Locked topics have a purpose on most communities. I try to avoid them, except in specific circumstances, but they have a place and they are a tool in a moderator’s arsenal. What I want to discuss today isn’t the locking of topics in itself, but what one says when they lock a topic.

When you lock a topic, you should have a legitimate reason that you can politely convey, in a final reply to the thread. For example:

Hey guys,

We actually have another discussion on this very same subject that was recently active, so I am going to go ahead and close this one and redirect you over to that one.




Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t take the time to politely explain. Often times, these folks include a sentence like “Locked.” or “Lockey lockey.” in their post. This is ugly and lazy. Closing threads should be done with grace. Not with condescending and flippant remarks or statements that basically say “I’m a moderator, I can close this thread – I just did. Too bad.” The lock thread option isn’t a toy, it should be used for specific reasons and not as a flight of fancy.

If you run a community, make sure that you define when you want your moderators to use the close thread functionality and how they should do so.

Closing Question: Without citing specific names, websites or links, what is the worst example of moderator gone mad topic locking that you have ever seen?