After the discussion of a blog post about rape went south in typical Hacker News fashion, Y Combinator chief Paul Graham admitted it's a wreck: "I apologize to the world for this thread."

He goes on:

There are clearly topics that an open forum, or at least this one, can't be trusted with, and this seems to be one of them.

We have some ideas for new moderation features that we hope will make comment threads more civil. I don't know if they would have helped in this case though.

The one thing that did work here is the flamewar detector. This story dropped off the frontpage extra fast, after which the only people seeing this discussion were people who sought it out.

But without the people who ruin threads about serious topics, what will be left of HN?