I don't know the logic behind what goes up in the "Hot network questions" list, but I do know that it is often the same week-old questions, already with several answers and one accepted, and OP has long left the building. Even protected questions will show up.

As it works now, it mostly serves to inflate the score of trivial questions, which I think is unfair. This has been discussed earlier.

My question and/or rant is then: Is there anything on our side that can be done to to stop questions being promoted? Ideally, for me it would mostly only make sense to have questions with no accepted answer in the list, and maybe have an age-limit of two days or so. It probably attracts a lot of people to our site, so I would not want to remove all questions.

Do you agree that it is a problem, or am I in the minority?

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ As I understand it, the point of "Hot Network Questions" is to generate interest in the site from users on other SE sites. It seems to favor questions that have gotten lots of answers, comments, or other attention. Promoting these questions seems to be contrary to the stated goal of not being a discussion site, but it is what the SE gods have decreed. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Aug 7, 2017 at 18:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related on Meta.SE: What is the Goal of “Hot Network Questions”? \$\endgroup\$
    – The Photon
    Aug 7, 2017 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ When they started, it was much faster changing, and people complained about that and then they changed to what we have now and I guess less people complain now. \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Aug 16, 2017 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PlasmaHH or else they've become inured to the complaining and it just doesn't matter anymore. I find HNQ to be truly atrocious, but I don't seem to be the target audience. \$\endgroup\$
    – hobbs
    Aug 20, 2017 at 6:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ironically, this is now in the HOT META POSTS list. \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Aug 21, 2017 at 12:22

4 Answers 4


Communities and/or diamond moderators should have more direct control over what gets hotted or stays hot. Often the questions that get hotted are borderline off-topic, but have a high appeal for lay public. Truly high quality questions rarely get hotted. This doesn't do any favors to rigorous communities such as EE.SE . We need a way of cancelling the promotion of such questions.

Moderators don't have a direct control over what get hotted or stays hot. There are indirect controls that influence what gets hotted or dis-hotted. Some of the detail are public. Some details aren't public, and I can't share what little I've heard about this in the non-public conversations. I can only say that the current mechanisms are indirect and slow-acting.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I often downvote any crap ones I see and sometimes it's enough to push them off the list if you get to them fast enough. Unfortunately close votes don't seem to have much if any effect and I've seen a few with 3 or 4 close votes on the list. \$\endgroup\$
    – PeterJ
    Aug 8, 2017 at 12:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterJ The effect of close votes on hot network questions have been discussed in this thread on meta.SE. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2017 at 2:10

There isn't much you can do unless you can persuade the programmers at SE (through a meta.SE Q) to make a change to the underlying structure of the site. From the looks of it, they aren't really interested in changing this anytime soon. You can use greasemonkey to change how they are viewed for just you to some extent.


This is a somewhat known problem. Several solutions to it have been discussed at times:

  • Don't let people with only an association bonus to vote (declined)
  • Exclude the site from HNQ list (AFAIK MathOverflow have done this)
  • Set a different limit required for up-vote (e.g. 125, similar to down-vote)

As a regular user, the only action I can think of is to VTC the worst questions, since closed question go off the HNQ list.


As a side note, you may be more interested in the Unanswered section, which is mostly targeted to answerers.

As I understand, hot is everywhere generated by some sort of algorithm that may or may not (usually not) share my view, so I tend to stick to other criteria.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The issue with hot network questions is that they tend to attract more of the less versed public, which our engineering board can do without. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2017 at 2:12
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @NickAlexeev I strongly disagree, we don't get to choose who can or cannot read this board, and I believe that hot questions are mainly to casual readers who don't necessarily go on and ask rubbish questions \$\endgroup\$
    – clabacchio
    Aug 9, 2017 at 6:29

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