Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

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Defer to Abuse filter hosting of copyrighted material[edit]

I removed a link from a citation in Liar paradox per WP:COPYVIOEL. @Fabrickator: argues that has the right to do so [host copyrighted material with out a license] because they assert that right, at the same admitting that a lawsuit over this matter is pending. Relevant discussion can be found in the edit summaries and at user talk:Paradoctor § revert of Liar Paradox edit adding source from provided by Internet Archive.

The way I see it, WP:COPYVIOEL means that, unless we have positive evidence that a license has been granted, we must presume that it hasn't, and cannot link. That WP:Book sources mentions only means that that mention should be removed, or at least qualified with a warning that not all their holdings are suitable for linking. Paradoctor (talk) 20:22, 12 July 2021 (UTC)

It is important to note that this is not related to the Wayback Machine's archive of web content, but is a separate program where they provide online access to materials in their physical library. I don't think the WMF legal team has (or should be expected to) comment on a third-party lawsuit. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 20:29, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Not asking for that. Merely pointing out that's position has been contested by rights holders, so we cannot accept it as gospel. Paradoctor (talk) 20:32, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I think If there is reason to believe that a website has a copy of a work in violation of its copyright, do not link to it is the relevant principle here; as the parties to the lawsuit and the court system all agree that the pending lawsuit raises bona fide questions regarding the nature of the Internet Archive's webservice and copyright law, there is sufficient "reason to believe" and it should not be linked. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 20:38, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
FWIW the relevant info is at Open Library#Copyright violation accusations. And I agree that given that this is being challenged at a trial, we should not link to it. This doesn't mean you cannot use IA's copy to do your referencing and generate URL-less citations to books/etc. for WP. --Masem (t) 21:37, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
What makes it possible for Internet Archive to share its digital library while still complying with copyright is that IA is acting as a library and sharing the content in conformance with controlled digital lending. Trust me, the folks at Wikimedia Foundation are very much involved with copyright issues as they pertain to controlled sharing of digital content.
This lawsuit came about when IA announced that due to the pandemic, it would open up an "emergency library" that would not be subject to the restrictions of controlled digital lending, but following objections, they closed down the emergency library. That was in June 2020.
The presence of links from Wikipedia to the Internet Archive digital content (including OpenLibrary is nothing new. There are over 300,000 WP articles that contain such links. They have been there going back to at least 2013. And you think it would be appropriate to close this down because you hadn't heard of it? Fabrickator (talk) 00:53, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Controlled digital lending hasn't yet been proven out by case law, and the emergency library is what prompted the publishers to take action (their suit is not limited to the emergency library issue). I know that CDL is resting on the basis that Google Books was found acceptable in courts, but CDL hasn't had the same judicial approval yet. --Masem (t) 01:17, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
This lawsuit came about [...] "emergency library" "But the plaintiffs are continuing to press their claims, and are now seeking to close the whole Open Library permanently."[1]
300,000 WP articles that contain such links
1) Currently, English Wikipedia gets 164k edits per day. Reviewing these links would be a major job, but hardly overwhelming. And that's before accounting for bots and automated editing tools like AWB.
2) Many of these links are entirely legitimate, as the works linked to are either freely licensed or their copyrights have expired.
the folks at Wikimedia Foundation Umm, close ties notwithstanding, Wikipedia is maintained by the Wikipedia community, not the Foundation. It couldn't hurt to get the opinion of WMF legal on the risk presented by these links, though. Maybe someone listening in could notify them? Paradoctor (talk) 01:26, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
@Masem: Google Books was found acceptable in courts They don't make whole novels available. It's snippet view or nothing. Paradoctor (talk) 01:36, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

From what I read at Google Books, any time you can search on a book that's in copyright, it's based on having received permission from the publisher. If the publisher has granted permission, they could allow viewing selected parts of a book or they could allow viewing pages that search terms were found on or just the snippets where those search terms occurred. This contrasts with IA, which is basing what it does on a claim that CDL is permissible under copyright law. So what Google Books does isn't much help in terms of informing us about the validity of what IA does.

