# Should we eliminate protecting?

There are many users who, at the moment, have less than 10 rep. There are many reasons why, including the fact that they haven't come across a question in their expertise, or that they don't have any questions they need to answer.

Anyways, these users unfortunately cannot post in a protected question, even though they might know exactly how to solve it. The community gives a reason that a question is protected in order so that there are no '+1' or 'Thanks' posts from people who have just come to the site.

There are, however, many ways to counter this. We can start with the tour page when someone first makes an account and not let them accept the terms, conditions and guidelines if they have scrolled down too quickly, as then we'd know that they have just skipped through.

Also, another option is to only protect a question from a newbie user is to let them post on protected questions. If they post a comment or answer such as '+1' or 'thanks' on a question, then we can have the newbie user not be able to answer protected questions until they get 10 rep.

So, in order to solve this problem, we need to have a vote. I will write down three answers, with the three possibilities of keeping everything as it is, eliminating the possibility of protecting a question or testing if a newbie actually posts something unnecessary, than we can ban them from posting protected questions. If you have another possibility, feel free to post it as an answer. Please upvote on the option you find the best (please don't downvote), and the option with the most upvotes will win and we'll alert the community that a majority wants this option to occur. The vote will close on the 14th of June so vote quickly. Also, please share this to the rest of the community. Thanks.

• Protection also helps against spammers. (And I'd say quite often a question is protected after it gets one or several spam posts.) Possible spam as a reason for protection is also explicitly mentioned in the FAQ, see the links given here. – Martin Sleziak May 14 '17 at 5:28
• @MartinSleziak If you believe that we should still have protection than please vote on it – bio May 14 '17 at 5:29
• Re: We can start with the tour page when someone first makes an account. This does not help in the case of answers posted by unregistered users. Looking at some questions which were recently protected, some of them have deleted answers from unregistered users. – Martin Sleziak May 14 '17 at 5:40

This poll is mostly nonsense because the ability to protect questions is built into the Stack Exchange system. I think it is safe to say that Stack Exchange will not turn this off for this, or any other, community.

Protecting questions is one method to preserve the quality of the site, and is useful for very specific instances where stronger quality preservation methods (locking/closing) are not called for. Without protection, these stronger methods might have to be employed.

And gaining the reputation required to post an answer to a protected question isn't really that onerous: get two upvotes on questions, get one upvote on an answer, have 5 suggested edits accepted, accept answers to five of your questions, or some combination of these. Basically, demonstrate some minimal familiarity with the site.

Note, too, that very few questions are protected. Currently there are 1088 protected questions, compared with 780397 total questions. That is, about 0.14% of all our questions are protected. And there are restrictions on which questions can be protected by non-moderator users.

• However, what if a protected question had a bounty on it, and the <10 person couldn't claim it? – bio May 14 '17 at 6:34
• @bio then they should earn rep through posting a good question or two, and/or answering a question that gets $\geq 1$ upvotes. Surely, if the new user has expertise in an area, then s/he can surely find other posts in their expertise, to be able to answer, and subsequently, earn the needed rep, and having done so, answer any relevant protected question. – Namaste May 16 '17 at 15:41

Yes, we should abolish thread protection. There are many newbies who are able to expertise in a ]n area the question is asking about and it's clearly unfair for them. There are many other possibilities, such as make it compulsory for everyone to read the tour page.

No, we shouldn't abolish protection. However, we shouldn't generalise and stop everyone who has less than 10 rep from giving an answer. We should, instead, wait if a newbie user posts something unnecessary. If they do, don't let them post on protected questions until they have 10 rep.

No, we should definitely not change anything. It has been working for us and has helped prevent a lot of unnecessary posts. Without protection, there will be way more work for the moderators to do. Protection is also given to questions when they've been spammed quite a few times.