Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard/Archive 18

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Interactive Human Evolution Timeline[1]

I would have preferred to have this discussion on an individual talk page, but the link is so widespread, I doubt that is practical. Drbogdan (talk · contribs) has recently added a link to The Smithsonian's Interactive Human Evolution Timeline to the external links sections of several articles, including articles on creationism. I'm not here to have an argument about creationism vs. evolution, creationism's validity, or anything of that nature. This is simply a discussion of whether this is an appropriate external link for these articles, per the WP:EL guideline. I would argue no, on the basis that the link in question does not, as nearly as I can tell, even breach the subject of creationism. This puts it in the category of links normally to be avoided on two counts:

  • Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article. (Given the contentious nature of creationism articles, it is very unlikely one of them will ever be featured, but if it is, WP:DUE would ensure that it had an appropriate amount of dissenting material absent this timeline link.)
  • Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject

Since the timeline link contains no information on creationism and does not explicitly try to refute creationism, it does not belong in these articles. This is the list of affected articles; there may be others where the link has been inappropriately added, but these are the ones I noticed.

I seek consensus, and have given my opinion as to what this consensus should be. However, I also note, per WP:ELBURDEN: "Disputed links should normally be excluded by default unless and until there is a consensus to include them." Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:51, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

@Acdixon: Thank you *very much* for your comments - my reference[1] addition seems relevant to the noted articles - as possible article improvements re context - and perhaps - as a "WP:BALANCE" of views - and not at all for any other reason - however - it's *entirely* ok with me to rm/rv/mv/ce the edits - esp if there is "WP:CONSENSUS" of course - in any case - hope this helps in some way - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:59, 16 August 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Staff (August 16, 2016). "What Does It Mean To Be Human? - Human Timeline - Interactive". Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
@Drbogdan: Thanks for being agreeable. That's a rare commodity on these articles. I think I'll leave this discussion open for a bit to see if anyone else wants to raise issues neither of us had considered. I understand your concerns about balance, but I think that's best done in the article itself. In some people's minds, a link like this is almost an invitation to create a WP:LINKFARM, and nobody wants that! :) Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:06, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

 Done Done, per no further discussion. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:11, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Drbogdan said above it is OK with him if there is consensus. I see only two people in this discussion. It was great that the discussion was opened but you too action way too soon. ("soon" in WP means "enough time to get community input") I have reverted all the removals - the edit note justifying them linked here, and there is no WP:CONSENSUS here. Jytdog (talk) 18:48, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I never said there was consensus, but at some point, "silence equals consent". This was posted on a public noticeboard two and a half weeks ago. What if nobody else ever commented? The two who did would both just sit here in agreement that a change was best but refusing to do anything about it? I'm quite content to let the recently commenced discussion play out, but let's not act like these removals were without basis. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 19:54, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Jytdog You and I usually see eye to eye, and for good reason; you're very smart, objective and perceptive (did you notice how I sneakily complimented myself there, too?). But I'm with Acdixon on this particular point (even if he is a heretic for using Chrome instead of Firefox). We should continue this discussion before we undo his good-faith edits. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:15, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Creation Museum is on my watchlist, so I just became aware of this discussion. My suggestion would be to cite it as a reference, instead of merely having it as an EL. Many of these pages have some content about Young Earth Creationism, in which disagreements with scientists are noted, so this would be a fine source to cite for the science "side". (It need not be cited as a rebuttal to YEC, just as for what scientists say.) I'm going to try to do that now at the museum page, and let's see how that works. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:03, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

In favour of removal (edit:/ or conversion to a ref where applicable). I saw the link when it was introduced in Intelligent design, and wondered what it was for. It *is* an excellent ressource in itself, but I don't see how it helps understand what ID is, or is not. ID is pretty much unconcerned with any timeline you throw at it anyway, unlike most forms of creationism. I don't think its presence is harmful, but it just feels disconnected from the article. Thus I would favour its removal from ID-related articles. (Perhaps it may be useful in Creationism, if offered as counterpoint to specific claims in the text?). Of course it should remain in Evolution and Timeline of human evolution etc. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 19:14, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

I agree with Tryptofish in that in many articles it can be changed from an EL to a ref. This would be any article that makes statements about human evolution (which can be sourced to that link) in the context of another subject. Any article which directly addresses the subject of human evolution (Human evolution obviously, but evolution or creation-evolution controversy are also good examples, while Intelligent design is a borderline, questionable example) should keep it as an external link, unless the article already substantially covers the information in the link. Every other article (such as Genesis creation narrative) should have it removed. So it should be removed for the most part, but I think I'm a little more liberal about what articles it can stay in than the OP. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:31, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks! I just move it in that way at Creation Museum, so editors can look and assess how that works. Also, in seeing it on the page, it really did strike me as a little spammy as an EL. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:35, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I just took a look, and it looks fine to me like that. I'm a little on the fence as to whether it should be removed from that page, but the 'remove' side of my internal debate is really just that it feels a little POVish. The 'keep' side is pointing out that it meets the criteria I defined above. I'm 100% skeptic, and I have a particular problem with creationism, but I really don't believe Wikipedia's purpose is to debunk. The debunking should arise naturally from the presentation of accurate, verifiable information. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:43, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
I don't see it as "debunking". I see it as presenting both "sides", using a reliable source. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:22, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
That was kinda my point: A part of me 'feels' like I want to argue because this kinda 'feels' like debunking, but I can't come up with any good objections. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:26, 2 September 2016 (UTC)
@Tryptofish: The link actually pointed back to Creation Museum; I just fixed it Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 11:37, 3 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing that. I'm traveling and using someone else's computer, and it keeps making those kinds of mistakes, and I missed that one, sorry. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:28, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

FWIW - the "notion of converting the EL to a reference instead" for some articles seems worthy - and *entirely* ok with me at the moment - hope this helps in some way - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 20:52, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Converting to refs integrated with the discourse of each article seems fine to me. I still doubt it can be made to fit in Intelligent design, though. The timeline neither elucidates claims of ID nor contradicts them (this ability to trudge along heedless of any empirical data is of course an intelligently designed aspect of ID). Maybe when discussing interpretations of the fossil record and the reliability of hominid reconstructions, eg. [1]. But this does not appear at all in the current version of the article, I think. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 11:37, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

Still seeing no support for this as a stand-alone EL after a month of discussion. Removed. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 13:23, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

You have gone through and removed all these claiming support at this board; i have again reverted you as there is no consensus on this board for removing it. Jytdog (talk) 15:50, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jytdog: Repeating myself, I never said I had a consensus. And I don't need a consensus to remove the link; you need one to retain it. Quoting WP:ELBURDEN: "Disputed links should normally be excluded by default unless and until there is a consensus to include them." (Emphasis mine.) You haven't offered so much as an argument for keeping this link, much less establishing a consensus to keep it. Please self-revert based on this guideline until and unless a consensus to keep this link emerges. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:11, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
Again you did great opening this discussion, but now for the second time you have claimed authority to this discussion as a justification to mass delete these ELs. And for the second time, there is no basis for your actions here. Don't ever cite a discussion as a basis for an action if that action doesn't actually have consensus there. Misrepresenting discussions is WP:DISRUPTIVE behavior and people will always react negatively. Jytdog (talk) 17:18, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jytdog: This discussion is evidence that the link is disputed. WP:ELBURDEN says disputed links are excluded without a specific consensus to include them. I cite the dispute, without consensus to include, as my justification for my edit removing it. I am not being disruptive. I am acting in accord with policy. You are not. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:26, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
If there is anything resembling consensus here, it is make the EL into a ref. You didn't do that or acknowledge that. WP:CONSENSUS is the bedrock of this page and faking consensus to do what you already wanted to do, is one of the most disruptive things you can do here in WP. We have discretionary sanctions on this topic; I will check your Talk page to make sure you are aware of them. Jytdog (talk) 18:00, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jytdog: I did not fake anything. I did acknowledge a lack of consensus (either way) on multiple occasions. I also was very careful that my edit summary (sample here) reflected that there was no support, much less a consensus, for including this link as an external link. If someone wants to include the link as part of a reference, as Tryptofish did in Creation Museum, they may be my guest. You'll notice I didn't counteract that action in any way. But to include the link in a list of external links in an article requires consensus to include, per WP:ELBURDEN, and in the absence of consensus to include, a disputed link is removed by default (i.e. with or without consensus to remove) per that guideline. My removal of the disputed links are correct and in accordance with the guideline; your reversions without a consensus to include are counter to the guideline and you should reverse them. And I am aware of the discretionary sanctions. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:31, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jytdog: I for one was in favour of removal from Intelligent Design, specifically, for the reasons I stated above, and conversion to refs for most of the rest. I recall MjolnirPants also said the ID was a special case, though I can't be sure he meant it in the same way as I. I don't recall anybody arguing for the link being kept in ID. Generally I don't find Acdixon's actions in this matter very shocking, though I won't pretend to be well-versed in Wikipedia's policies. Batch removal might be a good first step -- symmetric to the batch addition of Drbogdan (talk · contribs) -- before maybe re-integrating the links individually and with care, where they are relevant. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 19:24, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────── ID is one of the articles I believe it belongs in. It deals directly with human evolution, so it seems relevant. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:26, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Ah, thanks for clarifying, MjolnirPants. But ID doesn't propose a timeline or anything that concrete, so I don't see how that's more relevant than anything else one might pull from Evolution. And I don't see ID as "dealing" "directly" with human evolution. Obviously ID proponents are directly motivated by it, but are careful to mostly use flagella and such in most of their arguments when not preaching to the choir. They don't necessarily reject the timeline either (again, at least publicly) but just argue that "someone" is injecting "complexity" somehow, over time. So I'd agree it's directly relevant to young-earth creationism, but ID is specifically designed (!) not to care about the timeline. (Or much else for that matter). I'm sure the link could be made relevant, but that would take work, and as a naked EL it just seems the answer to a question that was never asked. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 19:56, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
I've seen ID proponents get into human evolution more than a few times, though I don't know if it's in any of the 'official' material. The eyes are one example (they stick to human eyes for those argument, in my experience), and I've seen plenty of arguments about our intelligence and emotions. But, you make some good points, and have put me back on the fence. So consider me apathetic about it right now. I'm fine either way on the issue of this link in the ID article. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:17, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
  • I vote removal if it can't be converted into a reference for particular material in the article for those articles listed. I think the expectation is that external links will take you to sites having material on the subject matter. It would help if we also had a list of the pages where its use is more on topic to contrast with the provided list. On the listed pages I visited, the following the link seemed a non-sequitur. Poodleboy (talk) 07:30, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
For contrast, I tried considering the website as an external link for Solutrean_hypothesis and anthropology page about a hypothesis of the peopling of the Americas by modern humans. It seemed out of place there, because it didn't drill down into any detail on Homo sapiens. You expect external links to relate somehow to the topic or a subset of the topic. Poodleboy (talk) 22:02, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

In favour of removal (edit:/ or conversion to a ref where applicable) - I'm sort of like Gamall Wednesday Ida @Gamall Wednesday Ida: - I've just now run into this at Objections to evolution, and discussion at Talk:Objections_to_evolution#Website_that_isn.27t_objection_-related_.3F mentioned this ELN as justifying it going there, although that article was not one of the ones listed above. The article Objections to evolution describes various kinds of objections (moral implications, impossibility, plausibility, evidence, scientific status, and scientific acceptance). This mostly pretty picture website perhaps suits an article such as Evolution and particularly Human evolution but just isn't about any of the objection types or the responses to them that are the topic of the Objections article. I've pointed out that Objections article is already better served by lead has wikilinks to History_of_evolutionary_thought and Evolution (far more visible than at the bottom) and links like Natural selection or Macroevolution show topics at the objection involving them. Think that for the Objections article WP:OFFTOPIC and WP:EL apply, particularly WP:ELNO number 13. This one isn't tightly related and guidance points to not include. Markbassett (talk) 15:51, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Recommend reject ELN as malformed -- I'm going to offer that this ELN as a whole is malformed and not serving well the topic of pasting a link in many places. (In addition to this one being not right for Objections to evolution article that this ELN just got mentioned at.) I think Acdixon @Acdixon: maybe should have another pathway conclusion instead. Some points where this just does not seem a valid ELN instance are :

  1. Not a dispute resolution - looking at say Creationism, I don't see a dispute this was filed for, and WP:EL mentions this ELN as a place to answer disputes. Acdixon maybe should file a spam report instead ???
  2. Bulk permission oddness - this isn't about one article that the EL process describes, this is seeking a generic discussion about putting it in 11 articles. Mechanically it's hard to view the discussion status in even single article discussions, let alone the overall status for 11 articles so this doesn't seem a viable path.
  3. Lack of notification - looked at TALK for 4 of the list and there's no mention of this ELN. So this ELN seems lacking discussion from the affected article(s) editors. Seems some blowback from articles where it's gone (not all of the ones listed) so ... an evolving process of folks may see the link and may object and those that do may (or may not) find this location - so this discussion seems incomplete. It also leaves a maintenance item that later on editors at articles will not see that there was any prior discussion.
  4. Lack of external inputs - Also factually this was lacking discussion from external editors and just had no inputs. I don't know that there actually are independent editors who look at this page like rfc/a has, but there weren't any seen at the top of this.
  5. Ignoring EL guidance - behaving as ELN would view things against the EL guidance and this link seems not trying to draw from WP:EL for what is appropriate external links, nor taking care about hurting an article. "No page should be linked from a Wikipedia article unless its inclusion is justifiable according to this guideline and common sense."
  6. Already run amok - this ELN has already been mentioned at Talk:Objections_to_evolution#Website_that_isn.27t_objection_-related_.3F as if it were an already-decided thing and as a justification for putting the EL at an article not initially listed. It seems more a not-noticed item because nobody was notified, and lack of discussion from parties not notified parties obviously does not constitute their consensus.
  7. Demonstrates LINKSPAM ? - factually this is sticking a link in many sites, which seems to fit WP:LINKSPAM. "Adding external links to an article or user page for the purpose of promoting a website or a product is not allowed, and is considered to be spam. Although the specific links may be allowed under some circumstances, repeatedly adding links will in most cases result in all of them being removed." I think this ELN is basically someone noticed a LINKSPAM occurence, who was not a party to some prior debate, and from that framework maybe he needs direction on how to handle SPAM than discussion of article-by-article or general EL principle evaluation.

