Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 19

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External links in the article body

My apologies for raising an issue which may have been discussed ad nauseam, but why is it that we ought not to use external links in the body of an article? --Mark H Wilkinson (t, c) 08:45, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

A previous discussion, where the item was introduced, is here -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 13:23, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I feel silly for not simply searching the page. Thanks. --Mark H Wilkinson (t, c) 14:09, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Links in infoboxes and lists

Is it appropriate to include a link section into an infobox template? For example, in case of fictional characters it is often requested that a picture is included into an article, but no appropriate free or fair-use image can be uploaded. For such cases, an addition of "Portrayals" row with external links can be supposingly justified. Also, what should be done with lists of minor topics? If an external source is quite valuable in respect of a particular entry, where it should be placed? Súrendil 11:23, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

There are links to official websites in many info boxes and I don't think that's inappropriate. Info boxes are about providing a quick to digest summary in a different format from the main article. But linking to sites for photos doesn't really seem like it meets either the spirit of the quick to digest summary, nor the spirit of our insistence on not having fair use photos where we should be able to get one taken or donated (assuming that's the reason for the lack of usable photos). So it seems to me like such links would be appropriate only very rarely.
On the lists of minor topics question I'm not certain I understand what your describing. But as I've always understood our guidelines, in general we wouldn't provide an external link to an organization/person/entity that is simply a member of a list. If they're an important org/person/entity they should be wikilinked and any official website can be linked off their own article. If there is some reason for providing a link to them then it should be in the external links section along with other external links for the article. If you actually mean a reference then that should be cited like other references in the article. -- SiobhanHansa 12:17, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
  • External links in infoboxes are totally appropriate if they are adding value and helping the reader. With regards to pictures of fictional characters, fair use certainly allows us to use an image of a fictional character. Try any Simpsons characters' article for an example. Johntex\talk 23:29, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Linking to multiple pages on the same site

On Capablanca random chess, there are two links to the same (small) website. I tried simplifying them, but was reverted. Is there a policy or guideline to guide us through this issue? Anchoress 05:01, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

External links vs External link

"The header should be 'External links' (plural) even if there is only a single link listed."

Why? This clearly goes against English sense & the way in which such headings are used in journals and books. Espresso Addict 00:36, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I hope that you don't mind, but I changed the italics to quotation marks, since you are quoting; at first I thought that it was an unsigned emphatic (italicized) comment by someone who didn't leave a signature. That is the guideline. It [the section heading] leaves room for adding further links to it [the section]. It [the heading] seems okay to me. It's a standardized Wikipedia section heading, not a statement of fact. --NYScholar 00:48, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

As far as Wikipedia's following "journals and books"; it does not do so; there are many inconsistencies and other discrepancies that Wikipedia has with "journals and books" and the standard usage in academic scholarship. I list some sources relating to those inconsistencies on my current talk page. --NYScholar 00:52, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Sites requiring registration policy applies to references too?

The general thinking on another policy discussion page is that references also should not be to sites that require registration/subscription unless no non registration/subscription sources is available. Please see this discussion. Which sand witch sandwich? 20:32, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

First, this page isn't about references. This is made clear at the top. Second, this is bad advice, and previous discussions on the issue have confirmed that reliability is the primary consideration in choosing sources. Christopher Parham (talk) 20:38, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, Christopher Parham is right. This page is about external links, not sources. What confuses things is that people sometimes get lazy and put sourcing links in the "external links" when they should cite them inline so they land in the "References" section. Sourcing is already a tolerated violation of WP:CITE, but what can you do? Anyway, those are sources so WP:V, WP:CITE, and WP:RS apply to those sourcing links. This page applies to external links that aren't sources. BTW, please stop revert warring. Wikidemo 21:20, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
For major disagreements with the above statements, see Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons#External links. External links in Wikiepdia are subject to WP:V#Sources in the views of many editors expressed there. Wikedemo's point of view is a point of view (his opinion) on this guideline about external links (a guideline) and not a policy statement in Wikipedia. (His opinion or point of view on the guideline is not a policy statement and its "rightness" is precisely what is in dispute re: WP:BLP#Reliable sources and Wikipedia talk:Biographies of living persons#External links. As administrators (several) have stated in a variety of ways there, a guideline (such as WP:EL) does not "trump" a policy; a core policy in Wikipedia: WP:V, which WP:EL refers readers to consult, as WP:EL also refers to two other core policies Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, and WP:NOR, as well as to WP:BLP. Various "external links" to material outside of Wikipedia (whether in "External links" sections or elsewhere in an article or Wikipedia space) send readers to Wikipedia:Sources outside of Wikipedia. As such those links are links to sources. Inclusion to links to such sources are governed by core policy WP:V. The WP:EL guideline is not as strictly controlled from editorial changes and edit warring as WP:BLP is, but both are the sites lately of edit wars and recent changes made in them are the subject of editing content disputes. See Wikipedia:Edit wars for further guidance. Thank you. --NYScholar 22:34, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
The "major disagreement" seems to consist overwhelming of the above editor (who believes this page stands in contradiction of policy) posting extremely voluminous, frequent, and obscure comments on the subject. It is a non-issue. This guideline page is about external links, whereas WP:V and WP:RS relate to sourcing material that is in the article. Subscription sites are improper as external links unless the site is the subject of the article, but they may well be a valid source to be cited. Wikidemo 08:29, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I posted my suggestion on Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources that references should be preferred from websites that do not require registration or subscription. It's very wrong that is used way too heavily as a source when it requires registration. Which sand witch sandwich? 21:26, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Whatever we think of that, it's a mater for WP:CITE, not WP:EL. I know that guideline page is edit protected but this one will be too if whatever dispute is going on there spills over here. Wikidemo 21:50, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Forums for local residents - opinions please

I've removed a link to The Yateley Forums from the Yateley article several times. My reasoning was that the EL guidelines state that links to discussion forums should be avoided (which I made clear in the discussion on the talk page). The guidelines also state that we should not include links only indirectly related to the article's subject - I would argue that this applies in this case, as the forums are intended for residents of Yateley and the surrounding area, but the discussion doesn't seem to be predominantly about the town. The link was also added by an administrator of the forum (User:timjbart here), so I felt there was a conflict of interest.

He now wants to re-add the link, but asked if there was anywhere he could discuss it with editors other than me, so would anyone else care to weigh in on this? Thanks — Matt Eason (Talk • Contribs) 01:57, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I'd say no, because there are often many such forums and linking to one over other would be bias. Besides, forums are not reliable sources of information Corpx 02:58, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
SUGGESTIONS: First, since the editor asked for comments from outside editors, people who have an opinion on this should perhaps add their tuppence to the article's talkpage as linked; second, this might be a topic best covered by WP:3 or WP:RFC, to bring in outside editors for comment. Also, is there a Wiki-Project associated with the article? A question on its talkpage might generate some more comments. Anchoress 03:22, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I have replied on the Yateley discussion page and provided my argument for inclusion: LINK Timjbart 13:39, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

MTV Videos

I've been editing the Coheed and Cambria article a bit, and i noticed that the videos in MTV Videos on Coheed and Cambria are not able to be viewed by users outside the U.S., stating: "Copyrights restrict us from playing this video outside the U.S.". Does this class as a link which "..inaccessible to a substantial number of users, such as sites that only work with a specific browser. (here)? I was just querying before removing. Please tell me so I can get round to changing it or not :) -JacќяМ ¿Qué? 15:40, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I would agree with your feeling - I would suggest that users from the rest of the world outside the USA would be considered a substantial number, yes. -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 15:46, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Official site external link title format

Is there a standard format for the titles of external links for official sites? For example, should "Website (official site)" format be used in External links sections? Also, assuming that the preceding example is correct, what text should be linked? For example, should only the "Website" portion be linked or "Website (official site)" in its entirety? Wikipeditan 20:40, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

There is no standard format. 2005 00:12, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

"12 Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors."

This term in unquantified and causing us trouble on the Eve Online article. Since there are no numbers associated with the rule I suggested we use the most popular site as measured by search engine top site returns, 2 years of continuous operation and most number of edits/contributors/editors of all available Wikis on the subject. For example Wookieepedia dominates as the leading Wiki of the Star Wars fan sites and is directly linked to the Star Wars article. Obviously not every subject which has a fan base will reach the heights of that Wiki. If a subject will only attract several thousands to it's fan's Wiki's does that mean a dedicated site should then be denied a direct link to it's main subject's article on Wikipedia? See further discussion at Eve Online External Links Discussion Alatari 23:42, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

An external link discussion should be on the article page, not your User page, so you should direct that discussion there. The point of the passage is links to open wikis are almost never to be included. There isn't some statement like 1000+ editors, but that certainly is the idea. Less popular subjects with say 30 editors likely should never be external links. It's particularly important to avoid non-reliable, unstable sites on not-popular topics. In the article in question, having a wiki link is pretty clearly not what this section or the whole guideline is looking for. (In adition you have a conflict of interest in terms of adding this link.) 2005 23:59, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
When it comes to submitting another Wiki site how can someone not be accused of have conflict of interest? I am not the owner of the site and only contribute articles. Even User:Richard_Slater as the main other party in this discussion has a COI being someone who works for 2 other fan sites and maintains the Eve Online article. If 4 editors from Wikipedia who don't play Eve Online want to settle this dispute that would be preferable. Alatari 00:15, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Even a cursory glance shows that the wiki has had fewer edits, by fewer editors, than the Wikipedia article. I can't see any way for that to be the sort of thing that's worth linking to. It certainly doesn't come close to meeting the guideline. -- SiobhanHansa 00:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
It's obvious all you gave it was a cursory glance. The Wikipedia article on Eve Online has had 500 edits since April and 500 edits since 6 days ago. There are 2500 contributors to Please don't make changes or pull the link till an a consensus of editors without COI have made a final decision. Alatari 01:09, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The rules I consider most often for wiki articles are whether a page "contains information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources," and whether it provides "a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article." There are some things that are useful and informative to readers but which may never be verifiable, or which are simply too trivial for Wikipedia. Such links can and should be considered on a case-by-case basis after the "substantial users/stability" guideline is met.
So what is substantial? One thing to consider is that it doesn't always take that many contributors to create a quality reference - they just have to be good ones. Encyclopædia Britannica has had less than 5,000 contributors over its lifetime, and employs less than a hundred staff. Of course, those contributors are all likely to be experts in their field, and this cannot be guaranteed for wikis; but such experts tend to gather quickly, and contribute more than non-experts.
Unfortunately, if a wiki is good enough to be linked, the Wikipedia editors most qualified to make a judgment about it are also likely to be contributors to the wiki concerned. Still, it is possible to contact other experts in the field, or (if original research is an issue) to examine the credentials of the contributors. GreenReaper 20:34, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

External links containing malware

One notable omission from the guideline here is whether links to a site should not be included if the site has been cited by a reputable source as spreading malware. For example, provides a reputable assessment of a site's risk characteristics. IMO, malware links are at least as bad as spam links, if not moreso, since infection with malware can occur surreptitiously on an otherwise advert-sparse site. Thoughts? --DachannienTalkContrib 13:28, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Good catch. If an external link points to a site that infects people's computers I would remove it on sight, policy or no policy, reliable sources or not. Sourcing is for verifiability and to maintain neutrality. That's only for content, not for decisions on avoiding harm to users. For avoiding that kind of trouble original research is fine. In that way it's just like spam links and copyright violations. If this is a real problem happening here that we need to take care of, I would add a third section under "Restrictions on linking" right after copyright and spam. If it happens rarely or never I would leave it as an unwritten rule and just delete it on general principles...but with an explanation of way.Wikidemo 18:22, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
There seeming to be no objection to this change in the guideline, I've gone ahead and made it. I didn't put it in the restrictions section, though, since that would seem to be a statement as strong as policy, whereas this document is only at guideline level. --DachannienTalkContrib 17:39, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I think malware links are way worse than spam links and anyone linking intentionally to such sites should be blocked. We should be careful, however, to make sure before blocking that it any links to malware sites are in fact maliciously intended and not just ignorance on the part of the respective editor. Sincerely, --Le Grand Roi des CitrouillesTally-ho! 18:11, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I hope anyone doing this on purpose is blocked on the first attempt - warning or not, this is truly bad faith Corpx 17:47, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
As I'm sure most are here are aware, our global Blacklist is found here. Confirmed malware links are best blacklisted as soon as they are confirmed. This will blocked the offending domain across all 700+ Wikimedia Foundation projects and all 3,000+ Wikia sites. In addition it is also blocked on hundreds of other, unrelated wikis that run on the same MediaWiki software. Anyone found doing this on purpose will be dealt with accordingly. Definatly needs to be mentioned, I just hope by doing so were not stuffing beans up our nose--Hu12 18:22, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Could anyone look at biofilter links?

Copied from my talk page: --Ronz 23:04, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I fail to see what is promotional or coi about adding a link to the article that I myself wrote from the Wastewater page. Biofilters ARE a type of OSSF and their use IS widespread. I see no harm in educating people on this fact or linking straight to Biofilters from Wastewater, instead of going through the 'middleman' OSSF page. If more people were aware of the problems associated with traditional septic systems we would not be in the position today of having to spend millions of dollars to clean up our past mistakes [[1]]. The only promotional thing about this article that I see is the very next sentence which claims 'The most important aerobic treatment system is the activated sludge process' with no backing information for this claim.
You also deleted four links I added to three different articles. I hardly believe adding links to information provided by the US EPA or the Buzzard's Bay National Estuary Program can be considered as spam. These links provide lots of good information on the types of systems available today and are not provided due to coi. This link [[2]] provides testing data showing that trickling biofilters are indeed superior to traditional septic systems, and fully outlines at least 25 different available systems. This link [[3]] proves the nitrogen reducing capabilities of trickling biofilters in testing conducted by the US EPA. I have no idea what is wrong with this [[4]] link, it is an overview of onsite septic systems written by the US EPA and has all kinds of useful information for interested parties. And finally this [[5]] link is from a book solely dedicated to educating people on their septic systems, and provides valuable information on the different kinds of systems and their components with no less than 17 different systems mentioned.
Wikipedia's content is already suspect enough quite honestly, by providing these links users have a chance to verify some of the statements made in the various articles (biofilters improve treatment, biofilters remove nitrogen, etc.) for themselves. If it is Wikipedia's standard to claim things in articles with no actual proof or references or third-party information to refer to, then yes these links are innapropriate. Since this is not (or shouldnt be) the case please revert the affected articles to their previous versions.
Sewer Me 19:39, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

The edits in question are to Biological trickling filters (Biofilters) [6], Sewage treatment [7], Onsite sewage facility [8], and Septic tank [9]. Other viewpoints on this would be appreciated. --Ronz 23:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the proposed external links can be removed from all these articles. The articles listed above all suffer from lack of adequate referencing, but these new links would just increase the cacophony. There is no claim that these links are there to attest to any facts asserted in the article, since in that case, you might expect inline citation, with actual pages being referred to. EdJohnston 00:21, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Would appreciate some other opinions

Would appreciate the opinions of some established editors about the issue raised at Alfred (village), New York. I am in a discussion with the owner of a site, and would like to make sure that there is a consensus, one way or the other, about the suitability of a site as an EL. Thanks -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 13:41, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this a valid external link?

Queenpedia. It looks like a fan run wiki with no editorial oversight. I have my doubts on whether it is a reliable source. Corpx 17:15, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Is it being used as reference on an article? Jeepday (talk) 17:56, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

It is an external link. Corpx appears to have a personal issue with this site. One of the people involved with the Queenwiki project has NO issue with this site being linked (see Candyfloss's comments here). The site has received praise from the offical Queen studio archivist and chief studio engineer. Two of the main contributors has written books about Queen, others have written articles for Record Collector magazine in the United Kingdom. Registration is not open, and all information is verified before it is posted to the site. It does not appear to me that Corpx even has any detailed knowledge of the band Queen, so I find it hard to believe that they are in a position to make a judgement as to whether or not Queenpedia is a reliable source of information. Cmp01 18:10, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

It does not look like a strong external link to me, because it is basically a Wiki of the same sort we run. External links are generally to point to information of the sort not suitable for inclusion here, not pointing to sister efforts. If our Queen article is so lacking we need to do that, we should instead add appropriate material to the article. For some further guidance on how this guideline applies to musical acts, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Music/MUSTARD/External linking.Wikidemo 18:19, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

The link that you provided states that links to the following types of sites are allowed:

  • A large repository of relevant images (Queenpedia has 2,418 images and over 700 individual pages, if that is not large I don't know what is.)
  • are clearly more informative and more useful than most fansites. (Again Queenpedia is)

I've still to see ONE good reason not to include the link, but whatever. It's not worth arguing about. Cmp01 19:26, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Corpx wrote: "I have my doubts on whether it is a reliable source." – There is really no doubt at all that the contributors involved with this site are well-known and notable experts. Queenpedia is certainly one of the most reliable sources of information concerning the band Queen. --Candyfloss 22:39, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Good arguments those. See below for a similar question re. Wikia. I think reliability means something different when you're linking to a repository of 2,400 images than it does when you're linking to simply a band biography as well. How can a photo be unreliable? I wonder if we should have a sentence or subsection specifically relating to linking to other wikis and encyclopedia-like projects. Wikidemo 07:39, 11 September 2007 (UTC)


The nutshell statement This page in a nutshell: Adding external links can be a service to our readers, but they should be kept to a minimum of those that are meritable, accessible and appropriate to the article. it helped me solidify a thought I have been having for a while. All External Links are References, but not all References are External Links, per consensus at {{unreferenced}} and as applied at Wikipedia:Unreferenced articles a single external link is sufficient to change {{unreferenced}} to {{refimprove}}. In the case where the only thing resembling a reference is a link to a related web site, an editor might use {{primary sources}} to indicate the need for secondary references (assuming the article is not a candidate for {{db-spam}}). Jeepday (talk) 16:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Nope. External link on say Gloucester and Sharpness Canal are not references. The whole thing around Unreferenced articles is because a link generaly confirms the subject at least exists and refs should be posible.Geni 16:25, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I would argue that is a fine example of an external link that is a reference. While it is not listed as reference it supports the content of the article and provides an addition source of information to benefit the reader that is more extensive then or beyond the scope of Wikipedia article. If it the external link in this article did not add to the value of the article then WP:SPAM would apply. Jeepday (talk) 16:43, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
adding value does not equal ref.Geni 16:55, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Not all external links are references. In fact properly used, most are not. Wikidemo 18:49, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
External Links in the context of this guideline refers solely to these links placed in the "External links" section of articles, and which are not used as references for article content. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 19:10, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
If that is not obvious, we could tighten the lead a bit and add some wording to this regard. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 19:13, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
For example, the lead could read:

Wikipedia articles can include links to Web pages outside Wikipedia in a section labeled "External links". Such pages could contain further research that is accurate and on-topic; information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks); or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to their reliability (such as reviews and interviews).

≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 19:14, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
That seems generally true. But people can link to official websites via infobox "homepage" fields, or put a link inline in the body of the article. For example: xxxxx contributes regularly to the [] blog and is a prolific painter (see [] for a gallery of works). Those are external links outside that section, right? I think people get it here on this page but on other pages like WP:RS, WP:V, WP:MOS, etc., they can get confused. I just had to fix the manual of style, which had all of its citation and sourcing discussion incorrectly listed as a subsection of external links.Wikidemo 22:59, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. It extends to these aspects as well. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 15:20, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
So what I am hearing is that if an external link is in the external link section it should conform to this guideline, that limits misuse. If an external link is the body of the article or in the reference section it should be subject to the expectations of a reference namely that it is a WP:RS and is used to meet WP:V, WP:N, WP:NOR or some other relevant policy as it relates directly to text. Is that an accurate reflection? Jeepday (talk) 02:08, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


Currently, the following stray text appears between the guideline notice and the "nutshell" notice:

[[Category:Wikipedia wp:el
wp:fansites|External links]]

I'm unsure how to fix this. --Mark H Wilkinson (t, c) 13:57, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

It seems to be a problem brought on by recent changes to {{style-guideline}}. I've left a message on that talk page. -- SiobhanHansa 14:13, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Seems to have been fixed -- SiobhanHansa 15:03, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Yep, thanks for your help. --Mark H Wilkinson (t, c) 15:09, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

The problem has resurfaced after another edit at that template. Rather than get involved in whatever disagreement is going on there, I've replaced it with {{subcat guideline}}, which I've seen used at another style guideline, WP:SPOIL. It seems to work fine. --Mark H Wilkinson (t, c) 09:29, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


Can we link to wikia wikis about fictional subjects? Is there some test to tell which ones are OK? - Peregrine Fisher 06:14, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, you can. (Use the format wikia:whatever:ARTICLENAME) I'd suggest a common sense test: read the wikia article, and if it seems like a decent coverage of the subject's in-universe elements, link away.
If someone complains on the grounds that we shouldn't link to fan wikis, I'd point out to them that most of the internet thinks we ARE a fan wiki, and we're not going to change that perception unless we're proactive about it. --tjstrf talk 06:20, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
In theory, yes you may. It is not forbidden. In practice, take a look at the policy page, which asks not to link to articles unless they provide a unique resource to information that cannot be part of Wikipedia. If Wikia just has Wikipedia-like information then the answer is to add it to the Wikipedia article instead. If the information is simply not notable that's a bad link. So in most cases Wikia would not be useful. But I can think of a few places, for example an article here linking to Wikia's muppet-pedia. That's a solid resource on muppets but we don't really want to build a clone of all that info here probably Wikidemo 07:35, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
So we should only link to wikia pages that have passed WP:N? - Peregrine Fisher 07:50, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Not exactly notability. I used the wrong word, it should be more like useful and relevant. Notability is a test for whether an article belongs here on Wikipedia. Sites we link to should be neutral, accurate, accessible, non-spammy, related to the subject, and have valuable information that we can't include here for one reason or another. There's a preference for official over unofficial sites and links should be kept to a manageable number. I'm paraphrasing from the policy page. So what I'm getting at is that a link to information that's unfit for Wikipedia solely because it's a large volume of useless stuff (e.g. the talk boards of some fan sites) isn't that good. I don't think Wikia is going to have that issue. Wikidemo 10:24, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikia are almost never valid links, from several points of view in this guideline. They can be linked to in extraordinary circumstances, but it would require a level of detail far above what we can provide here, and stability due to contributions of many editors over a period of time. 2005 10:35, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the specific case being mentioned here would be to link to an in-universe but well written and comprehensive article on a character/object/whatever from fiction. As in the type of articles we often end up hosting ourselves, but really aren't supposed to due to WP:WAF/WP:FICT. --tjstrf talk 10:41, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
So the point remains the same. This would seldom should be linked. If it is well-written, very detailed, and with a history of stability and many contributors, then it could be an exception. But a page of speculation on wiki written by two people and abandoned obviously is useless. External links are not a way around Wiki policies or guidelines. It's no positive reason to link to something simply because we don't have such type of articles. 2005 11:01, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I wonder what the statement that "Wikia are almost never valid links" is based on. On this page, people have cited Wookieepedia and Muppet Wiki as two wikis that could be linked to, because they're two years old, have a strong userbase, and have become credible sources with detailed information. The counter-example is "a page of speculation written by two people and abandoned".
Obviously, there's a wide middle ground between a wiki with hundreds of contributors and an abandoned wiki with two. I think it would be helpful if we could figure out a guideline for the threshold that a wiki should pass before it's worth linking to. Is that threshold based on longevity, page count, number of contributors, Google ranking? Or is it one of those "I know it when I see it" situations? -- Danny (talk) 22:17, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikis are unstable by definition, and open wikis can be edited by any unreliable chucklehead. They are terrible links, unless there is a demonstrable reason why they aren't. Seldom will this be the case. Similarly we discourage links to blogs and personal pages by non-authorities. It's obvious that wikis have the same basic weakness of anonymity, non-authority, instability and unreliability. That doesn't mean every single wiki is like that, but the guideline emphasizes the obvious point that generally these are bad links, putting the burden of including a link on an editor wanting to do so. 2005 23:17, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying, but my question is still: How can that "burden" be assessed? Are there rational criteria for saying, these are unstable and unreliable wikis, and those are valuable resources? What would qualify as a "demonstrable reason" that would justify adding a link to a wiki? -- Danny (talk) 23:26, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


Is there a reason why intelligent satire or criticism links are not allowed? like this: Talk:Orlistat#miracle_diet_pill_with_side_effect

Or why does that link otherwise not work as an acceptable external link?

--Sonjaaa 04:30, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Intelligent criticism written by experts in the field, representing a significant point of view held by experts in the field, and published on a reputable site may be appropriate. There's certainly no guideline against criticism per se. But satire, though an entertaining form of criticism, is rarely encyclopedic. In particular it normally fails to be well fact checked, is usually very POV - being presented in a way that is at least a little misleading, and it is rarely written by an expert in the subject area. Even if this particular satire piece was well fact checked, expressing the significant view point of experts, written by a doctor, and published in The Lancet (none of which is the case) it's inclusion would still be borderline, because you have to ask yourself if it's really the best way to present that sort of information in an encyclopedic setting - I love satire, but it's not an ideal way to present important factual information. -- SiobhanHansa 11:06, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Spoofs and parodies of things are a little reminiscent of cultural trivia and "xxx in popular culture" sections. At worst they're clutter. But at times they can be article subjects, relevant examples, or provide some cultural context. For example, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is a lawsuit about a particular piece of satire. That article actually includes the satire but if it did not a link would be appropriate. Articles about satirists like Art Buchwald, Dave Berry, or Weird Al could link to examples of their work. An article about a particular piece of pop culture might discuss and link to parodies and satires of the subject inasmuch as that's often a significant aspect of a phenomenon. For example, the Star Wars article wikilinks to Spaceballs and Hardware Wars. In that particular article they avoided external links, probably because there would be too many and every significant spoof of Star Wars has its own article, but I can imagine a case where a lesser known film links to one or two spoofs to help put it in context. Wikidemo 13:21, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
That's true Wikidemo, I wasn't considering situations where satire about a subject was itself notable or at least a notable fact about that subject. -- SiobhanHansa 22:19, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't feel comfortable with satire that is used in biographies to trash the subject, but the examples pointed out above would generally be acceptable. I think it's a matter of quality, and intent. People call all kinds of things "satire". - Dean Wormer 23:50, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

External Links which duplicate links elsewhere in an article

I've noticed in some articles that an EL is present that is also present in another part and section of a page, either as a reference, or in an infobox as a website reference. In the case of Christleton High School, the school website is present in the EL section. It is also present linking its main page and sub-pages in the References section, and it appears in the school infobox. In the case of Nottingham High School, it is present in the school infobox, though it could be included at some future date as a full-fledged reference. My question is this: Should ELs be easily included in an EL section if they also occur, either identically, or have sub-pages included, in the references section or in, for example, infoboxes, as ELs? Should there be some possible note about this in the guidelines at all? Thank you.  DDStretch  (talk) 15:07, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I think this sort of thing ought to be approached for each article by the editors with the thought of how the general reader is best served. Infoboxes are generally repetitions of information already in the article so repeating a link isn't necessarily any worse than repeating other information especially with something like a link to the subjects "official" page (of course some info boxes occasionally go a bit overboard, but links are rarely the only issue then).
I personally don't like the idea of saying a site or link used as a reference shouldn't be used as an external link. The purposes of external links and references are different. Citations are provided to verify specific assertions, people who are doing more serious research or who want to see something about that specific assertion would follow them. But external links normally highlight more general further information and should be chosen for the information they can provide that the article can't. People who would want to read further information about the subject in general wouldn't necessarily want to wade through all the references (assuming a good article with lots of references). On the other hand, our unique resource requirement still applies - so a link used as a citation in most cases shouldn't be linked to in external links if all it really talks about is stuff already mentioned in the article (I think the "official" page of a subject normally ought to be linked to at the top of the external links section regardless of the above - because people pretty much expect to find it there and consistency is generally good).
There are almost always exceptions, but the two articles you link to don't seem bad to me (although I don't see the point of the external links section entries for the Christleton Sports Centre's official website or the Old Nottinghamians). -- SiobhanHansa 22:17, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


An editor is systematically adding links to the .mobi versions of major websites to the articles. e.g. [10], [11] . I do not think this in the least appropriate--we are an encyclopedia, not a web directory.DGG (talk) 22:59, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

That is plainly silly. There is no need to have multiple versions of sites in ELs sections. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:02, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Clarification on EL policy (re: sites that contain abandonware

Over at first person shooter , there's a challenge to a large number of external links. One link in particular is causing several problems which I won't go into but I need to clarify if part of the site makes it borderline or definitely unacceptable.

Specifically the site in question states that it offers abandonware of older video game titles. They say they take down any files that are challenges and they try to determine ownership if possible but in most cases of abandonware the original company is dissolved and it is impossible to track down the IP.

My impression is that this site, regardless of how well it enforces copyright, does hit the Restrictions on Linking, even if the EL is just to the front page where there is no such materials (though re-reading the EL policy again, it seems to suggest that one can link to a portion of a web site that lacks infringing materials as long as one does not point directly to those). Just as a point of reference, Home of the Underdogs would fall into the same case in that it's a site known for abandonware and is linked into WP but tends to any IP challenges well.

So the question is, is a site that contains abandonware, despite all the precautions it takes to verify the abandonware nature, a restricted link? (Again, the particular link in question has other issues as well, so this is not the only determination). --Masem 13:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

In these cases, we should err on the side of caution and not link. People looking for abandonware sites can always use Google. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 14:46, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I'm having a hard time fitting this into the conceptual structure of the copyvio policy. But it doesn't pass the smell test. Wikipedia isn't here to help people download software of questionable legality.Wikidemo 14:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


First of all let the record show that I fully support WP:EL and WP:RS. Having said that, I recently discovered that at least the BBC have now begun to upload news clips themselves as part of YouTube's attempt to co-operate with copyright holders and let them share the ad revenues. An example is here. Maybe we should add a sentence about this to demonstrate how to use YouTube the right way on Wikipedia. EconomicsGuy 11:30, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't that be more appropriate at WP:COPY? Since I presume you're talking about the copyright aspect of linking. -- SiobhanHansa 13:22, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
It probably could but given the previous debate about this here I thought this would be the appropriate place to ask since those who have previously held strong opinions on this subject are more likely to respond here than on WP:COPY. EconomicsGuy 15:29, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
We need not add anything special to the guidelines. Official uploads are fine to link to assuming they satisfy other guidelines and have the consensus of the editors of that page. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:43, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

"What should be linked"

I believe this clause to be unnecessary, and to contradict the probable outcome of the Attack Sites arbitration: "What should be linked:1. Articles about any organization, person, web site, or other entity should link to the official site if any." Wikipedia is not a link farm, Google is next door, for whoever wishes to follow up on what the read here. The background here is that I was directed to Westboro Baptist Church, where the organizations's website organizes the picketing of funurals, among other things, and besides has no scholarly value and is disreputable. I am not clear that any other content policy requires us to link to a person or organization's own site, and I question (?) whether a reputable publication would link to sites of this nature, even where their organizations are covered in the news.Proabivouac 05:01, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

This is a guideline, not a policy. Most editors here believe that readers of an online encyclopedia would expect a link to the official site and that providing such a link is generally in keeping with our encyclopedic mission. However when following this guideline conflicts with our mission, our policies or common sense editors should do what is best for the encyclopedia. It normally makes sense to address such exceptions on the article's talk page, not a policy or guideline talk page. The fact that a few exceptions exist to a general guideline is not an appropriate reason to change the guideline. -- SiobhanHansa 05:16, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that we should change the guideline because you find that particular organization to be objectionable. An external link isn't a vote of confidence in the organization's mission or tactics. That link provides more detailed information about the article's topic. I think changing the guideline to justify removing links to political and advocacy organizations would violate NPOV. -- Danny (talk) 11:37, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Regarding "Sites requiring registration"

There are some web sites which should indeed be linked to, even if they are registration-only, such as Grove Music Online and JSTOR. These references, even though they require registration, are standard in many academic fields, and are accessible from many University terminals. Furthermore, they are widely used across Wikipedia (see Special:Linksearch/* and Special:Linksearch/* Without these references, many articles, such as many linked from List of Renaissance composers, would be unreferenced. Guidelines should reflect standard practice; it is standard practice to link to JSTOR and Grove Music Online (and, I assume, to other such reference texts). How can the "Sites requiring registration" be updated to reflect this? --Iamunknown 17:26, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

This guideline applies to external links that are not references so I believe your suggestion is moot. -- SiobhanHansa 17:28, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe "The subject of this guideline is external links that are not citations of article sources." should be made more prominent? I started this discussion after seeing a little thing at WP:AN, where someone, citing this policy, suggested that links to JSTOR or Grove Music Online should not be included in articles... --Iamunknown 17:36, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
We've had this discussion here on several occasions most recently in May but the consensus has not supported change. -- SiobhanHansa 17:41, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
Was there opposition to clarifying the purpose of the page, or was it a proposal to rename the article? I can't see how anyone could possibly be opposed to being clear. Wikidemo 18:01, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
The discussion covered a range of different things, including renaming and whether or not the guideline should actually cover references after all. But most of it was about wording and clarity. If I recall correctly, in the end there was some rewording, but though we discussed it, there was not consensus to emphasize the issue more than it currently is. In general I advocated for greater emphasis and did not really get the opposition, so I don't feel able to summarize it. -- SiobhanHansa 18:20, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

External links to sites that "might" contain copyright violations

I have a dispute with an admin who says that a website is unacceptable under WP:EL because the linked articles might be copyright violations. See here.
The admin had various other objections to this site, (see here), but apparently these have all been resolved. As of the point where he refused to discuss the issue with me any further, copyright violation was the only issue he was still pointing to.
The website is Noir of the Week. Although a blog in the sense that it uses blogging software, some of the articles it contains are written by notable authorities in the field. For example:

  • [12] By Alex Ballinger & Danny Gradon from the book Rough Guide to Film Noir
  • [13] By Geoff Mayer, co-author of The Encyclopedia of Film Noir
  • [14] By Alain Sliver, author of multiple books on film noir
  • [15] By Eddie Muller

