Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

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This page is for reporting possible breaches of the external links policy.
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Koenraad Elst[edit]

Is this book a valid "further reading" entry for the article Bharatiya Janata Party? Also, if consensus is not achieved either way, does WP:BURDEN apply to external links?

  • Elst, Koenraad (1997). Bharatiya Janata Party vis-à-vis Hindu resurgence. New Delhi: Voice of India. ISBN 81-85990-47-6. 

I am of the view that Elst is a fringe source, and therefore WP:ELPOV would require his ommission. I believe Maunus agrees with me. Jyoti disagrees, and says that Elst is sufficiently mainstream to be included. Vanamonde93 (talk) 15:07, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Yes, I agree that Elst is a fringe source in the description of Indian history and politics and cannot be included as EL.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:55, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

The topic of discussion is a book in Further Reading section. Here is the link to the still running RfC discussion:[1] and link of discussion on user talk page: [2] No point rehashing the discussion here. You may find mine and other editors response at these two places. --Jyoti (talk) 11:39, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

This is not an external links, so EL does not apply here.
Elst's opinions on the BJP cannot be called fringe when the top senior leader of the BJP (LK Advani) has been repeatedly referring to Elsts views and books in important forums.
Elst is a controversial author, but wikipedia should not be censored and include all viewpoints.--Calypsomusic (talk) 12:10, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
The opinion of LK Advani is rather irrelevant when discussing what is an isnt a fringe view in the literature on the party itself. That is probably the last place one would look for an objective judgment. It arguably shows notability, but has no bearings on Elsts status within his academic field. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
WP:BURDEN does not apply to external links. However, WP:ELBURDEN does: disputed links are removed, unless and until there is a (rough) consensus to include them.
WP:FURTHER is not a collection of external links. However, approximately the same standards are conventionally applied, and sometimes the two sections are merged (if the resulting section would have only two or three items). This is as good a place to ask about this as any other. There is no dedicated noticeboard for further reading items. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, thanks for the detailed reply. The users that I am engaged in a dispute with still maintain that ELBURDEN does not apply, on the grounds that the disputed addition is not a link. What course of action would you suggest? Vanamonde93 (talk) 17:10, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Honestly? I'd find something more productive to do than argue over a single link. You can remove ten spammy links in the time it takes to discuss one. But if you're more seriously involved in that article, rather than just wandering by to do some link-weeding, then you could ask them what guideline or noticeboard they would consider relevant and binding. If they would not accept, for example, a decision made at WP:RSN, then you can try an WP:RFC. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:32, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing; unfortunately, I am rather involved there, I'm trying to get it to GA, and hopefully further. One of the editors disputing this with me did start an RfC, soon after adding the content; this behaviour made the RfC a joke in my opinion, so I brought it here. I have asked what guideline applies, and the question has been dodged multiple times. Vanamonde93 (talk) 16:15, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Koenraad Elst is not a website but an author, it should be decided on talk page(of article), WhatamIdoing got it right about consensus through RFC VandVictory (talk) 18:05, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Silk Road (marketplace)[edit]

The link to the Silk Road .onion hidden service was removed from Silk Road (marketplace), the wikipedia article on that site/service/marketplace, with a note that it violates the guidelines on External Links (diff).

At least one other user appears to agree (diff).

Neither user indicated which policy they thought was violated, but I've taken a quick look through the policy and there appears to be two potential violations. I don't think that there is a violation of either, but I've addressed them both below:

1. I am not sure if accessing the site is illegal but, even if it were, it is the subject of the article

"Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject,[4] one should generally avoid providing external links to: ... Sites containing malware, malicious scripts, trojan exploits, or content that is illegal to access in the United States. Suspected malware sites can be reported by following the instructions at Wikipedia:Spam blacklist."

First, the link was to the official page of the silk road, which is the subject of the article, so even if accessing the link were illegal in the U.S., it seems that it doesn't violate Wikipedia's policy.

Second, I don't know that it is illegal. I hope somebody else can help here, but I haven't seen any order of the Court stating that accessing the site is illegal.

2. The site is registration-only

"...A site that requires registration or a subscription should not be linked unless the website itself is the topic of the article (see Official links below) or the link is part of an inline reference (see Wikipedia:Citing sources)."

The site does require registration but, again, the website itself is the topic of the article. So the policy specifically provides that linking to the site does not violate the policy.

I don't agree that a link to the subject of this article should not be on the page. The link has been there for three years (diff) so I'd like to know why people are suddenly saying it violates policy.

I will post messages on all three involved users' talk pages to get their position on the issue and would appreciate other users' insight on the matter.

