It's that time of the year again; no, I don't mean April Fools, I mean a question with a lot of posts by users who are new to Meta. These posts are explicitly open to new users. Like the contests last winter, these questions cause protect/unprotect wars between Community ♦ and other users. One primary driver of these wars is that the relevant checks occur whenever any new user posts or deletes an answer: for instance, in the revision history linked earlier, it was getting protected every time any answer from a new user was being posted, since the check for five answers from new users posted in the last 24 hours was being run every time a new user posted an answer, and since the check was passing every time, it would be protected.
I'd like to help here as well; I have the privilege to protect and unprotect questions, but the buttons for doing so only show up 24 hours after the question has been posted. The former part makes some sense; we don't want users to preemptively protect questions where that isn't necessary. However, the latter part doesn't really make much sense.
I suggest that the unprotecting button is also available within in the first 24 hours (possibly only if Community ♦ auto-protected the question, but cases where an elected/appointed ♦ moderator protects a question within 24 hours are rare so feel free to choose the option which is easiest to implement).
This feature request is taking an interesting turn of events. As can be seen in the revision history, the question is now only 21 hours old and I'm able to run a script to unprotect the question. It works by issuing a POST call to
/questions/unprotect (once every minute), which means in the 24 hour period after posting the question, only the link in the UI is disabled; the one-day-old check isn't carried out server-side. I don't think it's particularly open to abuse, but still...