Hacking Hacker News

Recently I have been following the disaster known as Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing. He flamed a customer of the Avenger PS3 controller. Then he got into it with Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade, who managed to turn the masses of the Internet on him. Even though Christoforo messed up, I thought the mob mentality that followed on the net was overkill. Apparently that is an unpopular opinion to have. My comments on Hacker News got downvoted a lot.

I don't post of Hacker News too often. In the past year I probably commented on two posts. However I got a lot of downvotes this latest go around. The result is that my Hacker News karma is low. I think if your karma goes low enough, they ban you automatically. WTF? Now I want to brainstorm a way to hack my karma up into the positive region. While I am at it, I might as well try to raise my karma up high enough to downvote others (you cannot downvote if your karma is too low).

So how does one carry out such a hack? Well I could work within the system. I could try to post some hot new topic that appeals to a lot of reader. Then they could vote me up. Weak. I could find a way to trick the system. Create some Hacker News accounts. Ensure the system would not detect this. Essentially vote myself up to many karma points.

The real win would be to find out how karma is stored. Then I would need to figure out a way to go in and just change my number. Is this thing stored in a relational database? Or perhaps it is in some NoSQL database. What O/S is hosting this database? How can I get in? This is a fun problem to think about. Got any idea?