I was browsing and I noticed this somewhat old question: here. I just got an association bonus from my other accounts, so now my reputation is at 101. However, I still get:

protected by GlenH7 Dec 24 '13 at 14:13

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

I tried signing out, signing back in, and reloading the page. If I wanted to answer this question, I'd be unable to.

  • 3
    The answer is on the message you are getting: "...requires 10 reputation on this site". You have not yet earned any reputation on this site, the association bonus may be network wide but was awarded for your activities on another site. That said, this particular nuance has confused me more than once.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


This is by design:

Users with 10 or more reputation can answer a protected question. However, the +100 account association bonus is ignored for this check, so you must have earned 10 or more reputation on that specific site to answer a protected question


  • 1
    Whelp that seems to be the reason. I think it's pretty preposterous though. "You've earned a bonus of 100 reputation because we trust you on other sites in the network" should mean just that, and should imply one only tackling questions one actually cares something about.
    – geometrian
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 15:32
  • @IanMallett this approach is written by blood of site regulars. Amount of bad answers that sneak in without such a protection and damage site image is really frightening. As an example, the very question you asked about has two deleted low quality answers - each costing site regulars and moderators rep on downvotes and time and efforts on submitting / handling flags
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 15:37
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    I do imagine the rule exists for the reason; I'm just saying that this reason isn't consistent with the rest of the reputation system.
    – geometrian
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 17:33
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    @IanMallett The association bonus removes several new user restrictions. With it, you can comment everywhere, post more than one link per post, upvote, participate in Meta, flag, etc. This is all great, and you've earned it. However, answering a protected question is a bit trickier, as you're getting into troubled waters (if there wasn't any trouble, we wouldn't have protected the question in the first place). All the rule asks for is that you understand the site's guidelines and culture enough to get an upvote on an answer, or a couple of them on a question. It isn't really that much to ask.
    – yannis
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 23:30
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    Sure. I just think that the delineation between points-that-count-toward-privilege-set-A and points-that-count-toward-privilege-set-B is kindof subtle. That some of the points count toward some of the privileges and not toward others is, on the face of it, confusing. I don't have an alternative suggestion, I'm just saying it feels inconsistent.
    – geometrian
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 1:24
  • I do have an alternative suggestion; how about raising the rep needed to answer a protected question to 110 and getting rid of this confusing restriction? Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 4:27

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