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I recently came across to this question (revision history). I saw that it was a Hot Network Question and flagged for moderator intervention to ask them to remove it from the HNQ and possibly delete it or lock it (historical lock) without knowing that closed questions are kicked out from HNQ list. [Note: what should be done about this question is another long story]

My mod-flag was raised at 2019-04-28 19:16:08Z and the question became HNQ at 2019-04-28 05:46:17Z. It was first closed at 2019-04-28 07:02:26Z and it was automatically removed from the HNQ because as mentioned here section 'Moderators have the ability to remove questions from the HNQ List.' (emphasis mine):

Up until now, the only recourse that was available was to close the question (which may be appropriate anyway but isn't ideal when done purely to manage traffic), or to do nothing.

Thus, we are sure the question was kicked out from HNQ. However, after some time it got reopened (wrongly, though). I am not sure if it became again a HNQ.

After the second closure of the question, when I came across it, I raised a mod-flag:

This blatantly off-topic question became Hot Network Question 13 hours ago. It needs to be removed (if it is not already) and might need deletion or a lock.

And I got as a response:

helpful - closed questions no longer go to the HNQ

After some time (and the second time the question was closed):

I am confused, now. Wasn't the question removed from HNQ when it was closed? Why did a moderator removed it, then?

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    This seems to be a question specific to Stack Overflow. Is there a good reason you are posting it here instead of so meta? – Discrete lizard Apr 29 at 10:46
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    @MEEthesetupwizard the strange thing is, the post seemed to have been closed at the time Bhargav 'removed' it from HNQ :/ – Tinkeringbell Apr 29 at 10:49
  • @Tinkeringbell I can't see this from the revision history. Can you please show this (with red FHC, or any other mean sufficient to properly highlight parts of screenshots)? – GDPR Apr 29 at 10:50
  • @Tinkeringbell Actually, it seems to have been closed by 5 users as primarily opinion-based prior to Bhargav's kick. – user437611 Apr 29 at 10:51
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    @Discretelizard I believe this is on-topic for Meta SE as it essentially asks how a question can possibly be kicked from the HNQ after it has been closed. It's a question about the SE software and is not SO specific. – user437611 Apr 29 at 10:52
  • @Blue, yeah, that's the point I was trying to make! :) It was closed by 5 users, which should've taken it out of HNQ, but Bhargav apparently had to remove it manually – Tinkeringbell Apr 29 at 10:53
  • @MEEthesetupwizard See this image: i.stack.imgur.com/xqLkg.png, the post was first closed (which should've taken it out of HNQ), then edited, then Bhargav removed it from HNQ. There's no reopen event between those two that could've put the question back in HNQ to begin with. – Tinkeringbell Apr 29 at 10:54
  • @Tinkeringbell ah yes, right. So this is probably a bug. Moderators should not be able to exclude a question that is not currently on HNQ. It were more than 15 minutes between the events. – GDPR Apr 29 at 10:54
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    Calling a question upvoted by many people "trash" is not nice. It's almost like personal insult. – Shadow Apr 29 at 11:11
  • It seems someone has voted to close this as site-specific. While I overall disagree with the close vote, I'd recommend removing the part about moderator flags, and ust ask about why, in general, mods still remove questions from HNQ despite their being closed. The part about flags and what happened to that specific question is a site-specific issue and should be brought up on MSO. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Apr 29 at 11:25
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    @Shadow Blue has provided a general answer as to why mods still use the HNQ removal tool even on closed questions. The general question as to why that's done is on-topic here, and my suggestion was to edit this question so that that's the only part. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Apr 29 at 11:32
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    @MEEthesetupwizard Why's that a bug? We intentionally made that possible because of situations where a question is popping on and off the list. – Catija Apr 29 at 11:51
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    @ShadowWizard with the term 'trash', I mean that it is blatantly off-topic. While it may be useful for other people (that explains the upvotes), it is off-topic for Stack Overflow. – double-beep Apr 29 at 13:07
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    @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog I included the mod-flag just to give context: moderator said 'closed questions no longer go to HNQ' and then just a mod removed it. It is not site-specific. I'll try to ping Bhargav for possible explanations. – double-beep Apr 29 at 13:17
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    @double-beep yes, a question can always reenter the HNQ as long as it fulfills the condition (being hotter again & again, not closed at the moment, no MathJax in the title, etc.)... unless it's explicitly removed by a mod. – Meta Andrew T. Apr 29 at 13:24
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Update: It turns out this feature was implemented after the latest HNQ announcement cf. rob's answer.


I experimented a bit on Quantum Computing SE (there were a few questions on the HNQ in the past one week). It seems that the UI allows mods to kick questions for the entirety of the 3-day period after a question gets promoted to the HNQ. So say a certain question gets closed on the second day after getting on the HNQ, it's still kickable from the HNQ for another 1 day. Basically, the kick is not only to remove it from the HNQ but also to prevent from getting on the HNQ in the remaining of the 3-day period (in case the question gets reopened).

For example, this question went on the HNQ yesterday and is now off the HNQ. However, the mod tools UI says that I can still kick it off:

enter image description here

However, this question which was a HNQ on April 23rd, is no longer kickable:

enter image description here

Notice that the checkbox for remove from hot network questions is greyed out.

All in all, I think this is . Most probably Bhargav's kick was meant to prevent the closed question from re-entering the HNQ again, in case it got re-opened in the future.

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    Kinda... this is why it's possible... not really about closed questions but it's a side benefit I'll be happy about. – Catija Apr 29 at 11:54
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    Note that this is not [status-bydesign] since it is not a bug at all. It was tagged [support], but one decided to incorrectly add the [bug] tag. – double-beep Apr 29 at 13:57

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