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I have a question on SO that generates answers by users with reputation 1, they are mostly nonse. And the question already has an accepted and highly upvoted answer.

The "rep 1" users posts a new answer to the question now and then. 5 of 15 has an author with "rep 1". The latest is only a few hours old.

I would like to have this question protected. New answers will not add anything new to it. I thought "Protecting" a question was constructed for this. See New Protected Question Status.

And from that article:

So, in the future, if you see a question that is attracting a lot of drive-by noise answers, please flag it for moderator attention. We’ll turn on protection.

But "a lot of drive-by noise answers" is not strictly defined. Is there any guidlines that are easier to understand?

I have also read:

My action

So, I thought I could flag my question and ask for "Protection", as described above.

But in the end, my flag was rejected and I got -10 flag penalty for something I thought I was doing right. If my flag post was just rejected, it had been fair enough.

What did I do wrong? Is there any more specific guidelines for "Protected" questions, so we can avoid getting penalties in the future?

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6  
Which question is the subject of your concern? –  Rob W Dec 8 '11 at 22:53
    
@RobW: stackoverflow.com/questions/4085959/… –  Jonas Dec 9 '11 at 0:31
1  
You need to adopt an unicorn. :-) –  kiamlaluno Dec 9 '11 at 2:54

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Is this the question in question? There are no deleted answers on that page; typically, Protect is used when users or moderators are sick of casting delete votes on not-an-answer answers.

None that were posted looked horrible enough to justify the not an answer flag. (Though many are very low quality and it is surprising that answers are still being posted over a year later despite the problem getting The Answer roughly an hour after being asked.)

Since you know the question better than anyone else, it'd be helpful if you downvote the answers that are making suggestions or assumptions about your problem that you had explicitly covered in your question body. Once an answer has a negative score, it'll be easier for others to cast delete votes. If the question had some deleted answers, I expect a moderator would have been more willing to Protect the post -- or at least dismiss the flag as "helpful" but not take action. (Though I understand moderators are less inclined to do that these days. Fine by me.)

I personally have the protect privilege but don't feel comfortable using it on this question, in part because only a moderator could undo my decision.

And, the final note -- I wouldn't worry too much about 10 points on your flag weight. You're still well above 100, so take solace in knowing you're doing it right.

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+1 your reasoning sounds feasible. Yes, 10 flag penalty isn't much to care about, what is more important is that I got a penalty when I thought I was doing something right. Yes, it's that question. –  Jonas Dec 8 '11 at 23:22

I looked at the question too, and it seems that the new answers should either be a comment on an existing answer, or are just repeating previous answers in a slightly different way.

To me your question is borderline - you could protect it because the answers it is attracting are low quality, but those new answers are not accumulating at a very fast rate (one every few months). Having the question protected doesn't mean it is locked, it simply prevents low rep users from leaving answers.

Possibly the best thing to do is not to directly flag a mod in regards to your question, but to flag the new answers as they arise. 10K+ users can see the deleted answers, and 15K+ users can protect a question. If flags come up regularly on answers to your question and a 15K user can see a number of already deleted answers then that would be a good indication to them that it needs protecting.

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Your question could have been caused by many things. The answer you've chosen solved it for you, but others are simply chiming in with other things they've found that result in the same error.

Just because they don't resolve your specific instance doesn't mean they aren't valuable - the reality is that this page will help others in the future with a similar problem, and the answers others are providing - even the low rep, new users - are very valuable to future searchers.

For instance, look at a very similar issue I had:

Xcode 4: Build Failed, No Issues

Even though I resolved my problem by reconstructing the project from scratch, a lot of others had a similar error that was caused by different things.

This is especially true when the error is obscure, without clean guidance as to what went wrong - lots of things could have gone wrong.

I think you shouldn't worry about it, and unless you know that the answers would never resolve a similar problem for anyone else in the future, you should probably leave them alone, without downvoting or deleting them.

Still, you wanted it protected, so I've protected it for you.

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