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I came across a question which I thought I might be able provide valuable insight into.

Yes, it already has a lot of answers, but it is also a highly viewed question; none of the other answers contained the content I wanted to provide. Many of them say similar things.

I understand the purpose of protecting questions, but this one was asked just today; why was it protected so early?

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You can see who protected it on the banner. In this case, it was an automatic protection by the system, and the system uses the name "Community".

Normally, the automatic protection kicks in when a few of the answers are deleted. In this case, it was due to too many answers from new users posted in a short time, which is due to its entry to the Hot Network Questions.

My suggestion to you is: Ask or answer some other questions on the main site (not meta). It's easy to get that one or two upvotes, which will get you past the "protection" shield.

See: What is a “protected” question?

The system (via the Community user) will automatically protect a question that's had three answers from low-rep users deleted or 5 answers from low-rep users posted in the past 24 hours. The system will never auto unprotect a question automatically.

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  • Perhaps you could help me out and upvote this question as I asked it in meta instead, which combined with my contributions to other sites on the network demonstrate my good intentions and and ability to provide a thoughtful answer ;) – TheCatWhisperer Aug 28 '17 at 19:59
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    @The - that won't help you with the protection... – Mithical Aug 28 '17 at 20:01
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    @TheCatWhisperer Votes on meta don't get you reputation on a site with the exception of Meta Stack Exchange. – Catija Aug 28 '17 at 20:05
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After three deleted answers by new users, or 5 answers from new users in 24 hours, Community♦ automatically protects it. You can ask someone to remove the protection, or you can try to earn ten rep via other means (such as suggesting edits), or try asking or answering a different question.

HNQs very often attract spam, as well, which is one reason HNQs are often protected.

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  • What does HNQ stand for? – TheCatWhisperer Aug 28 '17 at 20:02
  • Hot Network Questions. – Mithical Aug 28 '17 at 20:03
  • In retrospect, that should have been obvious to me; thanks – TheCatWhisperer Aug 28 '17 at 20:04
  • I don't think spam has anything significant to do with HNQ. You mean low-quality answers, right? – NVZ Aug 28 '17 at 20:09
  • @NVZ - no. I mean red flag spam. – Mithical Aug 28 '17 at 20:10
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    I couldn't find any post deleted as spam in it. Nothing was deleted at all. – NVZ Aug 28 '17 at 20:11
  • I can't see deleted posts. But 5 answers from low rep users will also serve to automatically protect. As for the spam, often SmokeDetector will detect spam on Hot Network Questions. – Mithical Aug 28 '17 at 20:15

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