In Stack Exchange portal, it says:

Stack Exchange is a fast-growing network of 112 question and answer sites on diverse topics from software programming to cooking to photography and gaming. We build libraries of high-quality questions and answers, focused on the most important topics in each area of expertise

Emphasis is mine, note the "high quality".

Now, have a look in the Hot Network Questions, visible in the front page of every Stack Exchange site:

That's not high quality. For the occasional visitor or 99.999% of Stack Exchange users, this is useless nonsense. Only going to the the tag wiki on the site itself will reveal:

Note: This is a code-trolling question. Please do not take the question and/or answers seriously.

OK, let them have a party but I don't want it to overflow to the whole network.


Can Programming Puzzles & Code Golf site be excluded from the Hot Network Questions list until this party is over?

Edit: and they even invaded this very question!!1


  • 5
    They could at lest police the titles. Dec 29 '13 at 3:41
  • 2
    It should be noted that these questions and their problems are being discussed in the appropriate place, to wit, the site Meta. See Is code trolling getting out of control? and Code troll rules
    – jscs
    Dec 29 '13 at 5:13
  • @gnat you're beating a dead horse here (with the bounty) - this question received the most attention possible, got official response and is no longer relevant, those trolling questions are now gone from the hot questions list. Dec 31 '13 at 9:48
  • @ShadowWizard who told you that trolls are gone? Last time I checked (about a minute ago), these questions still polluted the hot list: see this screen shot. This stuff tends to stick forever
    – gnat
    Dec 31 '13 at 9:59
  • trolls, sock puppets... who's next to exploit broken hotness formula?
    – gnat
    Jan 14 '14 at 12:56
  • @gnat unicorns, perhaps? Oh, and to rub salt on your pain they now show 5-24 hot questions inside question's page, depending on amount and length of answers. Here it now show the max 24. Jan 14 '14 at 13:09
  • @ShadowWizard working on it
    – gnat
    Jan 14 '14 at 13:37

Y'know how folks are always complaining and moaning about fun questions being closed on Stack Exchange? Y'know how they're always suggesting that we create a site for them, so they could live out their lives free from humorless jerks trying to shut them down?

This is that site. It's all about playing games. And that's it, nothing else. You don't go there because you have a Real Problem and need a Useful Answer - you go there to play games. The fact that you've never noticed them before illustrates just how much we collectively hate fun, I guess.

Anyway, they're not hurting anything* and I suspect they're getting more attention than usual simply due to the holidays. So think of it as Stack Overflow's own Purim Torah, and be glad they're on their own site and not clogging up the SO homepage.

*I reserve the right to change my mind on this if I see more indication that folks on SO are starting to perceive CG as a site for homework questions.

  • 10
    Cheers shog, this does make lots of sense though I still feel that it's wrong to flood the front page of all 112 sites in the network. By the way, why not declining the dupe as well? Dec 29 '13 at 7:48
  • 9
    It might not be hurting SO, but it's hurting the CG&P site to have lots of people from SO perceive our site through the lens of a bunch of crap questions, and then start adding to the crap. Dec 31 '13 at 17:41
  • 1
    So fix it, @Peter! This is why the folks who actually make long-term contributions to a site have much more power within the system than drive-by "ain't it cool" readers! Y'all can edit, vote, close etc... I went through the other day and edited a bunch of these posts to make them look less embarrassing... Don't hesitate to do the same.
    – Shog9
    Dec 31 '13 at 17:46
  • 2
    I'm doing what I can: downvoting and close-voting a lot. Dec 31 '13 at 17:51
  • 3
    "This is that site. It's all about playing games." -- nonsense, see recent discussion at their meta: Delete all code-trolling questions 'The code-trolling tag has brought nothing but poorly conceived "challenges" to this site and the new users it has brought are posting poor knock-offs of an already poor idea...'
    – gnat
    Jan 5 '14 at 10:04
  • 2
    @PeterTaylor before you take advice from Shog "fix it blah blah", consider that we have similar issue at Programmers and we discovered that long-term regulars can't fix it: "What is especially depressing is that regular ways to deal with this kind of issues just don't work..."
    – gnat
    Jan 5 '14 at 10:08
  • You might want to spend some more time on CR's meta before shooting your mouth off too much, @gnat. For instance... It's striking to me that the complaints about CT on CG are very similar to the complaints about CG on SO back in the day... This is a discussion the community there needs to have with itself; until there are clear rules in place accepted and enforced by the folks on the site, pointing the finger outward is silly.
    – Shog9
    Jan 5 '14 at 17:51
  • 3
    discussion community need to have with itself yeah sure. Right now, when they are attacked by hordes of lemming upvotes, answerers and askers coming from hot questions list, how cute. As for their local rules and norms, however special these are, they seemed to be going just fine since 2009, as evidenced eg by the fact that their questions didn't stick forever in hot list so far. Their CW threshold is a problem, give me a break! Programmers and Workplace have that threshold at 15 and they suffer from hot questions just the same way...
    – gnat
    Jan 5 '14 at 23:15
  • 1
    ...you know, instead of offering fuzzy advice on how CG (and Programmers? and Workplace? and Math? and who else?) could survive lemmings attacks, why don't you take a closer look at from where lemmings come
    – gnat
    Jan 5 '14 at 23:15
  • You didn't actually read the answer I linked to, so I'm gonna just move on, @gnat. FWIW, I'm still fine with killing the hot list entirely, but some folks seem to really like it.
    – Shog9
    Jan 5 '14 at 23:37
  • 1
    I didn't read the answer, right - because all the links I've seen from you were questions. I studied these. If you give me a link to answer, I will study it, too
    – gnat
    Jan 5 '14 at 23:43