Whether or not what IA does is permissible is unsettled, and we cannot know what the disposition of the case will be. The court will rule one way or the other, or there might be some sort of consent decree. My understanding is that Wikipedia is a project of Wikimedia, Wikimedia Foundation has the formal control of Wikipedia, and WMF would have liability for damages resulting from Wikipedia operations. I do not recall that any notice that has been made to the Wikipedia community that there has been a demand to cease and desist from providing links to IA on the grounds that those links infringe copyright (whether referring to the web archiving service or to other portions of the IA digital library).

It is completely speculative what the resolution of the court case will be. In the absence of a demand that WP cease and desist, removal of such links would be premature. If the court case is resolved such that IA may not continue to provide certain content, we can expect IA to make the changes necessary to refrain from continuing to provide access to prohibited content, such that once IA has made those changes, WP would no longer be guilty of contributory negligence. Of course, the links to content that has become inaccessible will essentially become dead links, and at that time, those links should be treated accordingly. Making changes before then is not really called for. Fabrickator (talk) 21:17, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

One thing I've noticed some editors doing is uploading blatantly copyrighted books themselves to and then linking to them. It's pretty obvious when the upload happened within half an hour of the edit. This isn't something that comes under any kind of lending etc that I'm aware of.WP:COPYLINK is pretty clear that the only links to that are permitted under our copyright policies are for archived versions of webpages, not anything else linked elsewhere in the system. So webpage backups only, not books someone has uploaded. This is policy so the External Links noticeboard cannot override this, so if the link is not to an backup of a webpage we cannot link to it. Canterbury Tail talk 21:26, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Also it should be reminded that we do not require sources to be immediately accessible; PAYWALL etc. all apply. To use a separate example: sites like and allow academics to upload their own papers - as well as other users to upload others' papers. Many of these papers are subject to copyright of the journals they were published in, but there's a fair number of academics that continue to balk at this model, and thus see uploading their paper to these sites as legit. There's no case law yet to support either interpretation (as best I know). However, as a matter of principle, we do not want editors linking to the researchgate/ paper in their citations. Off the books, we don't care if you find a citation, go to researchgate and happen to find the paper there - what you do with the reference information we provide you is your own matter. The same would be true for linking to IA for books. We're already providing a full, proper citation for the book, the IA link is a "convenience" but absolutely unrequired link, and if there is any doubt (which we should be concerned about given this court case) we should discourage editors from linking to non-PD books over at IA until the case is resolved and hopefully IA shown in the clear. --Masem (t) 21:34, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
And our policy is updated in the even of that outcome in the case. As currently it clearly prohibits it, but that will be another huge conversation. Canterbury Tail talk 21:37, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
@Canterbury Tail: Your statement "the only links to that are permitted under our copyright policies are for archived versions of webpages" is without basis. I suggest you educate yourself. You might start at Internet Archive or Internet Archive "about" page. Fabrickator (talk) 22:19, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Neither of those links are to Wikipedia policies and are not relevant to that point. Our policy on this matter is located at WP:COPYLINK. If your interpretation of that policy differs from mine then that is fine and fair. However the Internet Archive pages make no comment on Wikipedia's policies, and are also not relevant to Wikipedia's policies. IA's thoughts, ideas or any other comment they may make has nothing, and can have nothing, to do with Wikipedia policy. Canterbury Tail talk 23:31, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
@Fabrickator: Maybe you could educate yourself about Wikipedia policy? It is currently acceptable to link to Internet archives such as the Wayback Machine, which host unmodified archived copies of webpages taken at various points in time.
No mention there of Open Library, which is what we're talking about. What is said is if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. The pending lawsuit constitutes reasonable suspicion. The fact that OL has put forward a legal theory is immaterial unless and until this theory has been tested in the courts.
The argument that the existing links may be legal and reviewing may turn out wasted effort further down the line doesn't fly either. Such lawsuits can drag on for years. Years during which the number of links will grow, and likely faster then ever. If OL loses, we will face a much bigger review task than now. If WMF receives a cease and desist then, we may not be able to comply within the given time frame, we may face fines, or even takedowns. That's the nightmare scenario, sure. But as you yourself admitted, we cannot know what the disposition of the case will be. Let's not let normalcy bias lull us into complacency. Paradoctor (talk) 23:38, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I had gotten a message that I appear to have stopped participating in this thread, that is absolutely not the case. Some research has been required. There has apparently been support from WMF for controlled digital lending functions of Internet Archive (which includes Open Library as well as books that are not available through Open Library). From what I can tell, rules are being made up on the fly. Aside from the need for greater transparency, I'm pretty sure there are many more interested parties who would have material input if they were made aware of what was being proposed here. Fabrickator (talk) 19:07, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
If there is statement of support from WMF related to the OL, then yes, this does not become our concern, as should any future legal issues emerge from that case then, it would be on the WMF's endorsement of OL to support us linking to it that would be the issue. (There's a lot of hoops to that). This would be similar to WMF's role in National Portrait Gallery and Wikimedia Foundation copyright dispute. Absent any clear statement, though, we should be using caution, because the CDL approach has no case law to establish it legal or not (no matter how morally right it seems to be). --Masem (t) 19:11, 14 July 2021 (UTC)

