Forum:Protection policy review - protect the Main Page?

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This thread was archived on 22 May 2009 by Azliq7.

Full protection for our Main Page?

Currently, our Protection policy states that that the "Main Page and all templates on it" should be indefinitely semi-protected, while full protection is used for maintaining "the integrity of the site's logo and favicon."

I had fully protected the Main Page in March 2009, but the protection was downgraded recently to semi-protection ("You've violated the very policy that you try to educate others about..."). 4 days after the downgrade, it was vandalised. Clearly, the Main Page is a target of vandalism, even by auto-confirmed users.

In Wikipedia, pages that are "highly visible" such as their Main Page and their logo is fully protected. Since our site logo and favicon is protected, why not the Main Page? I stand by my earlier decision to fully protect our Main page as it may become an automatic target for vandals, and that it is currently the most visited page in our wiki with 4,739,708 views (based on Special:Mostvisitedpages).

What I'm proposing is that we include a line in the "Full protection" section that says:

I know that my arguments are biased as I am an administrator, but fully protecting the Main Page seems like the correct thing to do. Changes to the Main Page can easily be done by administrators, or users may request the Main Page to be unprotected for a short while to edit the page.   az talk   15:12, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

The Main Page is more important compared to archives, hence the higher status of protection. If some admin/crats feel that they should fully protect archives, I feel that it is more important to fully protect the Main Page.

Support - Don't see why not. The main page is usually the first thing people see when they visit the wiki for the first time (hence its status as the most visited page on the wiki), so it is no doubt a primary target for vandalism.  Tien  15:45, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - We have plenty of roaming administrators to fix vandalism on the fly, I like the freedom of not needing an administrator to make edits. Cap and goggles.pngTEbuddy 16:56, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Are you implying that we should un-protect all fully protected pages so that you have the freedom of not needing an admin to make edits?  az talk   17:10, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Comment This may just be ignorance speaking here, but is it not possible to protect it in such a way as people who have been members for a month or so and made a certain amount of edits with no major complaints can edit the main page, but not people who are relatively new?Serenity1137 19:20, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Currently auto-confirmed users are allowed to edit as the Main Page is semi-protected. (Auto-confirmed users are those with accounts which are more than 4 days old and have made at least 10 edits.)
The thing is, most of the content in the Main Page are transcluded from templates which are not fully protected and can be freely edited by auto-confirmed users. The only reason users would need to edit the Main Page is to change the layout of the Main Page. As far as I know, this requires consensus from the community.   az talk   19:40, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Comment- I knew that the main page's super-protection, or however you call it, wasn't per the protection policy in the first place, but I never brought it up... http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/3921/thehimmemote.pngGone. 19:53, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Support - I feel that it is a common vandal page, as it is the first thing many see when coming to the site, and is the top viewed article. Some might think, "Hey, first thing to see, most viewed, my vandalism would affect this most!" Although a few good edits by non-sysop people might have to be made, a simple asking of an admin to add it in can fix the problem. ~MuzTalk 19:53, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Pending - I think that the question of whether or not the main page should be fully protected should be decided based on whether or not we require community consensus to make changes to the front page, or if anyone (excluding IPs) can make changes as they see fit. We are not talking about vandalism here, but good faith edits. If we need consensus, then we certainly need to fully protect the main page. Administrator Hurston (T # C) 20:01, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Support - The main page needs to be changed so infrequently, and then only after discussion in the Yew Grove, that fully protecting it seems quite appropriate. Administrator Hurston (T # C) 10:59, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Support - the main page is the face of the wiki and it's important to prevent vandalism on it. Any changes can be discussed on the talk page. Andrew talk 20:43, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Support - Per Soldier 1033. Lovely torso armourSupirion1Talk Contribs #Summoning.png

Support - In case anyone isn't sure about how much of a high traffic page that our main page is, in Bill Nye's words, "consider the following":

The main page has accumulated 4.7 million views since whenever Special:Mostvisitedpages was added in 2008. Our wiki has gained 14.1 million views since March, or whenever the Sitemeter feature was added. We could have easily gotten 28,000,000 or more views since Mostvisitedpages was added, but it only counts individual pages' hits, so that's just an estimate.

So yes, the main page is very high traffic for us. If someone were to vandalize it, even if it was reverted in two minutes or less, that could give a wrong first impression to many newcomers. In my view, preventing the vandalism and making the editing process for the page slower would be a better alternative than having vandalism easy, as with standard edits to it.

