Is it possible to avoid being sniffed by dogs at Heathrow airport and possibly other airports? appeared on the hot network question list for me, even though it was locked 7 hours ago due to off-topic comments.

Questions that have a problem severe enough to warrant a moderation lock shouldn't appear on the hot question list - that'd only add fuel to the fire once they are unlocked. Instead, show it to people for the first time once it's been fixed up.

This is different from Hot question but locked in that that question had a historical question lock, not an off-topic-comments moderation lock.

This is still happening in February 2017, with this question appearing on HNQ.

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    In this case it was to prevent off topic comments that have since been removed - why does that affect whether it should be there or not?
    – Tim
    Jul 15, 2015 at 11:19
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    because while those comments are there, they may give a wrong impression to newcomers about what the site discusses or its standards of behaviour. After a cleanup, the question should be HQ-worthy pretty quickly. Nov 24, 2015 at 18:47
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    Usually also, such questions have some kind of provocative element to them that is attracting comment wars, and usually while the lock is in place the moderators will be scratching their heads trying to figure out how to remove the provocative element while salvaging what is usually an interesting, on-topic core question from all the noise and nonsense. Nov 24, 2015 at 19:31
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    p.s. should this be a feature-request? Someone would have to code such a check. Nov 24, 2015 at 19:32
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    In my experience, I've locked questions and answers due to comments that have appeared on hot network questions. Your argument that they add fuel to the fire once unlocked isn't really true. Arguably, the biggest issue, especially for HNQ questions is the loss of the ability to vote.
    – Zizouz212
    Nov 24, 2015 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


Off topic comments are not reason enough, in my opinion, to exclude questions from the Hot Network Questions list.

that'd only add fuel to the fire once they are unlocked

I don't think this is true. People can't know when the question will be unlocked, and I doubt anyone will sit in front of a locked question and keep reloading until it's unlocked so they can add fuel to the fire. So what happens is the following:

  1. Some see interesting question in the HNQ sidebar.
  2. They click it and reach the question on the site.
  3. Even if they have something to add, for good or for bad, they can't because it's locked.
  4. They go away, but still satisfied they read the whole question and its answers.

Bottom line: people will still find those questions interesting, which is the purpose of the Hot Network Questions concept.


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