Semi Protection

UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard/Archives/Protected Pages

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This is an archive of past UESPWiki:Administrator Noticeboard discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page, except for maintenance such as updating links.

Protected Pages

I think we have a few too many fully-protected pages. Main Page, for example, is being hurt by full protection because none of the administrators have time to keep it up to date.

I would like to limit or remove the protection on the following pages:

The last four pages don't need to be protected because they don't have too much exposure on the site, and they should be unprotected in case someone needs to adjust the categories, fix a typo, do grammatical adjustments, et cetera.

UESPWiki:Spam Blacklist should go down to semi-protection so everyone can contribute to blocking spammers. I don't have a good feeling about removing protection completely, but it's a possibility if you all are up to it.

Take a moment to think it over, and let me know what you think. Keep in mind that we can always re-protect a page if we need to. --Aristeo | Talk 09:53, 8 February 2007 (EST)

Overall, I don't see that eight pages and four pictures with full protection on a site with 14000+ pages is too many. And I'm not aware of any changes to the site that warrant revamping an already-established policy. Our policy is very similar to wikipedia's, and I'd prefer not to gamble by exposing our site to more risk than wikipedia does.
In terms of the specific pages being discussed:
  • For the last four pages I would say the decision is solely up to Daveh. They are pages that he created to keep track of information related to the operation of the site. I don't see why anyone else would need to contribute to those pages, but it's Daveh's call as to whether or not he would like to give access to other editors.
  • The Main Page is the most prominent page on the site, and the one that is the most likely to be pulled up a new user. I don't feel that Aristeo's concerns justify increasing the risk that such a prominent page will be vandalized (and vandals have been known to create accounts just to get around the semi-protection). The only sections of the Main Page that have any need to be updated all have ways that any editor can provide input on the page contents (or even directly modify the page), i.e., UESPWiki:News, Main Page/Did You Know, UESPWiki:Featured Articles. And based on editors' interest in contributing at those locations, it does not seem that there is a great demand for more access to the Main Page.
  • The Spam Blacklist is fundamentally an administrative tool. If the power to block editors is reserved for admins, I think the power to completely block edits should also be reserved for admins (and that is fundamentally what the blacklist does: controls a tool that can completely prevent edits from being made; a careless edit could be disastrous). Also, most of the recent spam is not accessible to regular editors (the pages have been deleted), so I'm not sure how editors would determine what sites should be added to the blacklist. If there are editors out there who think that they could help site more if they had access to this page, I'd welcome their input to this discussion. But at the moment, I don't see how lifting that page's protected status will contribute to improving the site.
--Nephele 14:19, 9 February 2007 (EST)
Agree. My thinking exactly. --19:24, 9 February 2007 (EST) — Unsigned comment by Wrye (talkcontribs)
The four last pages
  • As I have said earlier in my opening discussion, if someone finds a typo or needs to adjust a category, it can be a pain for them to have to contact an admin and explain to them all of the changes that need to be made for anything to be changed. As for this being Daveh's sole decision, he's more than welcome to participate with us in this conversation. Until then, we have to assume he has no opinion.
Main page
  • Are you saying that we shouldn't scale down the protection of the main page because there is a risk that it might be vandalised? I would like to point out that the entire site is open to such an attack at any given moment. I also believe that the Main Page isn't broken right now because no one is interested, it's broken because no one knows they can edit parts of it.
If you feel like this should be a gated community instead of a wiki where people are interviewed before they can join, I would back you up if you proposed this idea on the community portal. It would definitely fix a vast majority of the problems with "stupid edits" and vandalism, and everyone could spend more time writing articles instead of having to deal with newcomers.
But getting back on topic, I would feel much more submissive to your views on unprotecting these pages if someone who wasn't an administrator feels the same way you and Wrye do. --Aristeo | Talk 18:17, 11 February 2007 (EST)
I'm a bit confused about what you are trying to accomplish: if you support turning the wiki into a "gated community" why do you want to reduce the protection of pages? I, for one, have never advocated preventing newcomers from being able to contribute to the wiki, and I am not questioning this proposal because I want to set up barriers for editors. Rather, I do not believe that having protections on 0.01% of the pages turns the wiki into a "gated community". I think that limiting access to a very few select pages, using criteria derived from wikipedia's many years of experience in what pages need to have limited access, is just a reasonable precaution.
For Daveh's four pages, I don't feel comfortable making an assumption about what Daveh wants or doesn't want, especially when there is, as far as I know, no urgent need to take any action with those pages. But if you feel otherwise, and you wish to make assumptions on Daveh's behalf, then that's your call.
For the Main Page, I think protection is appropriate, since that is the page that will come up if someone just types "" into their browser: it is fundamentally a far more visible page than any other page on the site, especially for first time visitors. Because of that greater visibility, I think it is more likely to be vandalized and I think there are more negative consequences to the site's reputation if it is vandalized, even for 15 minutes. And given that efforts have been made to provide editors with access to several parts of the page, it seems that changing the protection status dramatically increases the site's risks without much in the way of obvious benefits.
Furthermore, I wasn't aware that the Main Page was currently "broken": perhaps it would help this discussion if everyone had a better idea of what it is that you think needs to be urgently fixed right now. If you think that there is a problem with editors not realizing that they can modify the Main Page, why not tackle that issue more directly, for example by making editors' options clear at the very start of Talk:Main Page? If you would like to get input on this issue from editors other than administrators, why did you post the question on the Administrator Noticeboard instead of the Community Portal?
As I said before, if there are editors who feel that these changes would help them in improving the wiki, I would welcome their input. But in the absence of any such input, it seems that changing the protection status is an unnecessary risk. I'd prefer to explore other solutions first (e.g., links on Talk:Main Page) instead of rushing to make a change to an established policy. --Nephele 21:23, 11 February 2007 (EST)
Trying not to step into another political debate here, but I'm with Nephele and Wrye on this one. I see no reason why anyone other than Daveh would want to edit those policy pages. The spam blacklist should definitely stay protected, as it could lead to abuse. (And usually, if a spammer posts ad-links, an Admin will block them, and that same Admin should then add the sites to the blacklist. Thus there's never any need for anyone else to touch this page.) As for the Main Page, I agree that it's just too tempting a target if you allow it to be editted. Wikipedia doesn't allow main-page editting, nor does any other Wiki that I know of. It's just too risky. Anyhow, that's all I have to say on the subject. (Not sure if my view counts as a "non admin", since I'm up for RfA, but thought I'd chime in.) --TheRealLurlock Talk 21:47, 11 February 2007 (EST)
As with any decision here on the wiki, we need to consider what will happen if we change the current system. On the last four pages, I've looked at the history of all of them. There average age before being protected was greater than six months. In that time, there was only one non-admin edit on them. There's just not a huge need for regular users to make changes to these pages. In fact, the only one that really knows most of the stuff is Daveh. If he feels the need to unprotect them, let him. If not, I don't think we're limiting the community in any way.
On the note of the Main Page, it never really bothered me as an editor that I couldn't edit it. You see, once you open the main page to user control, you don't only risk vandalism, you risk small news. I don't think anyone here wants to see the Main Page a billboard for the latest mods to come out. Therefore, I am quite happy with is saying protected. As for the Spam Block list, I don't deal with it, so I don't think I should pass judgment on it one way or another. --Ratwar 21:57, 11 February 2007 (EST)

