Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Jenna Haze

There's currently an argument between several editors, myself among them, over the external links in this article. Many of them resemble fan sites, such as Twitter, Myspace, Yahoo and the like. As such, I don't feel they belong here. User:Purplehayes2006 but he has made some viable points when I discussed the links with him on his talk page, but I still am hesitant to accept the links. Can some uninvolved editors look this one over and give their feedback? Thanks ThemFromSpace 16:24, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree with the removal. We don't link to every initiative a person is involved in. --NeilN talk to me 16:35, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi. The key is officialness. Btw, the MySpace and Twitter are not fan sites. Those are her personal and official MySpace and Twitter. The Yahoo Group is her official fan site, it is that way since 2002, and she is a moderator and posts on there. If no one minds, I'm gonna re-post here my thoughts. As the title of the section (and this was already discussed on Jenna Haze talk page in the past...) says, links to MySpace, Twitter and Yahoo are normally links to be avoided. Their inclusion are not prohibited though. They can be used under certain conditions. Officialness is the key. People can have more than one official site as it is explained on guidelines for external links. Those are her official MySpace and Twitter, and there is proof of it as stated on the article talk page. And they meet the "Official links" conditions. As noted on Jenna Haze talk page, that Yahoo Group is her Official Fan Club. It is that way since 2002. Don't look at the word "fan". I mean, she posts there and moderates the group. It is an official page of hers. I also read on the guidelines: "If the subject of the article has more than one official website, then more than one link may be appropriate." and "More than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites. For example, if the main page of the official website for an author contains a link to the author's blog and Twitter feed, then it is not appropriate to provide links to all three. Instead, provide only the main page of the official website in this situation.". Those official sites provide unique info about the subject of the article that can't be find or hardly can be find in any other site, and there is no link to any of them on her main official website. The MySpace and the Yahoo Group Official Fan Site links were long discussed in the past on Jenna Haze talk page and moderated and finished by an Admin, keeping both links. I would suggest to read the previous discussion on Jenna Haze talk page. Purplehayes2006 (talk) 16:39, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I believe the general rule is that if they are prominantly linked from the 'main' official page, then they don't need to be in the ELs. I haven't looked in this case, but it's something to consider. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 17:22, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the question is.. How many official sites can a person have? There should be only 1 'official' site, not 3 or 4, the others obviously can't be that official. Things would get slightly out of hand if every notable bio article had all their 'official' sites listed: official fan club site, official social network site, official pic site, blog site, etc. etc. Just pick one already! :) -- œ 07:47, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
The idea of multiple official sites has been discussed at WT:EL before, and there is not agreement that there can be only one such site. If she has an official (for example) MySpace that is not linked from her regular website or vice-versa, and both are clearly official sites, then it is OK to link both. There is consensus that the number of links should be kept to a reasonable low number, so if she's got a dozen then it needs to be culled a bit, but three or four is not going to turn her article into a linkfarm. I only looked at her main homepage briefly, but there was no obvious indication of links to MySpace or Yahoo. (I didn't look for those to see if they link back to the main site.) Assuming her sites are not interlinked, perhaps this would be a good case to use the {{Web presence}} template that was created a while back for use when subjects have multiple sites? --RL0919 (talk) 15:26, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
WP:ELOFFICIAL specifically permits more than one official link when reasonable. For example, during the 2008 US presidential campaign, nobody thought it appropriate to restrict Barack Obama to either his official senate website or his official campaign website. Wikipedia is not a comprehensive web directory, but it's not necessary to impose mindless or arbitrary limits. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:58, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification on that, I haven't really followed WT:EL much and wasn't aware of prior discussions. I still think only one 'official' site should be enough, but I do like that {{Web presence}} template.. that would seem to be the ideal solution for these situations. -- œ 20:14, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Thief Wiki

There is currently a discussion about the addition of a link to a Thief video game Wiki here, anyone willing to give an opinion would be most appreciated. Rehevkor 19:36, 3 January 2010 (UTC)


I would like some opinions on this site, and if it's an appropriate link for the EL section of shopping mall articles. It appears to be a shopping mall fansite (blog) being added (quite rapidly at the moment) onto multiple shopping mall articles. The site can't really be used as a source (not reliable, and in fact credits Wikipedia as being at least part of the source for many of its postings).

The biggest issue that I see is that with ELNO#11 as there's no indication that the author of the blog is an authority, just a "self-confessed mall-o-phile".

Additionally, as it uses WP as a source, I question if many of the articles could pass ELNO#1, and the rate of addition could potentially be viewed as an issue with ELNO#4, although I doubt that's the case here.

Could others please take a look at some of these links and provide their opinions? I wanted to get some additional eyes on these before I began removing the links. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 01:40, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I guess I made a mistake adding these external links. I had made some for articles I had written in the past and it raised no issue. For the malls I am most familiar with, the histories provided on Mall Hall of Fame seem as well documented as any on such an ephemeral topic. The blogger also provides a central source for historical photographs and mall diagrams that represent original research from primary source material. My apologies for trying to provide what seem to be useful links to what seems like a good resource on mall history.--Pubdog (talk) 01:50, 5 January 2010 (UTC) all deleted ... cheers--Pubdog (talk) 02:06, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
So far, it's just me questioning the links; if others feel that the blog issue isn't as big as it looked to me, there may be support to have the links. Either way, I would like to see comments from others on views of the links, just so there's at least a third opinion on them. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 02:48, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Here's a partial response: I don't think it should be evaluated as a blog. There's no "daily diary" aspect to the site. It's more like someone (mis)using blog software as a convenient way of creating a non-blog website (much like my sister used Microsoft Excel to draw a floor plan the other day: it worked, but a drawing isn't a spreadsheet).
I do think that it's important for any links to take the reader directly to the most relevant page, and not simply to the main page. If we're going to have a link at (for example) Salem Mall, then the link ought to go directly to a page about that very mall. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:28, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I realize that several web news sites use blog software - so being a blog does not automatically translate to a ELNO#11 issue.
However, in this case, it is by someone with no established authority on the subject aside from the claim of being "a self-confessed mall-o-phile since 1969", making the site essentially a fan-site for shopping malls; and which lists Wikipedia as one of the sources used for most of the postings which means the articles contain relatively little additional info over the articles themselves and resulting in a circular logic in establishing information (so no practical ability to use the site as a ref in the future).
The links that had been added to the shopping mall articles were to specific shopping mall posts within the site; but I question their value to Wikipedia and therefore the appropriateness of adding them in the External Links section. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 05:41, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

List articles

What is the current best practice with respect to list articles that attempt to provide a non-verifying external link for every entry? An example I am look at is

Off the top of my head this is a good example of a link repository and links primarily intended to direct readers to other websites. I typically remove such links when they are part of a list within a regular article. My inclination is to remove them from articles like this too. JonHarder talk 22:04, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Removing them is one option which is beneficial to many such lists, but in this particular example I would convert them to citations. This removes the inappropriate links and also acts to verify the individual bullets. ThemFromSpace 23:47, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
What makes you think that the linked websites aren't supposed to verify the existence of the district (and thereby make vandalism more complicated)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:32, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Because ELs aren't supposed to be in aritcle bodies. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 01:14, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Lists are used in Wikipedia to organize information, and for internal navigation. Lists contain internally linked terms and thus serve as natural tables of contents and indexes of Wikipedia. Lists do not exist for the purpose of linking external websites. Each article entry within a list has its own content, citations or "official" links contained within it. Central Community Unit School District 3 has its official "School District 3 Home Page" contained in the Central Community Unit School District 3 article. Adding a external link to the "School District 3 Home Page" in the "List of school districts.." only creates a linkfarm and is wholey unecessary in both purpose and funtion. Citations or links belong in the listed article. And for the entries withought articles, WP:WTAF --Hu12 (talk) 18:50, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Melodia, you might like to look at WP:ECITE. Things that look like 'external links' in an article might actually be 'embedded citations' rather than true external links. It's (partly) a matter of intent, and I'm not sure that we are best served by jumping to conclusions in this case. If the intent is to verify that District X exists -- and consequently that District V-for-Vandalism doesn't -- then it is both acceptable and not our problem.
WP:Write the Article First is (just) an essay, and there's no requirement that any editor follow it. In particular, producing a deliberately incomplete list simply because you haven't yet had the time to write all of the articles seems rather silly to me (as well as being an issue that's well outside the scope of this noticeboard.) It seemed to me that the list was substantially blue towards the top, with more red as you went down, which suggested that someone might be using the list to write the articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:31, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm fully aware they they might be attempts at citations, but our style guidelines specifically say it shouldn't be done this way (though I believe this didn't used to be the case). I do agree that 'write the atricle first' is silly, for both time reasons and reasons of the fact many of us just aren't article writers. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 23:07, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

It appears that the crux of this question is whether the links are for verifying references or primarily intended to direct a user to another website. If they are used for verification, then they should be converted to an embedded citation (no link text) or a footnote. If they are non-verifying, then wrapping them in <ref></ref> tags is not appropriate – they should be removed. This is an important area to clarify because so many lists include links to official websites. In most cases I believe these links are not appropriate.

With the Illinois school list, there are several reasons why the links are not helpful as references or intended to be anything other than to direct readers to another website:

  • As stated above, the entries that link to an existing article will have the link and verification of existence in that article (or at least the burden is on that article to provide them), and do not need a link to an official website.
  • Official website "home" pages are often a splash page with verify little information. A quick check of a few of the school links reveals several that don't include a city or state on that page, let alone that they are in a particular county.
  • No attempt was made to deep link to a page that would provide the kind of verifying information that the school is in a particular city and county.
  • All of these (I assume) are self-published sources; no attempt was made to find the kind of third-party source that is preferred.
  • The wording of the link text, "District website," is consistent with wanting to direct readers to an external site.

In practice I have not found links that verify something exists helpful in fixing vandalism. It is much more common in my experience to rely on sources to prevent twiddling with quantities, dates and such. On the other hand, if we decide that, in general, the practice linking to official websites in lists is acceptable then we open the door to this type of linking being used to skirt ELNO#19 because the editor can claim the link is verifying existence. I believe that the spirit of WP:CITE#Embedded links is to avoid linking to official websites in most cases like this. JonHarder talk 19:37, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

The text of the second paragraph in WP:CITE#Embedded links is directed towards non-list articles, and especially towards non-notable organizations that are mentioned in passing. (I can't vouch for what the paragraph really imparts to other readers, but as the original author of the paragraph, I'm certain what I meant when I wrote it. ;-)
Having thought this over, I'm inclined to suggest a hybrid approach: Links (properly formatted, please) for the red links, but not for the blue links. I believe that the links exist/are useful as a form of verification. So we'd have this combination:
I think that links to the existing articles will be harder to vandalize/easier to verify -- simply because an article exists, so if you creatively misspell the name, then the link breaks. For the more vulnerable red links, then the link verifies that the district exists in the real world and makes vandal patrols simpler. Does this seem like a reasonable approach to everyone else? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:45, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
External links in lists are a problem. Sorry I haven't kept any examples, but I have seen lists where the external links are not unduly promotional and the list is probably useful. But then I've seen lists where it is clear that people are adding stuff simply for promotion, and there was no particular reason to believe added items are of general interest. In short, giving spammers a reason to insert their external links is not helpful. At List of social networking websites we are ruthless and delete a couple of added items every day (citing WP:WTAF). I accept that that approach is not applicable to every list, but providing an "official" reason why an external link should be added to items without an article seems a spammer's dream to me. Johnuniq (talk) 04:04, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Here's one example. See List of GUI testing tools#External_links. The external links origionaly added (and repeadedly reinserted [2][3][4] by the same individual) seem to cleary fail WP:EL and do not provide a unique resource beyond what the listed articles already containWPEL#1, particularly when these external links are merely linking to external Lists of manufacturersWPEL#14, suppliers which exist to sell products or servicesWPEL#5. For example this link; , Is simply a "Submit a site" link, and is inapropriate being in any article. Perhaps this is a situation where the template {{Dmoz}} could be used, however it is clear this is the begining of WP:LINKFARM. Clearly these were not added to verify the list content, and are intended to promote a websitesWPEL#4.--Hu12 (talk) 19:23, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
There are certainly times when a link is simply spam, and I think that lists of websites/software are particularly prone to that problem.
In this particular list, however, which is about schools, I think that a link that can be used to say "A school district with this name really does exist" is a valid WP:Verifiability issue. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:43, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The proposal above is an acceptable improvement for the school list article. It is typically how I have been handling this type of list in the past. I'm not sure it is a good guideline in general. It will reopen the door for adding links to organizations mentioned in an article. I would like to see wording that discourages embedding links to official websites (for verification of existence or otherwise) and encourages linking to independent third-party sources for verification. Typically it is not existence we are trying to verify, but some other fact. For list articles we want to verify that it belongs to the group and the "official website" may or may not provide that information. JonHarder talk 21:23, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

The state of Illinois has listings of all the school districts, such as [5]. Simply list it as a reference, remove all the external links, and make sure that the list has been verified. --Ronz (talk) 21:12, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


In the article for King Cobra (film), an editor added an eFilmCritic review as an EL [6]. It was removed and replaced several times [7]... so yes, its use is being disputed. There is an ongoing general discussion at Wikipedia_talk:External_links#Conflicting_guidelines.3F about the application of WP:ELMAYBE that would impact this EL and many others, so I am here to ask about this specific site and its utility as an EL.

In its providing of information useful to a reader's understanding of a topic, eFilmCritic does seem to have the respect of many of the other sites that Wikipedia considers reliable for their own editorial staff and reputations for fact checking and accuracy. The accepted RS that have a reputation for fact checking and accuracy and choose to use eFilmCritic as a source include Screen Digest, Daily Herald, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, Chicago Sun-Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, News & Record, Sunday Herald, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Animation World Network, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Salt Lake Tribune, Newsday, The Record, Yakima Herald-Republic, Telegraph, San Diego Union-Tribune, Daily Astorian, Kansas City Star, Dayton Daily News, Deseret News, Hollywood Reporter, Financial Post, Jewish Journal... to list only a few. This seems indicative of two things:

1) even if not (yet) accepted as RS, I believe this shows eFilmCritic as acceptable for consideration as an EL that honors both the spirit and intention of WP:ELMAYBE, and
2) eFilmCritic seems to surpass requirements of WP:GNG and would themself merit an article of some kind at some point.

