Wikipedia:Protection policy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search
This page is an official policy on Wikipedia. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. Feel free to update the page as needed, but make sure that changes you make to this policy really do reflect consensus, before you make them.

Administrators have the ability to protect pages so that they cannot be edited, or images so that they cannot be overwritten, except by other administrators. Administrators can also protect pages from moves only. These abilities are only to be used in limited circumstances as protected pages are considered harmful.

Non-admins can propose changes to protected pages on the talk page.

Admins must not protect pages they are engaged in editing, except in the case of simple vandalism.



A permanent or semi-permanent protection is used for:

  • Protecting high visibility pages such as the Main Page from vandalism.
  • Maintaining the integrity of the site's logo.
  • Maintaining the integrity of key copyright and license pages (for legal reasons).
  • Maintaining the integrity of press releases.
  • Protecting certain "system administration" pages.
  • Protecting the often-used texts in the MediaWiki namespace.
  • User pages and their subpages that are subject to repeated vandalism.

A temporary protection is used for:

  • Enforcing a "cool down" period to stop an "edit war," upon request.
  • Protecting a page or image that has been a recent target of persistent vandalism or persistent edits by a banned user.
  • Preventing changes to a page while investigating a possible bug in the MediaWiki software.

The protection of a page on any particular version is not meant to express support for that version and requests should therefore not be made that the protected version be reverted to a different one.

Talk pages and user talk pages are not protected as a rule, except in extreme circumstances.

When a page is particularly high profile, either because it is linked off the main page, or because it has recently received a prominent link from offsite, it will often become a target for vandalism. It is best not to protect pages in this case. Instead, consider adding them to your watchlist, and reverting vandalism yourself.


  1. Do not edit or revert a temporarily protected page, except to add a protected page notice, a link to Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute or Wikipedia:NPOV dispute, or a similar disclaimer about the current state of an article, unless there is widespread agreement that the page was protected in violation of these policies.
  2. Do not protect a page you are involved in an edit dispute over.
  3. Add {{protected}} (or {{vprotected}} for vandalism) to the top of the temporarily protected page and make mention of the protection in the edit summary
  4. List pages you protect on Wikipedia:Protected page
  5. Consider encouraging a resolution between the disputing parties
  6. Remove {{protected}} from the top of an unprotected page and make mention of the removal in the edit summary

Admins should not protect pages which they have been involved with (involvement includes making substantive edits to the page or expressing opinions about the article on the talk page). Admin powers are not editor privileges—admins should only act as servants to the user community at large. If you are an admin and you want a page in an edit war in which you are somehow involved to be protected, you should contact another admin and ask them to protect the page for you. Not only is this the preferable method, it is also considered more ethical to do so as it helps reduce any perceived conflict of interest.

In addition, admins should avoid favoring one version of the article over another, unless one version is vandalism. In this case, the protecting sysop may choose to protect the non-vandalism version. In cases of 3RR violations, admins may protect the version immediately before the first violation i.e. immediately before the first occurrence of a fourth revert. See Wikipedia talk:Revert#The protection option for the discussion on this.

In general, temporarily protected pages should not be left protected for very long, and discussion pages should be left open.

There is no need to protect personal css and js pages like user/monobook.css or user/cologneblue.js. Only the account associated with these pages is able to edit them.

Editing protected pages

The policy on not editing a protected page does not apply in the same way to the semi-permanently protected pages. For these pages, admins must be cautious about editing and do so in accordance with consensus and any specific guidelines on the subject. In some cases, such as when an edit is a major change to an important page and likely to be viewed as controversial, sysops should consider first raising the issue on the relevant talk page.

In cases of temporary page protection, admins should not edit the page while it is protected as people with different points of view who are not admins are unable to do so. There are, however, a few times when admins may cautiously decide to edit such a page:

  • Adding a link to Wikipedia:accuracy dispute or Wikipedia:NPOV dispute, or a similar disclaimer about the current state of an article.
  • Reverting to an old version of the page from a week or so before the controversy started if there is a clear point before the controversy.
  • Reverting to a favored version, as described above.
  • Correcting spelling mistakes or typos.

Page-move protection

Similar considerations apply to protecting a page against being moved, only. In particular, page move protection is appropriate:

  • in cases of frequent or on-going page-move vandalism;
  • for persistent page-move disputes, on request;
  • or where such a dispute continues during the course of a listing on Wikipedia:Requested moves.

List of protected pages

If you protect (or move-protect) a page, or find a protected page not listed on Wikipedia:Protected page, please add it to the list. Please also add a short description of ten words or fewer indicating why you protected it. If you need to say more, discuss on the talk page of the page you protected.

See also

Personal tools