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Elections, again[edit]

It is apparently normal to have massive lists of candidates in the external links sections of election pages, e.g. as seen in this diff. I've cleaned a handful, but there are likely more (and these linkfarms get reverted back in, while these links are clearly indirect, and we are not a directory). Can I have some help cleaningthis? --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:15, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

I cleaned the ones for the Senate last night, but some have already been reverted back in. — JJMC89(T·C) 01:44, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
If it's actually normal to list one official link per candidate in these articles, then why are you blanking them? "Normal" means "there is, in actual practice, a consensus to do this". Policy comes out of the normal practices of established editors, not from a theoretical rulebook. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:39, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh, lets just throw Wp:NOT out .. this is plain linkfarming, we are notthe yellowpages. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:11, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't personally love these links myself, but if it's actually normal practice, then WP:NOT will accept it.
The most relevant section of NOT says: "Wikipedia articles are not merely collections of: External links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to the external links section of an article; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia."
These are not indiscriminate links; they are the most "content-relevant links" for the candidates in the election that the article is about. Although there are a lot of them (because the article covers a lot of territory), NOT accepts "more" than one link, and this list doesn't IMO "dwarf" these articles.
And ultimately, this is a consensus-based project, not a statute-driven one. If experienced editors actually do think this is appropriate – as seen by their actual practice, meaning that they've added this to enough of these articles that it's "normal" – then they should be left alone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:58, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with having one EL per candidate in cases like this. Number 57 16:09, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
And I, for one, do. The pages are about the elections, not about the campaigns of the individual candidates. They are content relevant for the candidates, not for the elections. On some ofthe articles the lists are excessive, 10000 bytes of external links is a lot. Moreover, other external links in the same section cover the same functionality. These links are the same as having on auto obile links for all car brands (or even models), and same for bicycles, tvs, computers, hotels, .. etc. All those are similarly content relevant to their subjects. To me, that isjust what our pillar WP:NOT wants to avoid.
The articles tend to be full of tables, to me it is much more appropriate to have them there in those tables.
Now regarding normal practice, that is a consensus indeed, until it gets challenged as being opposed to our policies or guidelines. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:26, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Or until our policies and guidelines get changed to reflect consensus.
So would you be happy changing the tables from "Party | Candidate | Votes | %" to "Party | Candidate | Website | Votes | %", with the external link listed in the new column? I could live with that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:23, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see any encyclopedic reason to include it.
Also, imagine the maintenance issues when the losing candidates' websites expire. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:26, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: Good luck changing this consensus, for now it is a local consensus trying to override a global consensus where that has major implications for other subjects where it basically opens a spamhole onother subjects.
No, I have even suggested that. As long as it is not the first column as an external link under the name, and per Walter, it should be properly taken care off, likely the live link should on the election day be replaced with a webarchive link of the state of the website on that day. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:21, 26 August 2018 (UTC) (@WhatamIdoing: reping --18:24, 26 August 2018 (UTC))
Walter, I think the "encyclopedic reason" is basically WP:ELOFFICIAL. We have, for better or worse, decided that the principals' self-presentation is worth linking.
Dirk, if you're happy with putting it in the column, then I think that would be an excellent compromise. And if you do it yourself, then I'll rest easy knowing that it will be the least intrusive presentation possible. (Your comment about making the website be the first column makes me shudder.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:57, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
ELOFFICIAL is for the pages of a subject, not a table of candidates, almost none of whom are notable. It's essentially and external WP:LINKFARM of no encyclopedic value. Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:52, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, these links are NOT official links of the subject on these pages by any stretch. They are actually prime examples of WP:ELNO 13. They would be official links on the pages of the individual candidates, but there they should only be linked if they are the main outlet of a subject (and maybeas an exception as a second outlet while there is an active campaign.
I am still in favour to cut out these lists in the current form, where I would have low resistance if interested editors would add them to the lists (frozen in time if the election has past) in the tables in the articles. --Dirk Beetstra T C 02:31, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
I did not say that they were official links for the election. I said that it was my belief that the rationale for including candidate links on the election page was basically (NB: not exactly, precisely, or absolutely identically) the same as the rationale for including official links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:42, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── And I think that that is a slippery slope. That reasoning is then exactly the same as linking the official websites of all car brands on Car - they are after all the official websites of the representatives of the subject. I think that the community explicitly suggested against that when writing ELNO#13. Except for those living in the country (well, America, it seems) that list there does not add anything for most outside of said country. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:46, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Consensus that's not policy based isn't consensus. These linkfarms are WP:SOAP. We should link to official pages for the election. If they don't have a candidate listing with external links, it's not our place to try to do better. --Ronz (talk) 16:44, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree that a consensus that's not compatible with our policies isn't consensus. Also, a policy that isn't consensus-based isn't a real policy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:30, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
So while all removals havebeen reverted, we don't seem to have consensus. What's next? --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:27, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
Pick an article where it was reverted and work to align the local consensus with the our policies and broader consensus. Is there a Wikiproject for elections that could help? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronz (talkcontribs) 20:24, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
We do have a consensus that external links to a candidate's platform is a violation. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:44, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
How are such links not WP:SOAP by definition? The only reason we allow them at all is because of the exceptions that official websites are given. --Ronz (talk) 22:03, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
They are, and likely other violations. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:25, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
The argument that they are official is a red herring. They are indirectly official, or they are official for another subject.
I think that the first additions were SOAP additions, later the lists were completed to cover all candidates.
Discussing one example is not going to work (the one here is nice and big). You'll get a whole mob of people yelling 'local consensus' to you. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:20, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I'd hold off trying to align local consensus with the general consensus at this point in the election cycle anywhere there is push-back. Wikipedia:WikiProject Elections and Referendums would be the place to get the general consensus worked out and communicated. --Ronz (talk) 15:21, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I would not. General consensus should override local consensus at all times. Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:37, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
@Ronz: .. there is a general consensus, WP:NOT and WP:EL. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:44, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
By "worked out" I mean getting the consensus clarified. We all know there are experienced editors that completely ignore EL and NOT when it suits them, and we can expect at least some to do their best to make a mess of things. Given all the coi- and biased editing that we can expect through November, there are bigger problems to address than a linkfarm at the end of an article, and we'll be pressed to handle it all.
I'm saying fix what we can now, get the Wikiproject to include clear instructions on External links sections, and cleanup in November. --Ronz (talk) 16:23, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
It has already been brought to the Elections and Referendums project I noticed. The only reply there confirms my suspicion: disregard global consensus because we are not a bureaucracy, and noone is following our pillars anyway. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:35, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Diff? I looked for such discussions, and only found the briefest of mentions. --Ronz (talk) 20:19, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I was talking about this thread. --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:16, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I have only skimmed that, and it's three editors discussing the issue. We could easily go there and overturn the local consensus to follow EL consensus. Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:20, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
One announcement and one rant, hardly a discussion. --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:25, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Agree. Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:26, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
We have a global consensus that NOT is a policy. We do not seem to have a "global consensus" about exactly how to apply that policy to this particular, somewhat unusual situation. For example: Should we remove all the official campaign links? Keep all the official campaign links? Rearrange them, so that they're in the table rather than in the ==External links== section? Replace them with a DMOZ-like web directory? Something else? We don't actually know what most editors think would make these specific articles better for their readers.
Also, editors are supposed to "ignore EL and NOT" whenever, in their own best judgment, they believe that not following a strict interpretation of those rules would make individual articles better. "Following our pillars" means Wikipedia:Ignoring all rules when appropriate – including NOT and EL. "Following our pillars" does not mean removing external links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:16, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
We have a consensus that we should not link to things like this.
Editors are advised to WP:IGNORE all rules only it prevents them from improving or maintaining the project. Editors are not supposed to ignore guidelines when others tell them that their best judgment is not in the interest of the community. In this case it means not adding links to political candidates' Twitter feeds or even their campaign pages. It also that it means removing external links in the case. It also could mean that if one editor consistently argues against the community agreement (consensus) and works to circumvent it on a case-by-case basis, that this editor is clearly WP:NOTHERE to build an encyclopedia and could face a community block. If you want to try to argue against it (as you have here, and lost) go ahead. I'm fairly close to seeking a topic ban though. Walter Görlitz (talk) 01:29, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Okay, when I look at the situation, here's what I see:

