This answer is the motivation for my proposal that the threshold for contributing an answer to a protected question be higher than ten, which is a ridiculously small number.

I am in favor of supporting newcomers getting integrated into the site. However, I don't think allowing them to contribute an "answer" that should be a comment is helpful to the newcomer or to the site.

  • 10
    I actually think that is a pretty good answer.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 13:36
  • 4
    I agree with @StrongBad. Would you please explain why that answer should not be there in the first place? (Either here or leave a comment below that answer so the OP of the answer realizes it.(Please excuse my English, I am not a native speaker)
    – Nobody
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 13:47
  • But there were already two equivalent answers. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 1:45
  • @Abra - Well, my answer isn't one of the earlier answers that struck me as equivalent to yours. I agree with you about avoiding bloat, and I think my answer was nice and short before I started adding stuff. Even with the additional notes, it's still sort of medium.... Anyway, my focus here was on the "me too" theme, and your answer was a handy example, but perhaps not the best example, of popular questions that get new answers that align closely with previously written answers. // I wish you a belated welcome to Academia! Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


I think the protection mechanism works pretty well with the low threshold. It dramatically cuts down on discussion in the comments and prevents lots of really low quality not-an-answer answers. Some low quality answers still make it through, but many of those come from high rep users. As a community we can handle these with appropriate up and down voting.

It is worth noting that most questions that get protected are on the hot network question side bar. They get there, and stay there, by having lots of answers (and other things). So protected questions are often questions that new and old users want to answer.

  • Can questions be protected prior to their placement in the sidebar? I have the impression the individual site has no control over which questions go in the hot network sidebar. Would it make sense for protection to occur automatically whenever a question lands in that sidebar? When I see a page mushroom quickly due to being in that sidebar, if I remember right, the protection mechanism can't be used as a preventive measure because there's a time lag built in. But the hot network effect can be very quick. Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 11:29
  • Any user with 15k+ rep can protect any question at any time. Other users should post something in chat or flag for moderator intervention when they see something getting out of hand. Auto protection (and variants) for HNQ has been asked for a bunch on meta. My understanding is it is status-declined.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 17:33
  • StrongBad, I don't think we, 15k+ users, can protect any question anytime, but only if a certain amount of time has passed and/or if there VLQ questions. Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 21:01
  • @MassimoOrtolano you are right. I didin't read the manual. The question needs to be a day old. In which case, the advice is to simply flag the questions.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 21:50
  • @MassimoOrtolano and StrongBad, I think I remember once there was a question that totally exploded. It was clear quite quickly that it needed to be protected but the moderators said they couldn't yet because it was too soon. Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 22:21
  • 1
    @aparente001 and StrongBad, a day old for normal high-rep users is not enough. From the faq, there should also be "at least one answer by a new user". Preemptive protection is therefore not applicable by 15k+ users. In fact, in the last months, I'd have liked to protect a few questions, which were then protected by a mod within a few hours, but I couldn't. Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 9:31

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