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Any user with 15,000 or more reputation can protect a question, making it so that users with less than 10 reputation cannot answer it. This is usually done to prevent spam, non-answers, very low-quality answers, and so forth. Of course, it’s impossible for the average user to see how effective this is, since they can’t see how many answers a <10 rep user has not posted. It’s often quite difficult to see whether protecting a question actually made anything better, or whether the question was just returning to its average level of bad answers.

Is there any measure of the effectiveness of protecting questions, in terms of how many low-reputation users have been prevented from posting, for example?

  • If a question is protected and when you don't have >10 rep points, you can't even see Your Answer . In other words, attempting to answer it is completely blocked. How will we be able to come up with data on the effectiveness of protecting questions when we can't know how many times an answer by lower-than-10-lep users has been attempted. – Rathony Oct 18 '16 at 10:17
  • @Rathony - It may be impossible. But I figure that the SE team would not have implemented a feature without some way of seeing how it was working (perhaps on a scale larger than single questions). – Adamant Oct 18 '16 at 10:25
  • Well, seeing how protection works will be no more difficult than seeing how closing or voting works. To me, protection is just a mechanism to prevent low-rep users to post unnecessary posts without knowing how the site works such as thank you, I have a different question from this question, I agree, I don't agree, etc. Unless we compare a period when protection is implemented with another period when it is not, it will be very difficult to know. In addition, what's the point of having this data when we don't have as many complaints from users about it as other mechanisms. – Rathony Oct 18 '16 at 10:48

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