So my question here, if the information it provides contributes to a reader's understanding of the subject, is it okay as an EL in a film article... and more specifically is it suitable under ELMAYBE for usage in King Cobra (film), specially considering it shares unique information in its comparisons of the article in question and Anaconda (film)? Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 03:58, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

I just replied to a very similar message at WT:External links#Conflicting guidelines?. It's not clear where the discussion should occur, but I suggest at the other talk because that's where it started. Johnuniq (talk) 06:48, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Off topic, but these are the related sites
--Hu12 (talk) 09:06, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the review is appropriate on a more basic level. It isn't professional and there's no way of knowing who "Keiros", the author, is. Even professional reviews as ELs should only be added as exceptions to the rule; instead they should most often be written into a "reception" section of the article. Background discussions of relevance are here and here. The second of which repealed the old ELMAYBE point 1 which stated that professional reviews may be added to the external links sections. I don't think ELMAYBE point four applies here because we are in doubt as to whether "Keiros" is knowledgeable about the subject, being a pseudonym. ThemFromSpace 21:41, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I am in agreement that professional reviews (ie: RS) could be part of the body of an article, and should only be in EL if a special exception is made. Not at issue here, as I am not here because of the repealed WP:ELMAYBE#1.
I am here only in regards the existing WP:ELMAYBE#4. So I'd like to focus in that specific direction for a moment. As of a few minutes ago, ELMAYBE#4 states "Sites which fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." Okay, to clarify in a nutshell:
I'm here about a non-RS...
one that provides non-RS information...
that knowledge obtainable from the primary source... the films themselves... and presented by a secondary source... the non-RS review.
The specific situation: In the body of the article that brought me here is a Reliable Source making comparisons between King Cobra (film) and Anaconda (film). I wish the non-RS EL considered because it provides information expanding on that comparison with knowledge that could have been obtained from watching both films to make the comparisons or having access to screenplays or scripts in order to do so... not something made up nor postulated... simply an in-depth comparison of two quite similar films, under development and production at the same time, and why one was successful and the other not.
Yes, I will do more homework... researching to see if this in-depth comparison exists in another RS, so I might more suitably add another RS cite to the body of the article, and to see if I can determine just who the author "Keiros" is and what else and where else he might have shared. Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 05:59, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Links to implementations of algorithms

In Talk:Latent_semantic_analysis#Reference_LSA_implementations we're discussing the merits of external links to quality implementations of latent semantic analysis. My biggest concerns are WP:ELNO#13 and WP:NOTHOWTO. ELNO#1, #11 might also apply, as could ELYES#2. I don't think implementations without source code should be included. I'm hesistant to include implementations that don't describe the algorithm implemented. It would need to be written by an expert to avoid ELNO#11 and quality problems. --Ronz (talk) 18:05, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

ELNO 13 ("Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject") wouldn't apply to pages that tell you how to make the subject. If the article were about, say, cheesecake, then a link to a cheesecake recipe would be on-topic. (Note that I usually oppose recipes on other grounds, beginning with the fact that most of the links are lousy, and that you can always ask your FWSE for thousands of recipes.)
NOTHOWTO officially restricts our own article content, not the contents of an external link. We would accept links to, e.g., in appropriate articles. Of course, common sense tells us that some kinds of how-to information won't be interesting to the general reader anyway.
But it's not exactly a "how-to" link anyway, from what I can see. It's more of a "download this software" link. It seems more like someone proposing a link to at Word processing.
Disclaimer: I'm a strictly non-specialist reader here, and I'm suffering from a bad case of MEGO at the moment. I don't see the value in these links, but perhaps someone with a greater interest in the subject area would see what I can't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:23, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Adding a group's official page to a song page

An editor has added Lady Gaga's official web page as an external link to a Wiki article about a song, even though that external link does not mention the song.[8] The official page is heavily promotional with offers to buy products and a schedule of tour dates.[9]

I'm bringing the issue here, because while I explain my edits,[10], [11], editor Legolas2185 does not address issues, "Disagree, yes cover artist's also have their webstes added as there the song info is available. Please donot continue vandalising"[12]. In fact, the cited page doesn't mention the song at all. (Since he added, at the same time, an external link to a lyrics page that did not have lyrics, it's not clear he's even looking at the links he's adding, but just adding them by rote.)

There are several issues with adding a group's official site to a song page, the major ones being that it's off-topic promotional material that adds nothing encyclopedic to the article topic.

I hesitate to mention other problems, because the above issues are central and immediate. But parenthetically, adding the official site is of no service to a reader, who will certainly guess that one exists, and know how to find it. The idea of adding official links to songs doesn't scale well (imagine what the official external links would be on "Satisfaction" or "Yesterday"). And to be unbiased, why should an official link to a singer's site appear, but not perhaps the producer who was largely responsible for creating the song? Or the record label?

Again, these are not the central issues, but these other issues suggest that adding an off-topic official promotional external link is simply ill-conceived. Regards, Piano non troppo (talk) 07:06, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree that a singer is different from a song, and therefore that a singer's official website is not a song's official website. Most songs probably don't have an official website, especially if they have been recorded by dozens of artists. A link that doesn't even mention it is definitely not the song's official link.
I'm also concerned about the edit warring/spammish behavior, but I suspect that honest confusion about the quite strict limits for WP:ELOFFICIAL is the source of the problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:07, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Agree. WP:ELOFFICIAL simply doesn't apply. He's added it here [13] and elsewhere [14] [15]. --Ronz (talk) 20:01, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
I've removed it from Paparazzi (Lady Gaga song) today, after notifying Legolas2186 and the Lady Gaga Project yesterday of this discussion. --Ronz (talk) 19:07, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree with your removals. Unfortunately, Legolas has reverted them and became overly confrontive when I approached him about it. He doesn't seem to understand how consensus works. I hope we won't have to take further steps in the dispute resolution process of dispute resolution (such as an RFC) here, but that might have to happen if he continues to revert against consensus. ThemFromSpace 06:14, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
This is to state in the politest way possible, but User:Themfromspace, next time you comment about something that I have done, please check it and them comment. I added the official link to the music video of the song from the official recording website of the artist, which is different from the previous case. Previously I had added only the artists website, which frankly was my fault as it simpy didnot have any material related to the article in concern. But this time, the ELs added are actually related to the song. So thanks for your concern again. --Legolas (talk2me) 06:23, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Legolas2186 added a link to an advertising page for purchasing a ringtone here. I would hope that everyone here understands that such links are clearly inappropriate. Anyone want to argue that it's appropriate? --Ronz (talk) 16:30, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

That was a mistake I admit. I meant to add the page about the song, not the other way round. I will revert this addition. --Legolas (talk2me) 03:33, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I had already removed it. --Ronz (talk) 03:58, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Official site

Hi there. At Jacquie O'Sullivan, a user (and some IPs) has been adding a site and claiming that it's the official site; other users don't think it is. On the talk page, there has been some discussion on the issue.

How do we determine whether an official website is an official website? Some sort of communication from the site via OTRS to us, but what would they need to say. GedUK  21:37, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

First, let's note that an official site is one that is controlled by the subject, not just approved by her. So if the self-proclaimed webmaster posting on the article's talk page works for her, then it is official. If the site is run freelance with some sort of endorsement (but no actual authority by the subject to change or delete the site), then it is not official.
As far as proof, if the matter is disputed, then normally we would look for information from reliable sources. Has the subject mentioned this website in interviews? Does she have some other confirmed internet presence (such as a Facebook or Twitter account) that links to it? Do news sources cite it as being her official site? If the only evidence of "officialness" is that the webmaster claims it is, then that isn't going to do. As far as OTRS goes, if the subject wants to send a message on her own initiative, then she's welcome to do so, but I don't think we should be making requests of subjects to prove or disprove their relationship to a site. If there's no proof, then we should not be claiming it as an official site. --RL0919 (talk) 21:48, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi you could get in touch with Paul Simper (The guy who worked with and knows Jacquie personally) via his Facebook for clarification or Jacquie herself here , although obviously it could still be just a fan site , I know people who have contact with the subjects of their fansite's but the sites are still not official (talk) 03:56, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Spam added
Registrant(Owner) of these sites is Anthony Hemingway[16][17]. Long term spamming and abuse including Moving ones own link "UP", which is never a sign of good faith. I Would find it difficult to believe this is anything more than a fan-spammed-site. I see no evidence this is "actualy" owned, recognized or associated with the articles' subjects in any official capacity. Quite frankly, as a result of the long term excessive spamming, this should probably be blacklisted.--Hu12 (talk) 06:30, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

You have remove Shakespears Sister too! Well that site speaks for itself, and is clearly a useful source of information, which is the foundation of your wiki article on the band. Sorry you found this spam. 12:28, 11 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

These sites are an unofficial fansite which is a Link normally to be avoided and fails Wikipedias specific requirements of our External Links policy, Verifiability Policy and Reliable Source guidelines. In addition to the repeated spamming and Vandalism, claiming theses sites as official is a direct violation of WP:BLP, and apparently done in order to decieve, insert factualy incorrect data and for the sole and primary purpose of promotion. Despite warnings, previous blocks and discussion you have continued spamming [18][19][20][21]. These sites are now blacklisted.Crystal Clear action edit add.png Added--Hu12 (talk) 17:41, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Jewish Women's Archive

Over the past several days User:Tzahy has recently posted links to the Jewish Women's Archive over hundreds of articles. To me this behaviour constitutes external link spam, and the links themselves are not relevant to the articles per WP:ELNO point 1 because they are essentially links to an encyclopedia of the same scope as Wikipedia. I don't think any of the links belong here, but due to the scale of the edits I think a wider discussion is required lest I get into an edit war over hundreds of articles. ThemFromSpace 22:35, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

The links are to entries in encyclopedia, written by experts, many of them professors. In many cases the links I added are to a very short wikipedia entries or stubs or to wikipedia entries need citations and references or to entries in wikipedia that aren't accurate to say the least, this entries will benefeit a lot from the links, we can use the entries to improve the current wikipedia entries and the readers will get excellent further reading. Tzahy (talk) 22:42, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
The proper thing to do if you find an article needing references, and you have a reliable source on hand, is to build up the article and cite the source as a reference. ThemFromSpace 22:47, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
I noticed one of the link additions on a page I watch and the linked article was good, so I left it. However, the suggestion above that the Wikipedia articles are broken and therefore the external links are required is a misunderstanding of our purpose here. Adding lots of links is a sure sign that the purpose of the links is to promote an external site (there are 591 links to, of which perhaps 500 are links from articles). Johnuniq (talk) 23:16, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
This is very insulting, on the border of defamation. Tzahy (talk) 00:07, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Not at all. This is a clear cut case of spamming. I'm going ahead and cleaning them up. --Ronz (talk) 16:26, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Because of this terrible accusation I'll leave the english wikipedia. This is has no connection with the issue, but personal accusation, accusing me in cheating. Tzahy (talk) 15:33, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
You have not been accused of cheating. Ronz says that you seem to have been spamming. These are different things. Spamming can be done even when someone is honestly trying to help. I suggest that you read this section for more information and advice. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:47, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Johnuniq, feel free to restore any that you find useful.
Tzahy, I suggest you discuss on the talk page the restoration of any others. Better yet, take some time to verify and expand the articles with such links. --Ronz (talk) 16:26, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the entry on Ruth Landes in the Jewish Women Encycl. is neither spam, nor offensive, what harm does it do to read some stuff twice. There also is no other external link on the page. And not all WP articles are as good as the Ruth Landes thing.
The Online Anthropologists' Dictionary from Michigan State University is linked to on very many WP pages and its entries are of very uneven quality, I still would not delete it.
When I find some useful literature (a dictionary of basic ethnological works recently), I also try to use as much of it as possible for WP, of course trying as far as possible to judge the usefulness of the entries on a case-by-case basis...--Radh (talk) 18:02, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Someone removed the link to from Gertrud Kolmar. I restored it, as the jwa article is useful, well-written, and as far as I can tell, accurate. I would caution against mass removal of external links to this site, which appears to be of high quality. --NSH001 (talk) 20:18, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for restoring those links. Feel free to restore any others that are useful. As pointed out, it would be better if they were used as references instead.
In case it's not clear, spamming is a behavioral problem rather than a content dispute. The problem is Tzahy's behavior of adding these links to a huge amount of articles.
I think further discussion of the merits of JWA as content could be helpful. It appears to me to be a useful source, and I'd probably not remove from an External links section where it hadn't been spammed, unless it was redundant or the article was already very well referenced. --Ronz (talk) 20:45, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
I second Ronz's assessment: It is possible to spam even good links, and spammed links should be removed so that they can be individually evaluated by editors that aren't spamming. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:08, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

(undent) "It is possible to spam even good links." I am not sure I believe this. I don't think that, e.g. it would it be a bad thing to systematically link every article we have on British people to the Dictionary of National Biography? Of course, it would be better if we actually read and used the DNB.... --macrakis (talk) 00:09, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Macrakis, if the site-owner is indiscriminately adding those links in order to drive traffic, then I would call it spamming. The basis for WP:SPAM is in the policy WP:NOT (not a linkfarm, not a directory) and the guideline WP:EL. We don't link because someone thinks that the site belongs there, or because it is a good site, or because it is good information, the standard is, and should be, a bit higher than that. There is no use to link if it does not give more info, that is what a {{dmoz}} is for. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:45, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy is quite clear, as Beetstra explained. In this case, as in most cases - spam is defined not so much by the content of the site.. as by the behavior of the individuals adding the links.. the big picture here shows someone who is using Wikipedia to promote their own interests. Additionaly;
--Hu12 (talk) 18:43, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Related site
Related Accounts
Interesting. Seems this has had a sorted history --Hu12 (talk) 19:14, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
From, states "We are raising funds to enable adding a "people's compendium" to the Encyclopedia so that site visitors and scholars can add materials on their own, in a manner similar to that used by Wikipedia. We hope to launch this project in 2010.". The future reliability of this site is certainly in question. This statement could also explain the 2009 push in creating articles, and including a large amount of inbound links.--Hu12 (talk) 19:41, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

British-Pathé news clips archive

I recently discovered the British-Pathé website/archive of thousands of news clips and stock video footage from the 1890s to the 1970s, and want to ask here when linking to these clips in the external links section of an article is appropriate? The website is here. It currently looks like an under-used resource (about 130 pages link to that website at the moment), especially for the clips from the first half of the 20th century, where there is lots of historical stuff likely not available elsewhere. As they are a proprietary site, selling access to the high-resolution versions of the clips (the free previews are low-resolution), I thought I should ask here first. I've also posted questions about this here, at the village pump, and intend to tell several WikiProjects about this resource, as well as add some links to clips relevant to articles I've been working on. But any discussion here on what links are suitable might be good (there are potentially thousands of links that could be added). Carcharoth (talk) 06:34, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

This looks like an excellent resource - my only complaint with your posting at the village pump is that it made me spend a couple of hours today looking through old newsreels rather than doing the housework :). As long as links add to the encyclopedic content of article, noting that the guideline says that links should be justifiable according to common sense, I don't see any problem with adding links. I have added links today to 1923 FA Cup Final, Edward VIII abdication crisis and Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash and will bear this site in mind in the future. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:14, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. The tip here on how to present the links is useful as well. I wouldn't have known the clips are played using that plug-in. Carcharoth (talk) 07:09, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
You might like to look over WP:PROMO, especially #5: WP:BOLD is good, but when in doubt, try the talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:36, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. There seems to be a bit of confusion in WP:PROMO over the difference between someone promoting their own product (the wording of #5 says "your product" - my emphasis), and someone who thinks "wow, those are interesting historical clips" (which was my thought when I discovered the website), and then adding relevant links to lots of articles (i.e. what happens when it is not your product but someone else's that you are enthused about?). It would easily be possible to take lots of Wikipedia articles and search for suitable old news clips. It would also be possible to randomly browse old news clips and see if any might be suitable for linking to from Wikipedia articles. What I usually think is: "is the news clip relevant to this article, and would a reader of this article be interested in viewing it?" If the answer is yes, I would generally add the link. But I can see the possibility that this could get out of hand, so I will resist the urge to add lots and lots of links. :-) But seriously, if the anti-spam measures discourage genuine and enthusiastic additions like this, is that the price we have to pay because spammers exist? Carcharoth (talk) 07:09, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
Spammers are definitely on my little list.
I don't want good editors to get hassled for any reason. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and Wikipedia doesn't have a useful way to distinguish between the enthusiast and the salesman. I'd rather encourage you to take a gentle approach than to clean up the mess later when someone panics about you supposedly having turned into a spammer. I'm sure that we could clean it up later, but I don't want you, or me, or the hypervigilant third editor to have to go through that. IMO it's far better for you to take it slowly, and to let that third editor do something that actually needs doing.
BTW, whenever you propose and/or add these links, I'd really appreciate it if you made a point of correctly labeling them per WP:EL#Rich media. It's a kindness to people on the other side of the digital divide. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:31, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