@Fabricator: From the top of this page: This board is not intended for generalized discussion about the external links guidelines themselves I agree that, WRT Open Library, WP:COPYLINK policy requires clarification or even an update, possibly an RFC. But here, our only job is to determine what current policy says. The only question that should be discussed is whether reasonable doubt exists that the linked page is in accord with copyright laws. As I've pointed out before, you yourself admit that it does. Unless you can provide evidence that the page in question is clearly conforming to copyright laws, we have consenus, and the issue to be decided here is resolved. I propose you concede that and open discussion at Wikipedia talk:Copyrights. Paradoctor (talk) 20:30, 14 July 2021 (UTC)

Exactly. COPYLINK is quite clear. Is it right? Who knows, but that's not for this board to discuss. WP:COPYLINK is policy, we cannot override it. By all means start a conversation on the copyrights talk pages and see about getting the policy changed if you believe there's reason to do so. However until that time, there's nothing this noticeboard or any other editor can do as linking to these books is clearly in violation of COPYLINK, and such links need to be removed if they're added or seen. Canterbury Tail talk 21:05, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
We've had these links to in-copyright non-Wayback content for at least 2 years, so I'm rather hard-pressed to appreciate the urgency of eliminating these purportedly non-compliant links. Additionally,it is not obvious (to me) that there's any straightforward and reliable method to distinguish between links going to "in-copyright" and "out-of-copyright" content. Additionally, if such links were removed, and it's subsequently determined that the links ought to be permitted, I don't know about the difficulty of re-inserting the links after they have been deleted. So those are issues with any proposal to delete these links while the status of these links (either under current policy or following a change in policy) is subject to change.
There are nevertheless valid doubts that these links are prohibited under the current policy. For instance, "fair use" is permitted. While statutory language may define "fair use" as applying to a case where someone otherwise has no legal rights whatsoever, it could also be interpreted to refer to rights that one has actually acquired, such as through purchase of the copyrighted material, e.g. if I acquire title to a book, then I have the right to give, or sell that book to someone else might be described as a form of "fair use", at least in a colloquial sense. So the WP policy may be interpreted to allow such "fair use" without having to obtain any separate license. Alternatively, having legal title to the material may be construed to constitute an "implicit license" to use the material in all lawful manners. So the demand of evidence that Internet Archive has the required "license" may already be fulfilled by IA's existing processes. (Perhaps these seem like stretches to you, but "the law is the law", and just because it doesn't "feel right" to you doesn't mean that it isn't right.)
Anyway, there are still the technical challenges I raised. Can anybody say how challenging it would be to address them? Fabrickator (talk) 22:27, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
valid doubts that these links are prohibited Are you not listening? Our policy requires that links are legal beyond reasonable doubt. "Might by legal" does not cut it.
proposal to delete these links There is no "proposal". The policy says we have to.
"the law is the law" There is no law that mentions CDL. Until such time that there is, we cannot use it. Paradoctor (talk) 02:55, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
There is no law that mentions CDL. Until such time that there is, we cannot use it.
I suggest that CDL could plausibly be inferred from the first-sale doctrine. But more to the point, regarding your contention that a term can never apply until it's been codified in a statute, I would ask you to provide a citation. Unless you're secretly the judge that's assigned to the case, you're making various assertions, but they are nothing but speculation. Fabrickator (talk) 07:09, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