And, on this basis, you declare that there is a consensus to exclude these links, and if I don't agree that an evenly divided group, both sides of which are (plausibly, although IMO not with equal strength) citing policies and guidelines as their justification, counts as a consensus for your side, then you propose... to seek a topic ban for the editor who has responded to more questions on this noticeboard than anyone else since its creation? And not only the most active editor at this noticeboard, but also the guideline itself (I believe that I can fairly claim to have written a third of it) and its talk page? Perhaps you would like to think that over again.

Note, in case it's not been clear, that I've not got a strong view about these links myself. Saying that the overall consensus is unclear to me is not the same thing as saying that I agree or disagree with anyone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:24, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

These links are wildly inappropriate. WP:NOT is policy, which means it's basically not our job to provide those links, and to remove them where they show up. WAID, you're basically throwing up whatever objection you can think up instead of meaningfully engaging with both the policy in question and the guideline attached to this noticeboard. I suspect you have many better things to do on Wikipedia than attempt to defend an obvious policy violation (yes, it's obvious). --Izno (talk) 03:21, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I understand that you believe they're wildly inappropriate and an obvious policy violation.
I also understand that at least four editors-who-are-not-me (or you), each of whom have made thousands of edits, and including an admin, believe that these links belong in these articles, are appropriate, and are not policy violations at all. Do you understand that? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:29, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) ::IAR and BOLD are all fine, but it is about improving Wikipedia. This has nothing to do with improving, this is turning Wikipedia into a soapbox for election advertising. What those pages display is hardly encyclopedic (and where it is, that should be included and the links used in context). They could be used as a last column in tables of candidates (that also ensures NPOV), but still in a context of their programme (which should then be in another column in said table). But inthis way, they are inappropriate. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:41, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
WAID, do you also see that all your supporters, and you, have not presented any content based or policy based arguments beyond IAR, local consensus and 'other crap', to have these links included. I have earlier wished you good luck to show that these linkfarms present a new consensus that warrants changing WP:NOT and WP:EL. I still don't believe that there is consensus to overthrow the practice, even with a 5:5 strawpoll no policy change would occur. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:41, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Actually, I see that one of the supporters for these links has cited WP:ELYES. And I'm citing WP:POLICY, which has traditionally held that the source of policy and guidelines is what the mass of experienced editors choose to do in articles, and not whatever "statutes" are written on a page that says "policy" at the top. If editors (i.e., not me or you, but editors who write encyclopedia articles in this subject area) think that these links are a good thing, then you and I need to fix the guideline to accommodate the community's decision, and not the other way around. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:53, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
the mass of experienced editors The mass of experienced editors, if we hadn't blocked so many along the way, want to use Wikipedia for promotion. Way too many still do. Consensus is not the will of the masses, a vote, or what editors can get away with. --Ronz (talk) 00:14, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
@Beetstra: Providing links to a candidate's campaign website is hardly "political advertising" or providing anyone with a soapbox. It's just a link. It's not hurting anyone to put them there, disk space is cheap (I have been explicitly told in the past not to make editing decisions based solely on disk space), and it's not explicitly against policy. Each link relates to one subject, so it's not a "link farm" or list of links on a single subject. There isn't a compelling reason to remove them in my view. Nevermore27 (talk) 04:00, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
@Nevermore27: How is providing links to a campaign website not providing a platform for campaigning, not providing, literally, a soapbox to the candidates.
Your argument is exactly the same aswhat you could give for car brands, and for all those websites that you receive in your spam folder. Disk space is cheap, lets list them all at the bottom of viagra.
All this is still a IAR/BOLD/OTHERCRAPEXISTS argument. What content or policy based argument do you have for overriding other policies and guidelines (and is actually an argument I cannot apply to spam on Viagra). --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:08, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
You are clearly not persuadable on this issue, so I see no merit in getting into it, as it were, with you. I was just providing my two cents. Nevermore27 (talk) 04:28, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
This is a ridiculous argument; businesses have links to their websites in the infobox and the external links section of the page! That is not "advertising". How are links to the campaign websites more advertising? MAINEiac4434 (talk) 04:48, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
@Nevermore27: That is the whole point, apparently there are no content-based or policy based arguments for inclusion, and that is what several editors say here. You are the one who wants to include the links, you should be able to give policy based arguments why to include.
@MAINEiac4434: 'businesses have links to their website in the infobox and the external links section of the page': That is the official link of the subject of the page, per WP:ELOFFICIAL. I don't know how you can translate that to the current case where the subject of the page is the election, and the subject of the links are the campaigns of one of the people who is participating in the election. That is totally indirect. It would be direct, and official on 'Campaign of <campaigner> in the 2015 election for <election>'. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:37, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
The candidates in the election are what make it an election. The actual election (i.e., just a contest) isn't as important as the people contesting the election. Neglecting to include the links to candidates, especially candidates that aren't as well known, (for example Zak Ringelstein in Maine's Senate election, who does not have a Wikipedia page) would be giving undue weight to candidates who are more famous and whose policy positions are more well-known. MAINEiac4434 (talk) 18:38, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
That's the old, "Let's use external links to address supposed POV-problems" gambit. That's simply not what external links are for. Attempts to use external links to address content problems are inappropriate.
Repeating myself, it's not the purpose of an encyclopedia to attempt to address supposed problems with voter information. --Ronz (talk) 18:46, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
That's not what external links are for, in your opinion. External links are used throughout Wikipedia to provide a primary source on the subject of an article, and to provide relevant further information on the article's subject. An election is not the thing people are interested in, it's the candidates in that election. Links to candidates websites is relevant to the article itself.
Further, I would consider it a violation of NPOV to not include them, as providing information for some candidates but not for others (by way of candidates who have separate articles versus those who do not) could be perceived as favoritism towards those candidates. Adding links to candidates websites, where the candidates and their staffs can lay out policy positions, fights that.
For many people, Wikipedia is a news source and a source of information on people who are running to represent them in government. I fail to see how having links (and at this point in election cycle it's only a few links at the bottom of an article) harms Wikipedia and its mission to be an encyclopedia accessible and informative to everyone, lay people and experts. "Wikipedia is not a collection of links." Yeah, but none of these articles are just collections of links.
I think people in your position are taking an overly narrow view at NOT. MAINEiac4434 (talk) 20:53, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
No. External links are not used throughout Wikipedia to provide a primary source, they are used in the external links section to provide a primary source for the subject, when it provides encyclopedic information and is their official website. That's not what is being offered on those election links. Many are just Twitter feeds. If the subject doesn't meet notability guidelines we don't need to provide a link to their race site. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:01, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
@MAINEiac4434: My apologies. I should have been clearer. I believe that there is general consensus against such use of external links.
Wikipedia is a news source While some desire it to be so, it is not per NOTNEWS.
This issue comes up again and again, which is why I called it a gambit. The general situation is this: There's a list of entries, some notable and some not. Editors want to add external links for each entry in the list to "balance" the fact that notable entries may have official websites in their articles. The result of disputes in such situations is exactly what you're getting here: The very broad and discussed-to-death consensus is that such links are inappropriate.
The harm is WP:SOAP, which is enforced by POV, COIN, EL, ArbCom, etc. Yes, there is plenty of push-back to whittle away or ignore WP:SOAP, mostly because of paid editing and the interests behind paid editing.
If you want to argue an exception, questioning the enforcement of NOT isn't the way to go. Meanwhile, please respect WP:ELBURDEN. --Ronz (talk) 22:22, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I think that we're thinking a bit narrowly here. My interest is in what other editors want in general, but for the specific dispute, we should probably be thinking about alternatives. For example, Dirk – whose anti-spam commitment cannot credibly be disputed by anyone – has suggested that these should be re-worked so that they appear in the tables with the candidates. One advantage of this approach is that it would be far more compact. Our traditional middle ground for these situations was DMOZ, and although that particular web directory has closed, alternatives have always been acceptable, and it's possible that similar web directories could be found at another website, or perhaps at a government webpage. I think it's possible to find a compromise that would be acceptable to everyone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:01, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
@Walter Görlitz: I have not seen a single link to a candidate's twitter feed, and I invite you to find one on any of the US Senate, gubernatorial or House. My interest is only retaining the links to official campaign websites; I believe candidates' personal social media accounts (or campaign social media accounts) should not be included. As a matter of fact, I believe I undid an edit on the Arizona US House of Representatives page that added personal twitters, facebooks, instagrams and youtube accounts of the candidates.
@Ronz: I don't know why you're apologizing, I know where you stand in this discussion and (I believe) I understood your most recent post. I would like to see evidence that there are paid edits providing links to a candidate's website.
I do not see how linking to the website of every candidate in the election is promoting any of them. I could see an argument if we have just the website of one of the candidates in the EL section. But if we link all of them, we're giving all candidates an equal place. I do not believe linking to all candidates with ballot access is a violation of SOAP, because Wikipedia wouldn't be promoting any of them. MAINEiac4434 (talk) 02:52, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Funny, I deleted some. Check my edit history and you'll see social media links. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:36, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

