A number of users have complained here that threads were locked by a biased mentor or one who misunderstood their words. Those who speak up may be a mere sample of those who feel the same way. If a single mentor is able to lock a thread then it seems that false positives are more likely. Of course a lock can be contested. But some users are supine. Some don't want to risk exacerbating any stigma. Some don't know they can contest. Some don't trust the fairness of the process. Some have their own reasons not to. Besides, it is better to prevent a mistake than to fix it. Overall, threads seem a bit too simple to lock and too complicated to unlock. I submit that the forum could benefit from some simple "fair warning" protocol which is easy to establish. What I have in mind is that when a mentor feels a thread should be locked, this should be clearly stated (as a lock request) along with the reason instead of unilaterally applying an immediate lock. A workable delay for response really should be allowed, say 12 hours to accomodate work time and/or sleep time around the globe. To prevent personal bias, the mentor who requests a lock should not be the one who applies it. This is simple since 12 hours later a different mentor is most likely monitoring the section. Any other mentor who concurs in spite of possible counter-arguments posted in the meantime can lock the thread. This other mentor should post accordingly so users know it was not a one-mentor action. I don't think this would create much extra work for mentors since every thread is usually read by more than one already. Yes, it makes locking a thread a two-step process instead of just one, but this can be seen as a Good Thing (tm). I don't find a 12-hour delay unreasonable given that discussions remain visible for a very long time anyway. It lets thoughts cool off if needed. During this time clarifications can be issued; other users also have a fair chance to provide input; the requesting mentor may cancel the request; another mentor who disagrees may request continuation instead and effectively cancel the lock request (by a tie vote); and of course mentors can exchange PMs as they see fit the way they already do. I expect that a protocol like this would help prevent misunderstandings and enhance everyone's experience of the forum. At the moment, threads can get locked abruptly, sometimes mysteriously, frequently by an unknown mentor. This can give a feeling of inequity. Increasing transparency of a process often increases its credibility. This suggestion of course does not affect immediate removal of prohibited posts or other emergency action. As I said, I suggest this to give a "fair chance" in possibly misguided yet harmless discussions, so those who are misunderstood have time to explain themselves before being shut down.