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This page has been used as the single place to discuss the issue around the links to a domain that has now been placed on the Wikimedia spam blacklist. See m:Spam blacklist/recurring requests for a special subpage that has been created in response to the situation. See also m:Talk:Spam blacklist/archive for further details.

The following is a combination of discussion that originated here, and discussion that was moved here from elsewhere. The alleged consensus that was originally developed is in the section #Even more clarity. A number of additional conversations have been had, including on the administrator's noticeboard, which can be seen by following the 'What links here' link in the toolbox to the left. For any additional conversation, create a new section at the bottom of this page. - Taxman Talk 21:31, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Note: Because it has become crystal clear through this process that the whole thing is at the minimum an SEO attempt, where possible, all references to "OmniNerd" on this page have been changed to "ON" in order not to support the SEO.

Older discussion[edit]

As of now, all of the ON references throughout Wikipedia have been removed by Dmcdevit, and yet the content remains. This site is to discuss the proper course of action concerning content from and references to ON articles.

I have inserted the pertinent conversations here and hope all of those involved will contribute under the Resolution heading so a decision can be reached and we can move on. Uriah923 06:10, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

From Uriah923 talk page[edit]

ON Spam?[edit]

Uriah, I don't want to be insensitive, but your position has been completely strange. You've been adding links to ON all over the place. Why? Your links have been deleted many times, by different people, who've asked you to stop the obvious link spamming. ON is not a noteworthy web site (yet, maybe some day). Why don't you promote the site through other means, besides Wikipedia external links? Jehochman 05:35, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

You are jumping to conclusions without reading up on things. For example, when I first realized the article on ON had content to add to the SEO page, I just added an external link. After it was removed, I thought, "Why? It has valuable content." So I re-added it. This is when I read up on policy that informed me that content should be added instead of just a link. So, I added content (word for word) from the article and then put a link at the end of each paragraph. This, also, was deleted. Upon further investigation and discussion, I learned that I needed to reword the content and then add it with a reference. This is what I have done. The content is valuable, and as it was "gleaned from an external source" the link is required.
So, as you can see, I've discontinued the activity that I was told to stop and have started making significant contributions to Wikipedia in the way of content and edits - both using ON, other sites, and my own knowledge. All of these follow Wikipedia policy and are in the best interests of Wikipedia. If you can show me otherwise, I will be happy to concede. Uriah923 15:10, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Please do not add commercial links or links to your own private websites to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a vehicle for advertising or a mere collection of external links. See the welcome page if you would like to learn more about contributing to our encyclopedia. Thanks. – ⟳ausa کui × 06:19, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Please do not come on my talk page and accuse me of doing things I have not done. I have not added any commercial links or any links to my own private website. The only links used are those used as references as required by Wikipedia policy in order to avoid copyright violations. I will not discontinue adding content or references where they are required. Uriah923 15:10, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Are we still dealing with this? The problem Uriah, is that ON is an extraordinarily low quality reference, so using that as your justification for adding the link is specious at best. Combine that with the fact that you are repeating that on many articles leads to a violation of the spirit, if not the letter of the external links policy. It's obvious you're doing this for your own gain, otherwise you would look for higher quality sources and cite those. Instead, you are repetitively adding ON links. Please don't make this into a bigger deal than it is, but since you have been asked by multiple, multiple people to stop, please reallize that you are acting against community consensus. Please stop. - Taxman Talk 18:05, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
We are not still dealing with anything. When you were involved before, there were copyright issues to consider and external links being added without content. Those issues have been corrected. You will notice by my activity that I have made many significant contributions to Wikipedia since then. Yes, some of these contributions include references to ON, but many of them do not. All of the actions taken have been in accordance with Wikipedia policy. I have not repetatively added any links, only included references where they were required BY POLICY. If I am breaking policy that I am unaware of, please provide at least a link and I will abide by it. Uriah923 18:32, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
If there's something about what I wrote that your don't understand let me know. But clearly you are violating the spirit of the external links policy and doing it through considering them references. They make very low quality references and are not helping Wikipedia. Low quality references probably do more damage than good. So that, and the fact that you have been asked by multiple people to stop should be enough. Stop adding ON or other low quality web site links. Please make other useful contributions using higher quality references. - Taxman Talk 19:29, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand why you consider any references I've used to be low quality and why you think any content additions I've made are not helping Wikipedia. Please demonstrate both and provide Wikipedia policy support. Uriah923 19:43, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

That's probably part of the problem: that you don't understand the difference between high quality references and low quality ones. Think about the reasons behind references, trust and verifiability. So sources that are well respected by others are higher quality. For example journal reveiw articles in prominent journals and well regarded textbooks are among the highest quality available. About as low quality as possible are random people's opinions including self published books and websites where anything can be published, and there is no editorial policy or respect. Wikipedia potentially suffers from the same problem and the only way out is to use high quality references and use them accurately. This is not just my opinion, this is just how it works. You need to learn about and use higher quality references. Don't spend anymore time asking why your links aren't high quality, go learn for yourself. - Taxman Talk 20:43, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

I understand the differences between high and low quality references. However, I do not see a place in Wikipedia policy that prohibits listing anything but "prominent journals and well regarded textbooks." Thus, even if a reference I listed was considered 'low-quality' (which I still disagree with), why would it constitute spam?
It seems that one of three things should happen on the pages where my references are disputed (following a discussion on the respective talk page):
  1. The content that was added is deemed unnecessary and the content and reference are deleted.
  2. The content that was added is deemed necessary, but a higher quality reference is needed. The reference remains until replaced by a higher quality reference with the same information.
  3. The content that was added is deemed necessary and the reference is found to be of sufficient quality.
Is not this the way things should proceed, instead of blanket deletions following a search for 'ON'? Uriah923 20:52, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
It constitutes spam because they are multiple links to the same site, are a low quality reference, and the only party that benefits in the situtation is those affiliated with ON. Wikipedia is worse off, and by common sense, we should not let that happen. And it is becoming extraordinarily obvious that that benefiting ON is the only thing that interests you, or you would have long ago moved on to using actual high quality references. So we should assume your #1 above, but if the material can be verified by a higher quality source, it can stay or go back in. Like I said, I don't see a major copyright problem but I have not reviewed all of the content that was added. If you do know it is a clear copyright violation, you should remove yourself all the content that is still essentially the same as when you added it. That would be the way to solve the copyright problem, not re-adding your links again. And that ON represents a very low quality reference is so obvious that the burden would fall on you to establish otherwise before adding any more links to it. - Taxman Talk 21:17, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
I don't understand why you would rather have all of the content removed than investigate the possibility of it being a quality source or finding a good replacement. But, as that is the case, this is what I propose. I will remove all content added from the ON references and open up a discussion on each talk page to determine if the community thinks the content and reference should be re-added. How does that sound? Uriah923 21:34, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
I would certainly rather have quality references as replacements and would support any process that would help get that done. If you think the material is a clear copyright violation, your proposal is a great start, but certainly since it is all related to the same site, there should be one main discussion, not wasting effort on separate ones. I'm not quite sure where the best place would be to have it, but a subpage of your userpage would work optimally I guess. Irrespective of what else you do, that central discussion needs to happen. Just add a note and a link to it in each page where you added material or a link. And don't add fuel to the fire by adding the links back to any articles. - Taxman Talk 21:42, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
Ok, no really, there needs to be one spot for the discussion. Create one, such as User:Uriah923/OmniNerd or find one, but separate discussions are a waste of peoples time and not what we are after here. - Taxman Talk 22:11, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

Blocking policy violation by Dmcdevit[edit]

I was recently blocked by Dmcdevit and this is in violation of the Wikipedia: blocking policy. First, we are currently engaged in multiple disputes and the policy specifies that "users should not block those with whom they are currently engaged in conflict." Also, I have not committed any of the violations listed in the policy. Uriah923 20:07, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

I've unblocked you only because he did appear involved in the dispute. I do however agree that you are violating the spamming policy. You contributions show reference re-added about 20 times. Since it has been removed by multiple people, re-adding a link to the same site does constitute spam. If you do it again, I will block you or make sure someone else does. Since you've already done the deed, Dmcdevit is within his rights to have someone else block you. - Taxman Talk 20:26, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
First, thank you. Second, the only references I've re-added are those that Dmcdevit removed. He's the only one. In each case I opened the floor for discussion on the talk page. Why is it that Dmcdevit can carry out this vendetta without justification? He removes a link without reason or explanation and then calls it 'spam' because I add it back. How does that make sense?
That is incorrect, I see at least one other editor removing them. [1]. Also, I've already stated the reasons why he is correct in classifying it as spam, so it is not without justification. You were asked many times to stop and you ignored that. - Taxman Talk 20:50, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
But, you will notice that I did not replace the reference on the Muhammad page once a dialogue was opened. I am willing to discuss and take action concerning my content, but why should I not revert an edit that is performed without explanation and without support?
Also, the only reason you have listed for the 'spam' classification is re-adding links when they have been removed by multiple people - and that has not happened, as I did not re-add the link on the Muhammad article. Uriah923 21:02, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Additionally, there is the issue of copyright violations, which you and I have previously discussed. Wikipedia policy is clear that a reference is required when information is gleaned from an external source. How can these sites reference-less and not violate the copyright policy? Uriah923 20:34, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Well you're clearly using that to hide behind for your improper adding of links. It appears you've slightly reworded the material and it is only a small part of the articles it was added to. Therefore, at the worst it is not an urgent copyright problem, but as the issue is looked into, it all may need to be removed, and replaced with material from better references. - Taxman Talk 20:50, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
As it is looked into? You mean it has not been investigated, and yet the link is removed and the content remains? Why not follow the procedure I outlined above? It would avoid potential copyright issues, allow for community consensus, and get others involved in looking for better quality references (if deemed necessary). Uriah923 21:02, 1 September 2005 (UTC)
Uriah, I apologize for the excessive block that came from my frustration. It's good you're unblocked now. But let me reiterate, the reasons for the block were sound. You are a persistent spammer and you even used a sockpuppet (or there's two identical spammers). You must stop now if you want to continue with Wikipedia in a constructive way. Dmcdevit·t 22:22, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

Discussing the quality of ON content additions[edit]

As it was decided in the above discussion, I am going to remove all ON references as well as the content I added from them to the Wikipedia articles. After doing so, a discussion will be opened on the respective talk page in order to discuss the value of the content and the quality of the source and to decide the proper course of action.

I have created a sub-page for general discussion with respect to ON content and the quality ON articles as sources. This page will also contains links to each of the discussions as I open them. Uriah923 22:20, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

No. You cannot go around and remove content now. That's even wrse. Removing valid article content is tantamount to vandalism, or at the very least smacks of bad faith. Dmcdevit·t 22:25, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, I'm confused. If he added the material from the disputed reference, then him removing it now is certainly not vandalism, but I also can't see how that is bad. If they are potential copyright violations, as he claims above they are, how is removing them, then discussing not the best course? - Taxman Talk 22:35, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
By definition, Uriah's edits cannot be a copyright violation. In adding them to Wikipedia, he granted permission for them to be distributed under the GNU FDL. The fact that the same material might appear on ON or anywhere else under similar or different licensing terms is utterly immaterial. There is no copyright violation here unless someone else copied material from his website, which seems very unlikely. Uriah is the copyright holder, and he has granted Wikipedia perpetual and irrevocable right to distribute the material under GNU FDL. If he didn't like that, he shouldn't have editted.
So, yes, it is now wrong for him to go removing these items, particularly if claiming a copyright violation. The junk about this material allegedly being unsourced is a smokescreen. We don't source things because of any obligation to do so under copyright law. We source things in order to verify them. Any questionable piece of information should be sourced, preferably from some site besides Uriah's. Anything that is obviously true to any observer shouldn't need to be sourced, and definitely not removed. Jdavidb 06:33, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, but that's just blatantly wrong. If he takes something copyrighted by someone else (that may be the difference you are missing. It's not Uriah's copyrighted work as far as I can tell) and "releases it under the GFDL" then it is not GFDL because he had no right to do so. He didn't own the copyright to it, so nothing legally gave him the right to license it under the GFDL. Now that is in general, but if the material added is of a general, factual nature, that could easily be found in any text on the subject, then it doesn't meet the standards for copyrightable material which run something to the effect of there having to be creative work done. Then it would be improper to remove it now that it has been added. So it would take a review of each addition to see which type it is. - Taxman Talk 13:19, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
You are correct. I did not mean to imply that Uriah had the power to take somebody else's copyrighted content and release it under the GNU FDL. At the time of writing that, I was operating under the assumption that Uriah owned the site. I see now that it appears somebody else owns it, though Uriah might have contributed content to it.
So what I mean to say is, a copyright owner who inserts his material on Wikipedia can't come back later and say it must be removed. Jdavidb 17:11, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
As far as I'm aware: 1) many of Uriah's edits are just aesthetic, and excuses to include the spam, 2) If he did add any consequential information, none of that is disputed, only the reference, so no content should be deleted, and 3) nothing that he added was really novel, so we should not include the link to the unreputable website when it can be referenced otherwise. There is certainly no reason to go around deleting valid content out of spite for not being allowed to have his spam though. And to claim some kind of copyright infringement is silly. Dmcdevit·t 22:50, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
1) If my edits were just aesthetic, then you would have no problem with me removing them. 2) If the information added is 'consequential,' then it is very much a copyright violation to leave it and not provide a reference. 3) If the material can easily be found elsewhere, then you should have no trouble doing so.
Basically, you can't have your cake and eat it, too. If you want to keep the additions I've made from ON articles, then they will have to be referenced. Uriah923 03:04, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
If you insist on separate discussions, which I still feel will waste time compared to having one discussion, at least make sure every one has a link to User:Uriah923/OmniNerd. - Taxman Talk 22:35, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. I will include such a link. Uriah923 22:36, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

