Since SE changed the way HNQ works, we've been given the option to have IPS get back on it. Based on the discussion on that second link, it looks like the community here does want to get back on HNQ. Each site now has the option of setting a maximum number of questions from that site that can be on HNQ at one time, up to a maximum of 5.

How many questions should we allow on HNQ at one time?

  • For your question: "Where do we want to set the IPS limit for HNQ questions?". I'm not sure the SE format is the best for that, but maybe we could post an answer with each option (1 HNQ question, 2 HNQ question, etc...) and see which one is the most upvoted? – Ael Mar 12 '19 at 14:14
  • 1
    @Ælis, Poll-style questions are rarely - if ever - a good idea. I would suggest not doing that - partly because of the arguments given in that Meta post, and partly because there are a number of potential options (e.g. "2, and let's stay there forever", "1, but let's later change it to 3", etc.). – HDE 226868 Mar 12 '19 at 14:17
  • 1
    @HDE226868 Interesting. In any case, I'm not really comfortable with having a discussion with the number of HNQ question we want in the same place where we discuss what rules we should apply to exclude questions from HNQ. To me, those are really distinct questions and I'm not really comfortable having them discussed at the same place. – Ael Mar 12 '19 at 14:28
  • 5
    Probably worthwhile to split this up into seperate questions. – apaul Mar 13 '19 at 13:49
  • 1
    Yeah. This is too much in one. We'll figure out regex based on data, so don't worry about that. Focus on the other two (in separate posts). – Catija Mar 14 '19 at 1:47
  • 1
    @Catija You'll figure out the regex based on what data and what criteria? – apaul Mar 14 '19 at 6:44
  • @apaul I'm probably not the best person to answer that but we don't necessarily want to exclude words without looking at how they're used. Even if y'all want to discuss it, I recommend a specific question about it with one term per answer with an explanation of why and examples of posts that use it to show that it's a good choice. This gives you the chance to vote on each one. – Catija Mar 14 '19 at 13:52
  • @HDE226868: there is a simple fix to this: let's have a poll on the number of questions we want now. If people want to change that number later, we can re-vote. I mean, the site is now discussing how many questions not so long after discussing if we should come back on the HNQ or not. We can handle people changing opinions. – Taladris Mar 17 '19 at 2:43

I would be okay with starting with one or two, and practicing and honing our skills of editing question titles and content, to make sure that whatever does get on the HNQ represents us as best as we can. As we improve the site scope and question styles, and people become familiar with how IPS operates, then I would be okay with upping it to 3, then I probably would not want more than that for the next couple years.

  • I'm not so sure about using edits as our primary way to combat having troublesome titles appear in HNQ. If there is content that we know will cause problems, we should just set up the automated filter to keep it out that way the community can focus its moderation efforts on the rise in content that HNQ is goingt to bring. – Rainbacon Mar 12 '19 at 19:04
  • Also consider some words don't always spark controversy- for example "dating" is not always controversial. I can look up examples and add them. – ElizB Mar 12 '19 at 19:06
  • 2
    @Rainbacon don't forget that one of the reasons IPS was taken of HNQ, was that generic regex filters weren't cutting it anymore: interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/a/3331/1599. So I'm with ElizB on this one: we need careful editing, and perhaps just pull questions out if we can't have a descriptive enough title. Regex isn't going to help us prevent titles that look really bad out of context. – Tinkeringbell Mar 12 '19 at 19:18
  • 1
    Thank you for explaining what I couldn't, I agree that some words definitely can cause controversy, but most importantly if we are to learn and grow as a site we do need to practice careful editing and neutralizing controversial questions. I'm all for learning how to neutralize questions that spark controversy. However, situations can also spark controversy and some can't be neutralized as much, that's where I believe the question protection comes in, and then as a last resort, removal from the HNQ can come into effect. – ElizB Mar 12 '19 at 19:31
  • This question is a good starting point to continue the discussion about controversial questions. Questions like this and this are worth a look at for how to edit titles to better fit the site and make it not so controversial. – ElizB Mar 12 '19 at 22:32

For the number of question we want on HNQ at the same time, I believe we should start slow.

To me, if we go too fast, things might get "out of hands". However, I don't see any danger in going too slow. This is why I believe we should start at one HNQ question.

Another argument for starting with only one HNQ question is that it's going to give us time to decide what we want and what we do not want on HNQ. Having only one question one HNQ allows us to take your time and not be in a rush like we would with five HNQ questions.


Bearing in mind that we're currently running on 0, I don't see why we don't simply ramp up one at a time until we break past the sweet spot and then reduce back down to that number if we go past it.

For all we know, 1 might even be our limit considering the clickbait-y nature of the questions that hit HNQ last time. We risk trying 3, then 2 and when neither works coming again to the conclusion that the HNQ simply isn't for this stack, when in reality just the 1 was enough to reinvigorate this place.


