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Given the number of comments on this SO question: In C++, why should new be used as little as possible?, I'm wondering if it should be protected. Do moderators, et al., appreciate flagging a question for 'Needs Moderator Attention' -> Other -> 'Please Protect Me!'?

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I flagged a few questions with the comment "should probably be protected", because they had at least two answers that I also flagged for deletion (since they weren't answers at all). The questions however were never protected -- So I don't know how the mods feel about such flags. Are the reasons for protection different than what I'm thinking they are? I thought when you already have to delete two (late) answers the question would qualify to be protected anyway. –  slhck Jun 28 '11 at 20:50
    
@slhck What did you want the "protection" to do? See my answer for a description of how it works. Is that what you wanted to happen? –  Anna Lear Jun 28 '11 at 20:52
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@Anna Yeah, I thought in order to prevent answers from newly signed up users who don't add real answers (but rather "same problem" questions or rants, etc.). –  slhck Jun 28 '11 at 20:55
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@slhck If the question didn't have good answers already, it's probably enough to just flag the non-answers ones as "not an answer". We don't want to potentially leave the question forever unanswered by preventing the one new user who can post a proper response from doing so. –  Anna Lear Jun 28 '11 at 20:57
    
@Anna Okay that might have been the case. Valid point. Thanks for explaining :) –  slhck Jun 28 '11 at 20:59
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I think it's fine to flag to "protect", but that question is only 20 hours old, give it some time to ferment first. –  Lance Roberts Jun 28 '11 at 21:03

1 Answer 1

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Protecting a question would only prevent people with less than 10 reputation from posting new answers. This is typically done if a question is publicized on a popular site like Reddit or Hacker News and we want to protect it from getting swarmed with answers from people not familiar with how Stack Exchange works.

Occasionally we also protect an old question that gets new answers from new users trying to get some rep that duplicate existing answers.

If you think an argument is breaking out in comments, protecting the question won't fix it, but it may be worth flagging it for moderator attention and explaining that comments are going off-track. A moderator can step in to clean things up and, if needed, lock the question to prevent further argument. However, locking also disables voting on the question and its answers as well as posting new answers, so it's generally not done lightly.

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Worth noting: everyone who posted an answer to the linked question already had more than 10 rep (except this one, which got two upvotes). –  Robert Harvey Jun 28 '11 at 22:11
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Correct @RobertHarvey - I had noticed that, not really a case for protecting, but perhaps a 'we should all continue this discussion in a chat room' -- I wish there was a way to import the comments. –  M. Tibbits Jun 28 '11 at 23:53

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