Our policy states we cannot use these links. They need to be removed if come across and no one can add them. Any further discussion on this topic needs to happen on Wikipedia_talk:Copyrights, there is literally nothing this board can do here. Canterbury Tail talk 12:09, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

@Fabrickator: Our policy puts the burden of proof that a link is permitted on the editor(s) desiring to add the link. That means you. As far as I'm concerned, this discussion is over. Paradoctor (talk) 14:42, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
The biggest issue I have is the possibility of someone demanding the premature removal of existing links, so that we then wind up losing links which ultimately could be determined to be permissible. The way this "conclusion" is worded, nothing would prevent someone from doing that. This is what I would hope to avoid. Fabrickator (talk) 15:28, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
Fabrickator, That's a feature, not a bug. We should be encouraging people to remove such links. MrOllie (talk) 15:50, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
Yes, such links must be removed. Canterbury Tail talk 16:40, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
I am still confused why nobody is doing anything about the link in WP:Book sources. Perhaps this was not understood. Every citation with an ISBN (or any of the various identifiers that it accepts) will check for the availability of a link to the book at Open Library. It seems like this should be extremely easy to do and would be trivial to revert depending on the outcome of the lawsuit, and I would suspect that there's probably two orders of magnitude more books linked from there than linked via the "url=" parameter. So it's bizarre, like you're trying to catch stuff with a 3-inch fishnet that gets a fraction of 1% of the available catch, when you have a way to get 95% of what's there with one swoop. Is there a reason for this approach or is it that none of the participants know any better? Fabrickator (talk) 22:20, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
I would support such a removal, but I wasn't about to do it while this discussion was still in progress. - MrOllie (talk) 22:31, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
@MrOllie: Nothing left to discuss here: Wikipedia talk:Book sources § Open Library WP:EL violations
Not directly related, but maybe it helps some editors to overcome loss aversion.

The essence of editing is easy come easy go. Unless you can really say to yourself, "What the hell. There's plenty more where that came from, let's throw it away." you can't really edit. You have to be a big spender... Editing must be cut-throat. You must wade in with teeth gritted. Cut away flesh and leave only bone. Learn to say things with a relationship instead of words. If you have to make introductions or transitions, you have things in the wrong order. If they were in the right order they wouldn't need introductions or transitions. Force yourself to leave out all subsidiaries and then, by brute force, you will have to rearrange the essentials into their proper order. Every word omitted keeps another reader with you. Every word retained saps strength from the others. Think of throwing away not as negative-not as crumpling up sheets of paper in helplessness in rage-but as a positive,creative, generative act. Learn to play the role of the sculptor pulling off layers of stone with his chisel to reveal a figure beneath. Leaving things out makes the backbone or structure show better... Editing means being tough enough to make sure someone will actually read it...

Paradoctor (talk) 23:17, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

"Not directly related"? I'll call that an understatement. What's being advocated is a destructive partial solution, the explanation offered that another partial solution, yet one which is completely non-destructive, isn't mentioned is because it would have been a distraction, yet the delay in implementing this has resulted in a couple of days of added infringement, yet for the small potatoes stuff, we must suffer this destructive approach. It seems to me it shouldn't have required any discussion, yet the idea was summarily dismissed when I previously mentioned it. This seems to demonstrate a poor risk assessment. Fabrickator (talk) 23:53, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

