The question: At what altitude would I have to go in a lighter than air balloon to be above all wind and just have the earth rotate underneath me? is currently protected to prevent spam and etc. However it only has 329 views at the moment and zero upvotes (and was asked almost 3 years ago). Should it be protected? It doesn't seem highly active to me.
metaFAQ links to What is a “protected” or “highly active” question? which says:
What does it mean for a question to be protected?
Questions are usually protected because they have attracted either spam answers or "noisy" answers such as "thank you", "this worked for me", or "I'm also having this problem" from new users who may mistake the site as a traditional forum.
Four hours ago this answer by a new user with enough reputation (+19) to answer a protected question (requires +10) was posted that doesn't seem to answer the question.
So in this case protection didn't work anyway.
There's a comment in the Pod Bay:
What is it about balloons and space?
Since the question is not HNQ now it is not likely to require protection, and that didn't stop a low quality answer.
So to "Should this question be protected?" I'd say no.
This question has three deleted answers that were removed because they were poor answers that did not follow the guidelines of this site. That is why the question was protected. Do you have reason to believe this question will no longer be a target for low quality answers?
You don't yet have the rep (10K, I think) to see deleted answers, so you are missing the full picture of the bad responses the question is attracting, one recently. I agree the "highly active" thing that is displayed is misleading. It should read something like "this question is protected because it is attracting bad answers by new users".
There is something about balloons and space that attracts strangeness.
I've been "protecting" more lately because there seems to be an increase in bad answers by new users. I don't see much downside to it, but what I have done is easily overturned and I'm OK with anyone doing that.
It's super easy for a user to get the reputation to answer a protected question. The vast majority of registered users already have enough reputation. I believe the association bonus also allows a new user to answer a protected question right away.
The worst-case scenario is someone has a good answer, but cannot post it because they are too new to StackExchange. However,
- That question is general enough in nature that the knowledge already exists among our regular users. It's not like it is some super-obscure question that only a few people on Earth can answer.
- That question already has two very good answers (both from regular Space.SE users). How likely is a better answer going to come along?
- Even if someone new has a better answer, they can get around the protection by asking or answering a different question, earning reputation from that, and then later answering the protected question.
Therefore, I don't think this particular question is worth unprotecting.