Apparently, the question no longer deserves to be open and was locked on January 9, 2018. Is this a surprise for anyone? Maybe a discussion was held somewhere, maybe on meta, maybe on chat? I don't remember seeing it. Can someone post me the link, please?
A question which was upvoted 440 times. An answer that was upvoted an incredible, and jaw-dropping 837 times. (I'm counting all the upvotes)
The question, posted on June 23 2017, and visited 91,835 times is now locked. Seemingly, forever. No one can ever upvote or downvote any post.
I really don't recall any ballyhoo about the quality of the answers posted, but there were a few users who sustained the question was off topic but it was never closed by the community. Never. Despite the thousands of visitors and the hundreds of votes cast.
Does the community realise that the question, one day, can now be silently deleted without anyone being consulted? Without anyone knowing.
We should have a discussion, there should be greater transparency between users and elected mods. I would like to hear if there are users who support locking this question, and perhaps, one day look forward to seeing it being deleted.
It's been pointed out, in the comments below, that locking a question is not the antechamber leading to its deletion. However, if a question is locked because it does not comply with ELU"s standards then it stands to reason that it's more likely to be deleted in the future despite the considerable attention and votes it attracted.
In fact, popular questions with good answers have been silently deleted in the past. In addition, I submit the following observation where a respected user is undecided which disturbs him the most…
(b) that a question 'not [...] an ELU level question [, and ...] not answered by English, but by contacting certain people about a toy ball' [and not appropriate on ELL either] took so long to be deleted. (c) that the voting system allows such an endorsement of a question that so clearly violates the intended purpose of ELU.
I respect this user and his opinion, I appreciate the reasons given for his lack of enthusiasm but would he agree that the question should have been locked or deleted without consulting the community? It's the second most popular question, vote-wise, on EL&U. This is the point I am trying to make.
Moreover, it's not just about Dan Bron's answer, some of the other answers on "Y" questions are of a similar high standard. For example, the answers by Theraot, 1006a and ab2 were serious attempts at answering the English language question, not about the “toy ball”. Locking the OP hints that Bron's superb research, plus the time and effort spent in crafting his answer should not be held as an example of a "high-quality" answer. Did the mod who locked the post consider this aspect?
And finally, the non-native speaker, who posted the question genuinely wanted to know why a child's toy ball had a picture of an ax(e) next to the letter Y.
Can someone help me identify which English word is depicted in Y?
Can someone please explain why that doesn't qualify as an English language question?
UPDATE January 15 2018
Anything in particular you would like to know via this meta? Is this a call to unlock it? Or just looking for "why" it was locked? Something else? @NVZ
I was looking for an explanation as to how the second most popular question (based on the number of upvotes) which was never closed by the community, that was praised and rewarded by the Stack Exchange team, could suddenly, and inexplicably, be locked from one day to the next without any forewarning. For users who may be interested, please see Andrew Leach's ♦ comment and tchrists's ♦ closing knell.