Frazzydee| 22:04, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

  • My initial read of WP:ELNO was that the site is illegal, which was borne out by its seizure, therefore inappropriate under #3. You are correct that the guideline as written does seem vague on the question, since I agree that the mere act of accessing the site is probably not illegal per se, and the seizure itself is not the final judicial answer on the site. As for "why now", that's just when I saw the reverts going on in the Recent Change list, and made a call based on how I read the policy. I'm not above being wrong of course, so would also welcome more opinions on the subject. I've looked for a precedent on other pages, but cannot really think of a close enough analog to SR to establish a meaningful one. Electric Wombat (talk) 22:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The fact that it was seized is a good indication that the site itself, and running the site, are illegal. The question is whether access is illegal; I think that's a different act entirely and it may very well not be illegal to do so. Again, I haven't seen the seizure order and I'm not familiar with the law. -Frazzydee| 22:37, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't the legality of the current market ("SR2") depend on its location, and/or the location of those who are administering it? The advantage of not publishing the URL is that it would no longer be subject to malicious edits, inclucing attempts to replace it with URLs for phishing sites, though presumably it could be "protected". - Oniscoid 12:20, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but the legality of access is what's at issue, not the legality of the market itself. Any URL can be maliciously edited, the only difference is that .onion URLs are not as simple/readable. That has been solved by sourcing the URL, but I like your solution better of protecting the URL. -Frazzydee| 22:27, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
We have occasionally considered making the common-sense exception to ELOFFICIAL be more explicit, but it's only come up in two non-trivial cases that I can recall: Silk Road, and a malware-infected politician's campaign website. (On the second, there was some question as to whether the site was still infected.) The practical answer to whether we need to explicitly flag this in the guideline is that editors who don't have enough basic sense to stop linking to malware, porn-spewing, or otherwise seriously inappropriate sites, even under the excuse that "it's official!", usually end up blocked before they have time to read the entire guideline, so resolution is quick and simple. Consequently, it hasn't ever seemed truly necessary to say "don't turn off your brains once you encounter the word 'official'".
But in case you're wondering, foundation:Terms of Use also covers the subject of people violating ELNO#3. Search for the keyword "illegal" to find the right section. In the meantime, WP:ELBURDEN applies: once inclusion is challenged, even for an official link, the link is excluded by default unless and until there is a consensus to include them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:13, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree, if a site is official that really shouldn't mean it should be included no matter what, although the policy suggests so. But I still don't think we have a clear answer here, or if there is one, assuming that accessing the site is legal. Perhaps we should do a straw poll, but I don't know what the procedures now are and if it needs to be a WP:RFC and if so whether the RFC should be here or on the article talk page. Can you advise?
There is no WP:ELBURDEN issue AFAIK. I don't think anybody wants to put the link back until there is consensus to do so, which there clearly is not. -Frazzydee| 23:23, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Accessing the site is NOT illegal. Put the link back so people who want to look at the site for whatever reason end up at the right place. We're doing a disservice to anyone with curiosity and inviting folks to publish malicious URLs advertising themselves as The Silk Road. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:7:9480:EF:EDCD:6EB1:336D:B73B (talk) 03:55, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

I concur with 2601:7. While it's obviously illegal to trade illegal goods through the site, visiting it is not illegal. It goes without saying that this is a vital piece of information for our readers. I've replaced it as it was in the past with a reference demonstrating that sources have linked to the site. SmartSE (talk) 18:07, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Please see Talk:Silk_Road_(marketplace)/Archive_1#The_link and all those linked discussions. It was previously confirmed by the WMF that linking to the site is not illegal. Cheers SmartSE (talk) 18:22, 28 August 2014 (UTC)[edit]

A user has been updating the weblinks to as it has changed domaion name but it shows up that it appears in the external links section of a number of articles. A self-published website it doesnt appear to add to the article but just promote the website. Tempted to remove it from all external links sections but thought I would seek other opinions first, thanks. MilborneOne (talk) 16:52, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