@Canterbury Tail: "One thing I've noticed some editors doing is uploading blatantly copyrighted books themselves to and then linking to them. It's pretty obvious when the upload happened within half an hour of the edit. This isn't something that comes under any kind of lending etc that I'm aware of." As far as I know, what you're seeing is in fact backwards; there's a bot (User:InternetArchiveBot) which, among other things, bluelinks books after they have been digitized by the internet archive from their physical copy (for controlled digital lending). To my understanding, it's not possible for arbitrary users to link a book on the internet archive with the open library (though arbitrary users are able to upload content to and the open library also serves as a more general database of information about books). I think it's worth pinging users related to InternetArchiveBot too: @Cyberpower678, Harej, and GreenC. Having said that, I oppose removal of these links for books digitized by the internet archive, but I don't wish to get involved in a more detailed debate here (as this is far out of my area of expertise). --Pokechu22 (talk) 04:04, 16 July 2021 (UTC)
No I've seen users adding direct external links to books on these archives after having uploaded them. I don't know about Open Library linking, but I'm talking purely about hosting of copyrighted works. Here is a good example. Canterbury Tail talk 11:56, 16 July 2021 (UTC)
@Pokechu22: Removing these links is required by policy. If you wish to change the policy, then this is not the right forum: This board is not intended for generalized discussion about the external links guidelines themselves (top of this page). Paradoctor (talk) 04:50, 16 July 2021 (UTC)
Paradoctor, the bot currently retains approval to add links to these books where said approval came from a near unanimous community consensus in support of said links and subsequent bot proposal. After legal objections were raised we opted to suspend automated book linking, but this would suggest exceptions to policy can and do exist. So at the very least, removing existing links would be very inappropriate until a much wider discussion has happened here. —CYBERPOWER (Message) 05:20, 16 July 2021 (UTC)

Further discussion of this matter has been started at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) § Links to copyrighted material on Open Library. Paradoctor (talk) 06:21, 16 July 2021 (UTC)

Technically, I understand that posting such links could be considered contributory infringement. It could alternatively be considered de minimis and being done in good faith, especially if it was just something you did occasionally (rather than systematically posting links in every possible case).
However, when I imagine trying to make that case, when the people posting those links are also saying, on a public website, that we don't have to be concerned, because if we get in trouble, the Foundation will protect us – well, (a) that suggests that wasn't just a good-faith mistake, and (b) I'm not actually convinced that they would. The penultimate paragraph of foundation:Terms of Use/en#Overview says that editors are legally responsible for their own edits. Nobody should be intentionally adding links that they think are legally problematic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:27, 17 July 2021 (UTC)

References spam[edit]

A report of significant WP:REFSPAM is at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Spam from Edmunds (company). Johnuniq (talk) 05:02, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Quadrant roadway intersection examples[edit]

Okay so I need your input here. Have a look at Quadrant roadway intersection#Examples.

Notice how none of the examples make any sense without clicking an external link? My gut feeling is that's not how we build an useful encyclopedia - but all I can find in the guideline is "External links normally should not be placed in the body of an article." The page/section is literally useless without online access to Google.

Also, there is no rationale - why is one intersection in the list of examples and not another? Had we used the example selection of a source that would be one thing but now it could just be "the intersections from my childhood town" or something (I don't think it is; just that there's no way of knowing how the examples were selected).

If I had to make a call I would say "either create inline/onpage maps, or scrap the idea of examples". Perhaps you have a better idea? CapnZapp (talk) 13:43, 13 August 2021 (UTC)

Yeah I see what you mean. And to be honest, I'm not entirely convinced they're actually all examples of this. Smacks of a lot of Original Research, but no sources that describe these as quadrant intersections. The very first example, the Dortmund one, doesn't appear to follow the description in the article. So yes a poor use of external links, thought I see why it was done, but overall heapings of unsourced WP:OR. Canterbury Tail talk 17:41, 13 August 2021 (UTC)
Can I ask you what specific action you recommend me to take, if any? CapnZapp (talk) 16:36, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
Honestly, I would personally remove both examples sections entirely as unsourced original research. I think this is beyond the external links issue. Canterbury Tail talk 16:51, 14 August 2021 (UTC)

Templates that link to a list of links[edit]

{{DNA India}} is intended for use in the external links section of an article. There are only 18 articles with the template so perhaps I shouldn't worry but these examples seem to violate WP:ELNO#9.

