The question "You can control a Demon by knowing its True Name, but why?" has brought some controversy, as discussed in the meta "Closing of True Name question".

I was looking at it further and realized that the original question was asked by a moderator, and later protected by that same moderator. Personally, when I'm in a position of power like a moderator, I refrain from using that power on anything I have a personal stake in.

Is there any established policy or guidelines for or against such a thing on WB.se or SE in general?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ You don't have to be a moderator to be able to protect a question. I know I can do it, and I'd gladly protect my own question to save it from low-quality answers. $\endgroup$ – DaaaahWhoosh May 9 '16 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ Protecting and unprotecting a question can be done unilaterally by anyone with sufficient reputation. See What “Unprotect” actually does? right here on Worldbuilding Meta. $\endgroup$ – a CVn May 10 '16 at 14:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Title is such a catch-all.. it should've been "Moderators protecting their own questions".. $\endgroup$ – Insane May 19 '16 at 2:08

Moderators are generally pretty careful about not using moderator powers, like handling flags or deleting comments, on posts where we have a vested interest. Protecting a question, like closing, reopening, or editing, is a reputation-based privilege not restricted to moderators. The same people who can protect a question can also unprotect it, even if it was protected by a moderator.

Questions are usually protected when they are attracting low-quality answers or spam. In fact, the system (as the Community user) automatically protects questions that meet a certain threshold for this. So long as protection isn't used egregiously and people aren't fighting protect/unprotect wars, I don't see a problem. And if, in particular, the asker of a question protects it, arguably he's the one who's harmed the most by potentially cutting off answers he presumably wanted to see.

Sometimes the circumstances that led to a protection don't persist over time. Maybe a question was on the Hot Network Questions list and attracting negative attention, so it was protected, but then time passed and this is no longer a concern. Feel free to unprotect if you have the privilege, or raise the issue on meta or in chat. We don't have good tools for monitoring protection, so if you see an older protected question and wonder why it wasn't unprotected already, chances are the answer is "nobody noticed".

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for stepping up to answer Monica. I would like to add for @T.J.L. that as a result of being on the HNQ list for over a week, it had attracted a lot of answers 95% of which were essentially identical to already existing ones, which was the deciding factor in "Protecting" the question. I would further add that "Protection" only prevents users with less than 10 rep from answering, an exceedingly low threshold. $\endgroup$ – Serban Tanasa May 10 '16 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ @SerbanTanasa FYI, there was no assumption of wrong doing and no accusation intended. I was expecting an answer along the lines of "It's not allowed, unless..." or "It's allowed, but...". Monica's actual answer, which basically amounts to "Nope, no hard policy" is somewhat surprising but hey... that's why I asked, 'cause I didn't know. $\endgroup$ – T.J.L. May 10 '16 at 13:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @T.J.L. There are very few hard policies when it comes to moderation. Diamond moderators are expected to exercise their judgement whenever they use their powers, and a part of what that means is to tread very carefully on your own posts, but as has already been pointed out, protecting and unprotecting questions isn't a diamond-moderator-only privilege; it's one that can be earned with equal effort by anybody. Part of the reason why there are few hard rules in this area is that hard rules tend to be inflexible, whereas moderating requires flexibility. Few ♦ moderation cases are clear-cut. $\endgroup$ – a CVn May 10 '16 at 14:37

I do not see a problem here

Protecting and Unprotecting questions is simply matter of having enough reputation as I recently learned.

Protecting question brings added value: As high rep user, I already asked several questions which brought a lot of attention from the community. And personally I must say that I was always glad, that my high-profile questions got protected.

Questions from Hot Nework Questions receive a lot of attention And again, as author of some questions which got to HNQ, I am glad, that new users cannot post some funny comments and/or answers to harness some internet points.

While I enjoy fun and play, after receiving tenth funny comment, I am looking for a ways to stop these comments.

  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't saying there was a problem, I was asking if there was a policy either way. $\endgroup$ – T.J.L. May 9 '16 at 19:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @T.J.L. to me, reading your question gave me an idea that you might see using "Protect" privilege as a problem which should be addressed and/or regulated $\endgroup$ – Pavel Janicek May 9 '16 at 19:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @T.J.L. The part of your original post that gives the impression you disprove is "Personally, when I'm in a position of power like a moderator, I refrain from using that power on anything I have a personal stake in." because in it you basically say (to most readers) "Well, I don't think this is right". However it was intended, that is how it comes across. You could easily remove that part from your post to make it more neutral in tone if you wanted. $\endgroup$ – Mourdos May 13 '16 at 0:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .