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I noticed the "Time Out" question hit protected status automatically yesterday. That coincided with a handful of answers that were obvious trolls and/or lower quality.

It probably is effective at avoiding further answers like that, but it's also preventing good answers from people seeing our site for the first time. Is it a good idea to keep it protected? Or is this a good opportunity to encourage new members to post, at the cost of more moderation requirements?

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The "auto protect" feature is pretty new. As part of the change, Stack Exchange has allowed users with sufficient reputation to remove that protection status, instead of it being a moderator-only function.

There's no problem in removing protected status if you have the reputation to do so (I believe it is 3500 for us, since we're still in beta), so long as you think it will be productive to do so, and aren't engaging in a "protecting war" (which isn't going to be the case if the question was automatically protected, rather than protected by another user or mod).

If you see another user protecting questions that you don't believe need it, or even a mod doing so, feel free to either flag for moderator attention (good) or post another thread here in meta (better).

Personally, I think the automatic threshold may be a bit too low, so I've gone ahead and removed the Protected status (for now; we'll monitor the question due to some of the low-quality/troll answers you mentioned).

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  • My question was more "Should we keep it protected" - I didn't want to unilaterally unprotect it give that it would mean potentially more work for you :) – Joe Apr 22 '14 at 16:15
  • Ah. Perhaps I was a bit hasty, then. However, my answer is (obviously) "no" :) If we get any opinions stating that it should remain protected, I'll reinstate the protection until the meta issue gets resolved. – user420 Apr 22 '14 at 16:17

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