{{Bollywood Hungama person}} is a similar problem with over 800 occurrences, for example:

Any thoughts on whether these are ok? Johnuniq (talk) 05:05, 23 August 2021 (UTC)

Aside from being a straight breach of how we usually do things, one of my concerns is that this type of template gives a sense of authority to a website in Wikipedia's voice. Of course, some sites may actually be the authority for a given purpose but a random Indian news website - one among dozens & not a particularly good one - is not. What next? Flood the external links sections with similar templates for The Hindu, The Times of India, Dainik Bhaskar etc? - Sitush (talk) 09:19, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I am always ambivalent there. I love that external links are inside template wrappers so they have consistent display, can be tracked, 'verified' (compare to WD), etc. But they do tend to invite 'inappropriate addition' ('we have a template for it, so it must be good'; as per Sitush). I guess that actual use however should be rather strictly as per WP:ELNO: does it actually add something that we need (DNA India does not seem to be a majorly important resource), etc. Bollywood Hungama is not going to be dissimilar I think. Meh, I already am totally not convinced imdb should be on every page. All of these are on their way to WP:SPAMHOLE. I'm afraid we at some time should set up a list like WP:RSP for specific external links, a bit more elaborate then WP:ELPEREN. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:11, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
At least IMDB pages usually have information that is quite useful/interesting, even if not of a high reliability. By contrast, DNA India presents nothing other than a tiny subset of what could be seen in Google. Johnuniq (talk) 11:18, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
I agree that imdb often has material beyond what we would include (more complete lists, etc), but not always, or to a level that we should standard just include it. I do think that DNA India and Bollywood Hungama are much less likely to have sufficient additional data (.. that cannot be included). Dirk Beetstra T C 11:47, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
DNA India just looks like a website search (tags), not useful formatting like you see on IMDb. No qualms getting rid of that. BH is somewhere between those extremes, so toss-up for me. Ravensfire (talk) 19:21, 25 August 2021 (UTC)
I agree with @Ravensfire: the DNA India site looks like search results, which makes it unwanted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:12, 25 August 2021 (UTC)
I have just noticed that the Bollywood Hungama template was created by a subsequently CU-blocked account & that an SPI raised the suspicion of paid editing. - Sitush (talk) 01:57, 24 August 2021 (UTC)

Redding realtor[edit]

Ejlewis, apparently a realtor in Redding, California and undeclared paid editor, is edit-warring to spam pages from his real estate web site to articles about local features: Shasta Lake diff, Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay diff, Redding, California diff, and much less recently Whiskeytown Falls. See also my talk. Additional opinions welcome. —David Eppstein (talk) 22:08, 9 September 2021 (UTC)