Summation - bulk situation not suitable for ELN; suggest handle at individual article and individual ELN discussions, consider handling it as LINKSPAM Markbassett (talk) 17:12, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

@Markbassett: Thanks for your comments. Let me try to respond to some of them.
  • I listed this at ELN because I thought it would be easier to have one centralized discussion rather than 11 decentralized ones. Perhaps this was not the venue for such a thing, and if so, I apologize for that.
  • I assumed this would attract the attention of uninvolved editors in a way that talk page mentions would not, but per your point 4 above, perhaps it was a misconception that many neutral editors watch this page and get involved in discussions.
  • Although the listing did not arise from a dispute, my removal of this link has twice been reverted, so it is now a dispute. Whether my starting this thread led to the dispute, or whether I just correctly anticipated that removing the link would lead to a dispute and jumped the gun by starting a discussion here is debatable, I guess. Regardless, it is now a dispute, it appears.
  • Not leaving a notice on the 11 individual talk pages was a mistake, in hindsight, and one I take responsibility for.
  • I am not terribly experienced with the various avenues of dispute resolution, so perhaps a LINKSPAM complaint would have been better. The term "spam" carries negative connotations that I was trying to avoid, especially since I have had no previous interaction with the other party and didn't know how they may or may not react to having their edits labeled as "spamming".
  • There were, obviously, more pages where this link was added at the same time as the 11 mentioned where it may or may not be appropriate. Those I chose not to list were ones where I didn't feel qualified to comment on the appropriateness.
  • All this said, I opened this discussion over a month ago, and no one has expressed much, if any, support for keeping the link as anything other than a reference, if appropriate. As I have noted above, EL guidelines hold that the disputed link should be removed in such a case, yet I have twice been reverted and admonished by User:Jytdog for taking this action, so I'm not sure how to proceed at this point. I'm open to suggestions on how to finally resolve this, since evidently nothing I've done so far has been productive. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:26, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Its not linkspam obviously. A bit POINTY in some cases, maybe.
In Objections to evolution there is already the template:Human timeline so the EL didn't add value. I removed it here.
Bill Nye–Ken Ham debate it was deleted by Acdixon here; i let that stand because that article already has template:Life timeline which has a link to template:Human timeline
Creation and evolution in public education i removed the EL here because that article already has template:Life timeline which has a link to template:Human timeline
Creation and evolution in public education in the United States i removed the EL here because that article already has template:Life timeline which has a link to template:Human timeline
Creation–evolution controversy - there is already the template:Human timeline so the EL didn't add value. I removed it here.
Creationism i left it, as it duplicates nothing that is there.
Creation Museum Tryptofish made it a ref. I also elevated template:Life timeline from a see also to actually appear in the criticism section. so we don't need the EL there.
Discovery Institute we have template:Life timeline in the article, so don't need the EL, so I removed it here
Genesis creation narrative there was nothing like it, so i left it
Intelligent design the article already has template:Life timeline which has a link to template:Human timeline so i removed it here
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center had nothing like it, so i left it.
Teach the Controversy - article already has template:Life timeline which has a link to template:Human timeline so i removed it here
that about does it, i think. Jytdog (talk) 04:09, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Jytdog - how about removing at Objections to evolution ? The templates are there too (good in one place, odd in Probability area) along with many more relevant wikilinks more visibly shown at the related points of article ... Cheers Markbassett (talk) 07:20, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I did. That is the first one on the list above. Jytdog (talk) 07:32, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Jytdog -- whups. Thanks belatedly realized. Sorry I was a few hours out of sync about where that article was, too much time editing TALK I guess. (Maybe I still had the prior rev onscreen in an open tab?) Markbassett (talk) 13:05, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jytdog: Been out of town, so I'm just now looking at this. I don't agree with your reasoning about whether to remove the link or not from the various articles, but obviously, the result is the same in most cases, so I won't quibble about how we got there. The link remains in Creationism, Genesis creation narrative, and Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center, and I contend that it doesn't belong in any of the three. I laid out my reasoning in my original post over a month ago – the content found at the link doesn't directly mention any of these topics. In the ensuing discussion, no one has really offered a refutation to that reasoning, and some have explicitly agreed with it. I have already pointed out how that the EL guidelines call for exclusion of disputed links by default (i.e. without requiring consensus). You have twice reverted my attempts to remove the link on that basis, wrongly claiming that I need consensus to remove, and now you are asking us to unilaterally accept your logic that it can only be removed if the existing article has something else like it, an assertion with no actual backing in policy that I can see? I reject your assertion that "that about does it". This link remains disputed and should be removed per the EL guidelines. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 13:39, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
EL does not say that one editor disputing is enough to remove an EL; you appear to be the only person contesting the link in those three articles. Jytdog (talk) 16:03, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
@Jytdog: On the contrary, Gamall Wednesday Ida, Poodleboy, and Markbassett !voted to remove the links or convert them to references. Markbassett further raised the possibility of deleting them as LINKSPAM. How else do you define "disputed", as used in WP:ELBURDEN? So far, no one has put forward an argument for keeping them beyond your "this article has nothing else like it". Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:26, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
How odd that you mention Poodleboy's support. Not a great argument. Jytdog (talk) 16:32, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
How odd that you have yet to actually engage any of my larger points. I have no idea what is odd about mentioning Poodleboy, as this discussion was my first and only interaction with him. My larger point is that the link is disputed, and that the EL guidelines say disputed links should be removed by default. You continue to ignore this. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 20:17, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

─────────────────────────As greatly surreal as it feels to be (sort of) defending Poodleboy --- and this just after being mentioned as in agreement with Markbassett --- his two posts that I saw on this particular matter didn't seem shockingly unreasonable. (Although there ought not be a third given that ID is on the list). Just to clarify my position: I felt the link non-sequiturish in ID-related articles, on grounds that it misses the point there (I'm happy enough with the current state of ID wrt. that; I don't see what on earth the link is supposed to be doing in Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center). I was and am of course all for keeping on evolution-related articles. On old-school-creationism-related articles, I think it can become pertinent, but it would be best converted as a ref to make it clear what, if anything, it answers to. That applies to Creationism and Genesis creation narrative.

"I listed this at ELN because I thought it would be easier to have one centralized discussion rather than 11 decentralized ones." The thing is that the relevance of the link is different to each article. I think the reason this discussion is going nowhere fast not-so-fast is exactly that; it's really trying to pack a few different content discussions into one. The link, for all that it is nice and shiny, should probably not have been mass dumped like that, but all that could be generally agreed on has been done by now. My impression is that the discussion here has run its vaguely unsatisfying course and is best taken to individual articles' talk pages with specific content arguments. Gamall Wednesday Ida (talk) 19:36, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

@Gamall Wednesday Ida: You are probably right, at this point. I had neither the time nor inclination to monitor 11 separate discussions, but now that we've cut the list to 3, individual discussions may be the best way forward. Thanks for the suggestion. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 20:17, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

@Jytdog and Acdixon: FWIW - as presented earlier by the OPs above - "WP:CONSENSUS" may be the best way forward with this - after all - the edit additions were made in good faith - as an improvement to the article(s) - in order to provide some context, "WP:BALANCE" & related to the articles (ie, to be more truly encyclopedic - and less, perhaps, of a pov-promotion of some sort) - otherwise - "WP:OWN", "WP:IAR" & related may apply to some extent I would think atm - which no one may want of course - in any case - hope this helps in some way - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:58, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

The link is to a page describing human evolution from the Smithsonian. It is highly reliable and directly relevant to articles discussing evolution in general and human evolution in particular, and in each of the three remaining articles there is nothing like it; it fills the purpose of providing the scientific consensus timeline that the other articles address in other ways. WP:IDONTLIKEIT is not a valid objection. We have travelled far to address the concerns and pushing to Total Victory has nothing to do with "seeking consensus", which is what he OP said they wanted to achieve here. Jytdog (talk) 20:11, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Jytdog - a link waaaaay down at the bottom to pretty picture with no apparent relevance to the article that has also failed WP:ELBURDEN just does not belong. I don't think either WP:ILIKEIT nor WP:IDONTLIKEIT are relevant, it is a matter of relevant to the topic and that just cannot be done as a blanket ELN for many articles with at least one of them not even identified- and I think the discussion is kind of tending towards that move discussion to each individual article. For the presentation though I will add that using EL seems poor -- if there is some section of an article that this *is* relevant to, it is better to edit and convert to a ref AT THAT PART that gives some meaning about why it is shown and not give an odd EL bumpersticker that lacks any obvious connection to the text. We've already said it fits Human evolution, and maybe a part of Evolution -- but most of this just looks like it ran amok. As it is, this whole mess mostly looked like it should have been reported as WP:LINKSPAM. So -- kill this ELN with a 'reject blanket topic, do at individual page discussions', and at each article show a relevance to the article topic in a usable way or accept that the pretty picture does not fit into that article and skip it. Markbassett (talk) 00:49, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
I have no idea what your first sentence is referring to. Jytdog (talk) 02:53, 28 September 2016 (UTC)
Jytdog - unpacking my first sentence ("a link waaaaay down at the bottom to pretty picture with no apparent relevance to the article that has also failed WP:ELBURDEN just does not belong."): This is to convey (1) EL placement is many screens down on articles of length circa 20 to 60 screens in this case so unlikely to be seen/useful/connected to anywhere of text; (2) 'pretty picture' characterizing it dismissively as mostly a pretty picture (some ability to drill across site) with 'pretty' framing it as visual appeal rather than textual/numerical informative, relevant, or value to topic; and (3) ELBURDEN reminder that discussions so far have repeatedly covered that it has not met WP:ELBURDEN and WP guidance says to not include. Cheers Markbassett (talk) 16:34, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, i think i see. you simply mean "the EL we are discussing". Is that correct? Jytdog (talk) 16:42, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Are PDFs allowed in "Further reading" or "External links" sections?

WP:ELNO #8 says:

Direct links to documents that require external applications or plugins (such as Flash or Java) to view the content, unless the article is about such file formats.

An editor told me that a particular link in a "Further reading" section is forbidden because it goes to a PDF, among other reasons:[2]

ELNO #8 is EL's should not be "Direct links to documents that require external applications or plugins." PDFs are documents that require an external application or a plugin. "Common" is not an exception. It fails #8 unequivocally.[3]

I had argued that PDFs are very common and that the policy wasn't referring to them. Who's right? Felsic2 (talk) 23:57, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

I'm with that other editor. If you want to change the policy, you need to change the policy; but there's no "except for .pdfs, which are common nowadays" exception. --Orange Mike | Talk 00:01, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia's policies never cease to amaze! I read this talk page entry: Wikipedia_talk:External_links/Archive_33#PDFs_should_be_exempt_from_no-link_rule, which seems to find agreement that linking to a non-PDF page that links to the PDF would be OK. For example, this. Is that right? Felsic2 (talk) 00:16, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Then that is ridiculous and needs to be fixed ASAP. Wikipedia_talk:External_links#PDFs_-_Acceptable_or_not.3F Andy Dingley (talk) 00:24, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm the "other editor" and the reasoning is pretty straightforward. Things like videos and PDFs can be long and complicated and not subject to scrutiny. EL is not a repository for documents that fail WP:RS or WP:BLP so we don't link to PDF's or videos even if they are a common format. If they contain information for the article topic, make them a source (i.e. pass WP:RS) and cover it in the article. In the case, the PDF is from a partisan political advocacy organization that has written an unreviewed report that advances their particular political view. It's disallowed on a number of reasons, the format of the link being just one. --DHeyward (talk) 01:51, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Nonsense. PDFs are perfectly acceptable and widely linked in citations and external links in many, many Wikipedia articles. PDF readers are ubiquitous. Guidelines are descriptive, not prescriptive. - MrX 02:39, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Orangemike, WP:EL is a guideline, not a policy. It's best treated with common sense.- MrX 02:42, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
The guidelines exist for a reason. No one cares if you link to a pdf on elementary particles that is reproduced from Everyone should should care if an external link is to a Trump campaign whitepaper on Islam. Direct linking to the pdf hides the source. The practice recommended is to link to the html page that references the pdf. Very likely that a link to an official page is okay. Unlikely that a external link to a partisan political page or press release is okay. Going directly to the pdf doesn't cure the parent problem and obscures it. It's one of the reasons the guideline exists. --DHeyward (talk) 11:23, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I think we can firmly agree that editorial discretion is required. Undesirable links to press releases, fan sites, and political promotions is covered elsewhere in guideline and in WP:NOT. The format of the linked information should be far less of a concern, and based on widespread practice, I believe it is.- MrX 15:34, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Which makes the guideline stand as is with PDFs in the ELNO category and the burden for exception is on the editor adding it. If the only outside reference to a PDF is a press release, bypassing the guidelines and WP:NOT to directly link to a pdf is what ELNO is, in part, stopping. The simple html page that reference the pdf is the link that needs to be in EL section and evaluated. Seems pretty common sense. --DHeyward (talk) 17:33, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
Common sense would suggest that if a PDF document is hosted on, let's say, a government or university server, there's no problem linking to it. This is done frequently on enwiki and it hasn't caused a meltdown yet. - MrX 17:48, 28 August 2016 (UTC)
What particularly bothers me is links to PDFs which are purportedly scans of newspaper and magazine articles, etc., but which we have no way of authenticating. --Orange Mike | Talk 01:46, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

─────────────────────────That concerns me as well. Plus the possible copyvio issues. Doug Weller talk 19:45, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

I agree with MrX: If there's any doubt about the pdf contents, look to the website hosting it for evidence they have reviewed the content. --Ronz (talk) 17:25, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Expert opinions

... requested hereDirk Beetstra, Walter Görlitz, Izno, and/or anyone else willing to chime in. TIA. —ATS 🖖 talk 22:26, 29 October 2016 (UTC) describes itself as "the free online guide to modern playwrights and theatre plays ...", listing 54,990 playwrights and 185,357 plays. It is compiled by one man as a hobby/obsession - see "About Doollee", who began it in 2003. Some mentions of it:

I added an external link to playwright Laurence Peacock's listing on Doollee and it was reverted as "self published site".@SovalValtos:

There are 461 mentions of "doollee" in Wikipedia, a mix of External links and references.

I've found an inconclusive discussion in this noticeboard's archive, in 2012 when the site's author had a brief period as an editor. @Danmuz: @WhatamIdoing: @Julianoddy: - pinging those involved in that discussion and its preceding user talkpage discussion.

It looks to me like a useful and appropriate external link for a contemporary playwright, providing access to detailed listings of their works, and meeting bullet 3 of WP:ELYES: Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues, amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks), or other reasons.. For an example of a more prolific playwright see Deb McAndrew or Alan Ayckbourn. Any thoughts? PamD 06:47, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

".@PamD: How do we know that "doolee" contains accurate material when it is compiled by one man from user contributed material? I have found no evidence of fact checking. The site says "Doollee will then happily list the details of every other play you have written even if it is unpublished, unproduced, or was written before 1956" on [4].SovalValtos (talk) 19:32, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
Fact-checking and the other hallmarks of reliable sources aren't required for external links.
Also, almost all websites are "self-published", so if being self-published were a problem, then we'd have to remove almost every website from ==External links==. (Websites are generally both written by and published by the same outfit, e.g., written by and made available to the public the business, organization, person, etc., that owns them. When the same entity [not just the same human] is responsible for both writing and publishing, and that entity isn't a traditional publisher such as a newspaper, then the product is self-published.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:26, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Fact-checking and the other hallmarks of reliable sources may not be required for external links but Wikipedia:External links#What can normally be linked says that it has to be accurate material contained in the link and we do not know whether that is the case for all the user contributed material on this site. It further states that the material 'cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia' for a reason. What is the reason for material on this site? Is it non notable detail?SovalValtos (talk) 20:44, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
We don't have to "know" that "all" the material on the entire site is accurate; we have to have a rational belief that the information on the particular page that's being linked is accurate. And I suggest to you that anyone who has written an encyclopedia article on the exact subject of the link is likely to be capable of determining whether that's the case.
From the comments above, it appears that "amount of detail" is a major reason.
Also, on the general tenor of this discussion, I'd like to add that this is supposed to be the kind of thing in which we say "you are smart enough and trustworthy enough to use your best judgement", rather than "check the list of pre-approved rationales; anything that isn't explicitly permitted is banned by wikilawyers". So when you look at a link like this, the first thing to do is to take a step back and ask yourself whether someone who really needed to know more about this playwright could benefit from reading that link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:33, 2 November 2016 (UTC)


{{ARP}} was being used to easily add links to , for example linking to information for Birminham airport. The template was nominated for deletion and subsequently deleted, but I have a funny feeling it was because the nominator removed all of the links and then claimed it was "unused". I wish to know if aireport is a valid external link so I can add them back in if necessary. Primefac (talk) 21:01, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Shopping site "sources"

I discovered that the article for Sekai Project, a video game publisher, has almost 100 "footnotes" that almost all lead to the same purchase and download site for these games. I removed the table columns containing them, but another editor restored them, with the edit summary "these are here to provide references for the release dates and developers; as they are released on Steam, providing the Steam page is an easy way to reference them; and not all of them are of the Steam page; some are of reliable secondary sources". Rather than edit warring with him one-on-one, I decided to present the situation here. Largoplazo (talk) 13:39, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Actually, I feel like I got distracted from another flaw in the article: I don't think an article on a vendor should even list everything in the vendor's catalog, as this does. Largoplazo (talk) 13:40, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
These links are being used as sources for the release dates, for which they are acceptable per WP:SELFPUB, if not ideal. What you should indeed question is the appropriate WP:WEIGHT, as your follow up question asks. I will ping the video games project in case they have an opinion. --Izno (talk) 13:45, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Also, @Juhachi: as the other editor involved. --Izno (talk) 13:48, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
As a very last resort, I'd use them as a reference to cite a release date or minor detail, basically in the same (cautious) manner that one does when citing first party sources...but I wouldn't have them as an external link though, as that serves more of a promotional "Buy Here" type message. Sergecross73 msg me 14:20, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
As a publisher and not a developer, I do think it is inappropriate to list all the games they have published. A list of the developers they have supported is fine, but that would remove the issue with the links. In a case where most of their developers appear to be non-notable, but they have notable titles, I do think a short representative sample of games (read: blue-linked, notable ones only) is fair, but because the blue-links should include sources better supporting release dates, there's no need to include the store sources.
But lets now assume the issue falls onto the developer's page, where an exhaustive list of their games would be fine, assuming the developer is notable, but not all their games are. Here I think it would be reasonable that if the only real source for a release date for a game is the digital outlet, that's fine, but it should be treated as a reference, not an EL. It would give less an impression that this is a "buy here" link and more an informational link. --MASEM (t) 14:21, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

How to format two links to different pages of the same type?

See here.

Basically the Quan Tangshi includes two books of poetry by the guy I'm writing about, and the Chinese Text Project has these on two separate pages, and I want to link to both of them, but I'm not sure how to word it, or if I should indent the second one, or just put two separate links in the same bullet point.


Hijiri 88 (やや) 02:31, 6 November 2016 (UTC)

And by "two separate links in the same bullet point" I mean this. I'm leaning in favour of this because "which collects Zhang Hu's poems" was ambiguous (the Quan Tangshi collects a lot more than that; "which" referred to "Book 510" and "Book 511"). Hijiri 88 (やや) 02:36, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
How about a bullet-point for this set (pages at a certain site), and then a sublist of the specific entries?
DMacks (talk) 02:43, 6 November 2016 (UTC)
@DMacks: Accepted (with slight modification).[5] Thanks! :D Hijiri 88 (やや) 02:47, 6 November 2016 (UTC)


Is it acceptable for the inclusion of links to this site? I saw that a new editor included a link bust wasn't sure even after a cursory re-review of out policy on external links whether this particular link was acceptable. Feinoha Talk 23:12, 7 November 2016 (UTC)

@Feinoha: I started reverting these before seeing this thread. No, this runs afoul of WP:EL in a couple ways, but chief among them is that the site looks to host and/or link to copyrighted material it does not own. Even assuming good faith that there is some legal content there, the links were added to major motion pictures that certainly are not owned by the site, and therefore falls under WP:ELNEVER/WP:YT (and a couple aspects of WP:ELNO. All removed now. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 00:53, 8 November 2016 (UTC)
I think it safe to assume these editors are related. Filmbizasia admits a WP:COI. --Ronz (talk) 20:28, 9 November 2016 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:Donald Trump#RfC: Should social network links be added to the External links section?

You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Donald Trump#RfC: Should social network links be added to the External links section?. - MrX 21:58, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Can someone look over

Can someone look this over? It might not have been spammed, but I can't imagine many situations where it would belong in articles as sources or external links. I'm also not able to get any of the links I've tried to bring up anything ( and ) when they don't simply 404 ( and ). Some sort of registration required maybe? --Ronz (talk) 18:45, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:Disco Demolition Night#"Slate" link to complete game on YouTube

You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Disco Demolition Night#"Slate" link to complete game on YouTube. Marchjuly (talk) 04:55, 7 December 2016 (UTC) -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:55, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Official website uses Wikidata

I just learned something that I had not previously noticed so I'm mentioning it for anyone else who missed it. Apparently {{Official website}} uses Module:Official website and the latter (since January 2016) gets the official website URL from Wikidata. If no URL is specified in the template the Wikidata URL is displayed. If a URL is given that is different from the Wikidata URL, a hidden category is added to the page. For example, Academy Awards is in Category:Official website different in Wikidata and Wikipedia because the article contains {{Official website|}} while Wikidata specifies at Academy Awards (Q19020). It would be easy to add multiple official websites at Wikidata but my quick reading of the module is that it currently displays only a single URL (the one it regards as highest ranking). The template/module will display a second official link if |mobile=... is used. A bot has been approved to convert bare "official website" URLs to use the template. A later phase will then use the tracking category (which currently has nearly 24,000 entries!) to find and eventually fix cases where there is a discrepancy between the enwiki and wikidata URLs. Johnuniq (talk) 23:43, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

This is currently bein discussed at WT:External links#Official website template. Johnuniq (talk) 00:05, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

The second phase will probably need approval. The first phase will shows us the extend of the differences between Wikidata and English Wikipedia. -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:42, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Registration required

I added a template:Registration required to at Cointreau and was reverted with the comment "Age verification isn't registration, and that isn't much of verification anyway." To me, having to give my country and age, or lie about them, is a "registration." It's also a possible barrier to those who are underage and honest. Comments? Kendall-K1 (talk) 19:43, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

If you can not access the website without this information then the registration required tag would make sense. MilborneOne (talk) 19:57, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Not only can you not access the website without this information, if you answer honestly, you risk not being able to access it at all. Kendall-K1 (talk) 22:24, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Age verification is pretty standard on alcohol websites and on social media accounts related to alcohol. Virtually nothing is done with the information: you are not registering in the sense of setting up an account. You are simply confirming that you are over the age of 18. At most, you might get a cookie that says that you completed age verification. Calling that registration is a bit of a stretch. To avoid the perception of being seen to encourage alcohol consumption, alcohol brands don't want under 18s visiting their websites. It is just a form of protective posterior covering, so that if some moralising parent or journalist starts complaining about how the evil scary Internet is turning their innocent children into booze hounds, the brand can say "yeah, but the little darlings clicked through and said they were above legal drinking age". Calling that a form of registration is pretty excessive. —Tom Morris (talk) 20:41, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
I believe the purpose of this template is to warn the reader that clicking on the link will not take them to the information they are looking for, but rather will put up a small barrier to access. It seems to me this is a much bigger barrier than your typical registration, since not everyone will be able to access the information. So these web sites deserve this warning template more than your standard "registration required" sites. Kendall-K1 (talk) 01:18, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
So, make a template that isn't misleading: call it "age confirmation needed". You have to confirm your age, not register. Think about the real world analogue: you don't have to become a member of a bar in order to enter it, but you do have to convince the door staff that you are of legal drinking age. —Tom Morris (talk) 18:15, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Statistical data from this site has been added to multiple articles by a new user Ravi_Kotwani (talk · contribs) - see all contribs. Usually I would have posted a simple talkpage warning, but considering the amount of additions from this SPA this could use more eyes (and possibly a rollback). The site was created in August 2016 and claims to rely on data of Ministry of Health and Family WelfareDepartment of Health and Family Welfare and statistics. Even if that unverifiable claim was true, the site is a simple data aggregator with insufficient information about their expertise and methodology - it fails our reliability guidelines (relevant data should be taken from acknowledged original sources or expert authors). That whole set of additions looks like self-promotional spam, another check and advice would be appreciated. GermanJoe (talk) 15:37, 28 December 2016 (UTC) (talk · contribs) as well.
I agree, it's WP:REFSPAM. --Ronz (talk) 16:27, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree as well. Definitely not a reliable source, and definitely WP:SPAM. Hannibal Smith ❯❯❯ 10:22, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Upon digging a bit deeper, there is definitely a WP:COI situation, as well as spam. Ravi Kotwani is a principal of - Comments on (talk · contribs) claim to be owner of, and contact page has email address of ravi [at] nexuslinkservices [dot] com. is an internet marketing and web design company in India. If you go to their "About Us" page - Ravi Kotwani is a PHP Project Manager. Whois lookups comfirm the trail ends up at Nexus as well. Using the External links search tool, it shows we have a spam problem - 39 links from Wikipedia to That's a bit of cleanup to do. Hannibal Smith ❯❯❯ 10:52, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Ravi_Kotwani has been blocked and all the links have been removed. --Ronz (talk) 18:12, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Links to dead websites

If a Wikipedia page links to a webpage that doesn't exist anymore and doesn't have an archived version of it available either (due to robots.txt), should I remove it? The only purpose it serves is telling the reader that there might once have been a website like that, but clicking on it will only link them to sketchy adverts, so I think it would be better of gone. 607 (talk) 13:49, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

I would add {{dead link}} and possibly {{citation needed}}, though there may be a better template--optimal behavior would be to find a new reference to some information. --Izno (talk) 14:30, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
I would go with Izno's suggestion if the link is being used as a reference, but if it is just in an external links section I would remove it. - MrOllie (talk) 14:55, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
WP:ROT covers most situations. --Ronz (talk) 20:53, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

