I just could not believe my eyes, seeing a question of mine as a hot meta post just now. I know that it was one before, but I could not figure out why now?

As of this popular meta post, the aspects considered during calculation are:

  • Votes [aka Score]
  • Views
  • Answers
  • Answer Votes [aka Score]
  • (Whether the question has an accepted answer or not)
  • Time question was originally asked
  • Time of last activity on question
  • (Reputation of asker)
  • (Reputation(s) of answerers)

I can not really see how the posts statisfies those criteria? Have a look:

  • Votes [aka Score]
    • Currently it stands at +5, which is rather decent for WB-Meta but not extraordinary
  • Views
    • When I first looked at it, it stood at 70 views. Not that many...
  • Answers
    • Exactly one
  • Answer Votes [aka Score]
    • +8 - again, quite decent but nothing special
  • Whether the question has an accepted answer or not
    • It is.
  • Time question was originally asked
    • This and the next seems the most important to me, the question was asked Feb 5
  • Time of last activity on question
    • and last active Feb 5 as well; meaning 11 days in the past

For completeness, the reputation related aspects, though they do not appear in the formula mentioned in the meta post:

  • Reputation of asker
    • 394. Meh.
  • Reputation(s) of answerers
    • ~5.1k impressive, but not that thrilling.

I understand how it got hot the time it was posted - but now?

Just do be clear, I am not sad about what's happening, after all it's some attention to my own post (yay) - but this just does not seem right. Aside from that, I do not think that this specific question has much relevance now, as it was related to a specific situation that is now resolved.

My question here is: How come this post landet in the hot meta post section?

followed by a Should it?

As an example:
wouldn't Handling Off Site Hostility statisfy the requirements much better?

Roughly calculating the hotness scores to prove my point, I resulted with a score of ~0,064 for my question and ~2,17 for the example - a significant difference.

  • $\begingroup$ It does seem a little odd, can't argue with that. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Feb 17, 2016 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ For roughly 7 minutes, a closed question about transporting whales by air travel through the stratosphere was "hot" because we looked at it. $\endgroup$
    – user14789
    Feb 22, 2016 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


The logical answer is that there are only so many meta posts, so anything reasonably recent and "popular" is likely to be selected at some point. I'm not sure what the refresh cycle is (how often it changes the meta post that's hot right now), or whether everyone sees the same "hot meta posts" at the same time.

For instance, the one I have right now is even less "hot" by the criteria you posted than yours. The implication here is that it switches regularly to get people looking at the different discussions. Certainly, using those same criteria, your post would easily be in the top 20 most "Hot" questions in Meta within the last two weeks. If the other more recent posts were all recently featured it could have run out of more topical stuff to display and gone back to old stuff...

That, or there's a routine that ensures that any remotely popular questions by users automatically show up in their "hot questions" box in order to make them feel self-important and more likely to post, as part of some strange user-manipulation scheme to increase the amount of questions asked. Depends on how much you like your conspiracy theories!

  • $\begingroup$ Or maybe, just maybe, what is displayed gets influenced by someone, who wants his (or her) answers seen and voted on... mumble mumble ... someone with moderation powers... mumble mumble ... @MonicaCellio; any ideas? mumble mumble ... Just kidding :) Thanks for the answer, seems very reasonable. $\endgroup$
    – T3 H40
    Feb 17, 2016 at 15:14

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