I normally only come when clicking on some questions from other StackExchange sites. Every time the questions are protected by user Qmechanic. Is that something like the Community user? I don't see this at other StackExchange sites.

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    $\begingroup$ The Physics Stack Exchange questions which you see other Stack Exchange sites, are the HNQs (Hot Network Questions). Those question attract a large number of spam answers and hence need to be "protected". QMechanic is an elected moderator on this site. And no, it is not like the SE Community user (which is a bot). QMechanic is not a bot. $\endgroup$ – user139621 Sep 30 '17 at 9:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Blue: spoilsport! :-) $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Sep 30 '17 at 9:08
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    $\begingroup$ Well, there are a few AIs capable to talk on a natural language nearly indistinguishable from a human. But none of them can answer physics questions on post-grad level. :-) $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Sep 30 '17 at 10:15
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    $\begingroup$ He is delocalized $\endgroup$ – user153036 Oct 1 '17 at 2:59
  1. HNQs with $\geq 3$ answer are often protected by a moderator to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers by new users. Questions can be flagged to let moderators know that they should be protected/unprotected.

  2. I doubt it would make a difference if I claim that I'm not a bot, so let me just point to the list of current Phys.SE moderators.

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    $\begingroup$ Woah, this bot can respond to meta questions and even tries to convince us it's not one! The future is now. $\endgroup$ – JMac Sep 30 '17 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ This bot is also quite an articulate answerer of questions. $\endgroup$ – rob Sep 30 '17 at 13:37
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    $\begingroup$ Does that mean that the questions are protected preventively, as soon as they become HNQ? Are physics questions more affected by low quality answers than other sites? Some crackpots with weird theories? $\endgroup$ – Vladimir F Sep 30 '17 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ We have our share of crackpots with weird theories :-) $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Oct 1 '17 at 6:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Vladimir Maybe other sites have a higher tolerance for bad answers on HNQs? We can't really speak for other sites, but this is simply a feature of site culture, like the fact that we don't take all that kindly to outsiders who, despite significant experience with SE, can't be bothered to click through to a site moderador profile before accusing them off being a bit, and then go on to criticise the site culture. We're happy to explain site culture if your intent is to ask about it. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 1 '17 at 14:01
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    $\begingroup$ If you're bothered by the question protections because you're looking for something to answer, I would suggest actually using the site instead of just going for whatever junk-food threads get picked up by the SE-Wide Advertisement for General Enlightenment list. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 1 '17 at 14:01
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty If you are bothered I am acusing someone of something why you can't be bothered to check that my reputation allows me to answer all questions, including the protected ones? $\endgroup$ – Vladimir F Oct 1 '17 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Vladimir No, I am bothered by the fact that you seem to be visiting only the junk-food threads that get picked up by the HNQ list and using them to form opinions about this site, despite having enough experience with SE to know just how much of a skewed picture they paint of any given site. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 1 '17 at 14:12

10k users can see the statistics of all protected questions here. Here are some screenshots for the rest of users:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Let's play a game: some of these users are human, and the rest are AI's. Which is which?

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    $\begingroup$ Well, Community is a bot. ACuriousMind is an established AI. We don't know about QMechanic yet. It might as well be. We all know that it is not humanly possible to edit questions at the rate QMech does. *-) $\endgroup$ – user139621 Sep 30 '17 at 10:36
  • $\begingroup$ ooh! that's my question!! :) $\endgroup$ – user153036 Oct 1 '17 at 2:57
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    $\begingroup$ This answer paints somewhat of a misleading picture. Qmechanic does much of the question protections on the site simply because s/he does a huge fraction of the moderation to begin with, with similar order-of-magnitude differences in, say, tag edits, or in adding "related: ..." comments. The list as presented here is subject to a huge sampling bias (like, say, observing that Virgos crash cars more often than Scorpios) that makes it useless unless it's compared to other moderation metrics. Cf. e.g. physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/7508. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 1 '17 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty ok? are you perhaps, once again, taking thing much more seriously than what the situation requires? $\endgroup$ – AccidentalFourierTransform Oct 1 '17 at 14:33
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    $\begingroup$ What? I never do that, my seriousometer is always perfectly calibrated. With this one, accusations of improper protection are notable for being the most unfounded way for people to cry censorship, mostly because the bad answers that cause the protection tends to get deleted (causing another sampling bias). That's why I don't think that sharing information that's this incomplete is particularly helpful, moreso when it e.g. makes people like Hernan think that they now have the full picture. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 1 '17 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ This SEDE query provides all the useful/relevant data on that stats sheet without the 10k-rep requirement. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Jan 3 '18 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty Thanks! $\endgroup$ – AccidentalFourierTransform Jan 3 '18 at 11:53

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