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Lobsters (software)

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki
Lobsters logo.png
Lobsters 2019-01-21.png
Original author(s)Joshua Stein
Written inRuby on Rails
    Operating systemLinux, OpenBSD
    Available inEnglish
    License3-Clause BSD

    Amazon.com Logo.png Search Lobsters (software) on Amazon.

    Lobsters is a software project that can be used to build a social news website.[1] It is based broadly on the threaded "upvote/downvote" functionality [2] Lobsters is open-source software built with Ruby On Rails.[3] The code is hosted on GitHub and is licensed under a permissive license.[4] The most major user of the Lobsters software stack is the Lobste.rs website.


    In 2012, Joshua Stein was shadow banned from Hacker News by its administrator, Paul Graham.[5] Stein decided to build an alternative platform focused on moderation transparency.[6] Lobsters has an official transparency policy concerning moderator actions that makes all moderator actions public and prohibits shadow banning.[7]

    List of features[edit]

    Invite tree[edit]

    The website makes use of an invitation tree,where each new user is invited by an existing user, becoming a branch off of the existing user in the tree. [8] The goal of using an invitation system is to both prevent spam and slow the rate of new users beneath the acculturation rate.[8].


    Hats are a feature where users who belong to a company, project, or organization may choose to wear a "hat", indicating that they are speaking on behalf of the organization. This allows users to fluidly move between commenting as just another user, to commenting in an official capacity, to commenting as themselves, without changing accounts. Specially colored red hats are worn by members of the Lobsters community that upkeep the site, marked as "Sysop".[9]

    Downvote explanations[edit]

    Downvote explanations are a way of ensuring that all downvotes are accompanied by feedback that is then shown to the user receiving the downvote.[10]

    There are several possible justifications that can be given in a downvote explanation: "Off-topic", "Incorrect", "Me-too", "Troll", "Spam".[11]

    "Off-topic" downvotes may be given to any post or comment that is viewed by the downvoter as irrelevant to the topic at hand. "Incorrect" downvotes are given for stating information that is incorrect, and cannot be given out for matters of opinion. "Me-too" downvotes are used "when a comment signals agreement to a parent comment or submission without adding significantly to the conversation".[11]

    Moderation log[edit]

    Lobsters keeps a moderation log, that reports all moderation actions taken by the community or by specific moderators.[12] The log keeps a record of any user actions that change the features of an account, such as a username change, any actions made by moderators, such as post title changes or bans, and changes made by community vote.

    Category tags[edit]

    Lobsters has a number of category tags, that are applied to any post that they are relevant to.[2]



    In October 2017, Stein retired from administrating the site Lobste.rs. Ownership was transferred to Peter Bhat Harkins, known on Lobsters as pushcx.[13] As of October 2019, Bhat Harkins remains the administrator of the site.


    Originally, Lobsters ran on top of OpenBSD, but during October 2017, it was migrated from OpenBSD to Linux during the handoff to Bhat Harkins.[14][15]


    1. Computing-focused community centered around link aggregation and discussion: lobsters/lobsters, Lobsters, 2019-11-16, retrieved 2019-11-16
    2. 2.0 2.1 "About Lobsters". lobste.rs. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
    3. "GitHub repository". Retrieved 22 January 2019.
    4. "Lobsters License". Retrieved 23 January 2019.
    5. "Hellbanned from Hacker News".
    6. "Moderation log".
    7. "Transparency Policy".
    8. 8.0 8.1 "About Lobsters". lobste.rs. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
    9. "Hats". lobste.rs. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
    10. "About Lobsters". lobste.rs. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
    11. 11.0 11.1 "DownvoteGuidelines". github.com. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
    12. "Moderation log".
    13. "Passing the torch".
    14. "What kind of hardware/cloud does lobste.rs run on?". Retrieved 23 January 2019.
    15. "GitHub repository". Retrieved 26 August 2019.

    External links[edit]

    Other articles of the topic Free and open-source software : Zig (programming language), l7-filter, Ryujinx, KonsolScript, Freedoom, Marscoin, Free Silicon Foundation
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