I'd start with three questions. To me, we have a satisfying number of community moderators that could help handling the additional workload. We used to be able to handle 3+ HNQ questions at the same time before some of those moderating contributors joined IPS, so I'm not worried we couldn't handle the workload. What I'm more afraid of is the people's reaction from seeing several IPS questions on HNQ, which topic or phrasing could make them uncomfortable.

3 seems like a reasonable number to begin with, then depending on the results maybe we could increase that number, granted we're indeed still able of handling this load and the people don't complain of seeing our (potentially controversial?) content too often.

  • "We used to be able to handle 3+ HNQ questions at the same time" -> I was still kind of new during the "HNQ time". Do you have some solid data for that? (not the fact that we had 3+ HNQ question at the same time, but the fact that we were handling them just fine) – Ael Mar 18 '19 at 10:59
  • 2
    While it is true that we've added some quite active community members, we've also lost some. I'm not sure that the overall number of highly active community members is significantly different from where it was before we went off HNQ – Rainbacon Mar 18 '19 at 12:16
  • @Ælis I don't really see how we could prove this with data ... maybe we could compare the R/A flags raised to those from another SE site with a similar audience? IDK actually. – avazula Mar 18 '19 at 13:05
  • @avazula I don't know either. I was kind of hoping that you or someone would have some "magical idea" to solve this ^^ – Ael Mar 18 '19 at 13:11
  • @Rainbacon I totally agree with you, it's not that different than what it used to be before HNQ removal. Which is why I'm not that afraid: we used to handle +3 HNQ questions at a time and be fine. But that's my POV. – avazula Mar 18 '19 at 13:23
  • "we used to handle +3 HNQ questions at a time and be fine" -> Were we? I have read a lot of old and not so old questions who went through HNQ (I know because of the view count) and some of the answers there are really bad (bad frame-challenge, too opinion-based, lacking back up, etc...) – Ael Mar 18 '19 at 13:31
  • @Ælis True. But so does every SE site. We can set rules and gently remind the users of them but we can't force them to apply/follow them. TWP is full of such examples. Also, I think it's worth mentioning that some of the examples you're giving were reinforced little before the HNQ removal so, I'm not surprised we needed some time to apply them. – avazula Mar 18 '19 at 13:35
  • "But so does every SE site" -> To me, that's not a valid argument. If something is wrong, we should fix it. If the whole SE network has this problem, then we should try to be better than the rest of the network. (ps: not sure I fully understood your answer, feel free to correct me if I didn't) – Ael Mar 18 '19 at 13:56
  • I agree, we should aspire to correct the whole system. But we're not close to achieving this network-wide. On the rest I totally agree - we should aspire of fixing the problem until it's addressed in the site core architecture. But once you've written the rules and enforced users of respecting them, you can't do much more, except banning more frequently, maybe? I wonder if that's the solution. – avazula Mar 18 '19 at 14:06

What (if any) kinds of questions should we automatically exclude via the regex?

I would say it's almost impossible to determine which kinds of questions should automatically excluded. Because nowadays there are always people who are offended by almost everything, even if they don't even understand what they read.

What criteria should mods use to determine when to remove a question from HNQ?

The criteria for the mods should be determined by the mods themselves (e.g. too many comments, raging post on twitter/reddit, too many low quality answers)

Where do we want to set the IPS limit for HNQ questions?

In my opinion a good limit for the HNQ would be 2 or 3 questions.

  • 1
    I'm really not comfortable with your second point. IPS (and SE as a whole) is moderated by the community and, to me, it would be unfair to everyone to let this big decision only rest on the hands of the appointed mods. – Ael Mar 12 '19 at 15:14
  • @Ælis maybe we have different experiences/expectations about the mods work. I feel like they wont listen anyway and that they will decide "behind a cloak" anyway – undefined Mar 12 '19 at 15:19
  • It seems we have, indeed, very different experience here ^^ – Ael Mar 12 '19 at 15:27
  • 7
    @undefined We usually try to be as transparent as we can possibly be. But there's parts of moderating like some of the moderator tools, suspension reasons and what's being talked about in moderator only rooms that we simply have to keep secret. You already gave three points that you think might be reasons for moderators to remove a question from HNQ. If you trust mods to make the right decision on what is 'too many', then the community has had a voice here. – Tinkeringbell Mar 12 '19 at 17:59
  • 2
    And if we ever remove a post that people feel shouldn't have been removed (or leave one that shouldn't have been left), that's a good discussion to have too. Just like you can ask on meta for our reasons when we e.g. close a post, we'll try to step forward and explain as much as we possibly can. – Tinkeringbell Mar 12 '19 at 18:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .