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In this thread, an apparently well-meaning new contributor has run into a roadblock. The situation as I understand it is as follows:

  1. This "vintage" Q&A has been "protected"
  2. Existing answers that were apparently correct at one time, may now be incorrect or incomplete.
  3. New contributors need a reputation of 10 to add an answer to a protected question.

While the logic behind the restriction on protected questions makes perfect sense, it also seems contrary to our objectives here to block a potentially useful and updated answer.

Solutions? A couple that come to mind:

  1. Post the answer temporarily on a "trial basis", and give the entire user community an opportunity to vote on its utility.
  2. Advance/loan the new contributor 9 points, thus allowing him to post his answer.
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    I think this is not a RPi.SE issue, so it should be taken to meta.SE instead as a feature request. It is of course noteworthy that the "protection" is there for a reason. BTW you could have started to "advance" that user some points ;-) In this particular case I have unprotected the question (thanks for bringing it to the moderator's attention) and invited the user to post an answer there. – Ghanima Jan 15 at 18:41
  • @Ghanima: Groovy :) Just to be clear, are you saying that I could have transferred 9 points from my account to his? (didn't know that!) – Seamus Jan 15 at 19:02
  • No, you could have "transferred" just 5 points as is. – Ghanima Jan 15 at 19:03
  • @Ghanima: OK, I am enlightened! 5 points isn't much, but it might help in some situations. – Seamus Jan 15 at 19:05
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If you are talking about modifications to the interface, there's not much point in discussing that here, the place is Meta SE. Pretty sure that said interface is intended to be consistent across all sites. We suffer the consequences of that here WRT, e.g., privileges and reputation levels where we have never been able to generate enough participation voting wise to have enough people with enough privileges (IMHO). This is kind of related to that.

If you are talking more local policy that wouldn't require modifying the interface, I'm not sure how this would work. It implies we would remove protected from all questions and somehow maintain a list of those which are subject to this special treatment. Which defeats the whole purpose, of course, of marking something protected in the first place: So we do not have to deal with the clutter of pointless additions which some questions seem to attract.

There's two ways that status comes into being:

  • The system does it automatically if the number of deleted answers from low rep users hits a certain threshold.
  • A moderator does it manually.

In the case in point, it's clearly the former; there are six deleted answers.

All the privilege level rules are subject to some form of this problem whereby someone with a worthwhile contribution of some sort to make cannot. Flagging and chat are one way to deal with that -- but someone with 1 rep can't access that either. This is a tradeoff, plain and simple.

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