@MAINEiac4434: No, that is not Ronz' opinion, that is the opinion of several editors here, and as it stands currently, the stand of the community consensus of WP:NOT and WP:EL. And again, these external links are NOT a primary sourceforthe subject ofthe article. They are a primary source for the campaign of the person. And in any case, as we have multiple people on each side of this discussion, we clearly do not have consensus for inclusion, so per WP:ELBURDEN and WP:BRD, remove them until we have found said inclusion. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:11, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

The actual relevant section of NOT is "Wikipedia articles are not merely collections of: External links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to the external links section of an article; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia." Campaign websites are content-relevant to the election (an election isn't anything without the campaign of a candidate) and do not dwarf the articles they are included in. That is not a violation of NOT, and just as there is no consensus to keep the links, certainly none exists to remove them because the links are not in violation of NOT. MAINEiac4434 (talk) 21:36, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
@MAINEiac4434: That same contested argument again. ALL car brands are content relevant on car and without car brands we would not have cars, and all viagra spam is relevant on Viagra and without people selling viagra we would not have viagra. No, that is not content relevant, it is indirectly relevant to the subject. And 10000 bytes of external links is certainly dwarving an article that is mere tables for the rest.
And another no: you do not get to cherry pick which parts you want to counter. Again, this is almost literary what the word soapboxing means, so also that section applies (and also all the rest of our policies and guidelines).
In any case, we (including other editors here) do not agree with you (plural) that this is content relevant, that this is not linkfarming and that this is not soapboxing. To me, when several people on each side do not agree means no consensu for including that information and that it gets removed. We can then discus whether and how to reinclude it (see my suggestion above). --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:58, 8 September 2018 (UTC)


Discussion to remove excessive links in election articles[edit]

Creating a !vote section. Keep the discussion above or create a new section.

  • Remove - external links in tables and other lists. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:25, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Remove the long lists in the external links sections per all the reasons I have layed out above. Consider to include them in the tables, locked in time of election date through an internet archive (NOT a direct link after the election). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:13, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
    • I have shortly created this for the democratic party primary (did not touch the rest of the page; yes, I know, the endorsements are better collapsed in some form). That does now include the external link with the candidate, and does not repeat the candidates 2-3 times, does not repeat over and over that a candidate is a democratic (which is already shown in the section title). Moreover, it shows (per WP:NPOV) that only one of the candidates (apparently) had a campaign website and it keeps ALL information for one primary close together. Only improvement that would here be left is that this particular primary is already over, and hence the candidate's campaign website may very well have changed already - it should be 'locked' in time at the day of the voting (or for eliminated/withdrawn candidates the date of elimination/withdrawal). --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:18, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Remove- feel it's not appropriate as they are candidates. In UK elections we always have joke candidates who have no chance of being elected so simplest way is no links/no judgment Lyndaship (talk) 07:23, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Keep - links to legitimate candidates appear to be appropriate - after all, it is an election for candidates and these links form part of the election's history. In addition, links to candidate's official sites are likely to provide users with a comprehensive listing that can be used to learn more about individual candidates and their policies. BronHiggs (talk) 09:07, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Move the links into the tables. This should be easier to read and shorten the page length. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:03, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Keep as is, but as a compromise, I would not be opposed to Beetstra's solution (and would actively help moving links into that format). MAINEiac4434 (talk) 03:53, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

discussion regarding !votes[edit]