There have been a few discussions of Spartacus Educational of varying length on Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard and Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard:
Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 3#Spartacus Schoolnet @Jmabel, Aldux:
Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive @Collect, Cameron Scott, DreamGuy:
Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 59#Spartacus @JzG, Itsmejudith, Biophys:
Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 79#Anarchist Catalonia @BillMasen, Jayjg, Fifelfoo, Epeefleche:
Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 88#schoolnet @Barnabypage, Fladrif, Will Beback:
Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 106#Rodda Smoke Burner @ColinFine, Elen of the Roads:
Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 121#User:Fladrif and blanket removal as .22Not RS per RSN.22
Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive405#Blacklisting sources
Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive750#Blanket removals of refs as .22Not RS per RSN.22 .28Moved from WP:RS.2FN.29
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/RPJ (mentioned in a sanction regarding unreliable sources)
I am mostly familiar with this website regarding the material John Simkin has published about the assassination of JFK. In that subject area, he appears to give an inordinate amount of weight to what would normally be considered "fringe sources", including those who simply make stuff up. The material is presented with an obvious slant and there are enough inaccuracies that I do not trust the website to be a reliable source on any topic. In my opinion, it fails WP:ELNO #2: "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research, except to a limited extent in articles about the viewpoints that the site is presenting." -Location (talk) 15:54, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that Location, the discussions are about using the site as a reference where the issue here is using it as a external link, unless anybody objects or does it first I am tempted to remove it from the External Links sections. MilborneOne (talk) 14:55, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, those discussions are about its reliability as a source. I think the reliability or unreliability of a source is intertwined with WP:ELNO #2. I would not object to removing it from EL sections, but you might want to wait for additional opinions since it covers a large number of articles. I've pinged those in the above discussions; hopefully I haven't pissed them off by doing so. -Location (talk) 18:42, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
Could someone provide recent specifics (articles, editors, discussions), so others could help easily? --Ronz (talk) 16:22, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
@Ronz: I was referring to the discussions linked at the top of this thread. The articles in which the new EL has been placed can be found here. Location (talk) 20:03, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. So editors like (talk · contribs) and (talk · contribs)?
Are any of the noticeboard discussions recent? Is there general consensus for the noticeboard discussions? --Ronz (talk) 15:57, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I may have misunderstood your question. Yes, those two accounts seem to have updated the domain. I'm not sure what MilborneOne saw, but I observed that Morris1834 (talk · contribs) also put some effort into updating the links. I have not seen anything on the noticeboards since May 2012, but the site is periodically discussed on various talk pages. One recent one with which I am familiar is Talk:Nazi Germany#Request for opinions: External Links which points to a small consensus that it is not acceptable. (Disclosure: I did provide an opinion there.) Unfortunately, most talk page discussions about the website seem to be of that scale. Location (talk) 16:56, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I noticed the problem because some users were updating the name of the website and it was clear as a self-published website they dont add anything to the article other than promote the website, hence the original post above and the suggestion that they be removed from the external link sections. MilborneOne (talk) 12:06, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

I see in the analysis stated "... appears to give an inordinate amount of weight to what would normally be considered "fringe sources", including those who simply make stuff up...". That suggests, that the information is not necessarily accurate (or may plainly be inaccurate) and/or be particularly undue. Although External links do not have to live up to the standard of reliable sources, it is then not an excuse that links that are not a reliable source simply can be used as external links - there should not be any (intentional) linking to unreliable/wrong/inaccurate information in the external links either (as WP:EL states it: "...further research that is accurate and on-topic .."). --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:05, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

I need to look further, but I'm leaning toward recommending they be removed. --Ronz (talk) 15:47, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
From what I'm seeing of the discussions, it's use as a reference should be tagged with {{better source}}.
As an external link, it should be removed in general per ELNO #1 and #2. I can imagine it might be helpful to move it to the talk page for stub articles or the like. --Ronz (talk) 21:15, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

I have been the one who has been updating the new URL of Spartacus Educational. I thought it would be in the interest of Wikipedia users not to be given a dead-link.

There is of course an argument for removing all external links from Wikipedia. Academics rightly point out that they would like to see all Wikipedia articles include notes and references. That is of course where all links should be. However, you are proposing to remove all external links to Spartacus Educational, suggesting this source is worse than other links. I don’t think there is any evidence to suggest that it is. In fact, in a recent debate on Spartacus Educational it was decided that it was a reliable source of information. There is evidence that it is the most used history website in British schools and colleges. I used it as a student as do my own children.

Location makes the claim that he does not like some of his pages on the assassination of JFK. “In that subject area, he appears to give an inordinate amount of weight to what would normally be considered "fringe sources", including those who simply make stuff up. The material is presented with an obvious slant and there are enough inaccuracies that I do not trust the website to be a reliable source on any topic.”

This is indeed a serious charge and it would be a good idea if you could give some examples of this. Have you tried contacting him about any mistakes he has made on his website? Every page has an email contact that enables you to provide information about mistakes.

For example, a few days ago I sent him an email about a page he had produced on Loran Hall. On his website he said "Loran Eugene Hall was born in Cuba on 30th January, 1930." However, according to FBI records, Loran Eugene Hall was born in Newton, Kansas on 4 January 1930. I told him this and he changed it.

One of the reasons that John Simkin seems to upset people is that he produces material based on the requirements of National Curriculum history in the UK. This includes the need to provide evidence that the past is interpreted in different ways. For example, the page on Loran Hall includes a wide variety of different sources that give different views on the role that Hall played in the assassination.

