Just got a notice on StackOverflow that I can now "protect questions" .... I've seen diamond moderators do this a few times before, but for the most part I haven't seen it used too often. Therefore I have little body-of-knowledge on when/if questions should be protected.

Any tips on when/if questions should be protected?

  • 10
    Protected! (hey, you give me a new knife, I'mma cut the first thing I see...)
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 10, 2011 at 7:37
  • 1
    @Pollyanna: Lol -- that's hilarious. Feb 10, 2011 at 7:37
  • 2
    Oops you should not be allowed to protect this
    – waffles
    Feb 10, 2011 at 8:42
  • @waffles: *Bill creates new question: "Bug: 15k+ users can protect questions immediately" :P Feb 10, 2011 at 9:53
  • @Raedwald Erm, if anything that question is a dupe of this one; not vice versa, as this one is 3 years older. But I don't think they are dupes at all. Mar 2, 2016 at 13:12
  • @BillyONeal The other question is the official FAQ.
    – Raedwald
    Mar 2, 2016 at 15:19
  • @Raedwald don't see how that's in any way relevant to either point Mar 2, 2016 at 15:20
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    Note that since this was asked, SE has released newer guidelines on when to protect and unprotect questions, which are covered in the general FAQ regarding the topic, What is a “protected” question?. Jun 15, 2019 at 9:28

1 Answer 1


From https://meta.stackoverflow.com/privileges/protect-questions

What are protected questions?

A protected question prevents answers by anonymous and very new users. Questions should be protected when they are garnering lots of views and newbies are adding "me too!", "thanks!" and possibly even spam non-answers.

Jeff offered more information on why post protection was implemented and what he expected it to be used for in his blog. This was when only moderators had this power, but the same reasoning applies to 15k users who can now protect posts.

Quick testing suggests the following:

  • The protection does not automatically time out.
  • It only requires one person to protect/unprotect.
  • One can protect/unprotect the same question repeatedly.

It's very unlike closing due to the second and third points above, though with a bar at 15k it's going to have a smaller audience. I wonder who's going to be the first to complain about a protection war... It appears that you cannot unprotect a question someone else has protected, so no chance of wars. One would have to flag for moderator attention to remove protection they don't believe is necessary.

Rebecca indicates the following about this ability on the feature list:

A new 15k privilege to protect a question has been added. The question must be older than a day. You can also un-protect a question you protected, but not one that has been protected by someone else.

  • Somehow I misread that. Thank you for making me read it again -- somehow I skipped over the "questions should be protected" bit and saw only "questions are protected...." instead. +1. Are there any good examples out there? Feb 10, 2011 at 7:32
  • Aaaaand the checkmark for the blog link. Why didn't I check there first? :P (Err.. in 6 minutes when it'll let me checkmark) Feb 10, 2011 at 7:34
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    .. is tempted to say "Thanks!" Feb 10, 2011 at 12:06

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