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This is exactly the kind of question ELL is hoping to avoid. We don’t want to become a proofreading service, where we are bombarded with sentences or paragraphs from resumés, school essays, technical papers, and love letters, all asking: Is this grammatically correct?

Why past continuous as this is a general statement, would present simple fit too in this case is why put a duration?

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The present continuous (it is not past continuous) reinforces the idea that this is an ongoing hope.

P.S. The speaker can frame the statement as a "general statement" (it is our practice to discourage such questions--we don't want them) or as specific statement (we have a consistent and persistent desire to discourage such questions in the likelihood of there being an unending stream of such questions if we don't discourage them. That possibility has been on our minds. ). The sentence itself does not "belong" exclusively in the one or the other category by virtue of some intrinsic quality. Such choices of tense express what the speaker has in mind.

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First of all "is hoping" is present progressive. It's being used here in order to express that the hope is a continuous sentiment.

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