I recently asked a question, and after a while that post was locked and comments were disabled. Why did that happen with that question? The message said:

Locked for 22 hours. Comments on this question have been disabled, but it is still accepting new answers and other interactions. Learn more.

And, it seems that there can be many reasons for post lock like

  • if the post is deleted via "spam" or "abusive" flags
  • if the post is migrated to another site
  • if the post was migrated to the current site, and then rejected
  • if a question was merged into another question, the answers will be moved and the source question will be locked

But which of these is applicable to my post out of the above reasons? And what was the benefit of locking it and only preventing comments?

Here is the post I'm talking about:

What does 'cosmic unfairness' mean?

  • 2
    Posts that generate more chatting than answers, and comments about comments, get the ire of those with the authority to lock those comments. Your original question was such a post: The adjective cosmic means grand. No disrespect. Feb 22, 2023 at 23:45
  • 2
    There is a vast difference between blocking comments on the questions that have actually generated excessive chatting, to give the commenters a chance to 'cool off', and closing a question immediately after it was posted, as was done with this question, just because a moderator suspects that it might generate excessive comments. @YosefBaskin, is your comment intended as a defence of the latter practice?
    – jsw29
    Feb 23, 2023 at 16:43
  • 1
    No. I find questions being closed prematurely, and comments shut down rashly. This one's its own case. Feb 23, 2023 at 16:56
  • 2
    Without a screenshot we can only guess how many chatty comments were posted (if any), how many were argumentative (if any) and how many were ‘answers’ (if any). Under a deleted answer, the OP said their post was locked before any comments had even appeared. The only ones who can explain and clarify are our three mods, but disappointingly, they have closed ranks about the entire matter.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 24, 2023 at 8:36
  • 3
    @YosefBaskin There is a way to know if the OP generated chattiness as you suggested it must have. I just remembered, there's the timeline english.stackexchange.com/posts/603368/timeline . The question was posted at 04.04 on 16 February, and it was locked at exactly 04.05 that same day.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 24, 2023 at 8:44
  • 3
    @Mari-LouA, yes, it does look like the moderators have 'disappointingly . . . closed ranks about the entire matter'. This question has so far been viewed over 200 times, which is a lot for a meta-question, and received quite a few upvotes, which suggests that there is a feeling in the community that such blocking of all comments (before any delinquent comments have appeared) is problematic. The absence of any response from the moderators, however, leaves an impression that they are determined to continue the practice, whatever the rest of the community may think about it.
    – jsw29
    Feb 26, 2023 at 22:26
  • There is an answer from a moderator, but it's been deleted. I can see it, but I don't think everybody can. In it the moderator says "Comments are meant for clarifications and not discussion.." That means somebody else wants it that way; that's why it's passive. WHO wants it that way, and why? Mar 5, 2023 at 15:30
  • In a comment that can't be voted on any more in that deleted answer, I wrote Who says that "Comments are meant for clarifications and not discussion"? Discussion is what most questions need most, and they rarely get it. The whole Q-A model is a round hole to fit the unround peg of English language into, and the result is as you see. "Chat rooms" do not satisfy the need, sorry. Mar 5, 2023 at 15:31
  • 1
    @JohnLawler The answer was written by a moderator but on Super User and Meta.SE–where this question was migrated from–two completely different sites to EL&U. The diamond moderator uses a vastly different yardstick and their primary concern on Meta is putting out fires (trolling; negative, mean, hurtful comments etc) as they once explained.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 5, 2023 at 17:28
  • I frankly don't know or care who wrote what; I'm not an administrator. I'm a teacher, but this is not a class, because nobody comes back to learn enough to understand the answers. I realized a long time ago that I was not addressing anyone who was likely to follow up, so I started paring down answers into short bits insertable into comments, because the questions were so often silly and contained such stupid ideas. I'd discuss if I could, but we're not allowed, because There Must Be A Correct Answer. Somewhere. If only. Mar 5, 2023 at 19:26
  • I have learnt a lot from you, from Araucaria, Yargs, and tchrist, plus a host of other users. There is information and answers which I retain while others I forget, and have to reread. I'm sure the visitors and users who study linguistics hang around EL&U and Linguistics who appreciate expert answers. But yes, it's virtually impossible to have a discussion and ask for clarification once an answer has been posted. Plus, comments keep getting wiped out!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 5, 2023 at 20:50
  • @JohnLawler, you raise important general questions about the role of comments on this site, that have been discussed before and deserve to be discussed more. What is at issue on this page is however a narrower problem of pre-emptive blocking of comments, before any comments that even arguably violate any rules (on any interpretation of these rules) have been posted, just because the moderator thinks that such comments might appear. This practice has started recently, and no justification whatsoever has been given for it.
    – jsw29
    Mar 6, 2023 at 16:20


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