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I have passed 3500 reputation on a beta site, so I have both access to the 10K tools and the ability to protect things.

However, the protection ability is somewhat tough to use, because there isn't an easy way to find those questions which need protecting.

In my experience, the questions which are in need of protection are those which have many deleted answers, as stated in the privilege page.

There are other potential problems associated with questions generating many deleted answers:

  • A bunch of link-only deleted answers? Maybe the question is asking for a favorite outside reference, and needs to be closed.
  • Very low quality deleted answers? It's possible the question itself needs some editing/deletion

We have a list of posts generating lots of comments - and we can't do too much beyond flagging for comments. Why not have a list of lots-of-deleted-answers questions, which 10k'ers can actually do something about?

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    Don't get ahead of yourself, Batman - first, you need a good sturdy cape. P.S. on graduated sites, "protect" is a 15K privilege. – Shog9 Sep 20 '13 at 2:59
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    I think what he means is that on a beta site, you can be Robin and still kick some ass. You have to be Batman on a graduated site to do the same. – Robert Harvey Sep 20 '13 at 3:03
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    A moderator on a SE site I frequent just deals with these questions whenever they get bumped, rather than trying to protect things back in the archives. – doppelgreener Sep 20 '13 at 3:04
  • @Robert Yes... but are there any reasons such a list wouldn't be wanted? – Undo Sep 20 '13 at 3:05
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    Keep an eye on "first posts" and "late answers" (either in review, or in the 10k tools) - right now, those are the best places to get a feel for where a lot of the stuff that "protect" exists to thwart are coming in. Keep an eye out for patterns. I do think this list could be useful, but not necessarily for the reasons you're suggesting. – Shog9 Sep 20 '13 at 3:05
  • @Shog That makes more sense - I'll do so. Are you saying that a list such as mine is unneeded/unwanted? Wouldn't a bunch of deleted answers be a red flag? – Undo Sep 20 '13 at 3:06
  • @Shog9 "NO CAPES!" – John Sep 20 '13 at 22:56
  • @Shog9 then a moderator only list of questions with lots of deleted answers? Remember that right now is the community that can act over this. – Braiam Apr 11 '14 at 15:23
  • See my answer, @Braiam. – Shog9 Apr 11 '14 at 15:47
  • @Braiam Questions with lots of deleted answers are automatically protected already. – Servy Apr 11 '14 at 15:57
  • @Servy I'm not asking because protection, I'm asking because a question with lots of deleted answer may have another issue that can't be fixed with protection. – Braiam Apr 11 '14 at 16:01
  • Consider that the time to catch those issues is when you're deleting or flagging the answers, not long after they've already been removed, @Braiam. This is generally how moderators approach the issue: if they're called to look at a problematic answer and find a bunch of others laying around, they'll act then rather than waiting. You should probably follow this example. – Shog9 Apr 11 '14 at 16:46
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However, the protection ability is somewhat tough to use, because there isn't an easy way to find those questions which need protecting.

Sure there is. When you see a question getting tons of unwanted attention, protect it. There are multiple ways in which the system exposes such attention right now: bumps to the front page, /review queues, 10K /tools highlighting heavily-viewed and voted posts, the 10K list of late answers...

If we were to come up with a better system for identifying questions that could use some protection, we'd just make the system automatically protect them in those cases. Oh, wait, we did and we did.

The feature you're asking for wouldn't help you find protect-worthy questions anyway: remember, Protect only blocks answers from new users. But worse, if you're going out looking for a question that needs to be protected, you're doing it wrong:

Judicious use of this feature is critical to allowing these sites to handle large amounts of external attention, but over-using it breaks the system: Stack Exchange sites depend on a constant influx of new blood, both to answer new questions and provide updated information on old ones. When in doubt, err on the side of letting new users prove themselves before locking them out.

Questions that need this should generally stick out like a bunch of sore thumbs. If you're worried that you're missing them... Well, you can just stop worrying.

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