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The question "Why is processing a sorted array faster than processing an unsorted array?" is fairly old at this point and doesn't really need additional contributions.

For whatever reason, it seems to attract pointless answers that add nothing but noise. I can only assume people see the question is highly viewed and have a misguided desire to add their name to it. Heck, the latest "answer" is literally just splicing together two existing answers: https://stackoverflow.com/a/69893073/87234.

The result is I get a low but present rate of notifications about a "new answer" on this question. It's not unbearable, but it's gotten sufficiently annoying that I'm posting here. Without fail each new answer is some garbage contribution (often literally just a wrong answer) or some attempt to copy the existing answers by rearranging the words.

None of these need to exist. Many of them never get deleted and just hang around adding trash to the site.


Do we have statistics on if the protection is sufficiently high? How many answers get added to protected questions that become downvoted or deleted? Can we suspend users that abuse this? Can this question just be locked?

I recognize this may be unique to a small set of highly-viewed questions. I just request the protection threshold be raised to something actually meaningful. Beyond the apparently minimal "is this person still breathing" level achievable by smashing your face on a keyboard.

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  • 11
    For reference for people under 10k on SO - that question has 131 total answers. Of them 102 are deleted.
    – VLAZ
    Nov 9, 2021 at 7:17
  • 8
    There's a feature for this, the wiki answer lock: that's the thing intended for such questions. Nov 9, 2021 at 7:19
  • 1
    Perhaps protection could/should scale with question score somehow. Alternatively raising the question on Stack Overflow's Meta might be enough to get the bad answers deleted although that is closing the stable door after the fact. Nov 9, 2021 at 8:25
  • 5
    What would you suggest, rasing the bar from 10 to 100 rep? Is this mainly an SO problem or do more sites encounter this problem?
    – Mast
    Nov 9, 2021 at 8:29
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    @Mast I observed this problem on many other sites (it's particularly prominent in hot questions). Though frankly proposed change doesn't match intent of the protection which seems to be to merely guard popular questions from 1-rep spammers and totally foreign passers-by from sites like Reddit
    – gnat
    Nov 9, 2021 at 8:51
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    Keep the initial threshold as is. Then, with every answer posted and deleted (not but the OP) after the question is protected, increase the threshold for that particular question by 5 or 10 or whatever, possibly up to a certain cap.
    – 41686d6564
    Nov 9, 2021 at 9:23
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog Iirc doesn’t that prevent voting on the question? Nov 9, 2021 at 13:27
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    @Mast I'd prefer it to be data driven, there is probably some analysis that could collect a more objective threshold. Just based from memory, I'd suggest 1000 rep or so seems to weed out a majority of noise.
    – GManNickG
    Nov 9, 2021 at 14:40
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    long time ago when I still believed that company would do something to tame the issues of useless answers piling on popular questions, I proposed a feature that was based on amount and content of prior answers instead of answerers rep. In brief the idea was that folks willing to post 10th or 20th or 100th answer to a question would have to first click through and review all previous answers (ideally - though not necessarily - also including deleted answers). "When there are many answers already, help me check that mine won't repeat others"
    – gnat
    Nov 9, 2021 at 16:27

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