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Right now there are multiple questions that have been on the Hot Network Questions list for a large number of days:

There are also seven that have been there for four days.

I do not see what value a question sitting on the HNQ has when it is there over a week. They clog the HNQ and make it harder for other questions to get there, lowering overall exposure to other sites. They also disproportionately give reputation to users on those sites who have answers there, which results in a dilution of the meaning of reputation.

It is also not uncommon for questions to stay there this long.

My recommendation is a simple change to add a hard cutoff that when a question is more than 72 hours (3 days) old, it no longer is present in the HNQ list.

This would be as simple as adding a date filter into the query generating the list - the hotness formula itself doesn't need to change in order to effect this result.

The goal of this suggestion is not any of the following:

  • Comprehensively fixing HNQ (there are other problems with it)
  • Revamping the calculation
  • Imposing site limits/etc

It is purely to add a basic and simple filter to the query in order to more quickly cycle questions through the list.


Note: this related question is marked "completed" so I have started a new one as a discussion / bug report

  • 6
    Duplicate of Age hot questions faster? – hichris123 May 21 '16 at 15:06
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    @hichris123 no, that is more the calculation and how it is implemented (well it doesn't really suggest anything, I guess). This suggestion is deliberately trivial to implement - adding a single where clause - instead of trying to tweak with the formula and how questions are aged. – enderland May 21 '16 at 16:43
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    just in case if someone pops up to say 3 days limit may be somehow harmful - look at Stack Overflow questions in HNQ. These almost never stick in the list for more than a day or two (that's a side effect of special adjustment made in hotness formula for SO). And nobody complains about that. I would even say that SO bunch looks most lively and entertaining of all the sites present in hot list – gnat May 21 '16 at 20:39
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    I agree - recently some HNQs have been sticking to the list for longer than normal. I enjoy going through the HNQ list every day except it's a bit disappointing when I've already seen half of the questions. – angussidney May 22 '16 at 1:13
  • I think we should autoban any user that has 2 or more questions in the Hot Network Questions list. Oh wait, that's me. ;-) – RockPaperLizard May 22 '16 at 8:42
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    "...it is quite likely for suggested proposal to stay ignored. It has to be difficult to justify studying and tuning a feature that is designed in a way guaranteeing a negligible impact on a main site in SE network." (Make hot questions with multiple answers age away faster on smaller / subjective-ish sites) – gnat May 23 '16 at 15:14
  • you can add this question to the list - asked 8 days ago and still in the hot list today – gnat May 30 '16 at 15:54
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    This one finally aged out sometime today but was in the list for a full nine days. – Lilienthal May 30 '16 at 18:34
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This is implemented as of today:

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.

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