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I have just started to protect some questions which I see fit, however, I don't know if there's an actual hard limit.

Is there a limit to how many questions I can Protect at the same time?


Obviously I'm not going to go ahead and protect like 100 questions as that would be disruptive to the site and unfair to users (I'm tyring to use my best judgement), but if there's going to be a limit, I'd rather use my privilege a bit more sparingly.

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    I don't believe there is a limit, but I can't seem to find this documented anywhere. – JAL Dec 9 '16 at 2:36
  • On the sites I use, mods tend to be very selective about what they protect, and it's really only mods who do it. You might want to see if there's a site-specific policy for this. – Catija Dec 9 '16 at 4:16
  • Regardless, the questions are being protected, doing so doesn't make you somehow responsible for them. – Catija Dec 9 '16 at 4:18
  • Most likely that there is simply no need for limiting this: if one will abuse that power, moderators can suspend them, same way as with edits. – Shadow Wizard Dec 9 '16 at 8:30
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    @Catija "it's really only mods who do it" - honestly, I'm surprised that's true anywhere outside of small beta sites where only mods have the power to protect. The ability to protect questions is a specific rep-based privilege on every site, and the only privilege associated with that particular rep level - why should its usage be restricted to the very few people who have diamond privileges, any more than VTCing or VTDing? – Rand al'Thor Dec 9 '16 at 11:30
  • @randal'thor I've never seen anyone (that I remember) other than a mod protect questions on M&TV and Cooking and only in cases where they're attracting duplicate/very low quality answers. – Catija Dec 9 '16 at 11:33
  • @randal'thor Noone said the usage is supposed to be restricted to moderators, noone said that at all. All she said is that it is very very rare that questions need to be protected and that most users, even if they have that privilege, are not really making huge use of it (and rightfully so). It's definitely not a feature to be used as often and commonly as closing. You don't need a small beta site to not have questions need protection on a daily basis. – Christian Rau Dec 9 '16 at 14:07
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    @Christian She said "it's really only mods who do it", i.e. it's restricted to moderators in practice (I didn't mean to imply it was a 'restriction' in the sense of a rule!). As said, I don't get it, but to each site its own customs. It makes sense that mods would do more protecting than other users, since they're the only ones who see lower-rep users' "this needs protecting" flags; but if I see a question that needs protecting, and I have the power to protect it, I'll protect it whether I have a diamond or not. SE thrives on community-based moderation. – Rand al'Thor Dec 9 '16 at 14:18
  • @randal'thor "She said "it's really only mods who do it", i.e. it's restricted to moderators in practice" - Which is exactly the deduction I did not read out of her words. "but if I see a question that needs protecting, and I have the power to protect it, I'll protect it whether I have a diamond or not." - And I don't for the life of me see her making a statement against that. All she said was that it rarely happens. You seem to have interpreted way more definiteness into that statement than I did (or than I think she did). – Christian Rau Dec 9 '16 at 15:40
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I am very curious for the actual answer about a rate limit. Nothing seems to be documented about that, and that doesn't even seem strange.

Whether there is a limit or not, it doesn't really matter since usually you don't protect a lot of questions. I have never come across a day that I wanted to protect more then a few questions.

You only protect questions if they repeatedly attract low-quality posts, so not something you come by every day. Spam posts cause the question to be protected after it gets deleted and so are posts with various VLQ posts that got deleted, so no need to protect those.

  • Not just spam posts, after couple of deleted posts by low rep users the question is auto protected, they can be deleted for being low quality as well. – Shadow Wizard Dec 9 '16 at 8:29
  • Okay, indeed, that is true. Updated. – Patrick Hofman Dec 9 '16 at 8:30
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As with many things on Stack Exchange, one should ideally protect questions which need protecting as one comes across them in one's normal usage of the site, rather than going out in search of questions that need it and protecting many at once.

If you come across a question which

  • has attracted multiple low-quality answers from newish users
  • isn't already protected
  • is old enough to be able to protect

then protect it. (If the third criterion isn't met, and the first is egregiously bad, you might consider flagging it for a mod to protect. I've done this many times on sites where I lack the rep to protect.)

But in the normal run of things (at least on most sites, including the only site where you have the power to protect), you're unlikely to come across many such questions in quick succession. Even as a mod on that site, having my attention drawn to most of the low-quality posts via flags, I don't think I've ever had to protect more than two questions within an hour. So I doubt you'll ever need to worry about a rate limit - and if you do, it might be a sign that you're protecting too many questions.

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