I am only proposing to restore links (after Irishguy deleted them) to articles by noted authors such as these. When Irishguy raised the issue of possible copyright violation, I emailed Eddie Muller, one of the authors, and he responded that "The folks at the Noir of the Week website asked for and received my permission to reprint that excerpt from Dark City." This is only one article, of course, but it seems unlikely that the site owners would get permission in one case and blatantly violate copyright in other cases. And in any case, I don't see any requirement of "proof" that a site doesn't violate copyright in the WP:EL policy page.
Comments, anyone? RedSpruce 14:56, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Do these ELs add any significant value to the article? If these ELs are not there, does the article suffer in such a way that is unacceptable? Are there alternative sources that can be used in the article rather than linking to a personal blog? These are the pertinent questions. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 15:19, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
First off I agree with Jossi that if this is causing an issue the first thing to consider is whether the links themselves are integral to the articles. Also I don't think identifying whether sites violate copyright or not is something where we should be using the concept of "proof". We're not a court or science lab. There is little we can ever actually prove. And there are no good blacklists to refer to to identify copyvio sites. We need to use common sense. If good editors disagree then develop consensus on the talk page - preferably with the help of some people who have some expertise looking for copyright violations. -- SiobhanHansa 16:03, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
jossi -- the articles are in many cases very valuable, in that they're written by noted Noir experts (not just general-purpose film reviewers) and this web site is often the only place comparable writings are available on the web. The site isn't a "personal blog"; it's a collection of reviews of film noirs by various authors. RedSpruce 16:15, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
If that is the case, why don't you use these as sources for the article? ELs are not dumping grounds for whatever material cannot make it to the article.... If the material is good and notable, use it in the article...≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:12, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Sigh...once again RedSpruce is less than forthcoming. RedSpruce was complete aprised of policy...which he blanked after calling me a "dick" repeatedly. Other editors (Calton, FisherQueen, Merope) also explained policy. RedSpruce instead simply declared that everyone was wrong but him and then continued to harass me on ANI (in two different threads), my talk page, an RfC and now this thread. It fails WP:EL as the few examples given above are simply lifted content from books and reprinted them without any evidence of being allowed to. The other reviews are just by people on a forum owned by the same person who rums the blog. Anyone can sign up on that forum and anyone can write a film review. This isn't notable or reliable. IrishGuy talk 17:15, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

If that is the case, please do not bring your content disputes to this page. Instead, please pursue dispute resolution. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:31, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I came to this page seeking clarification of Wikipedia policy on external links. Irishguy has claimed that WP:EL policy prohibits links to this website, and I asked him to substantiate that statement. He has not done so and clearly has no intention of doing so. Other editors have agreed with him, as he states. I'm not interesting in what uninformed editors think the policy is. I want clarification of what the Wikipedia actually policy is. Specifically, does anyone agree that some sort of "proof" required that an EL site does not contain copyright violations? RedSpruce 21:23, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I see fairly clear reason why this page shouldn't be linked to in Irishguy's above post. Forum/Blogs don't get linked to. "Links to blogs and personal web pages, except those written by a recognized authority." If the content is legal, then source the original location. If the content is illegal then thats another reason why not to link to it. We don't assume it's legal when there is reasonable suspision that it's copyvio.... and being hosted on a free blogspot account is fairly decent reason. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 00:14, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

We dont link to blogs we reasonably think to be there for the purpose violating copyright, or to blogs containing primarily violations--but to refuse to link to a site because some of it might possibly be a violation is absurd--that is not a practical standard. DGG (talk) 00:29, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
The only part of that site that would be worth linking to is what is suspected of being copyvio. I wasn't trying to make a statement on policy - I was trying to interpret how it applies in this case. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 00:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
J.S -- On what grounds is there reasonable suspision that there are copyviolations in this case? As I said above, I emailed one of the notable authors whose work appears on this site, and he said that his excerpt was used with permission. It's true that the notable-author pieces on this site are usually available in print, but through this website they're available online. RedSpruce 10:53, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Dispute tag

Is there a dispute tag that can be used on an external links to indicate that there is a dispute over the appropriatness or oherwise of including some of the external links in that section ? Currently there is a debate raging on Talk:Mother Teresa about this so in an attempt to resolve the dispute I came here looking for a suitable tag but there doesnt seem to be any ? 11:09, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

There aren't any tags that I know of for individual links. We have {{external links}} for the section, which may well be appropriate given a brief look through the links. -- SiobhanHansa 12:50, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Tossing up for additional opinions

This domain was spammed to over 80 pages in the last few days and has now been added to the local mediawiki blacklist because it was being aggressively spammed by over a dozen IPs. The last few IPs started making minor & often unnecessary changes to the article text (such as UK/US spelling changes)..

An IP user (in the same IP range) is on my talk page, making a case for why the link should be allowed. I disagree with his argument, if Wikipedia were a directory it might be relevant - but current local time isn't relevant to an encyclopedia article.. it is more than enough to know that the location is GMT+5:30, and in some cases - such as articles on parks & museums - not relevant at all.

Opinions? --Versageek 19:13, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it's entirely unencyclopedic information - if there were a way to transclude the actual time on the page itself I think we might do that - but I don't think it's worth a link. Most readers aren't going to find the information as useful as most other things we could link to and it's easily found using google or a calculator for anyone who does need it. Generally speaking we should be keeping sections small - not filling them up with all the little features we can find. If the regular editors of a page think local time is a good thing to link to then I don't think that's bad - though I would argue they should find a site that hasn't been spammed across our articles. -- SiobhanHansa 23:14, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I think if that page that geographical coordinates links to (which shows links to map sites) can be made to also show the current time in the location, that would be useful. Inserting the link to a huge number of separate pages, however, is overkill. *Dan T.* 23:37, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Spammers are judged by behavior, and the insertion of 80 copies of this link speaks for itself. The links should all be removed, in my opinion. EdJohnston 03:16, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Whether local time information should be allowed in a place wiki or not ? A typical reader can not be expected to have this information about time zones in every country. For example the country of the size of India, one may imagine it to have time zones but actually it does not. In fact there are talks about introducing time zones in India too. Moreover a typical reader finds it very useful to know the local time of a page same as the wiki of that place, if he/she needs to know the time. To argue that India just has one time zone is not appropriate, since not everyone can be expected to know that. Also keeping a pointer to Indian standard time wiki is not appropriate, please take a look at the length of the IST wiki. And even if someone actually goes ahead and reads the long page, he/she will still not get the local time of the place he/she is interested in knowing. The action of having an external link on that page, as long as it is marked appropriately as external link should be allowed. The reader should be given this piece of information for completeness about the information of the place he/she is interested in knowing more about. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
A site that shows local time and other time zone / daylight-savings information for a given set of coordinates, not just limited to one country, would be even more useful than an India-specific one. Then the appropriate place to put a link to it would be on the auto-generated page linked from coordinates on pages that have them, that includes links to various mapping sites and the like. *Dan T.* 19:07, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Driver Madness

I'm not sure if this is the correct spot to put this however I have a bit of a problem, my site has been put under review and/or deleted by a moderator I'm not sure and I've been told not to add it back. It has been an external link for years now and I just went to edit it a bit and then it was deleted by a moderator calling it spam. An argument has been made here = on my talk page.

So here is my story I have this site, it's called Driver Madness, it's a fansite for the driver series and I was trying to edit some of the links in the external links section only to find it deleted. You can see information here = I am hoping for all records of it being spam deleted as all I did was edited the links in the Driver Series sections. I had origionally had it in all driver sections located on this page =

So I am hoping someone can remove the status and allow me to make it an external link after all my fansite is a big part of the driver series and is already well known and I don't want to be leaving too many people in the dark, content and news wise. Driver Madness 01:23, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

I haven't gotten any suggestions or help yet, anyone? Driver Madness 12:13, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

No, its spam, dont link you your fansite. its a WP:COI βcommand 12:33, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
It seems almost all your edits are about inserting or maintaining a link to a particular site. That seems to fit our definition of spamming. We also have a clear request in these external link guidelines that site owners avoid adding their own sites directly to articles. If your site is such an important part of the Driver Madness series, other editors will also consider it a necessary link and will add it themselves - please confine future addition of the link to suggestions on article talk pages. Maintaining a link that has the support of editors of a page is fine (welcome in fact) even if it is your own, but the actual decision as to whether or not it is appropriate for the page is one which other editors need to make. -- SiobhanHansa 13:39, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I'm going to keep most of my content in the talk page so publishers can publish it on the main page and would you say if I contribute more to whats said on those pages there would be no problem me adding and updating the external links. Because these links are important to the driver series.

Also someone keeps on removing the other fansite links including and links as well as the links I had up their a while ago, which lived there for years until I updated them recently.

Anyways I have started and will continue to the discussion pages and I hope you can remove from the spam link reports page. Driver Madness 12:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I believe that your intentions are innocent and sincere so "spam" is a harsh word, but if you look at WP:EL and WP:LINKSPAM, they do prohibit linking to most fan sites, and they prohibit people form adding external links simply to promote their own website, business, etc....even if it's a completely non-commercial, well-intentioned, high quality, etc., site. There are some limited exceptions and I haven't spent any time trying to figure out if this would be one - it doesn't sound like it. The link probably lasted a few years because nobody noticed, and it's quite possible that your edit called attention to it. That's the breaks. Wikidemo 12:18, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

You made a very good point and I shouldn't really be continuing my argument. However it really does annoy me that lots of other game wiki page I visit contains a link to a fansite or a link to a directory of fansites.

If this isn't enough I think it would be a good idea allow fansites to be listed, as they are an important part of the games sense and community. As long as they are kept neat and tidy to avoid user confusion. Driver Madness 13:42, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

It might be worth taking up that proposal. I can see it happening if...the fansite is noncommercial, if it is authoritative (meaning the go-to site or one of only several), if it is reliable (not here today, gone tomorrow, or full of useless or inaccurate stuff), and if it avoids copyright infringement, giving away trade secrets, BLP violations, trolling sites, illegal software downloads and cheats, etc. The issue of authoritativeness is key, and relates to the reason we don't link to individual film reviews, particularly not to reviews on blogs. For every major film there are perhaps 20-30 major reviews, 100-300 reviews in minor papers, and thousands of blog reviews. To choose any one (or 5 or 10) reviews would be completely arbitrary. It would be a matter of editors' preference and often people promoting their own or their favorite site. I'm not sure if it's written anywhere, but that's the reason why links to film reviews get deleted on sight. It is okay, however, and almost a stylistic requirement, to link to the film's IMDB page, rottentomatoes, page, and perhaps metacritic. Those are unofficial go-to sites. If a particular game has one or two sites where all the fans go, and there's no argument over the fact, I think the link is encyclopedic and it makes sense to include it. Official fan sites / user sites also make sense as external links. But if it's just one of many competing / alternate fan sites, not official and not universally acknowledged, we're in a situation similar to film reviews. Even if there's nothing inherently evil in wanting to link to a site, it's one of those things where if everyone did it, the articles would all be a mess.Wikidemo 16:34, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I can start off by saying Driver Madness is the only English fansite which covers the entire driver series. There are other German and French website who usually have there sites included in the english version of wikipedia those are the driver-dimension and planet-driver sites I were talking about which seem to have useful information when using a translator or trying to make out what they are trying to say.

At the moment we are developing pages with information about all the developers however all of the information we try to get permission from the developers whenever they are contactable. However all the information we use usually is already well known on the internet.

We do include cheats, and in fact at the moment the site is just a simple forum with a portal news system, download arena and photo album built around it. The forums include all the information you want a simple search or ask of a question could get an answer for everything in the game. At the moment we are working on a wiki, using the mediawiki script which does what the forum does in a better involvement for sharing information. On another note we pay high server fees just because we really enjoy the game so we have just over 14gig of downloads at the moment, including fanvideos people have made to trailers and patches from all their games.

I also get the fact about having too many sites, there aren't too many driver sites and the lower the mess I can make a page just for wikipedia where users go to a screen asking them what they would like to do on the site rather than having the same site on a page twice with different sub-pages.

So if we are ever allowed to we would probably make a link similar to the one below connecting to a page where the user can choose where to go rather than making that page a part of wikipedia itself. I'm now understanding why you don't want to many links, I wasn't really doing any of that myself however I did have mirror sites for one particular mobile driver game which I linked to since the official didn't work and I'm thinking doing that just for that page probably caused all of this mess.

Having everything on one page sounds like a good idea and maybe should be used a lot by fansites. for example:


with that page including a page which will direct users around the place, getting them the information they want fastest.

So whenever we are allowed to it'll be great, we have found many other fans though wikipedia in the past and it'll be annoying to stop that linkage, that's why I'm here now discussing this issue in some detail. Driver Madness 05:37, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Our guideline doesn't outright prohibit fan sites per se. No site should contravene our policies (such as copyright and biographies of living people), but a site that is a fan site and otherwise meets our policies and guidelines can be considered for inclusion. Fan sites frequently fail for a whole host of reasons, but not all. Still, meeting the guidelines doesn't mean a site automatically gets included - external links are subject to editor consensus. If you think the site meets the guidelines and policies, suggest it on the talk page of each article and let editors unconnected with the site decide whether its addition enhances the page or not. -- SiobhanHansa 14:35, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
I think it's worth looking at this issue in terms of the way the guideline is written and followed. I think the guideline against posting links to fan sites and wikis is applied much more than is warranted, and without due care.
In my experience, links are often taken out by protective anti-spam editors who haven't actually followed the link to see whether the site is authoritative or reliable or not. The links are simply removed on sight, with rm fansite or rm wiki -- WP:EL as a summary.
I completely agree with the concerns about reliability, and the interest in keeping external links informative and not turned into a random collection of dead fansites. But I think the interests of the encyclopedia are served better by encouraging editors to view each link on a case-by-case basis. Links to "official sites" can be outdated and unreliable, links to news articles can be inaccurate and not authoritative. Each link should be judged by the same standards.
In my opinion, the WP:EL guideline as it's currently written does not encourage thoughtfulness and attention. It encourages dismissive rudeness, and closes down discussion more often than it opens it. -- Danny (talk) 17:15, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
In my experience, almost every time (but not every time) this comes up in relation to fansites there turns out to be either a COI editor pushing for inclusion, or a desire to create a directory so everyone can get their favorite link in. I cannot recall a situation where there has been controversy over deletion of a fansite but the editors of a page have managed to agree on one or two links as being authoritative. On the other hand, I'm unlikely to see the cases that get resolved without someone resorting to this page or Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Spam. Given that the guideline does not actually mention fan sites, do you have a suggestion for the rewording? -- SiobhanHansa 18:36, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

My first problem is that no one ever seems to read or edit the discussion/talk pages in the driver video game series section. So once I finish creating a special wikipedia page, on the site to redirect users to where they want to go, e.g. find more information about the game, look at screenshots, talk about it in the forums. Stuff like that.

Back on the discussion page I was trying to get a proper editor to remove a spam link someone did put there that had no relation to the series and 5-8 days later it still remains there. So I think I'll go in make some edits myself and I'll post back here once I've finished so you can take a look and see if you deem it acceptable and then I'll add it to the other related pages. Driver Madness 07:48, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Your first post to a talk page was only a week ago, and most of those talk pages have seen other activity since you posted. Please do not usurp the article talk page role (or the role of this guideline talk page) by driving a content discussion here. Keep it on the talk pages of the articles you are trying to edit. If you need more input ask for people to contribute to those discussions (you could try Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games). This talk page should be limited to discussion about the guideline itself. -- SiobhanHansa 08:51, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Driver Madness isn't a spam link

Are you all stupid or what ?! How can you think drivermadness is a spam link, Drivermadness is THE Driver fan-site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by RƎVS (talkcontribs) 11:36, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

This is not the appropriate place to continue this discussion since it is not about the external links guideline.. If it's the authoritativeness of the site you wish to discuss - please keep to the article talk pages. If it's the details of our approach to spam (which is about how links are added, not site content) WikiProject Spam may be an appropriate venue. In either case you may want to rethink your approach, a statement like the above is unlikely to drive any conversation very far forward. -- SiobhanHansa 12:31, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Further reading

Wikipedia:Further reading redirects here but this page doesn't discuss further reading at all. Perhaps it should move moved somewhere else (like WP:SEE ALSO) or a section added. Richard001 02:08, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I changed the redirect to point to Wikipedia:Citing sources#Further reading/External links which *does* discuss what ought to go in a Further Reading section. Even better suggestions are of course welcome. EdJohnston 04:17, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

ConsumerSearch Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Yahoo: backlinks • Domain:

I think links to this site fit Wp:el#Links_normally_to_be_avoided "6. Links to sites with objectionable amounts of advertising." After removing one such link, I thought it best to get others' viewpoints. --Ronz 17:23, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Ronz, you didn't get any responses so I thought I'd throw in my two cents for you - the pages themselves don't look like they have too much advertising to my eye. I always think of that caution as being about distracting flashing images, popups, pages that have 20 google ad-sense ads and two paragraphs of content, and the like. But the purpose of the page - a mix of price comparison service and (fairly poor looking) review amalgamation - doesn't look like it would be encyclopedic on many occasions. Why aren't we linking directly to the original reviews? What's the site's reputation? How do they choose the reviews? How is their choice of reviews etc. impacted by their revenue generation from the price comparison? Are all the reviews basically from a single geographic perspective? These are all concerns with a site like this.
I also think the fact the price comparison bit (which isn't normally appropriate to link to) comes before the reviews (which might be considered appropriate depending on the answers to the above) is another negative aspect. This seems more like a commercial service than encyclopedic information to me. -- SiobhanHansa 12:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Link vs Links

