Today a new update was made to Hot Network Questions, it included giving moderators the ability to remove a question from HNQ.

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.

So, when should a question be removed?

  • Thanks for asking this on meta. It's certainly something that will have to be settled over time. As @nohillside says in his answer, any policy re this sort of power needs to be based on experience. This site has a good mix of mods and I'm certainly comfortable none of us would use this option arbitrarily.
    – Monomeeth Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


I hold the strong opinion that policy should be defined based on experience. And as we don‘t have any experience with that new functionality yet it‘s too early to define a policy.

I probably would consider to remove a question from the list if a lot of mod actions are required by either the question, the answers and/or the comments, and/or a question would attract a lot of off-topic answers from users new to AD. But even for that we have other ways we can deal with such things, so for the moment it‘s just important to know that we have this new option.

  • Agreed. Any new policy, especially one granting power (or a new responsibility), should definitely be based on experience.
    – Monomeeth Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 21:53
  • Some HNQs are just terrible, some really deserve a spotlight. "even for that we have other ways": to inform a policy and discuss it, these 'ways' should be known to the public. It might help to list those here? Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 22:01
  • Yes - we would absolutely want to remove a question if it's causing a distortion - so please flag us if you see things like way too much reputation being granted so we can make that post wiki or an answer wiki to handle that over accumulation of reputation. We haven't needed to do that often, but a couple of times we missed the chance to help the site out by capping rep on certain posts.
    – bmike Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 22:14
  • @LangLangC the other ways are the usual mod tools, most of them accessible to high rep users as well: vote to close, up/downvote, move comments to chat, remove answers which are rants or don‘t drive the topic forwards etc
    – nohillside Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 5:10

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