Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 14

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Personal attack or unwarranted censorship?

Removing a cross-post that better stands at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Spam#Angela_spamming_list_hosted_by_Wikimedia_Foundation. Apologies, all. --JossBuckle Swami 02:30, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


I would add {{meta|External links}} that produces

Don't. That page is a copyvio of this one. ---J.S (T/C) 19:39, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Probably not a good idea, since the meta version is only an essay. --Barberio 16:13, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, it was a direct copy/paste from this page for a little while untill someone reverted it. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:55, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Let Blogs exist in their own little corner on Wikipedia.........It makes sense dosen't it?

Since posting my blog link on Wikipedia I have received hundreds of emails thanking me and commenting on my site. Here’s the deal, people access Wikipedia to find the most accurate well rounded information regarding a specific topic. My blog is in reference to Pararescue as well as other topics but the main theme is Pararescue. When someone searches for Pararescue on Wikipedia they find a lot of quality information… Some of the information on the Wikipedia page is outdated though.. What I offer is access to the real world of Pararescue. Nowhere else on the web can someone actually contact a Pararscueman and ask any question under the sun… I propose that blog links such as, be authorized to exist on Wikipedia pages… Furthermore links such as mine should have a special section that identifies them as what they are… External links would be appropriate as you already have on the site…Call it what ever you want but allow the Wikipedia viewers to have access to all information possible… In a way, removing my link is censorship, as my blog is merely access to more information. Your removal of that access denies the viewers the information…. Yes I realize that there is a lot of information on my site that is not directly related to “Pararescue” but that is the whole point. My site exists to allow people to enter the world of a Pararscueman. We at pjcountry speak for the majority of Pararscueman. Our thoughts and expressions in many ways mimic all PJ’s… People want to know what we are like and how we think.. so they come to my site and find out… It’s even better that they can enter “the world” of an actual research topic through Wikipedia… Please reconsider and allow the link to exist on the page


Checky —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

You've added your blog repeatedly and multiple times to the same page. If that's not spamming, I don't know what is. If you really think your page should be added, suggest it on the talk page. Wikipedia has no obligation to allow everyone to link to their own site, being discriminating isn't "censorship" by any stretch of the imagination. --Milo H Minderbinder 23:42, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Isn't that what I just did... Clearly I'm new to this... How should I go about making the suggestion?

Checky —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

You need to make the request on the talk page of the article you want the link to be on (in this case I believe Talk:Air Force Pararescue). The editors of that article are in the best position to decide if the link is appropriate. (In fact, any time you get reverted, a good general rule is to take the edit to the talk page to discuss with editors of the article). We have a guideline against blogs because, among other things, even when written by people who are very knowledgeable in the subject they tend not to have formal fact checking procedures in place and are generally intended to provide a particular point of view. So you should be prepared to support your addition with why our general guideline against blogs should be set aside in this case. In the end we are here to create a GFDL encyclopedia - not a portal - so try to stick to why the content of your blog can be considered encyclopedic and why it needs to be linked to instead of being re-written and included as content in the article. Happy editing! -- Siobhan Hansa 01:45, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


Could someone help me here. The External links section has been going trough reverts for the good part of 2006 and now 2007. The last thing I did was remove all unofficial links as nobody could come to terms with which ones to keep, and instead added a link to DMOZ. Now they argue that DMOZ is silly because "I can't get my site listed there!".. Can someone please go and revert to my last edit, or maybe just give their thought about this whole debacle on the talk page? Thank you. Havok (T/C/e/c) 10:04, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

That is pretty incredible... people just saying they are going to keep adding links to their sites no matter what. I'm not familiar with the spam blacklist, so perhaps someone more familar with that could take a look and blacklist those sites being defiantly added repeatedly with a "screw the wikipedia guidelines" attitude. 2005 01:57, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
If they continue, drop a note in my talk page and I will either protect the article or block the ones abusing the external linking. Remember to warn them with the {{spam}} templates. -- ReyBrujo 02:09, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll keep an eye out as always. Thank you. Havok (T/C/e/c) 11:23, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Meta "custom namespaces"

I was rather shocked to find out: Did you know we've got Wikimedia-wide custom namespaces? You can link to Google search results pages with code like this: Google:Jimbo Wales. To any page at with Wikia:Projectname:Article name. Recently there's even a prefix for Youtube:xKHYTd-iF8c videos. Look at the full list at meta:Interwiki map!

This thing is a breeding ground for site administrators advertising their pages, explaining why adding their links would be "useful" to a significant number of Wikipedia pages. As in: "As our Wiki develops, these pages can be linked to from potentially thousands of articles"! (whoopee…) Wikis with a few edits per month, essentially personal blogs, have a custom prefix. Best thing, for a long time the list was open to anon spammers just adding themselves.

The real fun is, these links aren't found in Special:Linksearches. Links to external wikis are normally to be avoided, at least on the en: Wikipedia. If other projects absolutely need a Youtube: namespace they're free to set it locally. Besides, what do we have templates like {{Dmoz}} or {{Imdb}} for? So I don't see why we should have to share hardcoded custom code for the convenient mass-linking of external sites.

I think custom namespaces are just an obscure technical feature that was never meant to grow to these proportions. No word about it at Help:Link. Even Help:Namespace presents it as simple means for mapping the localized German Hilfe: to the Help: namespace, for example. Is anybody supervising it (except the few well-meaning meta admins adding those links)? Is this governed by any policy like WP:EL?

The list is eeevil. We should keep only those few custom namespaces that are directly related to the Wikimedia Foundation and the operation of Wikipedia itself. Can we get a consensus together to have this list drastically trimmed? Femto 11:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Whoa! Yes, that list appears definite overkill, and I had never heard of it before. >Radiant< 12:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I can't see much reason why any non-Wikimedia project should get special treatment using interwiki links. Many are only useful from discussion pages, not from mainspace (like the meatball links). Generally, I think we should use external link templates for those links we consider relevant, like with IMDB, where our template is superior to the simple interwiki link. If the feature hides pages form Linksearch, all pages that could be problematic (i.e. all that are not under control of the Wikimedia Foundation) should be removed immediately so Linksearch works. Kusma (討論) 13:09, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

It is worth noting that the custom interwiki map, which is basically a customizable extension to the interwiki map for things like fr:, commons: and meta:, has scope across all Wikimedia Foundation projects and so utility to Wikipedia is not the only concern. Secondly, many of those links are truly ancient, with some having been imported from MeatballWiki in the infancy of Wikimedia (which helps explain why some of the strange things appear there at all). Third, there is presently no systematic way to determine which ones are used in what projects and how often. And lastly, removing anything from that list will break the link in all places it is used. Given that there is no way of telling whether something is used or not, it thus becomes virtually impossible to safely justify removing anything. Or in short, right now we are stuck with a cluttered mess that is hard to change. Dragons flight 13:19, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Oh, and for the record, these are not "custom namespaces" which are similar appearing but technically different critters. [[Portal:]] is an example of a custom namespace on Wikipedia, which can be distinguished by the fact that they are site specific and only generate internal links. Dragons flight 13:26, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually, it's quite easy to construct a SQL query to find such links. Also, for many of them, it's not a problem if we "break" them because we don't need or want such links in the first place. Of course links to google and meatball and such are all fine, but most of the 100+ items on this list aren't. >Radiant< 13:29, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
    • You realize we are talking about all 400+ WMF projects, right? Such a search would be time consuming for a developer and virtually impossible for anyone else. Some fraction are arguably worthless on their face, but for many I would say one would want to show that the link is not being used anywhere before killing it. Dragons flight 13:41, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
    • PS. If you want to push to clean that thing up, then go for it. It does need cleaning. Just don't get caught in the illusion that it will be easy to actually make a significant dent. Dragons flight 13:45, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
      • A list that is relevant for all Wikimedia projects should be taken care of a lot better than this, and not contain many links of low relevance that block possible namespaces on all Wikipedia projects. If the list can't be fixed globally due to its size and importance, can the English Wikipedia unsubscribe form this list so we can enforce our own external links policy? Kusma (討論) 13:59, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
        • The capacity to unsubscribe does not exist at present, and because of the way the interwiki map is implemented might be somewhat challenging to set up, but I would generally describe it as desirable option to have, and so it might be worth talking to developers about. Dragons flight 14:08, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
        • Though if one is going to be making requests, simply having an easy way to search for them locally might be a better place to start. Dragons flight 14:14, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

(undent) Someone might start by removing BlackTexts (software consulting firm), Shownotes (parked domain on BigDaddy), SiliconValley (real estate), Stockphotoss (nonexistent domain), and tamriel (advertising).

          • The whole list with the exception of Wikimedia projects needs dumped. It's a sneaky way to add in links without having some way to see where and when they're being added or some ability to search for all of these links. There's more than just the usual trying to keep external links in check, but to be able to find and change the URL if the site moves, changes ownership or becomes even less suitable for being an external link from WP. --Kind Regards - Heligoland | Talk | Contribs 12:18, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Is it possible to change permissions so that admin-level access is required to create one of these (resolvable prefixs)?John Broughton | Talk 14:46, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

  • If you mean creating a prefix, that is already the case since that page on meta is protected. If you mean using a prefix, no. >Radiant< 14:49, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
This interwiki list should not be on meta, it should be on a per wiki basis. This indeed results in external links which can not be controlled. I vote dumping the list. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:08, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

This discussion should probably be moved to Meta --Barberio 13:16, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Wow! Ok, for the time being I am going to make LinkWatcher (an IRC feedbot) catch additions of these. I to am not very happy about some of these links. Cheers P.S. The bot can be found at #wikipedia-spam on the freenode network. —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 18:39, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
If admin level approval is needed to create a new prefix, that helps a lot. So does monitoring for new prefixs. As for cleaning up, I think removing 50 or so obviously worthless prefixes (I found five with just a few minutes of checking) would in fact make a dent. If someone wants to set up a page in their user space for cataloging prefixes and identifying obvious candidates for removal, I'm happy to volunteer to help. John Broughton | Talk 16:25, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

What should be linked

The section on what "should be linked" lists:

  1. Articles about any organization, person, web site, or other entity should link to the official site if any.
  2. An article about a book, a musical score, or some other media should link to a site hosting a copy of the work if none of the "Links normally to be avoided" criteria apply.
  3. Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues, amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks) or other reasons.
  4. Sites with other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article, such as reviews and interviews.

In the Fleshlight article, some editors perceive the above wording to suggest that a link to the official Fleshlight web site is required. I believe that the wording should be changed so that it allows the editors of the article to decide whether an external link offers value to the article or not. In general, a link to the "official" web site of the notable article is desirable, I agree. In this specific case, and a variety of other general applicability, directing users to the commercial web site does not offer value to the article, and serves no purpose other than supporting sales for the product. The editors of the article "should" be allowed to reach consensus on whether inclusion of that link is desired or not, rather than being "forced" to include the EL of the commercial site because of the current wording of policy. Atom 13:59, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

How about changing the wording to something like "examples of good external links" ( for the EL section ) Squidfryerchef 17:55, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm unsure why this is an issue. The article links to the Amazon websites and Tesco links to, which serve no other purpose but sales point for Amazon and Tesco, and that's a perfectly acceptable use of external links. It seems perfectly rational, and even a good idea, to do the same for the "Fleshlight" article, which is about a specific company and product. It's considered adding to the 'utility' of the article to the reader, rather than a contribution of content. --Barberio 21:04, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The issue is not whether some articles do already (they do because WP:EL says they "should"), or whether it is acceptable (we have established that the policy says that the article "should"). We don't by policy force other aspects of the article, why should we force a link to the official web site. If this policy were modified, perhaps the editors of and Tesco articles might decide that they did not think there was utility in offering free advertising. (not their option right now) The issue is whether the editors of the article have the capability to decide whether for the specific case it adds utility to the article or not. In some cases the arilicle may discuss something notable but forcing a link to the official web site may not be desirable. In the specific case, fleshlight the editors may well decide that the external link should be included, but at least the editors can discuss and come to a consensus on the issue rather than it being forced on them. You feel that it is a good idea, but that is irrelevant, as is another editors opinion that it is a bad idea (as it is forced now). What if a consensus of editors for an article feels that it is not a good idea? Does not add utility to the article?

The way it is now, 20 editors can agree to remove the EL to the Fleshlight web site, and one editor can come along and revert the change, citing WP:EL "...should link to the official site" Atom

This is a guideline, not policy. One user can come along and add any link citing whatever they want, but editor consensus can still overide, just as it can with links to be avioded. A good reasoned argument about why it is better for Wikipedia as an encyclopedia to not link would likely hold through any dispute resolution process (should one be needed). Are there lots of these types of situations? Because if not WP:IAR would appear to be a better approach than changing a guideline which, in general seems pretty good (i.e. - we generally should be linking to official sites). -- Siobhan Hansa 23:37, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
It is indeed something that can be discussed by the editors on the article. And it appears to me that it is being discussed. --Barberio 23:47, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Official sites should be linked. What is an argument why you wouldn't want to link to one? How would that ever make a better article? It's not our concern if adding a link adds to the sales of a company or not. We are writing encyclopedica articles about things, that users get valuable information from. There is no reason ever to not link to the official site of an article, short of some virus infested site or something like that. 2005 00:10, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm proposing changing the wording of the "External Links" paragraph to a heading of "Good uses of the External Links section" ( official sites, well-maintained wikis about the subject matter, material that would create a copyright problem if wikified ex. sports stats ( this is in one of the other policies ), DMOZ or other directories of subject-related sites, etc ) and "Poor uses of the External Links section" ( placeholder for to-be-footnoted references, material that belongs in a tabulated list in the article ( ex. links to fraternity chapters ), links that are about some particular aspect of the subject, which could be made into references, and POV sites, such as a protest site in an article about a corporation, or a gossip column in a site about a celebrity ) This would be in addition to the general rules about stable URLs, rich media, copyright, etc. The wording about "good uses" and "poor uses" doesn't imply that official sites are required. Squidfryerchef 22:48, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I really don't think we should put well maintained wikis on the same footing as official sites. The current guideline doesn't make anything required or prohibited - it's a guideline. Is there really a significant number of articles where it would be a good thing to not link to the official site? -- Siobhan Hansa 00:00, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
There's a number of sites, for example the Muppet Wiki that some relevant articles here link to, or sites like The Payphone Project that sort user-submitted data. A lot of this material wouldn't fit into the Wikipedia because some editors would consider it too specialized for an encyclopedia, or would consider it OR, or it's not public domain and would create a copyvio if we incorporated it. So yes these would be good uses of the External Links section. Now, as for official sites, some people do read that as a "must", so we should tone down that wording. Squidfryerchef 05:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
At least two bad ideas here counter to the guideline now. "Well maintained wikis"? Those very seldom merit linking. Besides that, "good uses" and "poor uses" is not the point, nor a direction we should go in. We don't add "poor" external links. On rare occasions we might link to exceptional material that is of a type normally to be avoided, but the reason to do so is because it is a great link, not just another "poor use". 2005 00:14, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
One reason why I want to talk about good vs. poor candidates for the "External Links" section, is because many editors read "links normally to be avoided" as "links that are banned". Nobody is suggesting we add "poor" external links, I'm actually suggesting we delete them. But I don't want mass editors going through the Wikipedia with a script and removing links without looking at them. I'm trying to keep deletion of links on a case by case basis. PS. What part of WP:EL does "well-maintained wikis" run counter to? It says Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors. Squidfryerchef 05:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)


Is there any project or other forum for reporting articles with excessive ELs with a view to action being taken to clean them up? Would there be an appetite for Wikipedia:Requests for comment/External links or something similar? This talk page is great for discussion of the guideline but doesn't focus on action, and as I've noted before it would be great if editors who have a sound understanding of the policies and guidelines here could be notified of articles with EL problems and get together to sort them out and back up each others changes. Deizio talk 08:44, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

There are a couple of WikiProjects that may be of interest: Wikipedia:WikiProject External links and Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam. I'm not sure how active the projects are though. More informally, interested editors can review articles in need of external links cleanup at Category:Wikipedia external links cleanup. --Muchness 11:53, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Project spam is fairly active. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:10, 7 January 2007 (UTC)


Is there an appropriate format for linking to U.S. patents? I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but I looked around and couldn't find an easy answer. I have seen a few articles referencing patents by title & patent # but normally without a link to the patent text. Manassehkatz 03:50, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

See {{US patent}} and {{US patent reference}}. Mike Dillon 05:55, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
There is a danger in using a patent application as a source for an article. I doubt a patent qualifies as reliable because its self penned. I would be very cautious linking a patent unless the article already had well established notability. --Spartaz 06:44, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I can certainly see cases where it would be appropriate. If a company is suing another company over a patent and the WP article covers that, it would make perfect sense to link to the patent. It's a reliable source, just a primary one. --Milo H Minderbinder 13:28, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
A link to a patent application is certainly acceptable if the citation is to show the existence of such an application. It's also acceptable if used as a source for a statement such as "The patent claims included X, Y, and Z". It's not acceptable, on the other hand, for support for sentences like "X invented Y and Y" (even if a patent is approved; something can be invented by someone who then fails to patent it). Similarly, it's not acceptable to use a patent application as a source for a statement like "The biochemical process X can do Y and Z", since, as noted above, a patent application is self-published (as in patents for perpetual motion machines). -- John Broughton | Talk 16:56, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
{{US patent}} is exactly what I was looking for. I am cleaning up some existing articles that already have patent references without the template (and without any other link to the patent text/image). I agree that patents should be used carefully - since they can be disputed they are not the most reliable of sources. However, I think they can add useful information to many articles. Manassehkatz 03:26, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Clarifications to "reviews" and "misleading" would be helpful:

Under What should be linked, point 4 mentions "reviews". I'm involved in a content dispute about an attack site where the author presents opinions and factual claims with a clear bias against the topic. There is also a discussion forum where users are invited to share their hatred of the same topic. An editor is claiming that this is "just a review site" and thus passes muster under WP:EL.

The policy for allowing links to review sites seems to me to have an eye toward allowing links to sites that neutrally solicit/collect reviews regardless of their content. It seems perverse to apply it to a discussion forum dedicated explicitly to bitchfests and wrapped in a frontpage of unwavering screed.

Also, point 2 under Links normally to be avoided is somewhat confusing. Is it considered "misleading" for a non-reliable source (by the lights of WP:RS) to present sweeping factual claims based on unverifiable sources? If not, this places the burden of proof on detractors to show that the information presented is false (rather than just unverifiable and unreliable). Perhaps this should be broken into 2 points, along these lines:

  • Any site that misleads the user by use of factually inaccurate material.
  • Any site that relies on unverifiable research. See Reliable sources.

(or otherwise reworded so that it is clear that factual claims based on unverifiable research are considered misleading)

--N6 08:32, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

That would step over the EL/RS boarder... There are many cases where a website isn't a reliable source, but is acceptable as an EL. (technically speaking, you could cite a website without providing a link. The link is only a convenience in a well-formed citation). ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 19:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Here's an example:
Say I make a website claiming that a government agency hired a hit man to assassinate JFK from the grassy knoll. I provide the text of a personal letter from Henry Kissinger to an unnamed source as my only evidence for this claim. I provide no credentials for myself. My site meets none of the criteria in WP:RS. (Presume that the site contains other, secondary content that cannot be easily incorporated into Wikipedia, so that it might be considered for an external link rather than just a citation to the text of the article.)
It's entirely possible I made everything up, but nobody can prove the falsity of my information, so it can be argued that I have not mislead anybody and as such there is no basis for exclusion under WP:EL#Links_normally_to_be_avoided. Should my site be linked from Wikipedia? I think the answer is pretty clearly "no", but there's something of a blind spot in WP:EL here owing to the word "misleads".
--N6 21:56, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
That's actually not true. Notable kook websites get links from articles all the time. They just need to be notable and recognized as "expert"-kooks. The "controlled demolition theory" article about 9-11 springs to mind.
However, if a site is self-published it needs to pass a much higher hurtle. It needs to be recognised by a wide community as a leading website in it's field. High traffic rankings, news interviews, etc usually are the gauge for that.
So in closing, your position is right 99.9% of the time... but there is that 0.1%. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 22:05, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, the current wording ("normally to be avoided") does allow room for exceptions.
Here's a related question: If "misleads" is restricted solely to "presents verifiably false information", what force do the words "or unverifiable research" have? I can see none whatsoever.
--N6 00:43, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Other answers seem to cover it, but saying it's "just a review site" is like saying "it's just a website" and WP:EL allows links to websites. It's a non-statement. Links have to pass a criteria like J.smith says above. 2005 00:44, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Foreign language links

If an article is featured on another language Wiki, wouldn't it be prudent to highlight that instead of linking to the foreign language website about said article? Ex. In Death Note, is there any need for this when we have a link to the Japanese version at ja:デスノート Where both the official link, and more information is located? Many times when I visit articles that have a foreign subject matter, the external links section is saturated with links to websites that are not English. Also, how about non-official websites that are in another language, do we delete them without prejudice? Havok (T/C/e/c) 20:25, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

My feeling, not based on any WP articles, is that since this is an English language encyclopedia, we should only have links to sites written in the english language as EL on a page. -- Alucard (Dr.) 20:33, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
If it is the official site, then it should be fine to link to the foreign site. I usually link to both the english and japanese official sites if the topic is about a japanese product, but I would delete a brazilian or spanish site. Since you can't link to another Wikipedia, and you need to avoid self references, the intrawiki is only useful if you are checking Wikipedia itself; if someone is reading this from a mirror or a dump, he would not be able to access the japanese version of Wikipedia. -- ReyBrujo 20:38, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I believe that it is our responsibility in the case of non-English subjects to provide both 1. the official English resource and 2. the original language Official resource. The original language resource will often contain more information than the English copy, and cannot be considered a simple duplicate. Kill fansites at will, especially those in foreign languages. --tjstrf talk 20:40, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
If sourcing is the main concern then editors can add ref tags to the sections of the article which need sourcing and link to the official foreign site from there. I just don't see the point of having links to foreign language websites when this Wiki is English, it only adds clutter and which are sites most people won't find any need for. Havok (T/C/e/c) 20:42, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