From this page before consolidation[edit]

You can't just arbitrarily delete a web reference. Wikipedia is about citing sources, and anything using the {{web reference}} template is just that, a citation. I will now be going through your contribution history to make sure you haven't done this elsewhere. ¦ Reisio 23:03, 2005 September 1 (UTC)

The problem is that the links in question are all to the same website. They are being passed off as references in order to try to avoid the prohibition against spamming commercial links. My stance is that they still are spam and represent such a low quality reference that they harm Wikipedia more than they help. What can they possibly verify? The writeups there are essentially blog style from what I can tell and have no editorial policy, review, etc to insure accuracy. Wikipedia doesn't need that. We already suffer from the perception that we can't possibly b high quality because anyone can edit articles. The only way to avoid that is to increase our Wikipedia:Verifiability through using high quality sources such as respected textbooks, journal articles, and other respected sources. - Taxman Talk 23:41, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
Reisio, you echoed my thoughts exactly. I only pursued this course of action because it was the only one left me by Taxman and Dmcdevit. See my talk page for more details.
Taxman, this gives away how very little you have actually investigated the references. Although the home page of ON consists of news, the references are to academic articles also contained on the site. I assure you, there is an editorial policy and a detailed review - it is evident by the article quality. Check them out and see for yourself. Uriah923 03:22, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Dmcdevit has stated (see a section below) the problem more accurately than I have. When I refer to low quality, I'm not saying the material is wrong, I'm saying the site has no inherent credibility, no outsiders hold it in high esteem, and that is what makes it unhelpful as a reference for Wikipedia. If ON articles contain references to the material they include, then those references are the ones Wikipedia should have, not the ON article. It's generally bad practice to cite someone that does nothing but cite someone else. The real problem is that when you add it all up and there's 35 links to the same website, it's linkspam, pure and simple, no matter how you hide it as "references". I'll repeat, it's so obvious that the only reason you are carrying on with this is that you have something to gain from Wikipedia linking to ON. That's conclusive enough for me to know that linking to them is improper. - Taxman Talk 13:11, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

From Dmcdevit talk page[edit]

War on Linkspam[edit]

I understand what you're -trying- to do with cleaning up linkspam and it's understood. What I don't understand is why you delete references without deleting the content they reference in the wiki pages. I have added some considerable content to a few pages both with my name and anonymously when I forget. If you feel that all ON links need to be removed, then by all means, delete away. I apologize for trying to fill in the gaps on wiki with the content that is posted on ON. I don't speak for Uriah, he's just a member of the site. I am the owner of it. We, like wiki, try to gather credible information. A few months ago when it was mentioned, we said it might be nice to take the info our users were giving us and fill in some gaps in wikipedia which we often use to learn about a variety of topics. So, I apologize if you or any other admin views this as spam. We're just trying to help the cause. You will note that in several articles on ON, wikipedia is cited since that's where the info came from. I just find it odd that you have info on your site from ON that is accepted because it doesn't get deleted, yet you have no issues deleting the reference.

So my point is this, if you're going to delete the reference, do the academic thing and delete the content that goes with it rather than taking it for your own. Just my thoughts after reading your conversation with Uriah (I was the anon comment, not him) and watching your indiscriminate deletions. I'll be sure to avoid adding content in the future. MarkMcB 21:02, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Are you seriously suggesting to me that deleting article content is the "academic thing"? My deletions were very pointed, only ON spam. Your deletions, however... Dmcdevit·t 23:03, September 1, 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. Let's consider the alternative: Someone provides you a summary of their work, the same person provides a reference that credits the statements provided. You delete the reference, but leave the work. There's a word for it: plagiarism. So yes, it is generally considered academic to either cite your sources when you borrow information, or not use the information and come up with something original... kinda like the wiki policy states. The only things I deleted were the things I added. So like I said, if you want to delete, fine, just be consistent and live outside your self-made spam rules. MarkMcB 00:11, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
No, no, no. Look at the big bold words that appear every time you edit a page. You released your words under the GFDL and they can't be taken back. Just because I don't want to link to your personal website doesn't change that. Dmcdevit·t 00:29, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
You know, I have nothing against you deleting my stuff, I really don't. But let's be serious for a second, the purpose/spirit of the GFDL isn't, "oh sucker, you wrote that on here so it's ours now!" I believe it's to provide others with freely available information, i.e., visitors of the site. I encourage you to read the big bold words that say, "Please cite your sources so others can check your work." Here's the link: Cite_sources. If what you're saying is correct, could you please advise me where I should go to have that read, "Cite your work at your own risk. Most admins will accuse you of link dropping and delete your citation prior to any discussion on the page in question." Thanks. MarkMcB 01:01, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
No, that's not the purpose and spirit of the GNU FDL, but the purpose and spirit of the big bold words at the bottom of the page are to let you know that you are making your edits available under certain terms which you might want to check out. Don't make agreements if you can't keep them. Jdavidb 06:41, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Yup, the GFDL is very clear, you do agree to license material under it and that is not revocable. The only question comes in here is that if a) the material added was copyrightable and b) contributors did not hold that copyright. If the material added was copyrightable and copyrighted by Joe Smith, but Uriah takes it and adds it to the page, then that is a copyright violation and the material is not properly under the GFDL and needs to be removed. However if the material is of a general nature and are simply facts that can be found elsewhere with little effort, then they are not copyrightable, and the GFDL status of the contribution is sound, and the material should not be removed unless it is wrong or poolry written. It's seeming more likely that the latter case is the more common here since facts can't be copyrighted, but if it is the former we need to act. Basically we need to create a list of the material that has been taken from ON so we can make sure to check it all. - Taxman Talk 13:29, September 2, 2005 (UTC)


That was my misunderstanding - but if we remove the references, the content should also be removed. ¦ Reisio 23:16, 2005 September 1 (UTC)

If the content is good (and not really bad as the discussion on Uriah's talk page suggests), then the web reference links should remain. ¦ Reisio 23:52, 2005 September 1 (UTC)
If the reference is unreliable, then so is the information - both should go. ¦ Reisio 01:03, 2005 September 2 (UTC)
Reisio, I don't think it's a question of reliability, as the articles in question are well-research and annotated. The question is of notability and spamming. Apparently since our site doesn't yet get x-thousand hits per day that makes the content unworthy. If that is the true standard, then I guess the content must go. I thought it was a helpful addition, but I seem to be outvoted by the admins. As far as I can tell, the content was within policy and guidance, it's just a matter of the source: If it's not notable enough, so be it. I just don't like the idea of blocking useful and valid information based on the web traffic of the source, which seems to be the case here.MarkMcB 02:17, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
You're pulling a really large red herring there. Traffic is not important. MSN blogs get tons of traffic, but they are just as improper as a reference for Wikipedia as ON is. MSN itself I pretty much consider about the bottom of the barrel as far as reference quality goes. It's basically just minimally acceptable until a better replacement can be found, and at that point you might as well not waste your time, just find the other source first. You see its the status of trust and respect that a source needs, not traffic. In fact, some journals get very little traffic, but are highly reputable. Those make great references. As stated above, if the ON article is well researched and annotated, we need those as references, not the ON article. And again, add it all up and 35 links passed of as "references" is still spam because it is clear ON is the only one benefitting from the link being there. - Taxman Talk 13:36, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
I concur. ON is not yet a reputable resources in itself. Wikipedia is a reference work that cites to sources that are already reputable in themselves. It is against Wikipedia policy (or any major encyclopedia's policy, for that matter) to act as a normative work (that is, providing recommendations) for the benefit of non-notable sources. --Coolcaesar 15:01, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
Please see the content below. It's not about ON benefiting. It's about proper citations. If you don't want ON additions to wikipedia, then the content and the reference should go. If the content is ok, then leave the reference so others know where it's from. If someone finds better references and re-writes the wiki article, then they can delete our reference and replace it with their own. I'm sorry you see effort as spam, but it's simply not the case. It'd be like turning in a paper and have a weak source in your notes and the instructor saying, "seriously, stop spamming me." That's not the intent. The intent is to let people know where the info came from. The reference and the info should go together. If one goes, both should go.MarkMcB 17:39, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

From MarkMcB talk page[edit]


First, wiki is a great idea. I use the site quite often. But what baffles me is the resistence to content additions. I have written a few original article on various aspects of computing. Using these articles as a reference, I added content to wiki pages and then referenced my articles. Apparently that's "linkspam." Fine, whatever. I just think it's sad to delete content because of what you "think" it might be, ESPECIALLY when there is a section on a wiki page that says "needs to be added." Oh well, I guess I'll just be a user and not a contributor. MarkMcB 20:48, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Fine. Take your ball and go home. The rest of us will play by the rules, which preclude self-aggrandizement. Zora 00:14, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I love it. The inability to discern between "self-aggrandizement" and a citation to what the editors of the pages call "useful information." MarkMcB 00:24, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


Please do not delete valid article content. This is basically vandalism if it isn't being removed because of the merit of the content itself. Dmcdevit·t 22:30, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

As I stated on your talk page, you deleted the reference so I deleted the content I added. If you're not up for academic references just because I own the site that is the reference, don't get upset when I delete my content. You're right, random deletes are vandalism, which you started. I was merely cleaning up your mess.MarkMcB 00:14, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I have copied this conversation to the sub-page set up specifically for this purpose so a decision can be made. Please continue there. Uriah923 05:53, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Please allow me to help[edit]