Apparently The header should be "External links" (plural) even if there is only a single link listed is consensus: see Wikipedia_talk:External_links/Archive_15#Link_vs_Links. I have my doubts. Not only was it not on the project page from November 2006 to February 2007 before its reintroduction, but the behaviour of SmackBot in enforcing this is raising a regular series of queries at User talk:Rich Farmbrough. It appears to many editors to be illogical to use the plural where the singular applies, and excessively prescriptive to encourage unnecessary changes. --Rumping 12:08, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like something to be left to the individual article editors. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:40, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
The guide - which is not forcing anyone to do anything, that is to misunderstand the nature of the MoS type guidelines. They are to provide a standard way of doing things which presents a uniform appearance across the 'pedia. In terms of this specific I was correcting about a thousand articles a month from singular to plural where more than one external link or reference was present. With the increase in auto-generated reference lists this is a more difficult task (references can also be transcluded). In terms of queries raised I would say about four, most of whom seemed to go away happy. Previously there were also queries raised on my talk pages as to why all such headers could not be in the plural. Rich Farmbrough, 08:17 16 October 2007 (GMT).
Feeling doesn't seem to be strong, and some people use this as a prescription. Let's see what happens if it is not there. --Rumping 22:26, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Still no objection here, so let's try removing the prescription again --Rumping 09:41, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Please stop removing that passage without getting a consensus to do so. You have gotten absolutely zero support in wanting to remove it, so please do not do it again. If you want to make a change contrary to the longstanding and overwhelming consensus, then you need a similar consensus to do so. Last time this came up the opinions were 11 or 12 people saying to have the plural line, and as I recall, none opposing. (And fyi, I personally said nothing about it.) You can't just ignore that without a single positive statement. Once again, this is guideline adopted by consensus, not by who can be most rude. 2005 11:46, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Rumping, while I don't think you have been rude, I do agree that your removal of the sentence was not yet warranted. I certainly understand that it can be difficult to determine if consensus has changed on an issue, but we need more than a simple absence of objections to support removal of a longstanding provision. If you still feel strongly about it, perhaps you should post notices of this discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style and Wikipedia talk:Guide to layout to solicit input from interested editors. Thank you. — Satori Son 13:45, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
So far I have been raising this issue here for 17 days with minimal evidence of a consensus. Thank you for those links: the problem is that people there tend to be prescriptive, when my view is that this provision is excessively prescriptive. However, I note that Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#External_links is better written than the provision here. I will next try to make this section consistent with the MoS guidance. --Rumping 14:53, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
But you removed the sentence yet again?! I am trying hard to assume good faith here, but your continuing to edit war over this issue when you have clearly failed to achieve a consensus for your change is troubling. I strongly request that you self-revert your latest changes and please discuss here first. -- Satori Son 19:06, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
(deindent) Let's have a quick review. I raised an issue on this talk page, suggesting that there might not be a consensus for this degree of prescription. After 11 days there was no obvious consensus to retain the prescription, so I suggested removing the prescriptive line to see whether there would be a reaction. This change was reverted by someone who suggested I raised it on the talk page but did not actually come here to discuss it. I waited another five days and tried a second time on the project page. I was reverted again, but not by someone who had an opinion one way or the other on the subject matter itself. You then raised WP:MOS (thank you) and I realised that the two were inconsistent. I made them consistent, unsurprisingly choosing the version closer to my opinion - to do the opposite would cause problems with WP:POINT. You are free to change both if you wish, to some more prescriptive version and see what happens, though I note that you have not yet expressed an opinion on the subject matter either. I have not been edit warring on the project page - this has been slow and methodical - and I have participated on the talk page both before and during my changes. --Rumping 20:03, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry if I was not clear about my opinion: I object to all of your recent changes. Since no one else has agreed with any of your proposed changes, I have reverted them (the first time for me).
Let me also be perfectly about your actions: As the editor who wishes to make changes to an established guideline, it is your responsibility to show consensus for the proposed changes. You have not done so, yet you have made the change anyway three different times. That is edit warring. Please stop. -- Satori Son 21:50, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) It's hard to imagine that anyone advocating changing a plural to a singular is acting in bad faith? That's not even the kind of thing anyone could be bad faith about. But anyway, I think the consensus and the better choice is to call it "links" even if there is only one, for the reasons given. It's common in all kinds of lists, on Wikipedia and everywhere in the world, to use a plural list descriptor for the sake of uniformity even if there is only one (or no) items in the list. Changing it to singular looks fussy, gives the incorrect impression that it is not a list, and introduces more likelihood of error as links are routinely added and deleted from articles without changing the heading. So overall, my vote is for ===External links===. Nevertheless, I'm not sure the extra sentence has to be there. Even without that sentence the guideline says to use the plural. Please note I've done some other clean-up to the wording to help clarify the distinction between external links and citations, which is made elsewhere in the guideline and is the subject of some misunderstandings as evidenced by other discussions (see "watch out for this", above).Wikidemo 21:54, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree that an issue can be so trivial as to be impossible to act in bad faith over. Some of our lamest edit wars have been the worst. It's not the change itself that is the troubling behavior, it's the multiple reverting of a change that is not supported by any other editor. -- Satori Son 22:04, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Ha! At least a lame edit war is better than a really meaningful edit war. Less disruptive. Anyway, I did my best to reinstate my clarifications about external links versus citations, which I believe is obvious and a consensus, as well as supported elsewhere on the page. But I preserved the sentence about keeping singular, and the examples, and most of the language. You wouldn't think it's a big issue, but there have been some rather severe edit wars a few months ago on BLP and a few here from people who were insisting that external links and citations are the same thing and should follow the same rules (and hence, this guideline is redundant and invalid). I did remove the "two formats" comment because it doesn't list a second format anywhere.Wikidemo 22:09, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I found this edit [16] unnecessary and queried it, as others did in a very short period in similar cases [17] [18] [19] - note that I did not revert on sight (which is how I feel I have been treated here). So I came here. My current view is that this page should say the same as WP:MOS and that MOS says it better and (unusually) less prescriptively. I will not press the point if wiser or louder voices disagree --Rumping 23:11, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
This is moving into way too silly now. Please respect the guideline and the work of other editors. You still haven't even made a clear proposal to change. Your original post just said you have "doubts" about the consensus. After all these days there is clearly no consensus to make a change, and in fact no support at all. Either articulate a new proposal or move on please. You seem to think just because you want to make a change you can unless their is a consensus not to. That's not the way it works. The existing consensus wording will stand like it has for months unless or until you get a consensus to change it. 2005 23:47, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I have made two different proposals [20] and [21]. The first was raised on the talk page when I queried whether it represented consensus; one editor supported me saying this should be left to individual editors, another said it was not prescriptive. Nobody else responded in 11 days, so I saw insufficient support for the contentious phrase. The second simply copied the wording at WP:MOS. Both times I was reverted on sight; I accept the impact of louder voices. But I do not accept there is a consensus on the present wording. --Rumping 00:15, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Making inappropriate edits is not making a proposal. You make a proposal by starting a new section on this page; state what you want to do (in this case, remove a line so external links sections can be called anything an editor wants); state your reasoning for the proposal, and ask for comments and consensus. It should be clear though that such a proposal would be a waste of time as very few editors will support inconsistent/random link section naming, but you are free to make such a proposal on this talk page and see. Please do not just edit the guideline itself. Doing that just wastes time since it will just be reverted. 2005 01:21, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I did start a new section - this section - and I stated that I did not believe there was a consensus. I already had evidence that several editors thought it odd to use a plural heading when there was only one link. I also had evidence that the prescription was not on this page for three months before being reverted. What happened next then confirmed my opinion about a lack of consensus. So 11 days later I edited the project page. I did what you asked for, before you asked for it. --Rumping 03:14, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's all that productive on either side to figure out whether you followed perfect procedure or not. It's just not that important either way. But if you do want to change the wording of a stable guideline, the burden is on you to show you have consensus for the change. There's no equivalent burden for people to show that the status quo has consensus. So if you propose and make an edit, and someone reverts, the only reasonable way to proceed is to talk about it. Hopefully that means talk about the merits of your change, not rehashing the past. You're free to propose whatever you want. However, a word of friendly advice. I don't think you'll find consensus on this forum at the moment, nor out in the field where articles are edited, for allowing the singular word "link" in external links headings in cases where there is only one link. Wikidemo 03:27, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
You are just being difficult now. If this is your oddly worded way to make a proposal... since you present no reason to change it, I don't agree with your desire to change it and see no reason to be illogical about such a change, and will just be done with this trivia by pointing out you have demonstrated zero support and no consensus to make such a change. 2005 07:08, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I am only continuing here because I have been accused again and again of not following procedure. I did, and at 26 October when I made my change I had support: "Sounds like something to be left to the individual article editors" was support for my position. Other people were querying the effect of the guideline (see above for links). My view is that consensus is needed to retain a prescriptive and contentious guideline, however minor. The guideline was not stable - it had recently been removed for three months before anybody cared enough to change it back. And this project page is not the same as the MOS guideline. But you will note that I am not repeatedly making changes to the project page: I have made the grand total of three edits in the three weeks since I raised the point. As for the merits of the case, I have logic on my side: in English (and many other languages) the number one takes a singular noun and the current guideline induces peculiar edits. But I accept that I do not have the loudest voice here and repeating the truth does not seem to be helping me. There is no need to respond.--Rumping 08:32, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

NNDB template up for deletion

In the past on this talk page we have discussed the NNDB site and have generally decided that the site clearly does not meet the External links guidelines, as the site is in no way authoritative, has no useful information other than what Wikipedia articles themselves should have when they become featured articles, etc. Also the links appear to have been mass added by a small group of users that clearly have a WP:COI problem to articles all over with no discussion beforehand. Frequently when such a link is removed on a single article, the same people involved in the mass add show up and claim that it can't possibly be inappropriate or else it wouldn't already be on thousands of articles, or they wouldn't have a template. Well, the template is up for deletion, and the same users who show up to readd the link when removed have now shown up to vote to keep but with arguments that do not follow Wikipedia policies. Considering our previous conversations on this page and how easy it is for people to not see such a coordinated effort to farmlink unless it is pointed out, I am hoping that people here, who obviously have an interest in quality of links, will look into this and not miss out. We need to set a clear precedent here that people can;t just show up and try to institutionalize mass adding of links that do not meet with Wikipedia's goals. DreamGuy 14:30, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

What's so bad about external links?

It seems to become sort of "fashionable" among some admins and users to delete tons of links from the External Links sections throughout Wikipedia in order to "keep external link lists small".

Of course spam links and links to bad quality sites are not acceptable and must be fought.

But providing high-quality lists of external links is a feature of Wikipedia whose importance should not be underestimated. External link lists attract more users as it makes Wikipedia an excellent starting point for any research. It's even easier for Wikipedia authors to improve pages if they have direct access to relevant links. Without the links, Wikipedia gets less interesting for everybody.

Unimportant links and spam links must be deleted, no question. But IMO any user must not delete links without taking a look at the linked page and verifying its lack of relevance.

Any opinions? --Mic-ro 22:57, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

The size of an external links section needs some flexibility, but as editors one of our major responsibilities is to judiciously prune information in articles, including in the external links list. Concise sections provide focus for readers and don't leave them reading lots of links that in all add comparatively little to their encyclopedic understanding of the subject. Good editors trim the fat. So I guess I'm saying, while I'd agree that editors shouldn't simply go in and purge out every other link or something, I think a thoughtful review of links and major editing is a great service to many articles with a large list (and to many with quite small lists). Links shouldn't just stay because they don't fail the guideline - they should actively contribute to making a great article. This may not be out of keeping with your opinion, you don't give many details so it's hard to debate where we think that line should be. -- SiobhanHansa 11:13, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
We can only be consistent and comprehensive with repsect to a few types of links. We can always link to the home page of an organization or agency, the official personal and professional site of an individual, etc. For films we can link to imdb, metacritic, and rottentomatoes. City articles can link to the government website, chamber of commerce, tourist bureau, official history museum, etc. Beyond that the selection of links is arbitrary. If we started linking to individual film how would we choose among 100-200 major reviews and 10-20 times that many blogs? We can't include them all even if we tried. There would always be omissions. It would be hit or miss, basically a random collection of links. Which isn't useful. Same thing with photo galleries. Why choose one person's site over another? For a really bad example of random external linking look at this version of the Sacramento article. We're linking to a random publisher, golf course, employment agency, a wiki, and random articles and photo galleries. That's not helpful. If you want Sacramento links you might as well use Google, Yahoo, the Open Directory or the links page from the Chamber of Commerce. Wikidemo 13:23, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a web directory, which means we should err on the side of having fewer links that we know for a fact are high quality and encyclopedic versus a big, long, hard to sort through list of mostly bad ones. In a world with Google and Open Directory and lots of other sites that exist solely to serve up links to other sites, it seems pretty odd to be talking about the value of listing them here. People can find them everywhere and not having a bunch here is not a hindrance at all for people finding them. DreamGuy 13:55, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I think WP:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_a_directory strongly backs up what DreamGuy says. Doczilla 19:59, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Watch out for this

I've just come across this boiler plate:-

 As per Wiki policy all external links should be in <ref> form.
 See for a 
 discussion of different citation methods and how to generate 
 footnotes using the <ref>, </ref> and  <reference /> tags

Which is certainly wrong, and even if it means references instead of external links, dubious at best. Rich Farmbrough, 08:26 16 October 2007 (GMT).

That does not seem to represent our guidelines for references or external links, let alone policy. Do you know who's adding it? A quiet word might be useful. -- SiobhanHansa 15:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
It's a good idea to use the <ref> tagging system and the MOS certainly recommends it... Perhapses it would be best just to remind the author of that note that there is a difference between policy and a guideline and that there are some legitimate alternatives. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 20:48, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
The lack of distinction between citations of external websites and further reading type of external links is the bit that jumped out at me. The ref tag system is great for citations - but is a really bad idea for external links in the external links sections. -- SiobhanHansa 22:02, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely true - whoever made that tag is confused about the difference between citations and external links, and is spreading misinformation. If you find them, please set them straight. I doubt they mean anything by it, just confused. Although the MOS doesn't enforce this it is definitely a good idea to use the <ref>> format for citations rather than putting the whole citation in the text or adding it to the "references" section without an in-text citation. Also, as a matter of convenience I often find that it's useful to use the "{{cite}} templates for external references - that tidies them up and gives people all the info they need if they end up using one of the external links as a source someday. But the two don't mix. Different standards for inclusion, reliability, purpose, etc. Wikidemo 22:08, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, woops. I miss-read the note. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 16:33, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Malaysia My Second Home Programme - Registered Sponsor

Hi, We noted that there is an external link related to the Malaysia My Second Home Programme Agent. We hereby wish to add our website which contains updated information on the MM2H Programme which are very useful for those who are interested in this programme.

Please review our website and see if the site is qualified to appear on the external links for Malaysia My Second Home Programme.

Joy-Stay (MM2H) Sdn Bhd is a registered MM2H sponsor with the Malaysian Government and we strive to provide updated and thorough information for those who wish to apply for this programme.

Thank you,

Best Regards, Yvonne Lim Joystay 10:27, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

(1) Your website is very new (and hungers for promotion). (2) External link should give significant amount of additional noncommercial info that the article does not mention.

Think of it this way. If you buy a traditional encyclopedia and you look for this MM2H entry and you find a contact info of a company, isn't that a hint of a promotional act? The purpose of MM2H entry in an encyclopedia is just to let people who look for MM2H entry to know more about MM2H, not all companies associated with MM2H.

In fact, that link to another agent company is supposed to be revoked now, since you have asked, to avoid more agents asking for inclusion in future. Please consider discussing the removal of that mentioned link instead. Ancos 01:36, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

We noted your comments. We were not trying to persuade you to revoke the external link to the Malaysia My Second Home agent ; we are aware now of the policy of the external link to this page. Perhaps this site should list the link to this "List of MM2H Agents" from ; this site contain the valid information on all the MM2H agents allowing "Click & Browse" through all MM2H agents' websites.Joystay 10:26, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

How commercial is commercial?

