It takes three deleted answers on a question for the question to be automatically protected.

Automatically protect questions with three or more low-rep-user deleted answers

Does the same apply for answers deleted as spam or rude/offensive with flags?

What is a “protected” question?

  • This post on GD.SE just had a spam answer deleted. By the looks of it, one spam answer isn't enough to protect the question. Sep 23, 2017 at 3:54
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    I'm not sure the answers in those linked questions are accurate, the following has two non-answers (neither from the OP) and two spams all spaced months apart and only the second spam today caused a protection: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/38886/…
    – PeterJ
    Sep 23, 2017 at 12:45
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    @gnat I'm wondering why this question wasn't answered, but the other one was.
    – user310756
    Oct 18, 2017 at 4:14
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    they probably were too busy so I just added my own answer here with link and quote
    – gnat
    Oct 18, 2017 at 8:35

1 Answer 1


With regards to spam, according to explanation provided by Stack Exchange team in this answer at MSO two answers trigger auto-protection:

We also perform a check when the state of an answer is changed, meaning when an answer is deleted... if a question has 2 answers that have been flagged as spam (not offensive), then we automatically protect the question at that time...

As you can see from above quote rude flags don't qualify for 2-answers protection.

  • o you know if "flagged as spam" means "received at least one spam flag" or "received enough spam flags to auto delete it" or "received a spam flag that was handmarked helpful" ? Oct 18, 2017 at 14:32
  • I think latter two @KateGregory. Or more precisely it is unlikely that auto-protection trigger gets into tiny details like that, this would be poor / fragile design. If done right it should feed from some other subsystem which determines whether post qualifies for -100 rep penalty without getting into exact details of how this subsystem works (separation of concerns)
    – gnat
    Oct 18, 2017 at 14:42
  • ...if you think of it, rep penalty makes a natural border between confirmed spam (not 100% but close enough) and some random flag possibly cast by mistake or even with bad intentions
    – gnat
    Oct 18, 2017 at 15:27

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