So I've been wondering for a while whether we should start locking some old questions, but am wondering about criteria for this.

The reason? We keep getting spam or 'me too' answers on older questions that have already been answered, and it's no more useful to the question asker, and is messy and a nuisance for the mods ;)

Possible criteria for locking:

  • more than x number of views. Seems arbitrary.
  • more than x number of answers, unless community wiki. I could see this working, possible.
  • has an accepted answer, and is more than 3 months old, say.

  • other suggestions? all of the above? none of the above?

  • 3
    All of the methods you mention could quite plausibly be implemented in an automatic way as part of the system. The fact that they are not seems to indicate that the Stack Exchange folks actually wants the moderators' discretion to be the main factor. Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 0:41
  • 7
    Don't lock questions that get "me too" answers; protect them instead. Locking is for big problems with a post (either historical significance or temporary problems), whereas this is the exact scenario that protection is designed for.
    – waiwai933
    Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 2:36
  • as a newbie, I would humbly suggest to use an systematic approach. It can be like: * Choose 100 random Q&A, * Choose 20% of those which have enough quality answers, * Find the criteria(s) all those 20% fit-in * Now, filter all the Q&As through those criteria to make those automatically Locked. Locking a question for a single me-too answer is too much. Rather some automatic filtering can be applied.
    – kmonsoor
    Commented Dec 24, 2012 at 20:42
  • Ugh, I meant protect, not lock. Thus the comment about "me too" answers and the like. At least we're on the same page about that :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 17:54
  • Now that questions can be protected by Community, this has been implemented in a sense.
    – gparyani
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 6:09

2 Answers 2


Ankur said:

If a question gets a me-too answer, lock it. No need to retroactively hunt and lock questions.

And I fully agree with "No need to retroactively hunt and lock questions". However, instead of locking:

If a question gets a me-too answer, protect it.

This is exactly the use case for the protection feature!

Locking, on the other hand, should be used very sparingly. For one thing, locking also prevents posting new legitimate answers, ones that may reflect current situation better than the existing ones. I mean, the correct or best answer to most questions we have on Travel SE might change over time, as the real world changes.

There is absolutely no need to proactively lock questions (= prevent them from evolving) just because they are popular or old.


If a question gets a me-too answer, lock it. No need to retroactively hunt and lock questions.

  • Yeah I was thinking more that if we set some criteria now, then if me-too or spam answers appear, when we delete the junk, we could lock it then.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 7:49
  • 2
    No; if a question gets a me-too answer, protect it, don't lock it. This is exactly what the protection feature is for.
    – Jonik
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 10:09
  • @Jonik Ah that's what I meant. Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 13:14

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