Stemming partially from this meta thread: Why are we challenging the premise rather than answering the question (question on potential sexist remarks)?
And especially this comment by @Wrzlprmft:
"@Fomite: For whatever it’s worth, most of the problematic comments and answers come from users attracted to the question via the hot network questions and not directly from our own community."
Does the Academia community actually benefit from being in that listing? As far as I can see, the primary benefit is a sudden influx of users, but do we have evidence that they stay? Growth from that listing is only useful growth if the visitors go on to continue to be members of the community. I'd be happy to hear from individual users here who found us via Hot Network Questions.
As far as I can tell, the primary detriment is the questions that end up on the Hot Network Questions listing tend to drop fairly dramatically in quality, become more controversial, etc. I can say, as a fairly active user and contributor to the site that the questions and answers that have made me consider throwing in the towel have all been Hot Network Questions.
For the sake of "Meta-votes are Agree/Disagree" clairity, I'd suggest an Upvote is "HNQs are helpful" and a Downvote is "HNQs are unhelpful."