I can't edit my answer to https://electronics.stackexchange.com/a/4341/142 to add attribution or fix the rotted links, and I can't flag the question for this problem, either; there is no Flag link, only a Share link. So I'm posting here. Can you unlock the post?

  • \$\begingroup\$ It isn't just your answer; the entire question is locked for the reasons stated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Oct 15, 2016 at 23:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaveTweed But I should be able to 1. Edit my answer to fix things that have been broken over time. 2. Flag the question for moderator attention no matter what state it is in. \$\endgroup\$
    – endolith
    Oct 15, 2016 at 23:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ That would be a feature-request for the SE developers, then. Try Meta.SE. But the question is locked precisely because we moderators don't want to have to keep dealing with it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Oct 15, 2016 at 23:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ "But I should be able to ..." No, you shouldn't. That's the point of locking the question. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 19, 2016 at 11:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop Yes, you should be able to. Things change, and the lock may become inappropriate over time, or the outside world can change in a way that requires the questions or answers to change. \$\endgroup\$
    – endolith
    Oct 19, 2016 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


Reasons you should be able to flag a locked question:

  1. It may have been locked by mistake and you want to argue that it should be re-opened.
  2. The site's rules could have been discussed and changed so that the lock is no longer appropriate
  3. The site's rules could have been discussed and changed so that the locked question should now be completely deleted.
  4. The question/answer could contain links that have since been redirected to spam or inappropriate content.

Reasons you should be able to edit a locked question:

  1. The question/answer could contain links that have since rotted or been hijacked and need to be updated.
  2. The answers contain external images/content without attribution and it needs to be added.

There are probably other reasons, too.

A question is locked because:

it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site

This means that the question is still intended to be viewed by site visitors. (Otherwise it would have been deleted.)

For instance, a question on SO of "What's your favorite text editor" would have been fine in the first iteration of the site, but later decided to be inappropriate because it's too opinion based. The question is locked, because the content is still valuable to visitors, but not the kind of question that should be asked in the future. But the links to the text editors rot as the internet changes, so it should be possible to edit them to correct the links.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, 1 & 2 should be discussed on Meta. 3 is wrong, the point of a historical lock is that it was okay before the rule change. It should not be deleted. 4 is the only real reason to flag it. Your second edit reason is also bad. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Oct 21, 2016 at 5:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ You would "flag it" by using the contact us link at the bottom of the page. It's such a rare situation that it doesn't merit changing the way locked questions act. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Oct 21, 2016 at 5:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ And even then, preferably you would want to edit the post to remove the need for outside links, knowing that it's been locked. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Oct 21, 2016 at 5:14
Can't edit or flag a locked post

Exactly. That's what "locked" means. The messsage in the box that indicates the question is locked says in part "This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed.". This is really quite clear.

Put another way, you're not supposed to be able to edit anything. This is a dead question that was only left around for historical significance, again, just like the message says. It really shouldn't be here in the first place. We certainly don't want people editing it and bumping it to the top of active list.


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