I've had some more time to study some of the comments that have been made here, so I hope these latest comments of mine will be better and more relevant than my others.

Nephele said in, what I believe, is the thesis of her first statement that we only have twelve articles and images that are fully protected from editing out of more than fourteen thousand. This is about 0.001% of our articles and 0.002% of our "content articles". We all can agree that this number is excellent and that we hold true to the popular wiki adage "anyone can edit".

The problem that I see is not the amazingly high ratio of non-protected to protected articles. The problem is the concept of protecting articles in the first place – we're basically telling every editor and potential editor who is not an administrator that our fear of them messing these pages up is greater than our trust that they won't.

This was the overall premise behind my reasoning to unprotect some of these articles in the first place, and that premise lead me to find some pages that could be unprotected without having a negative effect, but I also found an article (the main page) that could benefit from being unprotected.

I do agree that this idea to unprotect these pages that I mentioned is a bad idea, but not for the reasons that were given. I am an administrator, as a couple of you may know, so page protection does not have the slightest effect on what I can do. Nephele, Ratwar, Wrye, are also administrators, as my research has concluded, so page protection does not have the slightest effect on them either. My proposal was a bad idea because I didn't gauge the people who would be affected by this decision before I proposed it. To be frank, no one cares that they can't edit these twelve pages and I should have taken that into consideration.

To conclude this proposal and to try to lead it into something useful, let me introduce a less-controversial counter-proposal. I ask that we give anonymous and registered editors every reasonable opportunity to nominate a page for unprotection, temporary or otherwise, if they have a reasonable reason as to why it should be unprotected. We could say something on the "view source" page, for example, along the lines of "If you would like to request a temporary or non-temporary unprotection of this page, you can do so by [......]".

This way, we could honestly say that the decision to unprotect or protect a page is not only in the hands of the protecting admin, but also in the hands of the people whom the block affects.

As always, all of your comments are welcomed and appreciated, and I thank you all for putting up with me and my wild proposals. :) I'm going to find one that everyone likes, eventually! ;)

--Aristeo | Talk 01:47, 12 February 2007 (EST)

( P.S. I wouldn't mind if we moved this over to the Community Portal. I was thinking, since protected pages was an admin thing, that this was an admin request. My mistake >.> )

Adding more notifications about how editors can request to edit protected pages is fine by me. But I also just remembered that there is a fully protected page that's not listed at Category:Full Protection: User talk: Were you planning to eventually unprotect that page? Or do you think that the proposed policy on blocked user pages (UESPWiki:Blocking Policy#Blocked Accounts) needs to be modified? --Nephele 21:35, 12 February 2007 (EST)
I did want to protect that page temporarily, I just forgot to unprotect it. I also forgot to put that page in the category. I just unprotected and archived that talk page. Thanks for the reminder! :) --Aristeo | Talk 01:03, 13 February 2007 (EST)
Deja vu. Since the user is still blocked and since the talk discussed the blocking and why it was done, I think that it is all still "active" and so should not be archived. And it's not like the space is needed for anything else, so again, no reason to archive. --Wrye 01:44, 13 February 2007 (EST)
That's fine, feel free to undo or revise any of those changes that I made on that talk page as you deem necessary. --Aristeo | Talk 02:40, 13 February 2007 (EST)
Done (de-archived). --Wrye 14:53, 13 February 2007 (EST)