I'm asking this question because of Can't answer protected question despite meeting reputation requirement:

For the purposes of your reputation "on this site", Stack Exchange has calculated the following:

  • Registered an account: 1 rep earned (total earned: 1, total rep: 1)
  • Association bonus: 0 rep earned (total earned: 1, total rep: 101)
  • Question upvotes: 40 rep earned (total earned: 41, total rep: 141)
  • Suggested edits: 2 rep earned (total earned: 43, total rep: 143)
  • Bounty offered: -100 rep earned (total earned: -57, total rep: 43)

I have known that association bonus is ignored, and just knew that bounty is also considered in the calculation; I don't have any problems with that.

One thing that strikes me is, the poster is the author of the question. In this case, I think it's an edge case since the author also put a bounty, making their earned rep without the bonus go negative. (This might be discussed further, since losing privileges after putting a bounty is ).

However, what if a new user (1 rep) asks a question, then for some reason beyond their control, their question gets protected? In this case, the author cannot self-answer their own question because of the minimum required reputation. If it is, then honestly, I feel bad for the author if they get penalized for something that wasn't their fault.

Some may argue that this will defeat one of the objectives of protecting questions (from What is a “protected” or "highly active" question?):

Some questions are protected because they are expected to attract either spam or users -- often new users -- who may mistake the site as a traditional forum, posting "noisy" answers such as "thank you", "this worked for me", or "I'm also having the same problem".

(Emphasis mine)

Honestly, I haven't thought that this might be a big issue (I observed many NAAs from random users, but from authors themselves, I found it rarer, as authors are prompted to edit or comment before they can self-answer). I could think of a new feature request to put answer-ban on particular question and by particular user, but that might be not feasible due to bigger change that might be too complex. If any of you have better suggestion about this, then feel free to chime in!

I think this is similar to Allow new users to post self answers at any time, but that question focuses more on the former 8-hour restriction for new users to self-answer.

  • 1
    consider editing to account for the considerations that inexperienced users asking the question might be prone to misuse answers to put question edits and "thanks to those who answered" stuff in there (FWIW I just have run through LQ review queue at Stack Overflow and 3 or 4 of my 20 review items were edits to questions put into answers)
    – gnat
    Apr 16, 2015 at 7:52
  • 1
    That is indeed a bigger problem after I checked the FAQ about protected question. Let me think about it... Apr 16, 2015 at 8:09
  • 7
    It should be fine to allow the OP to self-answer their protected question: if their question is protected but not closed or deleted, then presumably the question is worth keeping and the OP is in good standing and not a spammer or someone who has no idea what they are doing. There's also the edge-case-within-an-edge-case of a spammer posting a question, then self-answering three times, getting them all deleted and the question being protected automatically which would have no effect on them - but that is easily solved by destroying the user altogether. Apr 17, 2015 at 4:09
  • 2
    I think the existing answer ban system is fine. From the circumstantial evidence I've seen, four deleted self-answers to the same question is enough to trigger an answer ban, even with no downvotes. Sep 21, 2020 at 4:34
  • Another problem here is that the message which replaces the answer button is unclear, because the rep calculation is not based purely on total rep. That could use some improvement; see also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/354396/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/231498/…
    – jtbandes
    Sep 21, 2020 at 16:18


You must log in to answer this question.