I would like to post on behalf of our site, as an active member of it.

Someone tried something new; it got a bit... out of hand. We just got a large influx of... not the best quality questions from the attention that the one really successful one brought, and everybody's really excited at change and is blindly upvoting everything. (For the record, I have not upvoted a single one of these.)

This troll flood should not and will not be representative of the site as a whole. Just wait for it to calm down and get under control.

As an addendum, some of our regulars are also not happy at this genre of question. I believe many of the upvotes may be from brand new users equipped with the association bonus, and once enough of us start downvoting these, the flood will stop.


That code trolling thing is just a really hot fad at Programming Puzzles. It will die down on its own in a few days. If it doesn't, maybe limit # hot questions to 3, from each site.

  • 7
    s/die down/calm down/ Dec 29 '13 at 0:12
  • 6
    There's already a penalty multiplier applied when multiple questions from the same site are "hot". I rather suspect this is more a matter of no one doing much serious work this week.
    – Shog9
    Dec 29 '13 at 3:11
  • 6
    @9Shogsa-Shogging penalty 2% looks laughable, and it's not the first time when it has been proven as inefficient -- "easily overruled by stuffing more answers". It's simple math
    – gnat
    Dec 29 '13 at 13:35
  • 1
    It's less effective when the top hotness score varies widely by site, @gnat. And yeah, that's a known problem: there are sites that almost never appear on the hot list because... Well, because their questions tend to have single correct answers.
    – Shog9
    Dec 29 '13 at 15:28
  • @9Shogsa-Shogging so maybe add site-specific weight as well, bigger for those site with "single correct answer"? Dec 29 '13 at 20:33
  • Any suggestions for calculating that, @Sha?
    – Shog9
    Dec 29 '13 at 20:33
  • @9Shogsa-Shogging just a plain raw "factor", e.g. add X to the final hotness points. Dec 29 '13 at 20:37
  • 1
    No, I mean... Can you think of a way to pick such a weight for a given site? (Something less crappy than, "eh, Gardening seems like a pretty good site - let's give 'er a '2'")
    – Shog9
    Dec 29 '13 at 20:38
  • @9Shogsa-Shogging (sorry for delay didn't get notification) true enough, but it still feels unfair towards those sites that will always stay in the dark. :( Dec 31 '13 at 9:34

Frankly, I think there should be a mechanism to exclude specific tags on sites from the Hot Questions list.

You never know, but Code Golf could possibly have an interesting puzzle that many find useful while they are having this party, so I oppose removing it simply because the quantity of low quality posts that the community themselves has asked for.

Instead automatically filter questions with this tag. Likewise, if any other site has its own marginal quality tag, they can be added to the list in the future.

  • 5
    Low quality posts. Ahh, just an other thing that has to be discussed on an other site - Code Golf Meta. Do you know the average quality of a typical codegolf answer? Most of the answers in that so called "troll" questions have a better quality: they are not code-only answers. Dec 29 '13 at 0:04
  • 1
    @JohannesKuhn In this context, they are low quality compared to what the hot questions list is supposed to be. They might not be traditional low quality posts, but we don't need them clogging up the hot questions list. 1 or 2 is fine, but when you have half of the list filled with these posts, it's too much, Dec 29 '13 at 0:07

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