The places where this is the biggest issue are anime series in progress, where the English site may be literally years behind of the current state of the series. If we only direct people to the English site, we are purposefully giving them only out-of-date information. --tjstrf talk 20:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Like I said on Naruto, for referencing use the Japanese links. But, use a <ref> tag on the section which needs to be referenced. That way, we can leave the foreign language links out of the external links section of the article. Also, this is not only about anime and manga, but all articles that have foreign links in their EL section. Havok (T/C/e/c) 21:01, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
If there is an official english page, then it may be possible to disregard the official native page (although I would discourage that). If there is not official page, of course the foreign one should be there. As for references, these official sites should used sparingly, otherwise you may end up using primary sources for building an article, which is not recommended. -- ReyBrujo 21:30, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Which again denotes the point of not having the links to foreign sites to begin with. There is absolutely no reason to keep them. Havok (T/C/e/c) 21:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Nor is there any reason to delete them. --tjstrf talk 22:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I've given many reasons. 1. This Wiki is English. 2. Most people won't have any use for them. 3. They can't be used as sources for anything in the article. 4. They take up space either by taking the space from an English link, or by just filling up the EL section in the article. Havok (T/C/e/c) 23:59, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with using a foreign-language EL or a foreign-language reference. English is preferred if the same content is available in English, but if the foreign link adds value to the article then keep it. Squidfryerchef 06:20, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I guess most of these entries will have a corresponding entry in the WP of that language - people who can understand that language can follow the link to the WP page in that language and find all the links they want. If someone doesn't understand the language then having a link to a site which they can't understand seems rather useless to me. -- Alucard (Dr.) 00:53, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
I see no point having foreign language links unless there is a compelling reason for them to be there. I think the bar for having them should be higher than for English links but I'm not entirely sure we should ban them altogether. Spartaz 06:29, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Not ban them all together no, but like you say, setting the standard higher then with the English links can be a good start. I think we should promote the articles about the same subject on foreign language Wikipedias instead of linking directly to a foreign language sites. Havok (T/C/e/c) 11:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Style format

Do we have a guideline for how to link to website? If not, should we italic the name of the website between Official and website. And do we use website with a capital W, or maybe we use site or page instead. I think a link should look like these formats:

An official link could be

A regular site could be:

A review of a movie/product etc. could be:

Any other ideas, or has all this been covered? Havok (T/C/e/c) 20:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I've alwase prefred useing a simplified citation format if I had enough information.
  • Last, First, Wikipedia, WikiMedia Foundation, Date
It realy depends on the circumstances. Your recomendation is a fairly common style, and it looks fine. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 00:50, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I like the "Preview at Wikipedia" one, or "Preview at Wikipedia" if the article about "Wikipedia" does not exist. Note that this invites people adding their own links to sites that do not have articles in Wikipedia to just write something like "Preview at Wikipedia", which is awful. I spend a lot of time removing the trailing hyperlink. If the site is notable for reviews, I would suggest creating an external link template. Or use a meta shortcut, but they are even worse. -- ReyBrujo 01:28, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Yahoo Directory, and Dmoz

WP:EL mentions Dmoz, but there are other web directories. We even have a list of them on Wikipedia. Why don't we simply say "try linking to a related category in a Web directory, such as Dmoz, Yahoo Directory, etc"? I know this was brought up recently but there was no consensus. Squidfryerchef 06:12, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I would support this idea - there are many good web directories out there which could be used. The caveat is that there are also a lot of non-useful web directories - ones that are pay-per-position, and not based on the merits of the sites they list. They are purely used as a tool for webmasters to achieve better rankings in the search engines. By opening up the requirements in the way proposed, I feel we would be opening ourselves up for even more linkspam and hotly debated issues about which web directories are good and which are not. -- Alucard (Dr.) 10:39, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
What if I changed this wording:

Important points to remember

  1. Links should be kept to a minimum. A lack of external links, or a small number of external links is not a reason to add external links.
  2. Rather than creating a long list of external links, editors should consider linking to a related category in the Open Directory Project (also known as DMOZ) which is devoted to creating relevant directories of links pertaining to various topics. (See {{Dmoz}}.) If there is no relevant category, you can request help finding or creating a category by placing {{Directory request}} on the article's talk page.
  3. Try to avoid linking to multiple pages from the same website; instead, try to find an appropriate linking page within the site.


Important points about brevity

  1. In the External Links section, links should be kept to a minimum. It should contain only the few most relevant links. This is normally an untabulated list and should be kept free of clutter so that users can find their links quickly.
  2. Not every page needs an External Links section, and a small number of external links is not a reason to add more.
  3. If you are including an external link here as a reference, cite it and move it to the References or Notes sections. Alternatively, if an explanation of the external link would add value to the article, then do so and then cite and move the link.
  4. Try to avoid linking multiple pages from the same website; instead, try to find a sitemap or other appropriate linking page within the site.
  5. For articles that need to link to many related sites, for example, articles about fraternities that have a list of chapters, these links should be kept in a table in the article, not the External Links section.
  6. If the need arises to link several sites dealing with the same subject matter, consider linking to a category in a Web directory, such as The Open Directory Project, Yahoo Directory, etc.
  7. The Open Directory project, aka DMOZ, has its own tempate here (See {{Dmoz}}) for linking to categories. If there is no relevant category, you can request help finding or creating a category by placing {{Directory request}} on the article's talk page.

Squidfryerchef 01:48, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

  • dmoz is used because it is a free directory. Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia, so we should utilise free resources where we can. Since we have as yet not worked out how to transclude in the links from the dmoz categories where appropriate, the current guidance is to link to them. Hiding Talk 17:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree... we should have a systamatic bias for free-resources. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 17:54, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not a systemic bias. It's the basis of wikipedia, that we aim to provide a free encyclopedia. Hiding Talk 17:57, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
See this is the can of worms I was fearing - if I start up a "free directory" (by which I presumably don't charge money for sites to get listed) can I therefore insist on links being added to my categories on WP pages? I don't think it should be that way. I think that either we need a list of "approved directories" that WP pages can link to, or we leave things as they are. I would personally strongly be in favour of opening up an "approved" list, so that this isn't just a DMOZ-or-nothing thing. Anything else and I feel that we are opening ourselves up for the worst form of linkspam. (In the spirit of full-disclosure, I am an ODP/DMOZ editor) -- Alucard (Dr.) 18:27, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Were you to open up an open source directory, you would certainly increase the list of directories to which we link. Guidance used to be to link to a directory, preference given to an open source directory where possible. Since the only open source directory is dmoz, I imagine over time the directions have been modified to take that into account. To be honest, I'd rather we didn't use external links at all, since doing so to me violates the policy on POV. Hiding Talk 18:36, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't being sarcastic with my "bias" comment. We should have a bias for projects like ours. It's not a policy, it's just a preference when all else is equal. Our goal is to provide a "free" (free as in freedom, not as in free beer) encyclopedia and the more we link to/support other free resources the better service we provide to our visitors. I have no problem with the fine company of Yahoo Inc, and we certainly shouldn't ban linking to them when they offer a superior product. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 19:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, so with the proposed wording we still like DMOZ and we still have the special templates for DMOZ. It also clarifies that this paragraph is for the External Links section and not for all offsite links ( the jury is still out on whether WP:EL applies to one or the other ), and it has a flatter structure than what was there before. So, I'll be bold and put this in as soon as the page is unprotected. Squidfryerchef 01:08, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Can we get the "Important points to remember" section changed to the "Important points about brevity" proposed above? Squidfryerchef 01:57, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

You want to replace three lines with seven? Why? Also, the suggestion to use a web directory is a bad one. We have a specific prohibition against one type of web directory, and I see no reason to open it up further in the guideline. Dmoz is going far enough. I could see adding Yahoo if no Dmoz category exists, but I can't imagine ever using another one. This is a guideline though so in million-to-one case people contributing to an article might have a directory to suggest if a dmoz one doesn't exist. More to the point, why are you suggesting bloating the wording? Obviously a change like this shouldn't be made to the protected page. 2005 02:42, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
The way it is now is confusing. I'm trying to clean it up. The proposed wording still favors DMOZ, but doesn't go immediately into DMOZ-specific syntax. There never was a prohibition against web directories other than DMOZ. Squidfryerchef 04:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I removed the edit template. I want to make this clear: Squidfryerchef, Hiding and J.smith support the change, while 2005 and Alucard (Dr.) do not? That does not appear to be a clear consensus to change the guideline. -- ReyBrujo 02:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I read Alucard (Dr.)'s comments as neutral and constructive, and if 2005 wants WP:EL to stay the same, well, edits don't need to be unanimous. Restored template. Squidfryerchef 04:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
As-written, I am against making that change, because I do not feel that there is a consensus that the Yahoo directory is ok to link to and that I do not agree with the "etc." being in there. If we are going to open up the list of acceptable ones beyond the ODP, then I think separate discussions needs to be had about which ones are good by WP standards. The rest of it looks fine, and clarifies things well, I feel. -- Alucard (Dr.) 12:31, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I've withdrawn the editprotected template. While I don't agree that there ever was a prohibition on linking to Yahoo Directory, the new wording gets a few birds with one stone and we can discuss other directories another day. How about this version?

Important points about brevity

  1. In the External Links section, links should be kept to a minimum. It should contain only the few most relevant links. This is normally an untabulated list and should be kept free of clutter so that users can find their links quickly.
  2. Not every page needs an External Links section, and a small number of external links is not a reason to add more.
  3. If you are including an external link here as a reference, cite it and move it to the References or Notes sections. Alternatively, if an explanation of the external link would add value to the article, then do so and then cite and move the link.
  4. Try to avoid linking multiple pages from the same website; instead, try to find a sitemap or other appropriate linking page within the site.
  5. For articles that need to link to many related sites, for example, articles about fraternities that have a list of chapters, these links should be kept in a table in the article, not the External Links section.
  6. If the need arises to link several sites dealing with the same subject matter, consider linking to a category in The Open Directory Project, also known as DMOZ.
  7. DMOZ has its own tempate here (See {{Dmoz}}) for linking to categories. If DMOZ has no relevant category, you can request help finding or creating a category by placing {{Directory request}} on the article's talk page.Squidfryerchef 12:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I would support that change. -- Alucard (Dr.) 15:13, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it is something to consider that we are proposing increasing the size of the recommendations on brevity. I have never liked the naming of DMOZ in the guidelines. It's not a WikiMedia project and I don't think we should be showing prefeerence to it like that. I liked the wording from months ago that said something like with preference for open source directories. How about an emphasis on not having duplication in directories and adding a preference for open source directories (such as DMOZ). Providing both the emphasis on open source and soem practical for those who aren't aware of open source directories. One of the reasons I mention this is because DMOZ is not that international, and non-US countries in particular often have different resources that are better. An emphasis on not duplicating would hopefully get rid of the desire to list Yahoo! DMOZ, the "resource list" from the biggest US portal on the subject and 800 fan pages with 4 links each. Also I don't agree with #3 - the implication that a link that is cited should not be in the external links section. The two serve different purposes and it's perfectly possible for a link to be both a good external link and a good citation. It doesn't serve our readers well to confuse the purposes of the two sorts of links by disallowing duplication here. -- Siobhan Hansa 15:44, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, I'll nix that. If you're reading #3 as an either-or, then odds are hundreds of other editors will too. For example, if someone writes an article on New York City and cites the official page of the city, they shouldn't remove it from the EL section(!) What if I added something like "While it is permissible for a site to appear both in the References section and in the External Links section, it shouldn't appear in the External Links section if its only purpose is to back up a reference." If anybody has other suggestions for the wording of #3 please share. Squidfryerchef 01:44, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I first thought "Important points about brevity" was joke since the text is verbose and confusing in comparion to what is being replaced. "Important points to remember" is the point, and is not confusing while the brevity line just doesn't make any sense. That said, besides gettign rid of the weird heading, I'm not opposed to the new points even if they are more poorly stated than what we have now. Then, I'm agreeing (I think) with Alucard that other directories should never be called for. One type of directory, fanlistings, are specifically prohibited. Ideally all directories would be prohibited, but this isn't an ideal world. Some articles could have dozens of equally user-valuable links, so a Dmoz link is a good way to basically just "give up" and say we can't link this like we prefer articles to be linked, because it isn't our business to create and maintain a list of 100 links. Besides yahoo, no other directories should be normally allowed, or we will have every piece of garbage link list added to articles. (Open source directories are the bottom of the barrel as anybody can add any rotten link they want... they should be prohibited under all circumstances.) 2005 23:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Maybe it should be titled something else, like "Important points about the External Links section" or "Guidelines on keeping the External Links section short". Why don't you suggest one? But anyway that's what that section is supposed to be about. It's supposed to remind people that the EL section is not for any old link, but just for those few that will be useful to the vast majority of users. The problem is, is that what's on the policy right now doesn't do that. It starts out OK, but instead of first telling the editors to consider moving their links to the reference section, etc, it tells them to go add their links to DMOZ. I think that linking to a web directory is the last resort and WP:EL should reflect that. Now, 2005, if you like the points but think the wording's too verbose, please add your own version of the list. Maybe we'll go with that one. Squidfryerchef 01:44, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
"Why don't you suggest one?" What is there... ""Important points to remember". It is crystal clear. The point is not to say the external links section should be "short". That's wrong-headed. The section should be appropriate to the article. Some will have zero links, others one or two, others ten. "please add your own version of the list", the current version is much better, and more clear. There isn't any need to add more verbiage. Why don't you state why you need all these extra wording? 2005 11:10, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
No, it's not crystal clear. For one thing there is no wording in place to remind folks that External Links is not a placeholder for uncited references. And the EL section should be short because it is not sorted. What if an article had fifty links? Even though they might be great links their use would be limited if readers have to sift through fifty of them. Personally, I think three is a good number. Squidfryerchef 13:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
"For one thing there is no wording in place to remind folks that External Links is not a placeholder for uncited references" What the heck does that have to do with the four words: "Important points to remember"? "the EL section should be short because it is not sorted." Why? That's like saying it should be short because it is on the Internet. The concepts are unrelated. "What if an article had fifty links?" Then a Dmoz link is called for about forty links before... "Personally, I think three is a good number." You are mixing way too many concepts into one confusing jumble. I suggest if you have a problem with any specific sentence in the guideline, you propose a specific alternative, and offer a rationale for how it is better. If you have several problems, address them individually. This attempt should be arhcived. 2005 08:36, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
How about "People put too much stuff in the External Links section that doesn't belong there." Squidfryerchef 17:15, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
We used to have the wording "Web pages that have been used as references in the creation of an article should be linked from an article's References section.", plus a lot of those other points. Also the section was called "Keep links to a minimum" at one point during the workshop. I like that name better. Squidfryerchef 17:50, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
And to add a minor nitpick - the Open Directory Project / DMOZ is not "open source" - there is no access to the end product's source materials - there is open access to the end product and a free licence to use it anywhere. Their Social Contract says that it was inspired by the Open Source movement, but isn't itself Open Source. I think the key points that make it potentially attractive as a linking point for WP is that it is, and will always remain free, and that a vast team of volunteers does the vast majority of the work on the project. I am curious about the "not that international" comment, though, since there are a vast amount of European editors very active in the English-speaking part of the directory and I know that Australia gets a lot of attention too.
I believe that WP has to be selective in what links to directories it allows, and still feel that there should be an "approved" list of directory resources that pass the standards WP editors want to maintain (non-commercial being one example). -- Alucard (Dr.) 00:16, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, how would you handle a situation like this. I was editing Hatzolah, which is the collective name for several volunteer ambulance associations. They have it in NYC, LA, Israel, all around the world. Well, it has an external link to a web directory of Hatzolah organizations. Now, this isn't hosted at either DMOZ or Yahoo, but it is a useful directory. So, I don't want a list of approved web directories because it couldn't include specialty ones like this, unless it included essentially everything. Squidfryerchef 01:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure where anybody got the idea that I supported the change from. Hiding Talk 12:27, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You said above that you didn't like the idea of external links, period. Shouldn't you be abstaining from this debate then? Squidfryerchef 13:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Kindly comment of the content, not the user please. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Civility. Hiding Talk 14:24, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Pardon, I did not mean that as snark. I'm just saying, when you're trying to get people to pick A or B, and somebody wants neither, then how would they vote? Would they vote for A, limiting the number of external links as the lesser of two evils, or would they pick B, feeling that A would further legitimize external links? Squidfryerchef 17:15, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm clever enough to opt for A or B regardless of thinking C. It's something I have to do daily. Could I just ask, though, that if I haven't picked A or B, don't say I picked A to justify your own actions. Ta. Hiding Talk 18:03, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I noticed someone has began spreading {{AboutUs}}. -- ReyBrujo 02:56, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
A template for the worst website on the Internet? Ugh. I can't imagine ever linking to that domain. 2005

Guy and Radiant edit warring

Let the record show:

  • 1. Guy and Radiant made changes against consensus without any discussion, and refused to engage in discussion when asked.
  • 2. Neither Barberio nor I are "You Tube fans"--we're "fans" of discussion instead of edit warring at EL.
  • (cur) (last) 16:40, 10 January 2007 Steel359 (Talk | contribs) m (Protected Wikipedia:External links: YouTube dispute continues [edit=sysop:move=sysop])
  • (cur) (last) 16:39, 10 January 2007 JzG (Talk | contribs) (Well there's a thing - the admins are edit warring and the YouTube fans are not?)
  • (cur) (last) 16:35, 10 January 2007 Cindery (Talk | contribs) (→Restrictions on linking - rv --Guy and Radiant edit warring, making changes not discussed on talk.)
  • (cur) (last) 16:18, 10 January 2007 Radiant! (Talk | contribs) (You're not seriously implying that our concept of consensus trumps copyright laws, now do you?)
  • (cur) (last) 16:11, 10 January 2007 Barberio (Talk | contribs) (rv, these changes didn't have consensus support. Take it to the talk page.)
  • (cur) (last) 13:15, 10 January 2007 JzG (Talk | contribs) (→Restrictions on linking - Let's not actively encourage Wikilawyering, shall we?)

Cindery 17:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

So Guy and Radiant are edit warring, but not Barberio and Cindery? Or are you all just editing boldly? Tom Harrison Talk 17:13, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Barberio and I reverted back to a consensus version which was based on discussion, and invited Radiant/Guy to discuss rather than make edits they knew were contentious, without discussion.

Cindery 17:32, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, the "other party" seems to be missing from the description above. The title of this heading makes it sound like Guy was edit warring with Radiant... Oh, and by the way... I agree with their wording, like many others. Thanks/wangi 17:15, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

My edit was based on the above discussion on Copyright section, where I asked three times for editors to support keeping a redundant section. As you can note, removing the extra section was supported. So far, JzG has declined to discuss his rational for keeping a second redundant section. --Barberio 17:18, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Based on the discussion above, Barbiero discussed his version and had support for it. Radiant and Guy made their edits without any mention on the talk page first, much less consensus. It's unfortunate to see admins revert warring and ending up getting the revision they want by the page getting locked on their version. I agree with the previous consensus discussion, the section is redundant with the box at the top and support removing redundant text. --Milo H Minderbinder 17:31, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
And is anyone surprised by this? Guy seems to have a way of making "his" way the "permanent" way, whether through Admin tools, or condescending snobbery. No, Wikipedia's not broken, folks. Everything is just peachy. Move along. Nothing to see here. --JossBuckle Swami 16:37, 20 January 2007 (UTC)


My position on this is as follows :-

  1. The current copyright policy explicitly bars knowingly and intentionally linking to material breaching copyright.
  2. The current copyright policy does not require licensing.
  3. No particular type of site should be singled out for higher requirements than any other site, and all instances of suspected copyright breach should be investigated on a case by case basis.
  4. Until the copyright policy is altered to require licensing for external links, no such requirement should be represented as policy here. Guidelines should and must not misrepresent policy.
  5. Known copyvio should not be linked to.
  6. Suspect links to copyvio should be investigated until it would be reasonable to believe it's not a breach of copyright. If it can not, then it should be removed.

Stated as some people have been misrepresenting my views. --Barberio 17:37, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Reasonable to believe is subjective. If the link is challenged and it is not possible to establish its copyright status authoritatively, why would we want to take the risk? How many links are of such pressing importance as to make that worthwhile? Guy (Help!) 22:09, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Yup, absolutley right. Atom 22:17, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree with JzG's point. The burden of evidence should lie with the editor who wants to include the link. If a site's copyright status is suspect, it should be removed until its status is verified. --Muchness 22:25, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Any standard we can apply to this, due to the nature of linking, is going to be subjective. However, 'reasonable belief' is the standard inherited from the copyright policy. The alternative seems to be to allow anyone make an unqualified 'suspicion' of copyvio, and delete the link because unspecified requirements of 'proof' are not provided.
A reasonable belief that copyright is valid is the best standard we can fairly apply.
Those suggesting a requirement of 'verification' have so far declined to offer exactly how we should perform such verification. Anything less than notarized license document is making an assumption based on reasonable belief. --Barberio 22:31, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
If a document, photo, whatever has a copyright mark on it, or if someone claims it is copyrighted, that is sufficient to remove it unless the copyright owner gives permission. If we can show that the image or document is clearly marked as released to the public domain by the author, or Wikipedia compatible licensing (such as CC-sharealike of GFDL) then due diligence to licensing has been taken. If two people argue as to whether it is or is not copyrighted, then we should assume that the copyright is valid. We can ask the person claiming copyright to release it the public domain, or decline to use it. If we can not show any licensing history of copyright, or any other licensing, and research does not clarify the licensing status of the text or image then we can't use it. Atom 22:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Note, this discussion is about linking to other websites, not including material in articles. Requirment for GFDL or CC-Share licences are explitily *not* required for external links. --Barberio 22:57, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

To sum up why I'm opposed to the proposed changes... It not only puts Wikipedia in the business of verifying external sites, but puts it in that position with no clear guidelines on a standard of proof or verification for copyright status, leaving us open to abuse from both ends. I've not seen anyone address these concerns.

