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From the Protected Questions FAQ we have the following:

Do unprotect questions that aren’t currently attracting a lot of attention and don’t have a long history of unproductive answers.

Now, I recently became aware of a way of listing all Protected posts, by using the 10k+ tools (for <10k users seems that a isprotected search operator is a feature still being considered, but not available at the moment). This tool can be found at: https://workplace.stackexchange.com/tools/protected-questions

That tool shows that we currently have 710 Protected questions, the oldest one dating back to 2012!

This got me wondering, should we be unprotecting questions that qualify for such in a more active manner? (I already handled 2 of them, but wanted to hear what everyone thinks before pouring myself into the other 708 posts).

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    It seems that both protecting and unprotecting a question is something that should be automated. It seems like a waste of time to go around reviewing protected questions for the purposes of unprotecting them. – Bernhard Barker May 8 '18 at 10:34
  • @Dukeling couldnt agree more with you. Something like a script that unprotects those posts that are older than X, or haven't received answers in Y time. – DarkCygnus May 8 '18 at 15:53
  • @Dukeling and DarkCygnus, agreed that unprotection should be automatic. Maybe something should be proposed at Meta to have them unprotected after a certain amount of time, or when it drops below a certain activity level? – David K May 15 '18 at 12:56
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    There may be 2 categories of questions that require protection - ones that get a lot of attention temporarily, such as Hot Network Questions, and ones that constantly get attention, such as a question that many people search for - those may need to be treated differently. The latter might need to remain protected indefinitely if it's drawing a constant stream of low-quality answers. @DavidK – Bernhard Barker May 15 '18 at 13:03
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Yes, sure, because ... why not?

The FAQ explicitly asks us to do so. We can always reprotect the question if we start getting poor answers.

Since unprotecting a question doesn't bump it to the front page, we have one less reason for not unprotecting the question.

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  • I did some digging but didn't find if unprotecting bumps posts. One would assume it doesn't, otherwise the act of unprotecting could be dangerous for the post (attracting more noise)... I'll ask in MSE if further searching gives no result. – DarkCygnus May 5 '18 at 16:51
  • Seems like unprotecting doesnt bump: meta.stackexchange.com/q/309910/332286 thus I suppose we can proceed :) – DarkCygnus May 6 '18 at 17:57

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