YouTube link in Fausta (opera)

Would someone mind taking a look at the YouTube link in Fausta (opera)#External links? It appears that someone uploaded a complete performance of the opera to YouTube, but I'm not sure if that would be considered a copyright violation per WP:COPYLINK. Thanks in advance. -- Marchjuly (talk) 10:57, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

I removed it, and cleaned up the section. I couldn't find any copyrigh information in the video, so thought it best to keep it out. It was added here by Michael Bednarek (talk · contribs), who I notified. --Ronz (talk) 16:39, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I understand the precautionary principle but some explanation of why a grainy 35-year old recording of an opera that hasn't been recorded since and is so obscure it's not listed on the performers' articles (bar 1) cannot be used as external link would be helpful. WP:COPYLINK cautions against knowingly and intentionally linking to a site that violates copyright. As far as I know, YouTube doesn't. They are quite good at finding and removing copyright-protected material. The recording in question has been there for 4.5 years, so I assume YouTube is OK with it.
You write you "cleaned up the section". I noticed you removed the link to the libretto and I wonder why. Surely not because of the laughable copyright claim at the bottom of that page? Please restore that link. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:24, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
The degree of obscurity doesn't matter as far as copyright is concerned. But I agree that the video looks like something posted by the rights holder, not by a pirate, and that if it were a violation I would expect Youtube to have caught it by now. And that the libretto looks fine. Kendall-K1 (talk) 02:59, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Although I do think YouTube has taken steps to reduce copyright infringment, I think lots of removals occur in response to takedown notices. According to "6. Your Content and Conduct item B" YouTube's TOS, it's up to the uploader to "have the necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to publish Content" they submit. If the YouTube channel hosting the video was an official channel of the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, then perhaps it could be assumed to be OK; however, the YouTube channel is "Gaetano Donizetti", who for obvious reasons is not the same as Gaetano Donizetti, so it's not clear if this is the original copyright holder of footage since the channel does not provide any such information. YouTube is still home for copy violations of various types of media, some of which have been there for years but just have not reported yet. So, I'm not sure if simply saying it's been there for a long time is good enough for Wikipedia. -- Marchjuly (talk) 03:46, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
@Michael Bednarek: Thank you very much for responding. I left one libretto link, choosing what I thought was the better of the two. Should we switch them? Do you see a reason to keep them both?
Concerning the video: I'm no expert on our copyright policy, and am regularly surprised by how it is enforced. Simply, I couldn't find any copyright information, and no one else so far has spotted any that I may have missed. Since YouTube does not take responsibility for all material being free from copyright violations, I don't think we should make any assumptions. --Ronz (talk) 16:37, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
(squeeze) Both librettos should be kept. The one you left is a facsimile of a 1993 publication which is unsearchable, but can be downloaded as a PDF. The one you deleted is in a format less polished but it's simple HTML and searchable. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 01:55, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
I've restored it, but I believe we want non-redundant information, not just different ways to access it. --Ronz (talk) 02:25, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
It says "License: Standard YouTube License". You have to click on "SHOW MORE". Kendall-K1 (talk) 23:14, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
I think that license is just something the uploader can choose or maybe it's added by default if no other license is chosen. I don't think it automatically means that the uploader is the original copyright holder or that the uploader has permission to upload the file. Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons also have standard licenses, but that doesn't necessarily mean everything you find on either is not protected by copyright. In fact, copyright violations are constantly being uploaded and removed from both.
If you look at the official YouTube channel for NBC, you'll see that some of it's content has the same standard YouTube license. I'm pretty sure, however, that NBC is the creator of such content and thus holds any copyright on it. Can we be certain of the same thing with respect to the opera footage and this particular YouTube uploader? -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:47, 9 January 2017 (UTC)


Filthy Frank is about a musician and YouTuber. The infobox lists his YT channel, and the external links section contains two SoundCloud sites (for his two stage names), his Facebook and his Twitter. He now has an album on the Billboard under one of the stages names, so the SoundClouds make sense at a stretch, although his music is also available from the YT channel. But it seems to me that the Facebook and Twitter should be removed per WP:ELNO. At Talk:Filthy Frank#Social media links, User:Laurdecl says that WP:ELNO doesn't apply because of WP:ELOFFICIAL, because "The links are both Miller's official pages and are both controlled by him. I've seen plenty of other articles which are like this." My understanding was that if someone's only official website was a social media page, then that page was naturally their official website, but not all of their social media websites. WP:ELMINOFFICIAL says "...more than one link may be appropriate, under a very few limited circumstances...", e.g. "A person who is notable for more than one thing might maintain separate websites for each notable activity, (e.g., one website for music and another website for writing)." This doesn't seem to me to be the case here for Facebook and Twitter. My attempt at discussion at the article talk page has yielded only a circular argument from that editor, so could we have some comment on this please? Wikishovel (talk) 09:32, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

This was a bit far but alright, here goes. WP:ELNO states that social media sites should not be linked if they are unofficial. These pages are obviously Miller's official pages per WP:ELOFFICIAL. Even if this wasn't true his occupation as a YouTuber and popularity online certainly warrants these links and I would see WP:IAR as valid here. Laurdecl talk 09:44, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
They are official sites, but links to the Facebook and Twitter accounts can be found prominently displayed on his official YouTube page, so per WP:ELMINOFFICIAL there's no real reason to have more than one official link in this case. The official website for subjects is commonly listed in both the main infobox and as an external link, so I don't see why that can't be done here. Lots of subjects have multiple official websites, including social media accounts, but there's really no reason to list them all if links to them can be found in one place. Wikipedia articles are not a de-facto place to post links to all of a particular subject's official online presence. As for the Soundcloud links, it's not clear why they are needed, especially if the pretty much the same content or links to the same content can be found on the YouTube channel. -- Marchjuly (talk) 11:43, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, we do not need to link to every official site, the policies and guidelines certainly ask us to minimize. Twitter and facebook are here superfluous. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:25, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. His not having an official website beyond social media makes this a bit tricky, but I think his YouTube site should be treated as the official page. The rest are redundant. Place his YouTube site in the External links section, remove the rest.--Ronz (talk) 15:41, 14 January 2017
 Done – I've removed his Twitter and Facebook, but I've left his Soundcloud because he does have music there that is not on his YouTube channel and there isn't a link to it on his page. Laurdecl talk 23:38, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

And I've added the youtube in the external links, as that is their main web presence (as also suggested by the lede of the article). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:01, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Grace VanderWaal

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
In evaluating an RfC, the closer is expected to not merely count noses, but also judge the consensus of the community, after discarding irrelevant arguments... In this RfC, such evaluation is complicated by the number of pieces being considered and by a relative dearth of references to policies that the !votes are implicitly relying upon. Two guidelines do have obvious applicability, the External Links guideline and the guideline on determining consensus. Consistent with the second guideline, local consensus can override the content guideline if it is clear and if it does not violate core policies of verifiability, no original research, neutral point of view, copyright, and biographies of living persons. To summarize the discussion on the remaining issues, therefore, I will take each proposed external link in turn and consider the consensus:
  • Official website: Clear and unchallenged consensus for inclusion
  • VanderWaal's official YouTube channel: After sorting through the weeds, comes down mostly to an argument of assisting a reader versus WP:ELMINOFFICIAL, with a rough consensus for inclusion
  • GraceVanderWaalVEVO: There is no consensus on either keeping or removing the Vevo site. Policy- and guideline-based arguments suggest against it, and the arguments in favor are largely based n personal preferences
  • VanderWaal's audition performance on America's Got Talent: Clear consensus for inclusion

(non-admin closure) Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 18:36, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

What links should be included in the External links section for Grace VanderWaal have been in dispute off-and-on since late October. Consensus was reached in a few days to include her official website, her YouTube channel, and a link to her AGT audition video. That consensus has not held, and all links other than her official website are in dispute. The purpose of this discussion is to find new consensus for which will go in the External links section. --Ronz (talk) 15:54, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Related articles
Past Discussions
Links in External links section of the current version
  1. Official website
    Official website for VanderWaal. Registered Jun'16. Very minimal webpage that prominently links to her social media webpages.
  2. VanderWaal's official YouTube channel
    Her official YouTube channel. Predates her notability. Links to her official website and social media webpages. Links twice (from her Hosts subsection and as a playlist) to six of the Perfectly Imperfect (EP) videos. Contains links to 30 other videos.
  3. GraceVanderWaalVEVO
    VEVO's channel for videos of VanderWaal's performances that they host, created in Sep'16, currently promoting Perfectly Imperfect (EP). Links to her official website and her social media webpages with the exception of her official YouTube channel. Has a few videos not linked from her official YouTube channel (currently five of the eleven). Three of those videos are audio-only of videos available on both channels, leaving two with unique content only available through the VEVO channel.
    Perfectly Imperfect (EP) includes this VEVO channel in its External links section, and includes as references the six videos that are linked from her official YouTube channel.
  4. VanderWaal's audition performance on America's Got Talent
    Part of the most notable aspect of her life today, her America's Got Talent win. Commonly linked from articles about her, including multiple references currently used in the article (refs #8(Petit), 12(Salazar ), 17(Izadi), 18(Spanos), 20(Brown), 24(Elizabeth), and 24(Raynor); possibly more), as well as the video list being used as a reference. Subsequent content additions highlighted the popularity of the video. [7]


Official website
  • Keep - per WP:ELOFFICIAL Inclusion hasn't been in dispute and I don't expect it will. --Ronz (talk) 16:39, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Official YouTube channel
  • Weak keep - per WP:ELOFFICIAL#2 and "Official links (if any) are provided to give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself", because of the lack of content about her on her official website versus the many personal videos on this YouTube channel. --Ronz (talk) 17:02, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove - it is already linked from that official website (see WP:ELMINOFFICIAL), that is enough path to tell more about the subject (there are other social networks there to tell more). We are not writing a linkfarm. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:48, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per settled discussion. —ATS 🖖 talk 19:15, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    @ATS: Can you a) summarize that "settled" discussion and b) provide cross-referencing to known policy and guideline on the inclusion of external links which was brought up in that discussion? You make a vague handwave below about what others have said, but not what they've actually said (nor what you yourself have said) with this response. --Izno (talk) 20:06, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    The article's talk page and the ANI report provide the data necessary. Unlike the user seeking a phony "resolution", I actually want to move on to building an encyclopedia. —ATS 🖖 talk 21:02, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    @ATS: I asked you to summarize the discussion, especially why you believe it to be settled in accord with policy/guideline. Do you have that available for users new to this discussion or will you handwave again? --Izno (talk) 21:11, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    Objection. Badgering the witness. Question asked and answered. —ATS 🖖 talk 22:52, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    A local consensus does not cut it, see Wikipedia:Consensus#Level_of_consensus. Any policy/guideline based arguments why this should be included? --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:41, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
    Are you planning to argue with every keep !vote? —ATS 🖖 talk 01:23, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
    Oh, sorry, was this supposed to be a vote? --Dirk Beetstra T C 01:56, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
    Oh, sorry, are you supposed to be a sysop?ATS 🖖 talk 04:02, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
    Look, you can keep playing this at the editor, or actually come with arguments for inclusion. People have, for months, said that these links ar superfluous, and they keep being pushed. And here it is the same, no arguments, just trying to get rid of opponents. That is how you treat Ronz, it is how you try to treat me here. Dirk Beetstra T C 06:15, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
    I hope you're not studying to be a lawyer—your failure at reading comprehension—specifically, who is treating whom how—is unprecedented. Meantime, let me be clear: you browbeating me for "arguments for inclusion" is precisely that and no less. My !vote is clear, my statements therefor are clear, and yours against will stand regardless of any statement I make—and don't think for one minute that we all cannot see right through you. —ATS 🖖 talk 06:35, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove per WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. --Izno (talk) 20:06, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per voluminous discussions on the article's Talk page. VanderWaal is notable partly for her YouTube videos in which she performers her original songs and covers. This YouTube channel has much more relevant content about VanderWaal than her official website, which has no content, just links. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:56, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    Those are not arguments for inclusion based on policy or guideline, whereas policy clearly tells us to minimize the number of links (methods expanded in the guidelines). --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:41, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per ATS and Ssilvers Somambulant1 (talk) 23:16, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove per Izno and Beetstra. A link to the YouTube channel can easily be found on the official website, so there's not reason to include it per ELMINOFFICIAL, which says "More than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with significant unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites". Links to YouTube and her other social media pages aren't hidden away on some inner subpage; they are clearly displayed right below her name on the mainpage. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:22, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per ATS and Ssilvers. These are the links that any reader of the article will want to see. -- UWS Guy (talk) 04:44, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove - superfluous. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:48, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    Also linked from official site, see WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:54, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per settled discussion. —ATS 🖖 talk 19:15, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    As said: Wikipedia:Consensus#Level_of_consensus. --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:41, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
    Are you planning to argue with every keep !vote? —ATS 🖖 talk 01:23, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove per WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. --Izno (talk) 20:06, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per the voluminous discussions at the article's Talk page. GraceVanderWaalVEVO contains unique lyrics videos and audio videos of five of VanderWaal's original songs. These songs are part of what makes VanderWaal notable, and our readers should be offered a direct link to these free videos. -- Ssilvers (talk) 23:00, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    That is not what policy prescribes. Minimize. --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:41, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per ATS and Ssilvers Somambulant1 (talk) 23:16, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove for the same reason as the YouTube channel. A link to the site can be found the official website, so there's not reason to include it per ELMINOFFICIAL. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:22, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep: YouTube artist; famed almost solely for YouTube; does not have any major discography to list, therefore YouTube account provides a major source of information on the article subject which cannot be conveyed by text, and which readers are highly unlikely to find even though it's linked somewhere on her official site. We don't want to bury information, we want to keep the reader in mind above all. Softlavender (talk) 05:05, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm not disputing the fact that this person is notable for being on YouTube, but there is a link to her YouTube page as well as links to the rest of her social media accounts clearly displayed right under her name at This seems to be exactly the type of thing that ELMINOFFICIAL says we should avoid. -- Marchjuly (talk) 07:35, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
'Famed almost solely for YouTube' seems to be in stark contrast with the statement in the lede of the article, saying 'also creates videos of her original songs and covers for YouTube' (my bolding). Note as well that this !vote is in the Vevo section, while you seem to be discussing the YouTube channel. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:51, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per ATS and Ssilvers. These are the links that any reader of the article will want to see. -- UWS Guy (talk) 04:44, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove Appears to be WP:LINKSPAM, or something far too close to it. Editors are arguing to include it without regard to other content that makes it redundant multiple times over. --Ronz (talk) 16:50, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
VanderWaal's audition performance on America's Got Talent
  • indifferent, it is how she got famous, but well, it is widely discussed in the article, and likely on all the sites that are linked from her official website. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:48, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per settled discussion. —ATS 🖖 talk 19:15, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove - Why this song and not others? (Where do we stop with the inclusion of YouTube videos?) Perhaps WT:MUSIC might have a different opinion or some guideline of which they're aware, which I might be inclined to follow. --Izno (talk) 20:06, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep. VanderWaal's original AGT audition has more than 50 million views and is the performance that made her notable. Keep also per numerous voluminous discussions on the article's Talk page. -- Ssilvers (talk) 23:00, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    Number of views is not an argument to include -that number will be affected by having it on the Wikipedia page in the first place. Not that WP:SPAM is relevant, you do seem to use the typical arguments. --Dirk Beetstra T C 01:13, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per ATS and Ssilvers Somambulant1 (talk) 23:16, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep. It's unusual, fascinating, and what catapulted her to fame. There's no question that this greatly informs the reader, and the absence of it would render the article rather uninformative. Softlavender (talk) 05:05, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep per ATS and Ssilvers. These are the links that any reader of the article will want to see. -- UWS Guy (talk) 04:44, 18 January 2017 (UTC)


