Recently, a moderator, Rubén ♦, locked several of my answers to meta posts (three were permanently locked) as “There are disputes about this answer’s content being resolved at this time.” Those answers are to meta posts made by Laurel and Franck Dernoncourt. This prevents the community from voting on my answers to those meta posts. It also prevents commenting, editing (preventing me from updating them), and flagging the posts.

Two of the answers were initially on a 7-day lock but were re-locked permanently. One was permanently locked on 2023-08-24 and the other on 2023-08-27. Another answer was permanently locked on Sept. 2.

Those answers are:

As an SE user for more than 14 years now, I have never witnessed such a number of locks on a single user's meta posts. AFAICS, no one has engaged in edit wars (I’m the only one editing), nor were there extended bickering in comments, which are reasons to lock posts as per the Help Center on locked posts:

When should a post be locked?

As a general rule, temporary locks should be used whenever modifications to a post are causing serious problems on the site. For example:

(The third item doesn’t apply since those are child meta posts and not a post on the main site that is under discussion on meta. I also don't see how those answers are controversial.)

Also as per the Help Center on locked posts:

Permanent locks should almost never be used, with the exception of those imposed by the system itself. There are some exceptions:

  1. An extremely popular question which is now considered inappropriate for the site may be locked for "Historical significance": this alters the appearance of the question, automatically locks all answers as well, and disables flagging completely. This lock should be reserved for cases where a cherished cultural artifact would otherwise be deleted; do not use it for any other purpose.
  2. A "wiki" is a question whose answers can be edited by low-reputation users, attributed to multiple authors, and do not grant reputation to the original author. They're occasionally useful in cases where information must be compiled by multiple authors (for example, a list of resources or documentation for the site itself); in these cases, locking the question both prevents it from being closed and prevents further answers from being added.
  3. An official policy may sometimes be locked with a special, staff-only lock to prevent editing, closure, and deletion. Moderators can not add or remove this lock, and are also subject to its restrictions.

My answers fit none of those criteria for locking — temporary or permanent.

I would like to understand how my recent answers meet any of those criteria for permanent locking. What should I do to get them unlocked? How do these answers violate the SE policy that justifies locking them? How are "modifications to [those posts] causing serious problems on the site"? What are the disputes about these answers’ content?

The appropriate way to dispute meta answer posts is by voting and writing a separate answer from your own perspective, not by locking the answer you're disputing.

I am concerned that the moderators are attempting to stifle community discussion about their moderation actions by locking posts and closing questions.

I would appreciate it if someone could explain or clarify this concerning situation.

(Note: I tried to ask about this on chat first, but I didn’t receive any reply, so I am posting here on the meta site. Please don't close and lock this post, like the previous ones. Thank you.)

  • The locked posts have been escalated to the mod team. Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 14:35
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    @Rubén I would appreciate it if you could clarify the reason for locking my answers. Can you share your perspective by posting an answer to this meta post? By "mod team", do you mean the community managers? It seems to me that unlocking the posts would be a better option while they are under review by the CMs, so that they can get a sense of the community’s feedback on these moderation actions. Locking them prevents the community from expressing their opinions through voting. Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 4:34
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    @Rubén I would like to request the unlocking of the meta posts mentioned in this post. They have been locked for more than two months, and I think the escalation process you referred to has ended. The community managers have already set a policy on the research issue based on community consensus, so I don’t see any reason to keep these meta posts locked. If you don’t agree with my request, I would appreciate it if you could explain your reasoning in an answer to this meta post so that the community can discuss it. Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 7:48
  • The locks are not tied to the result of the research policy discussion. There is no other thing to share about the escalation / related moderation discussion publicly. Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 14:22
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    @Rubén What's the reason why the posts were locked in the first place? Is this a temporary or a permanent measure? If you have decided to keep them locked permanently, I would appreciate your response, as I may need to bring up my appeal to the Stack Exchange team. Commented Oct 28, 2023 at 0:14
  • The reason to use the option "permanent lock" instead of the other options is to avoid having to apply the lock every hour, day, etc. The definitive duration of the lock will depend on the results of the escalation. Commented Oct 28, 2023 at 22:56
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    @Rubén why does it take over 2 months to get the results of the escalation, and why lock the posts while we are waiting for these results? Commented Oct 28, 2023 at 23:13


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