127

We have just released a new type of post lock on meta sites called the Policy Lock. This lock can only be used by our Community Team, and when applied to a question or answer it will prevent any edits from being made to the post by anyone (including moderators) with the exception of our Community Team. Answering, commenting, and voting will not be affected by this lock, though additional locks to limit these activities can be added to a post that already has a Policy Lock in place. The determination of when this lock will be applied to a post will be made by the Community Leadership Team during the internal review process of such policies and communications.

Policy lock has been applied to this post, both because it is relevant here, and to give an example of how it looks.

This new lock is coming to solve a couple of issues:

  • This lock will leave a distinct artifact on the post-level for official company statements or policies posted on metas sites indicating the provenance of the post. In the past we have run into issues where authors for such posts have subsequently left the company, after which there is no way for a user to know from the post that it was an official statement of the company.
  • For sensitive issues or for policies where the exact wording is deliberate, we need to have a way to ensure that no one unauthorized to do so can make an edit. Even well-intentioned grammatical changes or tweaks to language can end up introducing significant changes to the interpretation of a post. We need to be able to ensure policies and other official communications stay exactly as we wrote them to ensure accuracy and validity.
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  • 18
    Hi, good change. Can I ask if older post would be changed to reflect this change ? I have in mind where ex-staff answered that a feature X would not be done in example – yagmoth555 Jun 11 at 18:53
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    FWIW, I proposed this last year : meta.stackexchange.com/questions/334387/… – Robert Columbia Jun 11 at 19:08
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    Is there any reason why this lock needs to exist on per-site metas? Generally, the community team does not set policies applying only to one site. – pppery Jun 11 at 19:11
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    @kiamlaluno I know,; I just see no purpose for this lock on any meta site other than MSE itself, and commented accordingly. – pppery Jun 11 at 19:16
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    I suggest posting a "dummy" staff answer to this question, which you'll apply this lock on. This way the community will have the complete example set, and may help finding out bugs/give feedback, etc – Jenayah Jun 11 at 19:29
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    Sounds like a solution in need of a problem, since I've never seen destructive edits on official policy communications, but have seen grammar and spelling corrections by the community. It's nice to have the note on top, though, and perhaps I've missed destructive edits that were quickly reverted. – Erik A Jun 11 at 19:45
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    It concerns me that this will be (mis)used by SE to lock politically charged statements made in advance of the upcoming US election – Richard Jun 11 at 20:31
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    @Richard considering the recent atmosphere worldwide and the latest blog from the CEO, not to mention last year's kerfuffle, I have no doubt what the true intent of this lock is, and it goes way beyond the US elections. – Skooba Jun 11 at 21:02
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    Y'all did notice you can post and answer right? Seems a terribly useless tool for suppressing speech if you can start claiming it is to suppress freedom of speech right in the comments. All this is is an edit lock – Journeyman Geek Jun 11 at 22:24
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    @ErikA I have seen at least once on what was clearly a policy post where there were "well-intentioned grammatical changes or tweaks to language can end up introducing significant changes to the interpretation of a post", as described in this question's second bullet point. The edit I'm referring to was made by a high-rep user and I reverted it. However, such an edit would have easily been prevented by the application of one of the existing lock types. I think such an edit is much less likely to be made by a moderator on a locked post. – Makyen Jun 12 at 4:27
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    The point of making announcements visible by other means then the post owner would simply be solved by a mod-only tag. Policy that needs its exact wording to remain, can simply be put in a quote block. So this is way over the top for the things you want to achieve. It almost feels like you distrust us, which is something that deviates from the positive trend of mutual trust you recently managed to start. – Luuklag Jun 12 at 9:48
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    @Luuklag this is intended to be used sparingly, and is actually something that we need in place to be able to continue to post more policies and important communications on Meta. As Makyen pointed out, sometimes well-intentioned edits can actually lead to changing the way in which a post can be interpreted. Not meant as a sign of distrust. – Yaakov Ellis Jun 12 at 9:51
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    @Jenayah I added an answer below and policy locked it to show how it looks on an answer. – Yaakov Ellis Jun 12 at 9:56
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    Although I'm no longer active here, I'm still occasionally visiting, because I can always learn something. Today, I learned what "Hobson's choice" means. – Marco13 Jun 13 at 22:36
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16 Answers 16

