Currently, only moderators can see lock timers, and that's only for questions.

Temporary locks on answers not showing lock duration

When a post is locked, it frequently causes consternation and frustration to users, as they feel their avenue to discuss things freely has been blocked. Mainly on meta. Often locks are just to slow things down when comments get out of hand (abusive) or a post is being continually vandalized, to give people time to go for a walk or sleep on it and come back with a better perspective.

It's then up to mods to explain it's temporary. In the case of answers it's up to the mod who locked the post to explain that to other mods! As they cannot see if the lock is permanent or not.

Can we please make the timer on all locked posts visible to all users? Including the permanent locks. It would make all our lives easier.

  • As a posible improvement, can the link to chat in the lock description be to an actual functioning chat room? Getting redirected to the main chat page doesn't add much Feb 20, 2019 at 8:07
  • 1
    @AnderBiguri perhaps the help section on chat? But yeh a functioning chat room is hard, as they serve so many differing purposes. I agree with you thought, that makes total sense.
    – user310756
    Feb 20, 2019 at 8:21

3 Answers 3


I'd rather not give this information to people who are eagerly awaiting the lock's expiration so they can get right back to their comment argument or edit war or whatever. The goal of the lock is to delay things long enough that they cool down (or forget about it and move on); giving them a timer seems counter to that.

But I agree that it's not clear enough that locks are not forever. As a moderator I've had to explain that to agitated users on meta or in chat. We need to give them better information up front.

I think it's sufficient to add the word "temporarily" to the notice. Or, for perma-locks, "permanently". Keeping it vague also allows for the case of moderators deciding to lift a lock early when the problem has been resolved, rather than giving people the impression that they have to wait a week (or whatever).

  • 3
    Yes, agree, this is the perfect solution. Can we have this? Can you add to your answer that we can lift locks early when there's been a resolution surrounding a post?
    – user310756
    Feb 20, 2019 at 2:19
  • 3
    @YvetteColomb added. Feb 20, 2019 at 2:21
  • But can we add lock timers for answers that are only visible to moderators? Mar 10, 2019 at 16:49
  • @smileycreations15 if lock notices on questions and answers are behaving differently, that sounds like a bug to me. Mar 10, 2019 at 17:36

This is now with the rollout of the new post notices:

"Locked for 6 days"

This applies to both questions and answers: as you can see, the screenshot above was taken from an answer.

Hovering over the number of days will show the date and time it will be unlocked.


Let us not.

You're forgetting an important class of people. Students who just remove the code they shouldn't have posted. These users just wait out the lock period and then remove the code once again. This has happened many times.

The issue is, we can't lock for a significantly long period, say a semester (5 months) or a quarter (3 months). If we had such a duration, then I agree with your assessment. Infact, showing the time would be a good deterrent in those cases.

Until we have the ability to lock for a longer period, implementing this would not be a good idea.


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