Wikipedia does not have the resources to run a full legal check on every external link. In light of this 'reasonable belief' is the best available standard to us. --Barberio 23:00, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Then why is it unreasonable to request lisencing information when "resonable doubt" exists? ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 23:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Because "licensing information" is not the same as copyright verification--as in the case of Barrington Hall. Which is a good example, because it was a video--like many You Tube videos--for which the copyright holder did not file any papers, register copyright, etc. He stated in writing that he was the copyright holder, asked how he could affirm his permission for the link...and was ingored; the link was edit-warred over, etc. (Re licensing: publishing on both You Tube and Wiki is GDFL license...but that hasn't been good enough for the project.) You're reversing the standard specified in the Copyright policy: you've made all the links suspect on source bias--that is not "reasonable doubt"--and *then* rejected any affirmation of copyright permission except major media licenses. A lot of good links will be lost that way.

Cindery 23:14, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict, saying almost exactly the same thing) How do you define "reasonable doubt"? I suspect it's difficult to get licensing information for information found on websites. If there is genuine reason to believe that something is a violation, we shouldn't link to it. But if we require proof of licensing (whatever that would be) to link to anything, it could easily turn into a convenient veto for any link you don't like. If I don't like your link, I can insist that it's probably a copyright violation and refuse to allow it until you show proof that it's not a violation (which in most cases is impossible to produce). There needs to be a happy medium that can keep out obvious copyright violations but can't be wikilawyered into an excuse to delete any links you feel like deleting. --Milo H Minderbinder 23:21, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Barbiero and Cindery edit warring

Same applies, really. Per WP:C, do not link to material which violates copyright. What is the benefit in making that less clear? Barberion reverted my addition of a section taken from WP:C and quoting WP:C directly, as "redundant". I therefore merged the part of the text which was not redundant (i.e. Barberio's complaint is baseless, I did not re-insert redundant material). Barberio reverted. Did Barberio make any move to discuss? No. But only Radiant and I are edit warring? I don't think so.

Barberio and Cindery are part of the small group who wants to make it easier to link to YouTube videos with questionable copyright status. I, Radiant, Thatcher and others see no compelling reason to encourage, implicitly or explicitly, linking to material with questionable copyright. Nor do we see any compelling reason why the usual onus on the editor seeking to include content should be reversed, as Barberio advocates, in the case of links which may infringe copyright. That seems particularly bizarre, given that it would legislate a reversal of the usual practice in situations where that reversal may give rise to legal problems, and which in any case goes against copyright policy.

All of the above is in any case a spillover from Barberio's war against Dmcdevit and others who were working to reduce the number of YouTube links to content with questionable copyright status. Barberio and Cindery know full well that Dmcdevit, Radiant, Thatcher, myself, Nearly Healdess Nick and a lot of others are opposed to introducing ambiguity and making it less clear that we should not link to materrial that infringes copyright. Barberio's changes were made in the full knowledge that I would oppose them and so would others.

As I have said many times before, looking the other way and whistling innocently is not a reasonable way of approaching this. If a user wants to link to something and someone removes it in good faith citing possible copyright violation, re-inserting it without first verifying the copyright status to be clean violates WP:C and might be counted as "wilful" under the rulings cited in that policy. What is good about linking to material with unclear copyright? Guy (Help!) 17:46, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

You knowingly edited the guideline against consensus, after discussion. You stopped contributing to discussion at the You Tube RfC, [1] and did not discuss your proposed changes on talk. You refused to discuss on talk after you you were asked, both on your talkpage [2] and in edit summaries: you were edit warring.

Cindery 17:52, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

While I generally agree with you, JzG, I'd like to take small exception. First, allow me to support the inclusion of the statement that we should not link to materrial that infringes copyright. Any editor who disagrees with this is opposed to our fundamental goal of making a free (beer and speech) encyclopedia. Linking to material with unclear copyright is a different issue, which requires a weighing of the issues. This, of course, is not releven to the disputed edit - [3] which appears transparently obvious to me. Hipocrite - «Talk» 17:56, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Jzg, please do not attribute bad faith motives to other editors. I reverted because you hadn't discussed your change, which was to remove text that had been discussed and supported by consensus with text that had not been discussed, and was part of a section that had been removed after discussion supported removing it. Merging a section that had been deleted should almost always be discussed first. Removal of you additional quotation of the copyright policy, and removal of specific highlighting of 'YouTube' as a problem site, were discussed and supported above. Specifically, not highlighting 'YouTube' as a 'problem site', and specifying a case by case review, were discussed and supported previously. Your edit however was not discussed. You claim wide support for it, but decline to engage in any open discussion that would demonstrate such a wide support. Again, I ask you to take this to dispute resolution if you feel so strongly about it. --Barberio 18:00, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Barberio: WP:KETTLE. Guy (Help!) 18:51, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Guy, you did add redundant material, specifically "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work" which is identical to the text box at the top. Barbiero did discuss this, and people agreed with him, see above. And much of your argument seems like it's against a straw man. Barbiero's version specifically said not to link to infringing material, and I don't see anything about it that would make that easier or more ambiguous. I still don't see why you made these reversions without any mention beforehand on the talk page. --Milo H Minderbinder 18:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Avoiding metacomment about edit warring (Potentially infringing links should be reviewed on a case by case basis. vs. other)

Let's stop talking about edit warring, and instead focus on the problem. Is there any disagreement with the statement that "we should not link to materrial that infringes copyright?" From this we can move forward. Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:02, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

As made clear above, I've no objection to that at all. --Barberio 18:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Excellent. How about: "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work." Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Works for me. Guy (Help!) 18:47, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Me too... except that the "creator" dosn't alwase own the copyright... but thats just splitting hairs :) "creators" -> "owners"/"holders" or some such. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:54, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
How about if you believe that a site is carrying content that it does not have the rights to, you should not link to that content? --Spartaz 18:59, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
What, specifically, about the first sentence of the consensus version--complete with a link to Copyright policy--is unclear/should be changed, and why?:" Sites that violate the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked. "

Cindery 19:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

You guys do realize that "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work" is already in the article, right? And in Guy's version, it's in there twice (which makes me wonder why he keeps insisting he hasn't added redundant material). Guy, I'm also not sure what you mean by your kettle reference since Barberio's discussion of his edit is plain as day on this page and yours is...where is yours? --Milo H Minderbinder 19:07, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Ahem. Consensus version? I think not. Have you chaps thought about constructively engaging with Hipocrite here instead of arm-waving? As to the canard of redundancy, here is the version as it stands:
Sites that violate the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked. Linking to websites that display copyrighted works is acceptable as long as the website has licensed the work. Knowingly directing others to a site that violates copyright may be considered contributory infringement. If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors. This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates its creator's copyright.
Sites that violate the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked. Statement of principle. Linking to websites that display copyrighted works is acceptable as long as the website has licensed the work. Uncontroversial. Knowingly directing others to a site that violates copyright may be considered contributory infringement. Statement of policy, worth having as reasoning (people need to know it's not arbitrary). If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. Specific, applies to the individual link and not to the website - arguably, item 1 makes YouTube a blanket "no", this clarifies that it's acceptable to link to non-copyvio material but not copyvio, which is, after all, not in dispute. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors. Uncontroversial, surely? Free-as-in-speech and free-as-in-beer. This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates its creator's copyright. Context, pointing our that it's not acceptable to just guess, if linking to sites which routinely carry copyright violations you should actually check. Again, I would have thought that was uncontroversial.
If someone wants to suggest a condensed version which includes all of the context, I have no problem with that, but I am adamant that we should not leave the door open to people looking the other way and whistling innocently rather than actually checking, where copyright violation is known to be likely. I am a pragmatist, as a rule, but this really does go to the heart of the Wikipedia ethos. As a point of principle, we should be seen to be responsible. Guy (Help!) 22:17, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Linking to websites that display copyrighted works is acceptable as long as the website has licensed the work is extremely controversial, contrary to what you claim, and there has been a great deal of discussion over what "licensing" means. It does seem that the deletionists would like to delete all You Tube links which are not licensed directly from major media outlets. However, over and over again it has been pointed out that the majority of You Tube authors/Wiki linkers are abiding by You Tube's Terms of Use--which means they agree to license their un-formally-copywritten work under GDFL when they link, and that authors who post their original work to You Tube want to be linked elsewhere. (There's also fair use and public domain.) Finding a technicality under which to delete all the You Tube links which aren't licensed from CNN has already been shot down here--more than once--in favor of case-by-case editorial judgement. Licensing and copyright are separate issues, and original work is not de facto copyvio. The assumption that orginal work is licensed under GDFL--as editing Wikipedia is done under the condition that the author licenses their contributions under GDFL--is not a copyvio-favoring assumption. Note that C explicitly states that publishing elsewhere does "not affect an author's right to publish here under GDFL."

Cindery 22:53, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

"It does seem that the deletionists would like to delete all You Tube links which are not licensed directly from major media outlets."
Wow. I've been strawmanned again.
Can you state exactly what you mean when you say "license"?

Cindery 23:46, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I was quoting you. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 23:56, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
"However, over and over again it has been pointed out that the majority of You Tube authors/Wiki linkers are abiding by You Tube's Terms of Use--which means they agree to license their un-formally-copywritten work under GDFL when they link..."
Wow. Do you understnad copyrights and GFDL at all? If I link to something I've made it does not suddenly put it under GFDL.
See that notice at the bottom when you're editing?--if the You Tube publisher and the Wiki publisher are the same person, they agree to "license your contributions under GFDL." (You might remember that from the argument at NOR--you accused the publisher of OR after he verified copyright permission/that he was the publisher of the You Tube link you were trying to delete?)

Cindery 23:46, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Wow. I'm amazed. Let me see if I can correct your missunderstanding. Since the person didn't upload the video to wikipedia, the person's contribution to the article is only the actual URL. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 23:56, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Can I ask you to please re-read the copyright policy, "It is not necessary to obtain the permission of a copyright holder before linking to copyrighted material -- just as an author of a book does not need permission to cite someone else's work in their bibliography. Likewise, Wikipedia is not restricted to linking only to GFDL-free or open-source content."
We are not required to obtain permission or licence to link, and we are not required to only link to GFDL-free or open-source content. Your comments seem to indicate an opposite belief. --Barberio 23:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Then you need to re-read my comments. I've never said an open-lisence is a requirement. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 23:59, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I was replying to Cindery. --Barberio 00:11, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I have argued the don't-need-license-to-link argument in various places (talkpage of Nick's RfC, most recently). I also point out the GFDL license when licensing comes up--because it illustrates that there's no way to affirm copyright permission (author giving permission in writing not good enough; author on You Tube and Wiki same person not good enough...)--Cindery 00:18, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
What you don't seem to understand is that most of the links on wikipedia to YouTube are not to personal home movies. I agree, home movies arn't usualy a problem under WP:C... but most of the links on wikipedia arn't to home videos. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 23:27, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • note: Spartaz and JSmith on the subject of a video they identified as a You Tube "home movie," and dismissed because it was about "some guy's kid": [4]-Cindery 04:56, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Are you deliberately misrepresenting J.smith's views? Where does J.smith state that he endorses that deletion? Oh, he doesn't - so why did you state that he did? This is typical of your contribution to this debate - constantly using argumentative and agressive language and generally stirring up trouble with "misreadings" of the situation, bogus strawmans and incorrect accounts other editor's views. Why don't you work with us to find a way forward instead? Spartaz 06:57, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
      • Right--it should have had a more sitcomic title: "Spartaz and JSmith try to rustle up some examples of their fine work to show people how worthwhile their project is, and one of the examples is a You Tube Director's Series video dismissed as a home movie "about some guy's kid." Nice work--I can see why you're taking good-natured pride in it.-Cindery 07:06, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
      • yawn. Not listening as usual are you? Why are you blaming J.smith? That's my work, my decision? Not his so why are you asserting that it is? --Spartaz 07:11, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
        • appears JSmith was listening, here: [5], and chose not to say, hey, that's not a home movie about "some guy's kid"! :-) -Cindery 07:28, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
The issue I see with "as long as the website has licensed the work" is, how do we know the website licensed the work, and what does that even really mean? Why not just say "as long as the website is presenting the work legally"? Yeah, I know there's still the question of knowing if it's legal, but at least that seems less open to arguing over the definition of licensing the work. --Milo H Minderbinder 23:35, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
And this loops back to using judgement based on a reasonable belief. --Barberio 23:40, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Anyone who uploads to YouTube a video they legitimately own automatically gives a limited licence to YouTube to publish the video. This is implied and spelled out in the YouTube TOS. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 23:38, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary break to address one comment

"The issue I see with "as long as the website has licensed the work" is, how do we know the website licensed the work, and what does that even really mean? Why not just say "as long as the website is presenting the work legally"?" - Milo H Minderbinder

Both statements are basicly the same and I'd be fine with either wording. Getting permission to host something (or haveing permission) means in essence they have "licensed the work. The first is just more formal then the second.---J.S (T/C/WRE) 00:03, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
But you've still offered zero illumination about what you mean when you say
  • 1. "reasonable doubt"
  • 2. "license."

Copyright policy already covers copyvios--reasonable doubt is not a specific source, it's finding, for example, evidence of lifted text or that an image that isn't fair use. Your project is the equivalent of deleting all text and images from Wikipedia, and then demanding that "licenses" be produced to show that each specific instance was not a copyvio (without defining what a "license" is. In the absence of a definition of license, nothing can be proved to have one.) Cindery 00:12, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

First of all, I refuse to respond to strawmen arguments except to point them out: "Your project is the equivalent of deleting all text"
Reasonable doubt: Means I have reasonable suspicion to suspect that the video is copyvio. There are lots of little red-flags. Obviously taken from a movie or tv show is one realy big red-flag. Containing mainstream (big label) music is another. If the video obiously wasn't made for YouTube then it's reasonable to request more details.
license: A license in its most fundamental form is a formal or informal grant of permission(s).
---J.S (T/C/WRE) 01:00, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
...your criteria for investigating the links is not suspected copyvio, it's that they are You Tube links. Your criteria for deleting them isn't published anywhere/agreed upon by the community. (And you repeatedly deleted a video which was made specifically for You Tube...) You've had nothing but support from me and everyone else here regarding the deletion of blatant music-vid copyvios, including support for modifying C to expedite their deletion. The trouble regarding the links which aren't blatant music vid copyvios is that you haven't defined:
  • 1 "reasonable doubt"
  • 2. "license"

You are mass deleting without following C procedure: finding evidence of copyvio, posting on talkpage of article. You're mass-deleting and no one knows exactly what criteria you are using (only that, as Barberio pointed out, you do not have the resources to get notarized copies of all copyrights. You are doing a lot of guesswork.) And you have made mistakes. The trouble with the mistakes is that, since "license" is so vague, there is no way for copyright holders to assert their permission to link/"license." The project has not defined license (or respected, say, the copyright holder asserting permission in writing as sufficient "grant of permission," per your definition of "license.) The trouble with not publishing your criteria or following C procedure--and quoting EL and C in your edit summaries instead of discussing on article talkpages-- is that you are giving editors the impression that the links were deleted per policy, not your own guesswork. -Cindery 01:25, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I grow tired of your misrepresentations and your requests for shrubbery. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 02:07, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
That's nice--were you planning on answering the questions: how do you define "reasonable doubt"? and What is a "license"? or to continue evading them?

Cindery 02:52, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I've already awnsered both questions directly. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 05:58, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
No, you haven't. Specify reasonable doubt, in writing, and get community consesnus for it. (I imagine it should look like Arg's "decision tree.") Then submit to the community whether pre-emptively deleting with a "decisison tree" (that is made available by link at every article where a deletion has been made) or using current C policy/procedure is preferable. (I still think that rapid AWB deletions are a bad idea--when I look over project deletions, it's only easy for me to quickly suss out what's what if I already have knowledge of the subject--I reverted Rheingold Beer, The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things, Ryan Donowho. The mistakes were obvious to me because I see bands sponsored by that beer co.;I know a guy in Ryan's band; I've worked with the company that owns the rights to that movie--I have "editorial judgement" in those subjects--I know what the name of the copyright holder is; I know where to look to verify things, etc. If you know zip about a subject/don't and can't edit an article, you shouldn't be deleting anything from it--and certainly not a fast clip.) As for "license"--there's no established/agreed upon definition. Your own definition is recent; you don't inform editors at links where you delete of the definition, and I have seen you/the project not honor "permission." (But "license" is really beside the point--C does not require ELs to have licensing info.)-Cindery 08:07, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the value of the above request for {{shrubbery}}. Hipocrite - «Talk» 08:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Ni. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 08:11, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

"Resionable belife" vs "required licensing information", a comparison by example.

Here are two examples to consider...

  • Case A - Photo student puts up a website of their photographs of a specific type of locomotive, some including her pointing out mechanisms and coming with commentaries and associated information that make it clear that the photographs were taken by her. However, she doesn't put up and licensing information for her site.
  • Case B - Warez dude puts up a site with archive file for old video games, and puts up a fake but authentic looking licensing information that seems to grant him permission to do so.

Under "reasonable belief" the guidelines would suggest you could link to Case A, and could not link to Case B.

Under "required licensing information" the guidelines would suggest you could link to Case B, and could not link to Case A.

As counter intuitive as it seems, the "stricter" and more legalistic sounding requirement is easier to abuse than the "subjective" requirement. --Barberio 23:18, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Copyright and YouTube

Something for the "project" to keep in mind: Cindery 01:57, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Good news indeed. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 02:01, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Note also that it'sold news--last month. Copyright holders appear to appreciate the exposure provided by You Tube--which is why you aren't doing anyone any favors by deleting without complaints from copyright holders. In cases of what appear to be the most blatant infringement, you're not protecting copyright holders; you're depriving them of exposure. (And it makes the idea that there is cause for legal hysteria @ Wikipedia over YouTube appear as ridiculous as it is. No one is going to sue Wikipedia for You Tube links--they would sue You Tube. And people aren't suing You Tube: they're making deals with You Tube because they like the free publicity.) Cindery 02:49, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm definitely not here to protect copyright holders. You continue to misrepresent any push to limit YouTube links as some kind of simplistic "legal hysteria". Here's a radical idea: I subscribe fully to the Wikimedia's vision, to create a free (as in speech, not beer) compendium of knowledge. "This is legal" or worse "We won't be sued for this" lines of arguments, without regard to addressing our project's missions, are not compelling. A major part of our goal is re-use and free content distribution. Dmcdevit·t 03:33, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
However, as repeatedly pointed out, the copyright policy indicates quite clearly that we don't restrict external links to free speech resources alone. Policy clearly states that the requirement of 'free as in speech' does not apply to external links. --Barberio 03:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
That is very different from the remark I was responding to: "No one is going to sue Wikipedia for You Tube links--they would sue You Tube. And people aren't suing You Tube." Dmcdevit·t 04:01, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Note that Japanese record companies do not really like YouTube, so remove them on sight if you work with those articles. Also, YouTube videos are hardly necessary for articles, and I have even seen people using them as references @_@ -- ReyBrujo 03:58, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict) And you seem to ignore the need to address hysteria: "Because, in the end, I am not going to pay for the legal costs when we get sued for linking to a YouTube ripoff of someone's copyright content. Guy (Help!) 14:35, 31 December 2006 (UTC)" (See also Nick's comments on talkpage of Barrington Hall.) I might take you more seriously if you didn't say things like: "You continue to misrepresent any push to limit YouTube links as some kind of simplistic "legal hysteria"" directly after I point out that I have always been in favor not only of deleting blatant music vid copyvios, but of expediting the process by supporting a modification of C. Also, if you hadn't participated in an edit war to delete a You Tube link which was clearly not a copyvio (permission asserted in writing by copyright holder, etc). Your participation in the You Tube purge hasn't done anything to promote the mission of free content--it's done the opposite.-Cindery 04:05, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to second the comment that "free" isn't a relevant criteria for external links. Linked material doesn't have to be free, just hosted legally on the linked site. I'm not sure why the whole "free" issue would even be brought up in this discussion. And Rey, "necessary" isn't the criteria for including a link - if a YouTube link adds to the value of a WP article and meets the criteria in EL, it should be linked. If we used "necessary", wikipedia would have no external links. --Milo H Minderbinder 14:05, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • undent* Red Herring. Read a few copyright lawsuits. First they say, "Stop doing that". There are no Costs. If you stop. The costs start, if you don't stop. So all this is a tempest in a teapot. You don't get *sued* for copyright infringement. First you get a letter from their lawyer, saying "stop". If you stop, that's it. So can we move on from this silly argument that we're going to go to court for linking? We're not. Wjhonson 06:48, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia has alwase had a higher standard then "wait for C&D letter". Have you followed the image fair use debates over time? ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 05:54, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't mean that Wjohnson can't address the legal facts, or that addressing them is not useful--"copyright law" has been repeatedly invoked--even in an edit summary used by Radiant in the recent edit war.-Cindery 06:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Words, lots of them.

Lots of heat and very little light. Please focus on substantive changes you want made to the guideline to reflect existing consensus that linking to copyvios is wrong. Hipocrite - «Talk» 13:14, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it was made abundantly clear in this conversation that the guideline already clearly prohibits linking to copyvios--and no argument has been made to justify the inclusion of redundancies:

Let's stop talking about edit warring, and instead focus on the problem. Is there any disagreement with the statement that "we should not link to materrial that infringes copyright?" From this we can move forward. Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:02, 10 January 2007 (UTC) As made clear above, I've no objection to that at all. --Barberio 18:03, 10 January 2007 (UTC) Excellent. How about: "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work." Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:06, 10 January 2007 (UTC) Works for me. Guy (Help!) 18:47, 10 January 2007 (UTC) Me too... except that the "creator" dosn't alwase own the copyright... but thats just splitting hairs :) "creators" -> "owners"/"holders" or some such. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:54, 10 January 2007 (UTC) How about if you believe that a site is carrying content that it does not have the rights to, you should not link to that content? --Spartaz 18:59, 10 January 2007 (UTC) What, specifically, about the first sentence of the consensus version--complete with a link to Copyright policy--is unclear/should be changed, and why?:" Sites that violate the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked. " Cindery 19:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC) You guys do realize that "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work" is already in the article, right? And in Guy's version, it's in there twice (which makes me wonder why he keeps insisting he hasn't added redundant material). Guy, I'm also not sure what you mean by your kettle reference since Barberio's discussion of his edit is plain as day on this page and yours is...where is yours? --Milo H Minderbinder 19:07, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

In following discussions, it was made abundantly clear that 1) "we will be sued!" 2) only content licensed by major media outlets is ok 3) external links must be "free," and that is a holy cause! are all silly arguments for the YT deletion project...and do not justify putting redundancies into the guideline, either. Cindery 15:10, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Can you ever make any argument without using strawmen? ---J.Scarecrow (T/C/WRE) 05:51, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
They're not strawmen; they're summaries, for the sake of brevity. (As this section is titled "Words. Lot's of them.")

