On 2019-03-11, a number of changes related to the Hot Network Questions (HNQ) list were applied across the Stack Exchange network. You can read all about it here: Updating the Hot Network Questions List - now with a bit more network and a little less "hotness"!
Please notice the following paragraph specifically:
Moderators have the ability to remove questions from the HNQ List.
There are times when the hotness formula selects a question that a site would rather not have featured. Up until now, the only recourse that was available was to close the question (which may be appropriate anyway but isn't ideal when done purely to manage traffic), or to do nothing. We're putting the power in the hands of our moderators to remove questions that don't set a good example for their sites. I recommend each site have a meta discussion with guidance for moderators about when - if ever - a question should be removed.
Once a moderator excludes a question, it can't be selected again, so don't think of this as a temporary "hide this question" option. In general, we recommend that you exclude questions that attract negative attention to your sites, that is, questions that are controversial, start large amounts of debate or arguments or even edit wars. Removing a question should not be a substitute for fixing it! Remember that it may take several hours for a moderator to respond to a flag so do what you can, first:
- If the title seems click-baity or doesn't adequately describe the question, edit it!
- If the body is full of spelling or grammatical errors, fix them!
- If the body contains unnecessary detail or salacious content, see if it can be removed without impacting the question.
- If the question is unclear or broad, vote to close it. In most cases it will be better to close a question and wait for it to be improved rather than asking for it to be removed.
This tool is a big gun and should be used sparingly. Don't reach for it if you think the question can be fixed.
When moderators kick a post off the HNQ list there will be a delay of up to fifteen minutes or so as the list is cached but the question will be removed the next time it runs. In addition, an event will be logged in the post timeline and edit history that indicates when it was removed and by whom. This will help us understand what sort of posts are unwelcome in the HNQ list on different sites.
At this point in time, mods can only use this tool on a post currently in the HNQ list - they can't use it preemptively to prevent a question from being added to it.
Now that it's possible for moderators to remove questions from the HNQ list, I would like for us, the community, to take some time and think about:
- what having a question on the HNQ list means for Arqade, how we'd like to appear to the network as a whole
- what we hope will happen when someone visits Arqade through a Hot Network Question, how we hope new users will behave, and ask and answer questions
- which kinds of question, that is not off-topic or low quality, would implicitly or explicitly work against those hopes, due to the content of the question, the answers, or the comments