Another editor and I are having an argument about a specific link to an infomational site which has in-depth articles, consumer reviews, fora, and a variety of other resources. The site's primary focus is on education, although the quality of the information there, plus the availability of a forum, means that it is *also* but not *primarily* a social networking site. The owners have tiny amazon and cafe press shops selling advocacy stuff and related gear, but that selling is very secondary to the informational nature of the site, and exists primarily to pay the server bills. The other editor keeps deleting the link, I keep adding it back (I am not an owner of the site, I simply am an expert in the field and recognize the contribution it has made to the subject)... I'm tired of the fight, but this resource *must* be linked... there is no way that Wikipedia can, at this point, explore this subject in this much depth and still be "encyclopedic"... The article in question has only one other link right now which is of much more peripheral value compared to the link in question. My understanding is that as long as commercial activities are not the primary goal of the site, and it is a valuable link which does not simply substitute for what Wiki should have, and since the primary purpose of the link is NOT to promote the site or expand the social networking (we link to a research article within the site), that it should be okay.Jenrose 08:00, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

You are referring to adding the link in the babywearing article, I assume. I don't know what others think but personally it's an "I know it when I see it" thing. The linked page isn't very commercial - it's basically a useful list of links. But the main site clearly looks like a run-of-the-mill Internet-only commercial webiste, with google ads, things that look like affiliate programs, subscriptions, etc. I would say that if this is the authoritative site for babywearing, a recognized authority, basically the center of the babywearing world, that's fine. But if this is only one of a dozen or two (or more) commercial sites devoted to the subject and it's arbitrary to choose this one, no good. Kind of like in films we can link to imdb or metacritic, but not the New York Times review directly. Or, in an article about Direct Marketing or Direct Marketing Associations you can link to the American Direct Marketing Association because even though it's commercial it's clearly the main national trade assocation. But you wouldn't link to the list of direct marketing service companies. I hope this is illustrative. Again, my opinion only. Wikidemo 08:23, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
My view is that TBW violates WP:EL's Links normally to be avoided, #4, #5 and #11. While it is true that TBW comes up first in a Google search, there are certainly dozens of other such sites. And TBW engages in direct sales, unlike imdb or metacritic, which, in my mind, raises the bar substantially. I see nothing in the TBW's article pages that makes the link vital. And as the user who is pushing this link is a single-purpose account, I am less than confident that her insistence that the site in question is last word in the subject is wholly reliable and unbiased. Note from her userpage that she does have her own designs, possibly for sale and/or favorably reviewed at TBW?
The article has been pretty heavily spammed in the past, with as many as a dozen external links [22], not to mention edit-warring over which links to include (see [23] and [24], [25], three examples out of many) so it is certain that some editors have less than pure motives here. And I am not alone in considering TBW to be a spam link [26], [27].
Of particular interest is this editin which Jenrose removes a link with the comment "Removed Mamatoto as has become a vendor"-- the site in question uses an Amazon store just as TBW does (see [28]).
For more, see Talk:Babywearing#Before_editing. -- Mwanner | Talk 13:55, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

The problem of linking wikis on BLPs

Contra the explanation of this revert, open wikis are a unique problem for the biographies of living people. This problem is one of the reasons that the BLP policy exists. Unlike most websites, no operator is responsible for the content, and the editors are basically anonymous. There is no real deterrent against libel, and wiki content we link changes from moment to moment. Frankly, we have enough time keeping libel off our own pages without the additional task of checking sites which can be edited at a whim with no accountability. Like deep linking copyright violations, courts have shown an interest in assigning tort liability for defamatory links. They're only a hazard for us, and they rarely contain content that we cannot improve upon here.

I think the heart of the exception for wikis with a "history of stability and a substantial number of editors," is not so much based on the size of the wiki, but on the stability inherent in non-controversial topics. We don't normally have to worry about off-site wiki polemics against Romulan Ale, but public figures are constantly at risk and therefore aren't ever really stable. I wouldn't call many of our BLP articles stable, and we're the largest wiki around. BLPs are just not suitably served by links to these sites. We should focus on patrolling our own content.

For these reasons, I think open wikis ought to be never linked from the biographies of living people. Cool Hand Luke 03:45, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

For the issue that inspired this, see WT:BLP#Sourcewatch. Cool Hand Luke 03:56, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
In general, agreed. But wiki is just a type of markup language, not inherently any more libelous than html. Presumably by "wikis" you mean to exclude large unmoderated user-generated content sites with no editorial control, or something like that, not sites that happen to be in WML. The communications decency act does shelter Wikipedia from liability here. Wikidemo 05:10, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
its the same as anything else--it depends on the content and the specific authority, Everything needs to be used with an appropriate degree of caution, and sourcewatch with a very great degree. But it is not at present a totally open wiki. see the article on it for the degree of editorial control. DGG (talk) 07:36, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
It has over 30,000 articles, including virtually all significant and controversial politicians in the US, but it has one paid editor. It's more of an open wiki than not, and the previously-cited example of "Bush Regime" still stands months later. Wikidemo: it's nothing about the software. That would be like saying that sites using SQL should be banned. It's about the openness of the material. Cool Hand Luke 15:15, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Open, public wikis should definitely be banned from biography articles... and I would also argue that they are almost never appropriate for any other article either. DreamGuy 22:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The current standard as it exists are fine; major generally stable wikis are fine to link to. If we followed the logic of there being a BLP concern Wikipedia articles about BLPs wouldn't be allowed to link to other Wikipedia articles because they might have BLP issues. I think that's a reductio ad absurdum. JoshuaZ 14:58, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
For the record, reductio ad absurdum means your argument is flawed, not mine. You should read the article before you link to it: one assumes a claim for the sake of argument, derives an absurd or ridiculous outcome, and then concludes that the original assumption must have been wrong as it led to an absurd result. The ridiculous outcome in this logical fallacy is that Wikipedia couldn't link to itself. Of course Wikipedia links to itself, that's in the definition. We obviously link to our own content. But if other sites have content that has all the same problems we don't. DreamGuy 16:18, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Almost there. The outcome is that we wouldn't link to Wikipedia articles; the premise that therefore needs to be thrown out is that linking to open wikis is a priori bad. Once that premise is thrown out it is much harder to justify this sort of prohibition. JoshuaZ 16:25, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Add this rule too...

  1. Links to content providers on pages that elaborate the content should be avoided. For example, COM port redirector, Emoticon and such articles should link to sites that may clarify the reader on what a serial port is. But it should not link to companies that provide serial port redirectors or companies that offer "free" emoticons.

I added this but User:2005 removed it... Can someone elaborate why? Another one... I placed a spam tag on this... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mugunth Kumar (talkcontribs) 17:00, 3 November 2007 (UTC) Mugunth 13:48, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I would tend to agree. Allowing these sorts of links is just asking for spam. The wording of the rule is a bit confusing. Perhaps "Links to commercial sources of an article's topic should be avoided." or something. That's not much better I guess, but something to think about. --Gimme danger 18:47, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I cleaned up the spam you marked, by the way. Thanks for pointing it out! --Gimme danger 19:05, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
(ec)Because of previous experience here with contentious editing and since this is a guideline, getting consensus before adding something is generally preferred. While I think the principle above is normally good, I don't think the wording is ideal and I'm concerned that it's instruction creep. I've generally had little problem keeping such links out of articles. -- SiobhanHansa 18:54, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I believe it's already covered several times over in the guideline, regarding avoiding spam, links to commercial sites, etc. There is and will always be a tendency for some people to add these links. That's not going to stop. But they get removed promptly, and I don't think adding a new rule is going to speed that up any. Wikidemo 19:05, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it's fairly well covered else ware. No need to get too detailed. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 19:11, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I removed it because it was added without discussion so obviously it should be removed by the next person who saw it. Then, it's entirely redundant to the existing guideline. We really don't need to say don't link to sites that only sell something, and then say it again with "and this time we really mean it". Also, the specific examples were inappropriate, given that this is a guideline for the entire encyclopedia, not the articles you most recently edited. In any case, this idea has been part of the guideline basically forever, so there is no need to add redundant text. 2005 22:54, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, something like that should be added only after discussion. Besides, it really is covered elsewhere. Doczilla 09:55, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

@Doczilla, Can you quote where it has been covered? I could not find it... The reason why I thought we should have a guideline like this is that, sometimes, people add such links unintentionally without knowing that it's link spam. This guideline could at least help them understand the fact. What I feel is that, we should have this guideline, but may be change it's wording so that it does not look like "instruction creep" as SiobhanHansa feels...

Mugunth 10:05, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

I think this is mainly covered by our spam guideline and our not a directory and not for advertising or promotion policies. -- SiobhanHansa 12:17, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
It's also covered by #4 in the links to be avoided... also by the fact that it dosn't qualify under anything in "What to link". ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 00:28, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes I understand.. But that sentence targets spammers... I want newcomers to understand that linking company websites like the above could amount to link spam. Because many a times when I remove link spams from pages, its all people who fervently add those links who want to say something like, "Hey look at this site.. it's cool.."... They inadvertently do this.. and they don't understand that they are violating Pt #4. Mugunth 03:48, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Wiki wording suggestion

The guidelines discourage "Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors." As I said above, there should be some definition of what this means.

People seem to agree that Wookieepedia, Memory Alpha and Muppet Wiki are reliable sources -- in some ways, more reliable than any other single source. I think it would be helpful if there could be some guidance on when a wiki has passed this threshold, and what that would be based on. -- Danny (talk) 16:30, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

When we've talked about this before we've become concerned about being too prescriptive because the requirements for different subjects are likely to be different and there are different ways a site might attain stability, for example. Perhaps we would do better by providing a few examples of wikis that either definitely do make the list (as it were) or definitely don't and then saying that those in between should be discussed on talk pages. In the end I believe the real consideration for all links is the authoritativeness of the site and it's reputation, that's not something that can be easily proscribed. Size of editor base and stability are just a couple of factors that can indicate authoritativeness and reputation of a wiki. -- SiobhanHansa 21:51, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it's difficult to say exactly why one wiki is notable and another isn't. However, I think the guideline would be improved if the definition was more clear. If the number of editors and the stability aren't the only factors, then can we define what the factors are? Without a clear definition, it's easy for people to act in an arbitrary way. -- Danny (talk) 22:01, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I personally think we'd be better off just banning all other wikis entirely... I'm sure that would upset those people who went through and added them all over, but I can't for the life of me see why any article here should be linking to another site that allows random people to edit it when that's what Wikipedia is for in the first place. Instead of just encouraging people to go elsewhere, we should improve our own articles. Wikis don't meet our standards for encyclopedic and reliable sources and aren't anything we shouldn't be trying to be. If not an outright ban we should be expicitly making it more difficult for people to try to justify linking to wikis instead of giving an inch by endorsing some and watching people take a mile in response. DreamGuy 22:04, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to see us take the focus off the software used to publish and focus on the content and reputation of the site - so instead of the wiki line we'd have something like:
Self-published material, (for instance most blogs and wikis, personal pages, and sites with open submission practices and negligible fact checking or other editorial oversight) should only be linked to if the linked content adds encyclopedic value to the article and either it is by a notable and respected commentator on the article subject, or editors agree the site is authoritative and central to the subject, or editors agree content is factual and reliable. Links to pages with changing content (such as the front page of a blog, or actively edited wikis) should not be added if the content is unlikely to remain as directly appropriate for the article. For articles about living people further caution is required, see WP:BLP.
That way we cover sites that allow submission by just anyone through other avenues than direct editing. We cover what I think are the man problems with them, which is lack of rigor, changing content, and non-notable original research/opinion pieces. -- SiobhanHansa 12:41, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I can't see that. If you look at this guideline external links are for material that's inappropriate to the article, not material that could be in the article. Different external links are made for all different kinds of reasons. There are plenty of blogs, self-published sites, and sites with changing content that make appropriate external links. For a typical example, we may link to a site with sports scores or an event schedule. Not all external links provide commentary, so the notability and respect of the site owner is not always the issue. In fact, sites where notable experts provide commentary about the subject of the article are generally not appropriate external links.Wikidemo 13:05, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand where we disagree, maybe my wording above isn't very clear. Notability and respectability is only one of the reasons for inclusion. A self published site with regularly updated sports scores would fall under factual information that editors agree is accurate and that's likely to remain appropriate when it changes. -- SiobhanHansa 15:09, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it is bad to lump wikis with self-published sites. Self-published sites by authorities are valuable links. Wiki software is not the concern, but rather the ability of any nut to add anything they want anytime they want. "Open wikis" should normally be avoided because of the open-ness. A non-open self-published site has entirely different hurdles to get over (basically the authority thing). Let's not mush those two together. (Also Wikidemo, material in external links can often be appropriate for an article... the level of detail thing can mean thousands of things that could be added to the article but simply aren't because we can't mention everything about some things in one page; also some times something in external links could possibly be used to cite something in an article, but some other website is cited instead. The point is basically right, but shouldn't be taken as literally as it is written.) 2005 00:24, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
FYI, specific mention of wikis was removed from WP:RS and WP:V because they already fall under self-published sources. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:36, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. The first part of SiobhanHansa's proposal seems to accomplish that. By treating open wikis as a type of self-published source, we instead distinguish sources "by a notable and respected commentator on the article subject." Some self-published sources are indeed by experts. However, the second prong "or editors agree the site is authoritative and central to the subject, or editors agree content is factual and reliable," doesn't apply to a wiki anyone can edit, except perhaps for articles about the wiki itself. The next lines of the proposal talk about the likelihood of future appropriateness, but I don't think we need editors to consult their crystal balls with respect to freely-editable content. Open wikis should simply not be used, especially in BLPs. Cool Hand Luke 05:05, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Why not? This logic works just as well to say that Wikipedia shouldn't link to its own articles since they aren't reliable. If we have a large enough specialized wiki such as memory-alpha, why not link to it? JoshuaZ 15:01, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia by it's very nature links to itself, so the argument makes no sense. But, yes, if another site started up following Wikipedia's rules for links, Wikipedia articles would not qualify. We obviously make an exception for our own content, because we set the policies and so forth for how our content is improved, but that doesn't mean we endorse any other open wiki out there, especially when their policies are completely beyond our control. DreamGuy 16:14, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Er no, see my reply in the above section - the point is that if we are linking to ourself we can't say that linking to open wikis is by itself not acceptable. Which seems to be the fundamental premise. Furthermore, the foundation has made it clear that the Wikimedia projects as a whole have a direct interest and goal of promoting other wikis. That's a major reason we include them in the interwiki map. To rule them all out on .en would be counter to both Foundation goals and common sense. JoshuaZ 16:30, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Of course we can. We already have a policy that we can't self-reference ourselves (use a wiki article as a reliable source), so this is just a logical next step. 2005 00:18, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
No it isn't the same at all. It is illogical to claim "linking to wikis is never acceptable because they aren't reliable enough" while we have links to wikis throughout. And again, doing this is in any event massively against what the Foundation wants. JoshuaZ 01:26, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
It's obviously the same, so let's not go off on some semantic dead end. This wiki is not considered a reliable source by this wiki, so its pretty silly to think that same logic doesn't apply to all lesser-contributed wikis. What the Foundation wants is a different issue, but since I'm not a meber of the Foundation, I couldn't care less. I only care about the policies we have, and making things conform to those. Perhaps you could start another section on following the the politics of the Foundation. 2005 02:20, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I must not have explained my points well. I'm not claiming that these are reliable sources or that Wikipedia is. The point is that we can't say that "Wikis are always forbidden to link to" when we have many links to ourself. As to the Foundation issue, we cannot override the Foundation here, nor should we. The Foundation has decided that promotion of Wikis and open-content is something all Wikimedia projects should be engaged in. That isn't politics; that's part of why we're here. We cannot nor should we attempt to override Foundation policy for own self-centered elitism about external links. JoshuaZ 02:28, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Of course we can say that. Internal links go to articles governed by our policies and guidelines; external links do not. You don't do your cause much justice by staking out this absurd semantic territory. In contrast, your point about the Foundation has some merit, but promoting other wikis doesn't mean we SHOULD link to shitty wikis. There is no elitism at play here, unless you are going to now stake out the territory that "elitism = good quality". We have a guideline that states essentially that high quality, regularly-edited-by-lots-of-folks wikis can be linked. Again it is absurd to suggest that the Foundation has a mission to encourage rotten wikis. Just because something uses wiki software doesn't mean it we should love it and encourage it. Put another way, the majority of websites on the Internet do not merit external links; and the majority of wikis on the Internet similarly do not merit external links. Most wikis are poor quality. We do not encourage wikis by linking to garbage wikis. Those few that meet the relatively low bar we have can be linked. 2005 02:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
In that case, we have no cause for disagreement. I wasn't arguing that we should link to all wikis, merely that wikis should not be ruled out simply because they are wikis. JoshuaZ 03:13, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
JoshuaZ I know the Foundation and the Wikipedia project are explicitly tasked with promoting open content, but I wasn't aware that promotion of wikis was an explicit goal. Can you point me to where that's stated? -- SiobhanHansa 13:02, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo's made comments to that effect I believe but I can't off the top of my head find them. I'll have to get back to you on that. JoshuaZ 15:04, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
One other thing, I would never consider my contributions to a wiki as "self-published". Perhaps that is the jargon in some places, but it will be counterintuitive and confusing to lots of folks. The Foundation publishes the Wikipedia, not me. 2005 07:40, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Legally, the Foundation doesn't publish the material. It hosts the material that we write and publish using its tools. If it reviewed and approved of the material in the way that a publisher does then it would be responsible for its content, but it does not. Each of us is legally responsible for the content we contribute and the Foundation is like a common carrier. That's the status in the U.S. and was also decided in a recent case in France. However the situation could be different legally for other wikis if they impose more editorial control. Unfortunately it's very hard for us, as Wikipedia editors, to estimate the editorial control of the owners of the wiki. While it may not always be correct, it's probably best to think of all wikis as self-published. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 09:25, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Archiving broken

Hi, this talk page seems to get trimmed without archiving. Apparently all discussions between June 2007 (last Archive) and early October are gone. Is this intended behaviour or is something broken ? Wefa 02:07, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

The problem was that this talk page is automatically archived by the bot MiszaBot II, and MiszaBot II doesn't automatically add newly-created archive pages to this page's archive box. I've updated the archive box to add the missing archives (/Archive 18 and /Archive 19). --Muchness 02:26, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Geocities link deleted: please reinstate

I believe Geocities has been targeted by this bot incorrectly, as it is not a free site (I pay a monthly fee for my site and am slightly offended by this). If you will please notice that most of the existing external links in this article are also to my site! I thought Wikipedia was open to all to contribute to, now I am beginning to wonder. Thank you.