Mark, as a non-admin, and somewhat of a new user myself I completely understand where you might have felt wronged. The main issues here, as I see them, are that your site, ON, was not deemed notable enough (based on a written Wikipedia guideline which factors in Alexa ranking and Google hits [called a "Google test"]). In addition, the article, written by two of the site's creators, can, and usually will be seen as "vanity"—you are writing an article on something you created. Sadly, "quality" of the site has no reflection on notability, and I urge you to recreate it once it reaches a level of necissity. Your "link spam" as it is called, meant that you were linking articles to your own site, that, as decided on your VfD, was not notable enough for its own article. Spam, as it's called means that you continually linked to your site in several different articles, a seemingly obvious ploy for more traffic. My first article, a joke, was deleted, leaving me feeling quite saddened and betrayed. I quickly realized that I had made a mistake, and am now somewhat of an active user. And I encourage you to do so as well, we need as many good people as we can get. Thanks a lot, -Sunglasses at night 01:21, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. I'm slowly learning the numbers game that somehow equates to quality. That's ok though, I'm sure one day in the near future ON will be "notable" enough. My biggest irritation is that they were deleting the citations that the site so clearly asks for in bold on the edit page, yet they were leaving my content. It just seems that if they're going to delete the citation, they should delete the cited content as well. It's particularly odd to me because one user on ON has been published and has a book on the shelves of your local Borders or Barnes and Noble, yet because he writes for ON as well, his content is somehow unworthy. Another user is about to have the content of an ON article published in a computer science book, but again, it's not good enough for wiki. I guess I should just be glad that I have ON and am capable of judging content for its value, not the number of hits it gets per day. So again, thanks for the kind approach. Your advice is appreciated.MarkMcB 01:47, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree with what Mysekurity says and am trying not to sound unnecessarily harsh to you (though your messages on my talk page seem to be getting more hostile each time). So let me try this again. But first, let me tell you that this has nothing to do with admins. I am an admin, yes, but I, like others, am only using my normal editorial discretion. Now, I never said that any of the information you contributed was wrong, or that it needed to be removed, quite the opposite. All I dispute is that the ON reference is reliable enough to go in our encyclopedia. The reason I looked up the stats on Alexa was not because there is some numbers game going on, but just because I wanted to get an idea of how widely read it is (which somewhat correlates to how reliable it is). You are fond of referring to Wikipedia:Cite sources, but please reread the actual policy there. "Wikipedia articles should cite reliable sources for their information." Now read Wikipedia:Reliable sources, particularly the online sources section. I do not believe ONs is reliable, and so, even if was used, it would hurt Wikipedia's credibility to use it. That also doesn't mean I think ONs is wrong. Just that I can't rely on it to be right because it hasn't been independently verified to be so. Well known online sources like New York Times and PBS are. That is why I don't want a reference to ON on the articles. I do encourage you to continue to contribute, however. Dmcdevit·t 02:39, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
I apologize if I seemed hostile. It wasn't my intention, just being a little sarcastic. I somewhat follow what you're saying, but here's my disconnect. You're stating (A) the paraphrasing on wiki, which is less than the article on ON, is good enough to stay, and (B) ON is not good enough to cite. I don't follow. You if A is good enough, then why isn't B? The link wasn't to the ON homepage, but rather was to the article from which the information was extracted. I could understand if you were saying A was poor quality and seemed unreliable so you checked B and confirmed, but you seem to be saying that A (the known lesser) is ok, yet somehow B is not. I just don't follow. I never cited the ON site, I cited the article with more detailed information. This is why it seems like a numbers game. You're telling me that you can cite the NYT, but newspapers are known to slant stories, often intentionally. Why then would you be unwilling to cite an article, regardless of the site it's on, if it's correct and well-annotated? It's just confusing to me. Like I said before, I'm not concerned with the deletion. If you want to rid wiki of my work, that's completely ok with me. My concern is with your method. It seems very contradictory. If you don't like my source, then why would you like my contribution to wiki? If B is bad, wouldn't it follow that A is too and should be deleted? MarkMcB 02:49, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I said the website is unreliable, but I never said it was poor quality or wrong. What I'm trying to say is that the quality doesn't matter and has no bearing on te reliability. Consider for a second that it doesn't matter whether it's right or wrong. I could write the most brilliant prose in my diary every night. It could be better than any other resource. It is accurate. But it is not reliable. What I mean by that is that others who are not knowledgeable on the topics it contains and would use it as a resource don't have any way of knowing if it is accurate or not. It is unreliable it that aspect: not that it is necessarily wrong, but that it is not well-known enough for it's accuracy to be knowable. ON is the same way. It just as easily could be perfect, but I can't verify that and so it's still no use to me. So if I assume good faith on your part that all of the information added was accurate, than of course I want the information to stay. But that still doesn't make the website (which could be absolutely accurate) reliable to the outsider. You say that newspapers are known to be biased, but (if we accept that) it would still be possible to use a well-known newspaper with a well-known bias, because that bias could be taken into account when analyzing it's usefulness. Please tell me you see what I mean. Dmcdevit·t 03:11, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
First, though I disagree with you, thanks for keeping up this discussion as you could have just as easily ignored me, I appreciate it. I understand that ON isn't notable/reliable/whatever-you-want-call-it. It's a fairly new site that's trying to be a major player on the Internet. I understand that this won't occur overnight. I understand that you see "ON" and think, "what the heck is that?" That's all great and good. My concern is that I think the resolution should be one of two things: acceptance of content and citations, or rejection of content and citations. In every academic paper I've ever written for research or in college, I've always had to back my claims. The general line of thinking was that if you didn't come up with it on your own, tell everyone where you did. That's what is done on ON. All articles have references on the site stating where various information came from. We've gotten submissions in the past that have been tossed out because the author would not cite his/her information. I think that's a good practice. But now on Wiki I'm being told that I can post information and give absolutely no information regarding its source. I think that's terrible practice. Why should a reader believe anything I provide Wiki if that user cannot find the information's source? It would be great if a user looked at the ON citation, decided he/she could find a better source, tweaked my text and then provided the better reference. Then all future users and myself would benefit from the maturing sources. But as it is there are no sources for the information I've provided and I think that's bad. It's bad because it leaves the user with a dead end, and because if my information isn't entirely correct someone may assume that it is. So my point is that if ON truly is unreliable, then it's content is too. If you don't want one, then don't take the other. If you do take content from the site, at least tell people where it came from so they can decide whether or not more research needs to be done. It's all part of the academic process. I've never turned in an academic paper and been told "delete note 43 because that source is unreliable." Rather, the fact that it is unreliable lets the reader know that this particular claim may need further validation. So yes, I see what you mean, but please tell me you understand why I think the link between text and citations is so important. Please tell me you understand that my intentions aren't spam, arrogance, or any other self-serving reason. I love the spread of information. If I didn't I would spend all of my time creating a site called ON and attempting to transfer the best of that site into the gaps on Wiki so that others may benefit. I simply think claims should be founded in something.MarkMcB 03:54, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

No article[edit]

If ON is so notable, why is there no article on it? Andy Mabbett 06:58, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Uh, because it was deleted. You think they wouldn't have created an article as part of their promotional campaign? - Taxman Talk 13:47, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
See Rhetorical question! Andy Mabbett 14:56, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Whoops. Some that know me call me captain literal :) - Taxman Talk 15:23, September 2, 2005 (UTC)


All those who have familiarized themselves with this dispute, please weigh in here.

Just to throw a two cents in - I see Mark's point though. If we are to cite sources, then if the information added comes from ON and nowhere else, then one of two things should happen:

  1. ON needs to be cited as the source.
  2. ON is not reliable, therefore the information is not reliable, and the information should be excised.

I'm not sure there's a middle ground here that isn't logically contradictory. Of course, if the information can be primarily derived from elsewhere, let's do that (i.e. if ON is merely a secondary source). But the non-notability of ON is not an issue if the quality of the information is considered good enough to include. And if the quality is not good enough, then I don't see why it should be included. To state the blatantly obvious: the point of providing footnotes, or references, or sources is so that readers and verify for themselves that the information is indeed accurate.

I am also uncertain that ON necessarily qualifies as linkspam. It does not seem to be advert-based (or maybe that's my ultra efficient Adblocker working) or a commercial site. If the link leads to an article that provides more information, and is useful, I don't see why it should be barred, unless there's something more fundamental I'm missing here.

What it boils down to is simply this - either ON is a good enough source, therefore it should be linked, or it isn't, and the information that it provided towards the article should be gotten rid of. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 06:12, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

khaos, you don't have to have ads or be commercial to commit linkspam. I have a discussion site for members of my faith I would like to link to from the appropriate Wikipedia article. I refuse to do so, because that would be self-promotion of my site. It would be spam. I am way too close to the issue to make an honest judgment about the value of my site to readers of the article.
And I have no qualms about expecting other people to hold to the same standard of behavior. In general, people just should not link to their own sites. There might be some exceptions to this, but they rapidly vanish when people go around adding links to their site to dozens of articles. You know, it doesn't even have to be your own site. If a member at my website jumped on to Wikipedia and tried to link it from every article he thought was even remotely related, I would be deeply embarrassed and fully support removal of the linkspam. IMO, Wikipedia needs to recognize site-promoters for what they are: people who are more interested in the promotion of some other site than they are about the good of Wikipedia. As such, their desires by definition have no bearing on the goals of this site.
I do agree with you that the remaining information needs to either be 1) recognized as something mind-numbingly obvious, 2) sourced to a site other than ON, or 3) removed. But it doesn't need to be removed simply on the say-so of the ON people. Jdavidb 06:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I'm one of the ON linkspam removers. In fact, I'm a serial linkspam remover! <evil overlord chuckling> As far as I'm concerned, it's linkspam whether it's commercial or not and whether it's well-intentioned or not. Editors should have the modesty not to link their own sites, as they are not the best judges of whether or not the sites are notable or useful. I'm the webmaster for my Zen group's site and I'm just sitting on my typing fingers waiting for someone else to add it. If no one else thinks it's useful, it's not useful.
I've been running into the ON linkspam on various Islamic articles and I've never seen Uriah add anything that wasn't "common knowledge" for people who read academic literature re Islam. It's the kind of stuff you don't need to source or cite because everybody knows who the Abbasids were, or what zakat is. The man on the street may not know, but anyone who's had a few college courses on the subject does. If the linkspammers go round taking things out, I can darn well rephrase them and put them back without having to cite anything. Zora 07:05, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Not linking to your own site is fair enough, but if another editor, unaffiliated with ON say, takes it upon themselves to add that link, would that be permissible? I'm not going to do it myself, since I have no particular interest in these articles, so my judgement on this would be uninformed, but that seems to me a possible way out.
Hypotheticals aside, perhaps the next step should be having someone go through the ON additions to the article(s) and see which of the 3 solutions outlined applies. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 07:09, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
The problem is figuring out who is unaffiliated with ON. Given the ease with which people can edit from anon IPs, or create sockpuppets, we have to infer affiliation from edit patterns. Frankly, after a site has been persistently linkspammed, I assume that any anon IP or new user adding the site is just the linkspammer under a new guise. I'd only let the link alone IF the editor adding it were someone with a track record of sensible edits and willing to defend his/her choice to link. I don't think that any such editor will come forward, myself. If I wanted to use something from ON, frex, I wouldn't trust it until I'd checked the article references and then I'd use THOSE references in my edits. Zora 07:51, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Strongly agree with Zora. BrandonYusufToropov 10:04, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I also strongly agree with Zora. - Taxman Talk 13:44, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
khaosworks let me propose the third alternative, that the source is unreliable, but since the material still may be correct, we need to check each one. It's just as easy to check it as it is to remove it (or close enough). The only concern is copyright as I outlined in other sections above and whether the material is correct. Do we have a list of where all the ON contributions were? - Taxman Talk 13:44, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
That sounds quite reasonable. The only reason I came by was because I noticed it on WP:AN, and just weighed in on what I felt should be the general principles as to how to deal with it. I'll leave it to other people more knowledgeable than I to verify the info. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 13:48, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I can provide a list, but first I want to understand what is going to happen. As I see it, these are the options:
  1. Leave as is - When the content is very obvious. Does not include something you have to take a "few college courses on the subject" to know, but thigns that a layperson would know.
  2. Cite a different reference - When the content isn't obvious, but the ON reference is not deemed worthy.
  3. Re-add the ON reference - When the content isn't obvious and the ON reference is deemed worthy.
  4. Remove the content - When the content isn't necessary.
Once something like this is agreed on, I'll provide a list and the community can look at each case. Uriah923 14:09, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, that's about right, except, I think we've come to the conclusion that 3 is not a viable option. That's the whole point of this issue, so I'm not sure why you're still trying that. But please put together a list as we'll need it anyway, or we can search by ON links, and I'd like at least a few more people to agree on the resolution. - Taxman Talk 14:49, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
If 3 doesn't apply in any case, then it won't happen. But, you haven't read the ON articles or reviewed the places where content has been added. There are some places where nearly the entire article comes from the ON source (After Virtue, for example). In those cases, I think you may want to leave the reference. If not, that's fine - but, like I said, there's no reason to rule it out from the beginning. Uriah923 15:14, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Yeah there is, because we've already determined ON is not a suitable reference. It has no credibility of it's own. So keeping #3 as a choice is just trying to divide and conquer the discussion. I'm tempted to remove it as a choice, but I'll avoid the inevitable fuss and wait for others to weigh in. I've also taken the liberty of changing votes to support because we're not exactly voting, we're trying to determine a consensus. Finally, thank you for creating the list, but can you add the diffs to the content when it was added for each one? That is the most helpful. Also for each we need to determine if the material is even copyrightable, so a note before each like the top one should determine that. That will help answer the question of what should be done. - Taxman Talk 18:58, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
I really don't understand your comment that because something is 'copyrightable' that it cannot be left on the site even with a source. I'm starting to think that the only way to get content onto this site is to put it in without a reference at all. You can't cite sources that aren't 'notable' and 'notable' sources will always be copyrighted (or at least copyrightable), so the only potential content is that which is uncited. Uriah923 19:13, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
See the thing is citation of a source is a specific exception to copyright law. It only works for small pieces of text such as quotations. Anything longer than a couple sentences from a single source could easily be argued to be a copyright violation unless it is modified enough and/or collated from a number of sources. Facts themselves are also not copyrightable, so John shot Joe in 1973 with a Smith and Wesson is not copyrightable. So taking facts from sources works, as does combining a number of sources into one contribution. Yes, that does mean it is not terribly easy to contribute material, but due to copyright law, that is what we have to do. In practice it's not that hard, you just can't copy and paste a few paragraphs from a copyrighted source, you have to use a few sources and grab facts. Because we are releasing content under a free license, and we are very popular, we need to be very careful about copyright. Oh yeah, and we're also going to need the links to the ON articles in order to compare. Please add them only here, and we can remove them later once they are compared. - Taxman Talk 19:22, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
If that is the case, then what I added on After Virtue is not a violation. I used information from the source, but I rewrote it in my own words.
But modified from a single source is still questionable as I understand it. - Taxman Talk 20:41, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
I will provide the links. I am sure doing a lot of work for you guys... Uriah923 19:54, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Well you did create this mess after all, :) so it's kind of your responsibility to help clean it up. I do appreciate that you are actually doing it. Please finish off with the rest of the diffs for when the material was added. Those are as or more important than the ON links. - Taxman Talk 20:41, September 2, 2005 (UTC)
Actually, as I go through all of the links and look at the content additions, it's becoming more and more apparent to me how much of a mess many of these articles were in before I added the content and reorganized them - and also how much quality content is on ON that Wikipedia is lacking. Uriah923 21:06, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
To see what a Wikipedia article is supposed to look like with proper citations, go look at the article on Roger J. Traynor, which I have been working a lot on lately. Note that I was able to get all the sources except the Friedman book over the Net, thanks to the fact that I have active library cards at two different public library systems, so that I can access a lot of databases from home (including the ProQuest Historical Newspapers database with scans of the full content of the New York Times from 1850 to 2001). See Wikipedia:How to write a great article for information on how to do research (a lot of which I wrote). The important thing is that making meaningful contributions to Wikipedia is hard work because Wikipedia aspires to be something more than the average Web site or blog. --Coolcaesar 15:14, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes. When I said earlier that many (not all or even most) of your contributions were "aesthetic," you took it as an affront: that I was accusing you of not adding content. Let me say that doing cleanup is a Good Thing, and it is often neglected here and it is appreciated. Having said that, that action is separate from the issue being discussed here. As far as I'm aware, most of the other contributions are, as Zora said earlier, almost "common knowledge". It's like before I tried to say that some of your contributions could be useful without being novel enough to warrant the ON reference. What I mean by that is this: It is not practical or possible to cite every assertion in every article. What can be done, or at least what we strive to do, is to reference the ones that are more novel than others. By novel I don't mean original research, but a contribution that is uncommon enough or specific enough that citing the source is the most reasonable way to prove the assertion (ie: stating in Mexico that it borders the United Staes does not need a reference, because other, simpler methods, like looking at the map at the top, suffice). One of the reasons that I'm pretty sure that novel ideas are not likely to come from ON is that it looks like a tertiary source like Wikipedia. So it does not observe (primary) or assert (secondary), but rather it documents both of those. It is not in our nature to be novel, but to document the novel. That's why I feel fairly certain that many of the ON additions can be left unreferenced. And finally, if anyone sees any additions that do seem to be mostly novel, we can look at ON own sources and hove those become our own. I would have preferred that from the beginning, becaue that means our editors are having direct access to the works, and not having another level of someone else's interpretation between. Dmcdevit·t 21:41, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