Cindery 06:58, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Except none of your three points are accurate. Your in essence lying about my position. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 07:19, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
All three points are fair descriptions of positions taken by various people (you are not mentioned, nor "your position.") -Cindery 07:37, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. I find it unlikely you are a true defender against redundancy in guidelines. Hipocrite - «Talk» 07:44, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, you would be wrong, my friend!: I keep my true defender against redundancy in guidelines merit badge under my pillow at all times! (They give you one when you graduate with honors from the highest rated English department in the US...along with $2.50 for a soy latte.)

Cindery 08:16, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Obviously wikimarkup and indenting your signature wasn't part of the course. I'm surprised they didn't teach you how to have a discussion without disrupting it and how to avoid arguments. Maybe you missed that bit. Spartaz 08:23, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I did tutor some computer science majors in "remedial rhetoric," but I found that wit isn't really teachable.-Cindery 08:47, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Clearly. BTW its not an ad hom if true & trying to assert some special status because youy went to a particular colleage is simply sad. --Spartaz 08:50, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Sigh, and just as wit is all too rare, so is a sense of humor (joke obviously went over your head...) Meanwhile, didn't you tell Radiant that you hadn't been helping these discussions because you were "too confrontational" :[6] (Not the words I would have chosen, but it was a start on your part...unless you were insincere/just recruting? --No, impossible, I say--not the Spartaz *I* know...)-Cindery 09:19, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You don't know me full stop. And yes, I was engaging in the dispute on a very emotional level and that was wrong. I'm handling this much more calmly now and not getting wound up. I just wish you would start being more constructive yourself but them that wouldn't be the Cindery that *I* know would it?Spartaz 15:47, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You abandoned the RfC because it was "stupid," while reasonable, constructive discussion was taking place.-Cindery 17:43, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Clarifying scope

I think we do need to add text clarifying the scope somewhat.

It should be clear that we're refering to all External Links. Which is what the guideline's always said. But it's easy to assume it only applies to an 'External Links' section. (This would be silly, since you could then include links that the guideline recommends against, simply by linking from elsewhere in the article.)

It should be clear that the guidelines here do apply to all external links, but editor judgement should be applied where that would conflict with Wikipedia:Citing sources and that citing sources should have priority. --Barberio 00:30, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

  • What I think we actually need is for the two of you to shut up. Seriously. Look at the size of this page, and almost all of it is more and more and yet more argumentation from you and Cindery about how it really isn't a problem linking to offsite copyright violations just as long as we look the other way and pretend we don't know it's wrong. Any yet you have never answered the simple question: in what way is linking to material that violates copyright a good thing?. You've twice caused the guideline to be protected, you've caused the YouTube discussion to be forked so that the majority can get on with something rational, but you have never once addressed the issue of why linking to intellectual property violations, which violate Wikipedia's fundamental ethos, should be anything other than strongly deprecated. I begin to wonder whether you may indeed have mistaken a free-as-in-speech-and-beer encyclopaedia for a link farm. Guy (Help!) 01:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
All I can do is point you to my above, clear statements on copyright issues, and again ask you to try to discuss this in a civil manner, and not escalate the issue by bringing it up in unrelated discussion. Alternatively, you should peruse lines of dispute resolution. --Barberio 02:31, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Maybe Guy could answer the question: in what way is putting the same sentence twice in the guideline a good thing? :-) Or return to the "fork"--the RfC started by User:Argyriou?-Cindery 03:16, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll throw it back at you: In what way is redundency negetive or harmfull? ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 06:02, 12 January 2007 (UTC) Never-mind. I'm beginning to think your unwilling to listen to any kind of reason. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 06:24, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
That's genius! In fact, let's collaborate on a new policy: WP:BROKENRECORD, which stipulates that all statements should be repeated at least twice in every article, especially policies and guidelines, because they are never long or convoluted enough. 3RR should definitely not apply, too, if anyone reverts repetitons--override is of crucial importance: Wikipedia could collapse without sufficient redundancies! And there's no such thing as enough when it comes to redundancy. Does anyone really have a keen enough sense for the obvious?--I think not. In fact, anyone found contributing anything to a guideline/policy which is not a repetition of already included information should just shut up. It should be a blockable offense. Now that PAIN is gone, and there's a "noticeboard vacuum," I advocate a noticeboard for reporting violations of WP:BROKENRECORD, to deal with annoying disruptive morons who don't understand that redundacy is imperative. Maybe it should be the sixth pillar, even?-Cindery 07:00, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I already answered that question above in detail, showing how it's not redundancy. Now, in what way is linking to material that violates copyright a good thing? Still, on the subject of broken records, when are the two of you going to drop your holy crusade? Guy (Help!) 12:10, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
In what way is blowing off a discussion of licensing to edit war and falsely accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being in favor of copyright violation a good thing?-Cindery 18:13, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You'd have to ask the edit warriors. That's you and Barbiero. Well? Guy (Help!) 02:50, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

(deindenting to reply to main thrust of the topic) Yes, clarifying scope would be a good idea, but there is some debate as to whether or not this guideline applies to references or not. I think it should since citations don't necessarily need external links to satisfy WP:V... but others disagree. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 06:16, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

  • It should apply to all links. Guy (Help!) 12:10, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

"Owner's Clubs"

Enthusiasts of vehicles often create online Owners Clubs. Unsurprisingly, they often add ext. links to their sites in the respective vehicle articles (this has always been an issue with the Ford Fiesta and other Ford articles). I generally remove these links on sight, especially links that direct straight to forums and message boards.

Later that day, I often get a message from the anon who originally added the links asking me why I removed the links and why I believe they are inappropriate. I typically forward them to WP:EL and explain that Wikipedia is not a vehicle for their promotion and that I believe their links were added solely for advertising.

A common response is that they become defensive and infer that they are not connected with the sites they added. Since I can't prove nor disprove that they own the sites they linked to, I usually question that if they don't actually own the sites, it seems strange that they are so concerned and upset when their links are removed.

So, is there a clear policy on "Owners Clubs" type sites? --Tim1988 talk 12:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Point them at WP:NOT. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 15:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Clubs are social networks, albeit not mentioned specificaly in #10 Links normally to be avoided, however would think that applies as well.--Hu12 17:20, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Such as Outrigger canoe racing--Hu12 09:40, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we need to make any changes to the guidelines here, and just handle it normaly. The Outrigger canoe page is a fine example of where you should use {{Directory request}} to have these links moved off to the capable hands of DMOZ. I can't see any inate reason not to link to a small number of prominent "Owners Clubs", but not huge lists of small ones. --Barberio 14:27, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

YouTube dispute

What is the dispute that led to the protection of this page, and how can we resolve it?? I would like it to be resolved peacefully. An explanation of the situation would be useful for me. --SunStar Nettalk 12:57, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Briefly -

  • Potentially infringing links should be reviewed on a case by case basis.


  • Due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates its creator's copyright.

Hipocrite - «Talk» 13:24, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I have no problem with taking 'due care', and summed that up as 'having a reasonable belief that the link is not a breach of copyright'. The opposing argument appears to be that we should require an unspecified high level of proof involving licences. --Barberio 13:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The question is, are YouTube links reliable sources themselves?? --SunStar Nettalk 13:32, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
That's irrelevant. External links do not have to be reliable sources. --Barberio 13:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
But per this very policy external links should be kept to a minimum so unless you are linking to a reliable source there should be no link at all. MartinDK 13:36, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

To me, this conflict appears to be -

  • The standard should be "only link when you have a reasonable belief that the site is not in breach of copyright" and suspect copyright issues should be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • The standard should be "only link to sites that have provided full licencing information" and that links without this high level of proof should be removed automatically.

--Barberio 13:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

If you stopped hitting the strawman, your hay fever might go away. Hipocrite - «Talk» 14:19, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Would you like to say what you mean to say without muddying the waters with incivility? From past discussion here, and attempted changes to the guideline, people *have* been calling for this 'licensing information' requirement to make the guideline 'stricter', so I don't understand what you mean by 'straw man'. Intrestingly you've never mentioned straw men when people accuse me of wanting to keep copyvio links, which I've been clear to say I don't.
If you can't take part in this discussion without resorting to uncivil ad hominem attacks, maybe you shouldn't take part in this discussion. This applies equally to everyone else involved no matter what they are arguing. --Barberio 14:46, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You are intentionally distorting the arguments of the people that don't agree with you to make their argument seem weaker - I have now read the entire worthless discussion, and saw not a peep from anyone regarding requirements that sites provide full licencing information before being appropriate to link to. Hipocrite - «Talk» 14:55, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Instead of making strawmen accusations, whether they are valid or not, why don't you just provide what you feel to be the other side of the issue? This page seems to be mostly arguing and personal attacks at this point (and sadly, many of them from admins who should know better). What are the two proposed options for wording in EL? To be honest, the two statements listed above by Hipocrite seem to say largely the same thing, or at least not contradict each other. They could probably even be combined. --Milo H Minderbinder 15:10, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The clear dispute is regarding who the impetus is on to prove their claims. Group 1 appears to believe that, if reasonably challenged, external links should be removed until copyright compliance is verified, while group 2 appears to believe that external links should be kept until a copyright violation is proven. Hipocrite - «Talk» 15:16, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, if you cut out all the nonsense, that's what the essence of the dispute boils down to. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 15:40, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Note that by request from the Board, our way of dealing with images pretty much matches group #1. >Radiant< 15:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
This is a red herring. Copyright policy makes it quite clear we do not expect the same standards for linking as we do for text and images *included* into Wikipedia. Delete first for images we *host* is a good call, but unrelated to the issue of external links. --Barberio 16:55, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
It speaks to the long-term philosophy of the project. Also, I'll add to it: Wikipedia has alwase strived to make very limited use of external links. To keep with that our practices need to be exclusionary and not inclusionary. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 17:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I think Hipocrite has summed it up correctly. For myself, I fall into group 1, that if (and only if) challenged, potentially infringing links should be removed unless copyright compliance can be shown. This is consistent with all other aspects of adding content to articles, whether image or text, where the burden of proof lies with the person making the claim, NOT with the person refuting it (per WP:V). Zunaid©® 15:51, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Apologies for mentioning reliable sources. I agree with Group 1's theory on this. --SunStar Nettalk 16:38, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem is the level of 'proof' demanded. Before this issue cropped up, the expectation in this guideline, inherited from the copyright policy, was not to 'Knowingly and intentionally' link to copyvio. "Not knowing and intentionally", rather than "Make efforts to assure". The movement here seems to be pushing for "Make efforts to assure", "due care" and "Copyright verification".
There are a number of problems with this kind of move -
  1. Wikipedia has no resources to perform full copyright verification on all external links. True copyright verification is a difficult and expensive legal process. Professional media companies have their own 'rights departments' of copyright lawyers who are paid to do this, we do not. Any claim that we can sustain a higher level of copyright verification than "Not knowingly and intentionally linking to copyright breaches" is folly.
  2. The phrase "Not knowingly and intentionally" is one that comes from our copyright policy. Changes to guidelines shouldn't contradict copyright policy. If the copyright policy is wrong, it should be changed before changing the guidline.
  3. Use of legalistic sounding language such 'due care' and 'verification of copyright status' should be avoided. Such language has specific meanings in legal settings, and they could cause an increase of liability risk. The Wikimedia Foundation are the people who take care of potential legal issues, and it is the Foundation that should provide policy and language to avoid liability, not editors and admins. Again, the currently approved language on this is "Not knowingly and intentionally link to copyright breaches."
So far the proponents of change to these guidelines have not addressed any of these issues. --Barberio 16:50, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Is it raining? Hipocrite - «Talk» 16:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I have a couple concerns about the group1/group2 definitions. First, how is "reasonably challenged" defined? If it means that someone presents a viable argument why something is probably a violation, I'm fine with that. But if it can be interpreted as just someone saying they think it's a vio with no grounds, it just becomes a veto for any link you don't like. And both statements talk about "verifying" that a link is legal or not, which in most cases is simply impossible. I think what it really boils down to is that for each linked material, editors need to reach consensus on whether we think it's a copyright vio based on available evidence (which may be very little). Most cases seem like they would be fairly clear cut:

  1. NBC content posted by NBC - no brainer legal
  2. NBC content posted by random person - no brainer violation
  3. "Homemade" content posted by someone claiming to have made it - if we assume AGF and have no evidence to the contrary, is there any reason to suspect violation?
  4. Content claimed to be homemade, but someone points out that it's really from a copyrighted source - no brainer violation.

I'm not sure what sort of link would be that controversial, can someone provide an example? I'd also like to point out that WP:C doesn't really seem to support group1 as some have asserted. For text, it recommends investigating possible violations and removing the text if evidence is discovered. For images, it says "Untagged or incorrectly-tagged images will be deleted. It is currently unclear what should happen in cases where the same image has been uploaded more than once with different respective copyright statements." But I couldn't find anything about handling a dispute over the tagging of an image, is it covered anywhere? If I took a picture and uploaded it tagged as me being the copyright owner, and someone claimed I didn't take the picture (but offered no evidence), how is that handled? --Milo H Minderbinder 17:25, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Resonable is determined by reasonable people acting reasonably. The reqeust that we {{shrubbery}} how people act in good faith is rejected. If someone reasonably thinks something is a copyvio, it goes untill someone shows it is not a copyvio. How hard is that? Hipocrite - «Talk» 17:30, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Please try and stay on topic instead of resorting to gimicky templates. Let me ask you, if someone says they think something is a copyright vio, how do we determine if they're doing so "reasonably"? Do you feel any justification is required, or can I just say "I reasonably think this is a vio", and can delete the link unless proof is provided that it is not? --Milo H Minderbinder 17:40, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Are they being reasonable? If so, then it's reasonable. Hipocrite - «Talk» 17:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
So how do you determine if they're being reasonable? If I were to request deletion of a link and say nothing more than "I think this is a copyright violation", do you consider that a reasonable challenge? --Milo H Minderbinder 18:06, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Depends on the link. Is it reasonable or not? Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:18, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Your comments here sound like you agree with the notion of judging links on a case by case basis. Is that accurate? --Milo H Minderbinder 18:43, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Since it's been ignored, here is the state of the discussion at the RfC. Note that it stopped at "licensing," after which Guy, Spartaz, etc chose not to respond or continue discusssion. (Instead Guy began editing the guideline): -Cindery 17:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC) I snipped a huge block of text that followed this. Hipocrite - «Talk» 17:40, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
(See diff for snipped text.) --Muchness 17:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Milo, your 1-4 is exactly how I operate. However I also apply a judgement call as to the apropriateness of the link to the article (per WP:NOT and other aspects of WP:EL). ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 17:46, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. Are there common similar situations that I've missed? Or provide an example of a link that has had controversy over the legality? I think there are many cases in which we should all be able to agree - it may help to specifically indentify what sorts of things are the borderline ones that get argued over. --Milo H Minderbinder 18:06, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
One thing that has come up a number of times are home videos with a copyvio aspect, (such as a music music track). Another case is when the link dosn't realy add any value to the article... I wish I remembered the article name, but there was a car article with two links to 15 second home movies of the car driving though rough terein. Wasn't copyvio, but it didn't realy add anything to the article. I don't remember if it got re-added or not, but I usualy leave the link if anyone wants to argue for it's inclusion.
I'd consider homemade videos with commercial music (or similar) to be clear-cut vios, music used in those is rarely if ever actually licensed. Whether a legal video is appropriate is obviously up to EL and the consensus of the editors of that article. --Milo H Minderbinder 18:43, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it's important to pay some attention to examples like Rheingold Beer--if you look at the You Tube link, there is no "licensing information" (except that implied by YT's Terms of Service). It was deleted. Two minutes of research showed that it was public domain. Deleting on unsubtantiated suspicion of YT ToS violation--"licensing information--is a problem.-Cindery 18:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
What leads you to believe that it was public domain? Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:35, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd second that question - an ad from the '50's would still be copyrighted, so unless there was a specific release of it into the public domain, there's no reason to believe it is. I would guess that the beer company doesn't mind having it redistributed, but that doesn't make it legal or linkable. If you did find evidence that it is public domain, you should put it on the talk page for that article. --Milo H Minderbinder 18:43, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
The company went defunct and did not renew the copyright.-Cindery 18:43, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Copyrights do not require renewal. Who provided you this information? Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:45, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Correction - having spent more time assuaging my copyright paranoia, 1950's commercials would have require renewal in order for their copyright to extend to the 95 year term -> [7] ("A 1961 Copyright Office study found that fewer than 15% of all registered copyrights were renewed."). As such, I believe now that it is more likley than not that this ad is in the public domain. Hipocrite - «Talk» 18:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Research into the specific link in question would also have shown you where the YT uploader got the link--the Prelinger Collection, which certifies both Public Doman and CC license. Another problem I see is the amount of energy wasted by deleting/combatting such an innocuous link: dancing beers in a beer commercial from the 50s...even supposing that it was under copyright, it's highly unlikely that the copyright holder would be unamenable to a request to license this--why not post a notice on talkpage, inquiring about copyright status? Where's the fire for auto-deletion without friendly, inviting explanation leaving door open to permission?-Cindery 19:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Why did you fail to note this on the talk page of the article? Hipocrite - «Talk» 19:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Amen to that, the "energy wasted" could have been completely avoided if you would have just posted the PD info you found on the talk page as soon as you found it. And I'd still like to see a link to the prelinger info that clears it all up. And if the video is actually available on a website that certifies copyright, why not link to it there instead of youtube? I also don't agree with characterizing a possible copyright vio as "innocuous" - if it's illegal, it doesn't matter what the content is or how old. Saying the copyright holder would probably allow it isn't good enough. --Milo H Minderbinder 19:14, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

(undent) That's sort of a strange double standard: the deletion is done with no notice on talkpage, just an edit summary. But restoral with edit summary is insufficient. Deletion requires no evidence of copyvio on talkpage, but restoral requires proof on talkpage. Arg has alrady pointed out that the AWB deleters don't look at the talkpage when they delete (to see if discussion re link has already taken place. In fact--his request that they check talkpage before deleting a second time was rejected/ignored.) Since talkpages are not used or looked at by the project, the assumption is that the deleter has "done research" and that the restorer has "done research," and they communicate via edit summaries. I would be more than happy if there was formal agreement for Arg's suggestion that talkpage discussion is necessary (especially as that is what C policy suggests...) I find that deleters not checking research when a link is disputed, but edit warring and using edit summaries like this to be particularly unhelpful: edit summaries like these(cur) (last) 19:05, 12 January 2007 Spartaz (Talk | contribs) (How do you know that the company didn't renew their copyright? Do you know when they wenyt bust. Annoying discussing via edit summaries isn't it. Why not use the talk page?)-Cindery 19:26, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Bygones. You lack the Delorian to solve the problems that have already happened. Hipocrite - «Talk» 19:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I think the talkpage issue is quite active and relevant: deleters should post notice, watch talkpage, and engage in discussion if it takes place (per their own request, and C policy.) I think it's also telling that the question "How do you know the company went defunct?" is the article. Which is a very brief article. (I.e., the deleters do not read the articles, contribute as editors, etc.)-Cindery 19:38, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You win. Are you happy now? Can we move on? Hipocrite - «Talk» 19:40, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Generally, content from the 50's would be copyrighted, so in the absence of evidence otherwise taking the conservative approach is not a bad idea. I still don't understand why, if you found evidence that clears up the question, why wouldn't you just post it to the talk page? In this particular case, there did end up being discussion on the talk page (albeit belatedly), why you never responded there with the link, I don't know. --Milo H Minderbinder 19:41, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • As I have said above, it has been established that the deleters do not want talkpage notice or discussion--in contradiction to C procedure--to be standard for YT deletions, and they refused Arg's request to check talkpages before deleting a *second* time. I think it would be an excellent idea to establish that talkpage notice and discussion should be standard. Remember, Rheingold was an example--what if jane or john doe editor wants to discuss/contest a link deletion? How do they know what to do after an edit summary citing EL and C, with no talkpage notice?-Cindery 20:19, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Since you never posted to the talkpage in this case, I'm not sure what your point is. If you made a case on the talk page, and the people deleting it never responded, you'd have something to complain about. I see you haven't posted to the talk page at Talk:The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things either. --Milo H Minderbinder 20:25, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Milo, I think you misunderstand me: I'm in favor of--and have been in favor of all along--notice on talkpage, and discussion, and would like to see that become the agreed-upon standard. I communicated via edit summaries because communicating on talkpage is not the standard for the deletion project (they refused Arg's request to watch talkpages before or after deleting, so was not expecting them to see or pay attention to any talkpage discussion.) The point of establishing agreement for talkpage notice and discussion is not for this specific link, it's for regular editors who--unlike me--are not familiar with all the complications of the YT project, what to do to affirm a link, etc. Without notice and invitation to discussion, I think a lot of them get the impression that it's not possible.-Cindery 20:59, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Quite. I removed the link in good faith (and I have enough article edits thank you). The whole drama would have been avoided if you had simply posted your research. That would have been fine by me. Obviously you had other motives. --Spartaz 19:59, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You invited everyone to review your work, and let you know about mistakes, and stated that you had no problem with that. I do not review all of your work--in fact, I only looked at three of your deletions, because I knew something about those subjects. All three were mistakes; I reverted all three. I used Rheingold as an example because it shows the problem with verifying a link solely by looking for "licensing information" at You Tube, which is your standard. (I did not use The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, but perhaps I should have mentioned that as well--you looked at the licensing information at You Tube and didn't recognize the name of the company which owns the rights to the film?) To repeat what Arg has said, barring reasonable suspicion that the YT uploader is violating YT's terms of use, links shouldn't be deleted. What was your reasonable doubt that YT's terms of service were being violated in those cases?-Cindery 20:11, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
What I have a problem with is not youy reviewing my work - that's helpful. The way you went around it was unhelpful and designed to cause trouble. That's not helpful. You are a troll and I'm now going to do something I should have done some days ago, which is to totally ignore you. I'll soon be done reviewing links and then we can all move on. Won't that be nice? Spartaz 20:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
In the case of Rheingold, generally corporate productions from the 50's would be copyrighted (and we have no way of knowing from youtube that it was PD). Until evidence otherwise was found, there was certainly reason for doubt. --Milo H Minderbinder 20:25, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
WP:BOLD. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 20:24, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
No, it involves the definition of "license": all You Tube links have licenses, per YT ToS. Unless there's reason to suspect that the ToS is being violated--and hence the license is invalid--the link has a valid license and is not a copyvio. We've been over WP:BOLD--citing EL and C is "misquoting policy," and confuses editors: they think the link is not permitted, not that someone has made an editorial judgement that can be contested. Removing content without justification is basically vandalism. "EL and C" is not justification/substitute for the absence of reasonable suspiction of copyvio.-Cindery 20:40, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
And in the case of the dancing beers, there was reason to believe that the YT TOS was being violated. There was definitely justification to remove the link, and calling that particular one vandalism is just empty rhetoric. --Milo H Minderbinder 20:44, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I didn't call any deletion in particular "vandalism"--I said removing content citing "EL and C" is "misquoting policy" and "basically vandalsim." If there's a particular reason to suspect ToS violation, that reason should be stated, not "EL and C"--eg,: "commercials from 50s under copyright. Uploader not copyright holder." This would imply some research into the subject, reasonable suspicion, etc. As I pointed out, very brief research established that the ToS wasn't being violated. Reading the very brief article gives reasonable belief that the copyright probably wasn't renewed--the company went defunct. I don't think that the deleter 1) read the article 2) did anything other than look at the You Tube frame and not see "ABC" or "CBS"--I think it's an example of licensing assumptions made hastily, and an example of why hasty licensing assumptions are problemmatic-Cindery 21:14, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
The site lists the ad as 1948, assuming the copyright renewal was after 28 years (correct me if that's wrong), that would be in 1976, while the company was still in business. And even if they shut down, it's entirely possible that they sold their assets to another company (which could have included intelectual property like their ads). You should assume good faith, even reading the article and doing some basic google research wouldn't necessarily turn up conclusive proof that it was PD. I also don't agree that removing a link citing "EL and C" is vandalism, while it's better to go into more detail when necessary (and I'd argue that in many blatant cases, that's all that is needed), it's a bit ridiculous to call someone a vandal just because you thought their edit summary wasn't detailed enough. --Milo H Minderbinder 21:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I didn't call anyone a vandal. Meanwhile, the point is that citing "EL and C" instead of a reason makes editors think the deletions are being done by "Wiki authority" and cannot be contested--content is deleted; discussion is closed off.-Cindery 21:41, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Abandoned discussion