That includes the historian, David Kaiser (Professor in the Strategy and Policy Department of the Naval War College), the author of The Road to Dallas (2008), who accepts Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman but believes that Loran Hall was part of a larger conspiracy against JFK.

G. Robert Blakey (chief counsel and staff director to the House Select Committee on Assassinations), the author of The Plot to Kill the President (1981) who believes JFK was assassinated by the Mafia.

The Warren Report (that does not believe Hall was involved in any conspiracy).

Two interviews with Loran Hall in 1964 and 1977 where he gives his own view on the assassination.

FBI letter on the interview that it carried out with Silvia Odio about Loran Hall.

An article on Loran Hall that appeared in the Dallas Morning News (13th September, 1989)

Two interviews with people who knew Loran Hall.

It is possible that you find one or more of these sources unacceptable. However, it is believed in the UK that students should be made aware of a wide-range of views on a particular subject.

I don’t always agree with the focus of Spartacus Educational. For example, it is far too anti-communist for my taste. Recently he has been doing a lot of work on the large number of Soviet spies working in the government of Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, it is all sourced from documents released from the FBI, CIA, KGB and especially the Venona cables.Morris1834 (talk) 11:08, 28 August 2014 (UTC) Morris1834 (talk · contribs)

A few points to address:
  1. Re: "a recent debate on Spartacus Educational it was decided that it was a reliable source of information." The recent discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Spartacus Educational pertained to the notability of the website, not whether or not it is a reliable source of information. I agreed that it squeaks by the notability guidelines.
  2. Re: "Location makes the claim that he does not like some of his pages on the assassination of JFK." I did not say that.
  3. Re: "This is indeed a serious charge and it would be a good idea if you could give some examples of this." Provided in the sub-section below.
  4. Re: "Have you tried contacting him about any mistakes he has made on his website?" No. I have my hands full trying to fix the errors in Wikipedia, and information coming from Spartacus Educational is frequently one source of those errors. It is the responsibility of Wikipedians to assess the content of external links to determine if they are suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia. It is not the responsibility of Wikipedians to fix the errors in external links to make them suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia. Spartacus Educational is not supposed to be another wiki relying on readers to fix it.
- Location (talk) 15:28, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I am happy to contact him via his email on the Spartacus website with your points, maybe he will be happy to correct any mistakes or offer any answers to your concerns. Morris1834 (talk) 17:02, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I sent a copy of this discussion to John Simkin and he has emailed me back his response.

== "I have no problem with adding the word “claims” to statements made by the people mentioned in the Wikipedia noticeboard and I have done that this morning. I agree with Location that people like Judyth Baker, Madeleine Duncan Brown, James Files, Chauncey Marvin Holt and Beverly Oliver are unreliable witnesses. I have discussed this on the JFK Education Forum and as a result I have been attacked by other members.

Although I have got involved in discussions in the past on the forums, I am reluctant to express opinions on my Spartacus Educational website. My objective is to inform the public of the different interpretations of history that is in accordance with the terms of the UK History Curriculum.

You state that on the Madeleine Duncan Brown page: “the article appears to differentiate Brown's claims from fact but does not note any of the refutations of her claims.” This is not true. The refutation by Gary Mack is primary source 5. However, as it is possible that some people do not read the primary source section I have added his points to the main narrative.

The views of John McAdams can often be found in the primary sources of these unreliable witnesses. As you probably know, he is the most active researcher who has examined the value of these witnesses.

I have adapted the following pages on:

Judyth Vary Baker Mary S. Sherman David Ferrie Abraham Bolden Madeleine Brown Acquilla Clemons James Files Chauncey Holt Jean Hill" ==

- I hope this helps in some way to understand John Simkin and Spartacus Educational. Can I point out that the JFK section is only a very small part of the 10,000 pages of content on Spartacus Educational. If you go to the Spartacus Website you will see that it covers many subjects such as Women's Suffrage, World Wars, British History etc.

