Dan Bulwinkle

The Curious Case of the YCombinator Bookmarklet

28 March 2021
2 minute read

YC Bookmarklet Page

I frequent the /new page of Hacker News, usually to find interesting articles that were missed by the masses1. In recent years I noticed that people were submitting “Y Combinator Bookmarklet” at least several times a week. From time to time, this would get a small number of upvotes.

After a while I started wondering why people were submitting this so frequently. Reviewing the bookmarklet page, it suddenly became clear2. Logged-in HN users were clicking the link which would then submit the bookmarklet page itself to Hacker News. At some point these links were simply automatically marked dead whenever submitted.


But, there is a better (and simple) solution! Just add javascript to prevent the default behavior. The yellow highlighted text below shows the change.

YC Bookmarklet Solution

This allows users to drag the bookmarklet to their toolbar while preventing them from accidentally submitting to HN. An ancillary benefit is that, due to how YC titles their pages, it will no longer be known as “Y Combinator Bookmarklet.”

  1. This seems to be a problem with HN. First, there should be a preference where landing on /new is the default. Second – I’m not sure the solution – there should be a way to allow for long-form articles because they rarely if ever make it to the front page. ↩︎

  2. Worry not, I did not click the link! ↩︎