Guy has complained about the fork, so:

  • Decision tree
  • Here is what I believe should be the decision tree for determining whether or not a YouTube(ish) external link should be kept:
  • Is the content linked to relevant to the article?
  • No: Delete
  • Yes: continue
  • Is the content a reliable source? (Keep in mind that much video is a primary source.)
  • No: Delete
  • Yes: continue
  • Is the content obviously public domain (U.S. Government, pre-1923, labeled "released into public domain", etc.)?
  • No: continue
  • Yes: Keep
  • Is the content obviously hosted by its copyright holder? (ie a TV station website for news clips)
  • No: continue
  • Yes: Keep
  • Is the content reasonably ovbiously copyright by a content creator well-known for defending its copyrights (ie major motion-picture studios, RIAA members, TV stations or networks, newspapers or press agencies, or book publishers)?
  • No: continue
  • Yes: Delete
  • If the content is hosted somewhere not obviously controlled by the copyright holder, is there a version of equal or better quality available at the copyright-holder's website?
  • No: continue
  • Yes: Replace link with "authorized version".
  • If the content is hosted somewhere not obviously controlled by the copyright holder, does it have a clear statement that the content is hosted with permission of the copyright holder?
  • No: continue
  • Yes: Keep
  • Is there other reason (besides those checked above) to believe that the content is infringing?
  • No: Keep
  • Yes: Delete
  • The standard for linking is that we not knowingly link to infringing material. A reasonable person should be expected to know that content produced by major content providers (like news media, movie studios, RIAA recording studios, and most book and magazine publishers) is copyright and requires permission directly from the copyright owner. So linking to a Metallica video or a TV clip of "The Play" (where Cal beat the Stanford football team and band) when hosted on YouTube is not ok. But if some unsigned band has made a video, the band may give permission to all and sundry to post the video everywhere so that they get more exposure; some amateur film-makers will release their work for republication for ideological reasons or to obtain exposure. Therefore, in the absence of information to the contrary, we do not know that the material is infringing, and we are therefore not liable for contributory infringement if we link to the material. Argyriou (talk) 19:16, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
  • External Links do not have to be reliable sources unless used as part of a citation. If it's reliable source or not is irrelevant if it's not being used as a citation. --Barberio 19:32, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I disagree, in part. The main exception to the "reliable source" standard I see for external links are links to official sites/publications of the subject of the article, where those might be unreliable for establishing facts otherwise. Argyriou (talk) 19:57, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I've edited this a little, and put it up as an essay at Wikipedia:External_links/Copyrights --Barberio 19:59, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I'd suggest adding at least the statement regarding "knowingly linking" to your essay; perhaps an actual citation from the Lighthouse case would be better. I'm also not certain that's the best title for the page. Argyriou (talk) 20:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Up to "Is the content obviously hosted by its copyright holder? (ie a TV station website for news clips)" I'm with you, but after that you seem to assert that there is a qualitative difference between infirnging the copyrights of litigious versus non-litigious sources. This is a very bad distinction to draw. If the content is copyright, and not hosted by the copyright holder, then we need to check - always - that the uploader has rights to upload it, and if we can't prove that then we should not link. Guy (Help!) 21:42, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I strongly disagree. The legal standard is knowingly linking to infringing material, which is different than pretty much all other copyright infringement standards, which only require proof of infringement, not intent nor knowlege. The distinction I make could be read as "litigious vs non-litigious", but it is intended to be a guide to those providers known to not license free distribution of their work, versus those not known to do so. Argyriou (talk) 19:21, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Ah, but what's knowingly? If it's pointed out by another editor that the copyright status is problematic and you reinsert the link anyway, that could be seen as wilful and knowing. See the problem? Better to be sure and simply not link to material that infringes copyright - which is in any case the decent thing. Why would we want to link to material that we think might infringe copyright? Why would that be good, in any way? Guy (Help!) 19:29, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • It depends on why another editor believes the copyright status is problematic. If he has evidence that the link is copyvio, then the link ought to stay deleted. But if the only reason for believing the copyright status is problematic is because there's no evidence that it is acceptable, then reinserting the link is not "knowingly" linking to copyvio. I suppose that a video (or image) hosted on a site which doesn't have any copyright statements or Terms of Use at all would raise a greater suspicion, but both YouTube and Google Video require their members to only upload video which they have permission from the copyright owner to distribute. Failing a moderately good reason to believe that the user is in violation of the terms of use, it is reasonable to assume that the user is not violating the ToU, and that the link is not infringing. Argyriou (talk) 19:40, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Frankly the number of links where the status is unclear are such a small subset of the mostly straightforwqrd majority that I wonder why we persist in spending so much time trying to come up with a perfect solution that will please everyone? At the end of the day if an editor thinks in good faith its a copyvio than they can delete it. If someone disagrees they can research it and discuss it on talk pages and all things being equal a rough consensus based around each item will emerge. The world will continue to revolve whatever we do and I'm done with this dispute as well. I have some links to review so I can go back to editing articles - something this stupid issue has keep me away from doing for far too long. It would be interesting to plot a graph of how much this issue has drawn away from editing time for the participants - and very shameful. I invite anyone to review my deletions. If you don't agree with my decisions lets discuss them as long as you accept I'm doing my best I don't see any reason for a disagreement to occur. End of story. Ciao. Spartaz 19:52, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Precisely. And the problem was caused, I think, by people who were unwilling to assume sufficient good faith on the part of Nick to do the research it bit, until they were forced to - at which point, it seems, they discovered that if they'd done that in the first place, there would not have been a problem. We appear to be trying to legislate Clue. I go with Jjay's version at the top - Don't link to material that infringes copyright. Says more in seven words than most of this entire page. Guy (Help!) 20:55, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
  • "Do not link to material that violates copyright." is still a bad oversimplification of the current policy on copyrights, which is "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work."

Guidelines should not conflict with or misrepresent policy. If you feel the policy on copyright relevent to linking is wrong, I suggest you take this issue to Wikipedia talk:Copyrights, however it does appear that the issue was discussed and no change came of it. In fact, some hefty evidence including citation to court case indicates that the current standard of 'Not knowingly and intentionally link to copyvio' may be more than is required by law. --Barberio 12:52, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Whatever. The consensus is that you should not link to material you have good reason to suspect has been posted in breach of copyright. Whether that is right or wrong, meets a legal standard, is too restrictive in your view, whatever; it's what the editors here, over months of discussions on this and other copyright-related issues, have agreed to. The "policy" is simply a reflection of the consensus. The page you mention, Wikipedia:Copyrights, has this: "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work." Even if it was legal, it's not considered ethical here. Like most policies though, this has to be applied with common sense, not blindly. Grace Note 23:56, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
  • We're agreeing on the same things here really. The thing is, what's been proposed is that we require editors to get licensing information for every external link, and delete links where there is no explicit licensing information. This is a change from the 'good reason to suspect' standard. And it contradicts that in the copyright policy. This issue really needs to be brought up in the policy talk page first if we're going to change this standard.
  • I don't think the standard should change, since it adds a new extra burden to editors, and introduces cases where we'd bar links to properly copyrighted material that just lacks an explicit declaration of licensing. --Barberio 00:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
  • No, it adds no additional burden to editors. The burden has always been on those seeking to include something, to ensure it meets policy. We do not need a guideline that endorses no looking too hard as a way of meeting our obligations. Guy (Help!) 10:02, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Copyright policy does not state that all links must have licensing information. "Licensing information" has only come up with regards to links, external or otherwise, in the YouTube discussion. Moreover, EL is a guideline, not a policy (Copyright policy would still take precedence, and it is confusing to have a guideline which contradicts a policy). Consensus at EL has consistently been not to invent specific new requirements--such as licensing info--for only one type of link. Again and again, this discussion has come to: can there be a blanket ban? (No.) And: what should happen if the copyright holder affirms permission to use the link? --the majority agree that the link should stay. A minority think that the link should be deleted anyway because it is a YouTube link, and the justification for this is "licensing information," (not copyright). The thing to do is go and try to change the copyright policy--there's no consensus (or rationale) for changing EL to contradict C for the purpose of deleting YouTube links which have copyright permission from the copyright holder. What Arg's "decision tree" illustrates is "editorial judgement," which has been posited all along as the only way to suss out the acceptability of a link for inclusion, and should remain as the means for sussing out whether a link is acceptable for inclusion, particularly 1) if the link is disputed 2) because there are other grounds for which editorial judgement is necessary. Guidelines exist to guide the editorial process, not to pre-determine or usurp it-- a good guideline makes for sharper editors, it doesn't replace editing. Cindery 20:55, 8 January 2007 (UTC)-Cindery 17:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC)-Cindery 17:55, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for that giant block of text. I am certain that lots of people who care what you have to say have read it. Hipocrite - «Talk» 17:56, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

removed the spaces which made that ugly block-o-text--Hu12 18:00, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome--hopefully those who are interested in reasonable discussion about licensing and copyright verification will continue the ongoing discussion--rather than edit war to put unspecified licensing demands in the guideline, faslesly accuse everyone else of being in favor of copvios, etc.-Cindery 18:04, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
  • By "lots of" I'm assuming you mean "both"? Thought so. Guy (Help!) 02:45, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

YouTube - contravenes free formats policy

My understanding is that non-free video formats should not be linked to as, deep down, Wikipedia supports only free formats. This was a reason given for deleting all links (including those on my user page) to videos I had linked to there. As YouTube uses Flash, which is not free, there should be no links to YouTube. Stephen B Streater 18:26, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

There is a link at the top of this Talk page that goes to the current YouTube discussion - the idea was to keep that separate from the other discussions on this page by giving it a page of its own. -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 18:31, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
This discussion is about a separate track, which is why I included it here. If it gets more than a few comments, feel free to add it to the rest on the other page. Stephen B Streater 18:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
That has absolutely nothing to do with linking to YouTube, or we'd need to start purging all PDF and DOC links post-haste. The argument isn't whether YouTube uses a free format or not, it's whether we can rely on the assurances of YouTube uploaders that they have properly licensed the content they have uploaded. Since any brief perusal of YouTube makes it obvious that the answer is we can't always rely on the assurances of the uploaders, the question is what is the proper response. Free-software/GNU-project bigotry has no place in the discussion. Argyriou (talk) 18:35, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
If you perused my RfA, you would see that what you call "Free-software/GNU-project bigotry" was deemed by many as the whole point of Wikipedia. I thought this was worth mentioning here. Stephen B Streater 18:52, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't make a habit of perusing RfAs, and I thought the whole point of Wikipedia was to build a freely available encyclopedia, not to push the GDFL virus into every corner of the internet. Argyriou (talk) 19:41, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Yup. And linking to copyvios impinges on that. Well done for spotting it. 02:47, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Ummm wikipedia has no policy or guideline that prohibits linking to non-free websites or formats. There is a "Free-content" bias, and I support it, but it should only be a bias and not a mandate. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 19:01, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
That was not the predominant view at my RfA. You might also consider edits like this from Danny. Stephen B Streater 20:12, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Foundation mailing list comments

I took this issue to the foundation mailing list. It looks like the foundation isn't going to look into it or make any kind of official comment yet because there no legal need to do so and a preference of leaving content in editor control. But it still generated some discussion...

The comments made here [8] clearly sum up some important points. I'll summarize...

  1. Don't ask the impossible. We can't 'verify copyright' of external links or expect our editors to do so. A page on a site that provides what appears to by licensing information or copyright status is not 'proof'.
  2. Policy should not be based on a presumption of guilt. Rather it should be up to those claiming a violation to make a reasonable case for it, not an air-tight one just a reasonable one.
  3. Making any claim that Wikipedia can verify the contents of external sites is dishonest, misleading to our readers and may well increase legal liability.

I would like it if those proposing changes to the guideline could address these concerns? --Barberio 14:19, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

This is a reminder that the onus is on editors proposing an addition to respond to substantive objections to their changes. Unless the objections raised here and on the foundation mailing list are addressed, the changes should be reverted and the matter considered settled for now. This is a second call for the editors proposing changes to the guideline to addresses these objections in order to support the changes. --Barberio 14:44, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

You can get whatever response you want from random people on the mailing list when you buildup strawmen for them to shoot arrows of dissent at. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 07:17, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
You haven't addressed the concerns raised, which Barberio very politely and reasonably asked. Could you address this, specifically:" Policy should not be based on a presumption of guilt, rather it should be up to those claiming a violation to make a reasonable case for it, not an air-tight one just a reasonable one. That would begin the discussion about that allegation."-Cindery 07:23, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I've never asked for "licensing information" of any obvious YouTube link. I'd only ever want to see "licensing information"... nothing nearly as official as it may sound like. Rheingold Beer is a great example. Professionally made commercials fall under a class of items that are almost always fully copyrighted - It was reasonable to suspect that the item was copyvio. You found a reliable website that claimed the commercial's copyright wasn't renewed and that it passed into the public domain. Ta-da, the issue was resolved. That's why Barberio's comments were deeply misleading. Barberio is phrasing his "concerns" under a incorrect premise... at-least as far as my views. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 07:39, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Rather than deleting with AWB at a fast clip, not reading articles, and using a generic edit summary citing "EL and C" (or "licensing information per EL," which Nick used 70+ times yesterday) I think you should be following C procedure :posting a notice/message on the talkpage of of the article, as an editor, stating your specific concern with a link, showing that you have examined it, and letting other editors know what your specific concern is so they know what to respond to. (And waiting a reasonable amount of time for them to respond.)When you pre-emptively auto-delete with AWB/generic-offical edit summary, people think You Tube in general is not permitted by Wiki, and that does two things: a) spreads mass confusion even if the link deletion was fine 2) cuts off communication at specific articles where the deletion is not fine.
(Regarding Rheingold Beer, as Hipocrite pointed out, the majority of TV commercials from the 50s are public domain. That is an extremely low-risk copyvio category. The PD verification was the third google hit on "Rheingold Dancing Beer commerical from the 50s"...and even without PD verification, no one should be deleting commercials from the 50s anyway without reasonable grounds for copyvio, since TV commercials from the 50s are likely to be PD. Reading articles and doing at least a minor amount of Google research is necessary just to state a reasonable suspicion that a link might be a copyvio, unless one already knows something about the subject--in which case you would still be able to provide a specific reason for your suspicion, instead of a vague yet "official-sounding" reference to EL.) Also, none of this addresses the guideline, which clearly should be returned to its pre-edit war consensus state.-Cindery 08:15, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
"the majority of TV commercials from the 50s are public domain" Source? It's possible that such material from that time may not have been renewed and may be PD, but I'm not convinced that enough are that we should just assume PD when we lack information in those cases. --Milo H Minderbinder 17:11, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
The source is cited in the above relevant discussion--commercials from 50s are 85%+ likely to be PD. That's a majority. Which means if there's doubt, the doubt should be in favor of PD in the absence of a reason not to think so, or a complaint.-Cindery 17:25, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
And I used Rheingold as an example because it illustrates why editing articles one does not read or know anything about is a bad idea: there are probably simple things one does not know. "Don't 'boldly' edit articles you don't read on subjects you don't know anything about and don't do anything to inform yourself about unless you're doing the equivalent of fixing a typo or reverting blatant vandalism" is good advice, and is already basically given as caveat in "be bold." Post a question on the talkpage, instead. Being "bold" on a massive scale, procedurally, "officially" citing a guideline is damaging for obvious reasons, which have already been stated repeatedly. Using AWB to find You Tube links and deleting them without even reading the articles is treating You Tube links as if they were typos or vandalism, and they are much more complicated than that. C already outlines the procedure for addressing suspected copyvio: post specific concern on talkpage and wait for response. If it's an "obvious" music vid copyvio, (meaning something is confidently known about the subject already) I think it's fine to put that in an edit summary--but not "EL."-Cindery 18:25, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Cindery, you and Barberio have both used the assertion that we should assume that something is not a copyvio unless we can prove it is. I strongly disagree with this. The onus is, and always has been, on those seeking to include content, to justify its inclusion. In this specific case, where we have a policy forbidding linking to copyright violations, that means the onus is on them to prove that the link is not a copyright violation. That should not be very hard to do. What is so good about YouTube and other video links that we should reverse the burden in that specific case? Guy (Help!) 12:38, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you're misinterpreting their arguement. I've been reading it as we should assume something is not a copyright vio unless there's an actual reason to believe it is. That is consistent with WP:C, which doesn't take a "burden of proof" stand like WP:V does (it's only for including material, not linking to it, and it only applies to whether material is verifiable, not whether it's a copyright vio). I strongly disagree with the notion of requiring proof to include a link (and I wouldn't interpret the current wording of EL as saying that) - you claim it shouldn't be hard to prove that material isn't copyright vio, but how exactly would you prove such a thing? If there's a legal clip on YT, give me an example of how you'd prove it's legal? --Milo H Minderbinder 15:45, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
You can't pick and choose which objections you want to address just because you disagree with who they came from. These are all pretty valid objections to the proposed changes, and have yet to be addressed. Throwing around accusations of 'straw man' and 'you just drummed this up' is not a solid dismissal of the objections. You need to demonstrate by argument either why the objections are invalid or insignificant, not just say they are. The obligation is with you to provide a sufficient reason to continue with changes to the guideline, and this includes clearly addressing objections. --Barberio 14:23, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Full disclosure, Berberio received more than one reply, they were not all as favourable as this, and the responses should not be relayed to suggest they are the opinion of the board. Hiding Talk 17:28, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
    The threaded discussion can be viewed here. --Muchness 17:36, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes one person did agree that 'Anything folks can do to limit our exposure here is a good thing', but did not address any of the other concerns raised about practicality or possibility of increased liability. And it's really those concerns that need to be addressed. --Barberio 17:44, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Note, I also agree that prudent steps to avoid linking to copyvio should be taken, it's not something you can really disagree with. The problem is that the steps proposed are inprudent, since they are inpractical and may increase risk of liability.
Clearly saying that we *don't* make any verification of external links is, as I understand it, our best liability shield in such cases. Otherwise we do not want to say "We verify the contents of external links" as that means someone can say "Wikipedia linked to X site, and X site was illegal. Wikipedia claim to verify their links, so they must knowingly have participated in the illegality'."
The guideline should remain as one of 'not knowingly and intentional' linking, and we must not under any circumstances claim to verify external links. Since that could increase risk of liability.--Barberio 17:57, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by the "steps proposed". You keep insisting that people want to propose these, but I haven't actually seen others actually doing the proposing. Could you point to where these have been proposed? --Milo H Minderbinder 18:00, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
They were 'proposed' by making edits to the article. [9] Note the addition of 'due care', which would oblige us to verifying copyright content. --Barberio 18:11, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
It may be that the phrase 'due care' was used without a full understanding of what that actually means, in which case it should be removed and non-legalistic language used to describe what they meant. --Barberio 18:13, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
If "due care" is a legal term that carries connotations beyond simply being careful, it would probably make sense to change it to something less legalese. How about changing "where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates its creator's copyright" to "where linking to material that violates its creator's copyright should be avoided"? Or even just switching it to "where care should be taken..."? --Milo H Minderbinder 18:17, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Any indication that we take any special or in-depth standard of care to verify external sites is a bad idea. The standard was pegged by the copyright policy at "Not knowingly or intentionally link to copyright breach" for this reason, and I see no reason not to use that same language here.
Additionally, marking out specific sites as targets is also a bad idea. It leads to potential confusion, or vilification of a certain site. Sites that contain *only* illegally reproduced copyrighted material should be put in the Block List. Anything else get's handled by the guidelines and copyright policy. I can't understand the insistence of removing the phrase "Potentially infringing links should be reviewed on a case by case basis." --Barberio 18:28, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. And as Jodyw pointed out long ago, even if 90% of You Tube links in general are copyvios, that doesn't mean any one link in particular is 90% likely to be a copyvio--the links should be reviewed case-by-case, with an open mind. If the true interest is in gaining/retaining as much "free" content for the encyclopedia, equal concern should be given to finding reasons for/being open to/opening line of communication for possibility of keeping each specific link.-Cindery 18:34, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I think it's going overboard to interpret being careful as requiring verification. Taking care means simply taking care. I do agree with "Potentially infringing links should be reviewed on a case by case basis" (which as far as I'm concerned is just taking care). And I'd also agree with switching the youtube reference to a more general one about video and photo sharing sites. What's your proposed wording change? --Milo H Minderbinder 18:39, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm arguing that we keep the text as it was prior to this change - [[10]]. --Barberio 19:29, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