I understand the difference between novel and useful. I also understood your claim. Now is your chance to back it up. You see the list below - rummage through the piles of content I've added from ON and decide for yourself if it is novel or just useful. You can see by my comments I've made that I conceded the latter to be the case in many instances. However, I hope that as you go through it all that you will realize the huge benefit that Wikipedia has gained from ON. It should be obvious that ON is not just a 'blog' and that it holds more than just 'tertiary information.' It should also be obvious that my edits were much, much more than 'linkspam.' Hopefully, you will realize that whether or not ON might gain from a link really doesn't matter when you consider what Wikipedia stands to gain. Uriah923 22:02, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Two things. First, I like the list and I'm going to try to go through it soon. Second, I want to say I appreciate that you are continuing this conversation in good faith. At this point I'd like to ask that everyone agree that we're going to reach consensus here before anything happens so as to avoid revert wars. I'll bind myself by that agreement as well, (though I admit most the ON references are already gone). Dmcdevit·t 23:31, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

I've only been editing on one of the pages in question, but after reading through the discussion, here's my take on the matter:

The simpler question is that of copyright: Copy/pasting entire sections of an article (from ON or elsewhere) is a copyvio, no matter if you put a reference ot not, unless the source article is in the PD or under a licence that permits it, or unless the person doing the copying is the copyright holder (who by that act puts the content under the GFDL). An exception would be a citation, e.g. "The ON article on Foo says: yadda yadda yadda", which I don't think is what we're after here. So to use any significant amounts of ON content without rewriting it completely, there would have to be permission from the original author. At least it's not apparent to me from the ON page that their content would be under any free licence (nor is it obvious if ON or the original author holds the copyright).

The real part of the dispute seems to relate to a disagreement on what the purpose of references is. Mark and Uriah have argued that the content and the reference should both stay or both be deleted. This seems to be based on the notion that references exist primarily for the reason of giving credit to the original source of some content. They do have that function in scientific papers to a certain extent, where not claiming somebody else's work for your own is simply a question of academic honesty. However, a wikipedia article is not a scientific paper. In an encyclopedia article, there is no danger of claiming an idea for your own when it isn't, simply because an encyclopedia article is not supposed to contain original research; it all comes from *somewhere*. The purpose of references on wikipedia is not to give credit, but to make it possible (and easy) for the reader to verify the content of the article. For this purpose, a reference to ON is of limited use, because it leaves the reader with the same problem: Instead of determining the veracity of a wikipedia article, he now as to verify the veracity of an ON article, which is also "just some random website". Now, the ON articles I have looked at tend to have extensive references to more reliable sources at the bottom. So instead of pointing the reader to them indirectly via ON, the relevant references should just be directly referenced in the wikipedia article. If the ON article provides additional information beyond the scope of the wikipedia article in question, it could for example be linked in External Links. --K. Sperling (talk) 12:49, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

To add in my two bits: I looked at the articles on hypertext and Roe v. Wade on ON (I am a recent law school graduate, and also did my senior thesis towards my B.A. on the history of hypertext). If those superficial and laughable treatments are representative of the quality of ON (they appear to be the kind of papers turned in by typical B students at community colleges in certain rural states), then I believe that anything from ON should be excised from Wikipedia altogether. I am also adding in my votes below.--Coolcaesar 08:14, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
I concur with Taxman. Frankly, the "academic" references in these so-called "articles" are pathetic. If I turned in a paper in college with such references, I would have earned a C- at best. If I had turned in a paper in law school with such references, I would have been kicked out. Citing to weak secondary sources when good primary sources are easily available is what 5-year-olds do.
Look at the lousy references in the Hypertext ON article, for example. There is so much good, easy-to-get stuff that could have been cited, but was not. Here's some examples. Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau both wrote about their joint experience in developing the Web and their books are widely available in public libraries worldwide. Although much of Doug Engelbart and Ted Nelson's work has not yet been digitized, both Engelbart's crucial 1962 report and many of Nelson's articles are available online; the same goes for many primary source articles about HyperCard's August 1987 release. If you don't know what ProQuest and InfoTrac are (let alone Google), it's time to get with the program and grow up.
Mature intellectuals know that to ensure accuracy, quality, and trustworthiness, you're supposed to cite to primary sources as much as possible. If you can't get or can't afford to obtain primary sources about a subject, you probably shouldn't be writing about it, or you should be acknowledging and carefully working around the weaknesses in your analysis.
Until ON gets a serious quality upgrade (which I doubt will happen), Wikipedia should not be linking or citing to it, or quoting from it. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to boost Wikipedia's own accuracy by continuing to add references to reliable primary sources to articles. --Coolcaesar 08:53, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Citing ON - a solution?[edit]

The solution may be simple - for any material sourced from ON, the citation should be of the form:

source: Joe Bloggs, Widgets And Their Uses, [[ON]] (2005)

and that article could be woirtten in a NPoV style, witha smge loink to the ON home page. Andy Mabbett 18:21, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

It wasn't deleted, it was moved here. And no I don't think that is a solution, since we've already determined ON, nor necessarily it's contributors are valid references. The contributors could be, but probably only from another published source. Because how can we even verify they are the contributor? - Taxman Talk 19:35, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

I have seen better treatments of [the history of hypertext] in children's books designed for third grade elementary school students (yes, my research for my senior thesis was that thorough). The article is flawed as follows: it fails to mention Douglas Engelbart, Paul Otlet, or Charles Goldfarb; it mischaracterizes hypertext as merely "sitting around" for two decades when NASA, Carnegie-Mellon, Brown, the U.S. Navy, and about a dozen private companies were trying to make it practical; it mentions the "world wide web" when nearly all sources from that period used "WorldWideWeb," and it also ignores Norman Meyrowitz, IRIS, and Intermedia. The clown who wrote this needs to read Jakob Nielsen's magisterial books on the subject that were published in 1991 and 1995. --Coolcaesar 08:53, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

We are truly blessed to have one as wise as you in the world. Your accomplishments amaze us all and we tremble in your presence. Or we don't care at all, one of the two. Regardless, perhaps you're mistaking the point of this process. It's to decide if these articles have useful info. If they don't, then say so. No one claimed that any of these are complete works, meant to be published, or be the definitive source for historical references. They're just short articles with info that was lacking in the wiki page. So, by all means, voice your opinions, but I seriously doubt anyone cares too much about your senior thesis. Oh, and good luck with being tough on-line. Your e-muscles are HUGE! (...and girls love that stuff!)MarkMcB 19:19, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
You clearly have no understanding of Wikipedia policy. Wikipedia cites authoritative and accurate sources (as I have personally done in many articles, see Roger J. Traynor for an example), not amateur garbage like ON. Usefulness (or utility, to be more precise) is not the key criterion, and even if it was, I doubt that ON would even qualify because the information is so incomplete and inaccurate for the reasons stated above. Anyway, at some point, if you guys keep trying to insert references to your pseudo-articles, then this dispute will go to WP arbitration, and I am confident that ArbCom will agree with my analysis of WP policy. --Coolcaesar 20:10, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
Also, I almost forgot to mention that no one cares about your lousy site but you and Uriah923. In contrast, as you know, there are tens of thousands of active users, admins, and developers on Wikipedia. In the unlikely event that the Wikimedia Foundation should collapse, the unique nature of the GFDL and the critical mass achieved at this point ensures that some other entity will be formed by someone to carry the project forward into the future---much as Google took over the Usenet archive after Deja collapsed in the dot-com crash). Don't you just envy Jimbo Wales for inventing a way to entice smart people like myself to contribute a bit here and there to his site? I think that's what this whole debate is really about.
Finally, girls do love "that stuff" when it indicates income-earning potential. --Coolcaesar 05:02, 6 September 2005 (UTC)


What is the deadline to make a decision on each of these articles? Uriah923 06:59, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Contributions to be reviewed[edit]

Below are listed the pages that previously contained ON references. Determine what content was added from the referenced ON article to ascertain its value. Review the referenced article to ascertain its quality. Then suggest what action should be taken (1-4, as described below) and give support under the appropriate heading below. Uriah923 15:43, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


  1. Leave as is - When the content is very obvious. Does not include something you have to take a "few college courses on the subject" to know, but thigns that a layperson would know.
  2. Cite a different reference - When the content isn't obvious, but the ON reference is not deemed worthy.
  3. Add as external link - When the ON article contains significant and valuable info not in the WP article.
  4. Remove the content - When the content isn't necessary.

After reviewing the discussion so far, I believe there is a clear consensus from everyone but those with a vested interest that ON is not suitable as a reference. As stated above I believe Uriah923 has kept it as an option as a last ditch effort to keep as many links to ON as possible. I am planning to remove it as an option to reflect the consensus, but I'll delay a bit in case I'm missing something. - Taxman Talk 16:17, September 3, 2005 (UTC)

After reading KSperling's comments, I think I understand what this is all about. So, I'm changing option 3, as shown above, to read that the ON article may remain as an external link, which is to take place when reviewers recognize the ON article has much to offer. I will update my comments to reflect this. Uriah923 17:57, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

See below for reasoning, but I have removed all links to ON from this page. The links for all listings below can be accessed through this permanent history link. - Taxman Talk 08:34, September 10, 2005 (UTC)

After Virtue[edit]

(See this diff page for what ON content was added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

The ON article has much valuable and quality info on the topic, so I think it should be added as an external link. Uriah923 19:17, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

  • Is the contribution copyrightable?
    • In this case I believe it is, so it is a copyright violation even with citation - Taxman Talk 18:58, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 3

  1. Uriah923 18:19, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
  2. Batmanand 17:14, 12 September 2005 (UTC) See the talk page for details

Support for option 4

  1. Taxman Talk 18:58, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

Audio file format[edit]

(See this diff page for what ON content was added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

The added content isn't obvious, but it could be found in a different, more history-oriented reference. The information on the ON article, however, is of high quality and contains much valuable information. I suggest it be added as a link in the External links section. Uriah923 19:29, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 3

  1. Uriah923 19:17, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 4

  1. Remove the content. This has apparently already been done. It was focused on mp3 way too much. --K. Sperling (talk) 09:54, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Clash of civilizations[edit]

(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

This content is valuable, but a better quality source could be found - although I don't know where. Uriah923 19:48, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 3

  1. Uriah923 19:17, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Comparison of operating systems[edit]

(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

This content is valuable and is most likely not available anywhere else. Uriah923 19:48, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 1

  1. The article just links to the ON article, there isn't any actual content in that section that would need backing up by ON as a reference. --K. Sperling (talk) 12:54, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
  2. Ditto. Uriah923 19:17, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Conventional warfare[edit]

(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. The content added is of high value and the reference is of high quality. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 1

  1. A reference or link is not necessary. --K. Sperling (talk) 10:02, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 3

  1. The content added is of high value and the reference is of high quality. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

History of Islam[edit]

(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. It should be noted that this article was added to the External links section of the site by an admin (see this diff page). I agree with the assessment of Jmabel that it is 'good material.' Uriah923 21:03, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

History of the Peloponnesian War[edit]

(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. This content is high quality, of value to the article and I doubt it is available elsewhere. Uriah923 21:03, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. This content is most likely available elsewhere, but I recommend a link remain (external link) as the ON article is high quality and value. Uriah923 21:03, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 4

  1. The article is flawed as follows: it fails to mention Douglas Engelbart, Paul Otlet, or Charles Goldfarb; it mischaracterizes hypertext as merely "sitting around" for two decades when NASA, Carnegie-Mellon, Brown, the U.S. Navy, and about a dozen private companies were trying to make it practical; it mentions the "world wide web" when nearly all sources from that period used "WorldWideWeb," and it also ignores Norman Meyrowitz, IRIS, and Intermedia. --Coolcaesar 08:53, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
No one claimed that any of these are complete works, meant to be published, or be the definitive source for historical references. They're just short articles with info that was lacking in the wiki page. MarkMcB 19:19, 5 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this diff page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 1

  1. Leave as is or preferrable find better references. The addition of one paragraph hardly justifies listing ON as a reference, and certainly not the first. There must be zillions of reputable secondary works on the Illiad. --K. Sperling (talk) 10:15, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 3

  1. The content is of value to the article and I doubt a better reference could be found. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 4

  1. The added paragraph is simply wrong. The use of metaphor and simile isn't dependent on oral tradition--every literary tradition, written or oral, makes use of simile and metaphor. Furthermore, the author seems to misunderstand what oral tradition actually is, and the ON article is even worse. For instance, there's no mention of formulas or epithets, for instance, which were the major evidence that led to the investigations of oral poetry conducted by Milman Parry and Albert Lord. Parry and Lord should be cited in any writing about Homer as an oral poet, as these scholars were the first to convincingly argue that the epics come from a long background of oral composition. Today there are zillions of scholars working on oral tradition in Homer--e.g., Gregory Nagy, John Miles Foley, Jonathan Burgess--so there's little doubt that there's better secondary sources than ON.


(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. I previously removed the ON article content from this article. It was a small removal and the information should be easily found elsewhere. However, the article referenced is of high quality and great detail, so I suggest a link be placed in the External links section. Uriah923 18:03, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Karl von Clausewitz[edit]

(See this diff page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this diff page for the ON contents added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 1

  1. Certainly no ref to the ON article on this one. It's POV and all but one references are vegetarian/pro-soy websites. The content added to the WP article needs to be checked too. --K. Sperling (talk) 10:30, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 3

  1. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this diff page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 2

  1. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Negative campaigning[edit]

(See this diff page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

On War[edit]

(See this diff page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 2

  1. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 3

  1. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–2005[edit]

(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.) Support for option 3

  1. The information added from the ON article is first-hand, valuable, and not replaceable. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. This article provides valuable information, but the other sources I listed probably cover it. If not, the sources used in the ON article should suffice. However, I suggest the ON article remain in the external link section as it is of high quality and has much valuable information not in the Wikipedia article. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 4

  1. The content added is horrible. Recursion in mathetmatics is certainly not about a functions "calling" itself, and the stuff about the "depth" of a function is just as bad, as is the ON article. I'll have a go at the WP article when I have time. --K. Sperling (talk) 10:39, 5 September 2005 (UTC)
I wrote the article and I'll be interested to see why it's horrible. It seems a few Ph.D.s, a math book, and an algorithm book all seem to agree with the math and explanations provided. The article was about recursion in computer science, and it is certainly about functions calling themselves. Depth is correct too, referring to the memory used to handle such functions, i.e. more memory is needed with each call to itself. If you're confused, please reference the two published books cited at the end of the article. I can provide you with a scanned copy of the notes referenced if you'd like them. MarkMcB 19:27, 5 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article] for the work cited.)

The added content is valuable, as direct quotes were even requested. The ON article, however, does not provide sources, so these need to be obtained. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 2

  1. Uriah923 21:32, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Roe v. Wade[edit]

(See this diff page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. This addition consisted of significant and valuable content, and the article would be a good external link. Uriah923 21:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 4

  1. The pseudo-legal reasoning in this article is so ridiculous I don't know where to begin. There are some well-reasoned and principled critiques of Roe (as expressed by Scalia, Bork, and other famous conservative judges). But this article fails to raise or cite any of them. The author also does not understand the rule of stare decisis or the structure of British common law in comparison to Continental civil law. These concepts take at least a year of focused study to master (that's why people go to law school). --Coolcaesar 08:53, 4 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. This content is valuable and significant. The reference could probably be replaced with those used in the ON article. The article is, however, of high quality and would benefit the page if listed in the External links section. Uriah923 21:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Samuel P. Huntington[edit]

(See this page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. This content is small and could probably be obtained from multiple sources. The referenced article, however, is very applicable to the topic and would serve as a good 'further reading' link. Uriah923 21:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Search engine optimization[edit]

(See this diff page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 1

  1. What's been added is is supported by the other citations. The article needs editing and reorganization. Deleting the content does not make sense because a lot of it is valid, some of it has already been changed, and a mass delete will only slow down the development of the page. Jehochman 01:15, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 2

  1. Uriah923 21:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Soy milk[edit]

(See this diff page for ON content additions. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. This content is significant and valuable. It could probably be found on different official sources. The article is valuable to the topic, however, as it is the only direct health comparison I know of. It would be valuable on the external links or further reading section. Uriah923 21:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)


(See this page for ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. Significant and valuable content added (again). As most info is historical, the reference could be replaced with those used in the ON article. However, the article is very well written and would be of value in the external links section. Uriah923 21:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Web design[edit]

(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

The author of the ON article cited has already removed the content from this page. I consider it valuable and not obvious. As such, if an equivalent source cannot be provided and the ON reference is not re-added, the content must remain deleted. Uriah923 17:47, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

If the material was supplied by the copyright owner, and was thus released under the GNU Free Documentation License, it should be restored (then amended as with any other content, if required. Andy Mabbett 18:11, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I supplied the material and I am not the copyright owner (which is why I cited my source). Also, you should avoid taking action on any of the disputed articles until an agreement has been made. Uriah923 18:25, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
you should avoid taking action on any of the disputed articles until an agreement has been made Says who? Andy Mabbett 19:24, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't think any of it is novel, and could simply be gathered from other Wikipedia articles on the given topics. But if the copyright holder removed it we should respect that, and instead, either redo the material, or leave it out. -Taxman Talk 19:28, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 2

  1. Taxman Talk 19:28, September 2, 2005 (UTC) I'm for 1,2, or 4 here. Talk 19:28, September 2, 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 3

  1. Uriah923 18:25, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 4

  1. The ON article is a bad tutorial, certainly not worth linking to or even citing. The added content is full of misconceptions, too. It will at least need heavy rewriting. --K. Sperling (talk) 10:48, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

World Wide Web[edit]

(See this diff page for the ON content added. See the ON article for the work cited.)

Support for option 3

  1. The content is valuable, but is most likely obtainable in myriad locations. A reference probably isn't necessary, but the article would be valuable in the external links or further reading sections. Uriah923 21:50, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Support for option 4

  1. The content has the following problems: it conflates Web with the Internet; it fails to explain TCP/IP, the OSI stack or at least that such things are at work behind the scenes; it fails to mention the term "Web application"; and tries to simplify complex concepts yet uses technical terms like "parse" that require computer science or linguistics training to understand. (And yes, I have written HTML parsers---three times.) Plus, most of the sources cited are secondary sources, which is generally frowned upon especially when all the primary sources (the W3C recommendations) are so easily available. --Coolcaesar 08:53, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

The end I'd say[edit]

Based on a couple factors I would consider the issue over and I have removed the links to the ON articles so that we don't feed SEO. Reasoning: 1) there is strong consensus that the ON links are not appropriate references, and should not be added to any Wikipedia articles unless added by longstanding users not associated with ON. 2) I don't have time to look through all of these and it doesn't seem like anyone else does either. Therefore, I think leaving the links out of any articles is the best course of action. However, if there is specific reason to believe there is copyright violation in any of these, I'll make an effort to review those specifically. - Taxman Talk 08:34, September 10, 2005 (UTC)

