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Questions can be protected.

  • What does it mean for a question to be protected?
  • Who can protect a question?
  • Who can answer a protected question?
  • When should I protect or unprotect a question?

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Is this question protected for the sake of demonstration? – dorukayhan Jul 2 at 4:30
up vote 76 down vote accepted

What does it mean for a question to be protected?

Protected questions have the additional restriction that new users are not permitted to answer the question. Unlike locked questions, they can still be edited, commented on, and voted on. You can even vote to close them.

Why are some questions protected?

Some questions are protected because they are expected to attract either spam or users -- often new users -- who may mistake the site as a traditional forum, posting "noisy" answers such as "Thank you" or "This worked for me" or "I'm also having this problem".

Who can protect and unprotect questions?

Who can answer a protected question?

Users with 10 or more reputation can answer a protected question. However, the +100 account association bonus is ignored for this check, so you must have earned 10 or more reputation on that specific site to answer a protected question.

The reasoning about this reputation limit discussed in Allow people to answer protected questions if they have earned at least some amount of combined SE rep

When should I protect or unprotect a question?

  • Do protect questions that are attracting a lot of non-answers or very poor answers (spam, etc.) from new users.
  • Don’t protect questions just because they’re linked to on a high-traffic news site.
  • Do unprotect questions that aren’t currently attracting a lot of attention and don’t have a long history of unproductive answers.

See also: Changes and guidelines for the Protected Question status

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@shog9: Looks like protected questions need 10 votes to delete. Shouldn't that be mentioned here? – juergen d Jan 6 '13 at 19:00
That's not really connected to "protect", @juergend - see:… – Shog9 Jan 6 '13 at 19:08
@shog9: Didn't find the paragraph where it says anything about the delete votes though, but OK. – juergen d Jan 6 '13 at 19:17
@juergen: "3. Users with reputation >= 10k (more precisely, the “moderator tools” privilege; 2k on beta sites) can vote to delete questions that have been closed for 48 hours. It takes three votes to delete; more if the question is popular, but ten votes at most." – Shog9 Jan 6 '13 at 19:24
There was another Q asking How to protect a question, which was closed as a duplicate of this. I don't see how in this answer, nor do I see a link that says "protect" next to "flag", eg. Can we add the how info to this? – gung Feb 19 '13 at 13:26
@Shog9 Is there a rationale given for why a protected question ignores the +100 bonus? It seems arbitrary considering the many different permissions that this particular one ignores the bonus. – corsiKa Apr 16 '14 at 22:00
@corsiKa The original rationale (as best as I can find) is at – waiwai933 Apr 16 '14 at 22:07
@waiwai933 That does explain that it's intentional (even if not perfectly implemented, at time of that posting), although it doesn't explain the rationale. It explains the what they want ("one real upvote") but not the why. – corsiKa Apr 16 '14 at 22:23
this +100 account association bonus is ignored thing is nasty and inconsistent. why not simply require 110 rep for answering a protected question, no strings attached? – törzsmókus Nov 9 '15 at 4:34

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protected by nicael Nov 22 '15 at 15:18

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

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