Regarding your edits to Otto Jespersen: Your recent edit to Otto Jespersen (diff) was reverted by an automated bot. You have been identified as a new user or a logged out editor using a hosting or shared IP address to add email addresses, phone numbers, YouTube, Geocities, Myspace, Facebook, blog, forum, or other such free-hosting website links to a non-talk page. Please note that such links are generally to be avoided. You can restore any other content by editing the page and re-adding that content. The links can be reviewed and restored by established users. Thank you for contributing! // VoABot II 13:20, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Idojc 13:38, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Propose to change External links section to Further reading

I think it is time to change mention of "External links" section to "Further reading". To keep the discussion centralised please join the discussion over on Wikipedia talk:Guide to layout#Propose to change External links section to Further reading --Philip Baird Shearer 01:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I commented on that talk page, but there are many reasons to have an external link. Only one of them is to provide further reading material related to the subject of the article. The current name is exactly correct; calling it "further reading" would be using an often incorrect term.Wikidemo 03:34, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I share Wikidemo's sentiment that a change is incorrect. Articles include an external links section at the end in order to list links to websites that are outside of Wikipedia, for purposes of providing additional information as opposed to onsite "reading". "Further" reading is facilitated by the "See also" section. External links specificaly identify a link which briefly summarizes a website's content and why the website is relevant to the article.--Hu12 08:12, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood - the proposal as I read it isn't to amalgamate the "see also" sections with "external links" but to amalgamate "further reading" sections - which nowadays are usually lists of recommended books related to the subject that are not references. See the Mother Teresa article for an example of an article with references ("notes"), see also, further reading and external links sections. I believe the proposal is simply to amalgamate the latter two. I've added my 2 cents to the discussion. -- SiobhanHansa 14:33, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Precisely SiobhanHansa, see Torture#Further reading and Battle of Waterloo#Further reading for examples of where external links and further reading are amalgamated into further reading. The dichotomy stands out in articles that use both online and offline news papers articles, particularly where initially a new article is free to view and then becomes subscription based or when they are removed from the net and are only available via a library. --Philip Baird Shearer 17:18, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Infoboxes and external links

Company and school infoboxes contain website. These instructions for external links say that the website must also be added in an external links section. Is there some reason there need to be two links to the external website within one article? It makes sense to have the link in an External links section if there's no website listed in the infobox, but what if it's in the infobox? ---- Busy Stubber (talk) 17:56, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

There's no guideline on it. My own opinion is that the info boxes are generally repetitions of information already in the article, but summarized and presented in a particular format. Putting information in the info box doesn't generally stop editors from putting the same info elsewhere in the article and in general I think the same should be true for external links. As a reader, having them be in one place when there's an info-box, but another when there isn't would be annoying. -- SiobhanHansa 19:23, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Infoboxes are for people who think People Magazine is a news magazine. In terms of articles and external links, I'd ignore infoboxes. We don't want the tail wagging the dog. This guideline should encourage external link handling that is consistent throughout all articles. What goes in infoboxes of different types shouldn't lead to article inconsistency. 2005 (talk) 23:38, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Input request

I am having a discussion on whether some external links are accepted or not (I think they are) in the Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares article. See this discussion. More input would be welcome. Garion96 (talk) 17:18, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Anyone? Garion96 (talk) 00:39, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, was too fast, I saw User:DreamGuy responded. Still, more input would be nice (even if you think I am totally wrong there). Garion96 (talk) 00:41, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


Scanning through this guideline, I don't actually see any rule specifically ruling out the inclusion of fansites in the "External links" section. Can anybody point me to the relevant guideline or policy about including fansites? Note that I'm not talking about using them as references, I'm just talking about including them in the "External links" section. Or are fansites actually allowed in that section, as long as they can provide encyclopedic value? Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 15:38, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Fansites aren't excluded, but 99% of them fail at a few areas on WP:EL: First, many fansites have copyright violation issues (albeit minor ones) that, for legality, WP cannot allow linkage to. Fansites also tend to fall into "Links to be avoided" 11 and 12 - forums, blogs, and personal webpages. Furthermore, WP is not a link farm, and even if a fansite manages to satisfy these requirements for inclusion, it should not be taking the place of other, more official sites, and/or encourage the addition of other fansites (because editors tend to go by WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. --MASEM 16:26, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. Do you mind giving your opinion on the links at Faye Wong? One editor removed a few links but then the removal was reverted.[29] I'm inclined to agree with the removal, but I want to make sure either we have concensus or the removal is grounded on some guideline or policy. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 16:37, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Not checking every aspect of the fansites, my inclination is that regardless of how well their content is, that's approaching the WP:LINKFARM issue. The only two sites that really should be included on the article are the IMDB link and the link to her artist profile on BMG. To include any one of the fansites will probably beg the others to be added back in, and having all those links doesn't really help. One of the advice pieces on the WP:EL page is that ELs should serve to be resources of additional information that otherwise can't be on the page should the page get to featured article status but would still be of the quality of material needed for FA; the first two qualify, the last 4 do not. Just my opinion though. --MASEM 16:57, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree. The only other thought I have is that it would be appropriate to link to an authoritative list of fansites, if there is such a thing. As an analogy, when you add metacritic, IMDB, or rottentomatoes to an article about a film, those sites have a long list of reviews even though the individual reviews would not be proper links in the article. So a user who wants to get to the reviews could follow the links from Rottentomatoes. Maybe there is something like that if you can link to an AMG entry.Wikidemo (talk) 18:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
In this case, the regular editors of the article noted on the talk page and in the page history that they used all the existing external links as sources for the article. One is particularly useful for concerts, another for albums, and others for certain facts in the bio. Talk:Faye Wong records more than once that we have had difficulty finding sources of the best calibre; we've been trying, but failing that we have to rely on the better-quality fan sites. - Fayenatic (talk) 19:30, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, that's really problematic. Fansites are not exactly considered reliable sources. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 19:35, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
That's a generality so not very helpful. Some fansites are very reliable sources, others are very much not reliable. But regardless, if the information in the article IS from a fansite, then that info should be either referenced with the fansite, or removed altogether. The middle ground of removing the fansite but leaving the info is silly. Then also, it is a common thing for less experienced editors to put sites used as references in rxternal links instead of a Notes or references section, and it is always good to fix that. 2005 (talk) 23:17, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
This touches on the broader question of how to deal with article material that is sourced but not inline. The problem, for someone trying to clean up the article, is that without a citation link only the people who made the initial contributions know what information comes from which fan site. I wouldn't suggest moving the fan sites into a "reference" section because that only compounds the problem and takes the article farther from being cleaned up. I think the only practical thing to do is to delete the fansites first, then invite the users saying they used them to re-add them as sources if they wish. If that leaves info unsourced, the information should be deleted only if it's challenged - as we all know there's plenty of unsourced or improperly sourced information that's allowed to stand simply because nobody thinks it's likely to be inaccurate. I think it is worth pointing out that most fan sites make poor sources. We can't know right now if they were used improperly and it would be hasty to dismiss them out of hand, but reading between the lines we probably have relatively new editors who didn't find the best source for things. Don't you think? Wikidemo (talk) 00:00, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
In this case, the two editors who said they used those sources are not currently active here, although I've just tried to contact them both. As for "didn't find the best sources", there is no official bio of this artist; one of the bios at IMDB was openly written by one of the same editors anyway! They have quoted specific media for all recent news, but tracing specific records now to support the older statements is problematic (see link given above).
This discussion started as one on External Links rather than sources. I suppose I could try to trace which sites support which info, and move the fan site links either into the main References section or a Sources section stating what parts of the article they support. That should improve the article anyway. OK? - Fayenatic (talk) 10:49, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
It's okay by me but I don't get to decide anything here unfortunately :) Anyway, you're doing a good thing if you can improve the sourcing and accuracy of the article and help eliminate stray links to fan sites in the process. Plus if the original editors on gone there's nobody to complain. Improving articles is sometimes easier if the original authors aren't there to get their feelings hurt.Wikidemo (talk) 11:04, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually Sony's website has a bio of her[30]. That's probably the most "official" bio we can get. She is a very private person and doesn't have an official website that comes directly from her. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 08:18, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Linking to trailers is discouraged?

Any of the admins care to inform me the Wikipedia policy on linking movie articles to (specifically) trailers?

An Admin on the farsi wikipedia has left me a message citing WP:NOT#LINK, and has deleted every link I put from every article to any trailer of that movie. He claims "links to trailers are not encyclopedic and are not relevant". Am I missing something here? Thank You.--Zereshk (talk) 00:16, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Why would you think they are appropriate? Links are supposed to be for information sources, not for entertainment purposes. DreamGuy (talk) 01:23, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Linking to trailers is informational, and obviously something we can't have in articles ourselves. If the trailers are on an official site, they are a fine link. If they are on a ripoff copyvio site, then they should never be used. 2005 (talk) 01:53, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
If the trailer is on the official site of the movie, then we should already be linking to the main page of the official movie site anyway and wouldn't need a separate trailer link. If it's unofficial we shouldn't be linking. Therefore I can't ever see a reason to link to a trailer itself at all. I also dispute that trailers are informational, at least in the sense that an encyclopedia requires. DreamGuy (talk) 14:31, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
So I take it that there is no specific laws or even consensus on this matter as far as "relevance" and WP:NOT#LINK is concerned? The links mostly go to IMDB or the official website of the film itself.--Zereshk (talk) 04:17, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't there already be links to the official site and IMDB entry in such articles? --The Brown Bottle 08:01, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
It depends. For example, there are instances where the IMDB link redirects to somewhere like . But the admin is making his case based on "not being informationally useful for an encyclopedia". I dont know what to make of that, because it seems a slightly subjective argument. Who determines what is/is not "useful"? But I need English Wikipedia's admin feedback, because he's basing his argument on English wikipedia. Thanks to all.--Zereshk (talk) 00:27, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree with DreamGuy. Link to the official site of the movie. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:19, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

That's obvious, but it doesn't address the issue. If the trailer is on the official site, then you don't need multiple links, but if there is an official site, but the trailer is not on it but it is on the Warner brothers site, then linking to the trailer on the warners site is a very good link. 2005 (talk) 02:39, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
True, it would be appropriate provided the trailer is hosted somewhere authorised by warners. And not requiring proprietary software such as flash or windows media player (see WP:EL, "Rich media", it's not a blanket ban). --Yamla (talk) 02:47, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Broken links on the EL page

The examples in section 7.1 seem to be broken or missing. DGG (talk) 04:29, 1 December 2007 (UTC)


You have successfully deleted every single external link of mine - congratulations! There were actually other websites than and travellady com, what about and I do not own, maintain or represent any of these sites. Neither do I breach any WP-relevant policies or guidelines - read with my eyes. And I do not promote myself or my articles, that would mean I got something out of it financially - sorry, I don't. I feel I can contribute with a different angle on cities that you cover in WP, but I have learnt by now that WP is not interested in covering a subject broadly. Some of your articles are in such a poor condition that I do understand you may have to prioritize - the improvement of all the bad writing in WP for example, although unfinished articles seem to be tolerated indefinitely. My own articles, however, are at least ready to be used, as all of them have been through a publishing process and appear legible.

You are welcome to carry out all your threats: blacklisting, blocked account and whatever. Or will you content yourself with the smear that you just published on every discussion page involved? Anyhow, I have wasted too much time on WP already. To be honest, I never experienced so much hysteria and narrow-mindedness before. One particular editor should be praised, though - she listened, understood, explained and advised, always kind. I wish her attitude would spread.....

Scribbleman 18:09, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

Contravenes WP:EL#Links_normally_to_be_avoided. has racist material on it or at least has in the recent past. Mainly forum-based. Infoshop is well established (first anarchist website?) and notable as verifiable anarchist resource. WARNING: The trolling going on is multiple sockpuppets by a banned user RJII (2006?) who claimed he was a multiple as a 'Jewish business' campaign and deliberately inserting material ala Wikipedia:Original research . Same language and uncivilness. -- maxrspct ping me 19:34, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Madisons Foundation

Madisons Foundation's website is dedicated to improving the quality and quantity of information available to parents of children with rare diseases. Our mPower Rare Disease Database is a free resource so parents can find out information about their child’s disease.

We would like to add direct links to our site for each respective disease found here on Wikipedia. For example:

Aarskog-Scott syndrome

Would link to:

Madisons FoundationPediatric rare disease information and support website for families of children with a rare disease.

Thanks in advance,

Marcy Smith

Founder, MadisonsFoundation (talk) 22:34, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Breach of Privacy

Hu12 equals my user name, Scribbleman, with the author of the travel stories in question, which I never did myself. Whether the assumption is correct or not, this is a serious breach of privacy. I demand that his/her piece must be removed - both from my Talk page and every other page where it has been inserted.

Scribbleman 11:10, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

You have spammed several articles with external links that do not meet the guideline standards, to that same author's travel articles in the same magazine. You're the one who added the author's name, Terje Raa, to the link citations. It's a fair question to ask whether you are that author. No breach of privacy in asking because there was no private information. Nevertheless, if you think someone misbehaved please bring it up on the administrator's notice boards instead of posting the exact same messages to that least three different places. It's hard to figure out what you're talking about or what you want out of this forum. Wikidemo 14:26, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
RE; External links policy on Advertising and conflicts of interest. Unfortunately your conflict of interest editing involves contributing to Wikipedia in order to promote Terje Raa and Terje Raa articles. Such a conflict is strongly discouraged. Your contributions to wikipedia under Scribbleman consist entirely of promoting Terje Raa articles on / / / / and and is considered WP:Spam. Looking through your contributions as a whole, the all seem to be Terje Raa related only. It has become apparent that your account are only being used for spamming and promoting inappropriate external links and for self-promotion. Wikipedia is NOT a "repository of links" or a "vehicle for advertising".--Hu12 15:43, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
From a look at User:Scribbleman's Talk page and contributions, he seems to be embarked on a program of non-stop addition of external links to articles. User:Hu12's warnings seem fair. I doubt that Scribbleman will receive much sympathy here at WP:EL. EdJohnston (talk) 05:18, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

What constitutes maintaining a website?

I am involved in a dispute with another editor over whether I may link to another website, the editor objects that I cannot link to it because I 'maintain' it. I am not the webmaster but the website has used some of my writing, so you could say that I am a contributor to it. I also own a domain name that I point to the website. I can't see that is what is intended by WP:EL in talking about 'maintaining' a website but this editor insists otherwise. I compare it to not being able to link the the Journal of Financial Economics, or any article therein, because I once wrote an article for said journal. Any views? --Simon D M 13:17, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, our conflict of interest guideline goes a bit further, it states: "... but if you have a conflict of interest avoid, or exercise great caution when: ... Linking to the Wikipedia article or website of your organization in other articles ..." (all the way at the bottom). Guess it is better for you to discuss the link on talkpages, although as long as you don't excessively link to the site containing your information, and the information is not really controversial, it should be fine (though it is best to just post on the talkpage as well, and/or in the edit summary, just to acknowledge the point). Hope this helps. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:07, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for replying. The page in question is for a fringe theory/new religious movement and only has regular editors with COI (one neutral editor does take some interest but is denounced as COI by one of the COI editors). Thus most links are to sites with which the linking editor has COI. Hence COI is not really the issue. Rather the issue is over the meaning of the word 'maintain'. I hold that this does not cover contribution. The other editor claims it does, even though he has linked to sites which he says he has contributed images to (he maintains that this is a different matter). The talkpage is a quagmire of non-consensus which is why I ask about the general principle here. --Simon D M (talk) 11:49, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, I would also be careful with linking to publications you are affiliated with. Linking to publications of others on the same site should generally not be a problem. You are not a maintainer of the site. The story would be different if you would have an interest in having links to the site (e.g. for revenues). --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:16, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Rickenbacker links - unofficial page.

Hello, I have read the WP:EL policy more than once and I understand the fact that fansites generally should not be linked,

My question is - What about unofficial sites that contain vast amount of information that is not available in other places? (the site I was trying to link to from the Rickenbacker guitars page) is currently the most comprehensive site for Rickenbacker guitars as well as it has the largest forum with participant of many Rickenbacker Luthiers and Rickenbacker officials. There is NO copyright violation anywhere on this site and every copyrighted material is used with a permission from RIC.

So, back to my question: Don't you think this is a bit bizarre that the most comprehensive Rickenbacker webpage is "banned" from the Rickenbacker article on Wikipedia? I have tried to resolve this dispute with the person who removed the links to no avail: Thanks, GilbsonLP 11:57, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Is the "vast amount of information" original research, and does it provide a source? If not, it shouldn't really be added. Jack?! 04:10, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Some material is an original published research of Peter McCormack, Assistant Psychology professor at St. Thomas University (New Brunswick), some of it is contributed by others, most of which containing references to external sources, additionally - Rickresource offers a huge Rickenbacker register that provides statistical analysis of models/years/finish/etc... as well as stolen Rickenbackers database. GilbsonLP (talk) 11:00, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Anyone??? Is there a way to get this reviewd by an editor? Thanks GilbsonLP (talk) 13:51, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Meta:Interwiki map

(User:Ned Scott made an undiscussed change to the guideline, then added it again without a discussion. Below is a comment he put on my talk page which I moved here in case he wants to pursue the addition.)