(undent) What's your objection to "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors."? With the last line, I'd be OK with something like "This is particularly relevant when linking to video and photo sharing sites, where editors should avoid linking to material that violates its creator's copyright." --Milo H Minderbinder 21:08, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

  • 1. it's not necessary
  • 2. it's relevant to C, not EL
  • 3. it implies we can verify copyright, and we cannot
  • 4. it could be construed as casting video and photosharing sites in "false light," aka libelling them. Making any value-inflected judgement about them is a bad idea for that reason. Also, they are constantly in flux. No actual study has ever been done on what percentage of them is copyvio, and no claims or assumptions about that should be made. In the case of You Tube, it was recently bought by Google, and Google's business model is to invite companies to look over You Tube, and decide for themselves what they want to do if they find a copyvio. While this great flux is going on, it's an especially bad idea to make any claims about You Tube.-Cindery 21:20, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Are those in reference to the last line, or all lines mentioned? --Milo H Minderbinder 21:24, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
to the last line. -Cindery 21:28, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
How do you interpret that as "verify copyright"? It doesn't say that, just avoid linking to illegal stuff, don't you agree with that? If there's a better way to phrase that, make a suggestion. C is a relevant part of EL, I'm not sure why you're OK with other mentions of C in EL but not this particular one. And it doesn't say anything about the degree of illegal material (libel?). There's no question that virtually every photo and video sharing site probably has at least some illegal material at any given time. I doubt even youtube themselves would disagree with that. I don't see it as a false light at all to point out that such sites may contain illegal material and that editors should be careful. If you don't like that wording, I'd recommend proposing an alternative that you find more palatable. --Milo H Minderbinder 21:40, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
All we need to say is "If you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work." There's no need to repeat it, rephrase it, reiterate it, etc. There's no need to replicate C in detail--or any other policy. It's just useless redundancy. (Re "no question": as I said, You Tube is in great flux. It is a bad idea to make any statements which imply that it violates copyright as a specific site or type of site, or that we think that. As noted in Foundation email, we cannot verify copyright of external sites.)-Cindery 21:55, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Right now, it's extremely easy to find illegal material on youtube. Why is it a bad idea to make a statement that points that out? I'm not sure what the point of your "in flux" argument is - if youtube suddenly gets rid of all violations at some point, we can always update WP to reflect that. We need to address current situations, not try and be a crystal ball. And I'm not sure why you mention "veryifying copyright" again in response, I have never argued in favor of it. --Milo H Minderbinder 22:05, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Neither you--nor Wikipedia--has the resources to determine, by a legal standard, that anything on You Tube is or isn't illegal. You can certainly look at it and form opinions. Those opinions do not meet a legal standard, and are not evidence of "illegal." (Legal/illegal=verification of copyright. Or were you referring to something other than copyright? Can you specify what you mean when you say "illegal" with reference to You Tube?)-Cindery 22:35, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
It's true that we can't say with complete certainty. But I'd bet I could give you a sizeable batch of them and get them 90% right or better. I'm just saying that youtube isn't free of violations, you wouldn't seriously disagree with that, would you. And that we should be as careful as we are able when we link there. I have never said that we will necessarily know if something is a violation. But we should try and find what info is available and make our best guess - you demonstrated that was possible with the beer example. --Milo H Minderbinder 23:05, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

(undent) ...and the way to do that is to 1) leave the EL guideline alone ; it's fine the way it is 2) follow C procedure for deletions instead of mass deleting with misleading canned AWB edit summaries after not even reading the articles.-Cindery 00:18, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I am pleased that you now accept that the guideline is fine as-is. I credit Milo with that, since he has patiently pointed out why it is not a problem. Quite why you have a problem with asking people to validate the copyright status of external links is a mystery, but since that is an editorial action based on editorial judgement, it is clearly a matter for dispute resolution not policy talk. We don't change guidelines simply to prevent people removing links which policy says should not be linked, after all. I take it this thread can now be archived? Guy (Help!) 09:37, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
A simple misundertanding on your part--the gudeline "as is" means the consensus version before you edit-warred to insert redundancies, etc. I note also that you have still failed to respond to the Foundation mailing list concerns.-Cindery 09:59, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah, that special definition of "consensus version" which means the version you like. Seems to me that opposition to the current version is confined to you and Barberio, who purely coincidentally happen to be the two people most actively agitating to weaken the restrictions of WP:C as applied to links. And as you've been told before, edit-warring is a two way street. You and Barberio have got this guideline protected twice in a short space of time. But of course that's because other people edit-war, isn't it? And I'm still left wondering what is so great about linking to copyright violations that we should be implicitly encouraging it. Guy (Help!) 12:34, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that when people complain about a statement being redundancy they often actually disagree with the original statement itself, even if that was fully accepted already, and are trying to minimize its impact. Such behavior is, in effect, a filibuster. >Radiant< 13:48, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I do not appreciate the suspension of Wikipedia:Assume Good Faith and the constant resort to personal attacks and speculation about motives. If you can not discuss this civilly, can I ask you to back off from this issue. Pouring heat onto the issue is not helping. Note, this applies to Cindery just as much as Radiant and JzG. --Barberio 15:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Good faith dosn't last forever and throwing WP:AGF at someone is an act of assumeing bad faith. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 15:12, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
  • And this applies to Barberio as well, of course. Note that I have made a grand total of two comments on the issue (this one being the third) so his accusation that I "constantly resort to" anything is obviously false. Indeed, pouring heat onto the issue is not helping. >Radiant< 15:17, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Guy, that's about the biggest kettle I've seen in a while. This guideline hasn't had a consensus version in months, every time it is opened for editing, it is protected again almost immediately. It's dishonest to claim that the version you like is the consensus one. As you point out, edit-warring is a two way street, so you were one of the parties who got this protected so quickly, not just those two (and in your case, you didn't even propose your edits on the talk page first). And claiming that anyone favors "encouraging linking to copyright violations" is a ridiculous strawman, has anyone ever proposed that here? The debate boils down to what to do in cases where we have no idea and must guess, and right now WP:C says to remove material when there's reason to believe it's a violation, not when someone makes the first accusation.
In addition, you seem to have misinterpreted my comments, I do not favor leaving the guideline as-is. I support adding a mention of "case by case basis", changing "due care" to something with less legal connotations (even if it's just something like "be careful"), and changing the youtube mention to something more general (to be honest, I think saying YT just encourages editors to use alternatives that may be just as illegal). --Milo H Minderbinder 15:45, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm not Guy. >Radiant< 15:52, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I know you're not guy, that's why I began my comments with "Guy...". If a different positioning/indenting would make things more clear, feel free to move my comments or change the indenting. --Milo H Minderbinder 16:05, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Kettle? Not sure what you mean. Cindery accused me of edit-warring (when he and Barberio were at best equally to blame), refers to his preferred version as "the consensus version" despite that fact that removal of the clarification clearly doesn't have consensus, as evidence the length of these threads (although his preferred version would actually amount to a blanket ban on all YouTube links), and Barberio's tone of sweet reason above reminds me of WP:SOUP. Per policy, we don't link to copyvios. Some people seem to be confused about that. I made a small change to the guideline to ensure that people are not confused about that, and to make sure they don't come away with the mistaken impression that the ban on linking to sites which violate copyright meant that all links to a site which violates copyright anywhere are forbidden, which would make all YouTube links unacceptable. I don't see what's so great about external links to copyright violations that this small change would be controversial and I only came here in the first place because this stupid dispute overflowed into other places. Guy (Help!) 23:48, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
What I mean is that the criticisms you make, you're guilty of as well. And you again make the strawman argument that people support linking to copyright violations. So why do you oppose a mention of judging links on a case by case basis? --Milo H Minderbinder 00:40, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I accept that I may have made some statements which impute motives. The fact remains that what is being argued for here is a reversal of the usual onus on the editor seeking to include material, so as to embody an assumption which we know to be problematic at best (that YouTube videos are usually fine even when they don't include copyright information), and to make it more likely that we will, through lack of diligence, do something which is ethically wrong and legally questionable. If these links were almost always copyright clean, and were generally being used in a context which was unambiguously improving the encyclopaedia, I really don't think we'd be having this discussion. Do you? Guy (Help!) 20:14, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
"The usual onus on the editor seeking to include material" applies to verifiiability of info added to WP articles, not copyright status of linked material. If you look at WP:C, it specifically talks about removing copyright violations of text additions to articles when violation is demonstrated, not when the accusation is made. While verifiability is much easier to prove than disprove, copyright legality is much easier to disprove than prove (and if you disagree with that, how would you go about proving a video on youtube is legal?). --Milo H Minderbinder 20:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
The onus is always on the editor seeking to include material. And you'd prove it from the meta text. If they don't give copyright information, it's unwise to assume that it's clean. Guy (Help!) 22:25, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
That onus applies to verifiability of information. Where in WP policy does it say that in regard to copyright issues? If you look at WP:C, it says to delete vios only when the violation has been demonstrated, not when it's accused. "Giving copyright info" is a poor measure since legal material may not give it and illegal material may give fake info. Your notion of assuming all external material is illegal until proven otherwise is completely unsupported by WP policy. --Milo H Minderbinder 14:01, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Note: I am a she.-Cindery 01:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Due to a user blindly removing links using WP:AWB, I've been engaging in a discussion regarding Myspace blogs as reliable sources. The discussion has been presented at Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources#Myspace. The discussion also relates to external links. At first glance, the idea of a Myspace blog as an external link seems ridiculous. However, point #11 at WP:EL states the stance of "Links to blogs and personal webpages, except those written by a recognized authority". An external link to the Myspace blog of Darren Hayes was removed on the basis that such a link did not qualify. His blog, and a blog by director Jon Favreau about his film Iron Man, seem acceptable to make available in the respective articles. Blogs and Myspace have been criticized due to amateur authorship and false information, but if the people delivering the information are credible, then shouldn't Myspace blogs be acceptable? —Erik (talkcontrib) - 06:51, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think a link to a blog home page is relevant and notable for an EL, but for reasons that may differ from yours. For one, I would want to see that the author is reputable write/authority/commentator in the related field. I also don't like ELs that go to a home page or something other than directly related to the article. E.g., article on Jar-jar Binks, a blog link to David Brin's site is no-go, but a link to an article that Brin wrote on SW EP I would be good. As with most additions, judgement is required to evaluate the integrity of the link. Policies don't think, WP editors think. David Spalding (  ) 07:08, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Understandable. I suppose I would add celebrities' blogs for the same reason that official sites are added to film articles. The link, Myspace blog or not, should definitely suit the article's content. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 07:13, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
"Blindly removing" is a rather judgemental phrase. People who use AWB to remove links en masse generally do so in response to an identified problem - in this case, the mass linking of blogs from articles (which undoubtedly is a problem). They are usually long-standing editors of great experience (User:Dmcdevit, or example). In general, as you know, blogs are not good sources. Very often, they are exceptionally bad sources, and the vast majority of blog links in articles are not good sources in my experience. A few are, of course, but many of these are in any case linked from the subject's own website; Wikipedia is not a link farm and a link to the official site is generally sufficient in the "external links" section, we don't generally need links to pages within the site unless we are citing them explicitly as sources for a given fact. Once good faith has been assumed on all sides, rational debate can commence. This is not the first purge of links and it won't be the last, I'm, sure. We've purged YTMND, Encyclopaedia Dramatica and many other sites, some of which had thousands of links. Some of these have been blacklisted, others not. In the end what matters is the quality of the encyclopaedia, and in general that is not improved by hundreds of links boosting the pagerank of blogs. At the present rate every single article will have a link to the official site, the official myspace, the official fan club, the official blog, the official merchandise store, the profile at imdb, the profile at AMG, the profile at... well, you get the picture. Go to the official site of most individuals and there you will see links to their MySpace and their blog. Trivially easy to find. Focus on the value that can be added, and take each case on its individual merits when it comes to reviewing which ones can go back. Guy (Help!) 19:28, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, scratch that. Note that Myspace blogs are now blacklisted, so removing them is simply ensuring that the pages remain editable, and is a public service. Guy (Help!) 23:22, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Blogs that are owned and operated by the subject of an article are explicitly exempt from the normal bar on not linking to blogs and myspace. However, this should be done with care. As an example, Link to the director's blog from an article on the director, not from his films. Unless it is a specific filming diary just for that film, in which case link from the film not the director. --Barberio 14:27, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Note, when using it as a source you should take some care to make sure it would be considered verifiable. --Barberio 14:43, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

http://blog.myspace.... has been added to the meta blacklist are the request of Jimbo, all this user (Peter / Wizardry Dragon) was doing was removing these blacklisted links. You'll find that you'll be unable to save any revisions to pages with any links to blog.myspace anyhow, so this discussion is effectively over and done with, just don't shoot the messenger. --Kind Regards - Heligoland (Talk) (Contribs) 19:33, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Could you provide a link to that request? --Milo H Minderbinder 19:44, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
The actual edit is here, with the comment "requested by Jimbo": [11]. Any link to Jimbo's actual request, or did he make the request privately? I'd like to know what his reason was. --Milo H Minderbinder 13:48, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Meta-blacklist? That's hilarious. Wjhonson 20:19, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd love to see a link for this, too. That's patently absurd if it happened. --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:36, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • The addition was made by Raul, who generally knows what he's talking about and who speaks to Jimbo more often than the lot of us combined. I see no reason to doubt Jimbo actually said that, and more importantly myspace blogs are hardly appropriate links anyway. >Radiant< 14:26, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I'd still like to see the conversation regarding it, and the second part is completely absurd, in any case. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I would assume that the conversation is private, if no one can find it themselves. But more importantly, why does it matter? Jimbo doesn't just go up to random Meta admins and ask them to blacklist part of one of the most popular sites on the Internet without a reason. If I had to guess, I would say that he's trying to improve the reliability of our sources by forcing editors to find better ones. Shadow1 (talk) 20:52, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Right, if the convo was private, that's problem nmber one. Why does it matter? Because there's no real good reason to blacklist an entire set of URLs for no apparent benefit. This doesn't improve our sources at all, and likely makes it worse - that's a massive set of primary source material taken away for no discernable reason. --badlydrawnjeff talk 20:57, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I captured the 200 or so links as of 08:00, 19 January 2007 (UTC) and pasted them into a user subpage at User:A. B./Sandbox9

Here's the breakdown:

  • 5 links in 5 Image pages
  • 42 links in 42 Article talk pages
  • 19 in 17 User talk pages
  • 42 in 40 User pages
  • 1 in a Wikipedia talk page
  • 49 in 45 Wikipedia pages
    • 9 links in old articles for creation requests
    • 32 links in AfD or VfD pages and logs
    • 8 links in other Wikipedia
  • 52 in 43 Article pages

Here's a link to the current list of articles with these links. Folks can judge the value of the links for themselves. --A. B. (talk) 01:39, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Note that were more than 52 links in Article pages, but they were removed in this cleansing. There shouldn't be a blanket ban on, it should be up to the editors of an article to decide whether it is appropriate or not. - kollision 02:19, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Primary sources should not be used on Wikipedia, per WP:V. It is really as simple as that. I removed the links after they were meta blacklisted so that people could actually, you know, edit the articles. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 00:31, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I give up

Frankly, I'm tired of this. Certain editors have acted like petulant teenagers who want to get their way, prove how smart and clever they are, and believe that such things as 'argue the points not the people' don't apply to them. Clearly they are in the right, and it's all the other people who are acting wrongly. It's their version of the page which is the good one, and only morons see otherwise. Anyone making opposition wants to fill the wiki with stolen episodes of 'Ugly Betty', and are evil nasty people.

It's taking up time from real editing, it's going nowhere, and it's just annoying people. I've been vilified and threatened with blocks. It's not going to stop, so I am. JzG, Radiant, you win, you've proved you can threaten and belittle an editor enough so he gives up. Do what ever you want.

I'm going back to making content edits and working on disambiguation link repair, and won't touch this page any more. --Barberio 15:32, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Can I interest you in a mirror? Guy (Help!) 19:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Attack sites

I would like to modify the guideline to specifically exclude attack sites (generally, FooSUCKS.NET,, etc.) There is a relevant discussion with input from the arbitrators here (persistent link since the discussion was removed). I can think of three types of broad content on attack sites; 1) compilations or archives of negative press reports, 2) forums or BBS's for bitching, 3) unverifiable original research. Info of types 2 and 3 are generally prohibited anyway; info of type 1, when found on an attack site, likely falls under misleads the reader because such archives are going to be highly selective cherry picking (or bottom picking) of possible sources. My view is that such attack sites should not be linked, even for reasons of "balance", and that such reliable negative information as may be found can be incorporated into the article body (subject to usual concerns of NPOV, editorial discretion, consensus, and so on). However, with recent edit wars and reports at WP:RFAR and WP:ANI, I'd like this actually written into policy. Thatcher131 17:27, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

If we redline attack sites, should we redline corporate astroturfing sites too? Propaganda, either positive or negative, shouldn't normally be cited as a source. Jehochman (Talk/Contrib) 20:48, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I would say... in general, yes. However when you start looking at specific instances exceptions keep popping up. Just like the occasional "hate" site would be relivent to the article, the occasional "astroturf" site would likewise be ok. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 23:29, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
We are under the heading normally to be avoided here of course. I would like to see attack sites out as a matter of policy and included as the exception, rather than the reverse. I know what you mean by corporate astroturfing but I'm not familiar with any examples. I would want to tend to avoid corporate sites other than the "official" site in most cases anyway. Thatcher131 05:59, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Ummm I can't think of an astroturf off the top of my head. They tend to pop up as part of major political advertising campaigns. I've seen more then one innocent personal homepage looking "criticism" website funded by a political party. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 08:43, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Here's one of each: Astroturfing - and Attack - Jehochman (Talk/Contrib) 14:40, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


somebody should mention that linking to encyclopedia dramatica is forbidden, and enforceable by ban, as it isn't listed anywhere obvious. ... aa:talk 23:33, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

There are tons of blacklisted sites, isn't the way to find out what they are just to look at the blacklist? --Milo H Minderbinder 23:38, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
It's blacklisted... there's no point in even mentioning it since there is a technical limitation in place. ---J.S (T/C/WRE)
Please see this question to an admin. Where is a user supposed to find guidance when an article is WP:SALTed? I don't think it's clear at all. I think it's also very important to list sites that can get one banned for simply linking to. In this case, the content has been removed after the fact, making it difficult for even the original positor of the question to find the answer. And, might I add, that the original question was posed because the blacklisted site was linked off the BBC. Perhaps a little more transparency is required here. ... aa:talk 21:49, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
WP:DENY recognition. Hipocrite - «Talk» 21:54, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Send them to Wikipedia:Deletion review. The article was deleted for a good reason, but if the situation has changed then a review is in order. Discussing spesific external links is outside the scope of this guideline. In addition, good faith editors aren't (or at-least shouldn't be) banned for making honest mistakes. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 21:58, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
There is a discussion on the admin noticeboard at present over whether we should use a separate template for articles in the "when hell freezes over" category. Guy (Help!) 19:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


Lsmsuresh 07:23, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Shall i post this link in Coimbatore page?

It seems to fail the guidelines. Sorry. Take a look at Wikipedia:External_links#Links_normally_to_be_avoided. Number 1 and 3. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 08:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Feedback about Cumberland, Maryland

We have a... "situation" at Cumberland, Maryland. When I found the article, it was like this, with almost 200 external links through the article. I trimmed everything down, and some contributors continue adding. Right now there are around 70, with few (if any) being used as references. I need a second opinion about this matter. -- ReyBrujo 22:24, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I have shortened the radio links so they appear as a small link (with no wording) just the link icon. All radio links are referenced.

I have made a seperate section for "Area State Parks" (only three links there) that have a state DNR website, if this is not allowed, please let me know and I will be glad to take that down. The government links have been trimmed to just city and county sites. The "heritage/recreation" links have been cut down to three...and the header just to "Area Heritage", again please let me know if this is a problem and it will also be taken care of. By count, we are down to 48 links, the majority in articles (that the links are related to) and radio.

Please let me know if the radio links can be taken down more so they are not as noticeable as they currently are, but as still accessable.

