Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection
|This former Wikipedia guideline, no longer backed by community consensus, is retained for historical reference.|
|This page in a nutshell: Wikipedia's Main Page featured article should as a rule not be fully protected, but it may be semi-protected for part or all of the day should vandalism warrant it.|
Wikipedia's Main Page featured article is one of the most visible and heavily edited on the site. For this reason, it receives a lot of vandal edits from unregistered users visiting Wikipedia. Consequently, it is and has been suggested many times that the featured article should be semi-protected. Full protection of the page is generally prohibited. Administrators may semi-protect the page for part or all of the day as if the page were any other article. The length of protection is as short as the situation reasonably permits. Possible circumstances under which an administrator might consider semi-protection appropriate are given below.
Semi-protection prevents all unregistered or recently registered users from editing a page. The Main Page featured article may sometimes be semi-protected in accordance with the protection policy. Pages which are already indefinitely semi-protected because of vandalism are left protected while on the Main Page. Semi-protection can be introduced for a limited amount of time when necessary, for example—when a range of dynamic IP addresses are being used to vandalise the featured article page in quick succession; where personal information or potentially distressing content is being repeatedly placed onto the article; or where protection is needed to remove or prevent vandalism or other disruption.
Admins should exercise common sense, and may prefer to try other methods of dealing with vandalism first, such as blocking problematic accounts and IPs.
Full protection prevents anyone without administrative powers from editing an article. This almost never occurs on the day's featured article, and is only used in rare situations where blocking or semi-protection is ineffective.
Templates included in the Main Page FA are sometimes vandalized, and it is more difficult to find the source of this kind of vandalism quickly. It is also less likely that casual readers would need to modify the templates. Admins semi/full-protect the templates as needed.
To qualify for featured article status, the day's featured article will be at a stable and agreed-upon title. Therefore, admins protect the article from being moved, before it is posted on the Main Page. For housekeeping and process reasons, this protection is lifted at the end of an article's stay on the front page.
These guidelines do not apply to the Main Page itself, which is always protected "as a result of repeated vandalism of the Main Page and [because it] keeps our welcome mat clean."
- Wikipedia:Today's featured article
- Wikipedia:For and Against TFA protection — an essay on the subject
- Wikipedia:Pending changes — for infrequently-edited articles with high levels vandalism from new or unregistered users
- For some thoughts on what level of vandalism qualifies for semi-protection, and other considerations, see Wikipedia:Rough guide to semi-protection
- See Wikipedia:Main Page FAQ#Why am I not able to edit the Main Page?