If you locate any unwritten rule that should be clarified, use the talk page to make a proposal
Page protection is a technical feature in the MediaWiki software that enables administrators to restrict who can edit, move, or create a particular page. Although the nature of a wiki is that articles and other pages should be open to editing by all, it is sometimes necessary to protect pages for various reasons. All protections and unprotections are logged and viewable by anyone. The different levels of protection and why they might be applied are detailed below.
Pages which are fully protected can only be edited or moved by administrators; additionally, files that are full-protected also can only have new versions uploaded by administrators. Full protection may be applied for reasons including but not limited to the following:
- In order to protect the integrity of the site, pages in the MediaWiki: namespace are automatically fully protected and cannot be unprotected. These pages control the interface and other high-visibility portions of the site and so unwanted edits to these pages would be highly disruptive. Additionally, some messages are in plain HTML, which opens up the possibility that users could insert malicious scripts, and a few messages can cause the software to stop working if they are changed.
- The Main Page is permanently protected, as it is highly visible and changes to it generally should only be made with community consensus.
- Many policies are fully protected, as changes should only be made with community consensus.
- Heavily-used templates should be protected, as vandalism to such templates would be highly visible and could remain visible even after being removed due to caching.
- Articles may be fully protected to stop an "edit war" and/or to encourage users involved in a series of edits to discuss the matter on the associated talk page. In such cases, protection is not an endorsement of the current version.
- User pages may be fully protected if a user persists in violating the user page policy or if a user whose page was replaced with Inactive template removes it back to their old user page without actually returning to active editing.
- Administrators may protect their own user pages and/or user subpages at their leisure.
Pages which are semi-protected can only be edited by "autoconfirmed" users (meaning that your account is at least four days old). Semi-protection may be applied for reasons including but not limited to the following:
- Articles which are frequently vandalized or frequently have "fanon" added to them are semi-protected either temporarily or permanently to stop the vandalism and fanon. Note that articles generally should not be preemptively semi-protected simply to ward off vandalism that may or may not actually occur without a good reason to do so.
- Pages where voting takes place are often semi-protected to prevent sockpuppet votes, or prevent votes from users that are not part of the community, as stated in the voting policy.
- Pages which should only have changes made to them in certain circumstances but where non-administrators have reason to edit the page.
- Users may request unconditional semi-protection of their own user page and/or user subpages.
Pages which are move-protected can only be moved to a new title by administrators. This may be applied by itself or in combination with semi-protection. Move protection may be applied for reasons including but not limited to the following:
- High-profile articles and other pages can and should be move-protected to prevent malicious page moves. Unlike semi-protection, preemptive move protection is accepted and encouraged, as pagemove vandalism often requires an administrator to clean up.
- Articles that are being moved back and forth between two or more different titles as part of a dispute should be move-protected until the matter is discussed and resolved. In such a case, protection is not an endorsement of the current title.
- Users may request unconditional move-protection of their own user page, user subpages, and/or user talk page.
If a title is create-protected, a new page can only be created at that title by administrators (or, in some case, autoconfirmed users). Creation protection may be applied for reasons including but not limited to the following:
- Pages deleted as vandalism, fanon or simple inappropriateness, where the title is highly unlikely to be used for anything except vandalism or fanon may be fully create-protected.
- Pages repeatedly deleted as fanon or unverified where the title is that of a plausible or known canonical subject may be semi-create-protected. If fanon persists, full creation protection may be used except where the title is known to be that of a canonical subject (in such a case, administrators are encouraged to create the canonical article themselves or ask someone else who has the necessary sources to do so).
- Pages deleted via consensus discussion that are repeatedly recreated in violation of the consensus to delete may be fully create protected.
Files which are upload-protected can only have new versions uploaded by administrators. This may be applied by itself or in combination with semi- or full protection. Upload protection may be applied for reasons including but not limited to the following:
- Highly-visible images, such as those used in the interface or permanently located on the Main Page, can and should be upload-protected to prevent disruption.
- Files where there is a dispute between two versions may be temporarily upload-protected while the dispute is resolved. In such cases, protection is not an endorsement of the current version.
- Files subject to frequent upload abuse/vandalism may be upload-protected temporarily or permanently.