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Sooner or later I will get enough reputation to protect questions. It’s not my intention, as it's never been, to use my privileges more often than I am expected. I would appreciate it, therefore, if someone who’s been here long enough could clarify this:

  • What kind of question do you think should be protected, and why?
  • What are questions protected from? From being closed? Or from getting a “thank you note”?
  • When do you protect a question? When you think it is likely to be close-voted by 5 members?
  • Can a mod close a protected question?
  • And finally, I once had a question protected by community. Since community is not a person, but the system, so I”ve been led to believe, why did community protect my question? Was it a random event?
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    My strategy is to 'protect' a question if the question is older, and a single low rep user answers it badly (the bad question has negative votes. – Mitch Apr 15 '15 at 17:48
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    Note that you can always write a custom mod flag requesting that a question be protected. I've done it dozens of times! – curiousdannii Apr 16 '15 at 0:52
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    For me, a larger question is: are the post-10K privileges worth the effort of proactively pursuing them? Does anyone use them, and if so do you perceive that use, in the moment itself, as a privilege that you enjoy, or more of a chore (responsibility you are obliged to undertake, which seems like the tone of Centaurus' question here). I personally put in an effort to accumulate 10K because I wanted certain tools that afforded, but after achieving that, I "stopped playing the game", per se. I'm wondering if it's actually worth my time and effort to pick up the ball and get back in the game. – Dan Bron Apr 16 '15 at 11:41
  • @Dan - I don't regard it as a chore, or as fun, but I do see it as a responsibility. Look at it this way: Should the moderators have to do everything to maintain the quality of the site? The SE model says "no," and the privileges we earn simply mean we've been around long enough to be entrusted with making certain judgement calls, and therefore sharing that responsibility. – J.R. Apr 23 '15 at 9:44
  • @J.R. Thanks for the feedback. Based on that, I won't hurry myself to break 10K+ rep milestones. If they happen, they happen. – Dan Bron Apr 23 '15 at 11:15
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  1. Questions that are receiving a lot of poor answers from low reputation (less than 10 reps) users should be protected.

  2. Questions are protected from further low quality answers by low rep users.

  3. See 1.

  4. Yes, and not just mods. Protected question can still be closed by anyone with close votes.

When a question is protected people need a minimum of 10 reps to be able to post an answer. The minimum does not take account of association bonuses from linking your account with other SE sites. (So if you start with 101 instead of 1 rep, you still need to earn 10 reps from editing or posting before you can answer protected questions.)

See this privilege and this privilege for more information.

To answer your fifth question, please have a read of Stack Exchange Meta. Basically, Community will protect a question when it has a lot of views or five or more low quality answers from new users in a short space of time (24hrs).

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    Additional note for 3: close-voting and protecting are completely orthogonal. You can still close (or open) a protected question, and you can still protect (or unprotect) a closed question. – RegDwigнt Apr 16 '15 at 10:27

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