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Locking a post has very severe consequences for a post, you cannot

  • Upvote or downvote on it
  • Edit it
  • Vote to close or reopen it
  • Comment on it
  • Add new answers to it

Because of these severe consequences I usually avoid locking altogether and try to deal with the problem in other ways. Locking just has far too severe side-effects for my taste, I don't want to prevent anyone from voting or answering just because there is an edit-war on the post.

We now also have some locking reasons, ignoring the historical significance reason as it isn't relevant here, they are the following:

Content dispute

This post has been locked while disputes about its content are being resolved. For more info visit meta.

Off-topic comments

This post has been locked due to the high amount of off-topic comments generated. For extended discussions, please use chat.

Both are common reasons for locking a post, and in both cases the locking is there to prevent only a small subset of what locking actually stops.

Those locking reasons shouldn't only be a text attached to the lock, but they should also change the behaviour of the locks:

  • A lock for off-topic comments should only prevent new comments
  • A lock due to an edit war should only prevent edits to the post

This would make using those locks less disruptive, and more useful to moderators.

  • In the case of content dispute, I imagine users would start commenting, when they notice they cannot edit the post. In the case of off-topic comments, it's rare users start editing the post to add what they would add as comment. In the first case, I think that the lock on both comments and the post makes sense. – kiamlaluno Mar 6 '12 at 15:03
  • @kiamlaluno But you would e.g. want to still vote for those posts, which you can't while they are locked. – Mad Scientist Mar 6 '12 at 18:12
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    If there is an edit war, I would rather prefer users cannot vote on that post too, to avoid a down-vote revenge. – kiamlaluno Mar 6 '12 at 18:30
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This should definitely be revisited now that the "off-topic comments" lock has been revamped to have granular effects: that lock now only prevents comments, without preventing other interactions.

In my mind, it makes no sense to prevent interactions that aren't the intended target of what you're trying to curtail. In other words, the "off-topic comments" lock should only prevent comments, not new answers (for instance).

This has been recently implemented for the "off-topic comments" lock, and has been implemented for years for the "historical significance" lock, but isn't implemented for the other lock reasons. It should definitely also be done for the other lock reasons. In particular:

  • For the "content dispute" lock, it should prevent edits, but not closing and reopening or voting. Whether or not to prevent new answers is debatable (some moderators may feel that not getting to have new answers is a worthy "penalty" for causing a rollback war on one's own post), but I don't think it should be prevented, since questions are also intended to serve other future readers, and those readers shouldn't be hindered just because the author is being disruptive. Also, it hurts the author if they're not involved in the dispute (it's between third parties only).

  • For the "wiki answer" lock, it makes no sense to me whatsoever why one would want to prevent edits and voting on the question. The sole purpose to me for this lock is to prevent new answers, and it seems like this was implemented as a sort of ad-hoc solution given the tools of the time to disallow answers without marking the question as being "unsuitable" for the site (as well as being moderator-only). Like the answers, the question should also be open to edits, and voting should also be allowed. Additionally, it may make sense to also allow closing and reopening.

This leaves behind locks without notices (posts deleted via spam/rude flags, migration-related automatic locks, locks where the post notice has been manually removed, as well as older manual locks from the time the "lock" option was just a single button without the ability to choose a reason). For those, the current behavior is fine.

Can we please have this for the other lock reasons?


Was going to post a new request asking for this, but I found that this request already exists, so I'm bringing attention to it again.

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