I personally was simply updating links that are all out of date, and which were originally added by numerous other Wikipedia users/editors. At the time these editors thought Spartacus was a good source for further reading, maybe they should be considering whether these links should be removed on an individual basis. Morris1834 (talk) 19:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)


Morris1834 has asked me above to provide some examples of inaccuracies found in Spartacus Education:

  1. Judyth Vary Baker — Spartacus Educational states: "After the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, Judyth Baker received a phone-call from David Ferrie warning her that she would be killed if she told anyone about her knowledge of these events."[3] States as fact that Baker received a call from Ferrie, but there are no reliable sources to support Baker's claim.
  2. Abraham Bolden — Spartacus Educational states: "At a meeting with James J. Rowley, the head of the Secret Service, Bolden criticized the "general laxity and the heavy drinking among the agents who were assigned to protect the President". As a result of these complaints, Bolden was sent back to the Chicago office and assigned to routine anti-counterfeiting duties."[4] States as fact that he was sent back to Chicago because he complained to Rowley, but there are no reliable sources stating that he ever voiced his complaints to Rowley.
  3. Madeleine Duncan Brown — Spartacus Educational states: [5] The article appears to differentiate Brown's claims from fact but does not note any of the refutations of her claims.
  4. Acquilla Clemons — Spartacus Educational states: "The Dallas Police warned her not to repeat this story to others or "she might get hurt"."[6] States as fact that Dallas Police said that to her, but there are no reliable sources that can confirm this.
  5. James Files — Spartacus Educational states: "In 1963 Files was recruited by Nicoletti to take part in the killing of John F. Kennedy."[7] States as fact that Files was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, but there are no reliable sources that can confirm this.
  6. Jean Hill — Spartacus Educational states: "However, they were detained by two secret service men. After searching the two women they confiscated the picture of the assassination."[8][9] Reiterates as fact Hill's claim that Hill and Mary Moorman were detained by secret service agents. Hill's claims are not supported by reliable sources and Moorman has explicitly denied them.
  7. Chauncey Marvin Holt — Spartacus Educational states: "In 1963 Holt received instructions from Twombly to provide false ID documents for Lee Harvey Oswald. These documents (in the names of Lee Harvey Oswald and Alek Hiddell) were delivered by a man called George Reynolds. In August, 1963, Twombly asked Holt to travel to New Orleans, where he met Oswald and Carlos Bringuier."[10] States as fact that Holt was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, but there are no reliable sources that can confirm this.
  8. Barr McClellan — Spartacus Educational states: "Soon afterwards he discovered that one of the partners, Edward Clark, had been involved in planning the assassination of John F. Kennedy."[11] States as fact that he uncovered a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy, but there are no reliable sources that can confirm this.
  9. Beverly Oliver — Spartacus Educational states: "Oliver was standing on the south side of Elm Street when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. She was therefore one of the closest witnesses to the shot that killed Kennedy. She filmed the motorcade with a Super-8 Yashica movie camera but claimed that it was taken away by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent on 25th November and she never saw it again."[12] States as fact that she was in Dealey Plaza, but there are no reliable sources that support Oliver's claim.
  10. In June, I pointed out another error in Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard/Archive 42#Harbinger Group.23Connections with the CIA concerning Porter Goss and a photo that was alleged to have Goss on it. John Simkin of Spartacus was apparently aware as far back as 2008 that Goss had denied he was in the photo, but he apparently only updated the website this month... after my posting.

As you can see, these errors are claims of fact that are severely more inaccurate than noting the wrong date of birth or a different interpretation of fact as Morris1834 has alluded to above. - Location (talk) 13:15, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Interactive video[edit]

Please add the above to your watchlists because it seems to have fallen through the cracks and attracted a bunch of spam links. I'll try to clean it later, but it's going to need follow up. Johnuniq (talk) 08:25, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Done. OhNoitsJamie Talk 14:54, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


