Outside of those efforts, what makes you think HN is not full of bots? Lots of links are posted by new-ish accounts, and we have no idea whether upvotes are human or bot.
If the bots behave convincingly enough like good HN citizens, there may be no way (or no desire) to shut them out at all, and none of us would ever know.
As for comments, it's likely that much of the anti-bot policing is first done by algorithm, and then the remaining effort is by us, the readers, leading to the high-quality comments that we typically see.
Good point. I suppose I just always imagined a place full of bots to be a bit more messy.
On the subject, how funny it would be to train bots to be polite and to the point (rather than clickbaity). How funny it would be to be engrossed in a community, and think "wow, what a bunch of nice interesting people," but really they're robots that are mindlessly striving towards being the perfect neighbor.
Once conversational algorithms reliably pass the Turing test, I guarantee this will happen. State actors may be doing it already. A non-conversational version of this has existed in online gaming for decades.
The catch-22 in starting any new forum or social network is that to attract new users, there must be old users. Some social networks (notoriously dating sites and reddit) started out with employees acting as many users to make the network seem less empty.
It's already possible to pay humans to do this, but it's likely prohibitively expensive. If machines can do it, suddenly you can have thousands or millions of "users" for almost no cost.
But my comment wasn't visible to anyone else.
It was all very clever.
I think the HN's simple user interface is deceptively simple - there is clearly a lot more going on than I had assumed.
Users with 'showdead' turned on in their profile (and who have karma > 30) can do the same: if you see a [dead] post that shouldn't be dead, you should vouch for it by clicking on its timestamp, then clicking 'vouch' at the top of its page. This is why we added that feature.
Wow. I've been on HN for some time now , and that's news to me.
I remember seeing "vouch" before, but not for a long time. I simply assumed you had taken that privilege away from me.
It makes sense to only show it for "showdead" users, but it never occurred to me.
Edit:  and it turns out that today is my cake day. Very fitting. :-)
A fun weekend project would be to utilize GPT-2  to model HN comments; quite the challenge considering the usually insightful comments here when compared to other sites.
Exactly. Turn on show dead and look at the new page sometimes. There's a bit of spam there. Although much less recently! I suspect some new automation was added to remove the blatant entries.
Of course if we added a second level of deadness, we could add a "show-dead-dead" setting to make it visible, but that would be too complicated.
Edit: I should add that there HN also has deletion, meaning a post is no longer visible even to users with showdead on, but we only do that when the author of a post has requested it, or (in extremely rare cases) because our lawyers told us we had to.
You could have a "Trash bin" subcategory into which the titles/metadata of submits that deserve being rendered unnavigable (porn, fraud, malware links) go. Transparency is retained while users are protected.
if we added a second level of deadness, we could add a "show-dead-dead" setting
For example, when Craigslist deletes an ad, the link remains clickable and shows only "this listing has been flagged for removal" if you click it.
If e-mail validation worked, then sites that have validated your e-mail wouldn't be throwing captcha's in your face.
Also, beep-boop, how do you know we're not all bots? ;)
Dunno just throwing Ideas. hahahahah
I guess that's what you get for using Firefox and extensions that value your privacy