Every wiki listed in Meta:Interwiki map is discussed before being added. Inactive or dead wikis are removed, or simply not added in the first place, so that's really not a concern. -- Ned Scott 04:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

So then the line isn't needed. The addition is redundant... but at the same time, some wikia sub-domains are totally spam filled, so what you were suggesting is an invitation to say they are allowed, which is a very bad idea. Essentially a Wikia needs for to meet the criteria to be linked to an article about "something". If you still want to pursue the point, please use the EL talk page. 2005 (talk) 04:40, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
If anything, the mention of the Interwiki map should include the disclaimer that while such sites are "special" , inclusion of the links must meet all other EL standards for appropriateness. However, that really makes them nothing "special". --MASEM 04:50, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Maybe to be more clear, the addition implies links to these Wikis are acceptable. This is certainly not correct. A Wiki needs to meet the criteria for linking. For example, I do a lot of editing in the gambling area, and have removed links to pure spam-hell wikis. Such links are obviously garbage, and can't just be added because they happen to be on the domain. Some additional language presenting the value of the domains on the Interwiki map could be fine, but giving a blanket pass to is not a good idea. 2005 (talk) 04:52, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Spam is not tolerated on Wikia, and it's very easy to report it (they have a nifty "report a problem" tab). While underdeveloped, most of Wikia is not spam, and the appropriateness of linking to them is easily discussed on the talk page of the topic in question. My thinking was that if someone had an open wiki that met our criteria, they would also wish to request an entry on the map. -- Ned Scott 04:58, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
You're entire argument seems to come down to "I hate Wikia". Wikia is only one part of the interwiki map, and we can make a special note about Wikia sites if need be. -- Ned Scott 05:00, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
That's an odd comment since it isn't even a part of the "argument". Just because something is on a wiki on the map is a silly "we should link to them" argument. This guideline deals with overall merit and reliability. Wikis by their nature are changeable. Spam not being tolerated on wikia is silly. Some wikia are setup to promote a specific website, and are not reliable or fair links that could ever merit a link. Some of course do. There is no blanket prohibition against wikis, and likewise there is no "you can link to any wiki you want on these domains" either. The guideline as previously written was sensible. What you have put on there now is okay with me, since it doesn't imply that any subdomain on those wikis merits a link. Any wiki anywhere still needs to add value as a link, and has to meet the general criteria of the guideline. 2005 (talk) 09:51, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm confused as to what the exact problem is here... any Wikia site can be linked to via the master "wikia" link (example: wikia:godzilla:User:EVula). I only count a half-dozen or so Wikia sites that are specificially define on m:Interwiki map, so again, I'm a bit confused what the problem is... EVula // talk // // 10:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • With respect to "Every wiki listed in Meta:Interwiki map is discussed before being added. Inactive or dead wikis are removed, or simply not added in the first place" - this may be the hypothetical ideal situation, but in practice that is not true at all. Many wikis are added there for arbitrary reasons, or for no apparent reason, and an effort a few months ago to remove inactive or dead wikis was met with molasses. So simply put, the interwiki map is rather messy. >Radiant< 23:05, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Bringing a little more attention to it is a great way to help with the cobwebs. -- Ned Scott 03:51, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

My point wasn't to change our own criteria, and in fact I saw little to no conflict between the criteria on the meta page and on here. I wasn't even thinking about Wikia when I added the link, but I do agree that Wikia hosted wikis need individual evaluation and can't have blanket criteria. (though I do get annoyed at what seems to be Wikia-hate.) The point was that many people don't even know about the interwiki map, that wikis can be added, and that many are already there. In case anyone didn't notice, last night I had already changed the wording to this:

"# Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors. Wikis that meet this criteria might also be added to Meta:Interwiki map."

So.. yeah. -- Ned Scott 03:49, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Bands (music)

Bands often have names that are unrelated to music. A case in point is Furlong. This band does not seem to meet Wikipedia:Notability (music), but an IP user keeps adding an external link in the Furlong article. So my question is, if a band does not have a Wikipedia article about it, and does not meet the notability criteria, should any kind of external link to the band be included in articles with titles similar to the name of the band? If so, how should the link be included? --Gerry Ashton (talk) 00:58, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

No, absolutely not. External links are supposed to be relevant to the article. Obviously, a link to a rock band has nothing to do with a measure of distance. The appropriate place to refer to the alternate use of the word, if any, is in a disambiguation page. By convention disambiguation pages mention, but do not link to, non-notable (but otherwise mentionable) usages of a term. Furlong has no disambiguation page so if (and only if) the band is notable and has its own article it would make sense to include an "other uses" mention in the article. The band does not, so this should drop. Wikidemo (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 08:52, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Request for comment on external wiki link

  • Hiya. =) I've been reading Wikipedia for a long time, but am fairly new to editing so I apologize if this is the wrong place to ask this. I'm discussing on the talk page for the article on the Heroes television show whether an external link to a dedicated Heroes wiki ( can be added. Some people are suggesting it violates WP:EL, but I'm not so sure that it does. I've read the policy a few times and the policy does contain some subjective criteria which depending on your perspective could apply or not. (For instance, what is a "substantial number of editors") I made a brief list of other articles we have on television shows that do have external links to dedicated wikis already and those, which are similar in size and purpose to the Heroes one, have apparently been allowed to remain. I was hoping to hear some comments from WP:EL experts whether it appears to actually violate the policy or not and if it does try to understand the reasons so that I understand the policy better. Thanks ahead of time! =) --Centish (talk) 02:32, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
  • An interesting situation. What's also interesting is to find that NBC also hosts an official wiki running Mediawiki software, which I thought was pretty cool. I haven't looked at in depth, but it does seem to have a fair amount of activity for an independent wiki. Too bad their content is under CC 3.0 noncommercial, which makes them incompatible with our own content. -- Ned Scott 04:48, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I saw NBC's, too. From what I can tell they started their wiki a few months after the one, but based on the activity there it doesn't appear to be maintained whereas the one is very actively maintained. As for the CC license they're using, yeah, it's a little unfortunate however the Heroes articles we have here are pretty in-depth (or at least as in-depth as we can go given our encyclopedic requirements). Plus I don't think they'd count as a reliable source when it comes to citing their info within the body of an article anyway, so it probably doesn't make too much difference. Since they're not strictly an encyclopedia like we are, they can go into Heroes-specific detail we cannot such as places within the world of Heroes that are not notable enough for inclusion here. Anyway, I'm digressing. =) I have noticed on several occasions people who are fans of the show trying to add info to the Heroes article here, but the information gets rejected because what they're looking for is a site all about Heroes that is interested in the information. We have more strict requirements here. So I do see value in the external links we have to other wikis on some of our articles. Sorry about this digression, I hope it doesn't detract from my original request for comments on whether it passes WP:EL or not. --Centish (talk) 05:22, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Why is the license unfortunate? The GFDL is not a great license for an encyclopedia. For what it's worth, I think links to them should be fine except perhaps on actor biographies. A BLP is no place to link an open wiki, but a reasonably authoritative fan wiki should be benign, useful to the reader, and not possible to replicate here (since we're an encyclopedia/license incompatibilities). I think this is no different than Memory Alpha or This Might Be A Wiki, and others that are commonly linked. For what it's worth, I think the "substantial history of stability" is not usually the crucial distinction. The site looks like it has significant activity. Really, we ought to weigh the value of the content to readers against our encyclopedic purpose. Looks ok to me. Cool Hand Luke 05:38, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I just meant unfortunate in terms of using their content here, but as I may have alluded to it's not unfortunate in any practical terms since, as you mentioned, there's no need to link to there for actor biographies since any information on those pages would be citable and thus could be included here (except perhaps in rare instances where they might have unique content though the interviews they perform, but even then as long as the license wouldn't come into play unless we were taking substantial portions word for word). In any case, I wholeheartedly agree that it's not inherently different than Memory Alpha or any number of other external wikis dedicated to a particular topic. (Centish (talk) 06:05, 18 December 2007 (UTC))
It's unfortunate because the specific CC license they use only allows for non-commercial use, meaning we can't transwiki articles to or from there. Many CC licenses are compatible with us, and, yes, are much better for a wiki than the GFDL. -- Ned Scott 06:49, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Also, the license has no bearing on if I think it should be linked or not, but rather was a side comment. -- Ned Scott 06:52, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry. I missed the word "noncommercial." Yeah, that is weird and unfortunate. Concluding side discussion... Cool Hand Luke 06:55, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Google's new knol project

It would be good to think about how to handle knol links before editors start adding them. I've started a discussion to get editors' opinions:

Your inputs there are welcome. --A. B. (talk) 17:06, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Seeking Case Law on links to YouTube

This policy says "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." Can any one cite for me any case law where a website was held liable for contributory infringement for directing others to a site that violates copyright?--MiamiManny (talk) 00:27, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

The leading case at the moment seems to be Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc., full text here. There's nothing wrong per this case and others with innocently linking to a noninfringing part of a site when other parts of the site are known to have infringing content. If that were true then all links to youtube (and google, and Microsoft, etc) would be illegal. The problem - which isn't reached in this case - is if you link to a site, knowing that you are facilitating infringement, or with the purpose of facilitating infringement. In other words, if you know that a youtube video is infringing, you should not send a wikipedia reader to view it there. Even if you don't know, if a subsequent editor believes it to be infringing, they don't have a legal duty to delete it on sight, but as a matter of Wikipedia policy it's reasonable that we encourage them to do so. We can and do go farther than the law does by asking people not to link to sites where the copyright status is questionable at all. Among the reasons, wikipedia doesn't really have a legal budget to be defending copyright claims, we don't want to encourage infringement even if we can get away with it, and finally, we have no way of knowing what an editor was thinking when they posted a link. Rather than getting into the subjective question of whether that editor know or intended to contribute to copyright infringement, we sidestep the legal issue and simply say when in doubt, don't link. Wikidemo (talk) 05:03, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. If this is all there is, then this policy is completely unnecessary and needs a massive re-work. First, in the decision you cite, the court granted the request in part and denied it in part, ruling that the thumbnails were likely to be found infringing but the links were not. However, even the thumbnails part was later reversed on appeal (see Perfect 10, Inc. v., Inc., CV-05-04753-AHM (9th Cir. May 16, 2007). The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion reads: "We conclude that Perfect 10 is unlikely to be able to overcome Google's fair use defense and, accordingly, we vacate the preliminary injunction regarding Google's use of thumbnail images." Frankly, I am shocked at the number of editors who are are eliminating legitimate links and pictures from Wikipedia under the guise of conforming with US copyright law. I hereby wish to revise this Wikipedia policy on external links to reflect current law which permits all such links. I am seeking comments and discussion here before I do so.--MiamiManny (talk) 01:26, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
The case is different because, as you highlight, the thumbnails are fair use. Some YouTube videos are probably not. Really, we can't say what the law is right now, so there's no reason not to be cautious. Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry tells us that contributory infringement for links is at least a possibility. We must not ignore it. Cool Hand Luke 05:43, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Just as I suspected, there is no case law that supports the blanket removal of YouTube links. Too many Wikipedians are being overly anal and deleting perfectly legitimate photos at an alarming rate. If a copyright holder has not raised an issue, I am not sure why a Wikipedian would be so concerned. I only wish those editors who are interested in wikipedia's copyright policies would devote their energy to justify the inclusion of material rather than to aggressively seek its removal.--MiamiManny (talk) 03:28, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Blog Reviews

Hello. Please, I would like to get your opinion about insert links to book reviews in articles. This user has an Arthur C. Clarke fansite and linked almost every ACC article to it. I understand that links to blogs should be avoided, and I do not see any particular reason there should be an exception in this case. Please, what is your take?

Discussion Links: [31][32] [33]

--Legionarius (talk) 14:28, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Neither blog reviews nor professional / major publication reviews are appropriate. Among the reasons are that they are spammy (whether on purpose or not they tend to promote the reviewer and perhaps the thing reviewed); they tend to be less reliable and trustworthy than we would like; and perhaps most importantly the selection of any single review or small group of reviews among the entire universe of reviews is arbitrary. Either we become a link farm to reviews, something we are ill equipped to do or maintain (google does it better), or else we arbitrarily link to a few reviews, in which case it is sloppy and unencyclopedic.
The edits you refer to are clearly intentional WP:linkspam. The editor is admittedly promoting his own fansite. Even though he has good motivations and does not stand to benefit financially or personally, he is still promoting his own work at the cost of the impartiality of the encyclopedia. Sometimes the word "spam" turns people off because they don't think they're doing anything wrong. I'll leave a note on his talk page and revert the links. One hopes it won't come to this but if he revert wars further over them, successive warnings are in order and then an administrator would likely block him from editing for a while to encourage him to read up on the policies and guidelines.Wikidemo (talk) 16:46, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Links to Blogs

Hi to all. I am new to this so don't bite me!

There is an issue about external links that point to blogs. While linking to personal blogs is 'normally to be avoided' to which I agree there is a case which has been controversial. There is this article of Wikipedia about this and there is this blog post about the book stacking problem that refers directly to the relevant mathematical theory.

To make my points succinct, this blog does not have any other feature of the 'normally avoided' external links. For example, it does not have advertisements. Also it seems to have quality content, but the author did not publish it to Wikipedia. His results seem to contradict both Wikipedia's and Mathworld's results. The information in the site is in my opinion, 'neutral and accurate' enough for Wikipedia's standards. Since it has too much of mathematics it seems not appropriate to have it posted in Wikipedia. So it might well be a relevant link.

I would hope for your opinion.

Magicheader (talk) 22:35, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Interesting, but the author is not "a recognized authority." It's definitely a link worth discussing on the article talk page as something to be watched. --Ronz (talk) 20:15, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


From what I understand, you can add a MySpace page if it is the the real page belonging to the person (like Tilta Tequila's article has a link to her MySpace page). My question is regards to Jeff Hardy's article. It has a link to the MySpace page of "The Hardy Show" (a website run by him and his brother Matt, and others). If that link goes anywhere, it should go at Hardy Boyz (the article on him and Matt]]. A user also keeps adding the MySpace page of something called "Itchweed" (which appears to only exist on MySpace). Any comments? TJ Spyke 04:34, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I have a similar question; the official MySpace is permitted in FA articles (Godsmack, Megadeth, Slayer), so what stops the official Facebook from being added? There was a user recently who tried to add the official Facebook of Opeth (they link to it from their official site, so I assume it is as valid as the MySpace), only to see me revert him. However, I now question myself; number 11 of Links normally to be avoided says to avoid Myspace, Facebook and similar sites; if we allow Myspace, why not Facebook as well? Master of Puppets Care to share? 22:23, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

organizations' official sites

I have noticed that in many global organizations external links section many official websites are listed. The global website and other regional (North America, Europe etc...) or National websites (USA, Canada, UK etc...). I Know official websites should be listed but I believe the global website (that usually provides links to other national websites) should be sufficient. After all the links are there to provide further information not help users find a product. Is there a policy on this? Chris Ssk talk 10:16, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

There is no specific policy, but you are correct that the links to the additional sites are over-linking, and you would be right to remove them. UnitedStatesian (talk) 15:02, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it seems to me that one will do in most cases, and if we're only linking one, the international version would seem to make the most sense. – Luna Santin (talk) 01:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Linking to other wikis, pre-proposal

I've been trying to format the proposal at Wikipedia:Linking to other wikis, and wanted to see what other ideas people have before the asking the community to comment on which ideas they like and which they don't like. If nothing new comes up in the next day or two, I'll tidy up the page and pimp the proposal out. -- Ned Scott 05:18, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Movie Trailers

I would like to direct some of your attention to a discussion happening at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Movie_Trailers. Please let me know your suggestions on that. Thanks. -- Anshuk (talk) 02:50, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Tooltips on mouseover

Is there anyway to provide alternate text for external links that will be displayed when someone mouses over it? — Jonathan Kovaciny (talk|contribs) 21:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Sometimes Wikipedia articles are printed; in that case, any such information would be lost when the article is printed. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 17:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Links to personal memoirs on Chita, Siberia

SiberianSpireite (talk) 21:45, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Legionarius removed links to my own personal memoirs of living in Chita, Siberia from both the Siberia and Chita pages, prompting the following discussion. Of course, I wish to re-add the links but Legionarius has requested I post here for further views. Any views are welcome! Thanks from James (aka SiberianSpireite). (Pasted discussion follows):


I appreciate the valuable work you do for Wikipedia, but I have a question regarding the 'Chita, Russia' page. I lived in Chita for sixteen months, wrote about it and placed my musings online (not for commercial purposes but for anyone to read). For months I linked this to the 'Chita, Russia' and 'Siberia' pages on Wikipedia and received tens of hits from those sources every week, plus some positive guestbook feedback. I chose to link (only) from Wikipedia because I reasoned that those seeking knowledge about Chita and Siberia would be among those who would most value my writings.

Recently, links to both have been removed, so I edited them back in, only to see them removed for being 'Too narrow in scope'. Disappointing as this is, I can accept that writing about life in Chita may be too narrow for the 'Siberia' page, but how is it too narrow for a page about Chita? So many people ask me what it was like to live in Siberia, which is one of the reasons I put up my site, and I'm sure many visitors to these two pages would find my content interesting. I don't profit personally from visitors. Can you explain why my site is not permitted as a link from Wikipedia please?


