This may seem like an attempt at trolling for reputation, but I recently posted a fun, offtopic question (that I tagged as such), It was similar to an existing question, but I thought it was different enough to stand on it's own. However, I quickly got 5 close votes, then a fury of comments and then it was Locked.

I do agree that marking this particular question as Locked probably was best because the comments were getting out of control. However, I still like the question and think it has some value.

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    Link to the question? – cletus Jul 7 '09 at 14:35
  • If it has value, rephrase it. Don't present it as a joke or as "fun." – Sampson Jul 7 '09 at 14:39
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    Believe me, it wasn't fun. – nb69307 Jul 7 '09 at 14:47
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    This is the appeals process. – user102937 Jun 12 '10 at 19:45
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    @Robert: We are the brute squad. – Andrew Grimm Feb 25 '11 at 8:08

No, there is a vote to reopen process. If it got locked then either it got a ton of negative votes or a moderator intervened and locked it (or maybe it hit some comment/edit velocity threshold). You could try appealling to the SO team but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Fun, off-topic questions don't stand by the merit of being unlike any other fun, off-topic question. Only a few are tolerated and most of them are disputed. Only a very few will survive. First and foremost, SO is for programming questions.

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  • Openness: I locked it (for a short while) because it got a ton of negative votes + flags + comments. So the vote process was indeed stalled for a little while. – Marc Gravell Jul 7 '09 at 14:55
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    The ones that survive are the ones that have been around for a LONG time. All recent attempts to let 'fun' invade our SO cubby have been repulsed. – devinb Jul 7 '09 at 15:10
  • That's not true. The wedding cake one is relatively recent (less than 2 months?). – cletus Jul 7 '09 at 17:19

In this particular case, I took the (unusual) decision to add a comment and lock it because:

  • it was getting a lot of negative responses (including every type of flag) from the community
  • it was very similar to an existing open question
  • it had been rapidly closed by the community
  • a comment war was developing
  • it was destined to yoyo
  • I didn't want to simply delete it, as that provides no visibility to the OP

For completeness, I also (by e-mail) pointed the user at "meta", so this was by no means a silent / nameless action, without any chance of appeal.

I don't, however, imagine that question being popular.

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  • FYI - I support Marc's action to close it and his suggestion to raise the topic on meta. He emailed me back right away. – Kevin Hakanson Jul 7 '09 at 17:10
  • For the record: I didn't close it; the community did. I locked it because a war broke out. – Marc Gravell Jul 7 '09 at 20:29

Except in locked posts you are more than free to use the comments to plead your case and then have the ruling overturned by getting enough reopen votes. We don't need a new judicial system on top of that.

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    The problem is that most questions are only hot when they are first put up - after that if they are closed there is no way for them to surface. One way to allow that to happen would be to allow the self-comment to push the question back to the top again once or twice. – ondesertverge May 9 '10 at 13:11

I believe there should be a method for users, other than the person who asked the question, to start a process to reopen a Closed question.

The mechanism for Closing and Locking questions is a powerful tool for maintaining order in the Stack World. But it one without a check on it.

It should be possible to start a "Reopen" vote. If this vote is successful, then the question would be "Reopen".

Some thought would need to be given to this mechanism to ensure that we don't see the equivalent of Wikipedia's revert wars.

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Leave your appeal in the comments to the question, if it's closed.

Locking happens by Moderator action, and there is no appeal other than to post it here (as it should be).

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