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Pending Changes is a tool designed to keep some edits, mostly by new users, from appearing to everyone until the edits have been reviewed. The community approved the tool in June 2012 and clarified its features in September through November. The tool went live 1 December 2012.


After a two-month trial on the English Wikipedia in 2010, a straw poll showed 407 in favor of implementation in some measure and 217 opposed, with 44 other responses. Among those in favor, there was no clear consensus as to what form the implementation was to take. Pending Changes was removed from all but a few test pages after a Request for Comment (RfC) in 2011 that closed in May in which 127 supported removal and 65 opposed. An RfC was closed in June 2012 with a decision to deploy Pending Changes by the end of the year. The closers urged the community to continue to seek consensus on what form Pending Changes will take, and three RfCs seeking clarification followed, one in September, one in October, and one in November.

" is clear that though the community supports the adoption of Pending Changes, the community is also well aware that both the Pending Changes Trial of 2010 and the draft policy as presented in this RfC suffer(ed) from weaknesses. Therefore...the community should dedicate itself to determining the implementation of Pending Changes that it wishes to be turned on. Many opinions have been presented in the various areas of this RfC as to what works and doesn’t work in Pending Changes as implemented/proposed; the community must now focus its energy on optimizing the implementation of Pending Changes that it wishes to see go live."

— Closing admins of the 2012 Pending changes RfC

The purpose of this page was to be a place where editors can propose and discuss changes to the draft policy of Pending Changes. Proposals will be discussed on the talk page, and consensus results from any votes will be added here.

Contributors may also be interested in the list of issues (pro, con and request) that was produced immediately after the pending-changes trial.

Users laying out their ideas[edit]

Initially, a number of users laid out their ideas for PC on a number of sub pages:

RfCs and community-wide discussions[edit]

  • WP:PC2012/RfC 1 is closed (September 2012). It discussed whether to use Level 2 pending changes.
  • WP:PC2012/RfC 2 is closed. (October 2012). It discussed when to apply pending changes, the criteria for rejecting edits, and various ideas for reducing backlog.
  • WP:PC2012/RfC 3 is closed. (November 2012). It discussed deployment and usage of the pending changes feature.

The policy now resides at WP:Protection policy#Pending_changes_protection with an adjunct information page at WP:Pending changes and a reviewer's guideline at WP:Reviewers.

Trial results[edit]

An analysis of anonymous edit quality indicates that one-third of the anonymous edits made to PC-protected pages during the trial were of acceptable quality. None of these edits could have been made if the pages had remained semi-protected. (All pages in the trial had previously been subject to long-term semi-protection.)

Most changes made to these articles during the trial were reviewed within minutes. At any given point in time, the pending changes queue normally listed fewer than 10 articles in need of review. High-traffic, high-vandalism pages were more likely to be returned to regular semi-protection, which reduced the load on the queue. Lower-traffic pages and pages whose need for semi-protection was unclear were probably the best candidates for pending changes.

Some users reported page loading times were greater on PC-protected pages, especially larger pages.

The delay inherent in approvals makes rapidly developing articles poor candidates for PC. Featured articles often involve significant content disputes, which PC is not designed to resolve. In general, if an article suffers from content disputes, including contentious BLP matters, regular semi-protection is more effective.

Issues identified in the trial are listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Closure. This list includes pros, cons, feature requests and open questions.

The second phase of a request for comment begun in February 2011 was endorsement of positions. In order to gauge how much support the different opinions had, a number of positions were stated and people were asked to put their name to those with which they agreed. A large number of positions were stated. These positions weren't all mutually-exclusive, so it was possible for editors to endorse a number of positions. The analysis of this phase showed that the three most endorsed positions were "PC helps with libel on BLPs", "PC is confusing" and "PC reduces vandalism, but so does semi-protection".

See also[edit]