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So, this question should maybe be locked, given the edit war or whatever we want to call that (I assume there must be edit history I can't see because otherwise the OP's obscene posts seem totally out of the blue with literally nothing having happened to trigger them), but I don't think the moderator 'Content Dispute' notice is appropriate because it's not so much a genuine content dispute as spam. The moderator notice, for reference, says:

This post has been locked while disputes about its content are being resolved. For more info visit meta.

with a link on "visit meta" to the meta home page (this link may be configurable, that's the target in this specific case).

So, it seems to me like the only reason to lock this post is that we have someone committing gross violations of the 'Be Nice' policy. But we have a different, better, tool for that use case: temporary suspensions/bans. Indeed, it appears the user in question has already been subjected to a temporary ban while I was writing this question, but the post is still locked. It seems like locking the post, given a ban has already been issued, is redundant and unnecessary. What's the purpose of the continued lock in this case? (I don't mean to imply that there can't be one-- maybe it is important that a user not get an answer to that question while banned because that half-circumvents the punishment of the ban or something, or some other thing I haven't thought of. In any case, the question is not rhetorical-- I genuinely want to know what the mod thought process on this here thingy is/was)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ > 'I assume there must be edit history I can't' - yeah, reading it, I too am very puzzled by why the insults suddenly started getting added, given that the comments/chat seemed civil. Are hidden edit histories even possible? Knowing that probably might influence the answer (though I'm not informed enough to provide one). \$\endgroup\$ – vicky_molokh Jun 16 at 6:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ The post is unlocked now. (It would have automatically unlocked in another 20 minutes anyway.) I locked it as a first/second step in handling a quickly developing situation. I don't want to say any more without conferring with the other mods regarding what information is or isn't okay to share. Hopefully you understand. (I'm as confused as you are about what sparked it.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 16 at 6:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to clarify one thing: there's no hidden edit history that you don't have access to in this case. When you click into the "edited $TIME ago" page, you're seeing everything that happened. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jun 16 at 11:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 What about the comment/chat log then? Does it have unseen parts? Because the whole thing looks like there's missing context that caused a sudden turn for the worse. \$\endgroup\$ – vicky_molokh Jun 16 at 11:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @vicky_molokh there are a number of deleted comments (that you can't see), yes. They abruptly turn abusive without any real leadup--it was all "thanks, yes, this is what I'm curious about, f&*^ all you $&#%^ %#*@&%s" with no real warning. (Incidentally, those were flag-deleted by you-all before mods got to them--thanks, community!) I don't really see anything that explains the shift in tone/approach by OP. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jun 16 at 11:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like they flipped out at the fact that others touched it at all with (benign) edits. Some people totally unfamiliar with the site model react violently when they see their posts get edited. I can’t see the deleted comments, but the reaction in edits fits with the pattern for that type of new user that I used to see. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 16 at 21:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie That may be one of the side effects of a "help pile" or a perceived "help pile" , or it may be as you note one of those "hey, this is my question, keep your paws off of it." It all started out so well, based on the comment stream I just reviewed ... \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 17 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Do I see it correctly that the first family-unfriendly edits predate (05:39) the thank you comments (09:33)? If that's correct, that makes it look like the situation/explanation is less simple than that. \$\endgroup\$ – vicky_molokh Jun 19 at 5:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vicky_molokh The comments are in chat so I'm not sure what the timestamps there actually mean-- it may well be a timezone issue. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jun 19 at 6:32
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The post is unlocked now. (It would have automatically unlocked in another 20 minutes anyway.)

I locked it (for an hour - the lowest option) as a first/second step in handling a quickly developing situation - the user was repeatedly vandalizing their own post to insult the RPG.SE community, as they were apparently online at the time. (I'm as confused as you are about what sparked it.) I wanted to stop them doing that first, so I initially locked the post.

Then they edited the insults back in a second time after I reverted the self-vandalization a first time, just before I managed to lock the post - so I had to unlock the post, revert it again, and lock it again. I was hoping to be able to ask the other mods how to handle the situation, but I was the only one online at the time.

Since the abusive behavior was continuing, I needed a moment to get ahead of them so locked the post (which is quick and easy to do in our UI) while I caught my breath and found the button to suspend the user. Then, as noted above, I unlocked the post once the situation had been handled.

Let us know if you have any other questions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Cool, makes sense, I didn't realize you could have automatic time-based unlocking on posts-- we should definitely wait an hour before second-guessing those prolly then ;P \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jun 16 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer: Yeah, it actually displayed on the notice for me how much time the post lock had left on it - didn't realize only mods could see that. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 16 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I really wish mods could edit while a post is locked for exactly this reason. I don’t see why it’s not possible. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 16 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ So, how many times in total it was locked? \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jun 17 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras: Twice, as described in the post. I had to manually unlock it once to edit out the abuse that was edited back in. It's visible in the revision history for the question. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 17 at 21:02

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