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I just reviewed an edit that clearly introduced spam into an old answer. However, the question itself was practically asking for it since it was requesting recommendations based on some subjective criteria. Presumably, this is why the question was closed - because it would attract subjective answers and spam-like recommendations. But why are these posts, question and answers alike, still editable?

Locking the question instead of just closing it seems appropriate as that would prevent edits to the question, but do the answers get locked as well? The locked-questions tag wiki says no. Having to lock the answers separately seems like an unnecessary moderation burden.

Even in the case of just a closed question, where editing is still allowed, I feel that editing should possibly be limited to the owner when in this state to prevent 1 rep users from coming along and spamming over other peoples' posts. Is this an appropriate suggestion?

Finally, for my own edification, I would like to know what is the right course of action for this specific SO question and its answers? Leave it closed and have to continually reject spam edits?

As an aside, I am annoyed with the new user who suggested the edit, but also with the reviewer (fortunately in the minority) who approved the edit. What if anything are the consequences for these users?

UPDATE: The question just got deleted, so that at least provides an unambiguous answer to how to handle that specific question. Also I now understand that the closed state is intended to be fleeting, and this seems like a rare case for which drastic restrictions on all posts are not warranted.

  • Locking the question instead of just closing it seems appropriate as that would prevent edits to the question, but do the answers get locked as well Yes, the answers are locked when a question is locked. – David Robinson Nov 1 '13 at 19:38
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    As an aside, I am annoyed with the new user who suggested the edit, but also with the reviewer (fortunately in the minority) who approved the edit. What if anything are the consequences for these users? I usually leave a comment on one of the approver's questions indicating that they approved spam, and they need to be more more vigilant in the future (although I've been called "harassing" by the approver on one occassion for doing this). If I have enough time, I'll poke through some of their other reviews and flag them for moderator attention if I see really lousy approvals. – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir Nov 1 '13 at 19:39
  • @DavidRobinson - I asked that part because the locked-questions tag wiki says otherwise. – chappjc Nov 1 '13 at 19:39
  • @LBT - To me, approving spam is a serious problem, and in these cases I think my skin would be thick enough to endure some accusations of harassment. Thanks for the tip. – chappjc Nov 1 '13 at 20:42
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This particular question seems to hold no real value, and given that it's attracting spam it's probably best to just delete the whole thing. I see no real reason to keep it around.

Most closed questions aren't spam magnets, so I don't really see a need to limit editing on closed questions in general. In those rare cases where there's a real problem the existing tools of locking/deleting content seem acceptable. If you notice a closed question that is attracting spam answers/edits/comments just flag the post for moderator attention, explain that, and allow them to deal with it as they see fit.

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  • Thanks for the advice! I'll flag for moderator attention posts like this. Interestingly, it has a net +1. I don't get these votes. – chappjc Nov 1 '13 at 19:42
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editing should be limited to the owner

This would fundamentally contradict the core model of Stack Exchange. Editing is key to quality. A closed question is not special in this regard.

If the question would benefit from improvements that would make it suitable for reopening, anyone can and should be able to make these improvements. If the question cannot be improved, then it should be deleted. Closure is meant to be a transitory state, even if this is not really the case in practice due to the lack of moderation activity: the eventual fate of a closed question is either reopening or deletion.

Locked posts cannot be edited. This is an exceptional case: locks are only used to prevent edit wars and other similar disputes, or to archive posts that are not appropriate for the site but have historical interest. >99% of closed questions are not locked and should not be.

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    Thanks for your input. Your points are well received. I have a better understanding of the closed state and it's purpose now. I see many closed posts simply rot so the intent was not clear before. – chappjc Nov 3 '13 at 1:34

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