I was just reading the question below,

What is Node.js?

When, I noticed that, it was closed!, for "not being constructive" as says obviously; But just below that, it also says it is, protected assuming for the reasons that, it had some value to the community after-all.

My view is that, It should not have been protected, if it was closed as 'not constructive' first. Because, no one can post answers,

...but then if it was protected first, with the amount of upvotes and attention it had received, it wasn't certainly not constructive. humm??

What do you think

  • 7
    Protection is only meant to prevent spam. It says nothing about the "worthiness" of the post other than its ability to attract spam.
    – Mysticial
    Mar 30, 2013 at 15:16
  • @Mysticial Not only (or even mainly) spam. Posts from very low reputation users, generally, with a focus on preventing forum-like posts that don't attempt to answer the question. Mar 30, 2013 at 15:20
  • 5
    The real conundrum here is that there's no point displaying the protection notice anymore once a question is closed, because nobody will be able to answer a closed question anyway. Mar 30, 2013 at 15:41

3 Answers 3


That's not what "protected" means.

Protected means "This post is popular enough to attract users who want to post non-answers, so we're going to require 10 reputation to answer it."

Has nothing to do with constructiveness. In fact, subjective questions (including those that are "not constructive") often require protection more frequently than the objective ones.


Protecting a question after it was closed is useful only in the case the question could be re-opened later. Since nobody can answer a closed question, avoiding new users can post an answer is useless.

Protecting a question that is not closed just avoids new users write an answer for that question. The aim is avoiding new users write answers like "Me too!" or "Thank you! You saved my day!" In some cases, questions are automatically protected based on the number of deleted answers.

Protecting a question doesn't mean the question is very constructive, helpful, or one of the best questions ever. It could mean it became suddenly popular (somebody posted a link in some social network), and new users who are not used to Stack Exchange fly in to leave as answers what they think comments.


You feel like protecting a question is useless when it's closed already. I understand this, but there is one thing which protecting does and closing does not: protecting the question does make sure there won't be any spam after eventual reopening.

So protecting a closed question sure makes sense, though I don't know how useful it was in this particular case - the question was closed for 9 months when it was protected, so it wasn't very likely to get reopened.

Also, I fundamentally disagree with this:

...but then if it was protected first, with the amount of upvotes and attention it had received, it wasn't certainly not constructive.

The community does not necessary vote right. Everyone will agree that https://stackoverflow.com/q/194812/1544337 is not constructive, and yet it has 2498 upvotes. You can find more examples here.

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