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Is there sufficient support for the creation of a new moderator action to set a question's state to "FROZEN" instead of "CLOSED" ?

The purpose of that action would be to suspend all contributions/edits on the questions except by the original author and any of the authorized moderators.

It is suggested that the action to freeze a question require the selection from a list of pre-defined options for freeze timeframe.

A suggested set of such values is 6 hours, 1 day, 3 days, 1 week, 3 weeks.

It is further suggested that by the end of the selected timeframe, the moderator should have provided specifics regarding what needs to be modified about a question before the "FROZEN" state can be restored to "OPEN".

If the original moderator has not been able to provide that feedback by the end of the selected timeframe, only then could other moderators step in to action the feedback for the next step in the interaction.

Lastly, with that moderator response, it is suggested that another timeframe be selected, for the original question submitter to complete the necessary modifications and trigger a request for review for possible reinstatement to "OPEN" status.

If upon this first review, the question is not deemed suitable, it is proposed that the submitter be eligible for a second "FROZEN" cycle, with new feedback on the latest submission.

If this second review again fails to meet the moderator requirements, only then is it suggested that a question be "CLOSED".

Naturally, this does not preclude the outright application of "CLOSED" status for questions that are completely out of line, but it is the hoped that the use of the "FROZEN" status would supplant the use of the "CLOSED" status for those questions where the issue is a matter of formulation to meet the intent of stated criteria for the discussion group.

Having questions that are either CLOSED or FROZEN would then facilitate the task of moderators, making it an auto-ignore for the CLOSED items, whereas the FROZEN items would not be ignored and would stand out from the "haystack".

Would such a proposal be considered reasonable?

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  • This is something you'd need to take to Meta SE, but I'd suggest you read up on some previous suggestions around close suggestions and how the process is supposed to work. To me this seems to take away some things from the community itself and complicate the point of the close process.
    – Dom Mod
    Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 4:32

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What you propose seems very similar to the existing close process, with a few additions and a new name.

The purpose of that action would be to suspend all contributions/edits on the questions except by the original author and any of the authorized moderators.

Closure accomplishes this partly; contributors with the edit privilege may still edit the question (which triggers re-open voting). Suggested edits must still first be approved. I believe this is the subject of some debate on Meta.StackExchange.

It is further suggested that by the end of the selected timeframe, the moderator should have provided specifics regarding what needs to be modified about a question before the "FROZEN" state can be restored to "OPEN".

Generally, the closure reason, banner, and community comments along with site policy are expected to provide this information. For additional dialog, the expectation is to use this meta site (including its chat).

If the original moderator has not been able to provide that feedback by the end of the selected timeframe, only then could other moderators step in to action the feedback for the next step in the interaction.

I don't entirely follow this: closing questions is not a "diamond-moderator" specific privilege (though diamond mods can close questions unilaterally). I suppose in the context of mods being the only ones capable of freezing questions it might make sense, but generally introducing a dependency on a single or small set of people is avoided.

I admit that in a recent instance I intended to provide more feedback than was already present, but life got in the way. I hoped that what information was available would suffice in the interim; it may not have. OTOH, there is nothing wrong with moving slowly if you have asked for and are awaiting more information.

RE: "reopen" cycles, I submit that I do not completely understand how many times a question is eligible for re-open voting after it has been closed. My understanding from the relevant help pages is that each user gets one close/reopen vote on each question. But, for example, a question could go through multiple cycles of edit/vote/stay before being re-opened, as long as the necessary votes are provided at the end.

Lastly, as Dom suggested in the comments: we cannot institute this here, individually (AFAIK). You would need to take this up on Meta SE if you are serious about proposing this change. Expect pushback on a change to a widely used process; it would help to have all your ducks in a row (research, prior art, etc.).


Note that there is also something different called "locking a post."

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  • Thank you for that link on locking a post. Very informative. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 17:53

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