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Pending changes protection is a tool used to suppress vandalism and certain other recurrent nuisances on Wikipedia while allowing a good-faith user to submit an edit for review. Intended for infrequently edited articles that are experiencing high levels of such troublesome edits from new or unregistered users, pending changes protection can be used as an alternative to semi-protection and full protection to allow unregistered and new users to edit pages, while keeping the edits hidden to most readers until they are accepted by a reviewer. There are relatively few articles on Wikipedia with this type of protection.
When a page under pending changes protection is edited by an unregistered (also called IP) editor or a new user, the edit is not directly visible to the majority of Wikipedia readers, until it is reviewed and accepted by an editor with the reviewer right.
Pending changes are visible in the page history, where they are marked as pending review. The latest accepted revision is displayed to the general public, while logged-in users see the latest revision of the page, with all changes applied. When editors who are not reviewers make changes to an article with unreviewed pending changes, their edits are also marked as pending and are not visible to most readers.
Both logged-in users and unregistered users who click the "edit this page" tab edit the latest version as usual. If there are pending changes awaiting review, there will be a dropdown box next to the article title, pointing to the pending changes.
Pending changes may be used to protect articles against persistent vandalism, violations of the biographies of living persons policy, and copyright violations.
|For the policy on applying pending changes protection, see Wikipedia:Protection policy#Pending changes protection. This section is intended to supplement or clarify the policy. If they disagree, please defer to the policy or discuss the option of changing it.|
Administrators may apply pending changes protection to pages that are subject to heavy and persistent vandalism, violations of the biographies of living persons policy, or insertion of content that violates copyright. Pending changes protection should not be used as a preemptive measure against violations that have not yet occurred, nor should it be used to privilege registered users over unregistered users in content disputes. Pending changes protection should not be used on articles with a very high edit rate, even if they meet the aforementioned criteria. Instead semi-protection should be considered.
In addition, administrators may apply temporary pending changes protection on pages that are subject to significant but temporary vandalism or disruption (for example, due to media attention) when blocking individual users is not a feasible option. As with other forms of protection, the time frame of the protection should be proportional to the problem. Indefinite PC protection should only be used in cases of severe long-term disruption.
Like semi-protection, PC protection should never be used in genuine content disputes, where there is a risk of placing a particular group of editors at a disadvantage.
Editors without administrator privileges can request page protection if the above criteria are met. Removal of pending changes protection can be requested of any administrator, or at requests for unprotection.
|For the guideline on reviewing edits, see Wikipedia:Reviewing pending changes. This section is intended to supplement or clarify the guideline. If they disagree, please defer to the guideline or discuss the option of changing it.|
The process of reviewing is intended as a quick check to ensure edits don't contain vandalism, violations of the policy on living people, copyright violations, or other obviously inappropriate content. Reviewers are sufficiently experienced users who are granted the ability to accept other users' edits. Reviewers have a similar level of trust to rollbackers; all administrators have the reviewer right. Potential reviewers should recognize vandalism, be familiar with basic content policies such as the policy on living people, and have a reasonable level of experience editing Wikipedia. Reading the reviewing guideline, where the reviewing process and expectations for a reviewer are detailed, is recommended.
Acceptance of an edit by a reviewer is not an endorsement of the edit. It merely indicates that the edit has been checked for obvious problems as listed above.
Reviewer rights are granted upon request at Wikipedia:Requests for permissions. While any administrator has the technical ability to remove the reviewer permission, removal should occur only as the result of consensus from a discussion or when an editor requests the removal of their own permission. Discussion regarding removal of the reviewer permission should normally occur at the Administrators' noticeboard. Discussion with the involved editor and/or a request for a second opinion at the Pending changes talk page is recommended before formally requesting removal.
Reviewing of pending changes should be resolved within reasonable time limits (at most a few hours). Backlog management should be coordinated at a community level. The backlog can be viewed at Special:PendingChanges. As of January 2013, edits are rarely unreviewed for more than two to three hours and the backlog is frequently empty.
In the edit history, accepted revisions are highlighted, which improves readability. Additionally, visible tags are applied to indicate why particular edits were accepted ("automatically accepted"/"accepted by [Username]"). As of September 2018, this highlighting is still permanently lost for past changes on a given page whenever the pending changes setting is disabled. When pending changes are enabled again, the highlighting will only be applied to newer changes. Therefore, it is a good choice to leave pending changes enabled when other protections are applied.
|Unregistered or Newly registered||Auto-confirmed, Confirmed||Extended confirmed||Pending changes reviewer**||Admin||Appropriate for|
(See also: Wikipedia:Protection policy)
|None||normal editing (can edit; changes go live immediately)
"Go live" means the changes become visible to readers who are not logged in to Wikipedia. In all cases throughout this table, changes are immediately visible to readers who are logged in.
|The vast majority of pages|
|Pending changes||can edit but changes don't go live until reviewer acceptance||normal editing but if there are previous pending changes, no changes go live until the pending changes have been reviewed||normal editing*
and can accept pending changes
|Infrequently edited articles with high levels of vandalism or BLP violations from unregistered and new users|
|Semi||cannot edit||normal editing||Articles with high levels of vandalism or edit warring from unregistered and new users; some highly visible templates & modules|
|Extended confirmed||cannot edit||normal editing||Specific topic areas authorized by Arbcom; pages subject to persistent disruption that semi-protection has failed to stop|
|Template||cannot edit (unless Template editor, in which case normal editing)||normal editing||High-risk templates & modules|
|Full||cannot edit||Articles with persistent vandalism or edit warring from (auto)confirmed accounts; critical templates & modules|
|* When an Administrator or Pending Changes Reviewer edits an article that has pending changes awaiting review, they must review the pending changes before their own edit(s) will go live.|
** This column assumes that a Pending changes reviewer is also Extended confirmed. (A Pending changes reviewer needs the separate Extended confirmed right to edit through Extended confirmed protection; in practice nearly all Pending changes reviewers will have the Extended confirmed right.)
Below is a list of past discussions and polls relating to the Pending Changes feature: