While discussing on chat that some popular questions get locked or protected to prevent unnecessary answers, I thought that it might be useful to automatically protect older questions which meet certain criteria. Ivo Flipse said that he's already been going around and manually protecting more questions recently which garner a lot of "thank you" and "me too" answers, and it would be nice to lighten his load and have this done automatically to some extent.
I am proposing the following general criteria; please respond in answers/comments about how they might be tweaked:
Auto-protection for questions which:
- Are at least 1 month old
- Have either an accepted answer with a score of at least 5, or at least 3 answers (none accepted) with a combined score of at least 10
- Have one or more answers with a score of 0 or less
- Have at least 5000 views (upped from 200 as per Jeff's suggestion)
These questions would have received enough views to be popular enough to perhaps need protecting, and have some high-quality answers already. By checking to see if they already have at least one low-scoring post, we know that it's already been the target of the types of questions we try to prevent by protecting questions.
This would lessen the work for moderators by reducing the opportunities for low-quality posts to be written in the first place, but would not prevent new users from contributing and starting to build their rep with newer questions.
What are people's thoughts? Would this be beneficial? Should the parameters be different?
I ran a query with some of the criteria above (not all, because I didn't have time to play around a bunch, because I want to go to bed). Of the top 10 results sorted by descending view count, 8 have already been protected. This would strongly suggest that questions of this type ought to be locked, since some moderator's going to have to do it eventually anyhow.
Sorted by ascending view count, only 3 are protected (or locked), but many of the others had a large number of superfluous answers and maybe should be protected. It's less clear with these whether they should be automatically protected, though I don't think it would hurt any of those questions.
If anyone wants to put together a more thorough data query, please do so.
Related Meta Stack Overflow discussion: Should we automatically protect all questions with mote than N answers.