I tried to add an external link to the article Woman only to be told it violated WP:ELNO. The external link is this one. As the article is Woman, I feel the link is an excellent documentation in video form of the way the female human body can function. The seven women depicted are top notch in a particular endeavor, which happens to be tennis, and there is nothing whatsoever demeaning about the particular video document. All seven athletes have Wikipedia articles. It is argued that the link violates WP:ELNO # 1 and # 13. I fail to see that. # 1 seems to require a "unique resource". The cinematography is of exceptionally high quality and in slow motion, allowing the viewer to see exceptional muscular performance in top-notch female athletes. # 13 wants appropriate relation between the link and the subject of the article. I think physical performance is one facet of the subject of the article. Perhaps there is a puritanical current that does not wish to look closely at women's functioning bodies in the way highlighted by the video. But Wikipedia is not censored. Nor should there be any offense. These are tennis players. There is no sex act being depicted. Talk page discussion goes on here. Bus stop (talk) 15:06, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Full discussion can be found here: Talk:Woman#external_link.2Ffemale_tennis_players. Another editor have expressed doubt that this external link will add anything to the page. I am the one who argued that it violates WP:ELNO #1 and #13. To me, it does violate them. My more subjective reasoning for not liking the EL is that it's objectifying and "fitness porn" (but I know WP:IDLI is not sufficient reason for excluding it). Regardless, there is clearly no consensus for its addition on Woman. User seems to have come here because they did not like the answer they got on Talk:Woman. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 15:47, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you assert that the external link "violates WP:ELNO #1 and #13". But does it? Shouldn't you present an argument? In what way does the external link violate WP:ELNO #1 and #13? Bus stop (talk) 15:59, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Number 13 is the clearest as it's not directly related to the topic. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 20:51, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
While the link is not prohibited, it would be one to avoid in my opinion. It's not authoritative and it really adds very little to understanding the subject. Personally, I would rather see a woman with a big brain or a big heart, than one with rippling muscles.- MrX 21:14, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
This is not an either/or situation. This is merely one more external link being added to an article. Several external links are are already in place and I fail to see why this external link is being singled out for removal. Are the other external links more on-topic? @MrX: How do you know that the 7 women do not have big brains or big hearts? They are illustrating women excelling in sports. That accomplishment, by the way, requires brain-power. These 7 women voluntarily participated in the making of this video. No one forced them. And there are no men in this video. This video is very much on-topic because it is about women. Could you argue that the link fails #13 at WP:ELMO? Is it only indirectly related to the article's subject? The subject is Woman and the link surely concerns women, in our case women excelling in athletics. (@EvergreenFir: says "Number 13 is the clearest as it's not directly related to the topic.") By the way you can't eliminate the sexual dimension from all things. This would be the same for an article on Man as an article on Woman. Sexuality is almost unavoidable. Wikipedia is not censored. The link is non-pornographic despite a reference to "fitness porn"[13]. Bus stop (talk) 23:02, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Despite my link about "fitness porn" you seem to think it's about pornography. It's not. It's like "food porn". Anyway, the link is of women, but not about women. It's about tennis. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 23:17, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
You provided the link to an article titled "The Pornographication of Fitness Needs to Stop". The article itself does not even contain the phrase "fitness porn" yet you say "Frankly the EL is just 'fitness porn'." But the external link in question is to a video of the best women tennis players currently in the sport. The New York Times is not known for producing or distributing pornography. You raised the specter of pornography. I think that talking about pornography is muddying this discussion. Bus stop (talk) 00:12, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
There's no encyclopedic content in the linked article. It is slo-mo videos of women playing tennis. It does zero to augment the reader's understanding of the topic of women (the female gender of humans). As such it flat out fails ELNO, not only here but on pretty much any article on WP because of the lack of encyclopedic value. Art and/or photographic value, yes, but not encyclopedic. --MASEM (t) 00:19, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I haven't said anything about "Art and/or photographic value". The external link shows women—not men—engaged in physical exertion. What the video shows is the female body at work. Not just any work—but playing tennis. And not just any tennis players—but the best female tennis players in the world at this time. The video itself is of exceptional visual quality. It certainly does contain a wealth of information. It is in a nonverbal form but Wikipedia hosts tons of nonverbal information. A reader interested in the physical form of women can be interested in the video. That is probably why The New York Times produced it. The New York Times, as a responsible journalistic outlet, is a disseminator of good quality information. Bus stop (talk) 00:50, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
It adds nothing. It is a fluff link for the topic of Women because without any discussion it is random videos with no context to the topic. We apply much more discretion in our links. I understand it is non-verbal, but I have no idea what is important to take away from the article that applies to "women" the topic, because "women" is an extremely broad topic. If we had a topic that was, say, "the physiological differences between male and female athletes" (a much more narrower scope), then sure, the link is fine because it is appropriate for the narrowness of the topic. The link is far too indiscriminate and uninformative to the topic for inclusion. --MASEM (t) 00:56, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

That is just linkfarming - that link is not adding anything and simply fails the intro of WP:EL, as codified in what you generally should avoid (WP:ELNO). Indeed, this specifically fails #1 and #13. One could even argue this fails our pillar WP:NOT (in which WP:EL has some roots). --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:20, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

LocalWiki as a RS for EL?[edit]