  • Are we now everywhere going to re-establish the consensus as recorded in WP:NOT#REPOSITORY/WP:EL/WP:ELMINOFFICIAL/WP:ELOFFICIAL/WP:ELNO? Or are we locally trying to override it, and if that does not work, we come here? --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:51, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    @Beetstra:I hope not. We both know it's common for editors to dismiss EL because it is a guideline rather than policy, and to overlook that EL/ELN is how Wikipedia has decided to elaborate and enforce important parts of NOT. Consensus does need testing now and then. --Ronz (talk) 19:23, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • The dishonesty of this "discussion" should be noted; the reporting user refuses to self-impose a TBAN as recommended by no fewer than six editors, and pretends to desire to "move on from this" when the user is desperate to "move on" only if it goes his way. Editors Ssilvers and Softlavender have articulated—and far better than I did—the reasons why the guidelines invoked do not apply, and I would again call for the user to actually, legitimately move on, as the rest of us actually trying to build an encyclopedia have already done. —ATS 🖖 talk 19:10, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    The ANI thread can proceed regardless of this RFC's status, so I'm not entirely sure why you're raising this as a concern. As for "actually trying to build an encyclopedia", how is this a particularly relevant argument to the (dis)inclusion of external links? If you're building this encyclopedia, then surely whether an external link is included is a different discussion, since that leads people away from this encyclopedia. --Izno (talk) 20:09, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
    This argument is utterly nonsensical; "this encyclopedia" includes (likely) millions of external links that are—when used correctly, as in this case—designed to aid in the readers' understanding of a topic. When an external link leads someone from Wikipedia in furtherance of knowledge, it is doing its job. —ATS 🖖 talk 19:24, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
    Point being, that several editors, including me, already months ago said that they do not believe that these links add anything that is not yet included. As the burden of showing that is on the editor who wishes to include them, you don't have consensus to include them (which means that they should go). And that is exactly the consensus that is codified in the policies and guidelines that have been pointed out so often in the many discussions. Still these links are added over and over. These links do not merit inclusion, most basically per WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:50, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

There are only four ELs on this article. VanderWaal is notable for three things: (1) her YouTube videos of her original songs and covers; (2) her new EP; and (3) her appearances (and win) on AGT. The first disputed link is to the subject's main YouTube channel where most of these videos reside. The second is a link to the "videos" page of her GraceVanderWaalVEVO channel that features her EP and the songs on the EP, including unique lyrics videos and audio videos of the songs on the EP. The third links to the appearance on AGT that made the subject notable and famous and which has been viewed well over 100 million times on social media (both YouTube and Facebook). Each of these three links supports one of the three key indicia of WanderWaal's notability. As WP:ELOFFICIAL requires, they are "the minimum number of links that provide readers with the maximum amount of information", and as all the guidelines require, a "common sense" application of the guidelines would require giving links to each of them. -- Ssilvers (talk) 23:05, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

I am in complete agreement with the statement above by Ssilvers. The discussed ELs are essential in providing readers that which constitutes the basis of the subject's notability. Somambulant1 (talk) 23:23, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

  • Keep all per established consensus. There are no fans at the article trying to puff it up. No one is trying to misuse Wikipedia as a link farm or for undue promotion of the subject. Harassment of spammers is good, but there are no spammers involved. Johnuniq (talk) 23:26, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
'per established consensus' .. the consensus is WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. See Wikipedia:Consensus#Level_of_consensus for more info. Any policy/guideline based arguments in favour of inclusion? --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:41, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, WP:EL says: "This page documents an English Wikipedia content guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. ... External links in an article can be helpful to the reader, but they should be kept minimal, meritable, and directly relevant to the article." In this case, the three disputed ELs are essential to readers of the article, and, as discussed above, they are minimal, meritable and directly relevant to the article. -- Ssilvers (talk) 01:03, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
And the youtube and Vevo are linked already from the official website, a situation that is also in WP:EL. Policy prescribes to minimize ELs, and that is what you ignore, as well as selective reading of WP:EL. I have skimmed through the discussions, and still fail to see arguments why these 2 links are so important in providing more info than what our article and reliables sources say about the subject, that would warrant inclusion over what policy (pillar) prescribes. --Dirk Beetstra T C 01:09, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
I know this case looks like all the others, but it has some important differences. Regardless of that, there is no policy concerning this case other than WP:IAR which certainly allows good reasons to prevail over a guideline providing advice that should generally be followed. Johnuniq (talk) 06:35, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
WP:NOT. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:15, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
The relevant text (at WP:LINKFARM) includes "There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to the external links section of an article". I'm a fervent anti-spammer but some cases are more nuanced and this major campaign against a couple of links is highly unwarranted. The campaign is much more damaging than the external links. Johnuniq (talk) 09:39, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Johnuniq, I know, and I strongly appreciate your work. The problem is that this is a slippery slope (this discussion has already WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS-type arguments in them), ánd the inclusion is discouraged throughout. Ask the question, what do these Youtube and VEVO add in information over what is in the article? Is it understanding of the subject (which then is duplicated, what do you not understand from the Youtube videos that then you understand from VEVO or vice versa), and how do you not get that already from the article on one of the albums. The info is already incorporated, the links are linked from the subject official site (and more, also the facebook and twitter help in understanding ...). The only thing I see are 'matter of fact statements' that they add something. What encyclopdic info that cannot be included do they add? --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:23, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
What encyclopdic info that cannot be included do they add? Since this question directly determines if we are meeting NOT, I think it requires a clear answer. Can anyone do so, or maybe summarize an answer that I've overlooked? --Ronz (talk) 15:49, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
That might be what you would like the policy to say, but it actually says:
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. On articles about topics with many fansites, for example, including a link to one major fansite may be appropriate. See Wikipedia:External links for some guidelines.
A better question to ask is how does this proposal (to remove a couple of links) help the encylopedia? How much damage are you prepared to inflict on the community by push push push against good editors over a trivial issue? Johnuniq (talk) 04:05, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
I, for one, do not believe that the article gets any worse by removing these links. There is nothing there that is not covered in the article itself, in articles on Wikipedia related to the subject, ánd the information is directly accessible from the homepage. I would even argue that the article gets better by removal, it turns into an excessive, selective list. What you are arguing is basically saying that anyone can include social networking sites at will, as people who argue that they should not be removed (which in this case has been argued for a long, long time) should stop complaining and just let it be. These links do not belong.
Since "the burden of providing [this] justification is on the person who wants to include an external link.", can you, or someone else who thinks those links should be there now finally answer the question at hand: how do these links improve the article, because if they don't the article is better without them. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:23, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
So this is a question I have been going back and forth on for a couple of days now, ever since I first encountered this dispute at ANI. And sad to say, I'm as uncertain as at the start, so I'm not going to lodge an !vote either way. But there is one distinction that has occurred to me which I think may be worth pointing to here. It seems to me that there are two different sets of interrelated arguments here. The first is a basic cost-benefit analysis of the value of the links. The second is a "slippery slop"/uniformity across the project question. While both have their place, I'd caution against the two being completely conflated. I understand and broadly agree with the reasons behind WP:ELMINOFFICIAL; having standards which restrain those who come to Wikipedia with the purpose of drowning an article with promotional links is not just useful, it is rather a necessity. But it's important to remember that we do have a broad principle of WP:IAR that dictates the consideration of exceptions to any standard if such exceptions will serve a pragmatic end. Now, my personal perspective is that IAR arguments should be used exceedingly rarely. But the fact remains that the principle is baked into the DNA of many of our policies, ELMINOFFICIAL included.
Again, I'm torn in this instance--which is rare; I find it exceedingly uncommon that an hour of thought on an issue doesn't point me to my policy interpretation--let alone several days. Does the relevance of the sites that host the bulk of this young artist's work argue for their inclusion on a list that as yet has no other links and is hardly in danger of becoming an overwhelming element of the page? Or should we default to the normal rationale of the relevant policy, that if such pages can be reached from the subject's "main page" that there is not enough need to justify their inclusion and they should be avoided in favour of a minimalist approach to auxiliary content? I honestly go back and forth, but the one thing I feel certain about is that we probably should not decide the matter based upon an alarmist rationale of what other editors might do on other articles. WP:OTHERSTUFF cuts both ways, after-all. I think the matter should be judged on the pragmatics and content/style considerations relevant to this article alone. Snow let's rap 08:49, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
@Snow Rise: I fully agree on the interrelation between WP:ELMINOFFICIAL and WP:IAR. I have done a spree of removals lately, and have been reverted on a couple of articles (with rationale). One of them is Donald Trump. Per WP:ELMINOFFICIAL the (official) social networking sites do not have a place next to the official site (as suggested throughout in other policies/guidelines/essays/template documentation). But there the WP:IAR argument is that (non-exact quote) 'every 4th twitter of Donald Trump becomes a news item' - Donald Trump becomes 'known for' their twitter use (tweeting/Twitter is multiple times mentioned in the article, with references). That same is true for another reversal (don't recall the person), who a) has (had, he is deceased) a thoroughly linked homepage, but (at the time of the decision to include still had a lot of traffic on their twitter handle. Filthy Frank is an internet personality, they are known because of their YouTube channel (again, that is referenced). If they would not set up an official homepage, that should be listed, but the YouTube channel should not be removed, that one merits a second link.
Now here, on Grace's article, I do not see that - a copy-paste from [8]: Grace Avery VanderWaal[1] (born January 15, 2004) is an American singer, songwriter and ukuleleist from Suffern, New York. In September 2016, at age 12, she won the eleventh season of the NBC TV competition show America's Got Talent (AGT). She soon signed a record deal with Columbia Records and released her first EP, Perfectly Imperfect, in December 2016. VanderWaal also creates videos of her original songs and covers for YouTube, and she continues to perform. She is known because of winning AGT, she signed a contract with Columbia records and released an EP, and she also has a YouTube channel ('also' ..). There are no independent sources stating that she is specifically known for their YouTube channel, and on talk it is mainly stated that she gets a lot of traffic on the channel (which does not say anything) ... WP:IAR is fine, but if you do not have an argument of why that is the specific case, then that is true for all (and we better start adapting all our inclusion standards).
So I remain (in other words): What is the reason that we think that WP:IAR should be invoked here? --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:34, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
That's interesting: I got RfC'd to that same Donald Trump discussion and came down on the other side of the argument, but here I'm less certain. Just oes to show how completely opposite people can come down on those calls, even when they agree at the broadest level about the policy. As to your inquiry, I'm just not sure. It seems to me that the main argument would be that music artists sometimes come up on YouTube these days, and that if a sufficient amount of their content passes through that site as a primary channel, it's worth listing in the article. Whether that's sufficient for inclusion and to demonstrate that the link doesn't dip too deep into linkfarm territory...meh? I don't very often parse these particular policies, and WP:ELMINOFFICIAL doesn't provide that level of analysis to the matter. I'd honestly toss a coin if I thought everyone would agree to the outcome! Snow let's rap 11:02, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
If an artist is significantly coming up through Youtube, then there are independent references that tell that in the article. Is Grace coming up because of her Youtube use .. the lede of the article does not reflect that, it is not clear from the references. Where do you (pl) get from that she is gaining most of her notability from YouTube? --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:10, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm not making that assertion, though I have seen others on the TP advocating on the general importance of her YouTube channel. But in my case, I'm just positing it as the best argument I can conceive for inclusion; I'm not certain that the assertion that she is coming up "through" YouTube is supportable in this case--though I suspect it is safe to say that it is a significant part of her online presence. Snow let's rap 11:22, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Hence the plural 'you', I was not suggesting you made that assertion. And I can see that people are making the assertion that she is coming up through the YouTube channel (though the article's 'also' does not really suggest that it is a major factor, and I do not seeing that being mentioned in reliable sources). As such, also I would certainly not support that. So my question is still not answered, and I end up at the same conclusion: we do not have consensus for inclusion. And that is why I end up at the same side as Ronz, policy, guideline, etc. etc.: remove those links until one can show that there is merit for inclusion. And that then does not support statements where Ronz' editing is defined as petty/tedious/wearing/problematic (not made by you), it does not support Ronz being banned from this discussion or that page - it is the editors who push (enforce) inclusions for which there is no consensus (and clear guidance against inclusion) that poison the editing environment and who are not really helping in building an encyclopedia. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:49, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Respectfully, Johnuniq, it seems like you are playing favourites in how you apply that argument, and being hostile to established process as a result. If this is a truly "trivial" matter that is not worth this level of rancor, and any reasonable editor would have abandoned the contest over the difference in content long ago, why are you still fighting Ronz over it? Why have several other editors been arguing not just with Ronz but also with eachother over the various links, for weeks now? Without question, I agree with your general assessment that this discussion has grown to unreasonable proportions and crossed far too many forums to be worthwhile, considering the difference in the content in question. But there's something deeply problematic about the way in which you treat this as a product of Ronz's behaviour alone. Now, I've been told that Ronz has a history of tendentiousness by editors I trust, but looking at how this particular matter has progressed, I don't see him as being any more or less inflexible than most of the other players operating on that talk page, who made this molehill into a mountain of aggravation for the community. The problem as I see it is that no one on that page had the good sense to RfC the matter or bring it to an appropriate forum to establish a workable consensus. That has now been done. This noticeboard exists for exactly the purpose of considering the relevant question here and supplying community input to resolve deadlocks. Ronz shouldn't be getting guff for raising the matter here; rather, everyone involved should be asking themselves why they didn't avail themselves of such a community process sooner, before the acrimony over this tempest in a teapot reached this pitch. Snow let's rap 08:18, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
That's easy to answer—I am trying to defend good editors who build article content. It's fine to harass SPAs who make a habit of adding external links, and it's fine to oppose good editors who persistently add unwarranted external links in multiple articles. However, this situation involves good editors who are building a new article on a young singer at the start of her career, and pushing to remove a couple of links this hard is unhelpful for the project. Things would be different if there were a policy that spelled out how many external links were acceptable, but there isn't. I am still fighting Ronz because Ronz is fighting people who build core encyclopedic content. Johnuniq (talk) 10:02, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
That doesn't really address the core of my inquiry: if you have predicated your ire with Ronz on the fact that he is allegedly arguing for an insignificant change, out of proportion with its importance, why is it not equally petty/tedious/wearing/problematic for those other editors to do the same thing--so that you feel compelled to form ranks with them as you describe? For that matter, why is it not equally unacceptable for them to differ (at times incivilly) with eachother over those same "trivial" questions? I wonder if we have read all the same threads on that TP. But ultimately there's a more important point to be observed here: this is really not the forum for leveling accusations about behavioural issues. There's an ANI already open for that, which is the best place to discuss matters such as unproductive patterns or attitudes--as you know as a vteran contributor to that space. Discussion here should remain focused on the content issues, based solely on the policy arguments about the merit of said content, not perceived flaws in the mindset of the opposition. Respectfully. Snow let's rap 10:24, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
I would add here only that our—and I mean our—ire lies not with "arguing for an insignificant change", but with attempting to enforce "an insignificant change" at all costs and by any means possible. —ATS 🖖 talk 19:35, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
@ATS: That knife cuts both ways, who is wearing his spiderman suit here? --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:44, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
It's entirely ironic that you would invoke Spider-Man, given that we're dealing with a user desperate to wield great power but who is incapable of accepting any responsibility ... —ATS 🖖 talk 07:12, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
None of this has to do with any power, it is merely ego. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:09, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Utterly incorrect; the "justified" will, when validated, expand their "power". —ATS 🖖 talk 19:13, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
─────────────────────────And we are back to the same point that was made earlier (eldewhere?) to you: so you only do this to make a WP:POINT. --Dirk Beetstra T C 02:53, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Seriously, you're a sysop?! I do it to stop the disruption of the encyclopedia and the editors making a good-faith effort to build an encyclopedia. Period. I have no desire to lead the blind ... —ATS 🖖 talk 06:43, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Again folks, this is not really the forum for this discussion. I'd like to remind everyone that it is a personal attack under our community guidelines to allege misconduct without supplying diffs or other evidence to support it, and this is definitely not the space to be providing the kind of voluminous evidence necesary to establish a pattern of disruption over time--or to even establish that this or that party was more tendentious than others with regard to this particular article/issue. If anyone believes they have something to contribute with regard to alleged behavioural issues involving the parties to this dispute (including defense of any party on the grounds their opposition is being hypocrtical), the still-open ANI thread is the place to do it. Snow let's rap 04:20, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Trump dossier - compliant?

