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Should there be a "contest question" reason for closing - I've just looked at an excellent question, which is part of a contest. It doesn't deserve to be closed on merit, and I can't in conscience sign up to any of the normal reasons for closure. Wouldn't it be more honest to have a contest question option?

This would also be easier to review, as questions should be reopened once contests are over.

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  • $\begingroup$ @Willie (Interesting answer you have, I didn't know that existed.) I'd like to point out that the FAQ link isn't valid/helpful anymore. I'm sure you're aware of it in general, just thought I'd point out this case. $\endgroup$ – Calvin Lin Jun 26 '13 at 7:16
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The only solution I see would be to have a moderator lock the question and add a notification about the contest, or a moderator could temporarily delete the question as well - and undelete it later.

I think that we can maintain a meta thread with a list of currently locked/deleted contest questions, so it's easier to unlock them, and it's easier to oversee the moderators' handling contest questions.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, please flag such questions, that is more useful than closing them. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Jun 8 '13 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, that's helpful. $\endgroup$ – Mark Bennet Jun 8 '13 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ "a meta thread with a list of currently locked/deleted contest questions" - capital idea. I'd prefer that such a thread be mod-curated only, tho. $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Jun 8 '13 at 18:09
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M.: Naturally. Perhaps a moderator should start the thread, post an answer (in which the list will be added), then lock the answer and close the thread. This will ensure no other answers will be added, and comments can still be given on the main question; but the list itself cannot be modified by any non-moderator. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 8 '13 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Michael: Can you bring my suggestion up to the mod team? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 8 '13 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf: how sure are you that that will work? $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jun 10 '13 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Asaf or someone else (not diamond mods): can you confirm that you cannot edit the answer below that I locked? $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jun 10 '13 at 8:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Willie: Yes, I can't edit locked posts. I can't comment either. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 10 '13 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, good. Thanks. That's an interesting way to use the system which I've never thought of. I'll keep it in mind in the future. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jun 10 '13 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ Nor can nonmoderators even vote on or flag comments on locked posts. $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Jun 14 '13 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ @JonasMeyer That's not what happens for me. I see the vote and flag buttons for the comments on the locked answer; I can't vote on the answer itself, however. $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Jun 14 '13 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin: I see the buttons, too, but cannot use them. Have you tried? $\endgroup$ – Jonas Meyer Jun 14 '13 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @JonasMeyer Hm... You're right. I guess I should've done that first. $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Jun 14 '13 at 17:28
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Uncoming changes to the closing process ("sometime next week") should help:

  • Each site will have a list of its own specific pre-selected “Off-Topic” reasons
  • Each closer will either select one of the site's standard reasons from the list (for instance, “Recipe requests are off-topic, although recipe replacements, etc. are allowed”), or,
  • Closers can enter a free-form reason ("Your question appears to be about 'Cat Grooming', which is off-topic for Stack Overflow.")
  • These lists will be determined by the communities, and moderators will be able to update them, subject to review by each other, their community, and the SE team
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