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Wikis are built around the principle that anyone can edit them, and they therefore aim to have as many of their pages as possible open for public editing so that anyone can add material and correct errors. However, in some particular circumstances, because of a specifically identified likelihood of damage resulting if editing is left open, some individual pages may need to be subject to technical restrictions (often only temporary but sometimes indefinitely) on who is permitted to modify them. The placing of such restrictions on pages is called protection.

Protection can be applied to or removed from pages by administrators. Protection can be indefinite or expire after a specified time period.

The most commonly encountered types of protection are full protection, which means that a page can be modified only by administrators, and semi-protection, which means that a page can be modified only by users who are logged in and whose accounts have been confirmed (any account is automatically confirmed if it is at least 4 days old and has made at least 10 edits or posts). Other forms of protection are detailed below. Protected pages are normally marked with a small padlock symbol in the top corner; different color padlocks represent different protection types, as shown in the images at the right. {{pp-protected}} is usually placed on protected pages to display the padlock.

Positioning the mouse pointer over the padlock symbol produces an informational tooltip which says "This article is protected." If Template:Tl's reason parameter is specified, the tooltip also says why the page is protected. If the expiry parameter is specified, the tooltip says for what duration the page is protected.

This policy explains in detail the protection types and procedures for page protection and unprotection and the reasons for which protection should and should not be applied.

Overview of types of protectionEdit

The following technical options are available to administrators for protecting pages:

  • Full protection prevents editing by everyone except administrators. Fully protected media files cannot be overwritten by new uploads.
  • Semi-protection prevents editing by unregistered contributors and contributors with accounts that are not confirmed.
  • Creation protection prevents a page (normally a previously deleted one) from being recreated (also known as "salting").
  • Move protection protects the page solely from renaming/moving.
  • Upload protection prevents new versions of a file from being uploaded except by administrators, but it does not prevent editing the file's description page.
  • Pending-changes protection means edits by unregistered and new contributors are not visible to readers who are not logged in, until the edits are approved by a reviewer or administrator.

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