Fellow editors,

Is the inclusion of the external link in these edits[9][10][11][12] compliant with WP:EL,WP:ELBLP, WP:BLPEL, WP:COPYVIOEL and other relevant policies & guidelines? Should the link be removed pending confirmation of compliance, per WP:ELBURDEN? See also discussions at: VPP, BLP, Talk#1, Talk#2. @JzG and CFCF: - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 12:36, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

  • In my view, absolutely not. This is copyright material hosted by someone other than the rights owner with no evidence of release. There is a good reason why the responsible news organisations are not linking to this stuff, and it's not just that the contents is unverified. Guy (Help!) 13:43, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
    I agree. Buzzfeed is too inconsistent with their fact-checking and accuracy to trust with something as controversial as this. --Ronz (talk) 17:15, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I personally think Buzzfeed as a whole is unreliable. They definitely cannot be trusted here. Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 19:03, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

official sites / social networking vs. official profiles

Our inclusion standards advice against the inclusion of all possible social sites of a subject (subject to some rare exceptions) when an official website is linked (coded in WP:ELNO #11 and WP:ELMINOFFICIAL, as a result of WP:NOT#REPOSITORY). When the subject uses one of the social networking sites as their main website, then that one is used, generally resulting in other social networking sites not being listed.

In cleaning out many pages, I now regularly run into cases, where we have 'official profiles' (which likely are not directly controlled by the subject, but by 'their agency'), and the listing of one or more social networking sites. One can now argue, that one of those social networking sites is the one that is 'the official website of the subject', or that the official profile is 'the official website of the subject' (since they gave that responsibility to that 'agency'). To me, the official profile (which may also link to their social networking sites) would provide most information about the subject, are an official website of the subject, and therefore all social networking sites (barring exceptions) are superfluous. Thoughts? --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:14, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

I tend to keep them both, the agency profile and one social site. I don't think the agency profiles meet the WP:ELOFFICIAL#1 criteria, "The linked content is controlled by the subject", while the social site does. --Ronz (talk) 15:55, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
I have left them on the same terms, indeed. They are however sometimes thé official website of a subject, and there is general a level of control on them (or, in case of controlling agencies, one can even wonder if social media are controlled by the subject or by the agent ..). --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:51, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Social networking next to already listed official websites

We seem to get here again, and again my reading of policy and guideline is questioned, so I will bring this again to a wider public. Regarding reversals like this. Is my removal here per the various policies, and guidelines (and the template instructions) in line with what our policies and guideline prescribe, or do I miss an important point? --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:30, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

I would say those should be removed. But where's the talk page discussion? Kendall-K1 (talk) 12:57, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
@Kendall-K1: Do we need a talkpage discussion regarding the removals if the standing consensus is codified in policies and guidelines? I thought we needed talkpage discussions only for inclusions for which consensus is questioned (per WP:BRD and WP:EL). --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:01, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
I've no idea what @Theanonymousentry: might be thinking from the edit summaries, or the User_talk:Theanonymousentry#No_bot discussion, but I'm not seeing any reasons to make an exception for the regular removal of such links. --Ronz (talk) 16:27, 1 February 2017 (UTC)
A talk page discussion is useful if the other editor doesn't understand the policy. Often once you explain it there is no need to go to a noticeboard. But I see this has now been discussed on the other editor's talk page. Kendall-K1 (talk) 22:17, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Linkfarms of social networking sites

Some subjects do not have a dedicated 'official website', but a whole linkfarm of social networking sites. It may there be difficult to define which one the subject would define as their most prominent one, but obviously listing all of them runs afoul of our inclusion standards. An option would be to start a talkpage discussion and to tag the section as {{linkfarm}}, but experience learns that that is not going to get any answers. Would anyone have any suggestions on how to move that forwards? --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:42, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Social networking sites tend to be linked to each other, so one usually suffices.
The purpose of adding official websites is "to give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself", especially in areas where the subject is notable. I rarely find it difficult to pick one, and almost never have any disagreements on the subject. --Ronz (talk) 16:36, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Albertbenschop (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), who has a Wikipedia article of his own, has been adding links to his site,, to many many articles on Wikipedia, and adding them to the top of the list of external links. I reverted most of his link additions and was considering blocking him indefinitely as a spam-only account, because that's exactly how he wa behaving. However, two users persuaded me to reconsider removing these links, Bellagio99 and ‪Wikiain, the latter with a particularly persuasive edit summary. Theroadislong removed two of his links from visual impairment and hearing loss, while Jackninja5 removed some other links. I'd like some opinions from these users, plus people on this board, about what should be done with the links now ... I'm leaning towards putting them back for the sociologists, while not having them displayed so prominently, but not putting them back in articles about disabilities. Graham87 06:48, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

What does the link add over what this massive article with over 150 references and a bibliography does not already has, and why can any additional info not be included (basically, WP:ELNO, #1 / intro of WP:EL / WP:NOT#REPOSITORY). --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:09, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

@Beetstra: Good question. I've also just discovered his global contribs ... I don't know about you or anyone else here, but they strike me as grossly inappropriate. He's certainly not a newby here. If it weren't for this being an ongoing discussion, I'd report this to the stewards straight away. Graham87 07:20, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
As a remark to User:Wikiain's "NOT spam. Note that Rutgers Univ calls SocioSite “The Internet’ s premier guide to cyber-resources for sociologists" - what we are discussing here is that the link got spammed (and if I go through the contributions, many of them are inappropriate additions in the places where they were added - we are not writing a linkfarm here where every possible external link that is related to the subject needs to be added, we have inclusion standards and these insertions do not follow that).
General, most of these inclusions are inappropriate, and spammed, especially because this seems to involve someone with a conflict of interest (albeit here undeclared, which may be a problem in itself). My !vote would be to remove most/all, and think very well about the inclusion. The behaviour has to stop now, as editors run the risk that this just get blanket blacklisted to stop the behaviour. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:36, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
I reverted the removal because the link was just said to be "spam", which didn't seem to be justified. It isn't "spamming" in the ordinary sense, because it does provide useful information and doesn't request anything in return. Nor is there a conflict of interest in the sense of a connection with personal information. Conceivably (but no more), the information that it provides is provided better than in some existing links in the particular article. Maybe he's doing a good job and is just over-promoting his product and his sin is just not to identify himself as the producer. But I must leave it to others to assess the quality of the product. It also seems odd to me that a university as such would endorse something used in a specific discipline, but maybe that could be explained. I'd put these sorts of question to Benschop before engaging in wholesale deletions. That's all I have to say. Wikiain (talk) 13:30, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
@Wikiain: The Wikipedia definitions are the important ones here. It's link-spamming because it's the mass unsolicited insertion of external links (he never asked anyone on the many Wikipedias he edited whether it was OK to insert these links; he just went ahead and did it. He also has a conflict of interetest in the Wikipedia sense because he is clearly the creator/author of the website (the footer mentions his name). Graham87 14:13, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Albert went and posted on Theroadislong's talk page, where I responded. It's bedtime for me now; if, by the time I revisit this discussion tomorrow, I don't here any strong objections from people familiar with the external links guideline and spamming, I'll begin the process of cleaning up these external links. Assuming nobody gets there first, that is. Graham87 14:47, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Graham87 & Wikian for bringing this to our attention. I've looked carefully at the Sociosite links to Tilly and White. (I may be one of the best qualified persons to evaluate as I was a close friend and former student of both.) I am very impressed in what this User has done, so I am glad that you have reinserted them. Tilly was sooo copious, that that was an especially impressive feat. It is unfortunate that the User is inserting his own stuff, but the good outweighs that. I know that I will consult it in my own sociological work. If you really insist, I will become a pseudo-sock puppet and reinsert. But that shouldn't be necessary. I have no comment on the User's behavior elsewhere, but just for the Tilly and White articles. Bellagio99 (talk) 18:08, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
@Bellagio99: .. regarding "If you really insist, I will become a pseudo-sock puppet and reinsert": I would be very careful with that, people inserting these links en masse should be warned that that may result in blocks. Though the link can be a resource in some places, there were many places where the link insertion was inappropriate. WP:SPAM does not make a difference whether a person is affiliated with the link, or not, it is about unsolicited link insertions regardless of consensus. I am with Graham87 here that there are quite some places where these links, in this way, are inappropriately placed. My original question, What does the link add over what this massive article with over 150 references and a bibliography does not already has, and why can any additional info not be included (basically, WP:ELNO, #1 / intro of WP:EL / WP:NOT#REPOSITORY). still has not been answered. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:35, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I've gone and removed all the remaining external links this user added to all Wikimedia sites (some had already been removed by other editors). The only exception was this one on the Dutch Wikipedia, which semed marginally useful. I added a link to this discussion in most of my edit summaries; the idea came to my mind after doing the reversions in the Kazakh and Asturian Wikipedias, so those sites didn't get such a notification. During this process I also made my first edits ever to the Azerbaijani, Kyrgyz, Limburgish, Malagasy, and Southern Min Wikipedias, so that's something of a milestone, I guess. :-) I'd like to echo what Beetstra has said up above; any future mass-insertion could result in severe consequences, up to and including blacklisting the site. Graham87 12:18, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Dear Graham87, Beetstra et al., I was NOT proposing a mass re-addition. I have no knowledge about any of the other insertions. But I found the Harrison White and Charles Tilly compilations to be extra-ordinarily useful. It saves from going to many other places. That is what I propose to retain. OK? Bellagio99 (talk) 18:12, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
@Bellagio99: (BTW you have to ping people by link to their *user* pages): That's fine; I won't remove those links; I've exceeded to such requests in arguably worse circumstances. However, if the site gets added to a spam blacklist, which I hope won't be necessary, the link will need to be removed. Graham87 01:38, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Tilly and White remain on my watchlist, as always. Over and out. Bellagio99 (talk) 22:51, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
@Graham87 and Bellagio99: Reasoned re-insertions are of course fine - this seems like a good resource for some material. Such reasoned re-insertions are also important, they give the admin who considers to blacklist a feel whether a link is even wanted somewhere. Note that even if there is persistence (cross-wiki) that would result in blacklisting (as a regular on the blacklists, I am personally not inclined to do so at the moment), some specific links can easily be whitelisted, it is a tool to stop the abuse, and as such has a means of overriding specific cases (I do encourage to request whitelisting on those links if the site gets blacklisted). --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:13, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Market segmentation

