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IMO at least the symptom if not the cause of a moderator's locking a question was that it was generating too many comments:

  • Too many comments implies something controversial (therefore low quality?)
  • Too many comments implies too much stress for our long-suffering moderators

One moderator (who might prefer to remain nameless ;-) has said things like, "it's a community fail: sites should (ideally) self moderate ... established community members posted about 100 comments".

I still don't know why that question was closed, but I suspect that if it hadn't generated too many comments then the moderators might have allowed it.

My proposal is that there are some (very few) question which generate so many comments that all those comments (without exception) ought to be posted in a chat room.

To enforce comments being posted in a chat room, comments on the question and/or on its answers ought to be banned (i.e. deleted).

  • Do you agree or disagree, that it's occasionally necessary that all comments be in chat?
  • If you think it's necessary, do you have any suggestions for implementing that:

    • How do we decide/detect whether/when we need to implement this rule for a given question?
    • How many chat rooms should there be: one per topic or a separate one for each answer?
    • How do we enforce it, when people inevitably post new comments (instead of new chat messages) after the rule is enacted?
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There are already precise rules about comments.

When should I comment?

You should submit a comment if you want to:

  • Request clarification from the author;
  • Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
  • Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).

When shouldn't I comment?

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

Suggesting corrections that don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post; instead, make or suggest an edit;

  • Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);
  • Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, up-vote it and pay it forward;
  • Criticisms which do not add anything constructive ("-1, see previous comments you scallywag!"); instead, down-vote (and provide or up-vote a better answer if appropriate);
  • Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;
  • Discussion of community behavior or site policies; please use meta instead.

As you can see "use chat" is already the "rule". It was a "community fail" because the existing rules were openly disregarded. Adding more rules won't help IMO.

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