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I am curious if anyone has come up with what makes a question popular.

The question that triggered this curiosity is How to prevent pictures from being downloaded by right-clicking on them or Inspecting the web page? - 4k views in 2 days, 8 answers and my answer has 25 up votes.

To me it doesn't seem like a special question, yet it seems to have touched something in a lot of readers. Is it because compared to many questions a lot of readers might know something about this? Is it because it is something that affects many people? Could it be just a bit of an answering frenzy, where because it is modified so often, the question is bumped so it is read more, so it is modified which bumps it, etc etc

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That question became a Hot Network Question, which can be seen from its timeline:

enter image description here

Hot Network Questions are visible on every site in the network, drawing much more attention than just regular Webmasters visitors. That explains the number of views; thanks to the association bonus, a good deal of those users can upvote (but not downvote!) the question and its answers.

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  • I'll bet that you are one of the few users that can down vote on nearly every site. I always appreciate your edits on Webmasters, BTW. Jan 29 at 8:29
  • Thank you. I'm probably the only one apart from SE staff (diamonds give you downvote power as well).
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 29 at 8:37
  • Do you know what the current algorithm for hot network questions is? The most plausible that I've been able to come up with is that SE is using a variant of the scoring algorithm proposed here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/295583/… Jan 29 at 9:24
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    We don't know exactly; I did some research a while ago.
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 29 at 9:45

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