Over at Market_segmentation#External_links, we have a list of links to vendors of Market segmentation data. BronHiggs suggests in a preamble to the external links section and on the talk page that these links should be included because they include detailed profiles and demo software that could not be reproduced on Wikipedia. Is this a viable reason to disregard Links normally to be avoided points 5 and 14? - MrOllie (talk) 15:11, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

No, the links could be in a wikilinked list, there is no need for the external links. I may give it a try. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:17, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Even if it were changed to a list, the links don't belong. I've moved it all to the talk page and commented there.
I believe the general consensus is that we don't link to software, demo or otherwise.
I'm not clear what "detailed profiles" he means, nor why they cannot be included in Wikipedia.
While I haven't looked carefully, my impression is that the organizations may be more notable that BronHiggs indicates. Isn't each case a subsidiary of an organization with its own article? If that's the case, proper list without the external links should be easy to agree upon. --Ronz (talk) 15:54, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Justification for external links
As a preliminary comment, some background may be helpful in understanding the context of the external links which appear to be offending some editors. Proprietary packages such as Mosaic, PRIZM and VALs are more than simple software. Instead they include extensive databases containing survey findings from very large sample sizes. (For example, in Australia, the Roy Morgan Single Source survey has a sample of approx 65,000 respondents for a population of 24 million- sample sizes are considerably higher in the US and UK, but I do not have that information to hand). When marketers subscribe to these proprietary services, they not only purchase the right use the software, but also obtain access to the database. This data is extremely valuable and essential for various marketing decisions including market segmentation, positioning and advertising. Sample sizes must be large to support the complex statistical methods used, especially in segmentation. For an individual company to acquire this type of data it would cost upwards of AU$60,000. Such costs place access well beyond the means of small and medium enterprises, but by purchasing a subscription service where the cost is shared among a large number of client companies, it is possible to obtain access to relevant data for around AU$5,000 which makes it relatively affordable.
Let me also clarify one of the comments about profiles. As the preamble clearly states refers to "profiles or market segments." A customer profile, market profile or segment profile is a common term used in marketing. A profile would typically include descriptive information about the cohort's demographics, lifestyles, interests, attitudes, shopping habits - especially retailer preferecnes and brand preferences, media usage habits - TV, radio, mags, news and online at a bare minimum. All of the links to proprietary packages contain this type of information and it accessible free of charge to any interested member of the public.
In terms of a justification for the inclusion of these links, I would like to make the following points;
(1) It is virtually impossible to discuss some segmentation methods without mentioning the proprietary software/databases that are used to support the analysis. This is evidenced by a number of text-books that include extended discussions of the various proprietary packages, the inclusion of these packages in standard glossaries/ dictionaries of marketing terms and are also widely applied in journal articles.
Almost every standard introduction marketing text-books typically mentions at least 2-3 of these proprietary software/ database packages to illustrate basic concepts - especially in the area of psychographics and geo-demographic segmentation. In addition, texts in the areas of Consumer Behaviour and Advertising Management also discuss these proprietary applications, often in greater detail than the introductory texts. The databases are geographically specific, so they tend to focus on the services relevant for the region where the book is to be sold. In my 30 year career as a marketing educator, I cannot recall ever seeing a basic text that omitted this type of material. Indeed, these packages are so widely cited that it is impossible to do justice to the number in a short message such as this. For the sake of convenience, I am including a few illustrative publication titles with an outline of their coverage in a table form. This might be easier to interpret than a listing with commentary.
Selected text-books containing a discussion of at least one proprietary segmentation application
Bibliographic Details Target audience VALs Mosaic PRIZM ACORN Cameo Values segments Other
Baines et al, Essentials of Marketing, OUP UK, undergraduate ✔ [Ch 6]
Stone et al, Fundamentals of Marketing, Routledge, 2007 UK, undergraduate ✔ [Ch 6]
Masterson et al, Marketing: An Introduction, Mc Graw Hill, 2010 Undergraduate ✔ pp 131- 132 ✔ pp 129 - 130
Kotler & Keller, Marketing Management, 2009 US, undergraduate ✔ [Ch 8]
Kotler & Keller, Marketing Prentice-Hall, 2000 Undergraduate, University of Phoenix ✔ p. 152
Bearden, Marketing 4th ed. US, Undergraduate
Gregoriou et al, Marketing Dynamics, OUP, 2013 Canada, High school ✔ pp 67-68
Khan, M., Consumer Behaviour & Advertising Management New Age Int'l, 2006 VALs Sub-continent, undergraduate ✔ pp 20-22
Kotler et al, Marketing Pearson, 2013 Australia/ NZ, undergraduate ✔ pp 196-97
Chitty et al, Integrated Marketing Communications, 3rd Asia-Pacific ed., Cengage Asia-Pacific, undergraduate ✔ pp 83-89; 95
Eunson, B., Communicating in the 21st Century, 2nd ed., Wiley, Australia/ NZ, undergraduate ✔ p. 8.8 ✔ p. 8.8.
World Tourism Organisation, Handbook on Tourism Marketing ✔ pp 57-58
Wedel, Wagner & , Market Segmentation: Conceptual and Methodological Foundations 3rd year UG, post-graduate, practitioners ✔ p.13 ✔ pp 244- 249 ✔ pp 250-56 ✔ Geo-marktprofiel (a Dutch system)
Weinstein & Cahill, Lifestyle Segmentation, 2006 Specialist undergrad, post grad, practitioners ✔ Ch 6

(entire chapter)

✔ Ch 4

(entire chapter)

Baker, M., The Marketing Book Oxford, UK, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003 Undergraduate, post graduate, libraries (reference work) ✔ pp 267-69 ✔ pp 258-263
Notes on table: Search strategy was to use Google Advanced Search with the search terms "Market segmentation" + "Book" + ["Name of application" e.g. ACORN]. All titles published by major publishing houses and appearing within the first ten pages of the search were recorded and included in the table. Self-published titles, corporate publications and blogs were excluded. Books in library collections where the publisher and author had asked to have their names withheld from the publication details were not included in the analysis. Apart from these exclusions, there was absolutely no cherry picking.
The regularity with which the proprietary applications cited in the external links appears in reputable text-books published by leading publishers including Oxford University Press, Routledge and Butterworth-Heinemann and written by highly reputable scholars, such as Phillip Kotler, underlines the importance of these tools in theory, and by implication in practice.
* Glossaries: The proprietary packages cited in the external links section are mentioned in a plethora of both published and online dictionaries/glossaries, including such titles as Charles Doyle's, A Dictionary of Marketing, Oxford Quick Reference [book]; Business Dictionary Online,, and others. This suggests that while these packages may be available commercially, their application is regarded as mainstream and that the terminolgy has become part of the marketing lexicon.
(2) Wikipedia's guidelines on external links do not suggest a blanket ban in all cases. Instead, the policy states that "some acceptable 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." Each of the links does just that - provides further research, is on-topic (the applications are specifically named in the article) and the market profiles for up to 50 segments are sufficiently detailed that it would not be appropriate to include them in the article. (In a business report, for example, this type of detail would form an appendix)
(3) Most of the external links provide access to demonstration applications which enable to user to follow, in a step by step manner, how a population is segmented and how the resultant segments are profiled. This type of interactive helps to bring the subject matter alive in the minds of users. Such interactive and highly visual features cannot be replicated within an article on Wikipedia.
(4) Although the sites are to branded applications, the content is not pushy or overly promotional in character. It is informative and provides users with access to valuable resources.
(5) The set of links consists of seven (7) links to proprietary applications and one link to a trade magazine covering segmentation. In my opinion seven external links, in an article of approx 10,200 words cannot be construed as a "linkfarm."
(6) In the external links section, each link is accompanied by a brief description of the site's contents, explaining how users might benefit and linking it to the article's key themes. This is further enhanced by a preamble with more general comments.
Summming up

In summary, all of the specified external links are directly relevant to the article, provide access to valuable information and are beneficial to users seeking a deeper understanding of segmentation processes.

I believe that I have shown, in considerable detail, both why the links are useful and why they do not breach any of WP's policies. In my own mind, there is no question that each of the external links has a proper place within this article and should be allowed to remain. BronHiggs (talk) 08:32, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