Yes I am a Broker & Realtor in Redding who has put together a local resource of the area I live in have have for most all my life. Years ago I added additional content via the links section that have been in place on this site. Today when updating these links to a fresh version I have been eliminated. Am I wrong to add content helpful to people interested in Redding?? On the Redding California page for instance there are other pages with local content that apparently are ok. What is the difference?? Truly I was only trying to add content with what I have put together for those with interest. Shasta Lake, Whiskeytown and others have been there in the past without issue, I'm confused. Additionally many pages have links to outside resources, at what point is that ok or not ok?? Ejlewis (talk) 23:28, 9 September 2021‎ (UTC)
Welcome to Wikipedia, @Ejlewis. It's a confusing place.
@David Eppstein, I looked at one of the pages, and I'm not sure exactly why you object to the link (e.g., compared to WP:EL#ADV or any of the ELNO rules). Is this primarily a behavioral concern, or a link-content concern? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:33, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
The links don't satisfy the criteria in WP:ELYES or WP:ELMAYBE, and do seem to meet #1 in WP:ELNO, even without the clearly promotional real estate links on each of the website's pages. Schazjmd (talk) 00:43, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
Yes, the website has prominent, clearly promotional content, starting with the banner on top and continuing with repeated "Search Redding Homes" notices and such. If there are other bad links on those pages, the solution would be to remove them; they don't set a precedent for allowing more. Nor is the rest of the content (brochure-type photos and blurbs) particularly worth pointing to. XOR'easter (talk) 01:17, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
@XOR'easter, I imagine that not every editor knows this, but the presence of some "prominent, clearly promotional content" is not actually something that the Wikipedia:External links guideline cares about. Advertising content only becomes a problem when it is the primary purpose of the page (which is not the case here; NB "page", not "website") or when it is "excessive" (e.g., enough to interfere with reading the useful content; the line was written particularly with multiple pop-up ads and large blinking ads in mind). While posting your own website is a behavioral concern, in terms of the page's content, the guideline is a bit more Wikipedia:We don't care what happens to your website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:17, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
@Schazjmd, talk to me more about the ELNO #1 idea. Do you think that if Redding, California were listed at WP:FA, that it would contain 30 photos of local tourist attractions? I don't. contains 30 photos. IMO that's "a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article". WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:09, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
I was focusing on the text on the pages. Any web search on images will find a multitude that are not on Wikipedia (copyright etc) so I don't consider the realtor site as a "unique resource" in that aspect. Schazjmd (talk) 15:28, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
"Unique resource" might be misleading. We don't require a link to go to a page utterly unlike any other in existence; we only require that it not duplicate what is (or should be) in the article itself. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:58, 18 September 2021 (UTC)
Maybe you should ask Ejlewis to upload them to Commons, then we could point to them there as a gallery. If he's here to help build an encyclopedia and not to get links to his website that should be no problem. - MrOllie (talk) 15:40, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
A gallery on commons would be unobjectionable to me. It is the framing of the linked web site, as "these attractions are why you should buy real estate in Redding from me", that I object to. (My concerns are more based on WP:ELNO #5 than on #1.) —David Eppstein (talk) 18:40, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
This page is okay under ELNO #5. The main purpose of the individual web page is to provide information about the subject of the article, not to sell things. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:59, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

I find this very interesting and thank those who are understanding. Many of the photos I have taken myself and added to this section of my website. In some of the responses I see concern with the advertising on the website. Here's a question: If I was to add this content to another website called something else and then plastered it with ads to my real estate site what would be the difference? As mentioned elsewhere I see many links to outside sources that have blatant advertising that is clearly for the benefit of those sites. In this case there are no flashing ads only local information people can review with subtle single line advertising. You'll also note the link has no mention of real estate at all which it would if all I was after was real estate related links. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ejlewis (talkcontribs)

I don't really understand your question. If you hosted the content on a different website, it would still be the same hobbyist observations on local area features and would still not be appropriate for an external links section (in my opinion). As for the link has no mention of real estate at all...huh? The domain of each URL is Schazjmd (talk) 20:28, 10 September 2021 (UTC)

Thank you for your response and thoughts. Here is another question, if my link is inappropriate as in "it would still be the same hobbyist observations on local area features..." then what is the purpose to providing any links to outside sources for more information? Separately but equally important is another question, Why are these links on the this very page in the reference section ok?? Does it have different criteria??

  1. 1- "Redding, CA Real Estate and Living". Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  2. 7- "How Redding got its Name". Retrieved August 25, 2017. (page does not exist)
  3. 12- "City of Redding Flag". Retrieved August 19, 2017. (this one goes to a gambling site.)
  4. 20 - ( no content for visitors at all)
  5. 31 - "New plaza to open at Sundial Bridge in time for Celebrate 10". Redding Record Searchlight. April 30 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2020. (clearly an revenue generating website which has less information that what I am providing)
  6. 34 "AIBRA – Find a Station". Retrieved May 2, 2015. (this is junk)

Other pages such as also have many links to sites like mine adding information. What is the difference here also???

Sorry I don't know how to ask these people who have commented directly:'easter

Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ejlewis (talkcontribs)

This editor is attempting to use Wikipedia to advertise a business. If he wants to share photos, add them to a Flickr page, or even better, upload them to the commons. Instead, he adds a link to his business, where his photos are beneath a huge banner promoting his enterprise. Under no circumstances should links like this be permitted, per WP:PROMO. Magnolia677 (talk) 21:34, 10 September 2021 (UTC)

And again the questions go unanswered.

