Every Emoji Credibility Indicator on HackerNoon Explained

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At HackerNoon, we believe transparency with the reader is the key to building trust between writer and reader. To give readers as much transparency as possible, we wanted to create quick and easy ways to tell the reader information they might want to know about a story before reading it.

This could be something as simple as telling the reader if the story is a news piece or an opinion piece. On the other hand, there are more complicated things we might want to communicate to the reader, such as whether or not the writer has a vested interest in the companies they’re writing about, or if they used AI to write the piece.

To accomplish these goals, we’ve launched Emoji Credibility Indicators! More details can also be found in our help section :-)

What Are Emoji Credibility Indicators?

They are emojis that will appear underneath the author profile along the sidebar of each story:


You’ll notice a new section under the writer profile titled “Credibility”. There you will see some emojis.

If you highlight the emoji, it’ll tell you what it means:


With these indicators we hope that writers can give readers full transparency and that readers will feel they have all the information they need in a convenient, easy-to-find, place.

Below, you can read about all our current emoji credibility indicators, what they mean, and how to use them.

Note: We will update this post as new indicators are added.

Indicator Index:

  1. Context and Disclaimers

    1. Original Reporting

    2. Code License

    3. DYOR

    4. Vested Interest

    5. On the Ground

    6. Referral

    7. Associated Companies

    8. HODL

    9. AI-Assisted

  2. Content Types

    1. News

    2. Guide

    3. Reviews

    4. Thought Leadership/Opinion Piece

    5. Product Launch

    6. Comedy

    7. Fiction

    8. Press Release

    9. Interview

    10. Video

    11. Podcasts

Context and Disclaimers

Original Reporting

Use this indicator when the content in your story hasn’t been published anywhere else before.

Original reporting means this is not only new information to the HackerNoon community, but new to the internet as a whole.

What is not original reporting?

  • Writing about or repurposing a press release
  • Guides, walkthroughs, opinion pieces, reviews
  • Thought leadership

What is original reporting?

  • Breaking news
  • Reporting from an event/conference topics/news not covered anywhere else
  • Exposés, pieces with original research (not paraphrasing other people’s research/stories)

Code License

HackerNoon edits all stories for quality, moderation, and fact checking.

However, we do not check every piece of code included within our articles.

We cannot guarantee the quality or safety of the code written by our contributors please exercise caution when using any of the code you see on our platform.

DYOR: Do Your Own Research


This disclaimer is for investment, crypto, and financial articles. We don’t have the resources to vet our contributor’s investment portfolios or career history, so we can’t guarantee their advice will make you rich 🤣

At the same time please use this indicator for any content around health, or mental health, or safety. We publish lots of content about how to approach work life balance, life hacking, and more. But none of that should be taken as professional health advice. Always seek a certified professional before making important decisions regarding your health or safety.

Vested Interest


We use this indicator when the writer has a vested interest in a product, stock, crypto, company, or anything mentioned in the story. This can be monetary vested interest, business, or otherwise.

Vested interest doesn’t have to be just money.

Being part of a product or company’s community or having any sort of business relationship is also vested interest. Basically if you have any reason not to be 100% objective/unbiased, we need to let the reader know.

On the Ground


We use this indicator when the writer was physically present in relevant location(s) to this story.

It also should only be used when location is an important factor of the story.

This can apply to local or regional news, in-person events, and more.

On the other hand, it shouldn’t be used for things like technical guides, reviews, etc.



Referral and affiliate links are allowed on HackerNoon as long as you follow our guidelines.

Please review all our referral link and backlink rules here:


Please be sure to tell the reader using this emoji indicator and and in the intro to the story what sites you have affiliate partnerships with.

Associated Companies


This emoji indicator is used when the writer has or had any sort of business relationship with companies mentioned in the story, use this indicator to tell the reader exactly which companies those are.

If your company is not listed within the indicator’s company list, please skip it and use the vested interest indicator mentioned above instead.



Capitalism is strong in this one.

Well, it’s strong in most societies and if you stand to benefit from the profits of a crypto or stock, you need to use this indicator for full transparency.

Of course, this is only relevant when the story you’re writing mentions one or more cryptos that you hold.

If you’re writing about the latest iPhone specs, we don’t really need to know that you own ETH 🤣.



At HackerNoon we believe transparency with the reader is key to gaining trust.

HackerNoon contributors NEED to use this indicator when the story contains AI-generated text, images, videos, or otherwise.

Even if the author has just used AI (like ChatGPT) either for research, editing, or to generate outlines, you must still use this indicator and clearly tell the reader in your intro how you used AI in the story.

Content Types



This indicator is for stories that contain factual information about a recent event.

It can be a full report or a short news byte, but should mostly be objective reporting of events.

In traditional HackerNoon style, of course you’re free (and encouraged) to comment on the events or give your opinions as well.



This indicator is for stories that will teach you how to do something new or how to do something better.

It includes walkthroughs, coding guides, life hacks, career tips, and more.



Use this indicator when the story praises and/or roasts a product, company, service, book, game, or anything else people like to review on the Internet.

We publish reviews on hardware, software, services, games, books, and more.

Thought Leadership / Opinion Piece


We use this indicator when the story is an opinion piece based on the author’s POV and likely contains subjective thoughts.

The difference between guides and thought leadership is typically that guides contain universally true information.

For example: To screenshot on Windows, hold Windows Key → Shift → S

On the other hand an opinion piece can hold thoughts that are well-educated and logical, but can’t just be published as a universal truth.

For example: Android is better than iOS for multiple reasons. People who enjoy owning complete control over their device should opt for an Android phone.

It’s important to note that we do and often publish stories that do not necessarily reflect the views of HackerNoon as a whole.

Product Launch


This indicator is for stories that provide insights into new product.

We do allow product launch stories on HackerNoon, provided they are mostly about the tech itself and not promotional/shilly marketing or sales copy.

Comedy / Satire


Just for laughs! Don’t cancel us.

This indicator is for pieces that were written for humor or satire and may include nonfactual statements, stories, or anecdotes.

Please don’t take it seriously and just enjoy it.



Sometimes life is stranger than fiction…but not these stories. These stories are literally fiction.

See what we did there?

Press Release


Please use this indicator when the story is a PR written by or for the company mentioned within it.

This indicator will signal to the reader that the writer has a vested interest in the company and products mentioned within.



Between Two Ferns Computer Monitors: This story includes an interview in which the author is either the interviewer or guest/interviewee.



The best videos on the Internet archived and shared on HackerNoon.

In case you didn’t know, we allow users to share YouTube videos within articles in HackerNoon, provided that there is enough text on the page to still be an article.

Here are some examples: https://hackernoon.com/tagged/youtubers



The best podcasts on the Internet archived and shared on HackerNoon.

In case you didn’t know this either, we allow users to share podcasts on HackerNoon too, provided there is enough text on the page to constitute an article.

We currently only accept podcasts via YouTube embeds, but we’ll support more formats moving forward. Here are some examples: https://hackernoon.com/tagged/podcast

More details can also be found in our help section :-)

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