If these are all of such importance, then they all should have their own Wikipedia article - you say that they are discussed in tertiary sources (textbooks), which means there should be significant secondary and primary sourcing available to write an article for each of them. Moreover, the list then should not take the form of an external links section, rather a full section or even a separate article in itself ('list of .. ' type maybe). What was there is not an external link section, it is a regular section masked as an external links section. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:59, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
If editors are predisposed to write articles about some of these applications, then they are most welcome to do do. However, this is not the type of work that I am interested in. My goal on Wikipedia is to work on improving marketing/ advertising articles that are factually incorrect, conceptually problematic, unfocussed, have glaring omissions, are underdeveloped and/or incomprehensible. In just on three months, I have totally overhauled and expanded 17 articles, and made substantial improvements to specific sections in a dozen or so more. Yet, there remains enough improvement type work to keep me going for another decade or more. I have no intentions of beginning new articles until those that are already in existence are accurate and useful to users. In the meantime, I will take your suggestion and create a list within the article, for these seven links that appear to be so offensive to editors.
I have no idea what is meant by regular section as distinct from an external links section nor have I read about any such distinction in the WP guidelines. It is very difficult for a newbie to understand how WP guidelines are being interpreted - if links are not notable they should not be in EL - but if they are notable they still should't be there! Is there some sort of notability scale or continuum - where only the middling notable candidates are permitted as external links? (That is a rhetorical question). Incidentally, WP policy is very clear that external links have absolutely no place in the body of an article. So I really don't understand why you are recommending that these links become part of a regular section - or is that just so that editors like MrOllie can have the pleasure of deleting them all over again? BronHiggs (talk) 20:14, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't blame you a bit for not being interested in creating new articles. Unfortunately, those new articles are where the links belong, while it would be very difficult to gain consensus to place them anywhere else.
Content about the software and databases could be added to the article, and from what you've described, should be added. --Ronz (talk) 22:08, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
@BronHiggs: If editors are predisposed to write articles about some of these applications, then they are most welcome to do do. - see WP:REDLINK, that is exactly the reason we have those. I would hence re-write the current external links section into more of a normal content-section with related information (and you might be able to reference parts of your assertions, albeit primary, from the links you have). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:11, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
OK, so I made a typographical error. That passage should have read "If editors are predisposed to write articles about some of these applications, then they are most welcome to do so." I have arthritis in both hands, and lack the fine motor skills that I once enjoyed, and this occasionally means that I use the wrong keystrokes. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with WP:REDLINKs. I don't quite follow what you mean by a 'normal content-section'. Are you suggesting that I create a subsection in the form of a list, within the article, as was suggested by another editor on this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by BronHiggs (talkcontribs)
@BronHiggs: What I wanted to suggest is to convert the original external links section (this section; except the link under general links) into a section called 'Leading providers', converting every external link to an appropriate wikilink (i.e. a link to the wikipedia page of the specific provider if it exists, a redlink if not), independently referencing the section showing that these are commonly considered to be the leading providers, and possibly using the original external links as primary sources on each of the items. The table above in this discussion may help you showing that the companies are indeed 'leading providers' (if a book has a significant part of information on a provider as described in the article, it IMHO seems to be reasonable for Wikipedia to call it a leading provider). --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:46, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Dirk Beetstra MrOllie Ronz OK, so you have insisted that these 7 links "don't belong". But to date, no real explanation as to why they don't belong has been provided. Consequently, I still cannot fully comprehend just which part of the WP guideline on EL has been breached by this content. The links are all high quality links - there is no COI, the links are directly related to the article's content and they are by no means excessive in number relative to the length of the article. Some of you have also offered alternative suggestions - sometimes contradictory. At this stage, there is such a big discrepancy between the advice that I have been receiving and my reading of the EL guidelines, that I feel it is now necessary to obtain adjudication from experinced administrators. I believe that it is time to send this matter out for adjudication. I would prefer to obtain a 3rd party opinion, but since there are more than 2 editors involved that is not an option. Therefore, there seems to be little choice but to send it to the Administrators Noticeboard for an adjudication. I will send each of you an individual advice when I have completed that task. BronHiggs (talk) 08:50, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
@BronHiggs: I would advise against such doings: Beetstra and Ronz's assessment of the page is on point. Review WP:EL#External links section, WP:MOSLINK#External links section, and lastly, the policy WP:LINKFARM. --Izno (talk) 12:55, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
@Izno: Thank-you for your input on this discussion. I am seeking some clarity in terms of how to interpret guidelines. Sending more links to guidelines, without explaining how they apply does little to clarify this for me. At WP:EL#External links section, I note that External links should identify the link and briefly summarize the website's contents and why the website is relevant to the article. All 7 links were accompanied by such descriptions. At WP:MOSLINK#External links section I note some guidelines for the format of external links. I believe that the current links conform to all those guidelines. And at WP:LINKFARM, I note that 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. While the guideline fails to define excessive, it is stretching the bounds of credulity to argue that 7 high quality links constitute a link farm. The more people refer me to policies withou explaining how they apply, the more I become confident that the policies are not being interpreted correctly, neither within the spirit nor the letter. I think that this warrants an opinion from an independent outsider with experience in interpretation and application of WP policies. BronHiggs (talk) 18:48, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
The links are basically official websites/webpages for products. Such links only belong in articles specifically about the products, where they would meet WP:ELOFFICIAL.
The links are not about the general topic of Market segmentation, so they don't belong in that article. --Ronz (talk) 19:10, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
If you took the time to read the article, it would soon become very clear that these links are entirely related to the topic of Market segmentation. I have put my arguments in favour of retaining these links. I believe that my arguments are based on logic, and are compelling. You and others have put your case, which effectively amounts to these links don't belong. As I am sure you are aware, WP guidelines advise that the "don't belong" line (WP:BELONG) is a non-argument. The guideline specifically states that such arguments [Does not belong here] are purely personal point-of-view. They make no use of policies, guidelines, or even logic. The message behind any of these is that "I don't like it, therefore it should not be included. On Wikipedia, inclusion is determined by a series of policies and guidelines set by consensus, not by people saying "I think this belongs" or "I do not think this belongs". All of that is personal opinion, and the only comment less helpful than personal opinion is a simple vote. I will need some clear time to prepare a case for the Administrators Noticeboard, therefore I will be unable to respond to any further counter-arguments or opinions. You will be given the opportunity to put your viewpoint before the Administrators. BronHiggs (talk) 19:36, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
You've explained how they are related. They are not on the general topic at all. Why they may be an important part, they're just a part. The solution is to make a list, individual articles for the products, or both.
The Administrator's noticeboard is not for resolving content disputes. See WP:DR for possible steps to take. --Ronz (talk) 21:14, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that advice. You are absolutely correct - DR is the right place to raise these issues. I am simply seeking clarity on the interpretation of the policy on external links. For instance the guideline states that the number of links should not be excessive, but fails to define what is meant by excessive. In the case of professional associations or peak industry bodies, I am thinking that up to 10 links is reasonable - one for the industry association in each English speaking nation. However, it might be useful to have an independent person clarify that type of thing. Thanks again. BronHiggs (talk) 22:17, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
The guideline also states that a lack of links, or having only a few links is not a reason to add one or more. That suggests that one link can already be excessive.
You want to go into dispute resolution, while here alternative suggestions were offered that have not been exhaustively discussed (only dismissed because you cannot take that task upon yourself). That makes me wonder why you want to go into dispute resolution. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:37, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Similar lists were added to Advertising management, Advertising media selection, and Consumer behaviour. This could be considered spamming. --Ronz (talk) 00:36, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

And Personal_selling, Brand_awareness, History of marketing, [Services marketing]]. I don't know if there are others. --Ronz (talk) 01:15, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure what to make of , which I believe was added as an external link to three articles and recommended for a fourth. --Ronz (talk) 01:12, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Advertising_management#Influential_thinkers_in_advertising_and_advertising_research shows somewhat of an example of what could be another solution of what to do with the discussed linkfarm (still, strictly with wikilinks). --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:37, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. Having two sublists in the "See also" section is a bit strange. --Ronz (talk) 16:07, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

So, the page: It's registered to the owner of a parked website of a marketing agency, . It used to be run by Hairong Li. The June 27 2009 archive still includes Li's copyright. The next archive, Aug 5 2009, removes Li's name and copyright, and replaces it with, Inc.. The current version contains the meta-information, "Advertising agencies, and an Article on advertising media by Hairong Li, of Michigan State University" with a copyright "© 2007 All Rights Reserved", but no other mention of Li. I'd say remove it as outdated info. --Ronz (talk) 17:12, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

If re-registration of the site is the case, I believe policy guidance is that re-registered site should be treat as a dead link Johnvr4 (talk) 19:14, 14 February 2017 (UTC) but only for a site with a different purpose or with different information. 20:37, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
This discussion has been copied to the market segmentation talk page so that other editors may see just how lacking in substance your arguments really are. Over here on the WPEL Noticeboard, your weak and insubstantial arguments are only seen by your like-minded mates. BronHiggs (talk) 12:46, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

I've removed the links and asked BronHiggs to explain his description for it, "A useful outline of media planning decisions written by expert media planners and intended for a practitioner audience, published by the Advertising Media Organisation" [13], which I cannot verify. --Ronz (talk) 17:41, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

BronHiggs refused to respond to the concerns about, and also restored four of the linkfarms. Seems he she has decided to leave Wikipedia as well. --Ronz (talk) 17:06, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

This last comment is not really truthful. You have pestered me with this question on multiple pages. And, in fact, I did respond on another page and said, in essence, that I did not feel the need to justify a link that had already been deleted and had little chance of ever being reinstated. (See: By your own account, you have not paid any attention to the article itself, but perhaps if you had, you would recognise that the article, which is very clearly and concisely written, delivers on the implied promise in the title, Advertising Media Planning: A Primer. It really is a primer! I find it extraordinary that someone who has not paid too much attention to the article finds themself in a position to determine that it is not appropriate or out-of-date. In my view, this is an excellent article - as my comments at the time of uploading. This article regularly appears on reading links and useful links for students of advertising. For anyone who is just beginning to learn about advertising media planning, this is a very good place to start. Given your recent tactics of deleting links from just about every page I have ever worked on, I can only see the absolute futility of engaging any further. I really only ever wanted to improve articles, especially those that have major flaws and omissions. I never wanted to waste my time in endless debates and edit wars that divert my attention from the main game which is improving articles in the marketing/advertising subject area. Incidentally BronHiggs is a she not a he. BronHiggs (talk) 08:44, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
My apologies for not using the proper pronoun. I had no idea.
You said you were leaving. Your most recent edit-warring appeared to be parting shots from someone who's going to great lengths to demonize editors that disagree with you. Do I need to provide diffs to demonstrate this?
Not responding to a very questionable link,, was your choice. Now you want us to look at the content while ignoring the copyright problems, your claims of it being authored by a group when apparently there is only a sole author whose name and copyright was removed from the website article, and your claims of an organization hosting the website? I'd hoped this all was just a simple error on your part, and still do. If you are not paying attention to such details, nor of correcting them, then you're putting yourself in a very difficult situation. --Ronz (talk) 16:55, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
As far as the Admedia link is concerned, there is NOTHING to correct. The link has been deleted, as you well know. BronHiggs (talk) 20:43, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
I'd certainly like to see you attempt to correct the impression that you don't care about any errors. --Ronz (talk) 00:44, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Florida Breaks

The stub at Florida breaks has several links that seem inappropriate for WP. In addition, I've placed links on the talk page that may be appropriate to further develop the entry. It's not in a good state and what is there should probably be rewritten entirely. Johnvr4 (talk) 22:44, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

The external links have been cleaned up. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:16, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for the clean up. Were any of the source links that I placed on the articles talk page a positive and relevant suggestion for addition? I don't want to add anything that would be disputed and they should only be there until someone cites them. Johnvr4 (talk) 14:32, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I did not remove them. Let the discussion run its course. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:29, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I have no idea what you are suggesting. Johnvr4 (talk) 18:53, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
a) I did not remove the links on Florida breaks; b) You started a discussion on Talk:Florida_breaks, let that discussion run its course.
By the way, are you talking sources, or external links? --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:28, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I did not ask for discussion comment anywhere except in this section. I posted several source links in talk sections on that page. Several links (from a 5-part series) are from the same domain (VICE/THUMP). Right now *I think they should be external links. They should eventually be cited sources. External links section should have links that should go to sources that have not yet been cited. Johnvr4 (talk) 20:27, 16 February 2017 (UTC)
no, external links sections are not dumping grounds for material that at some point can be included. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:12, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Which WP policy are you looking at for that assertion and didn't you just recently say that you personally allow that for the development of stub articles? Johnvr4 (talk) 16:33, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
WP:EL, it is time that you start understanding the policies and guidelines, and how they work together. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:18, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
I understand "acceptable links include those that contain further research that is accurate and on-topic" and I've asked you which part(s) of WP:EL do you believe precludes such links from the external links section. Johnvr4 (talk) 16:33, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
"If the website or page to which you want to link includes information that is not yet a part of the article, consider using it as a source for the article, and citing it. ", in other words, you consider that it is a source, yet you suggest to dump them in the external links section. That is not what external links sections are for, either you execute your consideration, expand the article and use them as sources, or you suggest them on the talkpage for someone else to do that for you / help you with that. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:31, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
A consideration is not mandatory. It is an option because it is not a source yet. I am under no obligation to make it one. Johnvr4 (talk) 12:52, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/App/Banner and Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/App/Sidebar

Despite Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/App/Banner being closed as "Keep, but not to be inserted into articles without obtaining consensus to do so.", it is still present at the top of five articles (viz. Diabetes mellitus type 2, Sanitation, Public health, Waterborne diseases, and Toilet). Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive 136#Use of Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/App/Banner on articles, which was opened due to disagreement about the removal of the banner from articles after the mfd, is still awaiting closure. Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/App/Sidebar was created two days ago, and has been inserted into two articles (viz. Gout and HIV/AIDS). I reverted the addition of the new template to those articles, along the lines of the normal bold, revert, and discuss cycle, asking for a consensus to be gained for its use. It was re-added to those articles. Bringing this here per the advice of WP:ELBURDEN, which also states "Disputed links should normally be excluded by default unless and until there is a consensus to include them." — Godsy (TALKCONT) 21:12, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

I have MfD'd it. This is not Wikipedia content, and not the purpose of external links sections. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:27, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Add Sidebar

Forgot that this is also of interest to EL/N, as the suggestion is now to place the 'template' there: MFD discussion. See Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/App/Sidebar. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:38, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Google Cache

While going through some known unreliable source searches I came across several pages linking to the Google Cache (*). Turns out, there are a LOT of these. The few I tried are all broken as is, some of the actual URL's embedded inside are valid. What is to be done about them? I knew there is/was a bot that converted Google redirect links to their targets, but some of these are months old. — Train2104 (talk • contribs) 01:25, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

They are often used to bypass the external links blacklist (WP:BLACKLIST). Not good. Johnuniq (talk) 01:38, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Just a quick test, since this already seems to be on the blacklist? [ Test] — Train2104 (talk • contribs) 02:14, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
That didn't trip anything. The blacklist entry I was looking at is \bwebcache\.googleusercontent\.com.*?sanalritim — Train2104 (talk • contribs) 02:16, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
The entry you look at was for a specific case. I think it was once discussed, but the problem is that there are sooo many. People have a tendency to take the link from the search-result-page of Google, not the actual link. When those /url or cache links are here, and readers click them, then Google 'knows' that someone is interested in that result. More interest tends to mean higher rankings.
If a cached page is needed, we should use a recognised archiving service. This may need blacklisting, but then it needs a serious clean-up before that. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:31, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
This also applies to and We've blacklisted the /url links and had a bot correct the existing ones, so there's precedent. — Train2104 (talk • contribs) 03:40, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
I recall that the /url was shown to be abused and blacklisted immediately (google's /url makes out ~50 out of the last 500 blacklist hits ..!). I do not have a lot of doubt that the same is true for these (though there is A LOT of good-faith use). I, for one, am totally against arguments like 'the source is in farfarawayian, and since we have the English encyclopedia here, we link to a machine-translated-to-english version' - a) machine translated versions seem to be quite bad, b) I hope you used to base your statements here on the original and not on the translation, c) maybe I am fluent in farfarawayian and/or d) maybe I want a Dutch translation and not the English. Just link to the original and let the reader decide whether they need a translation.
Except for the fact that blacklisting will cause a lot of disruption due to the many existing links, I am totally in favour of blacklisting all of this. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:12, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, in addition to blacklist evasion, Google Cache links are unstable, and on that basis alone should not be used. Fortunately, most of these seem to not be on articles. Is there any way a bot could be set up to automatically substitute the link with the actual URL, and redact if the actual URL is blacklisted? The tremendous use of these links on discussion pages makes me wonder if editors are using it as some sort of convenience link, though yeah, on mainspace these should be completely removed. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:25, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and added the webcache link to meta:Talk:Spam blacklist. Translation links require further discussion. — Train2104 (t • c) 05:31, 4 March 2017 (UTC)