There is a post on "Possible Grading Discrimination" on the main site which has been marked "Controversial Post"

Controversial Post — You may use comments ONLY to suggest improvements. You may use answers ONLY to provide a solution to the specific question asked above. Moderators will remove debates, arguments or opinions without notice.

This post has attracted about 200 views, but it's not in Hot Network Questions (HNQs). If a post is marked "Controversial", does it mean that it can no longer become an HNQ later? (probably, for a good reason)

1 Answer 1


Unless the algorithm has changed recently, questions that are flagged as controversial can still become hot network questions. Both of those states are generally caused by high traffic and the presence of multiple answers. However, moderators have the ability to remove a post from the HNQs. On Physics (where I am a mod), I usually remove controversial posts from the HNQs, because being listed as a HNQ tends to attract a lot of comments and answers from users who are not the most knowledgeable or thoughtful—which is exactly what a controversial post doesn't need. I don't know how the Academia moderators approach this, but see Moderators can now exclude questions from the HNQ list – when should we use this?

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    Exactly this. I think the post score matters too -- the linked post has a score of -3 as I write this (likely due to a very confusing exposition that has required many rounds of clarifications in comments), so an unlikely candidate for HNQ. In any case, I'd be surprised if post notices were triggers for other events, since each community can modify its post notices.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 1:15
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    @cag51 The core formula does indeed take question score into account. As far as I'm aware, the gist of the formula is still applicable, though one should keep in mind it doesn't make explicit several factors. One factor that may be at play in the current case is that questions gets penalized if there are other questions from the same site on the HNQ list.
    – Anyon
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 11:55

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