Is it possible to have more granularity in of time-span for locking questions? Currently the available choices are 1 hr, 1 day, 1 week, and permanent. There are times where longer, but not permanent locks would be desirable (1, 2, 3 months for example).

For example:

If we were to implement something like what D. Savitt suggested in regards to contest questions, one possible hitch is that contests such as the USAMTS or the MathCamp qualifying often take longer than 1 week. Under the current system the only choices are either to come back every week and re-lock it with a 1 week lock, or lock it permanently and re-open after the contest expires. Both requires moderators to remember (or be reminded) about the locked question. And as we know well, moderators are only human and can be fallible.

Feature request

The ability to lock a question for a customised length of time, or just the ability to lock questions for "X number of months".

  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't the posters naturally be sufficiently interested to watch their own question? Why unlock if they are not interested? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais for the specific case of someone who posted a question from an on-going contest: do you really think that someone would be interested in drawing attention to his or herself as the person who posted something from an on-going contest? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ And why are you interested in unlocking such a question? It seems to me that keeping it locked is a good way to prevent all sorts of mayhem in the comment threads. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Because an argument has been put forth that after the contest is over, the question may be sufficiently interesting for the Math.SE community. See the link I gave in the post itself. As well as meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/6229/… and meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/4004/… $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 16:19
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, I don't want to debate contest problem policy in this thread. I used that as an example because it was what most recently reminded me of wanting this feature. But I remember previously on other occasions wondering why there aren't any other locks between 1 week and permanent. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ +1 Having such further control would be very useful. Often such matters are very delicate, and the more that we can customize such features to a perfect fit, the more capability we have of optimally defusing possibly volatile situations that sparked the lock. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not a genius programming, but I can't imagine it would be hard to program. $\endgroup$
    – GeoffDS
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ My opinion: The custome period of time sounds like a good idea that might help the moderators deal with for example contest problems so that complete deletion isn't the default option. That way (as an example) those contest problems can remain visible so that if it shows up in another question, then the community will already know not to answer. $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ This is interesting. How are timed locks currently used? Why would you lock a question for an hour? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 16, 2012 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ @FrançoisG.Dorais The existing options are 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, and permanent. A 1 hour or 1 day lock can be a good preventive measure if we catch two users engaged in an edit war. Or if we see two users spitting at each other publicly. (In the latter case for first offenses we generally don't immediately suspend the users, and so locking the question [taking away the toys] is a temporary solution to stop the fighting.) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ Another reason to lock temporarily is because lots of off-topic comments are piling on the post. If we let the rubbernecking subside they often don't come back for second viewings. And one other reason to lock for just 1 hour is in the case that "something seriously bad is happening, but we don't have a protocol to deal with that yet; let me lock this temporarily and ask for advice from other mods and/or the SE team". Stuff on SE tend not to be life-or-death, and 1 hour is usually enough to formulate a response (which can include "lock it for another day because we need more time to think"). $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, @WillieWong. This looks like an interesting feature. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 18:56


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