The banner displayed on protected questions still states that the reputation threshold for answering is 10, but the real threshold appears to be greater than 75. I have 75 reputation on Stack Overflow, all of which was earned on Stack Overflow, but still can't answer questions there for which protected is the only restriction.

Should I be able to answer protected questions, or is the content of the "protected" banner out of date?

EDIT: Here is a link to a question affected by this issue:

What are common UI misconceptions and annoyances?

  • 1
    As an aside, that question doesn't need to be protected; it needs to be closed (and marked with the "This is not an on-topic question anymore, don't ask new ones like it" banner). Dec 19, 2011 at 17:47
  • 1
    @MichaelPetrotta It's closed now, locked with the "historical significance" notice and unprotected cause that doesn't matter much anymore.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Dec 19, 2011 at 17:51
  • 4
    Reproduced with a 21-rep account and this question.
    – Shog9
    Dec 19, 2011 at 17:53
  • @NineShogsShogging no repro on local ... is this reproducible in prod on question that were never locked?
    – waffles
    Dec 20, 2011 at 23:32
  • Reproduced with the same 21-rep account (confirmed "remove new user restrictions" @ 100%) on this never-locked, never-closed question, @waffles.
    – Shog9
    Dec 20, 2011 at 23:49
  • ok ... something is odd. it will take me a while to catch it cause I am probably going to need a prod backup to step through this
    – waffles
    Dec 21, 2011 at 2:16
  • note, we do not see this issue on SE sites, something changed on SO
    – waffles
    Dec 21, 2011 at 2:16
  • @NineShogsShogging figured this one out, thinking of a fix
    – waffles
    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:17
  • @waffles are you sure a "fix" is necessary? I think for the question in question ONE TRILLION REP should be required to answer it. If the bug is that sometimes people need even more rep to answer, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Dec 21, 2011 at 8:13
  • Yeah @jeff the question is now deleted it clearly does not belong
    – waffles
    Dec 21, 2011 at 9:37
  • I have a reputation of 31 on stackoverflow, but can not answer this question 14216205l there. Is this still a bug? stackoverflow.com/questions/14216205/… Apr 26, 2013 at 10:17
  • The banner on protected questions is misleading.Please vote to improve it Make reputation message when answering protected questions less ambiguous May 29, 2016 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


In July we made a change where we are supposed to "ignore" the 100 reputation bonus you get from associated accounts when checking if you are allowed to answer protected questions.

The theory was that you need at least one real upvote in the community to answer protected questions on the site. The text was updated to reflect this.

In practice the check is all bodged up and inconsistent. In particular, if you associate an account and get no bonus (cause you have less than 200 rep) we arbitrarily decide that you need 111 rep to post answers.

Clearly, this is not by design - figuring out a way of fixing this without paying a huge perf price.

  • 1
    to be deployed in the next day or 2
    – waffles
    Dec 21, 2011 at 4:51
  • along the same lines, could you make sure that questions/answers from users who are new to a site (SE2.0), but are not technically "new" to the algorithm because they have +100 bonus appear in /review/ under first-questions or first-answers respectively? If this is already done, then awesome! Dec 21, 2011 at 5:10
  • 1
    Heh, so my mistake was creating an entirely new user to test on Gaming rather than re-using the one I used on SO.
    – Shog9
    Dec 21, 2011 at 5:36
  • 1
    the text is correct as stated, though. It says "reputation on this site" -- you just have to read closely. Dec 21, 2011 at 8:10
  • True @jeff the fix simply fixes a nasty bug
    – waffles
    Dec 21, 2011 at 9:33
  • TIL upvotes to questions you ask don't count as "real upvotes".
    – corsiKa
    Apr 16, 2014 at 22:18
  • The "protected" note still shows that "posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site", when in reality it requires 110 reputation. May 28, 2016 at 11:04
  • The theory was that you need at least one real upvote in the community to answer protected questions on the site. That makes no sense; the whole purpose of the 100-point bonus is to pre-vet people who have proven themselves on other SE sites to bypass the noob-nerfing requirements and let them hit the ground running. 🤦 A literal decade later and the banner is still confusing "a f" and leads people to assume it's a bug and have to waste time trying to track down this page to find out what's going on. 🙄
    – Synetech
    May 3, 2021 at 4:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .