I've had at least one question featured as a "hot network question" and during that time it got thousands of views in the course of a few days. But if you look at that question now you won't have any way of knowing that that's where the bulk of its view count came from.

Is there a way to find out if an arbitrary question has been a "hot network question" or not?


5 Answers 5


For historical posts, there is not. From today (28 February 2019) onward, you can actually see this information directly in a post's timeline or edit history/revisions.


Timeline event of a question hitting the HNQ list on RPG

Edit history:

Edit history item of a question that appeared in the HNQ list on RPG

We're really, really excited about this change and think it will be really helpful in understanding traffic sources, particularly long after the fact.

  • 1
    Pretty cool - thanks! I guess my first thought is... now that that's done it could be interesting to see when something was removed from the Hot Network Questions list as well lol
    – neubert
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 5:01

I just set up the Hot Network Questions room (4:17 PM UTC, 9 February 2019) to keep track of the HNQ questions from today onwards. If you want to search whether a specific question was in the HNQ you need to use the room's in-built search tool.

Say, if you want to check whether this question https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/131853/can-i-travel-from-belgium-to-uk-after-brexit-with-just-an-identity-card was in the HNQ, search for travel.stackexchange.com/questions/131853 as post IDs are permanent although question titles can change. Leave out the https:// part while searching.

Update 1:

It turned out that the RSS feeds for HNQs which SE provides contains only 30 random questions out of the total 100. Fortunately, @rene had written up a Node.js script (running on Glitch) a few months ago, which returns all the 100 HNQs in RSS XML format! The corresponding feed URL is https://lackadaisical-appeal.glitch.me/hnq/+. Thanks to AndrewT and rene who helped me set this up in the HNQs room.

Another important thing is that chat rooms freeze within 14 days if there are no messages by chat users (feed bots i.e. users with negative IDs don't count) within that period. To prevent that, Floern set up Generic Bot which will post something in that room every few days, in order to keep it alive. A hat tip to them!

Update 2:

We realized that chat room feeds are rate limited, and thus not all of the 100 HNQs were being posted in the room. So with Martin's help I set up individual feeds for each site.

  • It seems that the room does not work as intended. For example, the question Is there any physical or computational justification for non-constructive axioms such as AC or excluded middle? from MathOverflow is currently in the HNQ list, I can also see it in the feed you linked to: lackadaisical-appeal.glitch.me/hnq/+ But it was not posted into the HNQs room.
    – Martin
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 13:00
  • 1
    @Martin Yes, I noticed. I wonder if Feeds is rate limited somehow. When I set up that URL for individual sites it works fine. C.f. here. I'll try setting up a separate feed for each site when I get the time. In case anyone's interested, I'm glad to give room owner access to the HNQ room.
    – user437611
    Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 19:09
  • 1
    @Blue The feeds appear to have been down for the past 24 hours. Currently the the entire lackadaisical-appeal.glitch.me domain is down. Glitch.me is fine. Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 12:15
  • @doppelgreener Huh, weird. Perhaps ping @rene in the Tavern, as he maintains that code. Thanks for informing though!
    – user437611
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 12:18
  • 1
    @Blue Thanks for the pointer. That's been done now. Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 12:31

Yes, there is a way.

Go to https://web.archive.org/web/*/stackexchange.com

Questions typically go "hot" within a relatively short timespan after they are asked. So click on the date and then time shortly after the question was asked. Then use Ctrl + F to look through the "hot" list on the home page. If you don't find it immediately, try going gradually forward in time to see if it appears.

If this doesn't work, start looking at the second page, by following this link and doing the same thing there:


Repeat with each page.

Please note that there are fewer snapshots of pages 2, 3, etc. than there are of 1. Thus, it's possible that you could miss a question, even after a thorough search. Thus, it's often possible to prove a positive. But it's sometimes not possible to prove a negative.

In some cases this work may take a few minutes to perform. It would also be possible to write a program that could do it for you.

When searching for the question, remember that some questions' titles may have been edited, so check the revision history to make sure you're searching for the correct title.


No direct way to find it.

The question which was in HNQ list will typically have lots of views (on smaller sites, they would very often dominate much over votes) and votes, high amount of votes, and relatively many answers. You can compare the question with the questions of the same age, e.g.:

As you can see, the second post in the image have more votes, answers, and especially views, than the other two. It certainly has happened to be in HNQ.


While waiting for the feature to be accepted and implemented we can use Stack Overflow Extras (SOX)

One of the features is showing a label on questions which are hot-network questions

SOX hot network feature

  • 5
    Will this indicator remain when the question is not on the hot network questions list? The OP wants to know what happened in the past. Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 5:12
  • 1
    oops I misread it. I saw the comment above and thought that it's for the current HNQ
    – phuclv
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 14:32

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