118

adding an answer

to model the appearance

of the new lock here

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    @Luuklag the lock only prevents edits. Comments, answers (on questions) and votes are still fine. But you shouldn't take my word on it: if you don't believe me, try upvoting this answer. – Yaakov Ellis Jun 12 at 9:59
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    I can confirm that, both up and down, voting works :) – Luuklag Jun 12 at 10:00
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    I find that the block above each post is a little distracting. Maybe it should be hidden by default. – S.S. Anne Jun 12 at 17:19
  • To note, the accepted mark now done there make my report a bit more hard to see, but it can be a challenge on question started by non-staff members, and harder to spot the official's answer on such Q/A. – yagmoth555 Jun 12 at 17:21
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    That answers my question as to whether it can be applied to answers too. Thanks. – Chipster Jun 14 at 3:54
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    @S.S.Anne I disagree, but if you want to suggest that I think it should be in a separate answer instead of a comment. – Mast Jun 16 at 8:32
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    I see what you haiku there. – Bernard Vander Beken Jun 16 at 15:15
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    [edit] -> "Post is locked". Shall it instead open a form for suggested edit, so the team can review the change and approve/reject it? – Vi. Jun 23 at 22:23
256

Emphasise the "official" bit, de-emphasise the "lock" bit

Update: The language and appearance of the policy notice has been updated to be very close to what has been suggested here (see above for exact appearance)

In my opinion, the more important thing here is "This is not your average question, this is an important message".

The current wording, icon, and initial bolded word "Locked" all emphasise the wrong part. Perhaps instead it should include the company or site logo, a rubber stamp icon, or something similar.

Here's a mockup:

"Official post" sample notice with Stack Exchange logo

Update:

As implemented:

enter image description here

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  • 84
    In its current form, it seems as a declaration of mistrust in the users/community. That's why my first reaction was negative when reading the post. – Andreas Jun 12 at 14:58
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    This definitely needs to happen. Excellent mockup; fantastic suggestion. Thank you so much. I hope the [status-review] tag quickly becomes [status-completed]. – Cody Gray Jun 15 at 0:41
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    My concern with this phrasing is that people won't understand why we don't use it on all staff posts. The intent is for this to be extremely rare and only used when editing may change the meaning of the post unintentionally. – Catija Jun 15 at 0:43
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    Yeah, valid concern. Maybe sprinkle even more "official' or "StackOverflow HQ" or "company-approved" or similar wordings, to further create the distinction between "one of our staff members doing their thing" and "people in suits spent a long time thinking about this one". – Steve Bennett Jun 15 at 0:50
  • @SteveBennett SE staff members don't all wear suits? – Rand al'Thor Jun 15 at 11:00
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    I sure hope not. – Steve Bennett Jun 15 at 12:10
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    FWIW, I have never seen anyone in in the company wearing a suit to work – Yaakov Ellis Jun 15 at 12:23
  • Even legal? I'm impressed. – Steve Bennett Jun 15 at 23:37
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    Legal doesn't go to work, Legal lives to work ;) @SteveBennett – Luuklag Jun 16 at 7:42
  • I like this mockup and view it very distinctly from "all staff posts", to @catija's point. I'm not sure if I can even tell the difference between a community moderator and a staffer just by looking at one of their posts. When I see a blue diamond, it lends a post or comment one kind of "official-ness", which is distinct from this kind of mockup. – kojiro Jun 16 at 17:26
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    I like the logo and the emphasis of "official post", but otherwise I can see @Catija's point and the current phrasing mostly does that job better. Perhaps we could strike a balance between the two: "Official post. This question is an official policy or communication, so it is locked and can only be edited by staff. It is still accepting answers, comments, and other interactions. Learn more." – V2Blast Jun 18 at 2:45
  • As implied by the responses to this answer, as well as a problem stated in the question (after someone leaves it's unclear that they were posting officially), it sounds like SE needs an equivalent of reddit's admin-distinguish that doesn't imply locking as well, perhaps? – Xiong Chiamiov Jun 22 at 16:43
  • I also think "Locked" seems confusing. On forums, "Locked" usually means there's a problem, or the topic should not be discussed. Perhaps the bolded part could include Policy or Official so that at a glance the first thought is "this is important" instead of "this is spam"? – Nathan Hinchey Jun 22 at 17:06
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    Update: The language and appearance of the policy notice has been updated to be very close to what has been suggested here (see above for exact appearance) – Yaakov Ellis Jun 22 at 17:50
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    My little heart is warmed. – Steve Bennett Jun 23 at 0:10
102

