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What is a “closed” question?

There is a post that has been closed 5 months ago (the reason was because the question was not constructive); a few moments ago, someone down-voted my answer.

What is still allowed to be done, in a closed question (voting on question, editing, posting a reply, voting on a post, making a comment, voting on a comment)?

  • I'm a bit surprised by this too; closing a question seems to do nothing except prevent further answers.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 19:49
  • 4
    @Jeremy yup that's exactly the one thing it does Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 19:55
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    @Jeremy, I complained about "closed" sounding harsher than it is a while ago, but it didn't amount to much. Just curious, what did you expect "closed" to mean when you first saw it/before you arrived here?
    – Pops
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 19:58
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    @PopularDemand I'm used to forums where "closed" means what "locked" means here: nobody can interact with it except for moderators. Since SO is trying to largely replace forums in this niche, I imagine there are lots of users with the same preconception.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 20:00
  • @PopularDemand How does one lock a post?
    – Foo Bah
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 20:07
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    @FooBah: Its a mod action, usually reserved for posts attracting bad attention that don't warrant deletion.
    – user1228
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 20:08
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    @FooBah, see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/22228/what-is-a-locked-post
    – Pops
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 20:24

2 Answers 2


The only thing that closing a question does is prevent new answers from being added

closed: no new answers can be added to a question.

Courtesy of Mr. Atwood himself.

And perhaps more relevant/official, from the question: Closing/Migrating question instructions/guidance

Closing a question merely prevents new answers from being added. The question, and any existing answers, can still be edited, voted and commented upon. This allows activity to flow, which in turn allows the community to determine if the question should remain closed.

  • I assume that in the statement "[this] allows the community to determine if the question should remain closed", "community" refers only to Moderators? Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 21:58
  • It refers to everyone really. Anyone can flag a post, and then more specifically, those with the proper privileges can vote to close a question. Not necessarily just moderators. Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 22:06
  • Correction, you have to have 15 rep to flag a post - so change that to "almost everyone" :) Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 22:13
  • Of course, if I (or any other non-moderator) flags a closed question to say that it didn't deserve to be closed in the first place, and a moderator marks that request as "invalid"—which is highly likely, given that the question has already been closed—I take a hit to my flag weight? That doesn't really encourage me to speak up for people whose posts I didn't think deserved to be closed. Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 22:23
  • @Chris At 3k rep you gain the power to vote to close open questions and vote to reopen closed questions. Just like five votes closes a question, five votes can reopen a closed question.
    – Troyen
    Commented Jul 20, 2011 at 0:43

You should differ the Locked and Closed post. Only Locked one can't be downvoted (even upvote for comment is unavailable)

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