|This article is an official policy on Bulbapedia.
Its contents are strongly binding and can be considered law on Bulbapedia.
As part of the MediaWiki software, pages on Bulbapedia can be protected from editing by users below a certain rank for reasons described below. In some cases, also detailed below, the entire wiki can be locked to editing.
Some page protections apply to non-autoconfirmed users; other page protections apply to anyone who is not staff. Protection can be done on a limited-duration or indefinite/infinite timeframe, depending on the reason and rationale. This policy outlines the various instances where protection may be applied to a page.
Types of protection
The Mediawiki software allows Bulbapedia staff to apply the following variations of protection to a page:
- Edit protection protects the page from being edited or altered.
- Move protection protects the page from being moved or renamed.
- Creation protection protects the page or specific page title from being created
Additionally, protection may be set at two levels:
- Full protection protects the page from editing by users below the Junior Administrator level.
- Semi protection protects the page from editing by newer users who are not Autoconfirmed.
Reasons for protection
Pages may be protected for multiple reasons, described in detail below.
Vandalism or spamming
Pages experiencing regular vandalism or spamming may be protected to prevent defacement from outside actors/groups. This may occur, for instance, if a character becomes the subject of a popular meme, or if there are other external events which dramatically increase the attention paid to a single page. This protection may occur for as long as needed to keep the page vandalism-free, but should typically not be indefinite.
Pages that are the subject of an edit war may be temporarily protected to stop the edit war and reduce the number of edits occurring. This protection should last long enough for the edit war to subside. Pages that cover heavily debated topics within the fandom may also be protected indefinitely in order to prevent disagreements or recurring edit war. An example of a page of this nature would be pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
High traffic page
Pages that are very high-traffic may be protected (either from edits or moves) to proactively reduce the impact of vandalism, or prevent disruptive changes which would affect users' experience on the wiki. This may occur, for instance, for notable Pokémon or for pages like the Main Page. This protection is typically indefinite.
Pages experiencing a major revamp by staff can be protected for the duration of the editing to prevent confusion or edit conflicts. This may also be used during bot operations to prevent the bot from encountering an issue with a page. This protection should be lifted after the revamp is complete.
Policy and other pages in the
Bulbapedia: namespace are protected indefinitely; only staff can modify wiki policy. For discussion of policy or to propose changes, please use the talk page.
Pages may be protected to prevent speculation, either proactively or in response to edits from users. This most commonly occurs near or after a major announcement about a new Pokémon release of some type, but can be implemented at any time. This protection should be lifted after more information becomes available.
High-use templates may be protected to prevent an edit to the template breaking many pages across Bulbapedia. This type of protection is typically indefinite. For discussion of templates or to propose changes, please use the talk page or make a draft template in your userspace for discussion.
In certain circumstances, Bulbapedia may be locked by the staff and prevent all editing - by staff and users alike. Reasons for locking the entire wiki may include, but are not limited to:
- A major game release is imminent and protecting individual pages is not feasible
- A major software or hardware upgrade is being performed to Bulbapedia or Bulbagarden
- A significant bot-based template update which creates significant load on the server
- Another significant or high-impact changes are being made to the wiki manually
When the entire wiki is locked, the top bar may be used to announce the lock, or Messages from the Editor can be posted to announce the planned lock and estimated duration to users if scheduled far in advance. When the wiki is re-opened, a message will be shared with that information. If possible, Bulbapedia's Twitter account and other social media may be used for communication about the expected duration of any lock or other downtime.
Impact on users
Protected pages cannot be edited by normal users; however, the source wikicode of the page can be viewed. This allows users to learn about template design and other wikicode features. If you are unsure why a page is protected, please use the talk page or ask an active staff member.
Until users reach autoconfirmed status, the userpage and uploads are (functionally) protected; users cannot edit them. Users achieve autoconfirmed status after making a sufficient number of mainspace edits.
If there is something on a protected page that should be added or changed, leave a message on the talk page. If nobody has replied to the message or made the change after several days, ask an active admin on their talk page.
Pages protected with an expiration time are preferred in most instances, such as the case of edit warring or vandalism. Indefinite protection is appropriate for high-use templates that appear on many pages, and on pages which should only be edited by administrators, such as pages on policy. Administrators can protect for any of the default times, or for arbitrary amounts of time; best judgement should be used when setting a protection duration.
Pages can be separately protected from moving as well as from editing. All Pokémon species pages and episode pages should be protected from moving.
Always explain why the page has been protected in the protection log. It is important for users to see a clear and concise explanation for why a page is protected.