Currently, the Protected message text reads:

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Given that we now strive to become more welcoming to new users, shouldn't we change the phrasing to something that doesn't seem as hostile as the existing text?

I'd suggest something that doesn't conflate thanks, me too and spam with the new users. E.g.

This question is protected to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers. To answer it, you must have earned at least 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

  • 1
    Yes, because it is not just from "new users" with less than 10 rep we need to protect questions from!
    – Skooba
    Nov 23, 2018 at 15:45
  • 1
    But...a protect only prevents new users from contributing. It doesn't prevent even minimally established users from doing so. That's not what the protect function was about. The wording might need some changing, but I'm not sure just eliminating the, "by new users" part helps; it just makes the statement less accurate.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 23, 2018 at 15:53
  • @fbueckert well the association bonus doesn't count so it doesn't matter if you've been a member of some other SE site for a long time. My suggestion is just a suggestion, if you have a better proposal, I'd be happy to back it. We certainly can't nuke the "protected" feature altogether or let it stay the way it is. It isn't very welcoming and can scare off the new users by its "elitist" vibes.
    – NSNoob
    Nov 23, 2018 at 15:55
  • "New user" in the context of a new user to that particular site. So...that seems awful accurate to me. I have no issue with changing it, I'm just questioning what value there is in making the statement less accurate.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 23, 2018 at 15:56
  • 2
    I've seen established users on other sites get cranky about being blocked on new-to-them sites; they don't see themselves as "new users". I don't know how common the feeling is or how much difference this change will make, but I don't see a reason not to -- should be one string in the code. Nov 23, 2018 at 17:34

2 Answers 2


Today SE's "new users" are called "new contributors", and some identify themselves with that very same title, so perhaps they don't feel alienated. Is there any proof that this is a contentious point?

A friendlier more easy-going message might be

“Oops! Sorry, due to "thanks!", "me too!", and spam answers, we have to protect this question. Only users with at least 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count) can post an answer.”

Substitute "new users" with plain vanilla "users"?


Note that the message you see is only shown to users eligible to answer protected questions. Users who aren't eligible see a different message:

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

I don't believe that this message is that unwelcoming. If you're specifically referring to the message shown to eligible users, please comment.

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