Project:Protected page guidelines

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Below are the guidelines that should be used when there is debate on whether or not to protect a page. Only Administrators have the power to protect a page; the uses of protection, how to do it (for the Admins), and when to do it are outlined below.

How to use protection

Protection is something that can and should be utilized by the No Subject staff for numerous reasons, which will be defined in detail below. However, it's important to understand the simple nature of protecting a page before instructions are laid out regarding when to protect a page.

A protected page is, essentially, a page which regular users (the public) cannot touch. Administrators of all types may edit the page, but no other No Subject users can. Uses of protection should include, most notably:

  • Protecting high visibility pages such as the Main Page from vandalism.
  • Preventing change to the Bulbpedia logo, along with all other site logos.
  • Maintaining copyright and licence pages from modification.
  • Protecting certain "system administration" pages from modification. Only the Administrators should be able to edit the rules.
  • User pages and their subpages that are subject to repeated vandalism.

Temporary protection can be enacted for the following circumstances: Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and that administrators can use their discretion with regards to protecting a page.

  • Protecting a page so that editing or reverting wars may not take place, allowing for a "cooldown" period.
  • Protecting a page or image that has been a target of repeated and persistent vandalism.
  • Preventing changes to a page while investigating a possible bug in the MediaWiki software, which would be rare.

Protecting a page in the event of an edit war or revert war is not a support of the page in whatever state it may be in; it simply means that the war must be put to a stop.

What to and what NOT to do

  1. Do not protect a page if you are the administrator involved in an edit dispute over that page. Powers that are given should not be abused in those circumstances; contact another administrator to gauge the situation and make judgement.
  2. Add the {{protected}} note at the top of the page for pages that are temporarily protected. Permanantly protected pages do not need this markup displayed.
  3. Do not edit or revert a protected page involved in any form of dispute. A moderation committee will be called in to issue a decision; no single Administrator shall be the sole maker of that sort of decision.
  4. Remember to remove the "Protected" label once the page is unprotected.

Admins shouldn't use their power to protect a page if they are involved with the page in terms of contribution or any discussion in the talk page. Remember that ultimately the administrators of No Subject are not the primary editors of No Subject, and it is not the administrator's job to solve disputes solely via their power. In addition, Administrators should not show preference to one version of an article over another except in cases of vandalism. Legitimate, non-vandalism disputes should if at all possible be solved by moderation of one or more administrators and avoid using page protections and blocks.

Editing Protected Pages

Admins should refrain from editing temporarily protected pages except to revert to a version prior to an occurance of vandalism. Once again, administrators are supposed to be nonpartisan in page-accuracy disputes and revert/edit wars.

If a page is permanantly protected and a major edit is proposed either by a member of the community or by one of the Administrators, it should be first discussed in that page's talk page. If it is approved by a majority of the users who comment or is seen as necessary by the staff, the edit may be made. Minor edits should also be made cautiously; any content change may be ill-recieved by some members. If at all possible it's best to run any changes by the community via talk pages before actually making the changes.

Administrator notes

Administrators, when protecting a page, please remember to add a description (short, if possible), of why the page was protected for the record. This option is provided to you upon clicking the "protect" link on the taskbar at the top of your MediaWiki interface. Giving a note on why the page was protected makes it easier for a moderation committee to work without having to contact the original protecting admin. If the reason for protection is lengthly (20+ words) and requires explanation, you can e-mail it to any or all other administrators.

Please be intelligent in decisions to protect pages, as sometimes the act of protecting can be worse than the fight that started it. Be mature, be responsible, and be sensible. Admins are not judge, jury, and executioner; however, at the same time, they are responsible for sound judgement and a weighing of the options. Strike the balance.