I just created an account here because I wanted to write an answer. Since I'm an experienced long-time user of the stack exchange network, I got the +100 rep association bonus (see profile). However, that still prevents me from answering How to deal with an untrainable junior dev?.

One could argue that I don't have the minimum 10 rep on this site specifically, because I have not contributed anything that yields rep here. But the association bonus is supposed to go past basic restrictions. Here's what the reputation help page says:

If you are an experienced Stack Exchange network user with 200 or more reputation on at least one site, you will receive a starting +100 reputation bonus to get you past basic new user restrictions.

I have tried reloading the question, moving around the site and voting a bit, and going back to the question. I have not logged out and in.

I come here often through the hot network questions, and those sometimes get protected, which is useful. But for experienced users that decide to actively participate on one of the newer SE sites being unable to answer those kind of beats the purpose of attracting new users.

Probably in order to answer that specific question I just need to go write an answer that gets an upvote, or do a few edits.

Still this smells like a bug.

  • 3
    Note that any question receiving 3 answers scored 0 or below from users with no site reputation automatically protects the question (which is what happened here).
    – enderland
    Nov 2 '15 at 14:31

This is a core feature of the StackExchange network and this behaviour is intentional. In short, it's to eliminate "drive-by users" who might answer questions that have been protected for a good reason. These users will have an association bonus but no actual experience with the site where they're trying to bypass a question's protection. The assumption is that questions aren't protected without reason and only users with some experience on a particular site should be allowed to answer such questions.

A detailed description can be found in this answer by Shog9. To quote two key points:

Yes, it has the unfortunate side-effect of blocking answers on those rare occasions where someone with plenty of experience on one site jumps onto another one with a great answer to an already-popular question - but this is always the down-side of Protect; I got an email just yesterday from someone new to our network who wanted to post an answer to a Protected question, with every indication that he was an experienced expert in the subject matter and did not plan on posting a non-answer. Blocking him served no more of a purpose than blocking you would.


Otherwise... Post an answer somewhere else, and one up-vote will remove the restriction. Frankly, if you can't do that, it's hard to make the argument that you should be posting on a Protected question anyway.

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