BronHiggs
  • @BronHiggs: 'links to legitimate car brands appear to be appropriate - after all, it is a choice of cars and these links form part of the history of cars. In addition, links to official sites of car brands are likely to provide users with a comprehensive listing that can be used to learn about individual car brands and their features.' That argument is a direct violation of WP:NOT. That is NOT the purpose of wikipedia. We are writing an encyclopedia here. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:13, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
    Can you please explain us what is so different between elections and car brands (or rental companies, mobile phones, painters, butchers or whatever, for that matter). I do not see why this is an inclusion reason here that overrides global policies. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:18, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
    Beetstra As the note in the preamble states - "keep the discussion above". This section is for votes and I have given mine. It's not up for discussion here. ThanksBronHiggs (talk) 23:04, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
    @BronHiggs: OK. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:17, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
    Dirk, the difference between United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas, 2018 and Car is that the elections article lists exactly eight (8) external links to the official websites of the exactly eight (8) candidates that exist, 100% of whom are individually named in the article, whereas Car lists zero external links to the official websites of the many hundreds of car brands that exist (or existed), only a tiny fraction of which are named in the article, and many of which get little more than a namecheck in the article. So "the difference" is that you're comparing apples to oranges. A far more relevant comparison would be why an article that covers a subject with a limited, objective number of people/organizations involved (e.g., an article about a corporate merger or about an athletic event), and that also names and discusses 100% of the involved people/organizations, doesn't necessarily include external links to all of those people/organizations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:28, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Cars and a specific election are simply not comparable. An election is a specific event (intangible) with a finite start and end date while a car is a product (tangible) which has a long and evolving life-cycle and no apparent end date. An article on cars, used generically, is not the same as an article on car brands. Just the same as an article on elections (in general) is not the same as an article, such as the one under review, which is concerned with a specific election in an identified geographic location with a finite and relatively small number of candidates. If there was an article on car brands (in particular), then it would seem reasonable to include lists of brands or marques, but such an article would be of questionable encyclopedic value which is why it probably doesn't exist. However, an article on cars (in general) would not include brands, other than possible mentions of leading brands, as identified in a reliable source such as Interbrand's brand valuations. The question posed by Beestra is so absurd as to barely warrant a reply. The bigger question is why Beestra puts such inane questions to people who vote against his wishes, in contravention of his own directives about refraining from discussion in the vote section, while he fails to challenge those who align with his views? BronHiggs (talk) 02:01, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Eh, I don't think it's an inane question. Dirk is highly experienced in this area and generally thoughtful. For example, you might notice that his comments trend towards a compromise of moving the links into tables rather than removing them entirely.
(Challenging people that agree with you is usually either pointless or pedantic (or both, if you're me ;-).) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:01, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
@BronHiggs and WhatamIdoing: my point is not the comparison to cars (as I made clear in my text) .. it is the comparison to EVERYTHING else here on Wikipedia. Elections are the only articles that have these lists. For all other pages with in-text tables which name these, we don't add such links, or they are in lists in the text (in tables), not as linkfarms in the external links sections. Elections are the only orange between the apples ... (and it is even worse, it seems to be only an American orange, the other countries are apples as well).
Note, for United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas, 2018 it is true, not necessarily for others. For the example I gave above, there was only one website for one of the candidates of the primary, not the other. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:14, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
note on note, User:WhatamIdoing. It isn't 8 candidates. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:25, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

Musical artists and albums pages being excessively linked to Amazon or iTunes[edit]

What's the rule about linking to places that sell mainly sell products like Amazon or iTunes, but provide no real useful encyclopedic information? There is currently a lot of album and artist articles associated with Bethel Music group and the Bethel Music singer Brian Johnson that contain many links to both sites. The links are not used properly as citations either and seem to only be there for the purpose of sending readers to a place where they can buy the artists work. Or to make it look like the subjects of the articles are more notable then they are. Further, Any attempts made by me or others to change the links have have been reverted and led to arguments. So I would like to know if they are actually usable or not in this context. There is also many links to a place selling lyrics and sheet music, but provides no encyclopedic usefulness, that Id like to know the appropriateness of. --Adamant1 (talk) 23:40, 1 August 2018 (UTC) 

@Adamant1: WP:ELNO #5 says those links should not be included. Feel free to remove them again, linking to that point and leave a uw-spam warning on the usertalk of restores it. If I'm on and active, feel free to ping me when you warn them. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:52, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
@Adamant1: can you link to a couple of pages with this problem? --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:03, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
@Beetstra: Sure. Unfortunately I already went through the worst offenders, but here's a few We Will Not Be Shaken (Live), Without Words (Bethel Music album), This Is Jesus Culture, Starlight (Bethel Music album) (has like six references to both Amazon and iTunes), No Longer Slaves, Amanda Cook (singer) (has 8 references to iTunes), You Make Me Brave: Live at the Civic, Have It All (Bethel Music album) (Has a link to a tweet about how to pre order the album on Spotify. Along with four references to iTunes), Have It All (Bethel Music song) (eleven links to iTunes and Spotify).— Preceding unsigned comment added by Adamant1 (talkcontribs)
@Adamant1: that all are references. This guideline is concerned with external links. Most of these are indeed hardly ever suitable as external links, but used in the right context they can serve as primary references for certain information. It does seem a bit overdone, though. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:50, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Many of the commercial citations don't verify the information they're cited for. For example, We Will Not Be Shaken (Live), iTunes is cited for the date "January 26, 2015," though the iTunes entry seems to only support "2015." It also is cited for writers and worship leaders, though the iTunes entry just lists artists. This leaves me inclined to view that citation as WP:REFSPAM. In Without Words (Bethel Music album), Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify are cited. Once again, the iTunes page generally fails to completely support everything its cited for. Spotify contains even less information. Amazon supports probably the most information that it's cited for out of all the commercial references, but I can't say its perfect. I probably would defend its use were it not accompanied by the other instances of refspam.
All of these links (and many of the articles) seem to have been added by Kuda188, who, after a couple of years of productively and laudably making or expanding a variety of articles concerning mostly Zimbabwean academics and athletics, suddenly rather switched on 27 Nov 2016 to making and expanding only articles about a branch of the American music industry that targets churchgoers -- specifically topics immediately connected to Elevation Worship and Bethel Music, who have performed together. (Furthermore, Leeland (band) has releases through both Elevation's Essential Records and Bethel Music's own label). This one edit is the only exception to that pattern.
So we have a number of articles, many of which limp by on WP:NM while otherwise failing WP:GNG, all created by a single purpose account that drastically switched topics, that all contain weak references to sites that sell products for two connected organizations. Now, I can imagine that there's a perfectly innocent explanation, especially if the user in question promises to do better with referencing in the future (maybe stop citing sources that sell the music entirely). I would have a harder time buying such an explanation if the explanation were accompanied by an attempt to defend citing iTunes and Spotify when those citations contain almost no useful information. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:48, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Musical artists and albums pages being excessively linked to Amazon or iTunes - while I was on vacation[edit]

An editor who has been edit warring to remove references to music releases from iTunes and Amazon on the After All These Years (Brian & Jenn Johnson album) article and others (@Adamant1: decided to come where while I was on vacation (I'm not suggesting the editor knew I was on vacation at the time) and failed to notify me of the discussion (which was in the editor's purview). The discussion was at Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard/Archive 21#Musical artists and albums pages being excessively linked to Amazon or iTunes. First, these are not external links, but references so why was this being discussed here?

