Wikipedia talk:Red link

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Contradiction: YES redlink to "article that can be created" and NO "article creation guide", so which is it?[edit]

The gist of the style guideline is that redlinks to articles that should be created should exist. But then there is this non-sequitor that states the exact opposite:

"Although red links to notable topics are permitted in lists and other articles, do not overlink in the mainspace solely for use as an article creation guide. Instead, editors are encouraged to consider WP:Write the article first."

Which is correct? they can't both be correct at the same time. No "article creation guide" contradicts the entire article and it says to NOT create redlinks first. It reads like spam to get people to read the essay WP:Write the article first. It also is undue weight to have a contradiction in the second paragraph. Can it be reworded so it does not contradict the entirety of the guideline. See Talk:Eddie Foy, Sr. and join the discussion. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 03:42, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

I have moved the contradictory paragraph here for the discussion and demoted the essay to the see also section. It appears to be a dissenting opinion embedded in the guideline

"Red links are frequently present in lists and sometimes in disambiguation pages or templates. Although red links to notable topics are permitted in lists and other articles, do not overlink in the mainspace solely for use as an article creation guide. Instead, editors are encouraged to consider WP:Write the article first, or to use WikiProjects or user spaces to keep track of unwritten articles."
I don't see the conflict or why the text needed to be removed from the guideline. The text is stating that we should not create a bunch of red links simply because we want those articles created. Like the lead of the guideline currently states, "A red link, like red link example, signifies a link to a page that is either non-existent or deleted. It is useful in editing article text to create a red link to indicate that a page will be created soon or that an article should be created for the topic because the subject is notable and verifiable." We should only create redlinks for WP:Notable topics that are likely to have viable Wikipedia articles. Like WP:Notable states, not all WP:Notable topics need a Wikipedia article; some fit well in an existing article. Flyer22 (talk) 18:00, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Since the content you dispute is guideline material, it should have stayed in the guideline while you dispute the matter on the talk page. The note at the top of the guideline states: "Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page." And I'm not sure what you mean by WP:Due weight, since that policy only applies to Wikipedia articles. Flyer22 (talk) 18:07, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Flyer22, there is no contradiction between "You are allowed to create redlinks" and "...but you are urged to write the article first." BMK (talk) 22:24, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

How about putting 'if a dispute arises about the existence of a red link, consider its notability and write a draft'? (Linking to the Article Wizard.) That has helped me when putting red links into articles. (Although it does nothing for habituating people to red links in articles, and puts the onus onto the person who wants the red link.) I think that the exhortation in the nutshell to only remove red links if you think Wikipedia should not have an article on that subject should be reiterated in the lead. It gets a little lost in the 'how to deal with existing red links' section. -- (talk) 20:45, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Given what we say about "One study conducted in 2008 showed that red links helped Wikipedia grow. Follow-up work on this indicated that the creation of red links prevents new pages from being orphaned from the start", I do not think it would be helpful to place any onus upon editors creating redlinks, beyond advising them to abide by article naming restrictions and their good faith conviction that the redlinked topic is notable per WP:N. (talk) 19:15, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Personal names[edit]

"Red links to personal names should be avoided particularly when the name is reported in a context which might cause readers to hold a low or critical opinion of the named individual."

This is a little confusing as written. Is a "personal name" the first name of a person as opposed to a surname or a family name? Should it just read "person's name". It also mentions that the name might match up with a sex offender of the same name. Why would we have a list of non-notable sex offenders? I don't think we need to NOT link people's names, we just need to remind people when they create an article to properly disambiguate the person and check the "What links here" button. People's names are probably the most common reason to create a redlink. I do it all the time to see if someone is already in Wikipedia. Otherwise every reader that is curious has to create a red link to see if that person has an article. Almost every list I see is a sea of red names. I have been working on some lists of award winners for over 5 years. See International Polo Cup (redlink version) vs International Polo Cup (no redlink version), how would I know who has a biography and who doesn't unless they are linked. It makes more sense to just NOT have a list of non notable sex-offenders. Does this make sense? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 07:00, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

would you like" names of individuals?" The difficulty of wording policy or guidelines precisely is one of the reason why I regard policy and guidelines as descriptive of what we do. It is the examples that make the guideline, and the exemplification in actual cases that best interprets it. DGG ( talk ) 09:58, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with RAN's suggestion of "person's name" - "individuals" is less plain language. The issue with red linking a name and walking away is that next year someone may create an article for a person with same name who has become notable - as a sex offender, or CEO or Olympic athlete. This creates a misdirect, which would confuse readers. For example, a list of candidates for mayor of Toronto linked a minor candidate named Kevin Richardson. Even if the link had been to "Kevin Richardson (Toronto politician)", there would be a significant risk that when the article is created, it is about a different Kevin Richardson who has run for office. Linking a name and expecting someone else to create the article is a bad idea. Ground Zero | t 12:23, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I'll try your wording adjustment. Of course we ought not make lists of people with borderline notability for something negative, and I think there's also a consensus to not include redlinks in lists of people of a specific cultural group. The problem of eds. filling in redlinks inappropriately is related to the problem of eds. changing redirects to something inappropriate--most of what I have seen is promotional, not abuse. I think there's been a discussion of technical measures. The use of name qualifiers would help--the likelihood of an example like just mentioned is very much lower than without them, but our current naming policy is to not use them if not necessary. I personally do not agree with that, and think we should follow the practice of some other WPs that use such qualifiers routinely, but this is one of the things I've given up arguing for. DGG ( talk ) 17:07, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
@ Ground Zero. The hypothetical problem is that someone in the future will expand the current list of seven sex offenders and they may match a name somewhere in Wikipedia. Who don't we just more closely monitor the sex offender list for BLP problems. It is so much easier than deleting or not creating hundreds of thousands of redlinks of people's names. You can make the same argument to ban bluelinks since they are just as likely to be improperly disambiguated with a name on the existing sex offender list. Just monitor the sex offender list for BLP problems. I just did that recently for the scientific misconduct page, where people were adding in their enemies without any context. This was a bluelink problem: Jimmy Wales was on the Terry Gross show and she asked him why the name of her producer linked to a fictional mass murder, he said it was improperly disambiguated and fixed it. The lesson, simple names such as Danny Miller should lead to a disambiguation page, and almost all already do. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 20:50, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Instead of listing all the bad things like sex worker and rapists, we just need to comply with BLP.

Caution should be used when creating a redlink to a person's name. All the rules that apply to WP:BLP equally apply to redlinked names. When creating a biography from a redlink be sure to use "what links here" to make sure all the incoming links are properly disambiguated.


This sentence makes no sense: "But in many cases, a bit more responsibility for creating a red link should be taken to ensure the red link is entirely proper." I sounds like it was written in English, translated into Finnish, then back into English. The previous few sentences explain creating a redlink only for notable things. This is not needed, the previous part explains the rules perfectly without an added caution in poor English. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 06:38, 6 February 2015 (UTC)


At what point are "future article" red links in an article excessive?

Note Aurelia Greene has red links for 14 articles not yet created for "New York Legislatures" spanning from 185 to 198.

Should a limit of some sort be placed on such mechanical lists of non-existent articles? Or is it likely that since the articles will eventually exist that we should populate biographies with all potential future articles and my amusement is unwarranted? Collect (talk) 20:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

That example is just plain bad writing. Even if they were blue links we wouldn't/shouldn't individually list and link the 15 specific numbered legislatures she served in. The fact that 14 of them are redlinks is not the problem. The line should be edited to read: "She was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1982 to 2009." I haven't done that now so as not to destroy the example. (talk) 23:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)