From the protected question FAQ:

Users with the Protect Questions privilege (15k reputation on graduated sites, 3.5k on beta sites)

  • can protect a question which is at least a day old, and has at least one answer by a new user (i.e. a user with <10 rep on the site, or <110 rep if they have the association bonus

Suspended users have 1 reputation. For example, one of our old members Athari (https://ru.meta.stackoverflow.com/users/176051/athari) has been suspended, and I can now protect any question that they have answered, and that have no other answers from new users (e.g. Кому надо это [node]?).

But they're not a new user. Is this intentional, or is this a bug?


For a long time 15K rep users could protect any question that was at least a day old. The restriction requiring at least one answer by a low rep user was only added because a number of users with 15K rep on Stack Overflow were protecting questions that did not need protecting. Presumably Stack Overflow was a particular issue because it has so many more 15K rep users than anywhere else.

We suspect they misunderstood what the purpose of protection was, because if a question isn't attracting answers by low rep users there's no reason to protect it.

The number of suspended users is pretty low so unless there's some evidence that other 15K users are abusing this loophole to protect questions that don't need protecting it seems like this is an edge case that doesn't really warrant fixing.

If you do, however see questions like this being unnecessarily protected, do create a question listing them or edit this question to list them so that devs can choose whether taking further action is warranted.

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