Not very long ago, quite a few questions on this site were 'protected', i.e. they were closed to the visitors with no reputation, but were otherwise open. Nowadays one doesn't see that anymore, and there doesn't seem to be anything on meta-ELU that would explain the disappearance.

If the option of 'protecting' questions has been withdrawn by the 'headquarters' of the Stack Exchange, is there any consensus on what is supposed to be done now with the questions that, in the past, would have been protected?

What prompts my curiosity about the matter is that I am getting an impression that many questions are now closed, not because there is anything really wrong with them, but because they happen to attract low-quality answers from one-time visitors, i.e. because they are the kinds of questions that would have been 'protected', but not closed, in the past.


Protected questions haven’t gone anywhere. There are ~9600 protected questions on ELU, three of which were protected in the last week. Example:

The tools to see stats about protected questions are unlocked at 10k rep and protection itself is unlocked at 15k rep.

The way that protection is shown on each question is what’s changed. The banners for protected questions are now blue and at the top of the post instead of the bottom. For me they read:

Highly active question. You have enough reputation to answer or unprotect this question

The exact message is determined by what privileges you have.

  • As a low rep user, I see the banner at the bottom of the page, presumably to fill in for where the "Your Answer" box would go: "Highly active question. Earn 10 reputation in order to answer this question. The reputation requirement helps protect this question from spam and non-answer activity." There is no indication on the post itself that the question is protected, so it's probably a lot easier to miss now. – Mario Carneiro Oct 25 '20 at 6:43

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