This question already has an answer here:
I am a Stack Exchange user mainly interested in sciences. However, I sometimes notice something an interesting question on the Hot questions block and open it.
In some rare cases I feel that I can contribute to this question by providing a new perspective or additional information. For example, my only post on Workplace SE turned out to be number 3 answer on that question with 80 upvotes.
The problem is that in most of those cases even though I have something to add, I can not add it because the question is protected. Here is a recent (and still hot) question.
I was going to address a point in question that no one else had touched and also provide some additional information/examples regarding other points. But I could not post an answer. Instead, I provided the information in comment form. But all of the comments on that question got removed by a moderator (I guess it's because the total amount was too large).
I am not going to become an active user of Workplace SE or UX SE. But is there no worth in single answers? How could adding information harm anyone? What is the point of questions being protected?
I know the answer (it's written by the "protected" stuff) - it protects the question from low-quality answers. Guess what - it also protects the question from medium quality and high quality answers. The Hot questions are the cases where an expert that is not an active user might come and contribute. Why are we protecting a question from such people?
A protection mechanism against low quality answers is already there - it is the downvote. Those low quality answers and questions should not be seen as strain by moderators. They should just get downvoted to hell (just as this post probably will).
I beckon you to embrace the downvote and stop fearing it. Stop crying "please explain the downvote" and fearing to hurt someone by downvoting a post. If you think a post is crap - downvote it. Let the community moderate the content quality. There is no need for some elitist protections, content removals and other demonstrations of moderator power that hurts far more than downvotes would. Leave moderation for actual problems of illegal content and let the simple folk vote on quality. They are sometimes more competent than the moderators are.
Why this is not a duplicate of Allow people to answer protected questions if they have earned at least some amount of combined SE rep
The initial problem was that I (and others) can't answer where something useful might be provided. However the solution I ask for is different. Just check the opinions about downvotes. Stop calling out
explain your downvote? There is too much sympathy for the poor downvoted fellows here. Let the people downvote without punishment. This is a system that works great elsewhere (Reddit is the best example I know). I am sure that bad answers would receive enough downvotes if downvoting wouldn't be seen as a bad thing.
So what is someone answers "thanks, I had the same problem"? Let him get five downvotes, a single toxic comment of "this is useless, you don't understand what an answer is" and fade out so no one else sees the "answer". Protection guaranteed.