The revolutionary nature of a wiki is the ability for any reader of any article to edit just about any page instantly. Wiki is the enabling technology that will serve to transform this project into a great online radio communications/scanning resource. Most readers and contributors will likely agree that we need to keep this project open and available in order to make it succeed. We depend on the distributed efforts of our fellow radio communications hobbyists to get high quality, up to date, and reliable wiki articles.
Under some circumstances, however, it may become necessary for us to protect (or lock) pages within our wiki project. Once a page is protected, it can only be edited by the wiki administrator and moderators. Page protection is considered an extreme measure in most cases, and it shouldn't be taken lightly.
Reasons for page protection
Wiki administrators and moderators can protect a page anytime they feel such action is warranted. They're expected to use good judgment and err on the side of openness. Some example reasons of why a page would be placed under permanent full protection include:
- The text of a certain page must remain verbatim. A good example of this is our Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 copyright license, which is considered a legal document not open to interpretation by wiki users. Policy pages will also be fully protected.
- Non-human spambots occasionally hammer away, creating pages that are not and never will be useful wiki articles. While it's impossible to stop new page creation altogether, such pages can be redirected to some reasonable location, then placed under permanent protection (or even deleted).
- High Traffic/High Visibility pages such as the main page are permanently protected to prevent "drive-by" spam attacks and vandalism.
Reasons for temporary full protection include:
- An out of control edit war that's in progress. If two or more wiki contributors are engaged in an edit war over an article page, and they're unwilling to discuss their issues civilly on the appropriate discussion pages (as grown adults should), the wiki administrator or moderators can use the page protection feature to declare a "cooling-off period" until all parties decide to work out their differences. All edit war participants should be warned before page protection is deployed rather than preemptively locking down article pages.
- Pages that are subjected to repeated spam attacks and/or vandalism. For this particular situation, page protection will be used on a case-by-case basis. If someone is constantly spamming, or, if a user is repeatedly and systematically vandalizing a certain page, it should be locked down until the disruptive twat gets the hint and decides to take a hike (or ends up getting blocked).
- Pages that create a security risk to our project and/or others. Hopefully the MediaWiki software we use is robust enough to deal with simple security attacks through the wiki interface. If for some strange reason it's not, the wiki administrator or moderators should take the necessary steps to protect the page(s) in question until the security issue is addressed.
Process for deploying page protection
Before or immediately after protecting a page, the wiki administrator or moderators should document the protection on the article's discussion page, and add a link on the protected pages page to include a brief explanation as to why the page was locked down. Wiki contributors are welcome to comment on the action via the locked article's discussion page, however, it's not the appropriate place for discussing the specifics or circumstances surrounding an edit war or user ban.
If the page protect action doesn't fit the above list of reasons, it should be strongly defended and the reason added above.
Page protection should be lifted as soon as it's feasible to do so. Once a page is re-opened, a note to that effect should be included on the protected pages page.