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This question does not allow people with reputation less than 10 to answer it. Since the question is unanswered, I offered a valid answer in the question body (I edited the question), with a short explanation to a moderator. My edit was removed, question is still unanswered. Is there a way around it?

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@DanBeale The +100 bonus doesn't count towards this, so the "101" user would still need a rep of 111 (see…) – jonsca Oct 16 '11 at 8:00
Wow, thanks. I've deleted my earlier incorrect comment. – DanBeale Oct 16 '11 at 9:14
up vote 5 down vote accepted

First, some background on why questions are protected:

  • Questions are usually only protected in situations where there have been a significant number of unhelpful answers from new or unregistered users. You won't see these answers, because they've been deleted, but I would guess (I'm not a moderator on that site, so I can't say for sure) that there were a lot of answers that didn't answer the problem.

    Often times, these answers are things like "mee to i have the same problem u have found answer yet thanks?".

  • Questions can be protected by one of three ways:

    1. Three or more 0-score answers by users with <10 rep are deleted
    2. The question is manually protected by a moderator
    3. A user with >15k reputation can protect a question at least 24 hours old

Now, regarding what to do if you come up with a good answer to a protected question. Keep in mind, questions are usually only protected when they've received a lot of non-answers already, so nobody's intentionally trying to prevent you from answering if you have useful information.

  • The easiest thing to do is get a mere 10 points. It shouldn't be too hard — all it takes is a single upvote on an answer you wrote, or two upvotes on a question you asked. I bet you can do that.
  • If you feel like the question may not need to be protected, you can make a post on that site's meta (in your case, Give a link to the post, and state why you'd like it unprotected. If a moderator agrees with you, they can unprotect the question, and optionally reprotect it when you're done answering. They may also tell you why the question has been protected, and ask you to earn the 10 reputation elsewhere first.

Hopefully that clears some things up for you. I'm sure you'll be on your way up in rep points soon, and this little check will no longer bother you.

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Posting on per-site metas requires 5 rep and flagging for mod attention requires 15 rep. I can't help but think we might be painting new users into a corner when the only question they have an answer for is protected. – Brian Reichle Oct 16 '11 at 4:39
it will not bother me, it will bother others. Actually it bothers me a lot :) It bothers me that I need to build up 10 point on /every/ stack exchange site. It just does not make sense -- I feel like if I have > 10 points on /any/ stack exchange site -- it does not prevent me from giving stupid answers, of course, but 10 reputation earned on a specific site doesn't either. – Nikita Oct 16 '11 at 4:40
Also, I appreciate people who build their 10K reputation on stack exchange sites to no end, but I just don't have time to contribute as much. And whenever I want to and can there is always some moderation issue that prevents me from doing that -- I would have been happy enough to take no credit for my answer/suggestion but seeing moderator just disregard it makes me die inside a bit. – Nikita Oct 16 '11 at 4:42
@Nikita keep in mind that once you get to 200 points on any Stack Exchange site, you automatically get 100 points on any other Stack Exchange site you register on, allowing you to answer, flag, comment, etc. at will. If you have specific moderation issues, then you should bring them up here or on your site's meta. I agree that the experience for new users is often non-ideal, so give your feedback on how it can be improved. Misusing the system though (e.g. adding your answer as an edit) isn't the right way to go about things. – nhinkle Oct 16 '11 at 4:54
@nhinkle thanks for all the clarifications. – Nikita Oct 16 '11 at 14:33

It's bad luck, in a way. You would be able to answer had it not been put in Protected mode. Solution - get 10 points answering other, non-Protected Questions! David is right - you can get those points easily! Easy way is to edit questions for 2 points each.

That said, I do agree that newbie user's should be able to suggest answers, just as they can currently suggest edits. Why not? Using something embedded within the edit-functionality(i.e., maybe edit forks into two options if you're under 10 points). It will prevent bots, at least. But overall - thankfully, Protected questions are a minority.

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Should there not be a process that would allow me to answer this question with moderators help? Perhaps looking at the reputation on other stack exchange sites? I understand the reason for the rule, but I feel sad that questions like this will be unanswered because of the reputation issue, especially for people that don't answer questions much and stumbled across the solution accidentally. – Nikita Oct 16 '11 at 2:44
Nikita, yes I do agree you should be allowed to answer this question with a moderators help. We are allowed to edit, with moderators' help! – Adel Oct 16 '11 at 2:47
You may want to peruse -… – Adel Oct 16 '11 at 2:52
@Nikita: that could mean a lot more work for the moderators, though, if they have to review answers posted by new or unregistered users. – David Z Oct 16 '11 at 2:55
@DavidZaslavsky - Hmm, but I tend to think it's worth a try at least. Why would it be "a lot more work" ? And isn't moderating voluntary? A moderator can ignore it, another moderator may pick it up. It can just be a flag to the moderator, "there's a suggested post" - as a moderator you choose if you want to check it out. – Adel Oct 16 '11 at 2:59
@Adel: yes, moderation is voluntary in the sense that you have to actively choose to get the job, but once you become a moderator it's not like you can just ignore things. It's expected that the moderation team as a whole will handle all the moderation tasks that need to be done. All these things take time, and in fact most of the time that goes into moderation is spent just looking at things and deciding whether they're worthy of further action. So even just asking the moderators to look at suggested answers adds a significant chunk to their workload. – David Z Oct 16 '11 at 3:33
(cont.) That being said, it probably wouldn't be quite so bad if the task of reviewing suggested answers to protected questions was shared with 10K+ users, as reviewing edits is. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to suggest it as a feature-request. – David Z Oct 16 '11 at 3:35
@Nikita and Adel, take a look at my answer. I'm not a moderator on Ask Ubuntu, but am on Super User. You can always raise a question on your site's child meta, and the site's moderators will be automatically notified. They can address why a specific question was protected and give you advice on how to best get your answer up. – nhinkle Oct 16 '11 at 3:38
Also, to address "suggested answers", this would not be a good idea. The very users who cause posts to be protected would just suggest their answers. Of course, they would be rejected (for the same reasons they were deleted and the post was protected). In 99.9% of cases, it would create undue work for reviewers and would result in the answer being rejected anyways. Not worth the development time or the time of the moderators. – nhinkle Oct 16 '11 at 3:40
@Adel BTW It is not just the moderators who can approve edits. It is any user with enough rep. How much is enough? Hmmm...good question. How do suggested edits work? says it is 5000, which is the level that http://site/privileges describes as "Approve or reject tag wiki edits". – dmckee Oct 16 '11 at 4:32
@dmckee Any user over 2000 can approve any edits they encounter in passing (via edit(0) or edit(1) links). 5K users now have access to the edit queue, but 2K users can still approve. – jonsca Oct 16 '11 at 7:55

The way to answer a protected question is to post another (good) question or answer, and have it get an upvote or two to give you the necessary reputation. 10 reputation is just one upvote on an answer, or two on a question - so at a minimum, you just have to write something that one other person thinks is good.

The 10-rep requirement is intentionally a very small obstacle. It's only intended to keep people from answering until they have participated enough to get a sense of how the Stack Exchange system works - for instance, knowing that answers should never be edited into the question body ;-) (which you now know). Basically, you just need to demonstrate that you can be trusted to use the system properly.

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