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Why is Special:Protectsite only used for recent or past vandalism on a wiki?

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Special:Protectsite is only used for recent vandalism because doing so otherwise can severely damage a wiki's ability to function. Not being open to new users makes wikis appear uninviting and may actually discourage people from creating an account or making useful edits.

The other, more technical reason, is that Special:Protectsite is only designed to work a maximum of 12 hours at a time.

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