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Green check This page documents an official English Wikipedia policy, a widely accepted standard that all users should follow. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
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WP:PPOL
WP:PROT
WP:PROTECT
Nutshell This page in a nutshell: Editing or moving of a page can be restricted by administrators. As Wikipedia is built around the principle that anyone can edit it, this should only be done in certain situations.
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Administrators can protect a page to restrict editing or moving of that page, and remove such protection. Such protection may be indefinite, or expire after a specified time.

  • Full protection disables editing for everyone except administrators. Fully protected media files cannot be overwritten by new uploads.
  • Semi-protection disables editing for anonymous users and registered accounts less than four days old.
  • Move protection protects the page solely from moves. By default, fully protected pages are also move protected.
  • Cascading protection fully protects any page transcluded onto the protected page.

Any type of protection or unprotection may be requested at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. Changes to protected pages should be proposed on the page's discussion page, and carried out if there is consensus to do so. Such requests may, if they are immediate and uncontroversial, be accompanied by the {{editprotected}} tag. A log of protections and unprotections is available at Special:Log/protect.

Except in the case of office actions (see below), administrators may unprotect a page if the reason for its protection no longer applies, a reasonable period has elapsed, and there is no consensus that continued protection is necessary. Contacting the administrator who originally protected the page is advised in unclear circumstances.

Full protection Edit

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Indefinite full protection may be used for:

Temporary full protection may be used for:

  • Pages experiencing edit warring as the result of a dispute; see Content disputes below.
  • "History-only" review of pages during deletion review discussions.
  • The talk page of a blocked user – the only page that they may edit – in the event of persistent inappropriate editing. If such a block is indefinite in duration, then the full protection may also be.

Administrators should not make significant changes to fully protected pages without prior discussion.

Protected titles Edit

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Non-existent pages may be protected, for any length of time, if they are repeatedly re-created following deletion in line with the deletion policy. This prevents creation of the page.

A list of protected titles may be found at Special:Protectedtitles. Administrators may apply protection to non-existent pages with the same procedure as with all other pages.

In addition to protection feature, creation of new articles can be prevented through the title blacklist (talk). Title blacklist allows for more flexible protection, with support for case insensitivity, substrings and regular expressions.

Contributors wishing to re-create a protected title with more appropriate content should contact an administrator. As with deletions in general, the matter can also be solved through the deletion review process.

Permanent protection Edit

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The MediaWiki namespace, which defines parts of the site interface, is fully protected. Administrators cannot remove this protection.

User CSS and JavaScript pages, such as User:Example/monobook.css or User:Example/cologneblue.js, are automatically protected by the MediaWiki software; only the account associated with these pages and administrators are able to edit them. Administrators cannot remove this protection. This protection applies to any user subpage with a ".css" or ".js" extension, whether an equivalent MediaWiki skin exists or not. Administrators may modify these pages to, for example, remove a user script which has been used in an inappropriate way.

Office actions Edit

As outlined at Wikipedia:Office actions, pages may be protected by Wikimedia Foundation staff in response to issues such as copyright or libel. Such actions override community consensus. Administrators should not edit or unprotect such pages without permission from Wikimedia Foundation staff.

Content disputes Edit

Pages experiencing edit warring as the result of a dispute may be temporarily protected, with an appropriate expiration date, and involved parties asked to settle the dispute through discussion. Isolated incidents of edit warring, and persistent edit warring by particular users, may be better addressed by blocking, so as not to prevent normal editing of the page by others.

Administrators protecting pages for this reason should do so regardless of the state the page may be in, and not revert to another version, or otherwise modify the page, except as permitted below. Such protection should not be considered an endorsement of that version; see also m:The Wrong Version. Administrators should not protect or unprotect a page for this reason if they are in any way involved in the dispute.

Pages protected due to content disputes should not be edited except to remove content which clearly violates content policies, such as obvious vandalism or copyright violations, to make changes unrelated to the dispute, or to make changes for which there is clear consensus on the discussion page. Administrators making any such change should exercise caution in doing so, and note their change on the discussion page. The page should be unprotected once the dispute has been resolved, so that normal editing may resume.

Semi-protection Edit

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Indefinite semi-protection may be used for:

Temporary semi-protection may be used for:

  • Pages subject to significant but temporary vandalism or disruption, for example due to media attention, when blocking individual users is not a feasible option.
  • Article discussion pages subject to persistent disruption. Such protection should be used sparingly as it prevents anonymous and newly registered users participating in discussions.

Semi-protection should not be used as a pre-emptive measure against vandalism that has not yet occurred, nor should it be used solely to prevent editing by anonymous and newly registered users. In particular, it should not be used to settle content disputes.

The day's featured article is generally not semi-protected, despite the increased vandalism that results from its presence on the Main Page, except in particularly serious cases. See the Main Page featured article protection guideline.

The essay Wikipedia:Rough guide to semi-protection contains further information.

Move protection Edit

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Move protection may be used for:

  • Pages subject to persistent page-move vandalism.
  • Pages subject to a page name dispute.
  • Visible pages which have no reason to be moved, such as the Main Page.

By default, fully protected pages are also move protected. If a protected page is moved by an administrator, the page will be protected at the new location, but the redirect remaining at the original location will not be protected. Anonymous and newly registered users cannot move pages, so while semi-protection against page moves is possible (and applied, by default, when a page is semi-protected), it does nothing.

The same restrictions that apply to full protection during a dispute also apply to move protection during a dispute; administrators should avoid favoring one name over another, and protection is not an endorsement of the current name.

Cascading protection Edit

Cascading protection automatically fully protects any page that is transcluded onto the protected page, whether directly or indirectly. This includes images and other media.

Cascading protection should be used only to prevent vandalism to particularly visible pages such as the Main Page.

Important note: Cascading protection only works for fully protected pages; it is disabled for semi-protected pages. See Bugzilla:8796 for more information.

Templates Edit

The following templates may be added at the top of a page to indicate that it is protected:

Padlock {{pp-meta}} Full Semi
Dispute: {{pp-dispute}} Template:N/A
Vandalism: {{pp-vandalism}} {{pp-semi-vandalism}}
High visibility templates: {{pp-template}} {{pp-semi-template}}
User talk of blocked user: {{pp-usertalk}} {{pp-semi-usertalk}}
Spambot target: Template:N/A {{pp-semi-spambot}}
Sockpuppetry: Template:N/A {{pp-semi-sock}}
Generic (other protection): {{pp-protected}} {{pp-semi-protected}}
Scrutiny of the Office: {{pp-office}} {{reset}}
Move protection (disputes): {{pp-move}}
Move protection (vandalism): {{pp-move-vandalism}}
Create protection: {{pp-create}}

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