This has been added to merger-related articles, including Alternative Public Offering and Reverse takeover, it's a blog by David N. Feldman. Am I right in thinking this is an unacceptable link per WP:ELNO, or might it meet the exception criteria for blogs? Ammtd2659 (talk · contribs) has been adding various links related to this person today, some of which I'm sure are unacceptable eg links to his books at Amazon and I'm wondering if I should just clean the lot out. Cassandra 73 (talk) 20:49, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

It might meet the standard for 'expert blog' exceptions. Even acceptable links can be spammed, though, and "not actually prohibited by this guideline" is different from "a good choice for this article". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:38, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't see Ammtd2659 adding links to blogs, but he is spamming amazon links. Someone else added the blog links. --Ronz (talk) 21:41, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
It appears Fws10170 (talk · contribs) was the editor that spammed the blog, with the exception of Reverse takeover, where it was done by an ip [22]. --Ronz (talk) 21:56, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
Also adding
This addition is clearly inapropriate any where. Having a link to the "root" domain of is apropriate in the article about the subject David N. Feldman, not in Alternative Public Offering and Reverse takeover. I've removed it.--Hu12 (talk) 07:00, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

3270 emulator

Hi all, I'm not sure whether 3270 emulator has a problem with external links. Normally I would have said it's not appropriate, but in this case the external links, so far as I can work out, look reasonable. What do others think? - Tbsdy lives (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 00:10, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

They feel spammy to me. The sentence "3270 emulators are available from many third-party vendors" may seem to justify them, but the statement isn't really necessary, nor are any examples of emulators that are available. Also, the article has a bigger problem: notability. IMHO this topic should just be a section near the end of the IBM 3270 article, and should not link to specific products. None of those sites are going to give the reader more in-depth info about this type of emulator in general. —mjb (talk) 03:01, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Categorizing articles with {{external}}

I've been looking over articles with excessive external links, and I've noticed that it's actually often pretty difficult to tell what is and isn't a notable link if you don't know a bit about the subject matter. I was wondering if we should categorize articles in much the same way that we do for stubs? Good idea or bad? - Tbsdy lives (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 03:56, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Dorothy Kilgallen external links

Seeking outside opinions whether the following meet the WP:EL guidelines for external links at Talk:Dorothy Kilgallen/Archive 1#External links

Please note that adminstrator Gamaliel and myself have both posted our support of these links and when we expressed that, the IP decided "outside" opinions were necessary. A bit pointy in my mind. Sara's Song (talk) 04:23, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Since when is a community consensus formed by the opinions of 3 people? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Community consensus is formed by however many editors respond to a point, be it 3 or 1000. Why do you keep discounting the opinions that have been expressed? Sara's Song (talk) 20:03, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Both sites fail WP:ELNO#2 and WP:ELNO#11. Neither piece gives any sources for the material in them so the research is unverifiable. Both pieces would rely solely on the authority of their authors, for which ELNO#11 sets a minimum standard: a Wikipedia article. Eric Paddon has no article. John Simkin's article was deleted (see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/John Simkin) by a clear consensus that he was not notable. --RexxS (talk) 22:58, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Link to Anonymous Self-Published site

External link VermontSecession@Blogspot at Second Vermont Republic is an anonymous personal and obviously self-published blog full of possibly libelous statements about a long list of people. Some allegedly come from WP:RS, others are purely this persons' allegations, and it is difficult to sort out which is which. User put it back after I deleted it noting Wikipedia:External_links#Links_normally_to_be_avoided and using false personal attacks of racism to excuse clear violation of policy. Discussion here. CarolMooreDC (talk) 19:50, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I've replied at the talk page. Assuming that no one supports the blog in the next few days, then future efforts to shoehorn this inactive blog into the article can be taken to WP:WPSPAM.
In general, however, that article's links need a good deal of careful weeding. For example, the last three links are probably non-compliant for being off-topic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:07, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

User MarkTapanes

MarkTapanes (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Not sure if this might belong on the spamming board or here since most are ELs? TIA --Tom (talk) 00:40, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Certainly looks like WP:LINKSPAM. I've made a report at WP:SPAMIN. --RexxS (talk) 02:47, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
WP:SPAMIN looks like a never-used test page. Most spam reports go to WT:WPSPAM. I made a report there, and think that these edits should be reverted as being mass-spammed. ThemFromSpace 06:43, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it does look unused. Annoying that it's the top result for "spam incident noticeboard" in our search, which is how I found it. --RexxS (talk) 08:22, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
It is unused. The spam report noticeboard is WT:WPSPAM. MER-C 10:04, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for making that into a redirect to the proper place. --RexxS (talk) 15:28, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Interwiki links as redirects

Interwiki links have come up here from time to time, but I don't recall seeing this particular variation. I have started to clean up Davis, California of embedded external links.[23] I am converting the wikispot meta links into references because they are equivalent to external links to a non-wikimedia project, so WP:CITE#Embedded links applies. Daviswiki is a substantial open wiki that would qualify as an external link; I am not sure it qualifies as a reliable source for reference purposes, but am not questioning that here.

Notice how davis:bike paths ([[wikispot:davis:bike paths|]]) initially points to but is then redirect to

The questions this raises for me are:

JonHarder talk 13:35, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

American Institute of Physics archive

I'm looking to see if any consensus exists about the acceptability of external links to the Niels Bohr Library and Archive at the American Institute of Physics, which contains over 500 oral history transcripts with prominent physicists and astronomers, and has recently become available online. Here is an example of one such link made by a member of the project that created the archive. Although I believe that such external links meet WP:ELYES #3 (neutral, accurate, reliable material; copyright issues, amount of detail, interview transcripts), there is a complication that there are potentially 500 articles where each of these links could be added. This raises the question of WP:linkspam, but is that meant to apply to online repositories newly created by such bodies as the American Institute of Physics? There is also the issue of WP:COI, but I believe that is separate to the underlying question about external links. I must also disclose that the reverts and warnings following 60 such edits (see User talk:Amanda.nelson12) are part of the subject of a dispute. It has been suggested that wikipedia needs clearer guidelines on the precise issue of the appropriateness of external links to such archives as they come online, so I'm asking to see if the community has consensus on that precise issue, rather than clouding a discussion here with a particular dispute. --RexxS (talk) 02:09, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Have you looked over WP:GLAM?
I'm not fond of GLAM, because I think it sets some archivists up for failure (IMO GLAM is an effort to make the usual rules magically not apply to archivists, and that simply doesn't work in practice because nobody reads the directions). However, there is some useful and applicable information on the page, and it might be worth a look. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:17, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, yes I'm familiar with WP:GLAM, but I simply feel it asks too much of a novice editor. Imagine you work for a university, the manager of a project to put online hundreds of top quality primary sources (like transcripts of interviews with notable scientists). You've just finished, and you're eager to share your resource. Where's the first place you think of with a similar aim? – Wikipedia (I hope). So you create an account and somehow you manage to find GLAM. Oh no! - there must be an easier way.
What we need to be doing is welcoming librarians, archivists, etc. with open arms, shouting "What a great resource!", and "Let us do everything we can to make use of your kind offer". Instead, we present a steep learning curve by asking them to expand an article and then include a link to their resource as a citation! Or worse yet, we threaten to block them because they appear to adding external links to lots of articles (the biographies of the very folks they interviewed) "for the purpose of promoting their website".
It's not as though we haven't thought about it before: see WP:COI#Subject and culture sector professionals where we invite academics to add external links. But that's not much use if we can't find a consensus about the way we view external links provided by "subject and culture sector professionals", whom I believe to be our natural colleagues in our vision of producing a free encyclopedia. --RexxS (talk) 04:07, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Knowing how to respond to GLAM staff is difficult, and at the extremes we have two typical reactions from editors: (1) Welcome! Please add as many external links as you can!, and (2) Warning! Stop spamming; see WP:COI! I have not examined the recent case you are referring to, but I can see both sides of the argument: we definitely should not bite GLAM people, yet we should not sit back while an SPA adds 500 links; some orderly process is needed. Further, both sets of editors should acknowledge the problem seen by the other side. For one thing, I have no doubt that the vast majority of GLAM cases are promotional: GLAM staff are not thinking "What can we do to improve Wikipedia?", they are thinking "What can we do to let people know about our wonderful resource?" (aka promotion). I'm not suggesting that my guess at the motivation rules out adding links, but the problem should be acknowledged by the type (1) editors. Somehow we need to put GLAM staff in touch with the talk page of WP:GLAM where people would help. I would recommend that (guided by the experienced WP:GLAM editors), projects such as linking to the American Institute of Physics archive should be discussed on a suitable WikiProject, and at the GLAM page. Johnuniq (talk) 07:56, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I suppose one approach might be to see if other people independently agree that XYZ is an "amazing resource". So you could go and look at see what others have said about the Niels Bohr Library and Archives or the Niels Bohr Library or the Niels Bohr Archives and whether we have articles on those. But there are a great deal of amazing collections that we don't have articles on, and people don't say much about them, but they: (a) get used a lot; and (b) make a lot of money for some people. An example of the latter would be the Hulton Archive (I just created the redirect to the place where we say most about this) managed by Getty Images. For the AIP, we have an article at American Institute of Physics, but nothing on the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, or other things mentioned here. What is needed, in some cases, is improvement of the articles about the libraries and collections. And for the record I think the oral histories section of the AIP is a great resource, and it should be added to a list of resources for editors to be made aware of such things. Is there such a list? I'll ask at WP:GLAM as well. Carcharoth (talk) 13:28, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
External Links need to be added as per article requirements and We would having thousands of links in several articles if all available Links,books sources are to be added to pages like USA or UK ,Presidents and several articles through reliable sourcing and WP:CITE are vital but not to the point of making Link Farm.recent case shows links should only added if the articles requires it not only because it passed reliable sourcing and WP:CITE .We cannot allow all links to all articles.The Single Purpose Account cannot be allowed to add all 500 links which will be her only contribution to the project.Links need to added specifically as per article.It is mass linking of external Links which needs to be stopped not links being added as per specific article requirements which no one opposes.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 01:39, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
@PotW: What is "per article requirements" supposed to mean? Adding thousands of links to USA is clearly prohibited, but that isn't the same are as adding one link to an article like Ira Sprague Bowen. Articles like Charles Stuart Bowyer are simply not link farms, and never can be - there's just not enough sources. Of course, we cannot allow all links to all articles, but we must allow some links to some articles. The problem I'm seeking consensus on is that there's a knee-jerk reaction to the concept of a single editor being able to add 100+ different links (on the same site) to 100+ different articles in any circumstances, when each of those links is perfectly valid by WP:ELYES #3. Volume does not always equal low quality. --RexxS (talk) 06:55, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
No one opposes any resource being added it only about the manner it is being added.Articles need to be read before any content addition is made particurly before any one is making any mass change to 500 or 10000 articles The issue of WP:linkspam and WP:ELNO(points 1 and 4 ) primarily has been used against Single Purpose Account with a WP:COI and with a sole intention of adding links and leaving the project with little or no contributions outside.Now if a tenored and senior editor is adding Links has not really been an issue particurly from a site like American Institute of Physics or The The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) a NASA-funded project there will be no issue.Almost all Glam resources are [WP:RS|reliable sourcing]] and WP:CITE .Do we allow all Glam resources to do this or make a list a resources which is good for us.Please note Wikipedia is different from the institutions and role accounts may need to be allowed and all there contributions will NOT be needed for all articles.We need some may be not all.

Please note some things

  • We have seen spam even from reputed institutions and Libraries
  • They need to first discuss there contributions .
  • GLAM,Other Professionals,academic people are truly outstanding and can write a outstanding articles but here in Wikipedia it is We not I and it works through collabration and consenus .One has to changes for consenus even if you are right.Most wikipedia editors cannot write GA/FA or even article inprovement independently but this is done due to work of several diverse editors.Teamwork and Consenus is more important rather than even sheer quality.Otherwise it has lead to lead edit Wars.
  • Over 98% new editors doing mass linking are spammers a newbie to Wikipedia will never go into mass linking from the first edit.Hence we need to clearly know you are from the these from institutions and identify from clearly which can be done only off wiki.
  • They work during there office time and will only be editing based on there COI and they are here self promotion and there main aim is that visitors to the page in Wikipedia will visit there page or see there resource.
  • Wikipedia is another place for them for promoting there resource in addition to Facebook and other areas in the internet and elsewhere.

Please read this excellent piece on the subject from DGG .He sums up the issue in a way I could not. The Great Editor and Admin sums it out outstandingly Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 00:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Gail Riplinger

Currently has an unusual situation with more than half the entire article being ELs listed as support or criticism. I rather suspect this is a misuse of ELs, but with one editor deciding they are needed, this board is the place to go. Thanks. Collect (talk) 05:09, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Does ELNO 15 apply to Google Books?

