I've just stumbled upon a highly active question:

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Well, 2 years and 3 months ago is almost yesterday?

I suppose it's the lock manually applied to the controversial questions, but aren't they expect to expire? What's the purpose of keeping protections years after it was necessary?

I can't remember seeing that before. Is it because the moderator has forgotten to set the timeout on the lock, or are moderators expected to periodically check locked questions and remove locks? Or the users should flag such questions?

If there's no timeout to be set, wouldn't it make sense to have one?

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    Already reported: "Highly active question" banner is misleading. Sep 19, 2021 at 19:24
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    It is protected: outdoors.stackexchange.com/posts/20937/… a privilege you can earn. It is only "locked" for users with < 10 rep. You can un-protect the question yourself.
    – rene
    Sep 19, 2021 at 19:26
  • @rene I can't because I don't have 10k reputation there. But I'd expect such protection to be auto-removed after some time. Sep 19, 2021 at 19:30
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    The screenshot isn't yours? outdoors.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/protect-questions
    – rene
    Sep 19, 2021 at 19:32
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    Regarding the question @SebastianSimon linked: I'm not going to vote this as a duplicate, since that question was posted a day after the new notices were rolled out and it duplicated an answer to the announcement, but that announcement is now historically-locked and can no longer be updated. See V2Blast's comment there. Sep 19, 2021 at 19:40
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    Dupe? Answer, but not Feature Request: meta.stackexchange.com/q/349093/282094 and the rest of your answer: FAQ: "The system will never unprotect a question automatically, even if the deleted answers are later undeleted or the spam flags are cleared.".
    – Rob
    Sep 19, 2021 at 19:55
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    Even if keeping the lock is useful, the wording of the banner is confusing/plain wrong for older questions. Something like "Protected question - this question is locked to prevent low-quality answers" would be more clear.
    – Marijn
    Sep 20, 2021 at 8:07

1 Answer 1


It's hard for someone with less than 10K reputation to see what's happened to that post to cause it to be protected. However generally questions are protected because they are or have been spam or low quality post magnets. Who's to say that if they are ever unprotected that won't still happen to them?

Protection isn't always applied by moderators, the system may do it automatically or 15K rep users might if they see that it's attracting low quality answers that are having to be repeatedly deleted.

I've seen protected questions on Stack Overflow where I do have over 10K rep that have dozens of deleted answers.

It's not much of a protection really, you only need 10 rep on the target site to answer it anyway and that shouldn't be so difficult to get if you're really invested in the site. Protection doesn't stop new poor quality answers being added altogether but it does slow it down a little.

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    For a long time, only 15k+ users have been able to see the banner shown in the screenshot. If the user can see the notice at the top, then they can also see the answer history and notice that there have been no recent deleted answers. Sep 20, 2021 at 1:46

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