I question your easoning: 1) How there can be any sort of 'strong consensus' on any article when there in all but one case there is no more than a solitary vote for any course of action? 2) In the absense of such a consensus, why do you have the authority to choose one course of action and apply it in all cases (to leave all articles as is)? This is especially questionable when you admit to not even reviewing the individual cases.
But, I'm finished discussing this issue and working to make things easy for admins who aren't even willing to look at the case. It seemed like a good idea at first, Taxman, but this discussion thing didn't accomplish anything. Sweet... (sarcastic look). Uriah923 15:51, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
There can easily be and there is strong consensus overall that ON does not make an appropriate reference and should not be linked to unless added by another long standing editor. Common sense tells us that does not need to be established separately for each article, and your attempts to try that are just last ditch efforts to keep as many links to ON as possible. People both simply don't have time to review every single one, especially with it being obvious no one but you considers the articles worth referencing overall. It is obvious we are never going to get enough people to evaluate each one separately. In the absense of enough discussion on each one, we have to default to the overall consensus anyway. As I've said before it is terribly obvious your only interest is in promoting ON, since if it wasn't you would be finding other better references to support the material instead of still trying to get the links added back. The only issue left, as I've explained above is if there is specific copyright violation from you adding material word for word directly from the ON article. That would need to be removed. If there's not copyright violation, then the material is legitimately under the GFDL and should stay. I'll look for that too when I get a chance, but I'm not going to wait for many people to evaluate each article since the overall consensus is clear. - Taxman Talk 16:14, September 12, 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the overall consensus should be followed. Like you stated, that consensus is that the ON articles do not make good references as they are not peer-reviewed journals or textbooks. That doesn't eliminate any of the above options, as none of them include using the ON article as a reference. If that's not the consensus, then which option is? You have acted to apply option 1 in all cases, when some of the articles didn't even get any support for that option. In some cases, you even supported a different option! You also mentioned that my bias is clear because my "only interest is in promoting ON, since if it wasn't [I] would be finding other better references to support the material instead of still trying to get the links added back." Really? Then I guess every single person who has reviewed this case would also qualify as only being interested in promoting ON because not a single 'better' reference has been provided. Uriah923 17:36, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Just posting here to say that pretty much everybody but Uriah agrees with Taxman (and appreciates the willingness to call it like it is). There is absolutely consensus on this issue, with only one (or perhaps two) dissenters who have contributed nothing to Wikipedia but ON promotion. Jdavidb 17:21, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Again, someone who hasn't done their homework. The controversy around the ON references has led to a high volume of edits concerning them. However, a detailed analysis of my contributions will show many edits completely unrelated to ON. Uriah923 17:36, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Great. Then go make more valuable contributions unrelated to ON, now that you have a much clearer idea of what we are looking for. Sorry it had to come from a controversy, but you have to understand the best interests of Wikipedia are what has to be considered, not how many links can we get to ON. But more arguing here is just wasting everyone's time. - Taxman Talk 18:18, September 12, 2005 (UTC)
I'm sick of Uriah's SEO spamming. As it stands, his account seems little more than a Wikipedia:Role account, with the purpose of pimping traffic to his blog. He seems to have put a link to ON on every single topic he's ever written about. He presents his arguments as an "objective" look, but he is supporting the inclusion of all ON links on all of the articles so far! I oppose all ON links at this time. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 19:56, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Even more clarity[edit]

As a follow up to the above, it has become increasingly clear that Uriah923's only motive is to try to have as many links as possible to ON from wikipedia. It essentially amounts to an SEO and linkspam campaign, in violation of Wikipedia's aims and policies. Uriah has very few contributions outside of efforts to directly support having links to ON, and almost none since those efforts have been challenged. Once it became clear consensus on this page was against him, all of his efforts have been to spread the conversation over a number of pages in an effort catch people sleeping and try again and again to get the links into articles despite consensus against it. Those articles include Talk:ITunes, Talk:After Virtue, Talk:Comparison of operating systems, Talk:Routing.

Between this page and those I believe that due to the SEO and linkspam implications there is a clear consensus that links to ON should not be in Wikipedia articles unless added by a longstanding contributor, and not prompted by Uriah. Editors that have expressed this sentement include:

I think I may have missed some, but I also think it is clear that is enough. The only editor disagreeing with that is Uriah923 and possibly MarkMcB, the founder of ON, though I think he long ago reallized consensus was against him. - Taxman Talk 20:26, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

I certainly agree. Thanks for wrapping this up, Taxman. --K. Sperling (talk) 01:34, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree. Consensus. Everybody but Uriah disagrees. Next time, let's not take so long. Wikipedia:Assume good faith means you assume good faith at the beginning, not that you continue to assume good faith three months later when it is clear that the person is not at all interested in building a free encyclopedia. It's like dealing with little children who want to test to see if they can put one over on Mom and Dad. I'm tired of it. At this point, Uriah should not be allowed to do anything on Wikipedia that relates to ON links. He should be willing to put in at least three good months of editing articles without adding links at all, or leave. Jdavidb 20:47, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
  • Disagree. If a page is relevant, informative, and of good quality, it doesn't matter who adds it, what their motive is, or what site it's at. If it's redundant, then of course it should be removed, but otherwise it's only improving the article. ··gracefool | 23:07, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
That's the problem. The ON content was neither relevant, informative, nor of good quality, and would not have survived a vote for deletion had it been posted directly into Wikipedia under the GFDL. See my thorough critiques in the above discussion (search on the text string Coolcaesar). --Coolcaesar 01:14, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
My point is, sometimes it is all of those things (eg. Conventional warfare). ··gracefool | 03:15, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

This conversation is old. I think that everything has worked out the way it should. I have made more than the "three good months of editing articles without adding links" and have shown my ability to approach any NPOV issues appropriately. Let's just leave this horrible page to slowly die. uriah923(talk) 14:48, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

It's unfortunate that you thought that you could go back to using Wikipedia to promote your site. The consensus here doesn't just outdate because you still want to promote your site-- Wikipedia is still not for advertising. Your efforts are clearly only in your best interests, and not in those of Wikipedia's. Once again it is clear your only interest is in promoting ON or else you would have dropped this issue long ago after being asked several times not to waste any more time on it. The consensus above was very clear, and we can get a lot more people to agree with it if need be. The consensus here and on your talk page specifically called for no promotion of ON of any kind. You instead decided to try again and inserted links and restarted the same tired debate on a number of different pages: Talk:Conventional warfare, Talk:Battle of Poitiers (1356) (where you had incidentally asked people to include a link to ON when not logged in so that people wouldn't know about the issue here), and Talk:ITunes, where you asked someone who was unfamiliar with the situation and consensus here to uncomment the link you added against specific consensus on that very talk page. Due to this behavior, and the extraordinary amount of time wasted on this issue, the site has been put on the blacklist so there can't be links to it from Wikimedia project articles. I believe that is the best way to end the issue with the minimum amount of wasted time. There's no need for an RFC or arbitration committee case to waste hundreds more hours to come to the same conclusion as this page already has. - Taxman Talk 14:42, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Agree. Uriah is an impenitent linkspammer and links to ON should be banned. Zora 17:10, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Eh, well, instead of spending time on more useful activities, he has filed a request for arbitration, despite no support for his position. Only more time can be wasted here. - Taxman Talk 21:34, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
For the record, the arbitration request was rejected. - Taxman Talk 21:31, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Recent ON controversy[edit]

These discussions were moved from Talk:ITunes#Blacklist_issues,, Talk:Battle of Poitiers (1356)#Add external link section?, and Talk:Conventional_warfare#Alleged_linkspam, in order to minimize SEO. TheJabberwock 22:08, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Talk:Conventional warfare[edit]

I noticed Iamthejabberwock removed (diff) the external link on this page, calling it "linkspam." Although it would violate NPOV for me to re-add the link (as I am an admin on the site on which the article is published), I disagree with the removal. Therefore, I brought the issue up to Iamthejabberwock on his talk page. He then referenced a previous disagreement to justify the removal. I want to make it clear that issue is in the past. This link, therefore, should be evaluated on its merits, not on the letters in its URL.

My opinion is that the article linked to is well-written, well-sourced, knowledgeable on the subject, and is a reasonably complete analysis of conventional warfare. It contains "neutral and accurate material not already in the article" and "meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion" - both criteria that qualify an external link in WP policy. While I understand the need to prevent spam on WP, I can't see how this would be such a case.

I hope those interested will evaluate the situation and weigh in. uriah923(talk) 22:43, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. It's a relevant and informative article. It doesn't matter who adds the link. I've readded it. ··gracefool | 23:02, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually it does matter who adds it considering the extraodinary amount of time that was wasted on the last go round. In particular if Brandon re-added the link it would be clear disruption. Of course he didn't, which is good. An anon doing it on a one off is also not a problem, but if that continues it could be representative of a linkspamming problem. In order to not waste any more time than necessary on the issue and assuming this is a single case, I'm fine with letting whoever follows this page decide on it at this point. And Brandon please please don't go making a issue everytime someone removes a link to the site as spam. There are plenty of more valuable issues to deal with than adding links to sites. In reality we need real research and references, not external links. - Taxman Talk 01:04, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
All right, I guess the ON link is OK. I added a few more external links for balance, and I'll try to incorporate them into the article when I get a chance. thejabberwock 04:52, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

The issue's not in the past anymore and I've removed the link again. There's no overriding reason a WP article needs external links unless to link to a particularly prominent site or as a very weak form of referencing. What our articles really need is high quality reliable sources. So if someone wants to go to the ON article and use it to look up the references it cites, and use those, that would be valuable for Wikipedia. But in light of the SEO campaign that's been going on for this site, I see no benefit that's worth ignoring the problems. - Taxman Talk 23:04, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Good point. However, the ON article is probably a good summation of its references, and using it to incorporate into Wikipedia the information these references contain would be much easier than reading through all the references. But I certainly don't want to be providing traffic, Google ad revenue, and/or SEO help to the ON page. With your permission, Taxman, I'd like to use google's cache of the ON site instead (or the text-only version), at least until the ON article can be incorporated into this page. Maybe, if you are still concerned about linkspam, you could make a template that would provide a warning before each cached ON page. Let's try to avoid another battle. TheJabberwock 04:33, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Of course that would be easier, but so would not using references at all and just making everything up! Unfortunately doing what you're proposing violates the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy. Citing a source citing another source is improper. To be useful you have to go straight to the most authoritative source. ON unfortunately isn't that. - Taxman Talk 13:41, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
True. I guess that then only value the ON article has is as a guide for creating the Wikipedia article, and as a repository of authoritative sources. Uriah, if you think it is good for this, go ahead and use it, but it shouldn't be given official recognition as part of the article. TheJabberwock 05:57, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
My main issue is consistency. Given Taxman's interpretation of the use of links on WP articles, shouldn't the majority of the existing links on WP be removed? For example, consider the Honda Accord article. If we evaluated the external links in a similar manner, wouldn't all of them be removed except those from the official Honda website? Certainly the other links cannot be considered authoritative or primary sources to the degree that Taxman expects. The same examination could be done on hundreds of other WP articles with the same results. And yet, Taxman is singling out and eliminating everything from one domain while leaving the rest. Why isn't the policy interpretation being enforced across the board? uriah923(talk) 19:07, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Because there wasn't a linkspam problem with every other external link. There was a reason ON was on our spam blacklist. And thus a reason to justify not having this one. There is some positive benefit to external links, just not nearly enough to make up for the linkspam issue in question. The only really valuable external links are those that are suitable as a reference, or those that are to particularly prominent and important websites related to the topic. Those also are not the type that would have a linkspam problem because they will only be linked to from one or so articles. - Taxman Talk 19:23, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
It seems that you are jumping back and forth between two reasons for removal. One is that the article isn't worthy of inclusion regardless of our previous altercation. The other is that the article might be suitable for inclusion, but there are extra restrictions on any article published on ON due to our previous altercation. Which one is it? uriah923(talk) 20:35, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Also, the ON article you removed from this site was only linked to from one WP article. The same goes for all other ON articles you removed. uriah923(talk) 20:35, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Bait not taken. Please re-read my other comments and stop trying to promote your darn site. - Taxman Talk 20:45, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
The question is simple and honest. TheJabberwock, perhaps you can help? uriah923(talk) 21:10, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
A perfect example of the double standard is the Battle of Poitiers (1356) article. Taxman replaced the ON article with another external link. The ON article is a secondary source, citing multiple primary sources. The inserted link, however, is a tertiary source. It is further removed from the source of the information, is formatted less professionally, is less verifiable given the reference format, and even looks like a blog. TheJabberwock, how is this change justified using the Wikipedia:Reliable sources policy? Does this not betray a double standard? uriah923(talk) 23:11, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
I think a double standard may be warranted in this case. Uriah, I'm sure some of your arguments are correct. But before evaluating them one by one, I would like to know why this is so important to you. It seems to me that if your sole interest is helping Wikipedia, you could accomplish much more in this direction by letting go of the debate, removing all ON links, and moving on to more important issues. So why do you insist on bringing the ON thing up? TheJabberwock 02:08, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I like WP and I like ON. Some of the articles on ON could add content to those on WP. If there's a way that works within WP policy, then I'd like that. From what I've read and seen, this is a definite possibility. Taxman coming along and screaming "SEO campaign!" doesn't make it true and it doesn't mean that I should bow out. I have acted within the rules and contributed much to WP. When a grudge-holding admin jumps up and accuses me of things I'm not doing, am I'm supposed to be happy about it? No, and I'm not. I think rules and judgements should be fair. I think people and arguments should be considered for what they're are. I think content on WP articles should be consistent and should follow its own policy. I think admins shouldn't be able to boss around people they don't like and slander anything with which they are affiliated. I will continue to play by the rules, but I will not succumb to Taxman's tyranical reign - despite the Beatles song. uriah923(talk) 03:26, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I guess that's fair, but I don't think you've been playing by the rules. You should have at least notified Taxman before asking others to put in ON external links. And you have to agree that to an outsider, there is no way to tell if you are conducting a SEO campaign or not. So without assuming bad faith, it's still better to take into account this possibility, and to take measures that will reduce the effectiveness of this hypothetical campgaign. I'm not sure about the technical details, but Taxman seems to think that one way to do this is by confining the ON discussion to one page. I think this is definitely a good idea (to move all discussion such as this one to that page). This will also allow the interested parties to deal with the issue as easily as possible, without having to switch between pages.
See comments below. uriah923(talk) 07:05, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
So, in essence, you have a right to fight for fairness, but only if you yourself are fair in fighting. I will do my best to observe, comment, and/or mediate, since you have annoyed Taxman so much that he is no longer willing to compromise. TheJabberwock 05:31, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Taxman, I agree that your external link replacement was unjustified; I've found a (hopefully) better link to add to Battle of Poitiers (1356) instead. TheJabberwock 05:45, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Even if the external links in Honda Accord have no value, they are doing no harm. There is a possibility that the ON links are doing harm (by contributing to SEO), and that is why they were removed. TheJabberwock 05:45, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Answer to above comments: What I've been doing is exactly playing by the rules. How many people do you know that get an admin to review their external link addition and leave the admin to actually add the link themselves? I went far beyond my Wikipedia call of duty out of respect for the previous problems. I assumed bad faith and took into account the possibility that others would misinterpret my actions. I was 100% transparent about my relationship with the site. The admins with which I interacted even vouched for my conduct (see Talk:ITunes#Blacklist_issues). The only thing to be done beyond that would have been a self-imposed straight out gag-order - which is completely unjustified.

