I've been using S.O. for a few years, and one thing which I have noticed these last few quarters, is that more and more questions get closed faster and faster.
The questions closed are not just the typical "do my homework for me" from some kind of "reputation 0" guy. They can be very interesting, come with references, explain what has been found so far, missing points, guidance, etc. More and more often, I stumble upon interesting questions I can't even answer due to them being closed "on sight".
This is happening especially on S.O. proper. I'm not commenting for affiliate sites.
My theory is that S.O. may be experiencing the equivalent of a money devaluation problem. It's kind of inevitable, since the system distributes much more points than it takes away. Simply said, too many points have been accumulated overtime. As a consequence, it's becoming too easy for too many people to lock others. And some of them just "experience their right to silence others". It's no longer a pondered choice, rather along the line : "I don't like that, let's annoy the guy, after all it's free, I still have a gazillion points to use."
I know there are a few limitations to avoid extreme behaviors, but you get the idea : too many points distributed = too many people having the cheap right to use their power against others (and typically against newcomers).
So, now to the question : if it is an inflation problem, maybe inflation rules could be used? For instance, instead of having a fixed threshold to get some offensive powers, and a fixed cost, maybe these threshold and cost could evolve overtime, taking into consideration the amount of "money" (points) available on the site?
[Edit] Sorry, I wasn't accurate enough. I meant "closing", not locking. But the question is more about dealing with inflating number of points accumulated and using offensive powers.