Wikipedia talk:External links

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Please comment on the RfC at The Pirate Bay[edit]

There is an RfC at Talk:The Pirate Bay regarding inclusion of external links with little participation from uninvolved editors. If you would like to contribute to the discussion, please do so! Wugapodes (talk) 21:08, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

.onion linking proposed standard[edit]

Continued from discussion at Wikipedia talk:External links#.onion linking and clearnet gateways I would like to propose a standard that has emerged from all the various List of Tor hidden services I have documented.

  1. That if the site has a reliably documented hidden service link, it is to be included. Sites with a hidden service address without a reliable source shall not be included. Such reliable sources of links include:
    1. A link is featured in a notable source, e.g. news article
    2. A link is featured on an official associated website or official clearnet gateway
    3. A link is featured on a reliable 3rd party source of .onion links. The only one I consider reliable at this time is DeepDotWeb
  2. That the link has not subsequently been invalidated by means such as:
    1. The site key has been found to have leaked (e.g. noted on a forum or less reliable source)
    2. The site has moved (and the updated link has not yet been noted in a source from above)
    3. The site has closed (e.g. law enforcement action). In this case the domain(s) may warrant listing in the body rather than external links section.
  3. The standard format of linking shall be the following:
  * <nowiki>http(s)://preferredonionaddress.onion</nowiki><ref>Reference to a reliable source as mentioned above</ref>, [[.onion]] address for [[Tor (network)|Tor]] hidden service

For the purposes of this I am assuming the Wikipedia-wide ban on direct onion linking shall remain in affect. Deku-shrub (talk) 18:41, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

@MrX, WhatamIdoing, and Beetstra: just pinging those other than myself and Deku-shrub who participated in the previous thread (hopefully I'll have more time for a real response later) — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:11, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
What encyclopedic purpose would be served by advocating use of .onion or listing .onion links? Johnuniq (talk) 01:03, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
It's an elegant proposal, but why do we need it? Like a similar proposal to include all of The Pirate Bay's URLs as WP:ELOFFICIAL links in its article, this seems to lose sight of the fact that we are an encyclopedia, not a directory of links. What would be lost if we didn't include .onion links in these articles? Maybe a better (meta) solution would be to include a link to the appropriate listing page at - MrX 01:44, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I still don't have a plain answer to my question above. What will actually happen if someone clicks on such a link?
I don't think I'm being clear about this, because I'm not getting useful answers. So let me give you some sample answers, and maybe after a game of multiple choice, I'll actually get an answer.
  1. The user can't click on the link because https://example.оnion will not be recognized as a link. It'll just display in plain text, like "https://example.onion" already does.
  2. The user will click on it, and then absolutely nothing will happen. Maybe a new tab will open (if the browser prefs are set to open links in a new tab), but the link will fail to load because it requires special software.
  3. The user will click on it, and it will work exactly like the user was going to
  4. The user will click on it, and a bunch of error messages will appear.
Now: which one of these is a reasonably accurate description of actual, consensual reality for a person using a plain-vanilla, zero-extensions/plug-ins, simple web browser (i.e., the thing that most people will encounter at an internet café or public library)? Do you even know the answer? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:08, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

I get a massive beating-a-dead-horse feeling here. Can we please stop this discussion as it has been answered over and over in the same way, and the same questions have been asked over and over. IF a .onion address is thé (THE, see WP:ELOFFICIAL) official site of the subject of a page, then it should (not must, should) be linked. If that is the case, one can request whitelisting for that site, which will be granted. If it is not, it should not be linked, and whitelisting will not be granted. As for WhatamIdoing's question, if you don't have the software, it will fail to get there, your DNS will not understand. As such, when a link gets whitelisted and linked from a page, then it must (now not should, must) be clear that you need special software to follow that official link. This is all already mentioned in our policies and guidelines, and follows common sense.

Same goes for references, with the caveat that a) a direct link for a reference is not needed, it is a convenience link. Writing that it was reported in the journal Nature, first issue of 2000, on page 300 allows everybody to verify the data - it is just more work. That goes for .onion as well. b) the information must be totally unique on the .onion site (and if that is so, the mentioning of that information on Wikipedia must be because it is significant). As for the external links, it should be made clear that special software is needed to access the information - more clear than what you propose, per our policies and guidelines. Again, this is again all mentioned in policies and guidelines, and follows common sense.

