We protect a lot of questions.
We have fewer that 1000 questions on this site right now and over 134 of them are protected. That's greater than 10%. By having so many questions protected, we are limiting who can answer these questions. I think that we should be removing the protection after some period of time as this number seems very high to me.
While protecting may be useful while a question is on the HNQ list and is getting a lot of attention, once it's aged off that list and gets lower viewership, it's probably a good candidate to unprotect and open it back up to the wider audience. We can always protect it again if it becomes a spam target or begins attracting more poor quality answers.
With so many questions protected at the moment, a script would be an easy way to change the status of the bulk of them rather than needing users to manually review protected questions and decide if they were ready to be unprotected.
Such a script would be usable by anyone with the 3500 reputation required to protect a question, though I'm guessing that one of the mods would run it on a weekly/monthly basis.
Some thoughts -
If we do have a script
- what parameters should a question need to meet to be removed from protection?
- age of question?
- length of protection?
- recent activity?
- number of answers?
- what parameters should cause a question to remain protected?
- having been protected more than once?
- who protected it? (think user/mod/community)
- question status (open/closed)
If we don't have a script
- why not?
- disagree with automating this?
- disagree with unprotecting questions?
- how should we deal with having so many protected questions?
- if we're still going to unprotect questions, what parameters do we use?
As a note, if we want this feature, we will have to make it ourselves - so that means we'd need someone willing to develop it for us. It has the added benefit of being useful anywhere on the network, though I don't know that many sites will want to use it as few sites have such a high question protection rate.