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When comparing the strengths of acids such HOI and HOCl, the electronegativities of the Cl or I ions is important because these atoms pull electrons away from the HO bond toward themselves. This weakens the bond between the O and H atoms. The weaker the bond is, the stronger the acid will be since it will be easier for the H proton to dissociate. Therefore, the compound possessing the atom with higher electronegativity, which would be HOCl in this case, will be a stronger acid.
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