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I know we have either been deleting or locking based on popular vote. Deletion will obviously discourage new user, because they won't see the questions until they get 3000 rep. Locking is different, though. The question still appears on the site, except you can't upvote/downvote/edit or pretty much anything else. The lock message explicitly states that "This is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site." However, according to many, "A certain portion of users simply won't read rules/guidelines/faqs, no matter how much you bludgeon them with them." (ref)

This is extremely problematic for the trolls out on the internet, who would actively seek out stuff like this, which brings me to my question, is a historical lock enough?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "The question still appears on the site" Nope, IIRC locked posts don't appear anywhere on the site unless linked to directly. \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob May 11 '14 at 3:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob You can search for them, too ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Geobits May 11 '14 at 3:37
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The purpose of the lock isn't exactly to discourage those types of questions. The purpose (as I see it) is simply to act as a signpost. Locked posts are evidence that those types of posts aren't welcome.

Take this locked question on SO, for example. It's just bad, there's not much denying that. There are tons of votes and answers thrown on it, but nobody worries that the post "just being locked" is going to attract users to post similar ones.

The key to discouraging bad questions in the SE world is consistent enforcement by the community. That means closing new ones (quickly), downvoting if appropriate, and deleting if necessary.

This isn't a new issue, and SE sites have been dealing with bad questions for years. Every day, the larger sites see many bad questions. As long as we get rid of them quickly, as a community, there's not really a problem.

New users that simply didn't read the notice will soon learn, and the true trolls will soon tire of the games if every one of their posts is closed/deleted within a few minutes.


As for the comment you linked, I stand by it. Some people won't read the rules. That doesn't mean those people aren't still wrong. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, as they say.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That type of locked question on SO really helps me learn good programming techniques and learn about common problems and how to avoid them. Maybe we should start a Good Programming Practices and Common Problems site. \$\endgroup\$ – Hosch250 May 11 '14 at 3:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I didn't mean to imply that there was no good content in the answers, and I agree that some of them have some very interesting stuff. I meant the question was bad, and specifically for the SE model. I used it because I felt it was a decent parallel to [code-trolling] in that way. It's a type of question that used to be liked/tolerated/accepted and was popular with voters. The community turned against them for quality's sake, so they got locked. \$\endgroup\$ – Geobits May 11 '14 at 3:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I understand it doesn't belong on SO. However, I often wish there were more of them. Would you get behind me if I suggested a site for this, or do you think I should dump the idea? \$\endgroup\$ – Hosch250 May 11 '14 at 3:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @hosch250 A site with loads of content like that sounds like a good idea, but I'm really not sure how it fits the SE model, not just SO itself. Maybe it's possible (hey, I never thought I'd see a Software Recommendations stack), but you'd have to be very clear what exactly belongs and doesn't. \$\endgroup\$ – Geobits May 11 '14 at 3:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Check this out: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/68728/… \$\endgroup\$ – Hosch250 May 11 '14 at 3:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Or this: stackoverflow.com/questions/184618/… \$\endgroup\$ – TheDoctor May 11 '14 at 13:36

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