On these locked posts, as demonstrated by this one, the "Close" button (granted by close vote privileges) has been hidden for me. I'm also told that the "Delete" button is invisible on this post, even to community moderators.

That all makes sense, but why is the "Edit" button still visible if it just yields a "This post is locked." message? Wouldn't it make sense to make it invisible as well?

Other locks, such as this historically locked question on Meta, only show "Share" for me as a non-mod. No "Edit" button is available.

All that aside, this isn't a bad addition. The rare times when a wrongful edit is made or an erroneous close vote is cast can cause some confusion when the post is about an official policy/announcement for Stack Exchange, Inc. Thank you for making an announcement and telling us about it!

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    "... with the exception of our Community Team" I can imagine that the edit button is needed for the CMs. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 11 at 19:06
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    @πάνταῥεῖ CMs probably see also the delete and close links. That is not a reason to leave edit visible to all the users who cannot edit nor suggest edits on the posts locked with the new lock. – kiamlaluno Jun 11 at 19:14
  • @kiamlaluno It's tricky to do that, because of reasons. It's easier if the link is there. – wizzwizz4 Jun 12 at 8:20
  • @πάνταῥεῖ If that's the case, maybe we could feature request that it's turned off for the rest of us but still available to the people who need it. – Chipster Jun 14 at 4:04
  • Can still be flagged for things that don't make much sense, too. (e.g. rude.) – Brondahl Jun 15 at 23:05
  • @Brondahl Yep, that's mentioned here. – Spevacus Jun 15 at 23:07
74

What should users do if they believe that a Policy Locked post needs an update?

  • Should they flag the question for moderator attention?
  • Should they ask a new question on the Meta site proposing a change?
  • Should they use the Contact link to directly petition the Community Team?
  • Should they comment on the post?
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    Option #4: comment on the post and pray. – John Dvorak Jun 11 at 19:12
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    @Machavity That doesn't appear to be the case: "prevent any edits from being made to the post by anyone (including moderators)" (although presumably, if you raise a mod flag, the moderators will escalate it to staff, which they have a process for doing) – pppery Jun 11 at 19:13
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    Can confirm, mods can't edit these... I tried :P @pppery since meta questions allow for much more explanation + community input (votes, answers) then a moderator flag, I'm inclined to say to post on meta, and flag for a moderator to status-review tag it when it seems to have enough support. – Tinkeringbell Jun 11 at 19:14
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    Mods can't edit. I suspect a comment would be fastest unless it was something sensitive. If we get flags we will need to pass it on to staff via the cm team – Journeyman Geek Jun 11 at 19:15
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    If you feel that the post needs an update, please comment on it – Yaakov Ellis Jun 12 at 9:24
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    @Yaakov Who will get notified by that comment? The post owner, who might have left the company? (which iiuc is the whole point?) Or will comments on posts with this lock notify a global CM inbox / tracking system? If the latter then that's a positive step indeed; if the former, then that amounts to saying "please send any feedback to /dev/null", no? – E.P. Jun 16 at 10:09
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    @E.P. good question, and still something that we are trying to work out in a future-proof manner. For the time being, all policy locked questions will be followed by a number of members of the Community team, but this point is something that we have already flagged for follow up and resolution. Definitely not intended to go to /dev/null. – Yaakov Ellis Jun 16 at 10:22
  • @YaakovEllis Thanks for the quick response. That's a reassuring answer in both its short- and long-term aspects. I would suggest adding a short paragraph about this (what to do if such a thread needs updating, and what that does on the back-end) to the question on this thread. – E.P. Jun 16 at 10:54
49

