I have spent months wondering about this mystery, and finally decided to admit defeat and ask for your help: What is the difference, according to Haaretz, between their lists of "Hot Topics" and "Most Popular"? You can observe that the two lists often overlap and contain some of the same articles, but the lists are also not identical and contain some different articles. So what is the difference, since one must exist! The headings for both lists contain the indicators "24 hours | 7 days", so you would think that one list, say "Hot Topics", would mean "most popular over the last 24 hours", while the other would mean "most popular over the last 7 days". But no, both lists have a little arrow under the "24 hours" part. My theory: Even Haaretz people don't know, only the computer people who designed the site. But they are long gone, so nobody will ever know. At least, this is my theory. Do you have a better explanation?
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