I have association bonus on superuser.com. After that I've started a bounty worst of 50 rep and earned more than 10 rep. Now I have 89 rep (38 of which is earned at superuser which is more than 10) but still not able to answer protected questions.

So, currently new user with 10 rep can answer protected question and I with 89 (38) rep can't.

  • How does it work now: after registration on new Stack Exchange site you get 101 rep Association Bonus and are able to answer protected questions only when you have 111+ rep on that site.

  • How should it work: after registration on new stackexchange site you get 101 rep Association Bonus and are able to answer protected questions only when you have earned 10+ rep on that site.


Basically, you spent that rep. As per Oded's answer here, the reputation bonus is not considered here - as the new user restrictions are explicitly and deliberately related to that specific site, not the SE network - the idea is to make sure you understand that particular site. Your rep without the bonus is effectively: -11.

This is already in the text:

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This scenario is no different to a new user on the site earning 50 rep, being able to answer protected questions, then adding a bounty for 50, and finding that they can no longer answer protected questions. In other news; when you first joined the site, despite having 101 reputation, you did not have the ability to answer protected questions: because again: the reputation bonus is explicitly ignored for this check.

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    What's to say that the bounty spent 38 points earned on the site and 12 points from the association bonus, rather than 50 points from the association bonus? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 20 '14 at 10:20
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    @Gilles because as far as the rules for the "new user restrictions" check are concerned, the association bonus does not exist from which to take it. This is very specific to this single privilege. – Marc Gravell Aug 20 '14 at 10:23
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    Yes, but why do you consider this policy, rather than an implementation glitch? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 20 '14 at 10:31
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    @Gilles because the implementation mirrors exactly what we intend this privilege to reflect: ignoring the association bonus, do they have >10 rep? In this case, the answer is: no, they do not. – Marc Gravell Aug 20 '14 at 10:35
  • @Gilles Probably, more accurate wording for protected questions would require balance of the rep earned and lost at the site to be no less than 10 (that way, bounties would account for losses) – gnat Aug 20 '14 at 10:36
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    So, do you mean that there is a bug with bounty? In that case minimum rep for 50 points bounty should be 151. Because if it's all by design, then setting bounty makes my rep less than 0. And in this case current mechanism of Association Bonus makes it useless, it just produces misunderstanding. It should be replaced with e.g. different system of privileges instead of free 100 rep (e.g. having ability to upvote with 1 rep instead of 15). – janot Aug 20 '14 at 10:36
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    @janot no, the bounty is correct too, and no, the minimum does not need to be 151. This is a very edge condition - most people don't join a site and immediately create a bounty; from memory, the rep bonus gives you lots of other abilities (voting, flagging, wiki, etc); the only thing affected here is "remove new user restrictions" - which has always (or at least, for years) ignored the reputation bonus (because, as already mentioned, it is meant to be site specific). I'm really not sure that anything needs "fixing" here... – Marc Gravell Aug 20 '14 at 10:41
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    @gnat no, because that isn't a correct way of expressing it either. Note that the text already says that the reputation bonus does not count (I will edit that in) – Marc Gravell Aug 20 '14 at 10:43
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    @MarcGravell I disagree with your assessment of what the privilege is intended to reflect. 10 rep is the way the privilege is implemented, not the end goal. The intent is to block users without a prior involvement in the site, and having earned 10 rep and then lost it to a bounty does demonstrate involvement. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 20 '14 at 10:50
  • @MarcGravell maybe. I find it hard to briefly explain how bonus, bounty and protection interplay. Or maybe (since this seems to be corner case) we simply make this a canonical question and redirect all future requests for clarification to it – gnat Aug 20 '14 at 10:52
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    @Gilles following your logic, a user who gained 50... 100... etc rep on site once (prior involvement in the site is here isn't it) and then went under 10 (via bounty? or via downvotes? or... due to -100 penalty for spam???) should be allowed to answer protected questions too, is that correct? – gnat Aug 20 '14 at 10:54
  • @gnat main problem is that in my case user doesn't see his actual rep. But if he has less than 10 everything is clear. – janot Aug 20 '14 at 11:08
  • @MarcGravell corresponding to text you've marked with red: where is it written that bounty rep should be deducted from my earned rep instead of Association Bonus rep? – janot Aug 20 '14 at 11:09
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    @gnat Not exactly. Most privileges are related to trust, and it makes sense that received downvotes and spam penalties reduce that (not cast downvotes, though). Answering privileged question isn't really a matter of trust, but of involvement. Bounties are a bit weird — they don't reduce trust, so by this rationale they shouldn't reduce privileges, but there is a valid argument that it is important that bounties should cost you and thus it makes sense that they do reduce privileges. Even under that argument, the bounty could eat the association bonus and thus not prevent answering protected Qs. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Aug 20 '14 at 11:39
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    @janot I don't think I can "admit" to something unless I first accept that something; I do not agree with you that this is illogical, nor do I agree with you that it is misleading (since the fact that the association bonus is ignored is explicitly mentioned). Rather than getting all passive-aggressive with me, I'd really appreciate it if you instead focused on helping me understand why you feel this is illogical / etc. – Marc Gravell Aug 20 '14 at 11:48

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