Second, Ian.thomson (talk · contribs) fell for the bait and stated that we cannot use commercial site per WP:ELNO. Beetstra (talk · contribs) correctly identified them as references and that this guideline does not apply. @Kuda188: was mentioned as well.

Let me correct Ian.thomson and Adamant1 (who just incorrectly reverted again claiming that "[//en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=After_All_These_Years_(Brian_%26_Jenn_Johnson_album)&diff=856477381&oldid=854420258 [an admin] gave [him] the go ahead to delete the links]"), ELNO does not apply to references. If either of you want remove the offending references and supply some from other reliable source such as [3][4][5] or the others in the article, feel free to, but, and this is an official warning to Adamant1, the next time you remove references from the article and tag it incorrectly as you did in the diff linked above, I will take you to 3RR for long-term edit warring. In short, wrong place to discuss this issue, improve don't make article worse. Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:29, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Walter Görlitz, if its an incorrect claim and I tagged it incorrectly, prove it. You haven't provided a shred of evidence and all you have done instead is threaten me. As you continue to do here. Because I am not providing reliable sources to replace the offending ones is no excuse to leave the offending ones there. If they are offending, they should be removed that's it. You say so yourself they are offending. They aren't "references" either. As they don't "reference" anything. Its not on me to provide better links either. If you think there should be other links, put them there yourself. Its not my responsibility to make sure the article is well sourced.
Also, if anyone is long term editing warring you are. Since I discussed it with a moderator before I made the changed and you reverting based on an old feud and despite that. So who is really doing the edit warring here? Removing inappropriate links is improving the article. Its not like you haven't reverted other edits I did on those same pages, like fixing grammatical errors etc, for the same petty reasons anyway and badgered me in those cases also. you seem to be suffering from Wikipedia:Ownership of content. You don't own the articles and they aren't yours to dictate every little detail of what is done on them. The fact that your doing it based on a grudge is also evident by your threat of having my account suspend on my talk page for "blanking" pages. When I wasn't blanking pages. All you have is threats. Otherwise, you would of done something about it by now or contact a moderator like I did. Otherwise, prove your right by filling a dispute instead of just resorting to these petty tactics and baseless threats. Otherwise, you have nothing and you never have. --Adamant1 (talk) 15:42, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Hey, Walter Görlitz, I've pulled the old discussion out of the archives for you. It's okay to re-open archived discussions here. That way, we can have everything in one place. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:07, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) What follows is a point-by-point response:
  1. I did just prove it: references are not external links.
  2. I provided a few links that are the evidence.
  3. I'm not threatening you, I am providing you with notice, which is what is required in cases like this.
  4. No admins. No moderators. Only editors.
  5. Yes, it takes two to edit war. And thanks for finally discussing rather than edit warring, even if it is in the wrong forum.
  6. The fixes to grammatical and other issues were reverted because of the other underlying problems.
  7. The problem is that the references are not offending any reference guideline so they should not be removed. That's the underlying problem with your edits all along. You keep thinking that the references cannot be used when I keep telling you that they can and have guidelines to support the claim.
  8. No ownership issues. The articles you're editing are on my watchlist and I treat your edits like any other that violate policies, guidelines, manuals of style and community consensus. However, when you hit revert, it sets off a big red flag.
  9. The blanking template is clear, it's about content on a page, not specifically a whole page.
  10. Again, you have not contacted moderators.
I hope that clears things up. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:08, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
I looked at one of the contested edits. This is the wikitext for one of the "external links" that appears to have been contested:
"[[You're Gonna Be OK]]", the song led by Jenn Johnson was released on May 8, 2017, as the lead single from the album.<ref>{{cite web |url= https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/youre-gonna-be-ok-radio-version-single/id1241545786 |title= You're Gonna Be OK (Radio Version) – Single by Jenn Johnson on Apple Music |date= May 8, 2017 |website= Apple Music ([[iTunes Store|iTunes]]) |version= U.S. |publisher= Apple Inc. |access-date = May 14, 2017}}</ref>
Adamant1, that is not an external link, and WP:EL says that it doesn't apply to refs at least three times (twice in bold-face text at the top!), not counting seven footnotes on that subject. If you see ref tags at the end of a sentence, then it's not an external link, full stop. If that's not clear from the EL guideline to someone as experienced as you, then please let me know, because I'm tempted to copy that wikitext into the guideline, in a big box, with a title that says, "Seriously, people: If it looks like this, then you are in the wrong place".
If you think that URL doesn't lead to a source that adequately supports this statement, then your options at this point are to go to WP:RSN, or to replace that URL with a source that (in your opinion) does adequately support this statement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:17, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Walter, maybe you could try considering that someone who comes up with a conclusion you disagree with is not stupid? I didn't "take the bait," I considered ELNO in light of WP:REFSPAM. The prior discussion shows that I found a rather prolific refspammer who was citing pages that often had nothing but the link to buy the album and no real information about it. Do not treat saying that we should remove links that don't support the material they're cited for as "taking bait" -- which implies that Adamant1 is some sort of troll and that I'm a fool for listening. If you're going to be so overly emotional about this that you insult others, you need a Wikibreak. I have not followed Adamant1's behavior since, that's a separate issue that I've not been a part of, so don't ping me to blame me for how he chose to interpret from there. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:23, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
    • I never used the word stupid, and that's not what I think of Adamant1. And you did take the bait as the editor is either WP:FORUMSHOPPING (although this is the first place the editor went, but it's a misplaced request) or just has no clue (in which case, we should supply one—not stupid, clueless). If you were thinking of refspam should have directed the editor to that guideline. I pinged you because the editor assumed you were an admin and took your words as liberty to once again remove the references. You are an involved editor. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:29, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Walter Görlitz, One, you didn't prove anything. Its also about the way its used. At least in my opinion. Just putting a ref in it doesn't make it any less of an attempt to draw users to a site where they can buy the album. As Kuda188 was clearly doing by the fact that 99% of the links to Itunes and Amazon where either added to cells that had encyclopedic content they were referencing or as secondary links added onto the end of already exiting reverences. Its my impression that references are meant to be used inline as a way to cite something being said in an article. Not as "hey here's a random link to Itunes that relates to this paragraph or article in no what so ever." Also, I was told by an administrator and another person that the links where offending. So whatever case I am wrong on, its partly because I took their word for it. Since they are suppose to be authorities on the subject. I think its telling that Koda188 is had his account suspended multiple times for having a conflict of interest and he was the one that put the links there in that way in the first place. He obviously has connections to Bethel that he failed to disclose. Its mentioned all over his social accounts. He repeatedly deleted any attempts me or anyone else made on his talk page to discuss it to. So the intent of the links to be spammy and sell albums was clear from the start. Even if you disagree with me on the particulars of the rules, you can't deny it. How things are presented and why they are presented that way is just as important as being able to cite some obscure rule. The fact that they where originally put there by someone who clearly has a conflict of interest matters. I brought that issue up to you multiple times before and you ignored it though.
Two, you did threaten me by saying you where going to have my account blocked for blanking pages on talk page, including saying it was my only warning, without making an attempt to discuss the issue with me first. There was no reason you couldn't of asked me why I deleted the links in a civil manor and I could of explained it to you. You decided to come at me right off the bat with your threatening, aggressive tone though. So yes, you did threaten me. "don't blank pages or I will have account suspending. This is your only warning" is a threat. As Wikipedia says "Threatening another person is considered harassment. This includes any real-world threats, such as threats of harm, and threats to disrupt a person's work on Wikipedia." There is also a quote somewhere that I can't find now about how a threat is a statement made with the intent to intimidate the person into not doing something or something like that. Which you where clearly doing.
Third, I've discussed not edited warring with you multiple times in the past. You just got an attitude and refused to discuss things except to talk down to me and ignore anything I said. So i don't know what your point there is.
Forth, There were no other "underlining problems" when you reverted for me making grammatical changes etc except your own need to control the situation and be right at all costs. That was made clear by your comment on my talk page about how you where follow all my edits even on unrelated pages and the things I did on them also.
Fifth, its ownership if you refuse to let people make even minor edits to the pages you watch and if you give none sense reasons for why you are refusing to let them edit the pages. As you did with me multiple times as I have already stated, along with many other people. If you revert someone just because you don't "like" their edit, you are claiming ownership of the article and that's clearly what you have been doing.
It might be about content, but it doesn't suddenly become blanking just because you don't like the edit. I can't claim someone is blanking and threatened to have them banned because they removed a sentence that wasn't well sourced when I wanted it to stay there. Which is exactly what you did with the links. There is no rule against changing or deleting links. You just don't like it.
P.S. I said there were two people that told me to go ahead with it. Altough one of them was Ian.thomson, I never claimed he was the moderator. The other person was. I can't remember their name is now though unfortunately, but it wasn't Ian.thomson. Obviously I know the difference between a normal editor and a moderator. --Adamant1 (talk) 16:54, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
The word you used in your revert was "administrator". Diff provided above. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:02, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Ian has been an admin since 2015; you can see his user rights on Special:ListUsers. However, this isn't an admin question; it's a reliable sources question, on which point there is no significant difference between a normal editor and an admin. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:43, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
I stand corrected. I checked his user page and must have missed it, not his rights page. Thanks again. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:58, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Walter, that's the problem with you when it comes to this whole thing, you find the one thing to cherry pick that is semantics and then you use it as a way to ignore everything else. Even if your wrong about it. There's no reason you couldn't of just took my word for it. Unless Ian.Thomson is right about you thinking I'm stupid. Its a minuscule thing anyway.
WhatamIdoing, do you mind if I ask you question? Maybe its not relevant to this section or whatever, but I rather just get this stuff dealt with instead of having the Walter monkey on my back for the rest of forever, and I don't have the time to parse through all the minutia of bureaucracy or rules that dealing with people like him properly entitles. So, there is an article about Steffany Gretzinger who is a Bethel Music artist. A while back she edited her own page without disclosing the conflict of interest. At the time there was a discussion/argument with her and a couple of other users about those edits and blew them off ignored them. One of those edits happen to be a social media link to her Twitter page announcing that she was pregnant. Maybe it was wrapped in a "ref" or whatever and that those types of links can normally stay, but the twitter message also had an affiliate link to a place selling cloths. So it might of been a baby announcement on the surface, but it was also trying to up sell people baby cloths. So I deleted it. Walter immediately jumped on me about it though by sending me a smarmy messaging and reverting me. The reason he gave was because "social media links are allowed." I sent him a reply to his smarmy message explaining the up selling, but he just got more smarmy and reverted more of my edits in retaliation. Sp even if the link is in a "ref" and social media accounts might be allowed sometimes, which I don't really know one way or another about, and Walter can argue all he wants about how it might or not be an external link due to having a "ref" in it or not, even though the Wikipedia guideline you quoted me above says something like "external links are any links to pages outside of Wikipedia" or something like that, but still seems like an inappropriate link. How the link the is matters as much as having a die hard almost religiously strict knowledge of obscure rules does it not? Or am I wrong here and links that are explicitly put on the articles for the purpose of up selling products should remain on the pages because "Hey man, WP:WikiRule24-14 whatever, right?." If this isn't the appropriate place for the question, where should I take it then? All I knew originally was that it was a thing dealing with external links and that's what the name of this board is. --Adamant1 (talk) 11:46, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
So you just made a claim without proof or links. Which edits on Steffany Gretzinger were made by the subject? How are they a CoI? What does this have to do with external links? I have never edited that article prior to your earlier edit today for the same misguided reasons you have displayed here, so you weren't in a debate with me. And stop ignoring MOS:INDENTGAP when replying! Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:33, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
And once again the rules that govern references are not the same as those that govern what is acceptable in the external links section of an article, even if the reference contains a link to an external source. This project only deals with direct external links—those that are found in the external links section of an article and occasionally in the body of an article. The last sentence in the fifth paragraph of this guideline (WP:EL) makes that clear: "Guidelines for sourcing, which include external links used as citations, are discussed at Wikipedia:Reliable sources and Wikipedia:Citing sources." It has links to the appropriate guidelines. Walter Görlitz (talk) 02:53, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hey, Adamant1, I like your question. I think I have about 80% of an answer for you, and if you don't think that's enough, then feel free to come chat with me on my talk page.

