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As per Updating the Hot Network Questions List - now with a bit more network and a little less "hotness"!, one of the changes to the HNQ system is that moderators can now remove questions from the HNQ list.

There are times when the hotness formula selects a question that a site would rather not have featured. 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. We're putting the power in the hands of our moderators to remove questions that don't set a good example for their sites. I recommend each site have a meta discussion with guidance for moderators about when - if ever - a question should be removed.

Following their advice, here we are: what should the site policy be for kicking posts off the HNQ list?

In general, we recommend that you exclude questions that attract negative attention to your sites, that is, questions that are controversial, start large amounts of debate or arguments or even edit wars. Removing a question should not be a substitute for fixing it!

  1. Define “controversial.” Controversial among Jews? Controversial among the general public? Should a question that touches on, say, Judaism’s views on certain genders or gender identities, races, etc. be barred from HNQ? Remember that we have a responsibility to make a Kiddush Hashem, or at least avoid a Chillul Hashem, and such questions may be better left off of the list for that reason alone.
  2. “Start large amounts of debate or arguments” is often the status quo around here — I mean, we are Jews — but is there a quantifiable threshold (barring edit wars) at which point the post should be removed?
  3. Some other recommendation in addition to/instead of SE’s recommendations?
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I can't think of any instances in which we've had a significant problem due to a post going on the HNQ.

Therefore, I think the rule should be that we take one down only in extreme situations. I suspect that trying to craft a rule now that will define what one of these situations will look like would be counterproductive. Instead, for now, we should watch and see if any such situations, or anything resembling them, comes up, and then, maybe sometime in the future, use those experiences to craft a rule.

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