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The official policy related to applying and removing semi-protection is located at Scratchpad:Protection policy. This rough guide describes how the semi-protection policy is currently being applied by Administrators. Every case is different, and “passing” every criterion does not mean a page must be protected: Administrators are at liberty to use their discretion.

General considerations

An editor considering requesting semi-protection for a page at Scratchpad:Requests for page protection (SP:RFPP), and an Administrator considering applying semi-protection, must assess each situation individually before deciding on a course of action.

  • Is the problem vandalism, or an editing dispute?
  • How much vandalism is taking place?
  • Is the vandalism from a wide range of accounts/IPs?
  • Are any constructive edits being made to the page, especially from unregistered users?
  • Is the problem on a high-profile, widely followed page?
  • Does the problem have a detrimental effect on how Scratchpad looks to the public?
  • Is the subject of the page a living person?
  • What is the quality of this article?
    • Higher-quality articles are more damaged by vandalism than similar, low-quality articles, and there is also less likelihood that a given edit will improve the article.
    • Since higher-quality articles are more complete, there is less likelihood that the article will need to be edited in the first place.

Criteria for semi-protection

Policy shortcut:

Articles subject to heavy and continued vandalism can be semi-protected. There are no explicit rules that determine the level of vandalism that is necessary to trigger semi-protection. Administrators should use their best judgment to determine if semi-protection is warranted. Here are some criteria that may be helpful to determine if semi-protection is appropriate:

  1. All or almost all of the vandalism is coming from unregistered users (i.e., IP-only, anonymous editors)
  2. Unregistered editors should be making very few quality contributions to the article compared to the amount of vandalism coming from unregistered editors. The negative effects of semi-protection on discouraging positive contributions should be more of a concern than the positive effect of decreasing vandalism.
  3. There are regularly many new vandals, therefore it would be a huge unending task to notify and warn all the vandals individually.
  4. According to wikipedia:Wikipedia:WikiProject Vandalism studies#Conclusions from study 1, on average 5% of edits to a page are vandalism. So, 5% is the level of vandalism to be expected, and semi-protection should not be applied in this case. More than usual levels of vandalism occur when anything over 5% of edits constitute vandalism. If each vandal edit was followed by a revert, without any further edits to the page, then 50% of edits would be vandalism. More than 50% is rare, but may occur when multiple vandalism edits are reverted by a single edit. The higher the percentage of vandal edits, the greater the need for protection.
  5. Consider a lower threshold for protection for articles on living people as vandalism is potentially more damaging in these cases.

Determining the duration for semi-protection

If semi-protection is to be tried, its first application should be for a short duration, a few days or a week. If vandalism continues after the protection expires it can be added for a longer duration. At some point an Administrator might determine that the semi-protection should be made indefinite. This is reserved for only the most vandalized articles, and any Administrator is free to lift “indefinite” protections.

  • Pages that are indefinitely semi-protected must have been semi-protected previously. This shows that the problem is ongoing, and that temporary semi-protection does not have a lasting effect.
  • Vandalism that resumes very shortly after semi-protection is removed demonstrates that the page is a popular target for random vandalism. Such pages are likely candidates for indefinite semi-protection.
  • If vandalism is related to a current event, the semi-protection should be lifted after the event is out of the public eye.
  • The only way to determine if ongoing semi-protection is still necessary is to remove the protection and see if the vandalism resumes at previous levels. For this reason, all pages that are indefinitely semi-protected can have their protection removed from time to time. The Administrator should monitor the page after removing the protection.
Wikipedia This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Wikipedia:Rough guide to semi-protection.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history.
As with Scratchpad, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Licence.