It's probably worth adding some points about this new lock type to Help Center article about locks, especially since the lock banner contains a direct link to it.

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36

How commonly will this be used? For example, should we expect every or nearly every post by the Community Team to be Policy Locked as a matter of course, or will this be something that is used only on the most problematic posts?

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    Given the overwhelming volume of edits on employee posts have been helpful in the past, I would guess there is one specific scenario in mind, although perhaps it will have some utility elsewhere in the future. – Shog9 Jun 11 at 21:32
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    @Shog9 There were no destructive or otherwise inappropriate edits made to even that question... – Cody Gray Jun 12 at 1:59
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    That's almost certainly irrelevant, @cody. Two things I've learned in life: if you want peace, never call the cops and never call the lawyers. – Shog9 Jun 12 at 2:07
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    A lock a day keeps the cops away? I still don't see how this "solution" solves the problem. – Cody Gray Jun 12 at 7:26
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    This is intended to only be used on select policy posts and communications. It will definitely not be applied as a rule on all posts by the Community team. – Yaakov Ellis Jun 12 at 9:23
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    @YaakovEllis The problem here is that (as you know) the SE userbase is a lot less trusting towards the company than it was a year or two ago. When something like this is announced, it might be a perfectly well-meaning thing to preserve clarity of important announcements, or it might be a plan for something more nefarious. You'll get a lot more cynics jumping to the latter conclusion now. The fact that it doesn't affect commenting or voting definitely helps there, but the question of "why is this needed?" is hovering in everyone's mind, with a number of possible conjectured answers. – Rand al'Thor Jun 12 at 15:56
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    @Shog9 Permanently locked at score -1776. Symbolic? – chrylis -cautiouslyoptimistic- Jun 12 at 19:09
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    In a sense, @chrylis. A watershed. – Shog9 Jun 14 at 2:15
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    @CodyGray If someone is only concerned that the content be inviolable by editing, closing or deleting, this solution is perfect. And that's the case here. – Catija Jun 15 at 1:01
32

As we have one example of a locked answer...

Could we make it act like an accepted answer? To be maybe pin it under an accepted answer, but atleast be on top of other ones.

It would be easier to find an official answer this way. I ask this as sometimes an official answer can be downvoted a lot. Being able to see the official answer should be easy, even when it's not the accepted answer.

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    In the past, the staff member just accepted the 'official policy' answer. That doesn't help if it is a self-answer, but there are other tricks for that ... – Glorfindel Jun 14 at 7:19
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    @Glorfindel also doesn't help if non-staff asked the question. :) – Catija Jun 15 at 1:02
  • @Catija why a non-staff question would get this lock? – Vylix Jun 16 at 6:35
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    @Vylix The question wouldn't... the answer might... this answer is about answers, not questions. – Catija Jun 16 at 6:37
30

I can flag this question as spam or rude/abusive. I don't think that's intentional – other locked posts I can only flag for moderator attention.

enter image description here

enter image description here

(flag has been retracted meanwhile)

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    The same is true for NAA flags on answers. – janw Jun 12 at 11:30
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    This is actually a feature. If an employee "goes off the deep end" and starts posting abusive nonsense, hate speech, or gibberish, the community will still be able to nuke it with 6 red flags. I've worked at enough companies to know that this does happen. Maybe it doesn't happen very often, but it does happen, and the chances are pretty good that it will happen at Stack Exchange someday. – Robert Columbia Jun 12 at 12:07
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    @JanWichelmann well spotted. In that particular case, the mobile apps have an edge vs. the website; you can only flag for moderator attention (as expected). – Glorfindel Jun 12 at 13:55
13

To expand on my comment

The point of making announcements visible by other means then the post owner would simply be solved by a mod-only tag. Policy that needs its exact wording to remain, can simply be put in a quote block. So this is way over the top for the things you want to achieve. It almost feels like you distrust us, which is something that deviates from the positive trend of mutual trust you recently managed to start.

