I already found the filter settings for Stack Exchange, that allows me to see various content from various sites filtered by site and tag. But this only seems to apply to the real time section or the filtered section, not the HQN.

Initial problem

I often find a lot of interesting reads in the hot questions sections. However, due to the vast nature of the Stack Exchange universe, some topics are uninteresting to me, by default, e.g. the religion Stack Exchange sites. I'd like to request the feature, that it's possible to blacklist certain Stack Exchange sites per user, so they don't show up on my feed.

I'm not alone

As I'm writing this post, this does not seem to be only me, and it's astonishing that there seems to be a high demand, but it has never been implemented.

While this is a duplicate, all the related questions I found to this are 8-10 years old. So please, reconsider including this much-wanted feature.

Older takes on this

Please note that the intent here is to explicitly expose you to the most interesting questions from across the network, whether you have accounts on those sites or not. Jeff Attwood

I do appreciate this mindset, but I think it's not thought to the end.

Other users have commented:

+1 for negative filtering, a user specified black list of sites is just the ticket to allow initial discovery of the new but allow blocking if a user decides they have had enough jk

I like the idea of being exposed to interesting questions from across the gamut of sites, but I will never be interested in certain topics (coughreligious-themed onescough) and would prefer they didn't take up a slot that could have otherwise been for an interesting question on lemons from the cooking site... JYelton

Another argument in favour of filtering is avoiding spoilers:

Exposing users forcefully to Hot Network Questions can spoil entire plots, e.g. from the Harry Potter universe. I would love to have an option to filter specific networks robust

As such a question titled

"How come Luke didn't know Darth Vader was his father"

might spoil Star Wars for anyone who hasn't seen it.

Real examples (including spoilers for Lord of the Rings and the original Star Wars, and Star Trek Nemesis)

Why did Saruman not kill Gandalf? How did Obi-Wan know Darth Vader was Anakin? How is Data alive in "All Good Things" when he died in Nemesis?

I also like to make the argument, that the "expose users to new content" argument can be turned around. Space, that is filled with questions about topics that I really really do not care about at all, could be filled with other questions that might spark a new interest.

In Favour of Keeping it Unrestricted

  • Expose users to new content

In Favour of Blacklisting

  • Inherently not interesting
  • Potential spoilers for movies/books
  • unwanted topics block space for more relevant topics
  • 3
    You really need to explain what's changed in the last 8-10 years? Why is this a good idea now when it wasn't before? Aug 2, 2022 at 9:19
  • 2
    I haven't seen a compelling argument why this is not added yet. I have edited the post to that effect. Aug 2, 2022 at 9:40
  • Questions that are not in English are already excluded. Aug 2, 2022 at 9:42
  • fair point, I've excluded my references. Aug 2, 2022 at 9:44
  • Oh, hah. I'd missed your spoiler as it was hidden, irony. Comment deleted.
    – W.O.
    Aug 2, 2022 at 9:46
  • There's already a blacklist. I did not find here any actual suggestion how to change/improve it. Aug 2, 2022 at 9:54
  • @ShadowTheKidWizard did you read anything but the title? This is not about potentially offensive words. Aug 2, 2022 at 9:59
  • Spoilers in question titles are a contentious subject. On the one hand, your spoilered examples are all over 20 years old. Darth Vader's identity in particular is arguably the most famous plot twist in cinematic history, and thus hardly counts as a spoiler anymore. On the other hand, there are still people out there that haven't seen those films, and every time a new film comes out, there will inevitably be questions about it that spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet. [1/2]
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 2, 2022 at 10:00
  • It's way too long but yes, I read it all. I did not find where you even explain what you want to filter and how. Aug 2, 2022 at 10:01
  • @F1Krazy I deliberatly chose old examples in order not to spoil anyone reading this topic. If you want to avoid spoilers about it, you could setup a blacklist, as argued in this thread. Either blocking e.g. the movieSE entirely, or if you want it more sophisticated, block only HNQ with the tag "star wars". Aug 2, 2022 at 10:01
  • @ShadowTheKidWizard It's in the first paragraph: " some topics are uninteresting to me, by default, e.g. religions SEs" Aug 2, 2022 at 10:01
  • 4
    [2/2] When The Last Jedi came out, I immediately blacklisted the tag on both Movies and SciFi, and still ended up having two of the movie's most pivotal scenes spoiled for me via HNQ within days of its release. So I'd definitely be on board with some kind of HNQ blacklist, to avoid such occurrences in the future.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 2, 2022 at 10:02
  • So you just ask to filter out certain sites, awesome. Really can't see why you need all those extra details. (It's a valid request that was already asked for, many times.) Aug 2, 2022 at 10:02
  • I am beyond disappointed that this question gets closed, despite the duplicate being asked 8 years ago. Aug 2, 2022 at 10:04
  • 2
    Time isn't a factor. And it's not deleted, it's just acting as a signpost, and any answer that might be given here can be posted on the original request instead. That's the essence of duplicates. Aug 2, 2022 at 10:06


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