This edit removed a Google Books link from {{BarrowTipler1986}}, per WP:ELNO No. 15 "Links to sites already linked through Wikipedia sourcing tools". The way I understand it, this rule is meant to avoid redundancy as well as advertising, which is fine with me. OTOH, this seems to be intended to apply to book stores. Google Books provides something booksellers, to my knowledge, do not: "a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article". In this case, the ability to search the book's full text, and to view context for search results. If nothing else, this is highly useful for finding and verifying quotations. Paradoctor (talk) 03:32, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

The removal is correct, because the template already links to Books.Google (and dozens of other options). Click on ISBN 9780192821478 and you'll see it for yourself. A separate link is redundant at minimum and unduly promotes a single commercial entity over other options at worst. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:38, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Seems I overlooked that one. Thanks. Paradoctor (talk) 05:08, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
If the Google Books preview was used when writing the article, then linking to Google Books is a good idea. It also allows linking to a specific page. --Apoc2400 (talk) 13:06, 31 January 2010 (UTC)


Is it correct to remove twitter links when added as externals to the subject of the BLP? Off2riorob (talk) 03:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Generally, yes: WP:ELNO#10 tells us that links to Twitter are normally avoided, however WP:ELOFFICIAL allows a Twitter page if it is the "official" site. It also notes that there should not be more than one official site, with certain exceptions. Certainly, if a person has an official web site, and that site has a link to their Twitter page, that Twitter link should be removed from Wikipedia (unless some exceptional circumstance applies). The issue was briefly discussed at WT:External links#Twitter links with a case where apparently the Twitter page was fake – an excellent reason to avoid such unverifiable links. Johnuniq (talk) 03:59, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I don't know how I missed it on the list there, must of had twitter blindness, thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 05:16, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

User:Ani medjool

User:Ani medjool shows two links to Youtube. They appear to be investigations by The Guardian. I'm not seeing anything license or statement wise giving Youtube permission. I asked the user if he knew but action was not taken. Is this a WP:ELNEVER concern or am I just not seeing the license?Cptnono (talk) 00:28, 2 February 2010 (UTC) Disregard they were removedCptnono (talk) 00:31, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Elinks dispute at Talk:Centrifugal force

I'd like to invite editors here familiar with the guidelines to comment on the RfC there. Currently there is something of a stalemate with regard to the proposed link (addition/removal), with various IPs and some registered editors first removing the (offensive to them) link, which is then reverted (for the reason given that 'the dispute has not been settled'). Any editors willing to chip in their opinion would be helpful, though it might be useful to read the current reasonings first. Thanks. --Izno (talk) 01:06, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

This is the link in question. The RfC has been open for about two months, and the responses haven't been obviously for or against. I'm sure that responses from editors (especially from non-specialists) would be appreciated. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:23, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I consider this to be a self-evident violation of WP:CANVAS. This call is self-evidently trying to imply that the link is only considered to be offensive, and only mentions one side of the story. The implication that it's OK to remove links when there is clear lack of consensus to do so, where's the heck that coming from?- Wolfkeeper 04:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
As the person that added the link, the link is on-topic, concise, accurate, informative, amusing and I have requested the author relicense it so we can include the actual image in the wikipedia article. It violates no policies, nor is it, except to the most humour deficient deletionist in any way offensive to anyone.- Wolfkeeper 04:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
In the absence of the image being relicensed (it's already under a free license, but the Wikipedia needs a commercial 'free' license), there is no replacement image, and hence this is permitted under WP:EL.- Wolfkeeper 04:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, gaining consensus about issues that are currently at a stalemate is one of the reasons this board was created. ThemFromSpace 04:35, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Of course, but you're supposed to make the call neutral. You point out that there is a dicussion, and leave it at that. This call went significantly further. He's violating both the spirit and letter of WP:CANVAS.- Wolfkeeper 05:55, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Wolfkeeper, I don't think that it is actually possible for any notice at a widely recognized, formal noticeboard, no matter how biased its wording, to violate WP:CANVAS. But even if it is, I hope that you'll assume that the editors who frequent this board are smart enough and experienced enough not to be irrevocably misled by the first message that we happen to see. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure why this could be seen as non-neutral; I went as far in the first sentence of saying "addition/removal". Have some faith that I did this because I was looking for editors who would be willing to comment on the issue at hand, and who have dealt with external links disputes before, and not as trying to canvass. It would make your life and mine simpler. --Izno (talk) 03:06, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


I reverted some links like these a while ago. Now an IP has added a couple more. Any opinions on whether they are helpful? Johnuniq (talk) 06:36, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

So it looks like they're links to the family trees for a handful of celebrities; the genealogy work was done by a professional service that charges a minimum of 150 pounds per tree.
It also looks probable that the IP is the owner of the service, who (naturally enough) would like his business to be promoted on Wikipedia.
I don't think these links provide useful or encyclopedic information about the people in question. I would remove them all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:01, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I just removed them all. Johnuniq (talk) 06:56, 9 February 2010 (UTC)


I am concerned about the number of times that appears as an external link (and sometimes cited as a reference) (over 500 times) Does the content on the site generally meet the criteria for External links "Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject" or "Sites which fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources". MM207.69.137.6 (talk) 16:36, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Erowid is a very large library & archive covering a lot of topics, so I wouldn't be surprised or very concerned about the large number of links, unless there's a problem with redundant links within articles.
You're asking if the site's content generally meets WP:EL criteria. Since it has a lot of different kinds of content — from peer-reviewed, journal-published articles & books to archives of anecdotal, ephemeral postings by anonymous contributors — it is very much like any other library or other meta-resource: the primary concern should be whether specific, individually authored content is worthy of being linked to, in the manner it is, from the relevant articles; not so much whether the collection, in aggregate, is problematic.
If you have concerns about neutrality, accuracy, and credible authorship of specific content, I recommend dealing with that in the usual way: discussion on the article talk pages, or just being bold and pruning whatever links are of dubious research value.
If you have concerns about the curators' editorial policy, Erowid Center explains this, to some extent. The FAQ says they're committed to verifying and referencing what's there already. The About Us explains that new content comes from what are essentially 'knowledgable sources' (vetted by the curators, FWIW), and new content is reviewed & edited. I'm also told (privately) "We are a long-term library that can be cited at consistent URLs for the purpose of scholarship and discussion. We strive towards 'neutral and accurate' as per our non-profit charter, but there are always errors in any library, documents age, and some are less good than others to begin with. Even with very old, out of date documents, we believe in keeping them for the purpose of long term access, the evolution of knowledge, etc. We will add editors' notes to documents that are desperately out of date or next to facts that are clearly wrong in existing documents." They also said they do minor copy edits as needed, and credit themselves when there are more substantial changes. However I certainly wouldn't interpret that as meaning that all content has been reviewed; again, I strongly suggest considering the appropriateness of linked content on a case-by-case basis. —mjb (talk) 23:42, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I suspect that most, but not all, of what's there meets our "knowledgeable sources" standard. However, "not actually banned by the guideline" is not the same as "you should include this link": editors must use their best judgment. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:28, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
My concern, mjb, would be the uneven mix of material. Reading the FAQ on "LSD", I was impressed by the terse, knowledgeable and informative style. That is, until an abrupt change to informal, even semi-literate original research in a new section, "Because of its extreme cheapness and potency, the purity of LSD in blotter form is not an issue: either it's lsd or untreated paper." I can't resist ... one has to ask ... was this guy on drugs? LSD is as cheap as untreated paper? What?? If it's as cheap as paper now, why would anybody bother selling an imitation? This wild plunge from the scientific to the incoherent in a single article ... not good. Piano non troppo (talk) 03:38, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree it's not as clearly written as it can be, but I'm not sure you interpreted that statement in the FAQ correctly. "Why would anybody bother selling an imitation?" is actually the point. The paragraph in question is followed by an excerpt from a book which makes it more clear what they're trying to say, which is that it's unlikely that LSD on blotter has been replaced with something, because other psychoactive adulterants are going to cost more to make, and will be far less potent (have a lower quantity-to-dose ratio); an LSD-dose-sized square of blotter is too small to accommodate a psychoactive amount of pretty much anything (although if the DEA is correct, it can happen).
Anyway, Erowid's own disclaimer at the top of the FAQ indicate it's probably not an ideal reference, as it's an archived publication (e.g., from Usenet archives), not part of their 'current' collection. More generally, like I said, if a particular document contains questionable content or has poorly written sections, then we probably shouldn't link to it. I wouldn't blacklist the entire domain over it. As the previous commenter said, editors must use their best judgment. —mjb (talk) 22:22, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Mass Effect External Wiki

The Mass Effect article has had an external wiki link added and removed twice (removed based on WP:ELNO). In the talk page I discuss why I think the WP:ELNO does not apply to this link and hope to draw further attention to this issue. ialsoagree (talk) 03:02, 10 February 2010 (UTC)


Is it OK to link to a petition website for a petition related to an article? In particular I have found a petition to have a criminal released from prison in the external links of his article, wanted to know official policy regarding this. Freikorp (talk) 08:50, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I think WP:SOAP applies here. External links shouldn't really be used for advocacy of causes. ThemFromSpace 19:29, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I oppose this sort of link as unencyclopedic, although if there are newspaper stories (or things like that) discussing the fact that petitions are being circulated, then this verifiable fact might be appropriate to include in the body of the article.
Additionally, it's widely known that online petitions are a complete waste of time and energy (no political body pays any attention to them), so I think that including the link would tend to make the reader think that Wikipedia was not a serious or thoughtful enterprise. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:43, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate the advice from both of you, thanks. Freikorp (talk) 10:21, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Dmoz hater

An IP User has an anti Dmoz fetish, and is wholesale replacing Dmoz links with paid-for-listing Yahoo directory ones, despite the obvious inferiority of the Yahoo links. On my talk page he has asserted more than 20 editors have stated a preference for Yahoo links over Dmoz ("More than 20 editors agree with this point and only two disagree") and a bizarre assertion that WP:EL mentions the Yahoo directory when it does not. Frankly these statements and actions are mystifying since no such discussions or text have occurred. I'm posting here partly to get some agreement that the jillions of Dmoz links we have are fine, especially as a single link in highly popular, highly spammable articles (like the gambling ones in question here)... and to get some help in reversion policing of this particular user's fetish regarding changing all these links to yahoo while making up guideline text and phantom 20/2 discussions as a justification for doing it. 2005 (talk) 02:11, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

It says here at a Wikipedia Spam Reduction Project page that Yahoo Directory is part of the Wikipedia spam project and can be used as an alternative to DMOZ. So I am here to defend my actions of replacing DMOZ listings, which are full of outdated and few sites, with fresh Yahoo listings. Many DMOZ pages are full of poor quality outdated links, whereas Yahoo has to update their pages with fresh links that actually work and are not left around for years at a time. There is controversy about DMOZ editors adding only their own sites to these pages and nothing else, thus reduces the quality of these pages and prevents extremely high quality sites from ever being listed there. Adding the Yahoo directory link instead of poor DMOZ links actually helps Wikipedia visitors out, giving them a fresher and higher quality choice of sites, and this is more important than this guy's Pro-DMOZ fetish.
I would also like Wikipedia Administrators to consider adding Best of the Web (BOTW) directory in addition to the spam project's templates like DMOZ and Yahoo directory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Dmoz does suck for subjects that don't lend themselves to analysis by enthusiasts (things like bingo, casino directories, etc.), and should be removed. But not to be replaced with this - [24] - tell me the relevance of any single one of those links to online bingo????
Note that BOTW requires a $150/year payment for inclusion and is therefore unsuitable ab initio. Sumbuddi (talk) 03:45, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I apologize for creating that link incorrectly, since 2005 keeps reversing every single page and I have to keep creating the links, a mistake is bound to happen. Still, BOTW has a much better selection than DMOZ and it's updated frequently, so it doesn't matter if it's $150/year for inclusion. Many people have been known to bribe DMOZ editors to get their links listed, which will be heavily trafficked by Wikipedia visitors. Other editors won't add anything useful for years on those DMOZ pages. Still, other editors will just refuse to list anything but their own low quality sites, essentially making it impossible for anyone else to have a chance to be listed there. ANYTHING is better than DMOZ and it also helps Wikipedia visitors more than anything.
Also, I think the Wikipedia Administrators need to think more about their policy of giving DMOZ automatic unanimous default privileges of being listed everywhere on Wikipedia when spam links get too troubling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:26, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia Administrators also need to understand that DMOZ is not editable by the rest of the public. If an editor dies for example, the category is essentially locked out from being edited by anyone for years unless one of the few editors with greater authority decides to edit it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:30, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
The fact that people pay to advertise on a page doesn't bother me. WP:EL does not actually prohibit pages that contain paid advertisements.
I think that most of these directories don't need to be listed at all: IMO the articles are better served by no link than by either DMOZ or Yahoo! links.
When a link is being included, the choice between the two should be made individually, based on what's most useful to the reader. We link individual, specific pages in individual, specific articles, not "DMOZ" on "Wikipedia". A bunch of deadlinks at DMOZ is not preferable to Yahoo!; conversely, a bunch of commercial-only links at Yahoo! is not preferable to a more comprehensive list at DMOZ. Editors need to look at the actual pages and compare them, and quit worrying about whether the link is spelled d-m-o-z or y-a-h-o-o.
Given this dispute, if a page already contains one or the other, then the fact of the change should be discussed. If there's a problem with an existing DMOZ link, for example, then leave a note on the talk page about exactly why the Yahoo! link is better. This standard procedure should cut down noticeably on complaints and edit warring. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:51, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

[25] has been linked to Egyptology articles and a couple of tank articles, but just a few links. This morning Ottarvendel (talk · contribs), evidently its webmaster (see [26], has added it to a large number of articles. I've pointed him to our policies on spam and COI, but I'd like to know if people agree this falls under WP:ELNO as a personal website. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 13:31, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I've just noticed he's ignored my request to stop. Dougweller (talk) 13:34, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any sign of a note on his talk page; are you sure that he's received the message? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:55, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
It was a copy and paste error, fixed. The webmaster isn't an expert in the area, and likely fails ELNO #1 at least. I would say it's spam. I've reverted the ones I could with rollback. If someone else finds the links worthwhile, I wouldn't mind them being reinserted on a case by case basis. MER-C 12:50, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Youtube Copyright infringement?

I'd like to add an external link to Youtube, but I don't yet know the copyright policy well enough. The page to be added to is Moi... Lolita. The vid contains the original French lyrics plus an English translation, subtitled over a live performance. Does the video still infringe copyright if the original has been modified? My guess is yes, I'm just shooting for a second opinion. And then isn't even Youtube blatantly spreading illegal recordings? Just curious on that last point.

Here is the link: Moi ... Lolita Lyrics and Translation at SSBDelphiki (talk) 01:59, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I think you're exactly right. It looks like a commercial music video that someone has subtitled. There is no indication that the translator has the right to copy, post, or share the video. Please do not link things like this, and please remove such links whenever you find them.
Thanks for your vigilance on this issue! WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:00, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Copy-&-pasted from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam, after Johnuniq suggested the move. --bender235 (talk) 20:26, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Jasonmichaelweaver (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · blacklist hits · AbuseLog · what links to user page · count · COIBot · user page logs · x-wiki · status · Edit filter search · Google · StopForumSpam) frequently adds to Milton, Florida. In my opinion this site is WP:SPAM, which is why I reverted his additions. He opposes. Hence we need some 3rd opinions. --bender235 (talk) 22:08, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

I wasn't trying to add it frequently. At first I didn't even understand why it had been taken off. Why are there 3rd opinions needed to put it back but not to take it off? That was one of my first experiences editing in Wikipedia but for the most part I regret it because the website has been very openly called spam and I have been called a spammer. I'm not going to add it back; someone else can if they judge it to be useful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jasonmichaelweaver (talkcontribs) 00:32, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
WikiProject Cities/Guideline strongly discourages external links other than official city links. On that basis, I would leave the link out. JonHarder talk 14:49, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Jason, I'm sorry that you've had a discouraging experience. Wikipedia can be a complicated place. You might like to read the advice at WP:PROMO. It's not all relevant to your specific situation, but you might find some of it helpful.
Bender, I don't think that adding the link three times (ever) really counts as spamming behavior, especially with someone who probably thought your zero-explanation removal was an honest error on your part. In the future, please try to add edit summaries for non-vandalism reversions. Just saying, "I don't think this is a good website" might have been helpful, and I'm sure that starting a discussion on the WP:TALK page would have been helpful.
I don't think that I would have removed this website. Local history websites aren't prohibited by the actual guideline, and a small town like this isn't likely to have a better or more official history website. (Jason, please keep in mind that "not actually prohibited" isn't the same as "should be included": There are so many websites that are "not actually prohibited" that we usually try to have positive reasons for including them.)
The article has a bit of a linkfarm, and it should be weeded: The radio websites should probably get pulled, the high school is a deadlink, and surely a single tourist center is enough. If I were going to reduce unwanted links in this article, I definitely wouldn't have started with the "Encyclopedia Milton". WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:13, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Ok that all makes a lot of sense and is very helpful, WhatamIdoing. Thank you for taking the time to explain that all to me and help me out. I'll try to be more careful to avoid confusion in the future.Jasonmichaelweaver (talk) 01:25, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

3D model of Austin crash site

I have added a link to the 2010 Austin plane crash page for a Google Earth compatible 3D model of the Echelon Buiding One in Austin, TX that was nearly destroyed in the February 18th attack. It's viewable in 3D with Flash. It's also available as a download into Google Earth where it can be viewed in it's proper environment.

