Wikipedia:Video links

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A simplified flow chart of questions uploaders should consider (click to expand)

There is no blanket ban on linking to YouTube or other user-submitted video sites through external links or when citing sources. However, such links must abide by various policies and guidelines. Links should be carefully and individually evaluated for inclusion.

Linking to such sites is often discouraged due to misuse. You may not link to any copyright violation, such as a music video or television show that has been uploaded illegally, on any page or for any purpose. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. The {{uw-copyright-link}} template can be used to notify editors of this.

If using the link as a source to support article content, then you must establish that the uploader and the video meet the standards for a reliable source. If there is a question to a YouTube video's validity or appropriateness as a reference, alternatives include using the {{cite episode}} or {{cite video}} templates, citing the original media without the use of any link.

Use[edit]

Linking to online videos can be acceptable if it is demonstrated that the content was posted by the copyright holder or with their permission. Videos of newscasts, television shows, films, music videos, advertisements, etc. should be considered to be copyright violations if not obviously uploaded by the copyright holder. Editors must not link to copyright violations. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors, and the decision to provide such a link may constitute contributory copyright infringement. Editors should not necessarily trust assertions from an uploader that copyrighted material in the video is justifiable under fair use because the claim is frequently false. Many claims are unlikely to apply to or are insufficient for use on Wikipedia. Additionally, it may be difficult to ensure that the video has not been modified from the original.

Links to online videos should indicate that they are videos. The file size associated with links may also be useful. Although it is not common, it has been recommended that links also indicate any specific software (e.g., Flash video) or web browser required to view the content. Readers using some mobile devices or with poor Internet connections may be unable or unwilling to view video links due to the slower speed.

References[edit]

Archiving is not just for books anymore

The appropriateness of any source depends on the context. In general, the best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments. YouTube and similar sites do not have editorial oversight engaged in scrutinizing content, so editors need to watch out for the potential unreliability of the user uploading the video. Editors should also attempt to make sure that the video has not been edited to present the information out of context or inaccurately.

There are channels on YouTube for videos uploaded by agencies and organizations that are generally considered reliable sources, such as the Associated Press's channel. These official channels are typically accepted. Content from Vevo is an example of a primary source that might be used.

Anyone can create a website or video and then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For this reason, self-published media is often not acceptable as a source. Self-published videos may be used as sources of information about their creator if they meet the requirements seen at restrictions on using self-published sources. The community sometimes accepts videos from the official YouTube channels of subjects, but this is not a guarantee of approval with content being unduly self-serving being just one concern.

Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. This prevents editors from engaging in original research. A primary source may only be used to make descriptive statements that can be verified by any educated person without specialist knowledge. Editors should not use a video as a citation to present their own interpretation of its content. If the material in a video only available on YouTube includes content not previously produced or discussed in other reliable sources, then that material may be undue and inappropriate for Wikipedia.

Primary sources, such as an episode of an editor's favorite television program, can easily be incorrectly used to create trivia sections. This should be avoided. Such sources should also not be used to create articles that include only the plot of television shows or movies without additional details found in secondary sources. Although concise plot summaries are usually appropriate, failing to provide secondary coverage puts notability into question and does not provide encyclopedic content.

Editors can use the {{cite episode}} template to cite specific television programs. The {{cite video}} template can be used for movies and other visual media. Even though Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, a link is not necessary since there is no distinction between using online or offline sources. As much information as possible should be provided to increase the likelihood of the source being accepted as reliable by the community. Including the minutes being referred to in a long video will make the source easier to verify by your fellow editors and the reader. Most relevant details can be found in the credits, any packaging, or through the Internet.

External links[edit]

Links to YouTube or other user-submitted video sites must abide by Wikipedia's External links guidelines (see Restrictions on linking and Links normally to be avoided). For example: Videos often contain less information than alternative websites or the Wikipedia article itself. This concern limits use of many videos according to ELNO #1.

Adding links to online free videos that promote a site or product may be considered spam. Inclusion of such a link is only acceptable if it refers to the official site associated with the Wikipedia article.

Because the Commons and Metawiki have a 100MB limit on files some files are added to YouTube for use in Wikipedia that are gathered from United States government sources such as the National Archives by WikiProject FedFlix or other projects. These files can be used on Wikipedia articles if available. The templates {{YouTube}}, {{YouTube user}}, and {{Google Videos}} can be used if appropriate. {{External media}} can be used within the body of an article when media is necessary but not available through free or fair-use rules.

Community consensus has determined that the XLinkBot may automatically revert any addition of YouTube videos in the External links section of articles submitted by IPs and brand-new editors. This does not mean that the videos are necessarily in violation of the project's standards, but the intent is to limit the higher rate of problematic videos linked to by non-established editors.

See also[edit]

  • WP:ELPEREN, a summary of acceptable and unacceptable uses of websites (including YouTube) as external links that editors frequently discuss on Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia:Videos, about video on Wikipedia