I was just granted the Association Bonus for a new StackExchange site, as soon as I signed into it.

The purpose was to suggest an answer for a question, and at the bottom of the question, where the answer box is found, I instead was greeted with the message:

protected by ___ 2 hours ago

This question is protected to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers by new users. To answer it, you must have earned at least 10 reputation on this site.

So, there must be another requirement beyond the 10-minimum reputation, but it is unlisted.

What is that other requirement?

  • Interesting. I wonder if there are different types of rep in the background :)
    – Fluffeh
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 3:18
  • @Fluffeh that idea just crossed my mind a minute ago... but that'd be VERY weird!
    – Tom Pace
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 3:19
  • 1
    No, it wouldn't. The site rep cap already distinguishes between upvote rep and accepted answer rep.
    – Fluffeh
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 3:21
  • @Fluffeh thanks for that point, and I'd bet you're right. I'd like to get an official word on it. Unfortunate now that a downvoter-sans-comment has tainted the question's rep.
    – Tom Pace
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 3:28
  • 1
    I just realized there is explicit verbiage stating that the bonus reputation is "earned". Also, it very convincingly expresses this point from within the context of the new site, despite being a network-based achievement. That wording appears in the message in the site header's drop-down inbox. "You've earned a bonus of 100 reputation because we trust you on other sites on the network." This expression of trust seems shallow and useless if I'm immediately blocked from an insignificantly low-rep activity.
    – Tom Pace
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


The association bonus is not counted, because it's not reputation that you earned by participating within the site you registered on.

The message says "you must have earned at least 10 reputation on this site" (emphasis mine). Due to the sentence structure however I can see how it might be easily missed.

  • Thanks for your response. At the time of posting the question, I had forgot (as Fluffeh reminded) there are different calculations done under-the-hood on reputation. And from my perspective, the more general idea of an experienced user (trusted user?) (earning reputation on other sites) could lead to a reasonable permission that a person creating a new account on a different stack exchange site would be granted enough rep to jump the 10-rep hurdle. Thence sprang my confusion. (Me trying to join the English Language Usage stack exchange hehe).
    – Tom Pace
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 3:57
  • 1
    Came here because of the same issue. It just said 10 rep, so I thought my 101 would be enough. It's quite confusing that there are apparently multiple kinds of rep.
    – GolezTrol
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 15:25
  • I got 100 reputation points as sooned as I created an account on Engineering Beta Stack Exchange which later changed to 101 points because I can be trusted on other sites than ones I previously worked on and I still can't answer the question at engineering.stackexchange.com/questions/100/…. It's probably a bug.
    – Timothy
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 20:23

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