Administrators can protect pages to restrict editing.
Why pages might be permanently protected
- They are high visibility pages such as the Main Page in order to prevent vandalism.
- The site’s logo and key copyright and license pages, for legal reasons. Admins should not make significant changes to these pages without prior discussion.
- Certain “system administration” pages, including many editorial, deletion and stub templates. These are pages that need rarely be changed, and that because of widespread usage can cause large-scale disruption if vandalized, or modified ill-advisedly. Again, admins should not make significant changes to these pages without prior discussion.
- Pages deleted by consensus that are repeatedly recreated.
Why pages might be temporarily protected
- Enforcing a “cool down” period to stop an edit war.
- Articles subject to heavy and continued vandalism.
- User pages (but not user talk pages), when requested by the user.
Except in cases of clear vandalism, or issues with legal impact such as copyright or defamation, pages protected in an edit war are protected in whatever version they happen to be currently in. Protection during an edit war is not an endorsement of the current version. Editors should not ask for a specific version of a page to be protected or, if it has already been protected, reverted to a different version. Instead, editors should attempt to resolve the dispute on the related talk page.
During edit wars, admins should not protect pages when they are involved as a party to the dispute, except in the case of simple vandalism or libel issues against living people. Admins should not edit pages that are protected due to a content dispute, unless there is consensus for the change, or the change is unrelated to the dispute. However, this should only be done with great caution, and administrators doing so should indicate this on the article’s talk page.
I want to edit a protected page
Non-admins can propose changes to protected pages on the related talk page. All protections and unprotections are automatically logged in the protection log.
Any admin may unprotect any temporarily protected page after a reasonable period has elapsed, particularly if there is no discussion on the talk page. However, unless consensus has been reached, pages should not be unprotected soon after protection without prior consultation with the admin who first protected the page. This is particularly important in the case of controversial pages, where the conflict may start up again and the protecting admin may be in touch with the disputants.
When protecting a page, an admin can set a time limit; when this limit expires, the page is automatically unprotected.