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A post can be locked.

  • What does it mean to lock a post?
  • Who can lock a post?
  • When should a post be locked?

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migrated from Sep 16 '09 at 16:46

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

See also: What is a historical lock, and what is it used for? – gerrit Nov 16 '12 at 22:11

What does it mean to lock a post?

A question or answer which is locked can no longer accept:

  • edits
  • up-votes, down-votes
  • comments, comment up-votes
  • new answers (questions only)
  • close votes, reopen votes (questions only)

In the case of locked questions, the (unlocked) answers are not bounded to these restrictions.

Locked posts can later be unlocked by moderators, or can be configured to be locked temporarily. Common temporary locking periods are 1 hour, 24 hours, or 1 week.

Who can lock a post?

Only diamond moderators can lock or unlock posts.

When should a post be locked?

Posts should generally only be locked in cases where something seriously bad is happening. In particular, where the ongoing updates and edits are actively detrimental to the system.

Some examples of when a post might be locked include:

  • A question or answer where repeated voting or editing is happening in a way which attempts to game, hack, or otherwise abuse the system.
  • A question that gets opened and closed repeatedly many times without achieving community consensus on whether it should stay open or closed.
  • A question that, for whatever reason, continues to attract flame posts, spam, or other inappropriate answers.
  • A question that is repeatedly vandalized by its asker; for example, to drastically alter the meaning of the question that invalidates existing answers, or to obliterate/obscure the question.

Another type of locked post is a merged question. When a moderator merges two questions that are exact duplicates, all the answers are moved to one question and the other question is left as a "stub," with no answers. The stub question is locked.

What if I disagree with the lock applied to a post?

If you have a justifiable reason that a post should be unlocked, you should flag it for moderator attention using the "flag" link underneath the post. Select the "other" flag reason, and provide a detailed explanation of your rationale in the textbox provided.

A moderator will review your flag, and if they agree with your arguments, unlock the post.

Note that the above does not apply to posts that are locked due to historical significance, in which there is no option to flag.

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If "Only diamond moderators can lock or unlock posts", why do I see posts that are "Locked by Community ♦"? This question is not addressed either here or in Who is the community user?. – gerrit Jan 28 '13 at 12:19
@gerrit Well, Community is a Diamond mod too, right? What's wrong with being a robot? – Undo May 31 '13 at 21:36
@gerrit this happens on several cases like 6 spam/offensive flags causing automatic lock and deletion of the post and also in case of migration, the post on the source site is getting auto locked. – Shadow Wizard Oct 28 '13 at 22:27
@ShadowWizard Why don't just delete those annoying questions. – Ave Maleficum Mar 11 '14 at 13:52
@Ave sorry not sure what you mean. Spam question is getting deleted too, migrated question is deleted automatically after 30 days, where those 30 days are "grace period" to allow undoing of the migration. – Shadow Wizard Mar 11 '14 at 13:55

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