Very similar (but not exact duplicates):
Can locking a post discourage new answers? (And a solution)
Give Diamond Moderators the Ability to Partially Lock a Post

I have a proposal for the seldom used mod-only "lock" feature: right now locking a post prevents voting on it. In all the instances I've seen a locked post so far, this behavior never seemed to be desired by the mods. I therefore propose that voting should be allowed on locked posts.

(originally two suggestions, but split apart to allow separate voting)

  • 2
    On second thought I probably should have opened two different questions, as people seem to agree with #2 but not #1.. Jan 25, 2010 at 21:25

4 Answers 4


I'm against voting on locked posts, as such posts can't be commented on (to point out problems) or edited (to correct problems): an unpopular post so-locked would be effectively pilloried, forced to endure down-votes without any opportunity for the author to improve or remove it, while a popular post would be elevated, allowed to reap up-votes without being troubled by criticism or contradiction.

Locked should mean just that: a post temporarily locked away from the effects of the tools normally available to users. All the effects. If a moderator doesn't want that, then they shouldn't be using it.

  • What about historical lock? It is not temporary. Aug 26, 2014 at 9:12
  • That lock is special.
    – Shog9
    Aug 28, 2014 at 0:09
  1. Why do you think that voting should be allowed on "locked" posts? If it were allowed, there would be very little difference from a closed post (which allows commenting and voting, but no new answers).

  2. Sure, "frozen" evokes the meaning a bit more than "locked".

  • For example, this question stackoverflow.com/questions/1995113/strangest-language-feature/… was locked (now unlocked) to prevent closing it, and a mod commented (now deleted): "I wanted to do it sooner but I was reluctant to do it as it prevents voting too". Ok, this is just an example, but of all the locked questions I know of (not many) I can't find a single case where preventing votes is beneficial. I of course may be wrong though.. Do you have a counter-example in mind? Jan 25, 2010 at 21:21
  • @Koper: yup, to stop the voting insanity on wildly popular questions and answers, like stackoverflow.com/questions/1732348/… (although this one isn't locked it, it probably should be)
    – Ether
    Jan 25, 2010 at 21:30
  • Well, if you see the comments a mod commented that he hasn't locked it exactly because it would prevent voting. Why do you consider it a bad thing to vote up even more popular questions? Jan 25, 2010 at 21:33
  • Here's another example: stackoverflow.com/questions/770300/… That question was the subject of a bit of controversy after the author got sore over it being closed and decided to abuse tags. Locking allowed things to cool down; given the attitudes exhibited in the comments, I rather doubt voting would have been conducive to this.
    – Shog9
    Jan 25, 2010 at 21:35

One of the primary reasons to "lock" a post is to take away the ability for people to fight over open/close voting.

Given that the post is in contention due to excessive community moderator action, removing editing and voting privileges is the intended action of locking the post.

In essence, locking says, "The community appears unable to responsibly moderate/edit in this question, therefore the official site moderators are restricting voting and editing abilities to official moderators only."


Locking is mainly used for extreme cases where the community abuses powers (with or without realizing it) and a moderator has to take action to prevent it from creating a bigger mess. Often it is just people being uninformed. These are situations when a post should be locked (from the FAQ):

When should a post be locked?

Posts should generally only be locked in cases where something seriously bad is happening. In particular, where the ongoing updates and edits are actively detrimental to the system.

Some examples of when a post might be locked include:

  • A question or answer where repeated voting or editing is happening in a way which attempts to game, hack, or otherwise abuse the system.
  • A question that gets opened and closed repeatedly many times without achieving community consensus on whether it should stay open or closed.
  • A question that, for whatever reason, continues to attract flame posts, spam, or other inappropriate answers.
  • A question that is repeatedly vandalized by its asker; for example, to drastically alter the meaning of the question that invalidates existing answers, or to obliterate/obscure the question.
  • Another type of locked post is a merged question. When a moderator merges two questions that are exact duplicates, all the answers are moved to one question and the other question is left as a "stub," with no answers. The stub question is locked.

All of these, except maybe the last one, are cases when voting, comments, and edits are still harmful. You could argue that there should be an option to just lock closing/reopening of a question, but that's too rare for the dev team to waste resources. Not to mention, a post so controversial might cause an avalanche of downvotes and mean comments.

If you can provide a list of questions that benefit from this feature, I might change my opinion, but there doesn't seem to be even a small amount of questions that would truly benefit from this.

  • My original post is almost 5 years old -- back then locking worked differently and was used in widely different scenarios than today Sep 7, 2014 at 1:17

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