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I've currently noticed a flurry of low quality posts on the question over which button is used to activate Luke Skywalker's lightsaber. There is already a highly voted, good, and accepted answer to the question. I've seen questions like this become closed and put under community protection; what steps can I take to put this specific question under community protection?

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    What is a “protected” question? on main meta. – Gallifreyan Jun 2 '17 at 16:37
  • @Gallifreyan Thanks that does answer the question as to who can give a question 'protected' status. I don't have the reputation to do it myself, but is there a way I can encourage someone with the rep or a 'diamond' mod to place that question under community protection (either by voting on it, posting here in the meta site, or posting in the chat room)? – onewho Jun 2 '17 at 16:43
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The best you can do is flag for moderator attention.

What can be done?

The feature you're speaking of is called "protecting" questions, and there are three ways it can be used (all this info was taken from this main meta FAQ post):

  • By moderators, at any time.

  • By +15k users, but only if it is at least a day old and has been answered by a user with less than 10 rep on this site.

  • By the Community user (i.e. the system, automatically), if the question has had 3 deleted answers by new users, or if it had 5 answers by new users in last 24 hours.

What should be done?

  • Seeing that it hasn't yet been protected by Community, this one falls out of the question.

  • One could of course always ping a +15k user in chat, or flag the question for moderator attention. If the moderator recognises that the question needs protection, they will protect it.

  • Downvote (hat tip to doppelgreener) bad answers - hopefully new users will realise there is a problem with their answer, and fix it.

  • Standard flags apply - "not an answer" and "very low quality" flags should be used to alert respective review queues. At the very least the answer will go through some extra sets of eyes, and get another opinion.

Should it be protected?

Protection shouldn't be used lightly, as it bars potentially good answers by new users from being posted. To quote the same meta post:

  • Do protect questions that are attracting a lot of non-answers or very poor answers (spam, etc.) from new users.

I can't see the deleted answers myself, but it was my impression that this question did not really need protection: while it has some answers that need work, it's nowhere near what I would call "a flurry". Bear in mind this part from the same meta answer:

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

Protection is meant to protect questions from surges of activity, but when there's some evidence there'll be more of low-quality answers. It's not meant to be permanent in any way. To quote the related blog post (emphasis mine):

Judicious use of this feature is critical to allowing these sites to handle large amounts of external attention, but over-using it breaks the system: Stack Exchange sites depend on a constant influx of new blood, both to answer new questions and provide updated information on old ones. When in doubt, err on the side of letting new users prove themselves before locking them out.

Or Shog's post (emphasis respected):

The real solution here is to avoid over-using Protect. Certain individuals seem to think it's needed preemptively on controversial questions, closed questions, etc... If you see it being applied to a question where it serves no purpose - or if you simply have a great answer you can't post because of it - flag for moderator attention and ask them to review.

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    Also, downvote low quality answers. If people see answers that are bad being downvoted, it's instructional about the quality expected of them -- and it shows the question isn't just a rep mine. (It's good those answers are being downvoted.) – doppelgreener Jun 2 '17 at 17:03

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