Ejlewis, you don't state which article those are links on, so I can't examine them. Just because a link is in an article does not mean they're OK. Often it just means another editor hasn't challenged or removed them yet. (Also, every time you make a comment on a talk page, please end it with four tildes (~~~~) so the software can automatically insert your signature so others know who made the comment.) Schazjmd (talk) 21:41, 10 September 2021 (UTC)

As you may be aware this is not something I do regularly, just trying to answers so I can understand why it ok in some cases but not others. Interesting I went to my "contributions" page and see these links have been ok since I added them in 2007, that is until now.,_California

(Ejlewis (talk) 21:44, 10 September 2021 (UTC))

Maybe you can figure out how many of your clients were attracted to your business because of the links you added 14 years ago, and then donate a share of your profits to Wikipedia. Magnolia677 (talk) 22:02, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
I think that was an unhelpful comment. It would be just as logical to say that we should figure out how many readers had absolutely no interest in buying anything, and send money the other direction. Remember, Wikipedia:We don't care what happens to your website. If we think the contents of the page might be helpful to a reader (e.g., to a high school student writing a report or wondering whether to apply for admission to Simpson University), then we keep the link. If it wouldn't, we don't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:06, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

Pretty unreasonable comment. When was the last time you went to Wikipedia looking for a home?? Still hoping for some reasonable answers to the questions, thanks. (Ejlewis (talk) 22:07, 10 September 2021 (UTC))

So now I see the pages I've referenced are being edited to remove many of the links I commented about and noted as "remove commercial link" yet that is not the Wikipedia policy based on what this page says: (Ejlewis (talk) 22:20, 10 September 2021 (UTC))

@Ejlewis, you pointed out some questionable refs so I checked them. Several needed archive links. That's how stuff gets fixed. What you linked to is not a policy; it's an essay, which means some editor wrote up their opinions. It has no weight in decisions. Schazjmd (talk) 22:27, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
As I wrote earlier, just because a link has been sitting there doesn't mean it's good. Articles accumulate all kinds of junk. Sometimes a link is only there because nobody has noticed that it needs to be removed. Sometimes whole pages only exist because nobody has noticed that they need to be removed. XOR'easter (talk) 01:01, 11 September 2021 (UTC)

OK, I give. While thinking this would be helpful for the visitors, most of you apparently disagree. I hope as much effort that was put it getting rid of my links are put forward on all other links. Interestingly, one on the Redding page titled "Images of Redding from the Eastman's Originals Collection, Special Collections Dept., University of California, Davis." shows absolutely nothing. The same subject matter I was trying to help with but that one remains. Cheers. (Ejlewis (talk) 22:34, 15 September 2021 (UTC))

That wasn't a link you had previously questioned so I hadn't checked it out. Now that you have brought it up, I looked at the results the link gives and agree with your assessment so I've removed it from the article. Schazjmd (talk) 00:17, 16 September 2021 (UTC)

@Ejlewis: Wikipedia is rather restrictive regarding addition of external links. Wikipedia does not like 'linkfarms'. The point of Wikipedia is to write an encyclopedia, not to connect to everything related on the web. The basis of that is part of our policy Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not (specifically WP:NOTREPOSITORY). That is then explained more in our guideline Wikipedia:External links where we show what we generally avoid as external links (WP:ELNO, and what we generally allow (WP:ELYES). I looked at Redding, California and Shasta Lake specifically. The former has 22 images in the article, and links to a commons category of more than 200 images (and several subcategories with overall another 200 images or so), the latter has 6 on the article and links to a commons category with about 80 images (there is for both obvious overlap between the images in the article and images on commons). It is unlikely that there are external repositories that enhance an article to such a level that it surpasses what Wikipedia already hosts and that significantly aids in further understanding. If you believe that you can make that case (as per the intro of Wikipedia:External links: "...acceptable external links include those that contain further research that is accurate and on-topic, information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy") then you need to start that discussion on the talkpage of the respective page (and that is especially true since you have a conflict of interest with the links, see Wikipedia:Conflict of interest " are strongly discouraged from editing affected articles directly; you may propose changes on talk pages ...").

Yes, there are other things which are not up to standard, but that is not a reason to add more things which do not follow the standard either (an argument similar to WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS), the solution is to solve the overal problem. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:25, 16 September 2021 (UTC)