To which Yaakov Ellis♦ replied

@Luuklag this is intended to be used sparingly, and is actually something that we need in place to be able to continue to post more policies and important communications on Meta. As Makyen pointed out, sometimes well-intentioned edits can actually lead to changing the way in which a post can be interpreted. Not meant as a sign of distrust.


I would love to see any evidence to back up this need. So how many questions are there that would have benefited from this type of lock. Or is this all hypothetical "Lawyer precautions"?

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6

Could these posts, when the lock is applied by CMs, get an automatic special tag like maybe "Company Policy Statement" or "Official Policy" or something so that searches can be made easily for such documents by tag ?

This is explicitly something beyond the existing "policy" tag, which may cover debate or suggestions on policy, whereas this special tag would cover statements of company policy on subjects.

Combinations of existing tags do cover the properties, but they do not make searching convenient and would not necessarily exclude posts that are not official policy statements.

I think it's a good idea in general to explicitly state in this manner (and with the lock) that a post is the decision for a policy (hopefully after an open debate, but that's a different issue) and not currently likely to change.

I still hope that general policy will be largely directed by member input and debate.

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    That has to be the most meta of meta tags I've ever seen in my days. If I want to find their official policy, Google might be a better reach than more tags. – Makoto Jun 11 at 22:27
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    Assuming they continue to use the policy tag (and I don't have reason to think they'd stop), you could search hasnotice:1 [policy] – Em C Jun 11 at 22:30
  • @EmC I was not even aware you could do that and I suspect the vast majority of people who want to check official policy won't know how to do that either. A simple tag would perhaps be better (although we're all wary of just continuing to increase tag numbers being non-ideal). – StephenG Jun 11 at 23:39
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    There is a [announcements] tag, created some time back with this express purpose. I think that should have been made a red mod-only tag, which would have altogether obviated the need for this new "feature". – Cody Gray Jun 12 at 2:01
  • @CodyGray They seem to be aiming to block mods, as well as users, from making changes, so I guess the "red-tag" won't do what they want. The text describing the announcement tags would also suggest it covers more than just staff announcements. – StephenG Jun 12 at 9:50
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    Just adding tags to make things easier on people who don't know how the search works anyway seems non-productive. There's a policy tag. It works. Whether or not there is a notice lock doesn't change whether the question is about policy or not. If you're interested in policy, follow policy. Note there's still a limit of 5 tags per question. Forcing every notice'd question to sacrifice one of their tag-slots may actually reduce their searchability. – Mast Jun 12 at 10:36
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    Yes, that's exactly the impression I get, too, @StephenG. If it was merely about distinguishing staff posts, then a special tag would be exactly what the doctor ordered. What this offers over that is precisely the ability to block moderators from taking action. It is becoming more and more clear where we stand with respect to the company. They pay us a lot of lip service, but they don't trust us even a tiny bit. In particular, the staff doesn't trust moderators to not vandalize their posts. That speaks volumes. – Cody Gray Jun 15 at 0:38
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    @CodyGray In all fairness it would make no sense to allow moderators to change an official policy document from the company. I'm obviously very sensitive to managements' recent history of appalling screw-ups here, but I think this is useful in that it differentiates official policy from just another post. I think the idea that they don't trust moderators not vandalize is somewhat over the top - I'd consider this a reasonable precaution for important documents, rather than a sign of deep mistrust. – StephenG Jun 15 at 1:40
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    Just to be absolutely clear, @Cody: this feature exists because the company's legal team doesn't trust moderators, full stop. That should not be taken as a lack of trust from other members of the organization, who I believe can and will demonstrate restraint in the use of this feature and therefore trust in the members and moderators of these sites. Crucially: this functionality leaves the decision in their hands, leaves open the possibility for restraint; there were, as I'm sure you're aware, far worse options on the table. – Shog9 Jun 15 at 23:11
5

Shall such locked post still be open for Suggested Edits?

