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I know that questions can be closed but was wondering if the same applies to answers too; if there are no such operations for answers, what similar options do users have?

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3  
A closed question prevents new answers. What would a closed answer do? –  Mysticial Nov 30 '12 at 4:44
    
What do you intend to accomplish by closing answers, however that would work? –  In silico Nov 30 '12 at 4:47
    
I just wanted to know if the operation applies to comments and if not if similar operations exist. I am studying the stackoverflow data dumps for experiments. –  AbdulFattah Popoola Nov 30 '12 at 4:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Any post can be locked by a moderator so that no new activity can occur on it, including voting, editing and commenting. As far as answers go, this is done mostly to 'freeze the action' while content disputes are being resolved, or to curtail a stream of off topic, noisy comments.

Any lock on an answer would be temporary, if something was fundamentally wrong with the answer that continued causing problems, the most likely solution would be deleting it until it was edited to not cause whatever problem it was causing.

If you see an answer that shows evidence of an edit war or excessive commenting, flag it for moderator attention to let us know.

However, no - answers can't be closed like questions.

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The point of closing questions is to prevent new answers from coming. CLoseworthy questions tend to attract answers that make the situation worse--to stop this derailing into madness we close them.

What would closing an answer do? Sure, you can lock an answer (prevent comments/edits), but that is only for really popular answers.

If you don't like an answer, downvote it. If it's spam/offensive/not answering the question, flag it.

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Thanks for the lock information; that's a hint in the right direction for me. –  AbdulFattah Popoola Nov 30 '12 at 4:55
    
@AbdulFattahPopoola: Why do you want to lock an answer? Could you give me a link? Locking is only for some rare use cases. –  Manishearth Nov 30 '12 at 4:56
    
I need to do data mining of stack overflow data and I am looking for outliers in the data. That's why the question arose. –  AbdulFattah Popoola Nov 30 '12 at 5:00
    
@AbdulFattahPopoola: Ah :) Here's an example of a locked answer, Note that the entire question was locked at a later date. –  Manishearth Nov 30 '12 at 5:01
    
Awesome! Thanks a lot; you've been quite helpful. –  AbdulFattah Popoola Nov 30 '12 at 5:06

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