Currently, this site has a penalty factor imposed on the "hotness" score used by the system to determine if a question on this site should be selected for Hot Network Questions: once a question's score is calculated, it's reduced by 45% before being compared against other sites' questions.
This was set way back in around 2014, when this site used to accept questions of a more subjective nature and there were concerns about this site's questions dominating the overall list of hot network questions at any given time, since these subjective questions would often receive lots of votes causing the algorithm to select them. This site is one of just three on the network with this type of limitation from Hot Network Questions; the only other two sites are Stack Overflow (due to its massive traffic) and The Workplace (which still sees a lot of subjective questions).
Not only has the site's nature been wholly changed due to the site scope changes from Programmers to Software Engineering, but in 2019, massive reforms were enacted to Hot Network Questions, one of which was to explicitly restrict sites to only having five questions on the list at a time, which renders any concerns about this or any other site being overrepresented in the list obsolete. The ending effect of the penalty factor is simply to increase the required number of initial activity required for a question to be selected, and given the changes to the site's nature, this is probably no longer required.
Is this penalty factor still necessary, or can it be removed?
I've been going through the global meta for site-specific overrides to this site that date from the era when this site's nature was completely different (during the Programmers era) and asking here if those old overrides are still necessary following the changes. Such changes that are still in place today include this and the block against unregistered users asking questions.