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If I see a question is comment-locked, should I refrain from commenting on an answer? Should I assume that if the moderator wanted to stop all comments on the page, he would have locked all the answers too? There is no explanation given for the lock so no way to know the moderator's intent.

Also, I have "moderator tools" rights. I don't think that's related, I think anyone can comment on answers to a locked question. Is that right? I didn't override a moderator lock with my "moderator tools" rights did I? I wouldn't want to.

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    What would you comment in the first place? How does the comment lock on the question impact your ability to ask for clarification or provide correction to an answerer?
    – Makoto
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 22:47
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    "Moderator tools" is kind of a misnomer since it is actually only an informational page accessible on /tools. Aside from viewing deleted posts/voting to delete posts and inline tag editing, it doesn't give any other post-related interaction power. Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 8:01

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Should I refrain from commenting on an answer to a locked question?

It may depend on multiple factors:

  • why the question was locked - bearing in mind you stated "There is no explanation given for the lock so no way to know the moderator's intent."

    • this is often temporary, e.g. in response to ongoing discussion that is moved to chat - e.g. for this post locked for the next 15 hours.

    • for other posts, it is often older posts, locked for historical reasons, or else off-topic comments like this post, which as one comment points out could have ethical and legal repercussions.

  • what your answer comment would be.

On CodeReview we often comment on answers to off-topic questions, requesting users instead spend their time answering questions that are on-topic.

I think anyone can comment on answers to a locked question. Is that right? I didn't override a moderator lock with my "moderator tools" rights did I?

The MSE post What is a "locked" post? doesn't appear to mention anything about 10k tools. However on the site where I am a moderator it does appear that I can add a comment on a locked post so it may be the case that 10k privileges allows that. Conversely on a site where I don't have 10k tools and am not a moderator (e.g. SO) I can still comment on answers to locked questions so it appears that a lock on a question doesn't exactly carry over to the answers.

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    "However on the site where I am a moderator it does appear that I can add a comment on a locked post so it may be the case that 10k privileges allows that." mods can bypass some restrictions that regular users can't, like commenting on a deleted/locked post. "Moderator tools" privilege doesn't give this power. Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 7:56
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If you leave unnecessary comments, then they're liable to be flagged and then deleted. It doesn't matter what the context is. See if there's a more appropriate action you can do instead (e.g. upvoting, editing). If the comments on a post get too out of hand, then a moderator may have to lock it, though that's not preferable.

A lock tells you what it does in the banner. A historical lock, for example says "This question and its answers are locked [...] it is not currently accepting new answers or interactions". Some locks allow you to comment elsewhere in the thread, on posts that aren't also locked, and other locks don't even prevent comments on the post itself (such as a wiki lock, IIRC). Even if you don't understand what locks allow what, you'll know when you can't add a comment because there will either be no "Add a comment" button or clicking on it will give you an error.

No locks are based on reputation levels. The only users who get special privileges are diamond moderators (who could unlock the post anyway!).

There's a feature called Post Notices that also shows a banner on a post. The "Controversial Post notice" available on some sites says "You may use comments ONLY to suggest improvements". This, however, doesn't prevent anyone from commenting or otherwise interacting with the post or its answers. Still, you should be extra careful about what comments you leave because this notice is only used on questions that are likely to get heated (if they haven't already).

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