While Google Earth has some 3D buildings built-in this building is only available through this page. I have started an RFC discussion on the Talk page. The claim is that it's irrelevant to the article and has "no intrinsic value". I can't find other uses of 3D Warehouse models so this ELN may set a precedent on their use. - Stillwaterising (talk) 23:01, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, I'd say that it clears WP:ELNO #1 quite easily, but is it really justifiable for an encyclopedia article? I'll think about it... but perhaps the answer will be obvious to someone else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:10, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
There has been disagreement on the article's talk page towards including it, with four either against it or questioning its value, and Stillwaterising for. In short, it adds nothing to the article. Huntster (t @ c) 12:13, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Gooduncle (talk · contribs) is mass-adding links to relevant pages on to various Maine articles. Could I have some more opinions as to whether this is useful or spam? Thanks.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:46, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Definitely spam. The links don't really pass WP:ELNO point 1 and the user doesn't appear to be doing anything but adding links en masse. I'd support them all being removed. ThemFromSpace 23:02, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree that these links are dubious. All the ones I checked contained the sort of information that should already be in the article (location, incorporation date, etc.) and sometimes interesting links to other material. Those links could perhaps be useful for editors looking for sources to use in the article, but that doesn't necessarily mean there should be a link to this site in the article's EL section. Since there was some variation in the amount of content on the specific pages, maybe the more robust ones would be useful links on a case-by-case basis, but that doesn't mean the articles for every town in Maine should be spammed with a link. --RL0919 (talk) 22:39, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I can't find this on the meta or local spam lists, nor on XLinkBot's list, but an IP has twice added this EL, which is essentially a fansite with links to, which is itself a set of links to copyrighted content. So it's an A->B->C passthrough, where C is probably an inappropriate link for hosting content in violation of copyright. Not terribly familiar with the nuances of this, so can someone help me out? Jclemens (talk) 21:35, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

At best its not appropriate since it doesn't add anything encyclopedic to the articles which it is placed on; at worst its a copyright violation. ThemFromSpace 23:03, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
"Contributory infringement" galore on that site. Definitely not appropriate. --RL0919 (talk) 22:45, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Is Gowalla WP:ELNO social networking?

Following is copied from WT:External links because this is the correct place. Johnuniq (talk) 10:18, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

An editor has added gowalla links to quite a few articles today. This seems to clearly fall under WP:ELNO guideline #10 as a social networking site but thought I'd get a second opinion before attempting to clean up. -- Brianhe (talk) 07:19, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I cannot see how that link is suitable and I reverted this. I see that the site is mentioned at Wikipedia:WikiProject Public art/News but how does it benefit an article to link to Gowalla? There are only a handful of links currently. Johnuniq (talk) 08:46, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
In addition, the links seem to be intended for people using special software and hardware (i.e. a very tiny minority of Wikipedia readers).
There is also the problem that some of the linked pages seem to be copyright violations, such as [27] where the description text appear to have been copied verbatim from Waiting for the Interurban without attribution, violating Wikipedia's Terms of Use (the CC-BY-SA license).
Regards, HaeB (talk)

Interesting discussion. Because it doesn't seem like folks know a lot about Gowalla, I will say that it is a new geolocating web-based and mobile application. It is very hand for finding things outdoors. I'm not sure how you all are defining social networking, but I do not define Gowalla as a social networking web site that can be compared to anything like facebook or My Space. It is something new.

In my opinion the benefit of linking to Gowalla is in that it helps to more accurately identify and verify an artworks physical location. It represents user data of physical things.

To say again, Gowalla is really something new all together. It is a website and a mobile application. It is not just for people using special software as everything that is in the mobile version is also on the web page. In this way it is available to all Wikipedia readers. Also, I think the WP TOS discussion is something else to be considered in a different venue because it doesn't directly relate to WP:ELNO.

Many Thanks, Richard McCoy (talk) 13:07, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Apparently Gowalla's own founder is among these folks who don't "know a lot about Gowalla", since he describes it as "a location-based mobile social network". Of course every social networking site is different; emphasizing different aspects of socializing - while people may connect over shared musical taste on Myspace, they can connect over visiting the same location on Gowalla.
Admittedly the Google Maps snippet which is currently displayed in Gowalla web pages is of some use to general readers, but the coord geotagging links already provide this kind of information is a more systematic and useful way, which also does not privilege one company over others.
You are technically correct in pointing out that pages containing copyright violations are not explicitly mentioned in WP:ELNO, but that is just because that restriction is already mentioned further up the page, in the WP:ELNEVER section.
Regards, HaeB (talk) 21:47, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I am concerned about links that tend to privilege one company over another, whether that company is a local bookstore vs, Google vs Gowalla, or anything else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:52, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I really don't have a strong inclination or desire to argue for keeping Gowalla, but rather appreciate an accurate consideration of it. I wonder, though, is Wikipedia simply a social networking site connect people around a information? Richard McCoy (talk) 12:41, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Nontrinitarianism and "official" links

Hi, there is an argument that I got into about several of the links on the Nontrinitarianism page that needs defused. The issue regards the homepages of two religions and whether they should apply in this article because they are the "official" homepages. I believe that these are not official links because they do not directly apply to the topic of the article (as opposed to our pages on those religions). Perhaps I am missing something here. Does WP:ELYES point one apply to any such "official" site or only to sites strictly about the article? ThemFromSpace 22:44, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Yes. An article on Nontrinitarianism is correct to include an "External links" section with a handful of links (four? five?) to the official websites of the most prominent nontrinitarian groups, or directly to the groups' own explanation of the matter.
    --AuthorityTam (talk) 23:35, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
These might be valuable links -- or, links specifically to a page that talks about this doctrine, rather than to the 'home page' might be valuable links -- but they are not WP:ELOFFICIAL links for the idea. A church's website can only be an official link for an article about the church (organization) itself, not various ideas it professes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:26, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Crop circle

I'm thinking of requesting page protection for this article which has become the target of IP external-link spamming. ScienceApologist (talk) 20:36, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Resolved: - The page has been temp-protected. -- œ 22:19, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Arts Trust, India - acceptable?

Are either specific links like this [28] to a named artist, or general links to the home page, acceptable? I can't decide if it should be treated as a commercial site, which it clearly is, even having a section on market analysis [29] or as an acceptable external link. We have a short article on it, The Arts Trust – Institute of Contemporary Indian Art. I'm asking because an IP is starting to post links to multiple articles. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 15:56, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

A link to the Trust's website would be fine for the article about it, per WP:ELOFFICIAL. On any other page it is hard to say. The links provided don't provide enough context to understand what WP article they would be linked from. --RL0919 (talk) 02:00, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
They range from [30] which is linked from Venice Biennale (where it doesn't add anything IMHO) to [31] at Shahabuddin Ahmed (artist) where it displays his work. Dougweller (talk) 15:03, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
It looks like a case-base-case judgment call. Being a commercial site per se is not a reason to exclude a link as long as the linked page isn't primarily about selling stuff. The Ahmed link, for example, doesn't have any prices or information about purchasing, so it is not in violation of WP:ELNO #5. Examples of a subject's work, especially when the works are copyrighted and thus can't be reproduced on Wikimedia Commons or Wikisource, are the sort of detail that we often use external links for. So since the Trust has pages with that type of material, it seems like a valuable addition in those cases. The Venice Biennale link is marginal; perhaps of interest in 2007, but not really today. But that's just my opinion; I don't think these links are clearly violating any guidelines. --RL0919 (talk) 15:28, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't sure at first, but you've convinced me. Dougweller (talk) 16:17, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Extrageographic magazine

Any thoughts on this web based magazine? [32] is the link that led me to this. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 15:05, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

At first glance, it looks like the sort of site that might not pass muster as a reliable source, but could potentially be used in external links. However, I assume you followed the link from the article on Tudor Parfitt, and in that specific case I think the link fails WP:ELNO #13, because the linked piece only discusses Parfitt in one section and only in relation to one piece of research he did; the article isn't really about him as a subject. --RL0919 (talk) 15:52, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. This is a new one one me so I wanted a second opinion. Dougweller (talk) 16:15, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Can someone take a look at this site and offer an opinion?


Related prior report and discussion:

To me, the site fails WP:ELNO #4 and #11, as well as failing WP:NOT#REPOSITORY. In my opinion, the SPA nature of posts by the user suggests more of an interest in self-promotion of his own blog. At the very least, the link should be discussed by the community on the article talk pages rather than inserted into articles by this user due to the likely COI. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 16:40, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

I don't see that there's any question. Another half-baked investment site, run by those with no especially notable qualifications. As far as a unique or valuable resource ... nothing. As far as conflict of interest, probably, but the other factors are sufficient. Piano non troppo (talk) 16:48, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

I think I prefer Mr. Leahy's current approach which is to donate the text of his blog to the encyclopedia [33] (instead of his link that was deleted ) This is a kind gift, as it seems the article was incomplete in this area. It will of course be necessary for a copyright declaration so we can keep it, see Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials. Then other editors can adapt it to the house style, and edit the content. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 21:06, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the site does not appear to satisfy WP:EL. It would appear that the editors adding the links are not like the standard spammers frequently seen here, but there are hundreds of investment sites that would like links in relevant articles and only those that really add encyclopedic value should be accepted. Johnuniq (talk) 02:40, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Not sure whether, as the perpetrator, I am even allowed to comment here! But for you financial markets experts, commenting on this ignorant neophyte - you might wish to scan today's Financial Times (a 'half-baked' publication I hear you say!).... here is a link to help you! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peterjleahy (talkcontribs) 14:52, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

All are welcome to comment, which is why I replied to your post to let you know about the discussion here. That said, instead of links to letters you've written yourself - a more meaningful link would be to news stories about you or your website written by a reliable, third-party, published source with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. See WP:RS and WP:N for further clarification. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 16:39, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I had always felt that the Financial Times had a good reputation as a 'reliable, third-party, published source with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy', perhaps they are not as well known for this as you feel you are! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peterjleahy (talkcontribs) 20:30, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

The publisher is not the issue, the link is to a letter written by you (not a third party) in a comments/letters section (not an article about you or your website) - it only establishes that you are capable of writing letters to publishers. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 20:35, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

how very small, goodbye! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:44, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I received a question on my talk page about the usage of reviews from here in the "professional reviews" sections of the album infobox. I removed some links such as this and this because the reviews don't appear professional, and there is no way to say who wrote the review because they are written with aliases. The user who first posted them has assured me that the reviews are of a professional nature. Although they still don't look professional to me, I acknowledge that I'm not overly familiar with the music reviewing business and whether this site has a professional reputation among music fans. Are these links appropriate in a "professional reviews" site? ThemFromSpace 22:52, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Considering that the banner for "Reviews" at that site says "Note: Anyone may post a review", I somehow doubt most of them are from professionals, especially ones posted under anonymous handles. Plus, check out this line from the first review you linked: "As I am not an authority on the nuances of musical categorisation, I'll hand you over to Wikipedia ..." Doesn't sound like a pro to me. The profile for the reviewer from the second link says he is a teacher. The site's editorial staff is listed, so if a review is by one of them, I'd think that would count, but reviews by random members aren't. --RL0919 (talk) 23:27, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

I have reverted a number of links recently added to (fashion info). The links were added by (talk · contribs · WHOIS) (example addition). There are currently no links to the site (linksearch). In response to a question on my talk I would like to seek comments: are the links to useful? Johnuniq (talk) 00:37, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

The content might be useful in terms of providing details that don't belong in the article itself (per WP:ELYES #3), but the sources of the material on the site is unclear. If the content is supplied by non-expert users (like our own content is), then it would probably fail WP:ELNO 11 or 12. I couldn't find anything on the site itself about who generates the content. --RL0919 (talk) 02:10, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
The content on is added by hired fashion pro's who know the industry. The company also verifies these credits and gives verified control of people & companies profiles to representatives from that company. The information is entered by fashion experts. What is the process I can take next to make sure that added links will not be removed in bulk by admins? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

My comment from Johnuniq's talk page, pulled in here..

