Just to be clear, I'm explicitly referring to the "Official FAQ on gender pronouns and Code of Conduct changes". I think disallowing the association bonus is a bad choice. I read and answer across multiple different sections of the site, but I've never participated in the meta because until now there hasn't been a reason - and now that there is one, I can't participate. Seems kind of flawed. I would really like to participate in this general hub section of the site - but my points that the general hub is serving are not valid.

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    Just to offer some perspective: The "10 reputation on this site" requirement is not the norm. It's a protection measure, applied (either automatically or by moderators) only when needed. In the specific instance, it was applied automatically after a number (3?) of low quality answers were removed.
    – yannis
    Oct 17, 2019 at 11:54
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    I believe it's some left-over from bad anti-spam protection. Same as "protecting" a post.
    – Lundin
    Oct 17, 2019 at 11:56
  • I know, I've been around a long time. I'm more appalled by the fact that rep from other parts of the site doesn't count at all for the meta, which is a sort of central hub for the platform. I understand discouraging people from making a new account and posting whatever foul thing they want, but the topic is getting so much (negative) attention because it's really important to people, people who have probably used the Q/A parts of the site but not the meta.
    – soxroxr
    Oct 17, 2019 at 11:57
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    As for disallowing the association bonus, you may have a point for Meta Stack Exchange. But not for any of the normal sites. There are very good reasons to not allow people without even a minimal contribution to the site answer questions that have already proven troublesome. But Meta Stack Exchange is indeed a special case, and perhaps should be an exception to that rule.
    – yannis
    Oct 17, 2019 at 11:58
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    Possible duplicate of What is a “protected” question?
    – Raedwald
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:00
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    Your post is unkind, by assuming that the only reason to protect that post is to "stymie opinions". That is not why questions are protected. Further more, that question has numerous opinions posted already, some of which are near duplicates.
    – Raedwald
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:03
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    FWIW, there have been proposals that MSE privileges should be based on a user's highest rep on the main Q&A sites, eg meta.stackexchange.com/questions/153414/…
    – PM 2Ring
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:14
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    "if you're new comments tend to be a better way to help" They're a great way to end up with information in the wrong place. I routinely see "posting this as an answer because I don't have enough rep to comment" and it baffles me as to why people think that logic makes sense Oct 17, 2019 at 12:19
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    As yannis said, the FAQ question got protected after several answers there were deleted. They were not deleted merely because dissenting opinions were posted, there are still plenty of dissenting answers left on that question. But when answers attract lots of downright malicious comments, even after multiple comment cleanups are performed, then it may be necessary to remove those answers to try & limit further damage.
    – PM 2Ring
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:21
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    The protection is automatic when answers by low reputation users get deleted. Various users have removed it before, but it keeps coming back. I've removed it again, but it may be back soon.
    – Magisch
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:22
  • I didn't say that the company manually decided that "lowly" people shouldn't be allowed to participate - the "how" isn't so important. The "what" however is that legitimate users are unable to participate and I don't find that to be the right way to do things, automated system or not. I understand why the system is in place, but it's absolutely not perfect. @Raedwald - I don't believe that wanting to participate is kind; I didn't say that the only reason something becomes protected is due to malice, but as I clarified above, it is protected and legitimate opinions cannot be shared.
    – soxroxr
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:34
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    +1 from me. With a little luck you will get enough rep from this question to be able to participate.
    – Vatev
    Oct 17, 2019 at 13:31
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    @soxroxr Legitimate users are able to participate, and they can share their opinions. All you need to do is put in a couple of minutes of effort to get above a tinchy teeney weeny rep threshold. That's really not too much to ask. Beyond that, well, this isn't a guaranteed platform for your opinions so there's always your blog/Twitter/Facebook/local community centre Oct 17, 2019 at 15:24

5 Answers 5


It's just a standard (automated) measure against spam / trolls.
10 rep is extremely easy to obtain. Just a couple of edits or one upvoted answer.

If that is too much effort, then maybe that answer wasn't that important to post...

The assertion that it's to hinder more opinions from being added can easily be disproved by the fact that the question is already overloaded with answers. If they wanted to block that, they'd have locked the question.


I agree with you in principle.

However, in practice, we need protection against spam and trolls. This protection is automatically introduced when a certain number of answers have been deleted (which, right or wrong, is happening a lot on that post right now). You've found yourself to be collateral damage in that fight.

The protection is being routinely removed by users. If you don't want to wait, it shouldn't take too long to make rep the right way (this wasn't it) in order to get to that threshold.

Also in practice, is there really anything new left to add to the subject? I doubt it.

  • You don't have to add something new to add something useful. If a company receives one complaint, do you think that one opinion is enough to change anything? Numbers of shared opinions and perspectives are important. I read through all of the answers and I didn't see one that ideally supported my viewpoint. I saw many that said things I agreed with and I upvoted them, but my personal point of view wasn't really covered.
    – soxroxr
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:27
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    @soxroxr If you have nothing new then it is not useful to duplicate existing answers; you're supposed to upvote those that you agree with. If, however, you have an answer that nobody else has written yet, then that is something new, and so fire away. Oct 17, 2019 at 12:28
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    To my big surprise, answer #137 (not counting the invisible ones) indeed added something substantial and new to the question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/334900/… Oct 17, 2019 at 12:28
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    Oh wow, learned something. It wasn't clear to me that the protection was automatic. It looked like some kind of edit war to me. This tidbit you gave away here was important info! Oct 17, 2019 at 13:38
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    @LangLangC don't feel bad; I only learned this myself yesterday :) Oct 17, 2019 at 14:06

The Faq has got 138 visible answers. There are probably some deleted answers among them. I haven't posted an answer, there are too many, so I upvoted those I agreed with.

To earn 10 reputation points is not that hard, it can be done with five suggested and approved edits.


The FAQ was not protected on purpose by any human, it's automated process and in those cases, high rep users and/or moderators always unprotect so anyone can indeed take part.

It's now not protected.

If it becomes protected again, feel free to comment here asking to unprotect it.

  • This is a very nice gesture from stack-exchange that they allow all people post their concerns about the FAQ. Oct 17, 2019 at 15:11

Do you think it's right to stymie opinions on important topics?

What do you think that particular 'question' does? It does not ask for opinions about the subject, even though a lot of users have posted an answer with their opinion. Most of those have already been deleted, but not all of them.

The question is actually inviting new questions about the Code of Conduct changes as answers:

We’ve tried to anticipate some of the most common questions people may have here, and we’ll be adding to this list as more questions come up.

This might be a bit confusing, especially to new Meta users, but it's the way things work here ... sometimes. Protecting that question helps in preventing the clutter before it happens, which is a Good Thing™.

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