The question Update: an agreement with Monica Cellio was given a historical lock yesterday.

According to the tag wiki for ,

A historical lock preserves older content that was very popular when it was originally posted, but is now off-topic or otherwise out of scope for the site it is posted on. Historically locking a post ends the debate over whether a question should be kept on the site or deleted, and is often the final state of a question that has been deleted and undeleted more than once.

I'm not sure how this applies to the post in question. The post is not a highly-popular older post that was on-topic when it was posted but that has become off-topic due to drift in Meta Stack Exchange's scope, it is recent post (<1 month old) that has been very unpopular (-1790 net score).

How does this question meet the criteria for a historical lock? Is there something better we can do with it?

To be clear, I'm not trying to restart debate on the underlying controversy that triggered the question, I'm just questioning the disposition of this particular question.

  • 16
    There are no custom lock messages yet, and I certainly understand the need to lock that post indefinitely. I don't think there's another lock with a more applicable message that lasts indefinitely.
    – Erik A
    Jan 10, 2020 at 15:08
  • 5
    I'd argue that that the number of answers/comments mean it's 'popular' - and that after 3 pages of answers and several hundred comments it's certainly not something neglected. In this case though, I can't think of another way to get the same effect despite what the label says Jan 10, 2020 at 15:58
  • 8
    They can make 2-D rendered hats for Winter you spin around and pull out all kinds of magic on a dime...but someone apparently can't write a SQL INSERT statement to add another close reason to the table. I see. Jan 10, 2020 at 19:10
  • 3
    Note that all comments on that post were also historically deleted for good measure
    – Boaz
    Jan 11, 2020 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


The Q&A format we use for meta support plays a lot of roles it wasn't really designed to handle seamlessly, but we've mixed and reused these tools to get a lot of functionality out of this site.

In this case, the post wasn't so much a "question", but an announcement informing folks of the agreement reached. The Q&A format allowed folks to react and request clarification if the post was not clear. But there are no "custom locks", per se, to say exactly that.

The relevant part of that notice is to preserve the final state of the post while helping assure the information is retained on the site for the folks who come after. There isn't yet a persistent lock with a more applicable message to serve that purpose.

  • 7
    Relatedly/non-sequitur: any reason why it wasn't just locked to begin with? I don't think that community "feedback" on a post like that would go very far.
    – Makoto
    Jan 10, 2020 at 16:41
  • 6
    @Makoto >The Q&A format allowed folks to react and request clarification if the post was not clear. Jan 10, 2020 at 16:42
  • 4
    While I doubt that any post/question/comment there was aimed at clarifying anything...I suppose I'll acquiesce and bow out on that one.
    – Makoto
    Jan 10, 2020 at 16:50
  • 3
    The first thing that happened in the comments was an SE employee stating that they couldn't comment beyond the initial statement for legal reasons. There was no room at all there for clarification as both sides are prohibited from talking about this. Jan 10, 2020 at 17:11
  • 13
    I would be seriously surprised if users actually preferred that we lock "announcements" from the start (thus blocking any voting, comments, and answers), but I will pass on that feedback. Jan 10, 2020 at 17:15
  • 10
    I think announcing from the start that there'd be x days for feedback after which it will be locked would have been reasonable. Doing this without any indication for the reason on the post itself is somewhat weird, especially when the user posting the question does it themselves, which under regular circumstances is not done by mods to avoid conflicts of interest. Jan 10, 2020 at 17:21
  • 5
    @VikingoSsaysReinstateMonica Please keeps comments to the subject of the post. There's no need to have folks come into every thread to derail it with sidebars just to make a point. Jan 10, 2020 at 18:17
  • 9
    @Makoto Regardless of the reasons for not locking it right away, it was the correct choice IMO. People on MSE would have flipped out had SE posted that and promptly locked it. At least keeping it open allowed people to vent and vote and commiserate. Jan 10, 2020 at 18:51
  • 4
    @Rubiksmoose Yes +1. I could not have said it better myself. Jan 10, 2020 at 18:55
  • 4
    We kinda considered locking it at a few points - I think it was my first use of a comment lock. It's a balance between giving folks space but also trying to keep things civil. I don't think it was ideal , but it was the least terrible option Jan 10, 2020 at 19:02
  • 6
    @JourneyManGeek So... you really don't see a problem with deleting a comment when it's asked (on topic) why not only has it been historical locked but voting disabled. I think the passive gathering of data to see just how mad people are is legitimately interesting. This network is deleting content at a really disturbing rate and it's gotten everyone to try to vote by changing their names to complain. Isn't it better to be able to vote by voting? Jan 10, 2020 at 20:27
  • 3
    @HostileForksaysdonttrustSE On this post, voting has little meaning anymore. Unless something miraculously drastic happens, it will only accumulate more downvotes. -hundreds is an emphatic disapproval, -thousands is extreme disapproval that few posts have ever come close to. There's no meaningful difference in the data given by a post with -1500 and -2500. Besides that, mods do not have the ability to lock questions, comments, and answers but preserve voting even if they wanted to. Jan 10, 2020 at 20:59
  • 6
    @Rubiksmoose Well...I disagree; e.g. I think the data still has meaning. But I was referring to the fact that even on this tangential thread, a seemingly innocuous remark by me was culled within minutes of making it. I don't expect every remark to be preserved, and especially when it is some socially complex topic. But the deletion is seeming really, really over the top. And so we're having to resort to drastic measures where it seems someone would be stepping in and going "okay, mea culpa." Instead we have people saying "Well, we did what we had to, and...be quiet all y'all." Jan 10, 2020 at 21:16
  • Let's be clear. There was no law that said that the settlement had to be shaped that way. Both the content and the form of the published message were presumably negotiated. I don't blame anyone for what came out of the negotiation. But I don't want anyone to think that it had to be the way it ended up. Human beings made decisions, and the result was that both sides agreed not to comment further. Jan 12, 2020 at 6:20
  • 8
    Upvoting, just to support you. Meaningless, but well, meaning has left the building when you and shog got the chance to work in a better place.
    – GhostCat
    Jan 13, 2020 at 20:15

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