Thanks....SVRTVDude 12:08, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Don't know if this will help, but here is an approach I have seen used to good effect in these sorts of situations: If the EL is directly about the subject of the article, then ask whether the link's presence truly enhances information that is not already in the article - if the link was used as a reference, use the <ref> tags to place in the article where that reference was used, and create a References Section in the article. For ELs where it is not directly about the subject of the page (for instance, parks, cultural resources, etc,) if it could be considered notable, consider creating a WP page for that entity, do an internal Wikipedia link to THAT page. Obviously, now the original EL can be a candidate for inclusion on the new page. If the entity is not notable enough for its own WP article, then I believe you really need to think twice about whether that EL on the page is even needed. -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 13:59, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Ya know, that is a really good idea and a good point. Rey, is this do-able? - SVRTVDude 14:04, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Sure. However, note that if any of those pages are deleted because of lack of notability, it is likely the link in the Cumberland page is not needed. In example, if you have a link to a pub, create an article about the pub, move the external link there, and the article about the pub is deleted, then the external link should not brought back to the Cumberland article, otherwise we would just be throwing pebbles to the water to see if one floats. -- ReyBrujo 14:22, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Yoga article external links now changed to DMOZ link

The Yoga#External Links (sic cap'n) have been cleared and replaced by the DMOZ directory. Is this a problem, I am not entirely comfortable with it. Paul foord 22:54, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Feel free to restore any links that conform to WP:EL. Leave the Dmoz up if it's useful. Deizio talk 23:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
No links were there previous to the placement of DMOZ.?? asside from the heavy spam additions, this is consensus discussed on the talk page. Please don't Forum shop. --Hu12 23:46, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Is seeking advise at the relevant policy talk page forum shopping? Paul foord 11:53, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

This is the talk page for discussing maintenance changes to the Guideline about Wikipedia:External links. Your Question, along with the consensus reached about how to handle the external link spam problem on the yoga article, would be relevent to that particular article's talk page, this is typicaly where changes, decisions ect. to the article take place. However, noting that you mentioned no such policy question on the Yoga talk page, and are stating here that you have asked such a question, possibly you could clarify this.
Forum shopping is Leaving messages on multiple talk pages to attempt to get a second or third opinion. As mentioned above you mention no such policy question on the yoga page, and have asked no policy question here?? Obviously your unhappy with consensus over on the yoga talk page, however this is not the correct place for that particular discussion.--Hu12 12:59, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
You can try the talkpage at WP:WPEL to connect with editors interested in EL issues that may be inappropriate to list here. Individual members of that project may also be happy to offer advice on external link issues. Deizio talk 14:18, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Plenty of us over at WP:WPSPAM if you want learn more about the facets and process for dealing with inappropriate links, such as the recent additions to Yoga--Hu12 04:32, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

DSA Driving test Or Driving External links

I was adding - Driving Theory Test to or because this site tells about driving theory test and serving its visitors before the sites which are listed on this page (talking about driving page). Please tell me how I am wrong here. Zzuuzz removed my link several times, can I start new page for it. Looking at you guys. Thanks--Searcharge 05:30, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

From "Links to normaly be avoided":

  • 1. Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article.
  • 4. Links to sites that primarily exist to sell products or services.
  • 5 Links to sites with objectionable amounts of advertising.
  • 6 Links to sites that require payment or registration to view the relevant content.

---J.S (T/C/WRE) 05:41, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Further reading vs External links

In WP:Citing Sources#Further reading/External links, it states that either "External links" or "Further reading" should be used. Since I would assume that this page applies to any links in either named section, should that be mentioned here? At least mention that the section can be named either way, and this these rules apply to the online links in either. (Though I imagine a lot could apply to printed-matter links in "Further reading" too.) — jesup 03:10, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Then you get external link sections like the one at Animal rights. -- ReyBrujo 03:11, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
My. Though the problem there isn't the name (unless you want to change the advice in WP:Citing Sources) - it's the entire approach. WAY WAY too many links, not to mention badly out-of-whack on NPOV (for the Further reading section - quite possibly the rest of the article too; I didn't even worry about that). I took a whack at the section there; I'll bet that fervent activists will revert my edit very soon. A list of circa 40-60 homepages of animal rights organizations (plus 40ish books/articles, plus many many other links) is way out of line with the guidelines. I still think that unless we change Citing Sources, we need to at least mention it here. — jesup 14:36, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm of the opinion that "further reading" is a much better name for a section. It lets you add both printed and online links of interest that are further to references and in context to the article. Whereas "external links" is a honeypot for people to add spam. The guideline should cite a preference for the section to be called "further reading". --Monotonehell 09:55, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Some articles have both, a further reading section for a bibliography of general literature, which is not used in the article as a reference, but which serve as further reading, and an external links section, with links to some sites of interest. In these cases, the further reading section does not even need to have external links, and to keep in line with similar articles on similar subjects, which may not have a further reading section, the external links name is then more consistent, recognisable. I suspect that the other way around also happens (consistently using further reading sections for links to external sources). --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:17, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
In contemporary academia the distinction between real media (paper) and online sources is progressively becoming blurred. A lot of reading can be done online. There is no need to have a distinction between material that is available instantly via a link and material you may need to run down to your library for other than within the citation. The term "external links" offers no context for the material that should be added (and as I said is a honeypot for spammers). An article should have (IMO) a References section for direct citations made in the article's text; a Further reading section for both on and offline media of interest to the article's subject matter. In line with WP:NOT of course. --Monotonehell 12:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Further reading is not an option because it eliminates video and audio files. 2005 11:33, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Not at all. Libraries hold both books, videos, audio recordings, slides as well as computer stored catalogues of academic papers, magazines and all manner of media. In a similar manner the kind of media referenced in the section need not be limited to the written word. --Monotonehell 12:14, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Libraries also have chairs, that doesn't mean you read them. That is why we use the appropriate words. Further reading is useless by itself, and can't be used alone. It can be a separate section, but its impossible to use it alone, unless you are proposing eliminating sound and video files, neither which are reading. No one says I'm going to go "read my stereo" or "let's go movies to read Star Wars". "Further reading", "further viewing" and "further listening" sections would be silly. We have external links that covers all, and either fursther reading or "books" to cover offline documents. There isn't a problem here so lets not create one. 2005 22:36, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I disagree. Further reading can contain a general book on a subject (which may not be used in the article), whereas references contain the specific references used to write the article. External links can then contain illustrative links, but this section should be minimal anyway. As a distinction: whereas I would argue that Further reading should contain reliable sources, external links do not have to be reliable sources. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:34, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
(Just to clarify, are you saying that a Further reading section should only contain actual printed on paper, hold in your hand, books?) How would you draw a line between reliable sources and "not have to be reliable sources"? --Monotonehell 15:04, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I did not mean that, but it is dependent on the project how certain headers are used in groups of articles. In science (spec. chemistry), the references in the document are often to peer-reviewed articles in journals. Sometimes there is a further reading section, which contains e.g. some accepted general chemistry book, e.g. the ones used in high-school or university, which contain a piece of text about the subject, though that specific book may not have been used in writing the articles. They do not have to contain external links, though with the new systems there is often an external links to the doi-system, but it may also be only a link to an ISBN of the book, which is not an external link. Moreover, as was stated above, sources become more and more available as online media (though some are not available online to the general public, and book versions are, there are books that I can access online in my field, but the paper version can accessed by everybody in the library or bought in a specialised bookshop). The external links sections then contain e.g. some links to some examples on the web. But as I say, that is in 'our' corner of the wikipedia, other 'corners' may use different setups, and there the further reading section may be, for that project been consistently used for external links. If that item in further reading is available as a web resource, that would result in it being an external link, indeed.
What I see as the major difference between reliable sources, and 'not have to be reliable sources' is that the former have been checked by an independent group of people, peer-reviewed, or it is a generally accepted book, a website from an official government department, etc. etc. The latter can be a webpage with a demonstration, of particular pictures pertaining to the subject. These can be, assuming good faith, be used as a demonstration of the subject, but they are not checked, and hence would not, strictly, be a reliable source. It should of course comply with wp:el, especially wp:spam. I don't draw a line between the two, there is a huge grey area between them. Having said this, I am in general favouring to cut down these external links sections, leaving it to a bare minimum. On the other hand, I would hardly touch a further reading section containing 25 items to stable, independent, reliable sources (of whatever kind). But again, that is in our corner of the wikipedia.
In my view, both sections should be sanctioned according to wp:el, the choice of how the section is named should be left to the project, considering that both may be available in an article because of specific adaptations of a project. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:39, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
You seem to have been cut off in mid sentence in your first paragraph... lol. The reason I've come to my opinion is that several of the articles I've been editing have a LARGE external links section mostly filled with borderline spam of only cursory interest. It seems that people see the "external links" section and think that it's a free for all to promote whatever site they have. Since links to external sites must be in context to the article and not random community sites or similar they seem to me to fit into the category of "further reading". I'm interested in tightening up perception to match policy/guidelines. Perhaps External Links should be renamed to something less vague if you see this dichotomy between reliable and semi-reliable sources. References / Further Reading / Pertinent links perhaps? ;) --Monotonehell 18:56, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

(undent)I see your point, but what I generally do is to axe such sections down, everything spammy is wrong. Within chemistry (which covers amongst others the big fish 'sildenafil') several people are actively watching external link addition, and most additions are reverted within minutes. The guidelines are clear enough what should be allowed, and external links sections should be kept to a minimum. Renaming it to something else may result in a little less spam, but since it is a list of external links, people will add anyway, or just in-text. Where possible using 'further reading' instead of 'external links' may help, but it is not always possible. Revert and add to spam-blacklist if it is persistent are the only methods, I am afraid. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:16, 20 January 2007 (UTC) Addition: keeping links similar to spam-links out is also a good thing. If there is one which has some resemblance to a link someone wants to add, more will follow. An example that I see sometimes is that there are pages about medicine, which have a link to the page of the patent-holding company that makes that medicine, and that has the appropriate url ''. That does lead to companies, who make something similar, add their link to that section, 'because the other link is there also'. But again, reverting that is the only solution (I don't know if this falls under an official policy, I guess it would violate wikipedia:assume good faith, but (towards spammers): what other wikipedians have done does not give you the right to do the same ..). --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:23, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm having some serious doubts of the WP:RS kind (authoritative?) with - [12]. Is this a good or a bad link? JoeSmack Talk 03:54, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Depends on the context. The few articles I looked at the links to that site are referenced as reviews of the subject, in a template. That's not claiming to be anything that needs to be verified. It's a link to an opinion. I don;t know if it's necessary, but it doesn't seem to be misrepresenting anything. There's even an article on them Tiny Mix Tapes not that that means anything. --Monotonehell 04:01, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Why are their review authoritative? Can I make a review site, make a 1-5 scale and start adding them to wikipedia articles? JoeSmack Talk 21:57, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Nofollow back on URL links on articles for now

See [13]. Maybe this could be added to the project page as a note or something. (See also nofollow#rel="nofollow") --Ligulem 16:36, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Could someone please estimate how long the "wikiasite" types of templates shall remain exempt from this "nofollow" campaign? Or, has the God-King privately ruled that Wikipedia shall remain a highly-optimized Google linkfarm for his Wikia project? I'm sure Jimbo's venture capital investor/partners would put on their little frownie-faces if an official Wikipedia policy actually policed this gross conflict of interest. The clock is ticking, as of January 20th. How long before Wikia wikis are also subject to the general "nofollow" policy? --JossBuckle Swami 04:28, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

External link to copyright violations

The guidelines state that we shouldn't link to sites that infringe on copyrights, which I understand and generally agree with. However, I have an issue: many old computer games are featured on abandonware sites (in particular Home of the Underdogs) which are technically violating copyright (HotU removes links at copyright holders' requests, but afaik doesn't have a license to distribute). So, we shouldn't be linking to these sites with "download this game at hotu," but would it be acceptable to link to them as a reference? What if they don't provide a download for the particular game that the article is about? Some guidance would be appreciated. --Sopoforic 00:36, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Can you explain why we should be linking to them at all? After all this is an encyclopedia, not a web directory. We shouldn't use references as a way to get round things. Ta/wangi 00:40, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, presumably because the information in the article did actually come from that site. They do actually compile quite a bit of information about the developers, publishers, how and when it was released, how it was received, and such. It's no different from any other web source except in that it also contains material that violates copyright. --Sopoforic 00:51, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
WT:C might be a better place for this question? Ta/wangi 01:05, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think so. My question is about the external links guideline specifically. WP:C doesn't even mention external links, so I think this question is more appropriate here. --Sopoforic 02:19, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
My take on this is that if the site infringes on the copyright of the original manufacturer, no matter how good their information is, we should not be linking to them from WP. -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 15:25, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I get that. But the situation I'm talking about--it's kind of like youtube. We're discouraged from linking to it because it does definitely contain copyrighted videos, but (as I understand it) we can link to videos that definitely aren't copyright violations themselves. This is the case with HotU. They provide good information, but in many cases they also provide downloads which violate copyright. Is it right to link to them for software that they don't provide a download for? I'd have certainly said yes, but it's usually only a click or two from that page to some other page that does offer copyrighted software to download.
Alternatively, would it be okay to use them as a reference if I just list the URL and don't actually link it? It's not significantly different, and I wouldn't want to follow the letter of the guideline and ignore its spirit, but I don't want to ignore good sources of information just because there is also copyright violation going on. --Sopoforic 00:26, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Footnote difficulties, no mention of ref

I wanted to get clear about how to footnote an article correctly, however my choice of search path (from [14]) was perhaps unwise and I ended up at Wikipedia:External_links instead, as I think at least some others will.

No doubt, for experienced users, that links and footnotes are utterly different will be a given.

But not for such as myself, I'm afraid that this page as it stands might cause confusion for new users about footnotes or fail to encourage them to use ref tags.

At least some naive users as foolish as myself will come here to learn how to footnote, I'm sorry to say. It might be an idea to immediately and firmly redirect them to the footnote page, and perhaps ref should be mentioned here as another reminder, since, logically (especially for the naive), footnotes are links, or often confused with them.

As a naive user I don't feel comfortable making changes in a help page, so I leave the actual changes to others, with apologies.

Ndaniels 19:33, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

taking avoid literally (esp myspace)

User:Shadowbot has seriously annoyed me in the last 48 hours by reverting perfectly good links to several sites in the United Church of Christ article. It is now clear to me that User talk:JoeSmack and User:Hu12 are part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam and are launching a crusade to rid wikipedia of all links of types listed in the avoid section of WP:EL. I am assuming good faith here in the sense that I really do think they want to eliminate linkspam, but I am concerned that betweeen shadowbot and WikiProject Spam, there will be a risk of wikipedia:wikilawyering. They seem to be treating the 'avoid' paragraph as an absolute non-negotiable prohibition on any and all links to myspace. 'They' refuse to contribute to talk pages because 'they' only care about 'what it says on WP:EL'. 'They' tag team in reverting my reverts. Ok, so I understand that there is no cabal but I wanted to clarify with WP:EL policymakers about the extent of this word "avoid." Does this mean that there should be no links to myspace from wikipedia? EVER???????? This seems like it came out of nowhere and is now being strictly enforced by a group that I believe is taking the wikipedia rules to the letter of the law and not the spirit. your comments? MPS 20:57, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

As stated on both the article's talk page and MPS's talk page, the links in question are not notable. I don't have some sort of grudge against the links because of the 'Avoid' paragraph, but they don't contribute any more information than what's covered in the article. Shadow1 (talk) 21:03, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
shadowbot refers to a "blacklist" that I can only assume is the 'avoid' paragraph. So no, I don't think you personally have a grudge against these sites, but it's clear that shadowbot (a Bot!) does. Shadowbot is programmed to excise all links listed in the WP:EL 'avoid' paragraph.
Why is an "unofficial" fansite so important to the article? I can't figure that out... so I agree with the removals by the bot. Please note that we are an encyclopedia, not a linkfarm Cheers! —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 21:07, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Also if I may ask... why is this link so important to you? Why not another "unofficial" fangroup? Cheers —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 21:08, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
we can deal with the specifics of the links on a case by case basis. What am concerned about, and what I suspect, is that shadowbot and its associated wikispam project intends to eliminate ALL links to ALL social networking sites (and other links) based on WP:EL's admonition to 'avoid' such sites. My experience is just the tip of the iceberg, a clue into the way that shadowbot appears to operate. What happens is that when an editor eliminates a link and somone adds it back in, shadowbot appears to detect this revert and then commits two grievous sins, as follow: (1) It reverts the reversion with a message that says "reverting detected spam by user:FOO" and then (2) it sends hate mail to USER:FOO with the message,

"Thank you for contributing to Wikipedia, FOO! However, your edit here was reverted by an automated bot that attempts to remove spam from Wikipedia. If you were trying to insert a good link, please accept my creator's apologies, but please note that the link you added in is on my spam blacklist and should not be included in Wikipedia. Please read Wikipedia's external links policy for more information. If the link was to an Imageshack or Photobucket image, please read Wikipedia's image tutorial on how to use a more appropriate method to insert the image into an article. If your link was genuine spam, please note that inserting spam into Wikipedia is against policy. For more information about me, see my FAQ page. Thanks! Shadowbot

I personally don't see the problem with giving wikipedia editors selective license to link to social networking sites. The notion that there is a "blacklist" as shadowbot suggests... implies that shadowbot is taking the 'avoid' paragraph] in WP:EL as absolute and non-negotiable. so much for wikipedia: use common sense MPS 21:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
As you can see here, AntiVandalBot labels editors it reverts as vandals, even though some edits it reverts are not vandalism. As for the complaints about my use of the word 'blacklist,' that is simply how I refer to Shadowbot's list of links to automatically revert. If the entire complaint here is about Shadowbot's misworded warnings and components, then I'm not entirely sure how this is an issue. Shadow1 (talk) 21:52, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Is there a list of the links your bot removes links of? --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
There can be if people have a desperate need to see it. Shadow1 (talk) 21:59, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Ok, perhaps I should clarify. Shadowbot contains a list of links that have been identified as spam, which is how it reverts users. This list contains roughly 630 sites. It is not the avoid paragraph. The two are completely separate, although, as indicated by this discussion, some sites from the avoid paragraph are on the list. Shadow1 (talk) 22:05, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
How does it "identify" as spam? Is there some sort of checklist that's done? And yes, I'd like to see the list, preferably linked from the bot's userpage. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:07, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
A regex. Shadow1 (talk) 22:25, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The 'blacklist' can be found at User:Shadowbot/Blacklist. Shadow1 (talk) 22:30, 21 January 2007 (UTC)\\
Okay, how were these sites reached? --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:39, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
This is probably a controversial thing to point out, but since this is a wiki, that blacklist can be edited by anyone. And since it is removing links, whatever is on there should probably be reached by consensus. A "private" blacklist seems a bit odd to me, especially since wikipedia already has an official one in place, is there any policy or precedent for this sort of thing? --Milo H Minderbinder 14:32, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

May I ask... are social networking sites helpful to building an encyclopedia? Cheers! —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 21:55, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

They can be. --badlydrawnjeff talk 21:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Forums and myspace articles aren't verifiable, and they aren't encyclopedic (because they are social networking profiles, not reliable sources). JoeSmack Talk 22:00, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Carson Daly is a good counterexample... Carson's show page on links to his myspace and this is his official myspace page. See? sometimes it is verifiable. MPS 22:13, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Some can be. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:07, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Appropriate yet extremely extremely rare use of myspace/forums as a link is when encyclopedic information can solely be derived from a specific entry of a MySpace profile: picture a famous film director who made a controversial and visible racist post on their MySpace profile which was widely criticized in the media. In this case too, it should be <ref>'d and not put into the 'External links' section. Again, extremely rare: I could count on one hand the times I've seen this kind of situation happen. JoeSmack Talk 22:11, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not as rare as one would think. For instance, use as a primary source is entirely legitimate, and linking in such a way for celebrities who use their myspace as an official communication is entirely worthwhile. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:12, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
But the problem is that no one actually cites their information properly. They simply include the link at the end of the sentence, or throw it into the External Links section. Shadowbot is programmed, by default, to stop reversion of an edit if it detects that the link is actually a citation. Shadow1 (talk) 22:15, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
So your bot penalizes people who don't understand our preferred citing? --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:18, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
If they don't know about the citing, then they can revert the bot and it will leave them alone. Shadow1 (talk) 22:23, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, good to know. That didn't appear to happen above, which is what I was concerned about. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure Shadow1 would be happy to add a link to Wikipedia:Embedded citations and I would suggest a link to Magnus's reference maker which would make inline citations easy for new users to follow [15].--Kind Regards - Heligoland 22:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I correction - a user was reverted twice. Not that the bot didn't tell him about citation. Not that the style of citaion should matter here, but that';s a seperate discussion. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
This is an acceptable method of citing: Wikipedia:Embedded citations --NE2 22:18, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Keep in mind that this is only verifiable when the director comes out to the media and renounces himself, etc. Thats how you'd verify that they are connected to the 'official' myspace profile/forum post. The tag of 'official' has no regulation on myspace, and anyone can pretend to be anyone's official myspace profile - another reason it is so rare for myspace/foums to be encyclopedic links. JoeSmack Talk 22:16, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
That's not entirely true, though. Most bands, for instance, link straight to their myspace from an official site. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:18, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
As a straight redirect, or in a sidebar somewhere? Shadow1 (talk) 22:23, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Often, both. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict 3x wow!) Most if not all notable celebrities have their own websites... as we are not a linkfarm, we don't have to link to the myspace. Regardless, if whatever the issue was was not reported on by reliable sources, then was the instance really notable? —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 22:19, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

It can be. Especially if the article should be comprehensive, or if we want a direct quote. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary Section Break, #1