Moved from RS/N

I just noticed that an editor has been adding LocalWiki, using a template, to the External links section of many articles. Since wikis, including Wikipedia, are not considered RS, is this a good idea? Since they are wikis, savvy business owners are using them for free advertising space. OTOH, maybe they're good enough to be used as EL. I really don't know. Pinging the editor, @User:Michael Barera, so we can get his input. -- Brangifer (talk) 02:58, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing. To be clear, I'm posting these links as external links, not as sources. I believe that LocalWiki articles (like Wikipedia articles) shouldn't be used as references, but I do think they can be useful to readers as external links. Brangifer, your point about LocalWiki being (or potentially being) used for advertising is well taken. However, I'm trying to be sensible in my edits and only adding links to LocalWiki articles that appear to merit such treatment. Until we reach consensus on this issue, I will voluntarily put a hold on all my LocalWiki-related edits. Michael Barera (talk) 03:12, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify: A number of Ann Arbor-related topics have been linked to (what was) ArborWiki (and is now part of LocalWiki) for over a year now. All of the links to other LocalWiki communities have been added today, since the template has been updated to enable linking to all such communities. Michael Barera (talk) 03:23, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I just wanted to get some outside input on this because ELs aren't exactly in the same class as other types of sources. LocalWiki might be good enough. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:17, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I'll be interested to see what the community thinks, and I'll certainly respect its decision. Also, I think it is useful to note there are a number of other external wikis (including Wikia ones) that are essentially in the same boat on this issue. Perhaps it would be a good idea to consider them in this discussion as well? Michael Barera (talk) 03:23, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree. A positive decision here would allow editors to add those links without having to "look over their shoulder" in case someone disapproved. -- Brangifer (talk) 03:31, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to Brangifer for bringing up this issue, and to Michael Barera for bringing it to my attention. Having a consistent template is helpful in many ways because it allows for straightforward monitoring of edits to Wikipedia that reflect on Localwiki. I treat Localwiki as a potentially useful external link, but not as a reliable source, in much the same way that when I'm editing Localwiki I think of Wikipedia as maybe a good start for an article but decidedly not something to simply copy from without localizing and verifying. The two projects should complement each other and the "external link" is the right structure for that. Edward Vielmetti (talk) 03:52, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
We actually have a separate noticeboard to handle questions about external links: WP:External links/Noticeboard. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:56, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Good point. I'll move this discussion over there. It should appear in a few minutes. -- Brangifer (talk) 04:44, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Okay, carry on here. -- Brangifer (talk) 04:44, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I think the question basically boils down to: "does the article on LocalWiki contain any information that our local article could not contain?" If I take our local Plum Street vs. my answer would be no! If I take Champaign Park District vs. then the only additional information on localwiki is the history, a part that is missing on our article and could easily be included. Answer again: no. Third case: Vashti_McCollum vs. shows that the article linked to contains significantly less information than the Wikipedia article, and I would regard the external article (being completely unreferenced) to be utterly unverifiable, whereas the Wikipedia article contains 16 references. Although I can see that there are cases where the localwiki-article would be a welcome external link, I think that there is no reason for a blanketed-like inclusion "adding link to LocalWiki article of interest". Wikipedia links to external sources because they contain extra information, or more detail than what the Wikipedia article should contain - not to articles which contain the same info, or which contain extra info which could easily be included. That is against our polices (policies on LocalWiki likely differ).

Just as a note, I see that parts of the texts on both the Wikipedia articles Plum Street and Champaign Park District and the LocalWiki articles and are literally the same (which sometimes makes it an obvious case for not needing to link to it in external link sections from en.wikipedia to - may I raise a question of attribution here? Did A get copied from B? --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:05, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the note on the Plum Street (Detroit) article. I took at look at it and made a swipe at including text that would not be apropos for Wikipedia coverage, yet that would be perfectly suitable for Localwiki. Edward Vielmetti (talk) 13:54, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure of the standards regarding these templates, and so I don't have much to add about whether or not this should be any kind of default for new articles. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what's being debated here, but I wanted to reply to a few of the great questions asked by Beetstra above.
Regarding "does the article on LocalWiki contain any information that our local article could not contain?" I believe the answer to be yes. There are some cases, particularly with not-yet-fully-developed pages, where the LocalWiki page contains no information that the Wikipedia page doesn't also provide. However, in many other cases the relevant LocalWiki page contains lots and lots of information that isn't even remotely appropriate for Wikipedia (due to a variety of factors, explained a bit below). And, importantly, even if the relevant LocalWiki page doesn't have any additional information yet, LocalWiki represents an open, non-profit, advertisement-free and like-minded location for Wikipedians to contribute local knowledge in a manner that isn't appropriate for Wikipedia.
Regarding references, LocalWiki pages do not require external citations (but are welcome), because the majority of local knowledge is not written up in an external, citable source (such as a local newspaper, which are increasingly disappearing). The way LocalWiki handles verifying local knowledge is by ensuring that local community members are involved in the process of editing (with local admins being responsible for content debates).
A couple of examples off the top of my head: (see list of tagged pages) Many of these pages were started at a series of editathons at a local historical library (, and many of these pages would make interesting external links from Wikipedia articles about San Francisco. Take as an example -- that page isn't appropriate for Wikipedia (it's about a private residence), but it's interesting to anyone reading about San Francisco housing policy in 2014. Another quick example: (will be accessible at the URL in a couple of weeks) contains more and complementary / different information than,_California. Each linked page contains more information as well ( and,_Oakland,_California, and,_Oakland,_California)
Again, no opinion on this particular template-default, but wanted provide some background on LocalWiki. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

