel Meyers
Daniel Meyers 8/13/2022

I completely agree with you

The Truthful Gamer

To encourage comments and to help people have organic conversations, I think you should make comments auto-approved and then if comments have certain criteria (profanity, backlinks, or other red flags) set those comments as requiring moderation. As a writer, I can’t be online all the time to approve comments quickly, but I’d like readers to feel free to comment on my story without having to wait for me to approve them. The auto-toggle feature is cool but I think my suggestions above could be a good middle-ground

Sidra Ijaz
Sidra Ijaz 5/23/2022

Conversations for the win!

Tuan Anh Vu
Tuan Anh Vu 5/24/2022

This is a great way to push the development of HackerNoon as a community. Combined with the reactions feature, allowing comments is surely an elevation to users’ experience. Now, conversations can be made on the spot, connections can be built between writers and readers. Also it is good for writers to get feedbacks, thoughts as well as encouragements from other people who share the same interests!

Ellen Stevens
Ellen Stevens 5/26/2022

Allowing the comments feature is a good way to create more engagement with your content. It makes genuine communication possible, in contrast to ‘just’ publishing, which can seem like a one-way dictation or sorts. It also encourages a certain level of devotion because people can feel like they leave tiny part of themselves ‘in a space’ and are probably more likely to visit again. Exciting stuff y’all.  [Obligatory disclaimer about spam bots and unproductive comments being not overly welcome.]

Kien Dao
Kien Dao 8/24/2022

Loving this function! More comments = more engagement and therefore it creates a (hopefully healthy) environment for the author and readers to interact on a more profound level! 💪

Dmitriy Matveef
Dmitriy Matveef 5/16/2023

Strange, but my comments are not published at all :(