In short, we have all procedures in place for linking to .onion, and we do not need to make a special case out of it. Can we now stop beating this dead horse, we have enough bureaucracy here. Please close this thread. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:34, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

"IF a .onion address is thé (THE, see WP:ELOFFICIAL) official site of the subject of a page, then it should (not must, should) be linked. If that is the case, one can request whitelisting for that site, which will be granted." I'm not willing to go through the whitelisting procedure for every such link. I disagree that that this would be even be a safe approach. Deku-shrub (talk) 14:35, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
@Deku-shrub: "for every such link" - that is a handful, we do not have that many notable webpages that exist solely on .onion (or better described: where the .onion is the most prominent official site). Moreover, you don't need to do it alone, there are other editors who will create such pages and have the need for that one (we have no editors who only use sources and . And note that the official .onion of facebook is an official site of facebook, not the official site of facebook. We do not include all official links per WP:ELOFFICIAL, only the most prominent one(s). Adding .onion (or myspaces, twitter accounts, etc. etc.) is outside our scope. If you can now show me 20 individual pages on Wikipedia for which the .onion is the most prominent official site, then I am going to be impressed (but still far, far away from the threshold of where I would say that the work of having to whitelist those few outweighs the advantages of control through blacklisting).
I'm not sure what you think is unsafe on this approach. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:29, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
As an addition, the community is not willing to check, nor has the capability to check, for all the hundreds of pages which do have an official .onion next to their official site, whether that is actually a correct one, and to revert changes of that one into spammy/malicious .onion addresses (while we should not have those included in the first place anyway). Nor am I willing to remove all the .onion addresses on pages where the subject does not have a .onion address but where someone sees a chance to insert a .onion to link to a malicious site. Insertion of malicious .onions on pages where the .onion wás the official site was the problem that got the sites blacklisted. There is unfortunately a need for control here, just as for the plethora of legit sites on the blacklist with very limited use because their owners felt the need to abuse Wikipedia to get them linked (I have 2 companies where I keep my eye on which are active already for several years) - that is why we have the blacklist with a whitelist companion. Don't blame the whitelist, don't blame the way that problem is handled on Wikipedia .. blame the people who feel the need to abuse Wikipedia, because those are the ones you need to thank for this. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:40, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
"show me 20 individual pages on Wikipedia for which the .onion is the most prominent official site"
* The Hidden Wiki (though it has its own issues)
* Bitmessage, Riseup arguable
* Tor Mail (though the onion is missing right now)
* Darkode (but is per-user unique)
* The Hub
* Russian Anonymous Marketplace, Assassination market, Agora, AlphaBay Market, TheRealDeal (note, these are being expanded on Draft:List of darknet markets
* Doxbin
* Bitcoin Fog
It's not 20, but it's a few and I'm still working on improving coverage in general. Deku-shrub (talk) 11:18, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, 13. And I know that 20 is reasonable. And quite some seem to have a 'regular' official site (I checked 3), next to their .onion (and that regular official site provides much more info to most of the readers than the .onion). Still, 20 articles for which we need to do whitelisting is nothing in comparison to the millions of pages we have. I am looking forward to some whitelisting requests, and to an answer to my question. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:35, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
You want to whitelist some and set some precendents prior to creating a policy then? Deku-shrub (talk) 18:09, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
This is all already perfectly in line with our policies and guidelines. We do not need to create a policy for this. WP:NOT/WP:V/WP:EL/WP:ELOFFICIAL/WP:SPAM, and the handling of the spam blacklist and spam whitelist are all more than enough (we blacklist if they are abused, we whitelist specifics if they pass the bar/are needed). I asked earier to stop beating this dead horse, we are not a bureaucracy, no need for having written down rules for everything. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:07, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Ordering of ELs?[edit]

I glanced over this page but ... is the rule specified anywhere?

If not, how about adding to WP:ELPOINTS something like the following:

There are no hard and fast rules governing the ordering of external links. However, if you add an external link to a preexisting list, either consider the best place for it, or place it at the bottom of the list.

