Wiktionary:Protected titles

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The Wikimedia software provides the ability to protect a page title when the page does not exist. This is used to prevent (re-)creation of pages that have been targets of vandalism, spamming, and other useless activity. There is also a page title blacklist that can block classes of page titles based on regular expressions. The mechanism for protecting individual titles is described here.

This is a guideline for administrators; it is not a policy document.

This mechanism is very useful, and should be used routinely when pages are inappropriately recreated.

To request unprotection
Ask an administrator on their talk page, it is helpful to supply citations on the corresponding Citations: page.

How it works

The "protect" tab is available on the edit page for a title that does not exist. It works similarly to protecting an existing page, Page creation can be limited to logged-in (autoconfirmed) users, or to admins; a reason may be supplied, and the duration specified.

The special page Special:Protectedtitles lists the protections presently in force.


Only administrators may add/remove/modify entries:

  • Protect titles that have been deleted more than once.
  • If the title is entirely bogus, set level to sysop/admin.
  • If an entry under that title is plausible, perhaps in another language or with citations provided, set level to autoconfirmed. But if the creating user is autoconfirmed, set level to admin.
  • Do provide a reason!
  • Set the time interval reasonably, and do not use infinite/indefinite. (See below.) A month or so is probably plenty, but a year is a useful default if you don't want to think about it.
  • Don't hesitate to use this. It is not like a protected existing page, which limits user participation in the wiki.

Why not infinite? Two major reasons: they become crud in the special page listing (especially as it is oldest first), and timing them off the list is useful. (The original protections done a year ago, January 2008, are gone.) The other big reason is that the list itself provides ideas for copy-cats; we've seen several instances of this with old lists. Another lesser reason is that the code is buggy; Werdna has done some cool things, this among them, but there are problems with entries that appear in the list, but are not accessible; they do time out properly. Some titles may need re-protecting after a year, but this will not be common.