I understand how red flags come up with strings of edits like mine, totally. The site MyFDB get's content from in house fashion professionals who enter the credits and images, whose sole job is to know the people of the industry and to verify their involvement in the work posted. MyFDB is also beginning to verify professionals via their representation (agents) or directly with the person themselves. Right now it's the largest (with nearly 1M images) and most authoritative and accurate database of fashion pros and their work online. I thought it'd be the perfect candidate rather than some other fashion sites. Thoughts? It's IMDB for fashion, basically. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:54, 7 March 2010
And IMDB is not considered a reliable source for most information. MyFDB appears to be a user edited site, and as such fails WP:EL criteria. I'd disallow any and all external links to it. (talk) 20:59, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
IMDB, although not generally a reliable source, is not prohibited for external links, and the actual guideline does permit user-edited sites if they are closed/require permission or advance registration, or if they have a substantial number of editors and a history of stability (see ELNO #12). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:18, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Can you find info on who contributes to MyFDB? I can't. Nor is there information on the number of contributors and/or the stability of the info. (talk) 21:25, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
To me this is the big problem. If MyFDB has a page on the site that explains that only registered professionals are able to edit the information, then I would consider it an acceptable external link, on a similar basis to IMDB. But I wasn't able to find any such information. --RL0919 (talk) 00:04, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Reading the site's terms of service it is clear that the information is user-submitted, and it seems for a fee. JamesBWatson (talk) 15:13, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Why Shouldn't Be Added To Concealed_carry_in_the_United_States

The website is being delete from because it has a forum. It has tons of information pertaining to the subject and is one of the only websites that keeps their information and maps up to date. The site is even used within that pages Talk pages to verify information in the wikipedia article itself but yet it can't be linked in the external links? I think this should be changed and added as it is a valid website within the subject. Kahman (talk) 21:01, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Just a data point regarding this question: the user has done nothing on Wikipedia other than try to insert links into into multiple articles. --jpgordon::==( o ) 21:08, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

This is incorrect. I have removed content that wasn't relevant and out of date and also provided an image on another handgun related article. All I am trying to do is provide wikipedia visitors with relevant link. On the Open Carry wikipedia page you link which lists maps, laws and also has forums, which is the same thing as so why wouldn't you link to it. And it seems that anyone that responds to this totally looks over the fact that editors on wikipedia have used to verify information on the page itself. But then you say it isn't a valid external link. If it isn't then why would you use it as a source to confirm your information? (talk) 22:23, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

If I understand the edit summaries, and looking at the site, I believe the objection is that when you link to the main page, it presents itself pretty much as a forum (not just a site that has a forum). Links to discussion forums are discouraged per WP:ELNO #10. Looking at the site more closely, I can see that there are non-forum pages on it, so if you linked to something specifically relevant that is clearly not a forum post, that might pass muster. But it would need to be something that isn't already in the article (for example, state-by-state carry laws are already summarized, and there is another EL that gives more details about each state). To to be frank, if your main purpose here is to insert links to a site you are associated with, you should expect to encounter a lot of resistance. Wikipedia's main purpose is to serve as a general interest encyclopedia. External links are only a small part of that, and special-interest accounts that do nothing but add links are frowned upon by many of our regular editors. I encourage you to review Wikipedia:Conflict of interest and WP:LINKSPAM before continuing. --RL0919 (talk) 21:21, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

So I will attempt to link to the USA Carry Permit Maps which would be relevant right? WIKI doesn't have the reciprocity maps on the site so linking to that would be a valid link, correct? (talk) 22:31, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

That type of link does not obviously go afoul of the external linking guideline the way a forum link would. The editors working on the page would need to decide if they think the link is actually helpful, which is a content decision rather than a matter of policy or guidelines. I again encourage you (assuming the IP comment is from the same editor as above) to consider the community's concerns about link spam before you add more links. --RL0919 (talk) 23:13, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
I have been watchlisting that page for a couple weeks now and trying to upgrade the sourcing to "third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy". It isn't immediately obvious if this external link has a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, but it is very obvious that it fails the "third party" test. Also, I am 99% guessing that this AnonIP is Special:Contributions/Kahman who is a member of the USACarry forum, and has for almost three years been a "concealed carry" WP:SPA. In my opinion, this link qualifies as WP:WPSPAM. SaltyBoatr (talk) 23:48, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, external links are not sources, and are not generally required to meet the same standards as reliable sources need to meet. But the SPA concerns are legitimate, as noted in my comments above. --RL0919 (talk) 00:16, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

"Blog" may have been the wrong word, but the site certainly carries an open forum which anyone can post to: I have joined it myself. JamesBWatson (talk) 15:37, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

SaltyBoatr says "I am 99% guessing that this AnonIP is Special:Contributions/Kahman". I think it is much more than 99%. If you read the first 3 posts in this section you will see that the anon editor uses the word "I" in a context where it can only possibly refer to Kahman. JamesBWatson (talk) 15:42, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Time-further-out (talk · contribs) is repeatedly adding to various watch-related articles, insisting it is useful information and not spam. While it's possible that it could be a valid reference for specific facts, just dropping it into the EL section strikes me as spammish. Other thoughts? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Sarek: I am repeatedly adding the references to EL because you are repeatedly deleting them. Who is engaging in the edit-war, you or me? I have offered justification both in the comments and on discussion page for why these links are valid, but they are deleted with biased comments like "spam from repair shop". As a provider of extensive historical information on vintage watches, I maintain an entirely separate section of my commercial web site to provide this information as a service both to my customers and to others seeking information about their watches. The information I'm linking to is tables of serial number, production date, and caliber information that allows people to determine the age and/or model of their watch. The information I'm linking to is accurate, on-topic, and is not the type of information that would be suitable for inclusion in the body of the WP article. I believe extreme bias is being displayed in the repeated deletion of these valid links, violating the "3rd pillar" of WP... "no editor owns any article." Please explain your repeated deletions. Time-further-out (talk) 17:41, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
"because you are repeatedly deleting them" O RLY?--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:46, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Ironically, after looking into the claim that removal of the link is the result of an editor trying to "own" articles - I found that the links are being removed by multiple established editors citing WP policies and guidelines. The only evidence I could find of someone trying to impose their view of what's right and wrong is in edits by Time-further-out, who has a self-confessed conflict of interest in adding the links by being the site owner [34]. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 18:26, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
The first two instances I checked ([35] and [36]) seemed like reasonable (although not compelling) ELs for the related articles. Just being pages on the site of a commercial site doesn't disallow them, and the material seemed relevant. (Not being familiar with the subjects, I can't say whether the material is accurate or if it duplicates information already in the articles.) I think this may be a case of a WP:COI editor shooting themselves in the foot. If established neutral editors had added the same links at different times, they might well have been kept. But an SPA adding links on multiple articles in quick succession typically draws resistance. --RL0919 (talk) 18:44, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
It should be pointed out that the links were not added to "multiple articles in quick succession" as has been suggested. The links have existed on several WP artitles for more than a year, and were only recently removed after new content pages (with new tables of serial number information) was added to the external site, and a link was added to the Rolex page. At that point, editors took it upon themselves to seek out ALL similar links by this editor and remove them. As has been pointed out, the fact that the EL is a commercial site does NOT disallow the pages when the material is relevant, and I've already pointed out the non-commercial nature of the externally linked pages.
As for the suggestion that the edits are reverted by "multiple editors" I believe that a little searching will find that only 2 editors made all the reverts... a good example of tag-teaming AND ownership behavior. As for citing "WP policies and guidelines", each removal has cited different policies and guidelines, and when one is refuted another is cited. That would certainly give the impression of searching for a policy to support a preconceived position, rather than working cooperatively to make sure that multiple points of view are represented.
The real issue, of course, is not the editorial behavior, but whether the EL provides information which adds value to the article, and which is not included in the body of the article itself. In all cases, the links refer to pages of historical information which are not included as part of the article, and are perfecly reasonable inclusions for an external link. Time-further-out (talk) 22:55, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
User:Time-further-out, you have been edit-warring on the Rolex article today, and you managed to break the WP:3RR rule there. If you want to avoid a block, I suggest that you agree to take a break of at least seven days from adding these links. Nothing prevents you from offering the links for consideration on the Talk pages of various articles. EdJohnston (talk) 23:59, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
My quick survey shows removal by Barek, Ckatz, Dr.K, SarekOfVulcan -- that's at least four editors, which definitely meets my standard for "multiple editors", and I don't pretend to have done a thorough survey, so there may have been more.
Here's the only rule that really matters in these not-required/not-prohibited situations: Every single external link, in every single article, must be justifiable to the satisfaction of the editors at that article. If your link is being removed, then you have not (by definition) met this basic standard. You need to provide guideline-based and/or common-sense reasons to convince the other editors to change their minds.
It's not a legalistic question of ticking off the right number of boxes in the guideline and being entitled to a link over someone else's objections; your fellow editors must agree that the article is better with this link than without it, or the link will be removed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:06, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
EdJohnston: Any violation of policy was unintentional, and you should note that I have made no further revisions to the article since the 3RR was pointed out to me. I have engaged in good faith discussion on both this page and the article talk page in an effort to gain concensus. I haven't done anything to merit a block, and quite frankly don't appreciate the threat when I'm working cooperatively to resolve the dispute. Time-further-out (talk) 00:27, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

A helpful commercial site would include basic information about value, mechanisms, production, repair, (and not include a probable copyright violation of a Norman Rockwell painting). Their main page does not fit that bill. However *this* page of theirs, and the subpages, I would say does.[37] Their FAQ page on value is honest and informative, but the point really is to protect them against bombardment by appraisal questions they're tired of hearing.

While the history page seems useful, nothing I scanned is remotely close to the quality of Britten's Watch & Clock Maker's Handbook Dictionary and Guide (Which I just happen to own a copy of.) In terms of "what Wiki wants", it's selections from that. Technical descriptions, rather than pricing information. Piano non troppo (talk) 00:39, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Precisely my point. There is nothing there that adds any scholarly value to the article. In addition the whole site is inundated with Visa signs and details on how to order. Also even their history section is full of commercial links and completely uncited. It does not pass muster of even the lowest standards of scholarship because it is completely devoid of any citations. It is simply useless encyclopedically. This user seems to be wikilawyering to bypass strong consensus against adding the link. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 00:51, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
While your analysis may be 100% accurate, the actual guidelines don't require what you complain about here. For example, there's no rule against providing ordering information; there's no rule against commercial links; there's no requirement for (or even suggestion in favor of) citations. Having said that, "not actually prohibited" is not the same thing as "should be linked". Many thousands of websites are "not actually prohibited" by the external links guideline. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:25, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Thank you for the technical correction. I agree. What I was trying to say is we could possibly tolerate the Visa and other commercial links as long as there was some encyclopedic reason compelling enough for us to include it. But why should we care about a webmaster's account of the history of the watch. An account completely devoid of any academic value. As far as the other content such as watchcase id numbers and all kinds of trivia, Wikipedia is not a watch repair manual. I tried to communicate this to this user and all I got were personal attacks of tag-teaming, ownership etc. I mean this has got to end sometime. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:04, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Dr.K's comments are very revealing. Statements like "inundated with VISA signs" and "full of commercial links" are both inaccurate and show the predisposition of those who have engaged in the systematic deletion of these links. Small point of fact, there are exactly 2 VISA signs on an entire website consisting of hundreds of pages... on the VISA payment page and on the page that leads to the VISA payment page. It is a commercial site... that is not in question. But the section of the site linked to in the EL's in entirely historical in nature, and provide valuable information about watches which is not contained in the body of the WP articles. Dr. K... since you are so sure of yourself (despite the fact that you have yet to provide a definition of "inherent encyclopedic value" could you please point out where any of the pages I have linked to are "full of commercial links" as you have just asserted? Note also that there is no "pricing information" on the site, as has also been suggested. Time-further-out (talk) 01:52, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Please stop the personal attacks and read the relevant policy WP:NPA. Referring to my person as "sure of myself" is a nasty piece of a personal attack and I don't have to entertain you by replying to you any longer. I refuse to engage in further dialog with you. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:04, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
My point is that it is a (very well written) site, but for customer support. The "facts" that are given out are in aid of deflecting non-money-making customers, while encouraging serious ones. It's a fine job, but I could easily contribute more valuable material to Wikipedia on clocks simply with a few hours abstracting from the authoratative Britten reference. Wikipedia strongly encourages people, not to provide external links, but to contribute to the Wiki articles themselves. Time-further-out, I recommend you put a few hours aside, add the appropriate sentence or two to articles, and reference your site from them. Regards, Piano non troppo (talk) 02:07, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This could be misconstrued to mean that they can add historical references from their website. I wouldn't think that is a good idea because they are not a scholarly source. The only other sentence they can add is about watchcase serial numbers but again I am not sure how encyclopedic this material is and even if it is why can we not find it from a more academic source? Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:42, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Dr. K: That's twice already today you told me you were not engaging in further dialog... apparently that's the standard ploy when you have no comeback for the actual CONTENT of the argument. Piano non troppo: Thank you for your useful comments. I'm relatively new to WP edits, and I'm making a good faith effort to work within the guidelines. I don't think it would be appropriate to add all the date/serial number tables to the articles themselves, so I EL'd them. That seems to me like the right thing to do. I would appreciate the advice of more knowledgeable WP'ers as to how to properly include this valuable material. Time-further-out (talk) 02:37, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

You must be confused as you admitted once before about yourself. Because if you bothered to see my comments to the other users above you can see that I have plenty of "comebacks". I simply do not engage in dialog with persons who use personal attacks as a method to debate. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:46, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Dr. K: Then if you think I'm engaging in personal attacks, which I am not, why do you keep engaging in a dialog with me? You said twice today you were going to stop, so stop! I frankly don't care about how many "comebacks" you have. As for your accusation of "wikilawyering" (I don't have a clue what that means, though it sounds a lot like a "personal attack") I would respectfully suggest that you stop engaging in "wikibullying" and actually deal with the content of the arguments being presented. I'll repeat my question to you. Please define what "inherent encyclopedic value" means in some objectively quantifiable way. While you're at it, how about defining "devoid of any academic value" in any objectively quantifiable terms? What ever happened to the rules about civility? Or do we only strive to enforce certain guidelines which fit with our personal agendas? Just have to tell you folks... my introduction to WP editing has been a remarkable display of pedantic puffery. Are you really concerned with civility, concensus, and doing what's best for the encyclopedia? Time-further-out (talk) 04:14, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

OK, let me first ask both Dr. K and Time-further-out to take any concerns about one anothers' personal behavior elsewhere. This board is for discussing the appropriateness of placing external links. Any issues you have with personal attacks, wikilawyering, etc., don't belong here and are not going to find any resolution here. As to the links: I mostly agree with Time-further-out regarding the content of the links. I saw no Visa symbols or pricing info on the pages I looked at. There were some Google ads (for other sites), but nothing that would disqualify the links. External links are also not required to be reliable sources and do not have to meet the quality standards for such sources. There no clear violation of any WP:ELNO rule that I can see. That said, WhatamIdoing summed it up nicely before: "your fellow editors must agree that the article is better with this link than without it, or the link will be removed." If several editors are removing a link and only one editor is adding it back, then it probably isn't wanted. --RL0919 (talk) 14:50, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
You mean you did not see the Visa and Mastercard signs on the upper right hand side of the website that you get when you click the link provided above? As to my "wikilawyering" comment I provided it to this discussion as my personal opinion of this user's actions since he asked for definitions of various terms I used which I considered self-evident. As far as personal attacks you can check the timeline. He started them and I replied. Maybe if comments about personal attacks are not allowed here, someone should have told them to stop when they first started them. Because once they are made and they remain on the thread I have the right to respond. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 15:22, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
The only page on the site where I saw the credit card logos was the main page, which as far as I know has not been linked from any articles. The links have been to interior pages about specific subjects, with no such logos. I have no further comment on the interpersonal dispute. A more appropriate forum for discussing incivility accusations is that way. --RL0919 (talk) 15:44, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I see. You were talking about the subpages while I was referring to the main page. No problem. As to wikiquette thanks for the pointer but I won't bother. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 16:36, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Let's examine the suggestion that the EL's I've suggested are SPAM, as has been repeatedly asserted. What would be the reasons for the SPAM? I can only think of a couple: to increase pagerank or backlinks by having links from WP, or to attract traffic to the site for the purpose of attracting more business. It has already been stipulated that WP links are "no-follow" so the first reason is clearly not valid... it does nothing for backlinks or pagerank. As for the notion of attracting more customers, we do not even repair Rolex watches (though we do repair some of the brands where we've suggested similar links), and we currently have a one-year backlog of repair work! So seeking more customers is clearly not the reason either. That only leaves one conclusion: that the links are offered because the information provided is, based on my experience as a professional watchmaker, some of the most sought after information by those doing research on their Rolex watches. The links are offered simply because they improved the content of the article. Time-further-out (talk) 16:02, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

