In the announcement of changes to the Hot Network Questions list (HNQ), it says:
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.
I think it would be worthwhile to put the community's thoughts on removing questions from the HNQ in writing instead of relying on the general network-wide guidance. Removing a question from the HNQ prevents it from ever being eligible for the list again, so it is one of the few moderator actions that can't easily be reversed.
We've had some discussion about the HNQ in the past (Do we have any control over what gets on the Hot Network List?) and about questions receiving a tremendous number of daily views (What do 100k views in a day mean?) but we haven't decided what criteria we would like to have for questions that take up our five (I think) spots on list.
I know we already have a discussion going about a question that was removed from the HNQ. I think it would be better to start a new policy discussion than to try to repurpose a discussion about how a specific question was removed when the network-wide policy seems to indicate it shouldn't have been.
What sorts of impacts does a question becoming "hot" have on the site that would cause us to want to remove it from the list? Here are a few reasons I've dredged or paraphrased from past discussions across the network.
(The HNQ algorithm) "optimizes for controversy, not quality. Sensationalist questions draw lots of rapid response, which feeds the HNQ algorithm, and then once it's on HNQ it gets even more rapid response, which keeps it there (and also distorts Q&A on that site)." (Source)
Questions on the HNQ are essentially an advertisement for EL&U. The questions should be of the sort that will attract (or at least won't discourage) the type of audience EL&U wants to cultivate. There are questions that are on-topic, but that are maybe not the sort of questions that we would want to present as typical of the site's content. Because these questions often generate a lot of edits and comments, they tend to end up on the HNQ more often than a great question that is well-formed when it's posted.
Questions on the HNQ attract votes and comments from users who aren't familiar with EL&U's norms. Users that have 200 reputation on any other site in the network are awarded 100 reputation on EL&U which allows them to comment and upvote. This can cause incorrect or low quality answers to end up with far more votes than they might have if they weren't hot.
See also the formula for determining hotness