What are protected questions?
Protecting a question prevents answers from being added by anonymous and very low-reputation users, generally users with under 10 reputation.
Questions should be protected when they are attracting poor answers from new users that exceed the volume which can be moderated in a timely manner.
Questions should be unprotected when they are no longer attracting large amounts of traffic or would benefit from new answers.
You may review the full list of protected questions to see which questions are being protected or identify questions that may benefit from being unprotected.
Which questions can be protected?
Any question at least a day old can be protected and unprotected by users that have the privilege, provided the question has received at least one answer from a user with less than 10 reputation. Diamond Moderators can protect and unprotect a question at any time.
Some questions may be protected automatically by our system in specific situations, often due to having many deleted or negatively-scoring answers in a short period of time.