This question about testing a breaker by short circuiting it made it to the HNQ list. Looking at the edit history, I note that NialC removed it from that list.

I fully understand that action from the perspective of "it's not good to widely broadcast an idea that is dangerous to the point of being potentially fatal". I'm wondering, though, if it may be better for the very emphatic DON'T DO THAT answers to be a bit more widely spread via HNQ to help counteract the bad advice being spread on LookAtMeTube.

I don't know if it can be added back in to the HNQ, and it should definitely be protected if it is, but my question, in general, is:

Should we minimize the spread of questions like these where someone is questioning some potentially dangerous advice heard elsewhere and getting answers that counter that advice, possibly saving property and lives, or should we encourage the spread of the counter information pointing out just how dangerous the bad advice is?

  • Please note: I'm not criticizing the decision made by NialC - I believe I understand the motivation and it makes sense on one hand. I'm questioning whether there are better options considering the answers that were given.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 22 at 14:31
  • How many people are going to click the question and read the answers, rather than just see the title and think of that next time they want to test a breaker? These sorts of questions often trigger a lot of mod workload to cleanup the mess later on (lots of duplicate, low quality, and troll answers), so factor in the downside to leaving a question in the HNQ list too.
    – BMitch Mod
    Feb 22 at 14:44
  • @BMitch your first sentence is probably the most important reason and, frankly one I hadn't thought through. Make an answer of it and it'll get my vote. Mod workload (he says, not being a mod) is of secondary importance to proliferating the spread of dangerous info.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 22 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


The reason I took that question off HNQ (and sometimes take other similar questions off HNQ) is because there are only so many ways to answer a question "Should I do something unsafe?" with "Golly gumdrops, no you shouldn't!".

A question gets onto HNQ because of the amount of activity on it -- votes and answers -- not necessarily because it's a good question. There are people on Stack Exchange who watch the HNQ feed, and flock in to post answers just because the question is there, presumably because of the unusually high voting activity on it.

Taking it off HNQ only means that it won't attract the attention of SE users who wouldn't normally visit Home Improvement. People who are already here regularly will see it, as will people doing a Google search for the subject (frequently proclaimed to be SE's target audience).

Ref: bikeshedding

  • That's fair. Again, I wasn't criticizing the action as I understand good reasons for it, I was just wondering if there was, perhaps, a better option that hadn't been considered. Between your answer and BMitch's comment, you've given very good reasons to continue with this line of action and ignoring mine.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 22 at 16:23

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