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After flagging -- What should be the path about asking for a historical lock on a question?

Because asking questions like: Should "What is the best Python book for experienced programmers?" get a historical lock? and Can `What's your favorite “abandoned rule”?` get a historical lock? seem just to get downvoted.

What should the appropriate path be for these types of queries?

Should there be one meta post for all, or should each question be asked about individually?

share|improve this question
Erm, you've been around Meta long enough to know that downvotes mean something different around here... Specifically, they indicate agreement or disagreement, which makes absolutely perfect and intuitive sense when it comes to questions like either those examples. Obviously people are downvoting to indicate that they don't feel the question should get a historical lock. (I downvoted this question because I felt like you should know better.) – Cody Gray Mar 22 '12 at 18:18
@amana: There are a number of reasons why a historical lock might be used on a post, but my litmus test (especially on already deleted questions) is Criteria #3 from Jeff Atwood's "We Hate Fun Here" blog post, which is: "Does this question teach me anything that could make me better at my job? Can I learn something from it?" – Robert Harvey Mar 22 '12 at 18:20
@CodyGray I know that voting means something different on meta. Usually because of disagreement not because of knowing better – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Mar 22 '12 at 18:25
@RobertHarvey most of those deleted questions do have intrinsic value. – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Mar 22 '12 at 18:25
Yes, but there's going to be no movement on these questions unless they are individually considered. If you feel strongly about some or all of them, my advice is to first cast a flag against each one, explaining in detail why that particular question is deserving of a historical lock. Or, you can take the other route and ask an individual meta question for each, if you think you can do that without terminally irritating the community. – Robert Harvey Mar 22 '12 at 18:36
@RobertHarvey seems like any question that I personaly ask is taken as a slight to the community at large. so I am going to refrain from that for a bit. But flagging I can do as I see fit. – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Mar 22 '12 at 18:37
Voting because of disagreement is exactly what I discussed in my last comment. The ending parenthetical was flippant; I was just explaining my downvote and condemnatory attitude towards this question. We all know that you can downvote for any reason you want to. – Cody Gray Mar 23 '12 at 2:07
See also – Robert Harvey Mar 23 '12 at 17:49

Use your close/open and delete/undelete votes first.

If that fails to produce an acceptable result, flag the question. Explain in the flag why you think your suggested action should be taken, whatever that is (historical lock, deletion, undeletion, etc).

If that still fails to produce a satisfactory result, ask on Meta.

If you prefer that the community attempt to reach a consensus instead of moderators making the decision for you, ask on meta. Some mods will decline flags if it is apparent that an attempt was not made to resolve the issue first through normal community actions.

You can't do it with one meta post, unless there is some defining characteristic about all of the questions that can be an agreed-upon basis for a decision. I think you have to evaluate each one individually.

share|improve this answer
"If you prefer that the community attempt to reach a consensus instead of moderators making the decision for you" Shouldn't we always? I mean, a never-ending cycle of delete-undelete votes is one of the things we're trying to avoid with the historical protection feature in the first place, right? And we don't really want to force moderators to have to make the call on their own in response to a flag, do we? No matter how good the justification provided in that "other" box is. – Cody Gray Mar 23 '12 at 2:09
@CodyGray: A never-ending cycle of delete-undelete votes is a good sign that consensus may not be achieved, even if you post on meta. The Historical Lock is intended to end the debate, satisfying both sides by preserving the question without making it a broken window. Therefore, consensus is not required for moderators to invoke the historical lock. – Robert Harvey Mar 23 '12 at 2:13
@CodyGray: See also – Robert Harvey Mar 23 '12 at 17:49

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