On a last note, I don't think we should describe it as being "highly visible" in the policy. Anything that isn't invisible and is opaque is literally highly visible. Just calling it "very high traffic" is something that would be harder to be confused about for people who aren't as internet phrase savvy. Dragon medium helm! Whaddaya know?Chiafriend12Better than rune!Loon is best buttlord 21:45, 14 May 2009 (UTC) (Edit conflict)

Support - The main page is the most visited page, the biggest vandalism target, and any changes to the main page would require a consensus any ways. Don't forget Main Page and Main page ether. - TehKittyCatTalk Wikian-Book 22:32, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Support - Per Soldier. My proudest achievement Juliusc01Talk Click here if you think this wiki is obsessed with bunniesN W A  F T W 02:16, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Support - Per Soldier. Prayer.png Jedi Talk HS Log Tracker Summoning.png 04:12, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Isn't semi-protection good enough. Accounts that don't vandalise that will vandalise low traffic pages which will take longer to sort out, them being low traffic. Also it sort of restricts freedom.Joe Click Here for Awesomeness11:06, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Support - Per Chia. Quest.png Gaz Lloyd 7:^]Events!99s 11:19, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Support - Per Chia. Cannonball.pngJack Spiral1Rapier.png

Support - Currently it's easy to vandalize the front page. Should protect it fully since there isn't really a need to edit it. Adult chameleon (automatic).png Anurin Talk · Sign! . 15:43, 15 May 2009 (UTC) We need to hurry up with this, just been vandalized again today.. Adult chameleon (automatic).png Anurin Talk · Sign! . 21:25, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - I may not be the right person to speak because I use a personal, custom main page rather than the real one. However, Wikia generally advise against main page protection since it is the first thing that most users see when they visit the site. Even semiprotection is to be used only for high vandalism main pages. The reason for this is that a protected main page may discourage editing. Our main page has only been vandalized twice in a one week period since semiprotection was removed. That is not nearly enough to warrent full page protection. If the main page ever does fall victim to frequent vandalism or edit wars, we can temporarily give it full protection as we would with any other article. We have very few protected pages, none of which are actual articles, and most of which are discussion archives or user talk pages of banned users. There is no need to add the main page to that list. Dtm142 21:40, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Reply to comments - The Main Page has been reverted about 10 times in 2009, and multiple times in 2008. The average duration required to revert vandalism is about 1-10 minutes. Although user may make good faith edits, we don't need edits such as: "Blanked the page", "Replacing page with 'F*** them f***itty f*** c**** s***f***', "Replacing page with 'Hi', etc.

This is the Main Page we're talking about, and the first impression we give users is important. Temporary full protection will not work, as vandalism are done randomly and infrequently, and even though they are reverted, the damage is done. Unlucky users end up seeing a vandalised Main Page. See the page history for some of the edits we could have prevented with full protection.

A fully protected Main page does not discourage editing, it only encourages vandals to... vandalise. The Main Page is unlike "any other article", which is why I'm proposing it to be included in our policy. This is a special case we need to consider: pre-emptively protecting the Main Page from future vandalism.

Although Wikia has advised "main page protection", Wikia's own Main Page has been protected. Try editing it here: Wikia Main Page. A quick check of the HTML source for their Main Page shows this:

var wgRestrictionEdit = ["sysop"];
var wgRestrictionMove = ["sysop"];

They have fully protected their Main Page, and they are advising other wikis not to protect theirs... Hypocrisy, anyone?

Large wikis such as WOWwiki and Wookieepedia realise that their Main Pages receive lots of traffic, and have therefore fully protected them. We have to realise this too. Although we are not as large as they are, we are growing in terms of size, user contributions, and traffic.

A compromise?

An unusual compromise to allow users to edit the fully protected Main Page is to keep a draft/backup version of the Main Page in another location, say Main Page/backup. See MeatBall:FileReplacement for how I got the idea. The backup version would be not be protected at all (open to all users, including IPs). Once an edit has been made and it is a good faith edit, the changes will be implemented automatically in the Main Page. (Otherwise, the edits are reverted.) The caveat is: increased workload for users and admins. However, the advantages are two-fold: users are still allowed to edit the "Main Page", and the actual Main Page remains clean from vandalism.   az talk   09:43, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Can you please explain how it updates itself to the edits? And if it automaticly updates it once the edit is made, why not just leave the protection the same, that is what it somewhat seems like you are saying to me. ~MuzTalk 10:45, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Currently, Wikia doesn't have the necessary software to handle fully-automated updates. For now, admins would have to monitor any changes made to the backup version, and apply the changes manually to the actual Main Page.
If we left the protection the same, the changes are immediate especially if it is done by vandals. But if we used the backup approach, there is a delay where vandal edits are easily spotted and reverted before they even appear on the actual Main Page. Good faith edits will probably be applied every week or so, or whenever the changes are made.   az talk   07:22, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Support compromise - Great idea Az! You see it all the time on Wikinews if your account isn't autoconfirmed. CFLM (Talk) 10:58, 18 May 2009 (UTC)


Support - This sounds like it will work for everyone, as it will make the main page more difficult to vandalize without restricting good faith edits. Dtm142 23:35, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Closed - The following changes are carried out:

  • The Main Page (RuneScape Wiki) is fully protected.
  • A draft/backup version is created at "RuneScape:Main Page". This page will not be protected, and can be edited freely by all users. It will be the responsibility of all users to maintain this version from vandalism.
  • The Protection policy will be amended to include a clause for the full protection of the Main Page.

  az talk   05:48, 22 May 2009 (UTC)