In theory, hot questions are intended to be a buzz feed like list of "neat stuff from across the Stack Exchange network."


Could we get them to age a little bit faster? It gets rather boring seeing the same question for an extended period of time.

As I'm typing this, I see on the side a box with a question that I've seen before.

A hot question

This question, when going to the original site:

the question

This is really getting old. Yes, it has 1000 views/day... but I've seen it for two weeks show up on the side. Surely across 152 sites, there has to be something that has only been around for a few days that would do better to provide a continuing interest in the other sites on the network rather than continuing the display of a post that was community protected (deleted posts? new user answers?) a week ago.

Protected a week ago

Make it something fresh to look at rather than something that makes me wonder about blocking them.

(Related and apparently Don't let questions stick to the top of the hot questions list forever )

From an answer there

I agree that two weeks was extreme for that question, but as you can see, it is no longer present.

That is also a very, very rare event. Can you think of another time that has happened since we introduced the MultiCollider?

I don't think we need to rearchitect the entire se.com cross-site hotness algorithm on the basis of a few hundred year floods.

Apparently, these aren't 100 year floods. They're about monthly occurrences.

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    I'll bet a dollar the issue is caching. – user206222 Feb 21 '16 at 14:38
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    @Emrakul $1 is only $1 in cash... oh, wait... caching. – user213963 Feb 21 '16 at 14:39
  • It's not hot question anymore, see here - it's not one of the 100 hot questions. This means it's actually a bug, it's still cached somewhere. Other option is that the sidebar ad isn't taking from those 100 questions, but rather using its own formula. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Feb 21 '16 at 14:54
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    @ShadowWizard its also possible that the else-site question advertisement is pulled from a different pool. Either way. Its old. – user213963 Feb 21 '16 at 14:57
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    True, but I'd also mention this in the question just in case, so the team won't just mark it as status-bydesign. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Feb 21 '16 at 14:58
  • @ShadowWizard that said, this showed up in the sideboard which isn't in the top 100 hot questions either. – user213963 Feb 21 '16 at 15:00
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    Yeah, I guess it is taking one of the top questions per site, maybe same repository as the newsletter? Not sure. – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Feb 21 '16 at 15:05
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    Related: Did the algorithm for Hot Network Questions change recently? (sadly, no answer there) – hichris123 Feb 21 '16 at 21:48
  • Considering the screenshot, this doesn't look like a HNQ question... Unless those boxes are created when questions are on the HNQ list? Hmmmm. – Catija Apr 24 '19 at 13:29
  • @Catija maybe some type of community ad? – MEE Apr 24 '19 at 13:32
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    @Catija yes it's from the HNQ pool, see this – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 24 '19 at 13:32
  • @MEEthesetupwizard Yeah. There are two types. There's the ones that get nominated on graduated site metas and there are the system-created ones... I'm just not sure how we pull questions for the latter. – Catija Apr 24 '19 at 13:33
  • @ShadowWizard Hmmmm. That doesn't necessarily mean that the limit on the HNQ list actually impacts this. They have slightly different seeding and weighting. When we changed the HNQ it may not have changed this. Something being eligible to show up in the list doesn't impact the score. – Catija Apr 24 '19 at 13:34
  • @Catija true, question is if it's a bug or not? Also, this means it's not a dupe. Should I reopen and edit to clarify it's not about HNQ list but rather that internal ad? – Shadow The Vaccinated Wizard Apr 24 '19 at 13:39
  • @ShadowWizard Before that, let me see what Adam says. I've asked him to check. If the change impacts this, we can leave it closed and I can add the status tag back. If not, we'll reopen. – Catija Apr 24 '19 at 13:40

This is now effectively .

After this set of changes, questions are only given three days of exposure on the hot network question list:

Questions will age out of the list after being on it for 72 hours.

There's a sense of fatigue with some of the questions that live on the HNQ list for long periods of time. To combat that, we'll remove questions that have had their day in the sun (or three days, anyway) to make way for new questions. Three days after a question is added to the HNQ list, it becomes ineligible and will be removed. This won't create a history event for now but it's something that we'd like to add in the future.