Yesterday I asked this: Precise names for parts of a day (revisited)

There's only 1 question and 1 answer. Nevertheless it's been locked "on comments" and the rest of the interaction open.

I'd like to understand

  • a) Who locked it (a moderator or the system).
  • b) If it's a permament or temporal locking.
  • c) What is the reason for that locking.

When a question is closed you see the voter's names and the reason they voted for.

But for comment-locking, I don't know how to know that.

And if it is my fault, I apologize. I didn't want to offend anybody by asking that. I was just asking terminology for times of the days. I thought that was suitable.

  • 1
    It was locked by a diamond moderator. In general, only diamond moderators can lock posts. But if you click the “circular arrow / clock” icon under the voting buttons on your post (only appear on full desktop site, not mobile or app), you can see the details of who and when. As for temporary vs permanent: locks are usually because a particular post has drawn too many noisy comments, or an edit war, or other unwanted attentions or behaviors, so they’re usually permanent, because that “inspirational” character is also permanent. But the diamond mods can and have lifted locks before.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 7, 2020 at 10:57
  • 3
    Being only a regular user, I do not know and therefore cannot tell you why your specific post was locked. Everything above was general guidance. But if I had to guess: your post likely attracted a lot of noisy comments, along the lines of back-and-forth or with half-baked answers posted as comments rather than answers. In these cases, mods will delete the comment chains and lock the post to encourage users to spend time answering the question formally.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 7, 2020 at 11:00
  • Okey, I see the clock and the history. By what you say, then it is probable that I can only see one single comment but "there have been more comments" that the moderator deleted? Is there the option to see the deleted comments? I can't imagine what kind of noise I did attract and knowing will help me formulate new questions better, maybe. Jun 7, 2020 at 11:59
  • In any case, from your second comment, I guess that "having a question locked by comments, but permitting answers is not a bad thing... from what you say it's a mere way from the moderator to tell "Hey, the question seems valid, stop kidding and do the work of anwering". Is that? Jun 7, 2020 at 12:01
  • 1
    No, only diamond mods can see deleted comments. Once you earn 10k rep, you will be able to see deleted questions and answers, but not deleted comments. The general guidance is “comments are ephemeral; expect them to disappear at some point, and use them accordingly”.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 7, 2020 at 12:02
  • 1
    Yes, it’s that. Unless the moderator locked the question because you, personally, were engaged in an edit war (in which case, the sanction isn’t locking your post; that would be a side effect. The sanction would be something else, like a warning or suspension).
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 7, 2020 at 12:03
  • Understood all! So... if you place the clock comment, and the major keypoints in an anwser I'll select as "the answer"! Thanks! Your comments were very useful and understandable! Jun 7, 2020 at 12:07
  • 2
    Nah, I’m too lazy. You can feel free to copy my comments into an answer, and self-accept your answer. I’m an intransigent comment-answerer ;)
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 7, 2020 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


Thanks for asking.

I was the one who locked out comments on that question. You can see this by clicking on the little clock icon beneath where scores are shown, here just to the left of your opening “There's this old question” paragraph:

image of top of comment-locked post showing clock icon

That gives you the public timeline for that post, which is currently:

image of public timeline for the post in question

The ELU mod team delete what are frankly incredible numbers of comments, mostly in response to flags of varying varieties. Few weeks go by when we don’t delete hundreds of comments, and we’ve deleted between 50 and 100 thousand comments over the history of the site. That’s a lot of work.

Yesterday I responded to automatic comment flags on posts with more than twenty comments and ended up deleting dozens and dozens. Sometimes I moved deleted comments to chat, sometimes I just deleted a few here and there that were no longer relevant or which were answers hidden in comments, and sometimes I just en masse deleted them all. On some posts I thought likely to generate further off-topic comments, I set comment-only locks, usually for a week or for ever, depending.

Yours ended up being one of those posts. Although there weren’t a lot already deleted, it seemed to me like one destined to accumulate lots of highly localized comments that should have gone in the answer box instead. That’s the reason for the comment lock in this instance.

  • Okey, I see. The intention was, therefore, to prevent like an "explosion" of "here we say this", "there we say that", "further there we say that other way". Do I understand well? Thanks for the explanation and congrats for the hard work of going thru each situation doing a proper interpretation! Jun 7, 2020 at 14:31
  • 1
    @XaviMontero Yes, that was exactly my intent in your case.
    – tchrist Mod
    Jun 7, 2020 at 16:06
  • 3
    How many comments did you delete? I don't recall it attracting that much attention, which is a pity because the author has provided a considerable amount of research and thought, they have also worked out possible solutions, they just need to know if these expressions are acceptable or if better and more idiomatic ones are available. This is where comments can be helpful, not a hindrance. When comments are on-topic they help clarify, they provide suggestions, the author begins to build a better idea of what is easily understood and which are ambiguous.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 8, 2020 at 8:12

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