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A locked thread is a forum thread that does not allow new comments. Threads can only be locked by moderators.
A thread may be locked for several reasons:
- The thread may be a sticky that is meant to be informative and is not meant to garner discussion - in this case the moderator will lock it to prevent off-topic posting.
- The thread may be a duplicate of an existing active thread. This may happen when the poster did not search for or could not find the active thread before posting. It may also happen when the poster hits the Post button multiple times and cannot delete the duplicate. In this case a moderator will direct the poster to the active discussion and close to duplicate to end confusion and more duplicates.
- The discussion in the thread may have degenerated into personal attacks. In this case, a moderator will lock the thread to prevent further personal attacks.
- The discussion in the thread was placed in the wrong forum.
- The thread may have accumulated 500 comments or more. This is the most common reason a thread is locked. Due to inherit instabilities in Drupal, this was required to keep the site from crashing. A moderator will then lock the thread to keep the site stable, as long threads in the game and roleplaying forums were responsible for the site's outages during the 2007 offseason. This rule affects the entire forum but is most visible in those two forums. Other popular threads affected by this rule include the dare thread in Reaching 50,000, the Spork Room and the NaNoisms thread in NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul, the Overachievers thread in This is Going Better Than I'd Hoped, and the Adopt a Plot thread in Adoption Society. When a thread is locked for this reason, posters may continue the discussion in another thread; usually the moderator or another poster will create a Part Two (or Part Three, etc.) of the original thread.
- Since the switch to Ruby on Rails, locking topics with over 500 comments is no longer necessary. The first thread to reach 500 comments on the Ruby on Rails version of the site was the Purple Elephants thread in the Teens forum, which did so in under two days and topped 1000 posts within three days.