A common situation is that a question becomes a Hot Network Question, but it reflects poorly on the site it comes from due to any of the following reasons:

  • Has a clickbaity or controversial title that will not draw in the sort of traffic the site wants
  • Is not suitable for many workplace environments
  • Poor grammar or misspellings, especially in the title (e.g. "does you win if you doesn't realize you have won?")
  • Undescriptive title (e.g. "Sci-fi book I read as a kid")
  • Spoilers in the title for newly released media (a good portion of The Force Awakens plot could be determined just by reading HNQ titles in the weekend it was released)
  • Questions that ought to be closed, but question views are outstripping review queue votes

A Hot Network Question review queue would help address these issues. Options in the queue would be to:

  • Vote to add to the Hot Network Questions list
  • Vote to blacklist it from Hot Network Questions
  • Do other moderation activities (e.g. edit it, close vote it) before voting

This sort of queue would allow sites to present their best questions to the world, rather than the most controversial, or ones that would be potentially problematic.

This has already been proposed in answers to Breaking the HNQ feedback loop on bad questions (awarded a 50 point bounty) and Encourage active users to edit Hot Questions, especially titles (awarded a 150 point bounty). And now it is a common suggestion in Revisiting the "Hot Network Questions" feature, what are our shared goals for having it?

  • 3
    That queue is going to really, really, really need audits. Else it will have the opposite effect, letting the clickbait through and stopping the good questions. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 6:47
  • What would you suggest as a rep threshold for HNQ Review privileges? More or less than, say, Close Votes?
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 7:38
  • @Chenmunka Not sure if rep should be the threshold at all. Answering HNQ clickbait is a highway to rep. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 7:50
  • @S.L.Barth: I'm not sure either, but it is the way SE assigns privileges. The floor is open for other suggestions.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 7:58
  • @Chenmunka Marshal badge could be one. Or people who have done a lot of downvoting. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 8:01
  • 2
    I'd say, individual sites should have a new queue that lets their own users review "potential HNQ questions" and 6 or more "deny HNQ entry" within 4 hours or so should stop it from entering HNQ.
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 8:09
  • @NVZ I like the idea of making it about denying HNQ entry, although I think it would be more for someone to edit the question to make it acceptable, rather than flat out denying it. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 17:43
  • 2
    @Chenmunka Having this queue be accessible to users with close/reopen votes seems reasonable, since both are about cleaning up the site. If we wanted it higher, we could set it at the next level up from that, which for most sites is the see upvote/downvote level. Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 17:48
  • 2
    @Thunderforge sure, there'd be options to edit and approve, not just deny
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 17:48
  • 4
    Whole new review queue just for that??? No, don't think that's the solution, sorry. You just make things ultra ubber complicated, for minor gain. Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


I don't think this is a good idea; everyone has totally different views on what kinds of questions are appropriate for the HNQ (and some people think there shouldn't be a HNQ list at all). We currently lack the kind of objective set of guidelines for topicality or HNQ 'quality' that would be required for such a site.

Further, there could be some sites with low user participation in queues such that a site that otherwise might appear on the HNQ is unable to for lack of fresh HNQ content in a timely manner, inordinately affecting the site's traffic. There would no doubt be questions that lose eligibility as they languish in the queue, waiting for enough people to approve them. Questions in some queues can sit there for weeks, and the HNQ currently limits candidates to questions that are younger than 30 days old. Depending on the behavior of such votes aging away and how many votes of each type are needed to approve/clear items, a question could theoretically sit in a queue for long enough that it gets nominated on day one of its life and doesn't get approved until after 30 days have passed.

Finally, this would open up HNQ for additional 'gaming' by giving users more targets to hit in order to make their question HNQ-eligible. What if someone gets 3 or 4 others to nominate/approve their question for the HNQ? There is currently no mechanism to manually remove a question from the HNQ unless you are an employee and remove the entire site (like what just happened with the IPS site), or unless you manually close/delete the question, which is not an effective solution in this regard.

A much better solution, in my opinion, would be to allow user-filtering of sites (or user-filtering of the HNQ list as a whole) so that each person can decide what kind of content they want to see when they are browsing Stack Exchange sites. It can be off by default and/or filtered by default to make sure that people don't start out seeing things they don't expect or consider inappropriate for their browsing experience.

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