Badlydrawnjeff, instead of making blanket statements, it would be useful for you to provide evidence of "good" sites. was blacklisted by Raul654 by a direct request from Jimbo. Shadowbot has been reverting the additions of these links per consensus after discussion with Jimbo and Danny, and among ourselves. If you have legitimate evidence of sites that meet WP:V's burden of proof as well as the WP:EL, WP:RS, and WP:SPAM policies, then I suggest you put it forth so these pages may be meta whitelisted. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 22:26, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Badlydrawnjeff, you say that myspace pages are sometimes named on the homepage of a band. If that is so, the band has an official homepage, which is a perfectly valid external link, and the myspace link is not necessary. When there is no official homepage, you don't know whether the myspace page is an official myspace site, hence, that is not a reliable source. So I would like to hear, just as Peter above, if you can provide us with good examples of when myspace should be used as an external link? --Dirk Beetstra T C 22:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
No, the Myspace link may also be necessary for any number of reasons. It's different for different examples, and I've provided a couple above.
I don't care to make a mention of Jimbo's alleged request until he feels compelled to comment on it himself. Myspace certainly meets WP:V, for instance, as does its blogs, which is a problem with Jimbo's alleged request. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:36, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
  • That said, if you cannot back up your reasoning, you probably should not participate in this attempt to reach consensus. Blanket statements and assumptions do no good, and can do a fair bit of harm. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 22:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
  • My reasoning has been backed up, thanks, I don't much appreciate the pseudo-accusatory tone in what's been a good-faith, civil discussion thus far. The harm comes from the unilateral removing of links and blacklisting without real useful explanation. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:47, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
  • So if you have evidence, present it already! That's what I've been asking for, and you have been evasive, at best. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 22:48, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi Badlydrawnjeff, if Jimbo did not request that... don't you think something would have been said by now. I would think that Raul would be under quite some fire if he was using Jimbo's name behind his back. So because of that, I feel compelled to trust in Raul, and believe that Jimbo actually made that request. As far as myspace being where the band gives out information... we are not a location to link fans to websites. We are an encyclopedia. A link to the band's official site is more then sufficient. If what the band says on their myspace is really notable... it would show up in another reliable source. Cheers —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 22:43, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I say alleged due to lack of evidence or context. Trust, but verify. Meanwhile, the blog links have encyclopedic value, that's all that matters. --badlydrawnjeff talk 22:47, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The burden of proof is on the contributor. If they verify it, undoubted the verification would be to a reliable source which should be used to cite anyways instead of a myspace profile. JoeSmack Talk 22:49, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Joe Smack has it right. WP:V puts the burden of proof on someone making an addition or readding something removed. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 22:51, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I can't find evidence of a Jimbo request. Does that work for you? --badlydrawnjeff talk 03:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Can you re-present the evidence here badlydrawnjeff. Thanks! —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 22:50, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The fact of the matter is, there are always much better sources than social networking sites. We can't outrightly blanket ban all social networking links, but we sure can significantly reduce them. An outright ban would be hell. --Sagaciousuk (talk) 22:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
There often aren't better sources, that's the point. This convoluted nonsense assumes the worst at all times, which is patently absurd. --badlydrawnjeff talk 03:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Badlydrawnjeff, I'm not sure if your aware of this, but there are two high profile musicians who are being impersonated on MySpace right now, Brian May from Queen (band) has three impersonators on MySpace [16] and there's more than one Richard Wright (Pink Floyd) on MySpace at the moment too here and here. I'm not in anyway assuming bad faith here, but how can an editor be expected to know if what they're linking to is official or not when MySpace has a percentage of profiles which are false and could be passing off incorrect information. --Kind Regards - Heligoland 22:53, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

As an interesting side note, Jimbo has been impersonated on Myspace as well. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 22:57, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm aware of that. Because some people are impersonated on the internets doesn't mean we remove any usage of them. Common sense people, please. --badlydrawnjeff talk 03:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
badlydrawnjeff, how do you propose any site proclaiming to be the official site of a notable music group is verified, if such a check can be made, I have no concerns over the use of these sites as a reference and one instance as an external link. Is this reasonable do you think ? --Kind Regards - Heligoland 03:57, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
That's all we're looking for, really. Common sense. The obvious one is that 99% of them are either a) linked from the "official" site, or b) act as the "official" site. If we can't find either of those, it's probably not going to be a good source, but we probably don't have articles on them anyway. --badlydrawnjeff talk 04:01, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Um... then in that case why not just link to the official page and be done with it. No need for us to be a linkfarm here is there? One link ought to do. We are not a free webhost. It is not our job to link to every possibly relevant link. Let us all remember we are an encyclopedia. One link to a Official page should be more then enough. As far as references... blogs tend to be very poor references indeed. It is far better to cite a reliable source (like a news site) then a blog. Cheers! —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 04:25, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
What about cases where a myspace page (or something similar) is the official website for a band? And it can be verified that it's official because the band puts the myspace link on their album? Shouldn't it be linked since it's the official site? --Milo H Minderbinder 14:37, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Badlydrawnjeff, I do believe that there can be cases that myspace should be linked, but these cases are extremely rare. In all other cases, independent sources make much better references. Up till now we have not seen a worked out example where such a link would be necessary, only vague examples. I am sure that Jimbo will be gladly unblock myspace when several cases are presented where these pages are reliable, independent sources of information, which cannot be backed up by other reliable sources. But could you provide us with one fictional example, so that we can make a better judgement of the situation, please? --Dirk Beetstra T C 23:02, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

A band making an annoucnement about a new album. A direct quote from the subject of an article. A controversial statement on a post. There, three obvious ones where the link would be perfectly reliable and useful, with or without some news agency picking up on it. I'm not convinced Jimbo's thought this through, which is why I'd prefer some clarification that he's tellingly not providing. --badlydrawnjeff talk 03:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I have. It is very explicit about this matter in a non-ambiguous way. Specifically:

Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 04:36, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely. It does not preclude the use of primary sources. Cheers! --badlydrawnjeff talk 04:37, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Just because we can do something does not mean we should. The burden of proof is on the person adding a link to prove that the link is useful, otherwise it will be removed. This is perfectly in line with WP:V as well as consensus reached here, on the WikiProject Spam pages, as well as in discussion with Florence, Danny, and Jimbo. Again, I say, if you have a site that should be added, please do proved proof that it should, so it may be whitelisted. Otherwise this is just rhetoric, and Wikipedia is not a soapbox begins to apply. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 04:41, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I already have. Your continued assertion that I have not has no merit, and I'm not sure you're actually reading what WP:V has to say about these types of sources, either. --badlydrawnjeff talk 04:43, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Primary sources are certainly allowed, they just have limits to their use: "Wikipedia articles may use primary sources, so long as they have been published by a reliable source, but only to make descriptive points about the topic. Any interpretive claims require secondary sources." I'm not sure why the argument is being made that primary sources are never allowed, WP:RS makes it perfectly clear that they are. Just look at Microsoft, doesn't it make sense to use their website as a source for certain info? --Milo H Minderbinder 14:44, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary Section Break the Second

  • Badlydrawnjeff, all you have given is blanket statements that some links may be of merit. This is all fine and good. Now prove it. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 04:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Someone's asked for a "fictional example." I provided three. I think I've proven it fine, thanks. Now, prove my examples are wrong, preferably without misciting policy. --badlydrawnjeff talk 04:46, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

OK badlydrawnjeff I would like to address your concerns here as you put them forth.

  1. A band making an annoucnement about a new album
    Unless this is a non notable band the music industry will spread the news in magazines and other third party sites.
  2. A direct quote from the subject of an article.
    This HAS to be cited
  3. A controversial statement on a post
    Unless this person fails WP:N others will report it, thus a Third Party site can be used.

I see no issue about the the need for such links unless they are cited. If you have any other Concerns or issues/examples you have not given and Think they need to be addressed I can help clarify those also. Unless its cited 99% of the links are not needed. Best Wishes Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 05:52, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I love these arguments, Beta! Perfectly designed. So, by your airtight reasoning, why is it that a blog should be cited by other sources before it merits an External Link; but any Wikia wiki (many of which are being edited, only occasionally, by one or two editors -- making them more of a blog than a wiki) gets FULL, ROYAL, RED-CARPET treatment on Wikipedia, regardless of whether it has been specifically cited elsewhere? (And if you're confused about what I mean, I'm talking about the fact that Wikia is bestowed with various "interwiki" linking templates -- which are even EXEMPT from the new "nofollow" procedure.) There are upwards of 3,000 outbound links to Wikia from Wikipedia. A principal of that company has told us that Wikia having 2,700 outbound links back in October was "actually very small". So, we all go merrily on our way, bashing MySpace, and bashing YouTube, all while Wikia is stroked and coddled. Now, begin your flimsy counter-arguments. I love those. --JossBuckle Swami 14:18, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Before you start attacking me and calling my statements flimsy I addressed the Issue at hand here with and the use of Shadowbot in reverting those links. The Issue of the Wikia links is another topic of concern that needs handeled. Just because an issue hasn't been brought up and handled properly doesnt mean that I support or even knew about it. If what you say is the truth (I haven't had a chance to dig into it yet) That issue needs to be handled appropriately so that those thinks meet the standards of wikipedia both through WP:V WOP:RS and WP:EL. Since you seem to have a better grasp of the possible problem might I suggest that you create a new section in order to better handle this issue. Best Wishes Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 16:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Beta, I wasn't attacking you, and I called your statements "airtight". I actually LIKED very much what you said. I only wish that it would be applied more aggressively to links, being that because there is a certain Wikimedia Board member-for-life and a certain ex-Board member sitting in key executive positions at Wikia, it's all the more important that this conflict of interest be policed. If you look at my contributions, you'll see that I bring this up in many places that might listen, but I'm usually silenced by the cabal types. --JossBuckle Swami 03:34, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Woa there. Firstly YouTube has the exact same 'interwiki' linking template (im not really happy with the whole thing in the first place), and it has more than 3k easy. Secondly, I don't and certainly haven't seen anyone else give Wikia the royal treatment; if someone did, be bold and question why. It deserves as much scrutiny as anything else. Not sure why you interjected this right here right now, but please lets stick more to the topic of myspace, otherwise make a new subheading so we can keep our heads straight about what is being discussed. :) JoeSmack Talk 14:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
YouTube no longer has the same interwiki link, btw. --Kind Regards - Heligoland 14:50, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Phew, good. JoeSmack Talk 14:53, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
There's ample policy concerning the linking to of wiki sites, they must be stable and have a substantial number of editors, I would argue being hosted on Wikia guarantees a level of stability in that the link won't suddenly point of a domain name cyber squatter next week, but it certainly shouldn't be used to circumvent policy surrounding what Wikia wikis can and cannot be linked, perhaps you or someone familiar with Wikia would care to browse through Wikia and list sites that should and shouldn't be linked on Wikipedia at this time. --Kind Regards - Heligoland 14:55, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Heligoland, I did spend some time going through the Wikia links running off of Wikipedia, and I got about half-way through those that start with "A", and I didn't like what I saw. In several cases, the wiki was being edited by one or two editors for the whole preceding month. In other cases, there just were simply no edits for weeks straight. I am one person. I don't have the time to go through all the Wikia links and check histories to see if they are "valid" links out of Wikipedia according to WP:EL. What I do know is that we're up against a system and a Board of Directors who have made it as easy as pie for people to ADD Wikia links to Wikipedia. And, we're also up against a system of activist admins who actually POLICE and ERASE what I have said to other users ON THEIR TALK PAGES, when it regards an alternative wiki that I think is pretty cool, but apparently because you don't spell it W-i-k-i-a, it is considered spam to have such conversations on Talk pages. This whole thing with Wikia stinks to high heaven, and everybody's too busy "fighting spam" to even notice the biggest short-trimmed bearded spammer on Wikipedia! --JossBuckle Swami 03:34, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Going to the source is always preferable to the media filter. WP:V trumps all, and WP:V notes the use of primary sources. Your line items make no sense in the context of WP:V. --badlydrawnjeff talk 03:36, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
What part about third-party is ambiguous to you, Jeff? Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 03:57, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
What part of WP:V in regards to primary/self-published sources is confusing you? --badlydrawnjeff talk 03:58, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  • How about you actually contribute something to this dicussion other than rhetoric? Really, it's frustrating, divisive, and isn't helping one bit. So really, get down from that precipice, it could be dangerous up there! Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 04:03, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Jeff you quoted ONE line now let me quote several more FROM THE SAME POLICY
  1. self-published... blogs are largely not acceptable as sources.
  2. If an article topic has no reliable, third-party sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on it.
  3. Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.
  4. In general, sources of dubious reliability are sources with a poor reputation for fact-checking or with no fact-checking facilities or editorial oversight. who does the fact checking and editorial oversight. (you cant count the author)
  5. if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so.
  6. A quote from Jimbo Wales on WP:RS & WP:V:

    it is better to have no information, than to have information like this, with no sources. Any editor who removes such things, and refuses to allow it back without an actual and appropriate source, should be the recipient of a barnstar. --Jimbo [1]

Thus I leave it in your hands to PROVE that this blog HAS to be used, and third party sites cannot be used. and if they cannot be used per WP:V is it really worth reporting, if someone else hasn't reported it? Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 04:33, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

"Avoid" language is too strong

According to the policy, we should "avoid" any page that only works in one browser. IMHO, this language is too strong - it should say that we "prefer" pages that work in most browsers. Imagine a Wikipedia article about a very rare animal. There's only webpage about it, a brilliant, hugely informative page full of great photos - but it only works in IE7, and it needs Flash at that. Surely we would still link to it, since we don't have any other better sites. So we shouldn't "avoid" that link, we should just be on the lookout for a better one if it ever turns up. N'est-ce pas? Stevage 00:11, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

  • I disagree. The wording is done strongly for a reason. People would otherwise take that part of the guideline lightly, if at all, and would not consider it important. Accessibility of information is an extremely important factor in whether or not a link should be included. Cheers, ✎ Peter M Dodge ( Talk to MeNeutrality Project ) 00:19, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm with Peter on this, common sense obviously applies, but remember that most Linux users won't be using IE7 but Firefox, most Mac users will be using Safari and most Windows users will be using IE6 or 7, so a site that only works in one of those browsers should be avoided like the plague, frankly, unless there's absolutely nothing else that can be done to make the content available, such as linking to a text only version of the site, etc. Common sense has to apply, but changing the wording of the policy makes it easier to slip in links that need Java, Flash etc. I'd urge people to remember that Wikipedia needs to remain totally useable for blind and partially sighted people who rely on text to speech screen readers, software that magnifies the screen (not just the Windows default tool) or high contrast utilities, and linking to sites built mainly with Flash often renders these utilities redundant. I would also say that unless the link is being used to reference the article, no external link is better than a link that doesn't work in most browsers. --Kind Regards - Heligoland 02:09, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Me too. "Preferring links that work in most browsers" (it should be in all browsers, IMHO) gives the possibility to include them anyway, and they can stay even when a better link is available. "Avoiding links that do not work in all browsers" gives the possibility to delete and replace them when a better one is found. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:38, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Avoid The reason I used the avoid word when I included this in the EL policy was due to this discussion talk:Leafcutter ant. comp.os.linux.advocacy appear to agree with the policy as it stands. The link which prompted this was specifically discriminating against those who use IE (!) by redirecting them to Recently the offending site has been changed to only bring up an annoying text box, but for a at least six months it was not accessible by IE, the market leader in browsers, and therefore was not an approiate link. - Parasite 05:30, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Is this a useful link?

New York Bus Service links to the MTA Bus Company website; MTA Bus took over operations of NYBS in 2005. There is a prominent link in the introduction to the MTA Bus Company article, which links to their site. I don't feel that this external link is useful, but if I remove it there will be an edit war (judging from past interactions with BWCNY). What do others think? --NE2 01:56, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Use the link in a citation somewhere in the article. That would probably be best. If the link can't be used as a citation... then removing it would probably be best. Cheers! —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 01:59, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Can you please remove it? I don't want to get into another edit war with BWCNY. --NE2 02:03, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Can it be used as a citation? —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 02:04, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Not that I can see - in any case it would be to a subpage of the site, not the main page. --NE2 02:10, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Well see if there is anything that will be helpful in the article proper. After all we are here to improve the encyclopedia :D. If you need help using the <ref> tags, then let me know. Cheers! —— Eagle 101 (Need help?) 02:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I know how to use the tags and cite sources: [17] --NE2 02:16, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Can someone please remove it? --NE2 03:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Why? Looks fine. If you want it removed, you should make your case at the talk page and get consensus for it. --badlydrawnjeff talk 04:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I explained why it's not a useful link. The article is about the former company, not the current one. We shouldn't link to NJ Transit's official site on Erie Railroad or the United Kingdom's official site(s) on Wales. --NE2 04:37, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Are this links useful?

Hi everyone I am doing this following a suggestion by Heligoland. I have added some links to a video podcast that I own. I did not they will be a problem. But they got deleted I think they are a nice addition to wikipedia please look at them by going to and express you oppinion here ,judge if the links are really useful or not to wikipedia.

If any of you think they are valuable to wikipedia then feel free to add them back in the external links. Regards SilentVoice 04:11, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

have you made this point on the Talk pages of the articles where you would like to see the links? there you will find more editors who are familiar with the subject. This page is more for general policy decisions than discussing specific cases. Hope this helps. -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 15:46, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree, the article talk page you wish to include the link is probably the most appropriate place for a question like this. However you have done the right thing by asking. You may ask us over at WP:WPSPAM, I'm sure you'll recieve plenty of response and advice. --Hu12 16:00, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

List of articles with over 100 external links

I have compiled a list of the articles with over 100 external links according to the latest database dump (November 30, 2006). There are currently 905 articles listed there (a few have been deleted). Note that templates generating external links like {{coor d}} are considered external links in the database dump. The list is found here. The full list is over 40mb, so I am uploading the ones with over 100 (which account for 258,885 out of 10,333,272, or 2.5% of the total external links I harvested). -- ReyBrujo 22:48, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Bizarre edit of protected page

This line has been added to the article while protected: "Note that since Wikipedia uses Nofollow tags, additions of links to Wikipedia will not alter search engine rankings." Unless User:JoshuaZ wants to pass around his crystal ball or post the comuumication from every single search engine on Earth, the nonsensical sentence should be removed immediately. We certainly do not know this is true, and it makes us look like dopes to say we do. 2005 00:11, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I suggest rewording it to "Note that since Wikipedia uses nofollow tags, external links may not alter search engine rankings." This is a noteworthy addition which may help reduce the spam around, but contemplating that some obsolete and/or barely used engines do not use it at all. -- ReyBrujo 00:17, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
That seems fine. The greater reality though is regardless of nofollow tags search engines may in fact value wikipedia links, and even more than that, it is clear a lot of people think that the engines will still value the links. Nofollow helps in combatting spam somewhere between 1% and not at all. It's fine mentioning it in the guideline (more sensibly like ReyBrujo wrote), but that won't make the slightest difference to any spammer. 2005 00:26, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Done. Yes, it is not likely to stop spam, but now that there is even a campaign to convert every link that goes to Wikipedia in nofollow as long as Wikipedia uses it, we can as well clarify that in our guideline. -- ReyBrujo 00:39, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Er, sorry about that. I should have thought about that more and discussed the wording here before I added that. Thanks for the much better phrasing. JoshuaZ 14:49, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

"Official website"

Many articles refer to the official website for things under the heading "Official website". Others refer more specifically to "Holmes University website". One advantage with "Official website" is it makes it clear that what is linked is an official website, rather than simply a fan site with that name. Others think it's better to be more specific. Should we put together a new style guideline for this sort of thing? Owen 22:52, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I prefer:
But this is really something that should be dealt with on the talk-page of the specific article. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 23:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I would like an opinion on this article's links: RBD.
I think it would be good to have a general style guide on that point, instead of having separate discussions on every talk page, though I'd like to see:
Argyriou (talk) 23:13, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Maybe that was not the best (worst?) example. This one is better: Paulina Rubio
Official site is the best. The other concoctions lead to spammy entries and obvious problems like when is the offical website of John Smith, or TS Yang Motors. This is more important when dealing with similar, competitive websites, where they try and stuff their keyword in the name, even making Red We should just stear clear of all that nonsense. The link is being linked _specifically_ because it IS an offical site, so we should plainly note the link as such, and nothing else. 2005 01:30, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Owen for bringing this to the right forum. Here are my thoughts on the matter, posted on another talk page and to which no one responded. I like the [Example Corp.] (official website) idea above though. Like I told Owen, when I see "Official website" by itself, I think "'Official website' of what?" It should be obvious, but as a professional editor, unfortunately my mind is trained to think about things like that. In any case, if someone comes up with a style guideline I would abide by it. Katr67 23:36, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Is this a useful link? Category:Monasteries in Romania,on the page of Agapia Monastery ? stefan 11:37, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

It looks more like a useful reference for extending the article, but since it does not cite sources it is difficult to be sure of the quality of the information. It also has a pop-up advert which would make me very reluctant to link to it. Notinasnaid 11:44, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

NSFW tag?

Earlier tonight I was reading the article for the comedy show "The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show" and at the bottom of the page is an external link to an interview with the stars of the show. Although the link is relevant, and it in-and-of itself is not necessarily offensive, the interview is presented on the website "," a soft-core pornography site.

I don't personally believe that external links such as this should be censored, but I do believe that there should be a warning mechanism in place to make Wikipedia readers aware of what they are clicking on.

For instance, my company uses content-filtering software that blocks websites with objectionable content. If I was on my lunch-break, reading this article, and clicked the link to the suicide girls website, my action would have created a log on the proxy server indicating I had attempted to visit a pornographic website. In some organizations, this would provide grounds to fire an employee, even though they were simply reading articles on wikipedia and happened to unknowingly click on an objectionable link.

I looked through the guidelines for external links, and the corresponding discussion page, but could not find any information regarding this sort of situation.

To reiterate, the interview and the page it is displayed on are not in-and-of themselves offensive, but the parent site that hosts the interview will surely be considered offensive by many, and is inaccessable by many as well.

Is there, (or should there be) a method for identifying these sorts of links to the user? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kneel (talkcontribs) 06:36, 26 January 2007 (UTC).

I don't think I've ever seen or heard of such a method, but it strikes me as a good idea. I've accidentally clicked on things that were blocked by my company's content filter too, and I don't like getting that logged. schi talk 18:02, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't really like this kind of thing... It's too subjective. It's too apt to be abused as a way to make a political point. (Ie, Cristian groups might want to mark links to pagan websites, Islamic groups might want to mark websites with cartoons of Muhammad, etc). I think the better way to approach this is to use simple citation-formated external links. For example:
The user would now know some basic information about the website before clicking on the link, and no judgement is being made. (Ie, "Not safe for work" is a point of view judgement) ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:29, 26 January 2007 (UTC)