A question recently hit the Hot Network Questions list.
I noticed that it was recently protected.
The normal reasons for protecting a question are to stop an influx of low-quality answers or non-answers posted as answers, yet I only see one deleted answer (which was deleted for being a non-answer).
Was the question protected because of that one answer? If so, was that perhaps premature? Content hitting the HNQ list is a great way to reach new users, even if the vast majority post once and never return.
As I mentioned before, I feel that we should be fairly conservative in our use of protecting questions, particularly HNQ list questions, but it's entirely possible I missed something (deleted comments, etc.) that would merit moderator intervention, so asking here seemed the appropriate course.