I would add, that since I do not see any reason for blanketed addition of LocalWiki to our articles, that linking can be done completely by hand, and that {{LocalWiki}} should be deleted. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:11, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

While I agree with most of what has been said so far, I would disagree about deleting the template. It is a more elegant, more efficient, and most of all a standardized way to link to external content (which is good for preventing linking errors such as ""). Plus, it allows editors to easily monitor where and how it is used, which I think has already proved useful in this discussion. Michael Barera (talk) 17:31, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

User: - You say that in many cases the LocalWiki article contains a lot of information that can not be included in the Wikipedia article .. yet, the first three articles that I found (the last three that Michael Barera added the link to at that time) do not show any of that. That distinction was not made when they were addedYou did not make that distinction when you added them, and I think that all of those should be removed, and others screened as well.

Regarding the example - that is not appropriate as a stand-alone Wikipedia article indeed, nor as an external link in San Francisco, or even on the 2014 housing policy in San Francisco or on 23rd Street (San Francisco) .. that still fails our inclusion policies. Similar, List_of_neighborhoods_in_Oakland,_California is a list-article, not self contained information (that would be Neighborhoods_in_Oakland,_California), it links to the different neighbourhoods. Moreover, the article on the oaklandwiki does not contain much more encyclopedic data than the Wikipedia list-article does at the moment. I do not think that the suggested LocalWiki entry is appropriate on either, the info is in the different neighbourhoods' articles. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Dirk Beetstra, I believe you are confusing me with the other participants in this discussion (please note that I did not write the unsigned post). I never said anything about LocalWiki articles being able to contain information not included in Wikipedia articles, and I did not give any examples about OaklandWiki (which is a project that I have never edited). I did add the links in the first place, and if there is consensus here to revert my edits, go ahead and do it. But please do not confuse what I have said and done with the actions and words of other Wikipedians. My only posts on this page were to explain my edits and the logic behind them and then to defend the existence of the {{LocalWiki}} template. All of my posts have been clearly signed by me, and any posts that were not signed by me were not written by me. Thanks for understanding. Michael Barera (talk) 15:14, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Oi, sorry. I missed that, got the threading confused. My apologies for the misattribution, but I think that the basis of the post still stands. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:12, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
No worries, Dirk. And yes, I agree that the basis of your point still stands. If you think it best to revert the edits I have made in the cases that you have pointed out, I would have no problem with it. Of course, I can't speak for anyone else, but it wouldn't bother me. Michael Barera (talk) 04:27, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Link to a an outsourcing firm's blog[edit]

A user registered an account and immediately added an external link to an outsourcing company's blog; I reverted the link per reliable sources, suspecting a conflict of interest given the single-purpose nature of the account/edit. Walter Görlitz disagrees with my assessment. Feedback appreciated. OhNoitsJamie Talk 20:03, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

When I saw the addition of the link, I was fully prepared to revert its addition as well. I read the contents on the page. I confirmed that it wasn't a typical blog that copied-and-pasted other distinct blogs into a "new" blog. I read the contents, and the overview of the subject is oddly good and it's a compelling read. I concluded that, per WP:ELYES, that the information contained "neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues". Much to my surprise, it was reverted without explanation by Ohnoitsjamie. I restored it for that very reason, but also added that "They (the authors of the blog and website) appear to be recognized experts. There is no attempt at sales in the article. It's encyclopedic." Ohnoitsjamie reverted again this time claiming rv link added by SPA account to outsourcing company. The account is not what I would typically call an WP:SPA since the editor made only one edit. There's no clear limit to one very narrow area or set of articles, or edits to many articles for a common purpose as there's only been one edit. The company hosting the material may be an outsourcing firm, but that doesn't mean that the material is bias or inaccurate. In fact, there's no proof that the subject who added the link has any affiliation with the site that hosts the article. I have added many links to, but I'm not affiliated with them: they simply provide material that is useful.
So now to this entry. Ohnoitsjamie may have thought that the material violated RS, but that wasn't stated in either revert or any of the responses on Ohnoitsjamie's talk page or mine. Even if that were the case, RS applies to references, not ELs. Even if it did apply to ELs, there's no indication that the source is not reliable, except that no author is supplied for the blog.
I see no reason to exclude the material based on current guidelines here. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I am a computer programmer, and the article seems to be well-written. Looks like a nice summary of available methodologies. I wouldn't have any problem adding it myself. --Enric Naval (talk) 09:57, 30 August 2014 (UTC)