This "we" pronoun you're using suggests that either your account is being used by multiple people, or that you are connected with the website and business to which you are linking -- both of which are against Wikipedia's policies. The "No-follow" argument you've made is a red herring. Any business gains exposure simply by someone clicking on a link from anywhere to visit their page. Whether you(plural) simply want to get eyes on your site, or you want to set your business up as some sort of authority, I can't be certain. But you're definitely not helping yourself here. CobaltBlueTony™ talk 18:55, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with your first reaction: "We" had breakfast at "our" house this morning, but I assure you that only one of the people at the table edits Wikipedia with my account. Terms of use are also outside the scope of this board. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:51, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Just to clarify, Time-further-out has been open about the WP:COI issue (see here), and has been (since the initial edit warring at least), discussing the links which is the appropriate approach. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 19:15, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Noted. This still doesn't address our inability to 'agree upon' or corroborate the idea that the shop/individual can be considered an authority on this topic. Without that, it's just a business site with a self-proclaimed historical section. I understand that this isn't crime data, or something else more volatile or incendiary, but we must be consistent in our application of policy here. Until the shop is vetted, we can't use it as an authority; therefore its addition is inappropriate in these articles. CobaltBlueTony™ talk 20:04, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
External links are not reliable sources. This website does not need to be an "authority" for the link to be permissible. Unless you can make a case that it "misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research", then EL does not care about who wrote a website like this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:51, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I admitted long ago in the discussion that I am "connected" to the site that was linked in the EL's... not hiding anything here. There is nothing about doing so that is a violation of WP:COI which states that "Where advancing outside interests is more important to an editor than advancing the aims of Wikipedia, that editor stands in a conflict of interest." There is absolutely no evidence that would suggest that advancing outside interests was more important to me than trying to improve the WP articles, in fact I have pointed out that I gain NOTHING from the links other than disseminating information which I know to be of value to watch collectors. The no-follow argument isn't a red-herring at all... it dispels one of the potential reasons why I might be trying to gain by linking, and dispels the notion that the links are SPAM which has been repeatedly asserted. On a practical basis, CBT, why would a watchmaker with a year-long backlog of repair work be seeking to "gain exposure" for a business that already places in top position in nearly every vintage watch search you can think of? Does that really make any sense? Time-further-out (talk) 21:22, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Practically speaking, you are no more than we are: text on a screen. Per WhatamIdoing's comments on my talk page and this line of reasoning, spec. #4, I am willing to consider you as a knowledgeable source. Of course, should your activities later trend to suggest an altered motivation, that would be addressed then. CobaltBlueTony™ talk 22:07, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I'm willing to go with #4 as well. I withdraw my objections. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 22:58, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Personally, after looking at the arguments on both sides, I'm tending to agree with the appropriateness of links specifically to the history section of the site. However, to appease the strict interpretation of WP:COI, I would rather see the links suggested on the article talk pages and actually inserted into the articles by a third party who is not affiliated with the company or website (assuming consensus is reached here to include those links). --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 23:11, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
For myself, I'm still inclined to strongly oppose the inclusion of the links. They do not demonstrate a unique resource superior to other material. How, then, do we react when another person comes along to promote his or her shop's "information pages"? We're not here to provide a directory service, we're here to facilitate encyclopedic content, and I see nothing with regard to his site that warrants special treatment in that regard. We would be better off adding links to the Open Directory Project site; T-f-o would be free to go apply for a posting there, along with any other shop seeking to link their sites. --Ckatzchatspy 20:51, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Is this a basic argumentum ad spam event horizon, or are you unaware of the general prohibition on "duplicative" links? IMO 'somebody might someday add a second link' is not a strong argument against including the first one: if a second ever appears, then I would expect editors then to compare the two links and remove the less informative one -- without "special treatment" for anyone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:38, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
You may not consider it a strong argument on its own, but it certainly warrants consideration along with the other problems this site represents. IMHO, the site is not especially unique, a problem compounded by the overly prominent ads (top and bottom of page) and commercial links ("Our services", "For sale" etc.) The "articles" also incorporate self-promotional text. Several of the pages that T-f-o linked from here end with advertising text such as this material at the end of the "Elgin" article:

"At Renaissance Watch Repair, we are experts in the repair and restoration of vintage watches made by the Elgin National Watch Company. Please contact us if you have any questions about the repair of your Elgin watch."

I also have concerns regarding the reliability of the information. T-f-o has repeatedly added links to his company's "Rolex" page, claiming in his edit summaries that the information is:

"accurate and on-topic"

However, despite that claim, the company feels it is necessary to add a disclaimer to the article, stating:

"Information provided for educational purposes only and we make no warranty as to its accuracy or reliability."

The Rolex page, in particular, has been promoted by T-f-o as suitable for inclusion because he says that his company does not even repair Rolex watches, thus supposedly not benefitting from the link. This may or may not be the case, but it is certainly a benefit to the company he directs Rolex owners to:

"We recommend that you contact our friends at Nevada Watch Repair if you are seeking expert service on your Rolex watch."

We also have to consider the motivations of the contributor, a single-purpose COI account that is generally dismissive of anyone who disagrees with him. It adds up to a site with questionable value to the articles T-f-o is trying to add it to, and a situation wherein the company would benefit more from the links being on Wikipedia then Wikipedia would benefit from having these links.--Ckatzchatspy 06:08, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
The existence of a couple of Google AdWords advertisements and a link to the rest of the website does not generally seem to rise to the standard of "objectionable amounts of advertising".
By your logic, external links would be banned from all medicine-related articles, since disclaimers are rampant in the relevant websites. Even Wikipedia has a disclaimer that exceeds the one you complain about here. Unless you have some concrete reason to think that the information is actually inaccurate -- as opposed to the website's owners preferring not to be called into court because someone misunderstood it or abused it -- then I think we can safely assume that it's probably correct.
Time-further-out might want to read WP:PROMO. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:18, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
You may not find it objectionable, but that does not make it so for everyone. As for the disclaimer, I think you've missed the point I was trying to make. T-f-o has made a number of claims about his company's site, in an effort to regain access to Wikipedia. Those claims, however, do not hold up under closer examination. Material that is guaranteed as accurate here, in order to get the links restored, is presented there as not necessarily accurate. Pages described as having no promotional basis (such as the Rolex one) turn out to actually have promotional hooks in them. I would be a lot more comfortable with the situation if T-f-o had, upon seeing the resistance to his COI-based promotional links, instead explained where the material was sourced from, or perhaps instead offered suggestions as to other sites that might be beneficial. Neither of those things happened, though, and the overall impression I get from this exercise is that the links do not warrant inclusion. --Ckatzchatspy 21:49, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
We've had similar discussions about other pages in years past, and, although there are always one or two editors who object to any ads whatsoever (just like we always have a couple of editors who think that lousy pages by a marginal non-profit organizations are better than fantastically informative pages by a reputable for-profit organization), this level of ads has always been deemed acceptable by an overwhelming majority of editors. (More than this level of ads is less well accepted, and twice this many is routinely rejected.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:44, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, again, you're entitled to your opinion, and I to mine. From what I've seen and with all of the points laid out above, my feeling is that this site does not warrant special treatment, especially when you consider the lengths the site's representative has gone to to insist upon placement here. Overall, I would say that there is not overwhelming support for inclusion on this page, and there certainly doesn't seem to be consensus for inclusion of a link at the Rolex page. --Ckatzchatspy 04:01, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the site does not deserve "special treatment"; importantly, it's not getting "special treatment". Nobody has asked for this site to get "special treatment". WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:36, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Barek, et al... thank you for that suggestion, which certainly seems like a reasonable approach. Since approximately 10 EL's were deleted, I'm not sure how I would facilitate their re-insertion across 10 different talk pages, but I'd be willing to give it a try. Time-further-out (talk) 23:59, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Try leaving a friendly note on the talk page of one of the articles. Include the specific link for that article and a brief description of why you think it would be appropriate and interesting to readers, and request that another editor add it if he or she agrees with you.
It will take a little while to deal with each article, and you may have to wait a few days for a response (or possibly longer: please leave a note for me if you don't get any responses during the next week), but I think it will be successful in most cases. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:18, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

This [38]has just been added to two articles, Malta and Immigration to Europe. I'm just a bit concerned because it's a personal website and it looks as though it is brand new this year. It also has a lot of buttons inviting people to create new websites. Comments? Dougweller (talk) 17:29, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

It does appear unreliable... CobaltBlueTony™ talk 20:05, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Test Plan

We are having some unresolved discussions about external links to the article: Test plan. You can see the discussion on the Talk page. There are three external sites in question:

They do contain some nice information but these seem to be corporate sites that may be in violation of WP:ELNO. We would appreciate some additional input to help resolve this. thank you Grantmidnight (talk) 17:47, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

The first link is a straight-up sales page for spriraTest, clearly ruled out by ELNO #5. The second link is to a site that is overall promoting a book, but does have some useful non-sales content, so it might be OK. (The associated link to the main page about the book is not directly related to test plans and should be removed.) The final link is to a blog post and seems to fail ELNO 1 and 11. --RL0919 (talk) 01:57, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
The final link has great, precise information and has been restored until someone can find something that is better-suited to Wikipedia. Not all blogs fail WP:ELNO "written by a recognized authority". If someone can show that he is not a recognized authority, or can find a single line in that blog that is questionable, remove it. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:31, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

We still need resolution here. Grantmidnight (talk) 16:13, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Burden of proof falls on the editors who want to include a link. No one has to present evidence that a semi-anonymous blog is not from a recognized authority. If there is evidence that the author is a recognized authority, then by all means someone should bring it forward. --RL0919 (talk) 18:53, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

Query on link to blog with a specific warning

Hi, I have reverted the addition of {} to the Rouzbeh Rashidi article because a blog like this cannot be a WP:RS. Clicking the link brings up a Blogger content warning.

Some readers of this blog have contacted Google because they believe this blog's content is objectionable.

Should this link be blacklisted? And if so, where do I report it. It has also been previously added as an external link to the article. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 20:52, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

The blacklist is managed at WP:SBL, however I would not bother reporting an issue like this because the blacklist is for repeated additions to multiple articles by multiple users over an extended period. Additions to one article by one user, if appropriate, would be dealt with by simple admin action after suitable warnings. At any rate, the blog may have been removed now? Johnuniq (talk) 08:59, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Please read WP:ELMAYBE #4: External links are not required to be reliable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:56, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
The page in question appears to have been taken down as the link gives a "page not found" error. I think the issue is moot now. ThemFromSpace 03:23, 17 March 2010 (UTC) (talk · contribs) is repeatedly adding, a purely commercial (with ads), 100% in Portuguese with no unique or relevant content to the article about Itacoatiara. This is spam and it is being dropped in the EL section every time I delete the link. Thoughts? Recommended actions? --Ebarcell (talk) 04:04, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree the link does not seem helpful and fails WP:ELNO#8 and WP:NONENGEL. Fairly low-level spam at this stage, so I would suggest continued reversion, possibly with a link to here ( Johnuniq (talk) 07:23, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Done.--Ebarcell (talk) 19:16, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Link added to Ski resort article

I would like some opinions on a link being added to the Ski resort article. The site contains aerial artistic renderings of multiple ski trails and resorts. Only two editors are currently involved, so I could've asked for a third opinion on the article talk page, but decided this noticeboard would be a more direct route to resolve the question.

The link is (added in this edit).

The argument for the link: it helps in the understanding of ski resorts by providing aerial depictions of the best ski resorts in the world illustrated by a leading Ski Map Artist.

The argument against: the link is artwork depictions, a tangentially related subject and is not relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject; instead, the link serves more to promote the artist.

Can some others take a look and provide their opinions on this link? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 02:08, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't think this link belongs on the Ski resort page because it isn't directly deal with the subject of ski resorts in general, but I would support linking to the individual images from the articles on the ski resorts themselves (for example, we can link to this from Cardrona Alpine Resort). ThemFromSpace 02:55, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I can see that in cases where the official site doesn't have an on-line version of their trail map - but where the official site provides one, then no other trail map is necessary. For example, in the resort you mention, the official site already provides its own map which contains more information than is on the artistic rendition (the official site has both a PDF and an interactive flash version of their trail map). --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 03:29, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Find a Grave

Not sure where else to ask, so here I go. It seems that we have over 10.000 links to the Find a Grave website thanks to Template:Findagrave. In most cases, the linked site contains a picture of the grave, its location and a short biography of the subject, plus some user-added comments/pictures. I would argue that that is not nearly enough to warrant an external link from us. Now I can see that linking to that website might be useful in some cases (haven't found any examples yet, tho), but the current usage of the template makes it look more like spam than anything else to me. Is there a reason we have this template and this many links to that site that I'm not able to figure out by myself? --Conti| 23:33, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