Pressing the [edit] button may show the source text of the message and then record intent to make a change to it, allowing proposing changes in easier fashion.

Alternatively, "Post is locked" message may be longer and invite flagging the post for moderator intervention in case user believes the post should be edited.

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    I agree that it should be open for suggested edits, but I think those edits should only be approved or rejected by the staff. – Donald Duck Jun 24 at 16:49
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    I was about to suggest something like this. Allow anyone to propose (for example) a typo fix. Only the original staff member (or, if you prefer, it could be any staff member) can approve the edit. This would seem like the best of both worlds. Everyone makes typos sometimes. The SE community is pretty good at catching and fixing typos. Why not harness that? – plasticinsect Jun 24 at 18:57
2

This...rubs me the wrong way.

Don't get me wrong, I feel like a place for policies should be made, and I feel like something that is referred to as policy should be concrete and not changed by the community.

But this feels like the company is putting their foot in the ground and isn't allowing us to make tweaks to verbiage or fix sentence flow.

My original argument was that this could be seen as DRM and run afoul of Section 2 of the CC-by-SA 4.0 license which this particular work is licensed under. Thankfully, the comments got me on the right course and I'm not as convinced that this is the case.

My original thinking was that this was different in intention than a post lock, which is meant to be short lived and exists for moderation purposes to help cool off a situation. This lock is intended to be long-lived and has no real end or expiration. That seems against the spirit of what the Stack Exchange platform really brings to the table when it comes to Q&A sites.

Furthermore, my opinion was more rooted in the notion that, this sort of content doesn't feel like it belongs on a site which thoroughly encourages peer editing and collaborative review of content. By adding a feature that takes this away, it sends an subtle message of not wanting to collaborate on policy.

If Stack Overflow wants to define policy, then do so and make it a fixture of your site which you control. Anywhere else is not fair game to put these restrictions.

I would hope that a definition of policy would also mean that there is a discussion about that policy somewhere on Meta so that you can get the appropriate feedback before it's implemented. It would sure suck to feel like we're being treated like kids. Again.

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    I see where you're coming from, but I personally think this is actually a good idea assuming it's limited to official responses. This prevents things like vandalism or other harmful edits and makes it clear that the language came from the company itself. – Chipster Jun 14 at 4:02
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    @Chipster: If the company wants to prevent their language from being twisted, then they should create a new part of the website where their official policy can live. Not allowing active modifications on something that literally impacts us all on a platform that encourages it is such a massive blow to the morale of a site like this. They should just make it more official and more out-of-reach as opposed to putting the kid gloves on us. – Makoto Jun 19 at 17:32
  • o/ Agree completely. It's like a king building a castle wall to keep his people out. – GolezTrol Jun 30 at 20:55
1

A scenario:

  1. A staff's post got this lock.
  2. The said staff leave SE for whatever reason and lose their diamond.

Can they edit their own post? Presumably not, because they are no longer a staff, but I wonder whether being the OP override the lock.

Can they still accept/unaccept answer?

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    No, they can't edit, yes, they could accept... assuming the answer isn't locked. But if it's a question, there's little likelihood of an answer being accepted. – Catija Jun 16 at 6:56
-1

This appears to be a good improvement.

I think it may be beneficial to improve on the wording being used in this new post lock indicator.

Many people on SE do not know the difference between "moderators" and "staff", and I think it needs to be made clear that moderators cannot edit these posts.

I'm a moderator, and I'm not even completely clear on the definition of "staff". Does it mean "paid employee"? Are any volunteers considered "staff"?

I think it would be good to make it clear who qualifies as "staff" or use different words.

