Are threads usually locked before deletion?

There was a thread I had seen in MPSIMS that I (and others, judging by the reaction) felt was inappropriate. I went back to check, and saw that it was locked, but no mod had put any reason for locking it.

I was happy to see this, although I thought the lack of comment was a bit odd. I meant to come here to question that.

The thread is now gone, so I presume it was deleted in keeping with the policy to remove troll and sockpuppet threads. This doesn’t surprise me much.

But, if the thread is disappearing anyway, why lock it? Was that an intermediate step while a mod was making sure the OP was bannable?

In most versions of VBB, locking a thread is a much faster operation than moving it, and takes significantly less server resources. So my hunch is that mods. lock threads that are to be “deleted”* prior to moving them, to prevent posts being made to them before they can be moved.

  • I don’t know for sure what SDMB policy is, but it’s customary in MB administration, for legal-protection reasons, to delete only accidental-duplicate threads (where somebody hits “Post New Thread” twice, or the hamster hiccups while putting it in place), and move the offensive or otherwise inappropriate threads to an area accessible only to staff. This has the effect of “deleting” it as far as we hoi polloi are concerned.

From what the mods and admins have said here in the past, I had gathered that “deletion” really meant “moving out of the public view”, as you said. If locking is quicker and easier, then that also makes sense. It just had seemed oddly redundant.

It’s possible that two mods are trying to modify a thread at once, too. It’s not likely, but it’s happened before. One of us might be trying to lock a thread while another one is trying to move it.

What is ironically hilarious, which happened to me and another moderator on a different board (where we both moderated) is that the command to lock/unlock a thread is a “toggle” – clicking on it switches the “lockedness” value of the thread to the opposite. So when both of us jumped to lock a flamefest thread, we ended up leaving it unlocked, because we’d both toggled it – and the second person, while thinking he was switching it to “locked,” actually unlocked it.