Administrators can protect and unprotect pages. Protection of a page or image means that a non-admin cannot modify it.
The majority of pages on the wiki should remain publicly editable, and not protected. Pages may, however, be temporarily or indefinitely protected for legal reasons (for example, license texts should not be changed), or in cases of extreme vandalism or edit warring.
There are two kinds of protection:
- Full protection disables editing for everyone except other administrators.
- Semi-protection disables editing from IP addresses and users that are not autoconfirmed.
All protections and unprotections are automatically logged in the protection log.
- Protecting important pages that are highly vandalized, such as the Main Page on large wikis.
- Maintaining the integrity of the site's logo and favicon.
- Protecting the interface and system messages in the MediaWiki namespace (these are protected automatically).
- Deleted pages that are continually recreated.
- Protecting articles that are too advanced for the newer user to edit properly.
- Preventing users from working around autoconfirmation to push their agendas or make unwanted edits via sockpuppeting.
Indefinite semi-protection may be used for:
- The Main Page and all templates on it.
- Articles about unreleased content that are heavily prone to speculation and other such nonconstructive edits.
- User pages when requested by the user.
Temporary semi-protection may be used for:
- Talk pages that are being excessively vandalized.
- Articles that are being excessively vandalized.
- Enforcing a "cool down" period to stop an "edit war".
- A page or image that has been a recent target of persistent vandalism or other persistent nonconstructive edits by a banned user.
Any administrator may unprotect any page after a reasonable period has lapsed, particularly a few days.
- Do not unnecessarily protect pages. For example, do not protect a page simply because it got vandalized once.
- Do not edit a temporarily protected page except to add a notice explaining the page is protected.
- Do not protect a page you are involved in an edit dispute over. Admin powers are not editor privileges - admins should only use their powers to help assist the positive growth of the project.
- Avoid favoring one version of the article over another, unless one version is vandalism.
- Temporarily protected pages should not be left protected for very long.
- Talk and user talk pages should never be protected for extended periods except in extreme circumstances (such as a user being persistently harassed by another ban-evading user).
- 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.