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Moderators can now exclude questions from the HNQ list – when should we use this?

The mechanics

Hot Network Questions (HNQ) are questions shown in the bottom right sidebar featuring from other sites of the Stack Exchange network that are considered “hot” by a heuristic that takes into account recent visits, answers, and votes. There can be issues when one of our questions becomes an HNQ because its increased exposure leads to considerably higher number of visitors – many of whom are unfamiliar with our site and our community standards.

Moderators can now remove individual questions from the Hot Network Questions list (announcement). This process is irreversible. After removing a question, we cannot decide that we want to allow it to go hot again.

How can we use this?

Having a meta discussion about whether a specific question should be removed from the HNQs is not a good idea, because by the time the discussion has reached any sort of consensus, the potential damage has probably already been done. So, we moderators have to decide on relatively quickly and on a case-by-case basis whether a question should be removed.

If you feel that any question should not be an HNQ, please flag it for moderator attention and elaborate why. This naturally makes the most sense for questions that are already HNQs (which you can now see in the revision history), but if you think it is likely that a question will become an HNQ, but shouldn’t, feel free to flag it. Please do not do this for questions that you consider in need of editing, cleaning up, closing, or similar. Instead perform or suggest the respective edits, flag the problematic comments or answers for deletion, or flag for closure.

What questions should not be HNQs?

Occasionally, we will remove a question from the HNQs, when there is a serious problem, and given their individual nature, some of these problems are unforeseeable. However, we as a community can agree that we do not want certain types of question to be HNQs and try to remove them as quickly as possible.

Therefore I am asking:

Are there any categories of questions that we generally do not want to be HNQs? If you think so, please suggest categories in the answers:

  • Suggest one category per answer.

  • Do not suggest categories of questions that should be closed or can be salvaged with an edit.

  • Provide a rationale why such questions being HNQs is a problem.

  • Remember that at the end of the day we have to decide on a case-by-case basis, by answering the question: "Do we have this kind of problem on our site?" Therefore a good rationale is more important than precisely defining the category.

  • Use votes to indicate agreement or disagreement with proposed categories.