The first thing that I want to say is that WP:Ignore all rules is a formal policy, because that idea matters to us. If you think some action (or inaction) makes the encyclopedia worse, then you personally shouldn't do it, even if there's a written rule that says someone "should" do it. The goal is improving articles, not following the rules.

But there are two relevant caveats to that:

  1. People sometimes have different ideas about what makes the encyclopedia worse. So, for example, if you blank a source because there are affiliate links on the cited page, then I'd say that you made the article worse (e.g., by increasing the amount of uncited material, especially for something so WP:BLP-significant as a pregnancy). If you add content, I think you should Wikipedia:SAYWHEREYOUGOTIT, even if you got it from some less-than-perfect source. But someone else might say that it's an improvement because, in the unlikely event that some innocent reader clicked through to the source, then there is a small chance that the reader might then also click the affiliate link without realizing that it was an affiliate link, and so the removal could (very slightly) protect the privacy of, well, maybe as many as one reader every couple of years. But there are points of agreement: All of us would be satisfied if someone replaced a tweet with a magazine article that said the same thing.
  2. Once you reach out to the bureaucracy (for example, by requesting help at a noticeboard), there are some things that the bureaucracy won't accept. One of those things is settling questions of whether a source is reliable at the external links board. That's because the "rules" are different, and some of the problems so subtle that most of us don't want to bother mastering more than one or two sets of "rules". So, for example, I happen to know a lot about external links and reliable sources, so I can easily tell you that a tweet, from any person's verified Twitter account, that says something like "I'm pregnant!" is a reliable source for a statement in an article that says "She announced her pregnancy on <date of the tweet>." I can also tell you that the same tweet would not be accepted in the ==External links== section, even if the article was "Pregnancy announcement of the new Royal Baby". But I have spent a lot less time dealing with NPOV issues, so I'd probably decline to give an opinion on whether a sentence about the subject getting pregnant belonged in the article at all. So if you turn up here with a question that doesn't fit here but does fit elsewhere, then we're likely to redirect to you the "perfect fit", in the hope that you'll get better advice.

WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:32, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

As earlier mentioned, all of these are used as references, not 'plain' external links. A better place to ask would be the reliable sources noticeboard. My take on these references however is that IF better references exist (like independent reviews of the material) then those should be used as references, not the commercial sites that carry that (maybe same, maybe even more detailed) information. Where possible, the links to these commercial sites can be removed as superfluous. 'Better sources' could even be primary sources like the website of the item itelf (or in case of a print-only book, the masthead pages of a book - we do not NEED an external link, we only need a way to verify information). I think that satisfies the criterion of making the encyclopedia better (improving the quality of the source), without loss of verifiability and a gain of protecting privacy in some cases. Note that Amazon is mentioned both in Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources/Perennial sources and Wikipedia:External links/Perennial websites#Companies, and I would say that iTunes is similar (but the latter should maybe be checked in past discussions in WP:RS/N). --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:08, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing and Beetstra, thank you both for the clear, concise answers. Both of them were kind of what my gut feeling was but it is nice to have confirmation. I can see where replacing a link instead of getting rid of it outright might be a better option with the Twitter link, and maybe in some cases with Amazon and iTunes also, its the intentionally deceptive and opportunistic way they are being used in those particular articles that makes me inclined to just get rid of them outright. Especially Amazon and iTunes, and knowing that they are listed in unreliable sources. I noticed there that it says basic information taken from Amazon doesn't have to be cited. So I might go with that. I think a lot of the problem with Walter Görlitz is that most of the Bethel related articles are iffy on notability and have no good sources. So he rather take shoddy ones on those articles over the risk of them being deleted. Although I can understand where he is coming from, I don't think its a good reason to keep the links there or act the way he did about it. Anyway, thanks again to both of you for the information. I'll contact Beetstra on his talk page if I have any other questions. I feel like its adequately resolved for now though. Hopefully Walter Görlitz considers the things mentioned here also. --Adamant1 (talk) 13:19, 27 August 2018 (UTC)   
There is no deception or opportunism in using the link. Stating that does not WP:AGF.
How is the potentially borderline state of an article become a problem with me? I have no need to keep borderline cases and regularly run WP:BEFORE and either redirect, PROD or take this kind of article to AfD. I do not gut articles just because I misunderstand a guideline or misapply advice. What I will do is replace or tag refs that are questionable. I'm not sure what I have to consider as I have no behaviour to change. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:14, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

This is now officially a problem[edit]

Adamant1 (talk · contribs) gave some incorrect advice and essentially threatened Kuda188 (talk · contribs) with removal of references and accused the editor of a CoI. The recurring theme here from editors who are not Adamant1 has been that EL guidelines are not to be applied to references, yet the advice clearly conflates refs and ELs. That the Wikipedia:External links/Perennial websites essay is linked in the see also section of Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources doesn't help.

I attempted to clarify this for Kuda188 and explained that while Amazon and iTunes Store links are not ideal, they may be used. I'm tempted to request a topic ban for Adamant1 if he gets this confused again. Any comments or advice for any of the three of us? Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:31, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Editors are "not allowed to link to copyrighted stuff on YouTube unless you own the copyright for it"? Adamant1, where did you ever get this idea? Where, for that matter, did you get the idea that Walter "failed"? We decided here that Walter was actually correct.
Let me be clear:
  • It is OKAY for Wikipedia editors to link to YouTube, as long the YouTube account (note: NOT the Wikipedia editor!) is not a copyright violator.
    • ☑Y Yes, you can link to a music video that was uploaded by the official channel for a musical artist.
    • ☒N No, you cannot add links to a music video that was pirated by some kid.
  • It is OKAY for Wikipedia editors to link to iTunes in a citation. It might be "unnecessary", but it is NOT prohibited (and certainly not on the basis of a two-month-old essay that doesn't even mention that site).
  • It is OKAY for Wikipedia editors to link to Amazon's content (Note: NOT reviews written by customers) in a citation. It might be "unnecessary", but it is NOT prohibited.
These are the actual rules. Do you understand this now? I assume that User:Kuda188, who has made thousands of edits over six years, already knows that your claims are wrong, but it would probably still be a good idea to correct your comments there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:15, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

List of manual image annotation tools[edit]

Could someone look at List of manual image annotation tools and suggest what should be done with this list? I tagged it for cleanup as a WP:LINKFARM. Biogeographist (talk) 18:35, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

@Biogeographist: Turn column 1 into wikilinks, anything redlinked needs an independent reliable reference to show they belongin the list. The prose also needs a cleanup. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:09, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
If those links are meant to be reliable sources (e.g., to prove that the thing exists and that it belongs in this list), then it's okay (not beautiful, but okay). That's what the last sentence in WP:ELLIST means. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:53, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
WP:ELLIST refers to valid "citations", links that could be reasonably seen as reliable sources. Almost all of the links are not reliable nor do they establish any credible encyclopedic relevance for list inclusion (everyone can publish their personal code projects on GitHub or create a fancy promo website in a few hours). The excessive link farm created by various COI-editors should be trimmed, cleaned up and based on independent reliable sources as Beetstra suggested. Wikipedia is not a link directory or product catalog of unremarkable minor products. GermanJoe (talk) 11:02, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
GermanJoe, I think you might be confusing verifiability with neutrality. Any typical website from a software maker – including a GitHub page – that says "Widget™ is a manual image annotation tool" is actually a reliable source for the fact that their Widget is a manual image annotation tool.
That doesn't mean that we have to include Widget in the list (see: several years of debates at WT:V over whether verifiability is a force for inclusion), but the maker's own website is a proper reliable source for that statement. It is not an independent source for that statement, and it is not a secondary source for that statement, but it is nevertheless still a "reliable" source for that statement. That's mostly because people actually do "rely upon" sources like that. People don't usually see a website that says "Widget™ is a manual image annotation tool. Buy Widget now!" and think that Widget is probably something else entirely. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:06, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
I believe you misunderstood me (and I probably wasn't really clear). The occasional careful usage of self-published sources for uncontroversial non-promotional claims is OK if no better sources exist. But independent sources are generally more reliable and preferred - we shouldn't use inferior sources, when better independent sources should be readily available for all notable topics and noteworthy aspects. We are getting a bit off-topic here though. But I'd be glad to discuss this aspect on another forum another time. GermanJoe (talk) 00:22, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: 'existence' is not a reason to include it, in that case all spam should be included - it all exists, they really all sell viagra, see their website.  Wikipedia:Stand-alone_lists#Lists_of_companies_and_organizations is the guide we should go by. Everything that does not have a Wikipedia article, and hence is not notable by itself, needs a reliable, independent reference to show that it is worth to be mentioned in a list. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:03, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Existence is not a reason to include something, but non-existence (i.e., it's a hoax, or at least that it's unverifiable) would be a reason to exclude something. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:57, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Sure, now we know that all exist, now we need to get rid of those that are not passing inclusion standards. --Dirk Beetstra T C 02:26, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I added the above instructions to the cleanup template on the list. I'm not sure if I will find time to do the cleanup myself. Biogeographist (talk) 17:26, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
There is already a discussion on the talkpage. I will start turning the external links in the frstc column into Wikilinks, tagging all that are redlinked which have no independent, reliable sources to show they have reason to be there. After a monthor so I will remove all that are still in that state. For those where there are independent references(or which showtheir own notability) can then be re-inserted. --Dirk Beetstra T C 02:26, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
The purpose of the discussion on the talk page is to determine what the "inclusion standards" are. There is no set rule; it is up to the editors of an article to decide what makes most sense for that subject.
That said, Dirk, the next time you decide to re-arrange columns in a table, I recommend switching to the visual editor. It can insert and move columns in just two or three clicks. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:59, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