Seriously. Now that the shouts of accusation have died down, can you really identify anything SEO campaign-y anywhere? What is it, exactly, about what has been going on that is similar to an SEO campaign? For the life of me, I can't think if anything. Nothing against WP policy. No mass links. Only a certain eight letter word that starts with "o" and ends with "nerd" in the middle of a URL on an article, added by an unaffiliated editor/admin, perfectly on topic, relevant, and following WP policy.

Anyway, I feel better after getting that off my chest. I know you haven't really done anything but listen, but if you are ever up for adminship, I can vouch for you. (Or are you already an admin?) Thank you for being reasonable. I also appreciate the link you stuck on the Battle of Poitiers (1356) article, but you have to admit the one Taxman removed blows that one out of the water. It's not even a close comparison.

As for moving everything to that site, my gut reaction is to avoid it. This is the only site on which there is a conversation going and moving everything to that site last time didn't end well at all. I put a lot of effort into compiling information and organizing votes, and in the end, it seemed that Taxman (and others) were just annoyed I hadn't dropped it all. So much so that (in my opinion) they made a pact to keep ON content off of WP forever - not because the site contained anything even remotely close to spam, but because they just didn't like me. Now there is this huge page that Taxman references frequently to support his case. It doesn't really do that, but it's so long, who is really going to know the difference?

So where do we go from here? You mentioned there was a possibility that the ON links were doing harm. Would it not be a good idea to investigate and see if they are? Maybe you could look at the links Taxman removed with an impartial perspective? Seriously look at the content, compare it to the other links/references on the WP article, and see if you think it worthy. What would you think about that? uriah923(talk) 07:05, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

TheJabberwock, don't get baited into wasting time extending this argument. The reason he doesn't want to use the one page that was set up for this purpose is the consensus was so strongly against him. Please move this whole conversation there. - Taxman Talk 12:58, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Uriah, what's wrong with the link is the fact that you asked an admin who didn't know about this issue, thus going behind Taxman's back. As you can see, Taxman noticed, and it would have been better if you had told him in the first place. Basically, there was a "gag-order," imposed by Taxman after a consensus had been reached, and you violated it.
I'm not an admin; I have barely 250 contributions. I'll tell you if I ever apply (if that's kosher).
As I said, we have to move the discussion because of the possibility of an SEO campaign. There's no evidence, but some would say that your continuation of this argument points to more than a desire for fairness. Your motives are the issue, not whether or not the links are "worthy" in and of themselves. Obviously, you're the only one who really knows your motives, but moving the conversation there seems like a reasonable measure that will satisfy Taxman and that you shouldn't mind. The length of the page is simply an indication of how much time has already been wasted on this. After all that debate, it is hardly surprising that the admins wanted to come to a resolution. Anyway, better safe than sorry - this discussion should be moved to User:Uriah923/OmniNerd. TheJabberwock 21:05, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I have a couple of issues with moving to that site:
  1. Things went down very poorly last time. I put a lot of effort into pulling together information and conversations, fully expecting a nice sit-down discussion of the issues, WP policy and how things could be resolved. It ended up being more like a behind-the-school beating. No organization, just me against couple of others who already didn't like me and wanted me off the site.
  2. That page is a false premise. If you will read the "consensus" at the end of the page, the entire theme is based on me running a link campaign. Now, the issue is not about me adding links on a "role account," but about my rights to edit/discuss according to WP policy. All understanding that those who agreed to that consensus have about me as an WP editor is false. To start where that left off would only further mislead and confuse anyone wanting to evaluate the situation.
  3. I would like to do things officially. I've seen other places on WP where people are dealing with issues in a very objective and organized manner, such as on Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration. One reason I think this has continued to be a problem is because a detailed, clear, organized, official, unambiguous, very public and policy supported decision wasn't made. How about we pursue that avenue? uriah923(talk) 23:26, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
None of those reasons are substantial. I'll definitely put a link here to the page, so interested people can add their opinions. I don't see why condensing the talk would make things less civil/fair/representitive of the WP community. In terms of whether this debate should be moved to the same page as the old one: The addition of the links is only an issue because of that previous debate. There will obviously be a separate section for this new dispute, but the old one is crucial background, and having them on the same page is a good thing. Definitely go ahead with arbitration if you wish; having all the discussion on one page will make it easier for the arbitrators. TheJabberwock 23:43, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

No, it was based on exactly the type of promotional campaign you're doing right now, and very clearly called for stopping it. It was a specific consensus against you promoting your site. You're continually choosing to waste more time on an issue that could be better spent helping the project. Your actions make it very clear the only thing you care about is promoting your site and getting links to it. We don't want it. How many people need to tell you that? Things went poorly last time for the same reason they're going poorly for you now. Your actions in this matter are not helping the project. They are a drain. And now you want to spend hundreds more hours in an RFC or arbitration case to establish exactly what has already been established? It's all moot anyway since the site is on the blacklist and based on your behavior I don't see much chance it will come off of it. - Taxman Talk 23:52, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

This is getting nowhere. I've done nothing against established WP policy and no one has provided any evidence as to why anything on ON could be considered spam without trying to trying to imply that I broke policy. I'm putting in an RFA. uriah923(talk) 14:57, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Talk:Battle of Poitiers (1356)[edit]

I found this article that examines primary sources to determine more exactly the role of the Duke of Orleans at the Battle of Poitiers:

What does everyone think about adding it as an external link to this page? 17:21, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Sure no need to ask, if theres an objection someone would say somthing after its added and discuss it then. Looks like a fine link. Stbalbach 15:10, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
That looks like a superb external link. It is well-balanced, well-argued, and well-sourced. No arguments. Bastin8 22:24, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

The external link has been replaced in this diff by what I think is a downgrade. The new link is a tertiary source while the previous link was a secondary source. I'm not surprised at the change however; Taxman has gone through and removed any and all links to the site on which the previous external link was published. He thinks it and I are part of a linkspam operation. He will likely follow my contributions here and post a sharp reply referencing this altercation we had a few months ago. It is very lengthy but essentially consists of Taxman telling me not to add links to anything published on that website, me arguing, repeat. It is my opinion that he holds a grudge against me and the site because of that altercation and is unable to objectively evaluate situations such as this. I will not re-add the link as I am affiliated with the site, but I hope other editors will evaluate the situation and not be intimidated by long arguments or an admin vendetta. The articles speak for themselves; any bickering or grudges between me and Taxman should not be a part of it. uriah923(talk) 23:59, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

It also appears that he requested the site be put on the blacklist. This is in direct violation of blacklist policy. In the meantime, I will change the domain in the above URL to "oooonnnn". uriah923(talk) 23:59, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

I believe that anyone that reviews the whole situation will clearly see what is going on here. If Uriah's only interest wasn't in getting as many links as possible to ON, he would have dropped the issue long ago. I did not request the site be put on the blacklist; Uriah has just annoyed enough people with his SEO campaing that someone else took care of that. There was a page set up to discuss this issue, but Uriah doesn't want to use that because the consensus was so strongly against him. - Taxman Talk 13:06, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

m:Talk:Spam blacklist/archive[edit]

Full discussion archived there.


Potential external link[edit]

A reference was recently removed to [(check the page history for the link) this page] because it was not deemed worthy. It was also suggested that the article's own references be substituted. It is obvious that the remover did not review the content of the article in suggesting this, as such a substitution would be complete nonsense. However, if the previously referenced article is not a proper reference because it is not a peer-reviewed journal or a textbook, then why not have it as an external link? The article has very valuable information that is not available anywhere else. Uriah923 16:44, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

You should also inform people that this is just one out of a SEO campaign by the ON people to get links to that site from Wikipedia. (Just as we don't need the above link since it can be seen in the diff where it was removed) The same thing was done with multiple Wikipedia articles until people cried foul, and the consensus was that ON articles do not make the type of quality references Wikipedia needs. That said, if a consensus forms here (with a reasonable minimum of 5-6 people involved) that the article is valuable enough to justify an external link despite the linkspam implications, I certainly wouldn't stand in the way. However I don't think the link is very valuable since the article refers to a pretty small point in the whole scheme of iTunes, and isn't terribly well done (6 one sencond songs don't reflect a realistic playlist). - Taxman Talk 17:37, September 12, 2005 (UTC)
I'll take that as a 'no' vote. However, your contention that "6 one second songs don't reflect a realistic playlist" shows that you didn't even read the article and that you aren't familiar with the subject being addressed. If you investigate it further, you will see that the number of or length of the songs involved have nothing to do with what was studied. Uriah923 19:09, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

The following content was also removed by Taxman with the same allegation of spam: "More information concerning this feature and the algorithm used is available [(check the page history for the link) here]." Again, I assert that the allegations are empty and that the content should be replaced. Uriah923 20:07, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

Remove the ON linkspam and ban links to them for a year. Zora 21:18, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Because you say so... That's a good reason. How about looking at the article and actually making a coherent comment instead of jumping around pronouncing sentences without looking at the case at hand. Uriah923 21:35, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
Because it's consensus... You're the only one pushing for the inclusion of the link. There are plenty of blogs that post observations about iTunes, we're not going to link them all. Give it up, there are plenty of other places to spam for SEO. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 21:54, September 12, 2005 (UTC)
Would someone like to show me where this commonly mentioned 'consensus' was reached that the specific link mentioned above (which is NOT a reference) should not be included in the iTunes article? Uriah923 22:18, 12 September 2005 (UTC)
It's a rough estimate based upon the fact that you're the only one pushing for the inclusion of the link and the three other contributors don't think it belongs in the article. Don't worry kid, there are plenty of other ways to advertise your site. Think Mary Tyler Moore: "You're gonna make it after all!" --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 00:14, September 13, 2005 (UTC)
So ON is so evil that the link is even edited out of Uriah923 comments on the Talk page?!
[OK, just skimmed the ON background, so my biting opening paragraph is no longer relevant Barefootguru 01:28, 13 September 2005 (UTC)]
I don't know what else they've been up to (but have a reasonable idea from these comments), but if one of them has spent the time investigating and writing up how the random function works, I fail to see the justification for not linking to the article.
We could do with more weighty arguments and less jumping to conclusions and bias. As Uriah923 says, the 1 second songs were part of the test (Taxman); and the page is hardly a 'blog posting observations about iTunes' (DropDeadGorgias).
I don't see how ON is different from say, Ars Technica, which reviews OS X and is linked from those pages.
Campaign or not, I found the article a good technical read, and I vote the link stays.
BTW, I also think DropDeadGorgias should wait longer than 8 hours and 4 people's responses before deciding a consensus has been reached.
Barefootguru 00:56, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Ars Technica is a well-established tech review site. ON seems little more than a blog. Still, if more people think the link will stay, I'll defer judgement, it just seemed that up until this point only one person was pushing for its inclusion. We do get a lot of SEO spam here, so we're wary of adding links in general, particularly on popular blog-topics such as iTunes. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 01:14, September 13, 2005 (UTC)
[Whoa, I didn't even know about Uriah's history of adding ON links. Given that I'd say that this is definitely SEO, and ON links should be removed on sight. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 01:57, September 13, 2005 (UTC)]
Oh yes, it's very clear it's SEO if you follow the issue more closely. Barefootguru, if you'd be so kind as to review Uriah's contributions a little more carefully, you'll see he is pretty much on a full out effort to keep as many links to ON as possible. He's tried to spread this conversation out over a number of talk pages and adds as many links as he can each time. If we let people game our site like that we'll be inundated with even more SEO. - Taxman Talk 02:03, September 13, 2005 (UTC)
I still think the article has merit, however I have little experience with SEO. If the link needs to be removed (well, stay removed) as part of an effort to stop a flood, I'm OK with that.
Taxman/Dmcdevit: is it appropriate for you to put 'SEO' in the edit summary instead of 'spam'? It would have prevented me from reverting the removal, and may help me and others in the future. To me, a spam link is a direct link to an advertising page, whereas this is more subtle.
Barefootguru 04:18, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Man, you guys are frustrating (except for Barefootguru, who seems to be the only one not on a crazy anti-ON rampage). How about we start this discussion over? I won't put in any links (I didn't know links on Talk pages had any SEO implications) and I will discontinue discussions on all other pages to avoid accusations of "divide and conquer." We can all take a deep breath and then take a thorough OBJECTIVE look at this one particular case. Uriah923 14:50, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

