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.