I understand there's an algorithm that tweets a question with a high number of views in (x amount of time).

Two of the three mods on Parenting have suspended activity due to well known recent circumstances, leaving one mod to handle an HNQ. We are all well acquainted with the down-sides of HNQs and the amount of work entailed in moderating them.

The first comment, When I didn't know English well enough, I had the impression that "hypocritical" means "related to religion". (by this user) received 17 upvotes before being deleted.

Another comment suggested euthanizing the child. Another, an exorcism. And of course the OP was criticized for belief in a supreme being.

I could not in good conscience leave the comments thread alone; there was unkindness, discourtesy, intolerance, bigotry and worse on display for all the world (of SE) to see. For a network that wants to exemplify being nice, driving traffic to undermoderated sites where users can see hatred on display would seem to me to be counterproductive.

Might it be possible to add a check to the algorithm so that it doesn't tweet questions with limited moderation?

If not, can TPTB hasten doing what needs to be done so that mods who have suspended activity can feel better about returning to moderation?

Maybe suspending all tweeting until all is well again would be the best option.

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    I know most people here are atheists. If you would be tempted to upvote similar comments, imagine it was a post about some aspect of your own life or being that was being ridiculed. Thanks. Oct 22, 2019 at 4:07
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    It is worth noting that newer sites didn't get Twitter feeds because Twitter started blocking those accounts. Oct 22, 2019 at 4:24
  • Whats HNQ & TPTB stand for?
    – dustytrash
    Oct 22, 2019 at 4:32
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    @dustytrash HNQ stands for hot network questions, the questions from all over the network you see in the sidebar. Fairly sure that TPTB is "the powers that be", as in the SE paid staff.
    – auden
    Oct 22, 2019 at 4:34
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    Can you clarify why the newish mod-power to take down a question from the HNQ list doesn't suffice? (I'm guessing you want to avoid being surprised by 6 hrs HNQ chaos after getting up in the morning?) Oct 22, 2019 at 17:46
  • @LаngLаngС - You answered your own question. There's one mod. How long does it take for someone with an actual job to find out that a question has gone HNQ, and to manage it alone? It's not like we mods get a notification. The hate was all there, out in the open. That was painful for me, and undoubtedly painful for the OP. Immediate anesthesia was called for. Oct 22, 2019 at 18:14
  • The question is understandable from the mod-burden perspective, but unclear for the current info on 'remedies'. The fastest mode to get to that info is subscribing to the site-HNQ feed? That may be faster now for that site (you?) than to wait for SE-staff to change settings (and perhaps you didn't know about it?). Then my guess is every HNQ is practically unmanageable for any one mod alone. I'd see it an improvement if you'd spell all that out in the Q. 'The mess' has many consequences. Oct 22, 2019 at 18:24
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    @JJJ Parenting is a relatively slow site, and the most active users are upset about what's been happening on SE (one high rep user left, another is inactive, etc.) Weeks ago, yes, comments were deleted by users, Not this time. Oct 23, 2019 at 9:10
  • I feel like I unknowingly contributed to this problem. I'm sorry.
    – Lucas F.
    Oct 23, 2019 at 11:07
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    @LucasF. - I don't know how you did, but you're forgiven if there's anything to forgive. Oct 23, 2019 at 11:52
  • @anongoodnurse Well, the question I recently asked hit the Hot Network Questions not too long ago. That may have brought more traffic, and thus (inevitably) more moderation effort.
    – Lucas F.
    Oct 23, 2019 at 14:49
  • @LucasF. - Please rest assured that your questions are welcome, always. We're glad to help. Extra traffic is great, too. It's the controversial questions that become HNQs that bring out problem users, not questions like yours (which I'm glad to see got some good replies!) No worries that you posted around the same time; your question was easy to moderate. :) Oct 23, 2019 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


The twitter algorithm is a problem, but the HNQ could be the biggest problem if the site is under-moderated.

The CM team can remove the site completely from the HNQ for the time being. I would do a official request/ask the CM team directly for that. (via email)

As it impact your community maybe leaving a meta post on your site meta to inform your community after. (As the HNQ impact greatly the scoring, with the drawback to attract a lot of unwanted activitees)

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    Thank you. I think this is also a very reasonable answer, and my preference, as it underscores to SE the problem they have at the moment. Oct 22, 2019 at 17:16

The Algorithm wouldn't know whether or not moderation has slowed down or stopped, nor should it - mods suspending activity out of protest is the same circumstance as some significant percentage of moderators needing to stop participation due to natural disasters, vacations, or that they need a break.

I was always under the impression that mods could just disable retweets on their site if they needed to. Perhaps that's what the actual fix needs to be. Just turn off the retweet functionality and let that be up to the actual moderators on the site.

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    Though I'm not certain it is just as you state in the first paragraph, your solution is elegant, which is probably why I didn't I think of that. Thanks! Oct 22, 2019 at 4:02
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    "I was always under the impression that mods could just disable retweets on their site if they needed to" I thought they could remove question from the HNQ by hand but hadn't heard of entirely removing tweeting. If it's indeed possible to remove the tweets or (in more dire circumstances) remove the site from the HNQ, then it might be an option.
    – VLAZ
    Oct 22, 2019 at 6:12
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    Mods have no power over what or how often is tweeted. I wish! If I did, I'd have disabled the bot entirely on U&L where the community consensus is that it tends to tweet the least interesting questions.
    – terdon
    Oct 22, 2019 at 11:48
  • Why can't we do what was suggested in the question and just suspend all activity on Twitter until everything is right with the world again? That sounds like the best option to me. ("Maybe suspending all tweeting until all is well again would be the best option.") Oct 22, 2019 at 21:46
  • @CodyGray: Because a site like Japanese Language probably doesn't care about all of this...
    – Makoto
    Oct 22, 2019 at 22:12
  • (1) Japanese absolutely has gendered pronouns, and the CoC applies to every site equally. (2) You were using too restrictive of an interpretation of "everything is right with the world again". I see this as a plea to suspend all activity on Twitter indefinitely. I'll let you know when everything is right with the world. I don't foresee it coming any time soon. Oct 22, 2019 at 23:16
  • @CodyGray: I was more referring to the fact that the FAQ explicitly highlights English language sites, and Japanese ain't English. ;) That is to say...they haven't figured this CoC out on foreign language sites. Also...I'd still imagine that Twitter has its uses and its place with other Stack sites, so disabling it outright globally would be an overreaction when only a few sites' moderators have publicly resigned.
    – Makoto
    Oct 22, 2019 at 23:51

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