<further, repeated attempt at a vote removed>. Look, it's clear we have consensus against adding the link. We're not starting the conversation over repeatedly in new spots until you catch enough people asleap that you get your way. There was a page set up to discuss the issue, and you're trying to sidestep that again. If anymore discussion needs to happen, it should happen there. - Taxman Talk 15:07, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Hm. I'm not allowed to ask the Wikipedia community if an external link would be appropriate? That's suprising. Are you afraid of what the answer might be? I don't blame you, since the only third party who has come in and looked at things objectively didn't share your anti-ON sentiments. I'm also suprised that you continue to state there was some sort of consensus that OmniNerd articles are never worthy of being linked to - all I see in the conversation you cited is a discussion of using them as references.
I'm replacing the discussion as there is no coherent reason to remove it. Uriah923 16:44, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
You've already had your discussion. Look above. Myself, Zora, and DropDeadGorgias have clearly said no. Barefootguru thinks the link is fine but is ok having it out based on SEO concerns. Three clear opposes and only you wanting it in is very far from a consensus to have the link. Just because you don't like the outcome doesn't mean you get to keep repeating it. The linked page discussed both the use as references and as external links but focused on the former. - Taxman Talk 17:15, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
I've had my discussion? That's almost humorous. The above discussion is so disjointed and scattered that it would serve everyone well to show what is actually being discussed and where people stand. If you are so confident that the decision has been made against me, then you have nothing to worry about when people weigh in with their brief arguments and votes.
On a more basic note, why do you have the right to go around erasing my posts on Talk pages just because you think the question is redundant? Uriah923 18:47, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
So basically the consensus is against you but you want to repeat it to try again. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. I've removed it because it is blatantly obvious that is what you are doing, and you are just wasting people's time. How many people need to tell you, there is place for this discussion, have it there. But you'd rather spread the conversation out to try to sneak a link through. Lets not forget to mention you are an administrator at ON so your reasons for wanting the link are obvious. When your linkspam was removed from Wikipedia articles, your site's traffic ranking fell through the floor[9] because the only reason the ranking was there was due to the linkspam you spread all over Wikipedia. Yet you keep trying to get your links in, just like you placed another one here. And I didn't erase your post, just the redundant vote. Fine, waste more people's time, but you should reallize by now, you're not helping your case. - Taxman Talk 19:07, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
You keep giving me opportunities to embarrass you by showing you don't know what you're talking about. The links to ON articles on Wikipedia were added slowly over a period of more than a month. They in no way contributed to the surge you noticed on On the contrary, the very ON article we are discussing (about iTunes) was posted on Slashdot and, consequently, ON experienced a huge surge of activity and, about a week later, the drop that you noticed. Uriah923 19:30, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Please stop adding links to your site. AlistairMcMillan 20:29, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
That's odd. You mention a link, and yet when I hovered my mouse cursor over the text you removed and clicked, nothing happened. Uriah923 21:09, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
And please stop saying it was posted on Slashdot. That means nothing. Bill or Steve or Linus could, excuse the vulgarity, take a curiously shaped poop and there is a good chance the news will be posted on Slashdot. It means nothing to get a link posted on Slashdot. AlistairMcMillan 20:34, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
It very effectively explained the surge shown on - which meant enough to Taxman that he tried to attribute to it to Wikipedia links.
On a separate note, if you don't think the article is of high quality and not worth an external link, why not insert a short argument in the objective discussion instead of furthering the ramblings in this section? Uriah923 21:09, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Objective discussion[edit]

Concerning a link to link removed to avoid SEO see page history in an external link section:

Merits: The article was posted on Slashdot, is currently linked to by hundreds of sites and is in the process of being published. It is well written and contains valuable and interesting content not found in the Wikipedia article. The site is not commercial and contains no advertisements.

Faults: The person who started this discussion and wants the link added is suspected of having SEO motivations.


  1. If the content is of proper quality, the motivations don't matter. Uriah923 14:50, 13 September 2005 (UTC)


  1. I cannot make an objective decision here without being presented the facts - What is the URL in question? How can we be expected to provide feedback without being asked a real question?
    --Lucanos 23:08, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
    It was removed once it became clear the goal was to get links into as many Wikipedia articles as possible. It was removed from this talk page in order to avoid supporting an SEO and linkspam campaign, but you can see it in this diff if you would like to review it. Also please read the above section and here for the consensus so far. - Taxman Talk 23:28, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
    Thanks Taxman, I read Uriah923's talk page, so I can understand a bit of the situation now. Thanks for your help.
    --Lucanos 00:47, 20 September 2005 (UTC)


Blacklist issues[edit]

Due to ON being added to a blacklist here, Barefootguru has commented out the two ON references. It is my opinion that the black-listing is in error. There was a previous issue with me adding links to the site, but this has been resolved. I have refrained from adding any links (to maintain NPOV, as I am an admin on the site), and I have demonstrated my interest in Wikipedia (see my user contributions). In cases where I think an article published on ON would be of benefit, I list it as a comment and ask an unrelated admin with interest in the site to review the addition and un-comment it, if it is found worthy. That is what happened on this site the first ON reference (see this diff for the addition of the commented-out reference and this diff for the un-commenting (?) by Mushroom). Recently, another pertinent article was published on ON, and I started to follow the same procedure (diff), but the blacklist addition locked up the site.

I don't know much about how the blacklist thing works, but it appears the site would have to be listed here to be considered for removal. I was about to list it myself, but I don't know if that would taint the request, given my affiliation with the site.

Will those interested please review the issue and comment here. I would like to know what course of action I should take. Thanks in advance for your help. uriah923(talk) 06:14, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I can confirm that Uriah maintained NPOV. He asked me if I could un-comment the link and since I found the article interesting I did it. I don't know why the whole site is blacklisted, and User:Essjay is probably the only one who can explain this situation. I see that you have contacted him on his meta talk page, so let's wait for his answer. Mushroom (Talk) 06:22, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I have read up some on the blacklist and listed the site for removal from the blacklist here. uriah923(talk) 06:54, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Just to chime in since I started this! One link was already commented out. The only reason I commented out the second reference was because I couldn’t save my change, as ON was on the block list (as you’ve discovered). Even a link inside comments was getting caught, hence changing to …oooonnnn… Barefootguru 07:43, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Essjay has responded to the inquiry. I have also replied there and included more information on the blacklist talk page. It appears the best course of action would be to comment there. Mushroom & Barefoot, would you please? I'm not sure if it would speed up the process, but it couldn't hurt. Also, you are impartial witnesses of the value of at least some of the articles posted on ON - enough that it shouldn't be blacklisted. Additionally, blacklist policy specifically states that sites should not be listed if the issues with them can be resolved using the normal methods (blocking & protecting). This is, obviously, one of those cases. uriah923(talk) 02:23, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

The blacklisting has been removed. I will go in an fix the link text, but someone else needs to remove the commenting to maintain NPOV. uriah923(talk) 07:04, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

I have removed the commenting. Mushroom (Talk) 17:09, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Are we seriously doing this again? An unbelievable amount of time was wasted on this promotional campaign last time, and it's clear uriah923 is just going to keep tyring as many times as it takes, and spread the conversation over as many pages as possible. There was strong consensus that ON is not a valid reference of the type we are looking for. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the only thing Brandon (Uriah923) is interested in is promoting his site. I'm removing the links per the previous consensus. - Taxman Talk 16:05, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
The issues brought up in the discussion you referenced have been addressed and are outdated. My interest in developing WP as a quality encyclopedia have been manifest (see my contributions). The link cannot be considered spam, as it was added by an unrelated admin and every effort was made to maintain NPOV and follow WP guidelines. I assume the issue you have is with the quality of the reference. In that case, take it up with Mushroom, who reviewed the case and found the reference worthy. uriah923(talk) 17:20, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
The page I referenced is a perfectly valid accounting of the consensus that was developed. One user that wasn't familiar with the previous consensus and the problems that led to it does not overturn the page. If your interests were in developing Wikipedia you would have dropped this issue long ago and stopped promoting links to ON. You've been blocked for disruption in your promotional campaign before and you're up to the same tricks and we're all tired of it. There was a reason the site was spam blacklisted, it wasn't spurious. Adding links to the site under anonymous IPs and asking people to link to it is innapropriate promotion, and not what Wikipedia is for. Again, stop, and instead go focus on getting real references that aren't questionable at all. - Taxman Talk 17:36, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I am really starting to feel bullied here. Is there not a way to bring in an unbiased arbitrator? uriah923(talk) 17:47, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
So instead of choosing to drop the issue and go focus on ways to help the project, you want to waste more time hashing out the same issue? An issue that was solved unambiguously and specifically decided on this very talk page that it's not appropriate to link to ON. Wikipedia:Resolving disputes is where you would find the procedures to get another review of the situation if you like. I'm quite comfortable with how the issue would be resolved, but I would again ask you to consider what is better for the project, and how much more wasted time would not be. Your choice will make your real motivations clear. - Taxman Talk 18:12, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I didn't know about the previous consensus, I just assumed good faith and un-commented the links. I understand the problem with spam, but the articles seem relevant and they could be used to reference that paragraph, at least until we find a better source. It should also be noted that Uriah923 has made a lot of good contributions since September. I'd like to hear other editors' opinions, though. Mushroom (Talk) 18:25, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I assumed you didn't since anyone that did know the whole issue wouldn't have let the links stand. Anyone wishing to have the links in should really go through the pain of reading the detail of what happened, because they would quickly come to the conclusion that there should be no links to ON. Basically a stronger consensus would have to be developed to overturn the previous one, and based on our policies, the enormous amount of time wasted on this issue, and the best interests of the project, I don't see that happening. - Taxman Talk 16:43, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Just noted that this debate is warming up again. (groan) I reiterate my earlier position that links to ON are not in compliance with core Wikipedia policies including Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research. I concur with Taxman's position that the ON domain should be listed on the Spam page on Meta. --Coolcaesar 06:56, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
You'll have to go there and register that on the meta talk page then. Wikipedia doesn't control the blacklist, meta does. - Taxman Talk 16:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Some comments[edit]

Oh, good grief. This is like the San Antonio toll-road thing... people arguing, each side saying things about the other side that are questionable, dubious assumptions, statements that may be false, etc. without a neutral party. I see no purpose in this. This is like one person saying 2 + 2 = 4 while another is saying 2 + 2 = 5 when both have there own ideas of the value of 2. I can see how this was a valid argument before, but it looks like it's become more like a personal conflict. --Samuel 69105 01:10, 19 July 2006 (UTC)