I wonder about this because Ariwara no Narihira and several other articles I recently compiled have ELs "(1) List of X's poems on Y database. (2) Digitized copy of The X Anthology on the same database." and it's possible someone might put something else in between (1) and (2) in the future. In theory that's not a problem, but wouldn't it be better if the guideline explicitly encouraged rewriting (2) as necessary in such a case?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 09:08, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

I think it's best to avoid repetition in external links as in speech and would not repeat descriptions and proper names of moderate length. And would avoid the empty "digitized copy of". For the example given, supposing "on" is an appropriate preposition, I would write [1] "List of X's poems on Y database" and either [2] "The X Anthology on Y" or [2a] "The X Anthology on y" where "y" is a short version of the full name "Y". For instance (without any ordinary noun such as "database"), Y = Library of Congress Catalog, y = LC Catalog. I would not be influenced by the possibility that someone might insert one or a dozen other external links between them, nor that someone might re-order the two. --P64 (talk) 17:58, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
In the case where further links refer to previous links, you've got a sub-list, and so you could indent each of the related links by one level by using an additional asterisk in the list format, so that they're visually subordinate to the first link. {{Nihiltres |talk |edits}} 13:41, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
We generally try not to write down advice unless there has actually been a problem that wasn't easily resolved by good-faith, common-sense editing. WP:Nobody reads the directions before editing anyway, so writing down your advice would almost certainly be ineffective. If you are worried about those two links, then inserting a friendly <!--hidden HTML comment--> would be more practical. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:09, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Official Facebook links?[edit]

Consider a page whose subject is an organisation, charity or whatever. They meet WP:N. They also have a Facebook page, an official page, run by the group in question. It is used for the publication of content from the group, to an interested audience. Comments take place, but it's primarily a publishing channel, not a forum.

Should this page be linked? Under ELs, as we would for their website?

Is there any clear policy statement on this - I can't see one at present. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:07, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

WP:ELOFFICIAL - we do not list all official pages, only what is deemed the most official one (generally the ''-like one). There are cases where the facebook is as an addition of interest (e.g. someone who is a facebook personality, same with someone who is primarily known for their YouTube channel or their twitter activities), but if that is not the case, the facebook is superfluous and not included (note, that generally if the facebook channel is of interest, it is also already prominently linked from their more official website). Then there are cases where the only official online 'presence' is on facebook (though often these tend to be not very notable in themselves).
Generally, the facebooks/twitters/youtube channels/myspaces/etc. etc. are not passing the bar - we are not writing an internet directory, and sometimes even the official page is already an exception to a lot of WP:ELNO-cases (purely commercial, not informative about the subject in itself, etc.). --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:53, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Dirk Beetstra. If there's an official website we should usually omit links to social networking site per WP:ELNO#social and WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. Of course, there may be rare exceptions to consider. - MrX 13:59, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Assuming that it is appropriate to list it, where's our policy on this? Does it need to be made more evident?
In this case I'm inclined to include it, no doubt others will vehemently remove it. The organisation does seem to be most active through their FB page – a situation that's not unusual these days (my own business FB page is my busiest web communication). As FB encourages rapid communication, it tends to be used for such. I see this as valuable for portraying what the organisation is and what they do. A simple blanket policy of "FB isn't Proper" is just snobbishness: if the group is notable, they deserve coverage of whatever and wherever they do their thing. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:12, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
That they are most active through means nothing. I mean many companies have an official web presence which is very stable: a front page which has had many hours, days or even months spent on it getting it to look just right and be most useful. That is the best place to start, when looking for information about the company and we should link to it. Other venues may be more active but that’s as they are less important: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Myspace. They only exist as e.g. Facebook is so pervasive you have to have a presence. If you don’t your customers/fans/supporters will create one and discuss you anyway. Unless it is their main or only online presence it should not be included.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 17:24, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
@ Andy Dingley: External links are mostly governed by guidelines, not policy, although the NOT policy is clear that Wikipedia is not a place to promote things. That said, if a Facebook page offers a deeper encyclopedic understanding of the subject than the subject's official website, and assuming it's not promotional, then I see no reason not to list it. - MrX 17:40, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
Here's the link What do you reckon?
The problem is that an IP has been adding this as an inline link to the article at Fortress Study Group and so has inadvertently kicked off an edit war. Andy Dingley (talk) 20:40, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
No per ELMINOFFICIAL and WP:FACEBOOK --Ronz (talk) 21:04, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
I would include that FB link. The diagrams, maps, and photos, which can't be found on their website, have encyclopedic value per WP:ELYES#YES 3. This is a good example of where principles are more important than rules. - MrX 21:17, 3 September 2015 (UTC)