Infobox link to The Maria Butina Legal Expense Fund[edit]

A link to The Maria Butina Legal Expense Fund was recently added to the infobox at Maria Butina and is currently under discussion on the talk page. This seems to be Butina's only official web presence and the editor who added it has argued that it is no different from a link to a political campaign site, however I feel that it's inappropriate to link to a fundraising site which is functionally identical to a GoFundMe page. –dlthewave 03:36, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

What is the rule on gofundme pages on Wikipedia? If someone becomes notorious, and their only web presence is a gofundme page I don't see why that is not considered their webpage. MariaButinaDefenseFund is the only webpage I found created by Maria Butina or her agents relating to the life of Maria Butina. I really don't understand what Dlthewave is complaining about. Dlthewave should state what xe thinks the criteria for a personal webpage is.Geo8rge (talk) 16:08, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
The rule is to remove GoFundMe links. This falls under WP:ELNO#EL4, which (admittedly) could be clear about that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:00, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
It is not like I slipped MariaButinaDefensefund.com in under false pretenses calling it something else with a false label to lure people to send money to her trustee's bank account. It is clearly a webpage that enables someone to fund the defense just like political campaign webpages and these days independent journalism websites. I agree her website is 'sparse' but she is likely being restrained by her counsel. It is also possible that unlike the prosecution theory, Maria Butina is not infact noteworthy in anyway and pictures of her with ponies is an accurate description of who she is. But again, the website was created by her or her agents, is her official website and only website and deals directly with her notoriety, namely being named in the lawsuit USA vs Butina, so MariaButinaDefensefund is her website. Geo8rge (talk) 16:08, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
One curiousity of the Maria Butina Wikipedia page is Maria Butina is not noteworthy and should not have a WP page in her name, the only reason anyone has heard of her is the court case in the US dist. Court DC and the massive publicity it got. To make it clear Maria Butina is noteworthy only because the prosecution alleges she is noteworthy and therefore should have registered as a foreign agent. The defense claims she is not noteworthy and therefore did not need to register as a foreign agent. But why can't the Wikipedia page be named USA vs Butina? That is because if Maria Butina is unworthy of a Wikipedia page on her own merit the supposition behind her prosecution in void, she is not important enough to be a foreign agent, so the prosecution is at best misguided. So why not just leave things the way they are instead of going around in circles. There is no easy way to be unbiased between the prosecution and the defendant. MariaButinaDefensefund is the only website of the Maria Butina defense, not just Maria Butina the person.Geo8rge (talk) 16:08, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
In summation, I am tired of arguing this. I spent time and searched for Maria Butina related material and the only webpage I could find that was created by Maria Butina or her agents was MariaButinaDefensefund. So that is her webpage, because that is the page she seems, on advice of consel, to want to be her web presense. If Dlthewave can find another webpage that could be considered her personal or defense webpage please link to it, I would be interested.Geo8rge (talk) 16:08, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
No requirement to actually list a webpage in the infobox or as an external link just because it exists, if would be better if it adds to the article to use it as a citation/reference. MilborneOne (talk) 16:37, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
@Geo8rge: See WP:ELNO #4, WP:LINKSPAM, and WP:NOTPROMO and ask "in light of those policies and guidelines, would Wikipedia favor linking to a page intended to raise money for a third party?" Ian.thomson (talk) 17:20, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Remove it. It doesn't meet the purpose of Official websites, and violates WP:NOT as being solely promotional in nature. --Ronz (talk) 16:49, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Which specific section of Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not? Please cut and paste the sentence(s) you feel explain the violation. Note that the purpose of the infobox and external links area are to segreagate information, mostly weblinks, from the actual article. Geo8rge (talk) 17:14, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
@Geo8rge: WP:NOTPROMO:
Wikipedia is not a soapbox, a battleground, or a vehicle for propaganda, advertising and showcasing.
1. Advocacy, propaganda, or recruitment of any kind: commercial, political, scientific, religious, national, sports-related, or otherwise.
5. Advertising, marketing or public relations.
The entire point is "no, we're not here to raise money for third parties." Please don't try to argue "but just because it's raising awareness (and money) doesn't mean it's not advertising", it's only going to make people wonder what your purpose here might be. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:20, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Just to pile on: From an external links viewpoint, that link does not belong per our external links guideline and our 'What ×Wikipedia is not'policy. Quotes given above.

Note that many subjects do not have an official homepage. Stretching that this the only website that can be considered an official website of the subject is more like looking for excuses than the IAR of WP:ELOFFICIAL was meant to codify. In this case, Wikipedia is better off without the link.

(and lets consider to blacklist it if after this discussion we keep having (new) editors adding it). --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:22, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

OK. How should a Maria Butina webpage be stuctured to meet you criteria? Can it mention her legal troubles in anyway? Can it mention she is in jail? Can it contain a link to her defense fund? In general how should a prisoner who is awaiting trial structure their personal website to meet Wikipedia standars? Which forum should I post that question in?Geo8rge (talk)
Re How should a Maria Butina webpage be stuctured to meet you criteria?: Are you in a position for the answer to result in a new official site? If not, then why are you asking? Ian.thomson (talk) 19:51, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

To be unbiased, should the Wikipedia page Maria Butina be renamed United States of America vs Butina?[edit]

Question moved. Sorry about that. Geo8rge (talk) 17:20, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

@Geo8rge: This is the external links noticeboard. Your question has nothing to do with external links. You want to start a WP:RFC at Talk:Maria Butina, or maybe start a new discussion at WP:NPOVN (following the instructions there). Ian.thomson (talk) 17:14, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2018 September 6#File:Not Half A Human 2018.webm[edit]

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2018 September 6#File:Not Half A Human 2018.webm. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:06, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

I've added a link to FFD discussion because it also includes comments on the use of external links and clarification might be able to be provided by those familiar with WP:EL. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:08, 7 September 2018 (UTC)