Also, I think it would be beneficial to provide the name of the organization that is posting the "official policy or communication" within the new post lock note. It's strange to see official communication without any letterhead or identifier clearly stating the organization's name. Newcomers, not familiar with SE, will likely have little notion as to whom is responsible for creating the posts with these locks.

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-9

Can you change "It is still accepting" to "However, it accepts"? It's easier to read, and "still" is irrelevant here, because "still" usually indicates tense.

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  • 7
    "Still" is still kind of relevant as a contrast since locked posts in general cannot be interacted at all. Exception: wiki lock (cannot post new answer, can still edit answer), comment-only lock (cannot comment on the post, can still edit and vote and anything else), and this policy lock (cannot edit the question, can still accept comments and answers) – Meta Andrew T. Jun 12 at 4:13
  • "still" is a way to indicate tense. – noɥʇʎԀʎzɐɹƆ Jun 13 at 22:18
  • Can you explaine what you mean by "still is a way to indicate tense"? Do you mean tense as in Past, Present, Future or tone? The adverb still in “It is still accepting comments...” tells us nothing about the tense of a sentence, tense is expressed through verbs which in the aforementioned is expressed by is accepting, called the present continuous which is used for an ongoing action. This choice seems to be the most logical one to use. – Mari-Lou A Jun 14 at 6:32
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    "Still" has two distinct meanings. 1) An action is continuing ("the company is still operating"). 2) Emphasing a contrast ("It was legal. They still shouldn't have done it.") Sometimes, as in this case, it's a bit blurry which of those two meanings is primarily intended (1, I think). – Steve Bennett Jun 15 at 12:16
-10

Will this Policy Lock also apply to FAQs on Meta?

Can we look forward to FAQs that are more streamlined, less cluttered in the future?

Please, please, please say ‘Yes’....

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    As far as I can tell, it would only apply to FAQs that directly concern company policy. It should not be used on FAQs that have been created by community consensus. – PM 2Ring Jun 12 at 9:04
  • @PM2Ring that makes a lot of sense, and ethically I would support this wholeheartedly but there are some FAQs that have over the years become so long, so detailed, and basically so unfriendly to anyone who is just looking for quick information that I would support an Official Lock in these cases. The FAQs are fine for users who have grown familiar with the SE system, but many of these posts are unintuitive for newcomers. And a few of these FAQs–not everyone–are just written plain badly. – Mari-Lou A Jun 12 at 9:13
  • Yes, navigating the FAQs can be a daunting experience, even for the non-newcomers. ;) But I think it's mostly up to the community to improve that. In some cases, when company policy does have a direct impact on the FAQ, then yes, it would be good for the FAQ to have a clear way of indicating that, and maybe this new lock can serve that purpose. – PM 2Ring Jun 12 at 9:19
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    No, we don't plan on applying this to community-managed FAQs on meta. This is intended specifically for policy notices or important communications from representatives of the company. – Yaakov Ellis Jun 12 at 9:20
  • @YaakovEllis ahh, that's a pity and a missed opportunity but in the end maybe for the best. Possibly it would have met with too much opposition and endless squabbles. I still think these Faqs need an equivalent shorter version which would be easier for new users to get to grips with. – Mari-Lou A Jun 12 at 9:24
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    What you're describing is the Help Center. Applying this to community-curated FAQs would be an epic fail. How is the community supposed to curate a FAQ when it is locked? – Cody Gray Jun 15 at 0:40
  • @CodyGray I'm sorry but you are mistaken. I am definitely talking the FAQs on Meta The FAQs need to be edited and written by careful writers, who are not only skilled in writing but whose first language is English or their competence is on a par with that of a native speaker. I have seen too many FAQs ruined by editors who meant well but do not know how to communicate successfully to a wide audience. Their main focus was to write in minutia detail every possible facet. This muddles a text, greatly, which makes it difficult for new users and veterans alike to quickly find the necessary info. – Mari-Lou A Jun 18 at 13:30

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