ORIGINAL QUESTION (before the "possible duplicate" tag was added):

Could someone please look at the last few comments under the main question at Why won't President Obama apologize for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I can find no valid (posted) policy why I am not allowed to answer the question.

If there is such an official policy as "the association bonus does not count" please post a link to it in response to this question.

REVISED QUESTION (after the "possible duplicate" tag was added):

Apparently this question has morphed quite a bit. As I detail in my own answer to this question below (I used an answer to include screengrab images) there is a discrepancy between the two different Stack Exchange sites. There is also a discrepancy between the official policy on reputation and this "does not count" tangent policy that is not mentioned in the official policy.

Can someone please tell me why:

(1) If "doesn't count" is official policy why is it not in the official policy page on reputation?

(2) If this is official Stack Exchange-wide policy then why are there different messages on different sites, some mentioning "doesn't count" and other not?

(3) If "doesn't count" is official policy why did it change? Our co-founder Jeff Atwood wrote an official description of the purpose of cross-site association bonus points: "This is intended to give established users a "leg up" when we start new sites, so they can have an account with 101 rep instead of the default 1." Nowhere in that description do I see an exception for protected questions.

  • It appears this is not a duplicate question because the protected messages are different. See my answer below.
    – O.M.Y.
    May 31, 2016 at 3:43
  • I have revised and refocused this question.
    – O.M.Y.
    May 31, 2016 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


Apparently that particular SE site does not use the same protected message wording as the one from the "possible duplicate" example referenced above by @arjafi (see What is a “protected” question?).

  • PROBLEM SITE SCREENGRAB: screengrab of the problem question's protected message

  • DUPLICATE QUESTION SCREENGRAB: screengrab of the potential duplicate's protected message

Furthermore, the official policy linked to by the reputation link (see https://politics.stackexchange.com/help/whats-reputation and also https://meta.stackexchange.com/help/whats-reputation) does not mention this "doesn't count" policy at all.

  • 9
    It's nothing to do with the site. The protected notice has two different messages - one that is displayed to users who can answer the question which gets displayed directly below the question, and one that is displayed to users who can't answer the question which is displayed at the very bottom of the page. Apparently one got changed and the other did not.
    – animuson StaffMod
    May 31, 2016 at 4:12
  • 4
    Also, the new user restrictions privilege page does mention being able to answer protected questions, which is what the "association bonus does not count" text links to. So yes, it is official policy, and has been for years (since like 2012 or so).
    – animuson StaffMod
    May 31, 2016 at 4:18
  • @animuson - so you are saying if Jeff Atwood himself wanted to answer that question he would not be able to do so (without modifying the user database of course) until he earned 10 points on the Politics beta site? That's crazy! Why reward trusted users only to un-trust them?
    – O.M.Y.
    May 31, 2016 at 4:28
  • 6
    Correct. Not even our diamonds allow us to bypass that requirement. This is a feature that a lot of users wanted because sites were tired of new users dumping crappy content there after seeing something in the hot network questions list. Users have proven that experience on another site does not mean they know how to answer questions on other sites properly, because each site has their own atmosphere and different quality guidelines for what they expect an answer to contain.
    – animuson StaffMod
    May 31, 2016 at 4:30
  • 1
    @animuson there is a bug here. The text in brackets ("the association bonus does not count") is appended only for the second type of protection message, and is not displayed in the first kind i.e. auto protection by Community (while applying in both cases). This bug report is far from being clear, even now, but still, can this please be fixed? May 31, 2016 at 6:47
  • 2
    @ShadowWizard - yeah, I missed that second place. Added it in both - next build will show it up.
    – Oded
    May 31, 2016 at 10:18
  • 1
    Thanks @Oded, now I have no idea what to do with this question. It's not really a bug report, but an unfocused mess... any idea? (probably just leave it alone.) May 31, 2016 at 10:23
  • @ShadowWizard - let it go, let it go...
    – Oded
    May 31, 2016 at 10:24
  • @Oded easier said than done.... but I did. Thanks again! May 31, 2016 at 10:25

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