I noticed the find-a-grave links a while ago but decided to ignore them because there are people who think that the information is useful. There is a project (WP:Find-A-Grave famous people and see its talk) and some old spam discussions (Dec 2006 and Nov 2007). These show pretty conclusively that the links are wanted. Johnuniq (talk) 01:23, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree with that assessment. Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people is a great idea, but it doesn't seem to have much to do with the problem at hand, as I doubt that those 10.000 links are the result of 10.000 articles being created by that project (I'm pretty sure they didn't create Richard Nixon, for instance). I also don't see those discussions as conclusively showing that the links are wanted. Both have a few people supporting and a few people opposing the links, with the supporting voices mostly mentioning Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people and not the links themselves. Also, those old discussions are, well, old. Did we have that many links to this site back then, too? The 2006 discussion mentions 14.000 links. I just checked, we now have nearly 30.000 links to that site, more than twice as many, while the Find-A-Grave Wikiproject seems to be inactive. In that light, a new, thorough discussion of this issue seems appropriate to me. --Conti| 13:29, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree. What makes Find-a-grave a reliable source? I'd like to get rid of that template too. Dougweller (talk) 14:15, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
External links are not required to be reliable sources. If someone is using it in source citations, that would be another matter. --RL0919 (talk) 14:26, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. But then again, what makes it an acceptable external link? --Conti| 15:43, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
With 30K links added over the course of at least four years (by many different editors, I would guess), and a related WikiProject, my first thought would be that it is acceptable because it is widely accepted. Substantively, the links appear to offer content that may not be appropriate for the article (additional photos, gravesite info, navigation to info on other graves at that location), but which may be of interest to readers. --RL0919 (talk) 15:59, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Your first argument is a rather circular one, you could use that kind of reasoning for anything ("The article should not be deleted because it has not been deleted yet"). The only potentially useful information that the site provides that I can see is the location of the grave, and that's it. We normally don't link to additional photos, especially when their copyright status is unclear. And we especially don't link to a site tens of thousands of times just to show the location of the grave of a person. Heck, if it's such a noteworthy piece of information, we could easily provide that information ourselves! WP:EL says that we should not link to "any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article." Most of our featured articles do mention the location of a person's grave, and they do have enough pictures, so I don't see why we should link to this site in the vast majority of the cases. --Conti| 16:16, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
It isn't circular; it is a recognition that decisions about linking are supposed to be based on community consensus, and you are talking about something that has been done very widely (thousands of articles) over a long period of time (several years), and with little apparent resistance (just a few brief discussions cited so far, none of which reached any consensus for removal). That is important circumstantial evidence indicating community support. This is not an argument that can be made about just "anything". I'm not saying there can't be another discussion about it now, and consensus can change, but this isn't like someone's blog being pasted into a few articles in the past week. --RL0919 (talk) 16:55, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Alrigtht, then let's have this discussion now. This has been going on for a long time, as you say, and I'm surprised that there hasn't been a thorough discussion about this yet to determine a clear community consensus one way or the other. As I said above, I think this site (in most cases) fails WP:EL, and as such, should (in most cases) not be linked to. If we think that the location of a grave is important, we can mention it ourselves. So why should we link to Find A Grave instead? --Conti| 17:07, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I thought it was being used as a source. If it's used as an EL, what is different between it and an open Wiki? Can we just gloss over the potential copyvio problem? Dougweller (talk) 16:27, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
It is very much like an open wiki, but it seems to meet criteria of having "a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors." As to copyright, the site does have rules against copyright infringement (see their FAQ). Of course that doesn't mean we shouldn't take action in cases where there is a clear copyright infringement in the linked page, but a mere "potential" for copyvio could apply to almost any site. --RL0919 (talk) 16:55, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Over the last year or so, I have spent some time on the Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people‎ project. Find-a-grave's reliability is limited and the quality of their biographical info is variable. But then again, so is IMDb and I see a lot of similarities between the two. I think our readers are smart enough to understand the limits of these databases and a blanket removal of all ELs to findagrave is unwarranted. For one thing, findagrave does provide information (and imo, reliable info) about grave locations and images of the gravestones. That info is not essential so it's not usually part of our biographical articles. Linking to findagrave provides access to that extra info to readers who are interested in it. I'd also like to note that gravestones are a pretty good source for dates of birth and death. I do recall an instance (some French actor I think) where, a few months ago, I found that reliable sources disagreed on the year of birth. In these cases, it's hard to trace back the origin of the discrepancy but it's safe to assume that the gravestone provides the correct info. In short, let's not get carried away and blindly remove the links. We can and should do this on a case-by-case basis. Pichpich (talk) 18:15, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't suggest removing all links to Find A Grave, I suggest to discourage the use of such links in every article. I'm worried that, thanks to the template, people simply add a link whenever they find one, regardless of its use. This kind of thing happens again and again around here, and it's usually next to impossible to clean up again if not for a complete removal of all links. Which isn't an ideal solution either, as you say. And, as I said above, the grave location can easily be incorporated into our articles, so I don't consider the link that important, unlike IMDB, which does usually provide a large amount of additional information. --Conti| 18:27, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Regarding that last point: I think the grave location is not important enough to include it in articles. But your first point stands: it's just become standard to add findagrave to the external links and it's a contagious phenomenon that's hard to counter. This may sound counter-intuitive but we should probably link to findagrave as a source when relevant and, in most cases, remove the link when it simply appears in the EL section. The reliability of a particular source should not be considered as a global property: biographical info on IMDb is very dubious but its lists of screen appearances is by all accounts solid enough. I have no qualms about citing findagrave as a source for the place of interment or the birth and death dates when they appear on the gravestone. Incidentally, the place of interment is not always an easy thing to find in more standard sources of biographical info (with the exception of very notable figures). Pichpich (talk) 18:39, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree, using Find A Grave as a source on the location of a grave sounds fine. Since that's usually the only kind of information we get from that site anyhow, using it as a source instead of an external link sounds like a good idea to me. --Conti| 20:15, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I mostly agree with Conti. I believe at one time findagrave was the most linked-to site from Wikipedia and I remember at least one editor whose contributions consisted of hardly anything but linking there. When I come across the site in my EL cleanup work I address its merits against our EL guidelines and most of the time I end up removing it. Most of the pages consist of a biography (which we can incorporate into our articles) as well as pictures and a myspacey comments page. Unless there are no pictures of the person on Wikipedia or Commons, I don't think the link would pass WP:ELNO point 1, nor do I think most of these pages offer an encyclopedic extension from Wikipedia. I have no opinion on the template itself at this time, but I would support subjecting the individual links to scrutiny. A great deal should probably be removed. ThemFromSpace 18:41, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
It seems we're all in basic agreement. When these are removed from the EL sections, it might be worth checking whether or not there's any findagrave info that's worth including in the article. Not that it's a big priority but I suppose it makes sense for most biographies to include the sentence "Person X is buried at place Y" and, unless there's a better alternative, cite findagrave as the source. Pichpich (talk) 22:41, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
When the Find-a-grave link contains a photo of the grave, or even merely the location of the grave, and the article does not (and will not, as WP:UNDUE), then it easily clears the very minimal hurdle set by ELNO #1.
The purpose of ELNO #1 is two-fold:
  1. To nudge people away from lazy linking and towards expanding articles, and
  2. To enshrine an absolute reason to remove links that contain less information than the article. (My favorite example is a Canadian health agency that was spamming a website that they had specially dumbed down for "cool" teens.)
When (1) doesn't apply because you don't think the contents of the Find-a-grave link should be incorporated into the article, and (2) doesn't apply because the contents are not present in the article, then ELNO #1 cannot be your excuse for deleting the link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:26, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I would imagine that most of our featured articles/good articles do mention the location of a person's grave, and do include a picture if there is a free one available. For instance, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy all mention the location of the grave, and two of the three articles have a picture as well. Yet all of them also link to the Find A Grave website. In addition, ELNO #1 isn't the sole reason for the suggested removal of most of these links, it's just the most obvious one. Should we really link to a website tens of thousands of times for one single piece of information that isn't that noteworthy most of the time anyways? That just seems strange to me. --Conti| 13:11, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
But 99% of our biographies are about people of much lesser importance than American presidents. Since articles are typically (and unfortunately) constructed solely from references available on-line, findagrave is often the most convenient source for the interment info. I agree that it's not crucial info but it deserves to be in the article when available. Many, if not most of these 11000+ links are useless traffic gifts to findagrave but I don't think we should remove them through a bot and it seems like a big waste of energy to do it manually. Btw, the 11000 number only represents the links appearing through the template! I just ran the linksearch and the actual number of external links is a whopping 29716. That includes the 9000 links from Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people‎ (which is not a problem). More troubling however: there are external links from the File namespace (I don't know how many since I can't filter the linksearch by namespace)! These can only be a) gratuitous links bordering on spam or b) a sign that the images in question are taken from the site and are therefore potential copyright violations. Pichpich (talk) 16:54, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
xtra note: I just started taking a look at the first few files that have an EL to findagrave. Now that is something that needs cleanup. Unless I'm mistaken, findagrave's license is incompatible with CC-BY-SA. But many files were uploaded by The Mystery Man (talk · contribs) who is active on findagrave and may indeed be the author. But that user is also blocked as a sockpuppeteer so there's a bit of a trust issue. Moreover some images list findagrave as the source but are clearly old images copied from somewhere else. Many are listed as PD 100-years but not all such claims are credible. Those who are PD should be moved to commons. In short: lots and lots of headaches... Pichpich (talk) 17:25, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this is something that has to be looked at case-by-case. The site itself doesn't seem to apply any particular licensing on the photos (at least none that I found mention of). It just says that contributors should not violate copyright law and it will take down any violations. So individual files might be public domain, copyleft, non-free, who-knows-what. (Note: I once uploaded a file I found on Find a Grave, but it is a photo first published in the 1880s so its status is clear.) I don't think there is any problem with the links, if they are accurately stating where the uploader found the file. The problem would be with the unclear status of the files themselves. --RL0919 (talk) 17:50, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Contil, I think you're trying to make this more complicated than necessary:
The gravesite information is WP:DUE if -- and only if -- reliable sources discuss it. (Find-a-grave doesn't always seem to be accepted as a reliable source.)
  • If reliable sources discuss the gravesite, then it should by incorporated into the article and a link to Find-a-grave (in ==External links==) should not (normally) be included (unless there's some extenuating circumstance, like the Find-a-grave site includes more information than can be reliably sourced).
  • If reliable sources don't mention the gravesite, then the gravesite information should not be included in the article, and thus a link to Findagrave would not violate ELNO #1.
This situation means that blanket decisions are inappropriate. You have to know something about the extant reliable sources to be able to decide whether a link violates ELNO #1.
As always, "not actually prohibited by the guideline" (or by one line of it) is not the same thing as "should definitely be included". Given my (very) limited experience, I would be willing to assume that most of these links aren't justifiable, even if they aren't technically prohibited by the guideline.
I realize that sorting out the precise reason why a link can be opposed may seem like petty quibbling, but if we let a half-true story that "Find-a-grave violates ELNO #1" get started, then some editors will blindly believe what they're told, without noticing the complexities of that particular line in the guideline, and we'll end up with avoidable edit wars and needless disputes. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:49, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
My point is, if most of these links aren't justifiable (even if not clearly prohibited by WP:EL, as you say), shouldn't we do something about it, considering there are tens of thousands of them out there? I just honestly don't see the value in linking to a page that merely points out one mildly important piece of information. --Conti| 19:19, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Certainly: You can WP:VOLUNTEER to individually evaluate as many of these links as you would like. Maintenance and review is a task that any editor is permitted to do. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:39, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I would do that, if I wouldn't fear of being reverted if I'd remove a couple of thousand of those links. :) --Conti| 19:43, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
It's my experience that if your edit summary includes a link to WP:EL and any plausible-sounding reason for the removal, that the vast majority of removals won't be contested (or even apparently noticed). It's also my experience that if someone objects at a given article, then it's (far) more efficient to let the one article go, and to proceed on to others. (So don't bother watchlisting every article whose linkfarm you weed.)
IMO the only real risk for significant reversions is if your contributions indicate a concerted and indiscriminate attack on the site. If someone thinks that you're mindlessly removing everything, then s/he might revert many articles, rather than just the one he watches. Someone who does a handful of removals each day, with other kinds of link weeding and editing, isn't usually at significant risk for wholesale reversions.
So go slow: Review all the external links at ten articles containing a find-a-grave link today. Ignore anything that claims to be used as a reliable source, and set a modest goal of removing the "worst half" (or so) of the find-a-grave links, along with anything else that seems inappropriate. Do that for a week or two, and see if you're getting any undesirable attention from it. My bet is that most of the removals will be silently accepted, and the rest will be quietly reverted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:34, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
(unindent) I strongly disagree with the idea that WP:DUE has anything to do with whether or not interment info is appropriate for inclusion. How can half a sentence be seriously considered as "disproportionate to the overall significance to the topic"? Obviously, most sources present short biographies and don't include that but comprehensive ones do. There are whole books dedicated to burial places of various categories of people. Findagrave might not be a very reliable source for biographical information but it is pretty reliable for grave locations and the fact that it even exists (and it's not the sole site of this type) certainly indicates that there is interest in such info. We also have hundreds of categories Category:Burials at foo which are populated through that info. Pichpich (talk) 20:22, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
If every single reliable source actually devotes precisely 0.00% of their attention to any fact, then the Wikipedia article should not include it. That's the simple meaning of DUE's injunction to "reflect the weight that is given in current reliable sources."
Additionally, zero evidence in reliable sources means that the fact is unverifiable for the purpose of complying with WP:V.
In many cases, and nearly all biographies of famous people, I believe that a thorough search of sources would include some information about the gravesite, but in some cases, we simply will not be able to produce a reliable source that addresses it. Including unverifiable claims about the gravesite would violate both WP:V and WP:DUE. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:47, 8 April 2010 (UTC)


Hi! I wanted to ask your opinion on whether a specific site can be used for external links in an article. E.g. this one [39] on an article about David Bell. There's more about this here: User_talk:Anon111#Recent_edits. --JokerXtreme (talk) 22:38, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Clearly an SPA adding a bunch of links like this is going to set off alarm bells. The linked pages themselves aren't terrible and might be acceptable for linking in some cases, or even usable as reliable sources about the opinions of the people being interviewed. But it is obvious from the circumstances that this particular editor was adding them primarily to promote the site, in violation of WP:ELNO #4. I am glad to see that the editor who was adding them has switched to making edit requests on the talk pages now that someone has raised the issue. By the same token, you might want to step back from personally responding to each of those edit requests, and let the editors who frequent those pages make the call. (On a related note, I've just put the FiveBooks article up at AFD, as it is clearly not notable regardless of what one thinks of the links.) --RL0919 (talk) 23:45, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Ok, then I guess I will leave those to other editors that are involved with the corresponding articles. --JokerXtreme (talk) 07:27, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Sites with malware warnings (Orly Taitz)

There's a discussion on the Orly Taitz talk page about the external link entry for her site. Serveral [40][41] sites currently (4-8-2010) note that the site has or links to malware and that's it's on several black lists. Apparently, the site uses older versions of software. The site is not continually on black lists, on 4-5 it was not marked by either link above. The link is extremely relevant to the article, as Taitz uses it as her primary means of communication to her supporters. Should a warning message be included after the link? If so, should it include a link to one or more of the above sites with information about the warning? Ravensfire (talk) 15:34, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

I would note that the discussion raises some BLP concerns, as the site is intrinsically tied to Taitz. I think if there is a malware warning, it must contain a link to one of the diagnostic services explaining why there is a warning. I don't know how often the site is on or off the various black lists. Ravensfire (talk) 15:37, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Links to sites that have malware problems are prohibited. There are no reasonable exceptions to this rule, and labels are insufficient protection. The security of our readers' computers matter far more to us than providing a convenient link to an individual's "primary means of communication to her supporters". (Also, an absent link may be less damaging to the site owner's reputation than a link with a warning.)
If the webmaster wants the link reinstated, then the webmaster needs to deal with the malware problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:00, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I think we should leave the address with a warning, but not actually link to the site. Once again, Firefox and Google are saying that it's an attack site, so I'm not inclined to link to it in anyway until these issues are completely cleared up. AniMate 02:06, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
As of 4/11/2010 the website has been upgraded and malicious code and malware removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:39, 12 April 2010
A website that has been infiltrated by malware cannot be considered clean simply because someone hopes they have finally fixed it. If there are no further malware warnings in the next few months, the site may then be regarded as clean, although it is a security maxim that once a breakin has occurred, they will keep occurring (because of poor management). Johnuniq (talk) 08:02, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I went to her site through Google about 30 minutes ago; there is no warning from Google, yet, but the site is not loading properly and throws a pop-up saying "your browser is old" with an update and a cancel button. I killed the tab, but something kept trying to load and would not let me disconnect from the internet. I had to reboot. Malwarebytes says I didn't catch anything, but the responsible thing to do is to leave the potential warning up until her site has been clean for at least 6 months. Estiveo (talk) 22:14, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Johanna Budwig

Having problems making sense of a list of papers and foreign language book links on Johanna Budwig. Another editor is refusing to allow any trimming of what looks like simple WP:PUFF and maybe even WP:BOMBARD. In short, all available listings in pubmed are being included whether notable or not. Most are simple letters or short articles unrelated to the (marginal) notability of the subject. Lists of translations of books too do not add anything to article but, in my view, simply give an impression of notability that is hard to justify. Impossible to engage other major editor on this. Been a struggle too to remove commercial EL as a result of this editor. I do not want to engage in edit warring here and would appreciate some Wise Heads to move things forward.Twiga Kali (talk) 12:21, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Presumably you're talking about the three external links in this old version?
The first link doesn't appear to comply with WP:ELNO #9 ("links to search results").
This board is probably not the right place for disputes over ==Publications by this author== types of sections: a list of papers or books is not a list of external links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:39, 13 April 2010 (UTC)