SiberianSpireite —Preceding unsigned comment added by SiberianSpireite (talk • contribs) 21:59, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi James! Please do not take it personally. The guidelines in WP:EL disencourage linking to "to blogs and personal web pages, except those written by a recognized authority" and "sites that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article". Although your account is perfectly enjoyable and an interesting read, the link fails the two conditions mentioned and talk about only a little part of all the aspects that should be covered in an article about Chita/Siberia. If you disagree with my evaluation, please copy/paste your question in Wikipedia talk:External links for additional input from other editors.--Legionarius (talk) 03:48, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, Legionarius. I will make a point to reply in detail after the holidays. In a nutshell, I aagree with your response, although considering that there are currently hardly any external links on the Chita page, I don't see any harm in leaving this particular link there. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 07:01, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi, James! I was the person who removed the link to your site from Siberia. Basically, I do agree with what Legionarius said above—we have a set of guidelines which discourage linking to personal websites. I myself am pretty liberal about it—I left the link on Chita, Russia because that article currently does not have any quality external links at all, but, of course, it would not be right to restore the link once it is removed by someone else on policy grounds. I also enjoyed reading your account a great deal, but please understand that a link to it is not really suitable in an encyclopedia. I hope this resolves this situation. If you have any questions, you are quite welcome to ask them on my talk page, and I am sure Legionarius would be more than happy to help you as well. Cheers,—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 14:58, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Privet Ezhiki, Hi Legionarius.... Thanks for your considered responses. I appreciate why my link was removed from the Siberia page but, regarding the 'Chita, Russia' page would disagree that my site does not meet the condition "sites that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article". Surely many Wikipedia users visit the Chita page in order to seek information about the city: I would argue that my book provides this in abundance, arguably beyond what a 'Featured article' may be able to encompass. I appreciate the work you both do and remain a huge fan of Wikipedia. Of course, I would like to see the link restored for personal reasons but I also strongly believe that the quantity and quality of information I placed into my book- ie virtually everything I had gleaned about Chita whilst living there for sixteen months- is a resource which would be appreciated by Wikipedia users and, I hope, encourage people to develop a more accurate view of Siberian life and perhaps even a desire to visit Chita.--SiberianSpireite

Like I said, I myself am extremely liberal about external links. For me, as long as they are not clearly spam, are on topic, and are not overly broad or too narrow in scope, I just let them be. I, however, also realize that it is not the approach taken by most other editors, who take cleaning up the external links more seriously than I do, which is why I rarely get myself involved in discussions on this subject. If you want to contest the removal of your link, you will probably be better off by talking primarily with Legionarius. If you need an outside opinion, you can also post a review request on WP:AN to get opinions of other administrators. I doubt they will be much different from Legionarius', but you are sure free to try this option. Hope this helps.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 17:17, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Hi James: I will not remove the links again, but please take the discussion to the talk page of Wp:EL before readding it; I of course may be wrong about my interpretation, and an outside view is alawys helpful.--Legionarius (talk) 04:01, 12 January 2008 (UTC) SiberianSpireite (talk) 21:45, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Fan sites?

Here's a question - I keep getting told there is a blanket ban on "Fan sites" (usually with little definition of what that really is), yet this page only says that web pages with certain features are "normally to be avoided." What about a fan site that doesn't have any of those features (if such a thing exists). What is the rationale for the blanket ban I keep getting told about, and if there is such a ban, shouldn't it be listed on this page somewhere? I think there should, at the very least, be some small wiggle room to allow for (rare) exceptions, but I'm not a Wiki admin, so I will defer to the wisdom of TPTB - if someone will tell me what the actual stance is. Rabidwolfe 21:46, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

There is no blanket ban on fansites; WP:NOT#LINK suggests linking to a fansite may be appropriate in certain circumstances. However, almost all fansites contain content that violates the copyrights of others – for instance, reprints or scans of press and magazine articles, commercial and promotional images used without permission of the copyright holders, YouTube videos, song lyrics, and so on. Per this guideline's restrictions on linking section and Wikipedia's policy on linking to copyright works, we cannot link to such sites. If the copyright issues are not a concern (i.e., the site displays no copvyvio content or has obtained permission from the various copyright holders for any copyright content), then it may be appropriate to add a link to a fansite, provided that it meets WP:EL's criteria on what to link. Another thing to bear in mind is that fansites are often added by the site's owners, which is strongly discouraged per WP:COI; site owners should suggest their external link for inclusion on the article's talk page and let neutral editors discuss the link's merits and make the call. --Muchness 22:19, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict so pls. forgive if this is redundant) There is no blanket ban, more of a nuanced set of criteria that ends up filtering out 99% of all fan sites. A fan site makes sense if it is the authoritative fan site for a subject, isn't full of copyright or BLP violations, has some useful content that isn't the sort of thing we can include in an article, etc. That's particularly appropriate if it's an official fan site sponsored by the subject of the article. For example the Hannah Montana article can link to the site Disney has set up for fans. What we ought to avoid are random low quality sites without any useful content, self-published tribute sites, sites built to spread copyright violations and bootlegs, or that are set up over the objections of the article subject, etc.Wikidemo 22:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
"I keep getting told there is a blanket ban..." Just ignore anyone telling you that. 2005 23:32, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

This is something which definitely needs to be clarified. Right now the lack of clarification leads to an extreme logic which says that any site which is not an official site is a fan site. (I can just see a professor diagramming that on a whiteboard.) As has been noted above, when you have a site which is officially endorsed, full of useful content, and not intended to circumvent copyright laws, it is wrong to lump it in the same category as a goofy sparkly page with gushing tributes and pirated media. Rabidwolfe's comments come from a discussion we (attempted) to be involved in where a site which is so complete, authoritative, and officially endorsed that large parts of it are being merged into the official site within the next 60 days was still labeled a "fan site", the link was delisted from dozens of pages, and the person making the point resorted to bullying and puppetry against anyone trying to make a constructive discussion out of the issue. If the rules against the site's inclusion were solid enough, the person making it would not have had no reason to turn to personal attacks and putting words in other peoples' mouths. I have no problem if further clarification of the rules results in the site's definite exclusion, I do have a problem with people using the ambiguity of the rules as a vehicle for aggression. Idea15 (talk) 17:14, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Bullies will be bullies regardless. There is no prohibition of linking to non-offical sites. If some editor insists there is they next thing they will likely do is just invoke ignore all rules and bully what they want anyway. 2005 (talk) 04:24, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
The way to view it better is that whatever is included in the EL section should be material that would normally be included in a Feature Article-quality article but cannot be included due to copyright, technical, or other reasons. Additionally, WP does not allow linkage to sites that have copyvios on them. While these requirements do not exclude all fan sites, it sets a very high bar for their inclusion. Inclusion of a fan site on an article page should be based on consensus of its editors. --MASEM 04:39, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

If this is all true, can we get rid of the WP:FANSITE link to this page? Especially since the word "fan" doesn't even appear anywhere in the content. Torc2 (talk) 04:20, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Better than that, put something about fan sites back into the page. It keeps coming up, e.g. Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 19#Fansites.3F - which may be helpful. - Fayenatic (talk) 20:13, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree, maybe copypaste what WP:NOT#LINK says: On articles about topics with many fansites, including a link to one major fansite may be appropriate. Right now there's no clear guideline of what to do about fansites on WP:EL, and it's becoming disruptive.--Yamanbaiia(free hugs!) 13:10, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
The guideline is perfectly clear about fansites. Do we really need to go over this stuff every time an editor doesn't want to bother to read this guideline? WP:FANSITE can link to this page because it provides clear guidance on external linking. 2005 (talk) 00:43, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Special pages "External links" tool not working?

Apologies if this has already been asked, but when I perform an External Links search as here, only the first 50 results are being returned, with no links or options to expand the list to 100, 200, 500, etc. Is there a bug with this tool? - John Russ Finley (talk) 19:41, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Another opinion required

User:Legionarius seems to be on a personal crusade to remove external links from Wikipedia articles, apparently in the belief that the clause "Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article" under "Links normally to be avoided" gives him licence to remove almost any link. I have reverted him on are Alan Moore, where the links mostly consist of interviews with the subject - but I feel that no matter how good and how comprehensive the article got, Moore's own words would be a resource beyond what the article could contain - and Buddhist art - again, no matter how good the article got, it could not contain every example or every interpretation of Buddhist art, and so external links would be an extra resource. He's now challenging others to defend the links he wants removed - perhaps a few more opinions might dissuade him from his destructive behaviour? --Nicknack009 (talk) 21:24, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Google for 'Alan Moore interview', there are 339,000 results. If an interview is truly of interest, isn't there some place in the article where it could be used as a reference? There is a stronger case for adding external links in an article on a rare or off-the-beaten-track subject. When Google overflows with results, the case seems weaker. If the companies he published with have their own articles, it should be OK to include them as See Alsos. It is possible that you'd get less resistance if you tried to add the links at List of published material by Alan Moore, which is a more casual and less beautiful article. There is a sense in which interviews are publications. EdJohnston (talk) 22:51, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Nick, my intentions are good and I sincerely believe I am following policy. Since I am giving you all this trouble of following my removals around, could you please look at this too? I do not want to get in another edit war with this editor. (you in this case are viewers of this page, not Nick only) Thanks!--Legionarius (talk) 23:01, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
You are misinterpreting policy in a wilfully pedantic manner. Firstly, "Links normally to be avoided" does not mean "Links never to be included". Secondly, if an article became a featured article it would still not possibly include all conceivable information of interpretations about the subject, so links to other resources for further reading are always possible. The idea that an encyclopedia article can or should be self-contained is absurd. --Nicknack009 (talk) 11:24, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, maybe one link in the Buddhist art page is salvageable - I left it in. I added a link to dmoz too. I don't think I am misinterpreting policy and I do not agree with your assessment, but all good faith opinions are welcome. (other editors) If you are reading this, please what is your take? There is more information in the article's talk page.--Legionarius (talk) 15:51, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The guidance here is quite clear that links section should be kept minimal and contain links which are accessible, informative and functional. Beyond that it is editorial consensus that mostly dictates. The wholesale removal of all links is not called for, and is against this guidance and against WP:CONSENSUS. I disagree with portions of this edit[34] by Legionarius because it removes links wholesale, not in the spirit of this guidance, it removes functional, accessible relevant links, again not in the spirit of this guidance and having an empty external links section also counters our purpose; we supposed to be comprehensive. I've only edited at Alan Moore so I'm not sure on actions elsewhere, I was pointed here by a message in my talk page. It has been a ling time since I was involved in a drafting of this page, but in all the time I had this page on my watch list it was always felt that links were a good thing. Indeed the nutshell still states that they should be restricted to those that are most meritable, accessible and relevant to the article. That's a matter for consensus through editing and discussion at individual pages. I don't disagree that there are numerous Alan Moore interviews on the internet, but not all the links removed were interviews. Some of them covered material in more depth and a different scope to that which Wikipedia can take, and so are informative, and help inform the reader. At the point our guidance or interpretations of it conflict with informing readers, I would argue that we inform our readers. Hiding T 20:10, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
(outdent) I do not think those links are particularly valuable or representative; I still think that if they add to the article they should be included as references. The worst links are out anyway, and this is an improvement to the article. Those are just unnecessary.--Legionarius (talk) 06:56, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm old enough to remember when we guided that links which could be used as references be placed in the external links section. I'm not sure whey that has fallen from this guideline, and I would recommend it be reinstated. A discussion specific to the Moore links is best held at Talk:Alan Moore. I agree the worst of them have gone, which has improved the article. I do not agree that removing them all and leaving an empty external links section was in line with guidance. Hiding T 10:47, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Hundreds of external links added by Ateamfog

Please see his contributions. This user has been adding links to tons of Philippine locality articles to the domain. The website is basically a whole slew of photo galleries depicting places in the Philippines. This user has been adding links with the edit summary pointing to the External Links guideline. I don't know what to make of it. --seav (talk) 06:40, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Linking to Yahoo! News articles

I continually find links to Yahoo! News articles that are dead links. Yahoo! News is infamous for expiring their articles relatively quickly. Most of these links are to Associated Press or Reuters stories. Yahoo! News (and Yahoo! Finance as well) should not be used for this purpose.

I would like to see this become Wikipedia Policy.

If you find a story on Yahoo! News that you want to link to, then find the same story on a site that doesn't expire the articles. There are numerous (probably dozens, if not hundreds of) sites that carry AP or Reuters stories that don't later become dead links.

And speaking of external links...

Among the sites with AP and/or Reuters stories that remain permanent are:

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I know of several smaller sites that keep the articles as well, but you get the idea.

Just say no to Yahoo! News (and same applies to Yahoo! Finance as well).

Thank you. --angrykeyboarder (a/k/a:Scott) (talk) 00:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

COI policy unclear for newcomers

I often remove spammy/COI links (new users or IP addresses whose edits only consist of adding links to a single website), thereby referring to WP:EL. I dare to say that the majority of disputes on external links are about whether or not something is spam. Often, all discussion on whether it somehow fits in the suitable/considerable categories of external links can be bypassed by the fact that it is (likely) a site owner who added the link.

Currently, the section WP:EL#Advertising and conflict of interest is buried somewhere halfway the page and easily overlooked by the good-faith editor who believes that his/her site falls under the category of acceptable external links.

Hence, would it be an idea to add an extra line about CoI under "Points to remember"? Also, the wording "You should avoid linking to a website that you own, maintain or represent, even if the guidelines otherwise imply that it should be linked." is rather vague: (1) "Should" suggests that it can be done, but usually preferably not, and (2) "avoid linking" also invites liberal interpretation. I would suggest a wording along the lines of "You must not link to a website that you own, maintain or represent, even if ...".

Han-Kwang (t) 13:12, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

P.S. IP users trying to add an external link get an automatic warning on the page submission form, referring to the WP:EL page. Again the good-faith editor will see first that his/her site might be suitable, and not read all the way down to the COI warning. I think moving the COI warning further up in the WP:EL page could reduce spam considerably. Han-Kwang (t) 17:09, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Lists of manufacturers and suppliers

I should like to explicitly exclude lists of external links to manufacturers and suppliers. Not only are these unencyclopaedic, but since they are rarely complete they are potentially commercially damaging to non-included companies. May I have any views, please? TerriersFan (talk) 23:58, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I am not usually happy with long lists of manufacturers, and even less happy with list of suppliers. I could see an exception for hard-to-find items where normal search methods might not succeed. But it is entirely appropriate to link to useful material loacated on manufacturer's sites (and occasionally on supplier's sites). --Gerry Ashton (talk) 04:44, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I now understand the distinction. I have reinserted using 'Lists of ..' and hope that finds favour. TerriersFan (talk) 23:42, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Non-free and registration-required links

Looks like we have some policy warriors going on here. Currently, WP:EL states that it is not allowed to have external links to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and so forth. This is clearly (a) ridiculous, and (b) not consensus policy, as I have never seen anyone delete links such as these. Does anyone want to defend the practice?

Simply declaring that the current policy of forbidding links "is consensus" is probably not going to be helpful. (talk) 16:53, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, I personally did delete non-free links plenty of times, if only because newspaper articles in many cases don't belong in the external links section anyway. Occasionally, a non-free article is is under external links, but was actually used as a reference for a statement, in which case I change it into a reference. AFAIK references can be non-free. Han-Kwang (t) 17:01, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Links to pay and registration sites are routinely deleted, and we don't have them here. That's the current norm / consensus, clearly - sorry if you don't think that's helpful but that's how it is. Incidentally the New York Times has recently opened up its entire archive so you can almost always find a free non-registration link to any NYT article. It's only a matter of time before all the others follow suit. Wikidemo (talk) 17:32, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
You are mistaken -- you are required to register to view free content on the New York Times. So are you suggesting that we delete all Times links? Let's just be clear! (talk) 17:36, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

OK, so does anybody want to defend the idea that we should never have a "non-free" link in the external links section? (talk) 17:03, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

there should not be Non-free links in EL sections. what some newspapers do do is have a free registration process. which is OK for the EL section. βcommand 17:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

OK, betacommand2 -- you seem to be saying that registration-required links are OK for EL. That's not what you kept reverting about, but then you're a bit of a strong man on these things. (talk) 17:38, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Sites that require registrations are fine for references if you inline them. Otherwise, we would stop using books as references because you are required to buy it in order to check it out. However, in the external links section adding a link to a site requiring registration is not really needed. Say, an article about some author, with an external link to The Wall Street Journal that requires registration. In this case, the link is not really useful because it may refer to any section of the article itself (the biography, the career, the death, etc), everything or maybe nothing at all (achievements by the author, a section that hasn't yet been created in the article). However, when you add it as an inline reference, you are pointing out that the reference is used to back some claim up. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 17:21, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, we can do an informal poll... Han-Kwang (t) 17:22, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Poll: non free links

Proposal: 'non-free' links are allowed in the external links section of articles.

  • Oppose it is harder for other editors to judge whether the link belongs there if he cannot see the contents without payment. (I'm neutral about content requiring free registration) Han-Kwang (t) 17:22, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's hard to put a finger on it, but I think it has to do with convenience to readers and with our being a free encyclopedia. If we link to pay sites, we're really saying that the experience we're offering is going to be better for people who pay than people who don't. We also avoid spam, endorsements, etc., so directing people to a place where they have to pay makes us more commercial. And finally, what's the chance that anyone reading an article is already a subscriber or is going to whip out their credit card just because we sent them there? On a case-by-case basis, very low. So an external link to a pay site is only of use to a tiny fraction of the readers. We require external links to be minimal and of significant interest - so a pay site link almost always would fail that test. If a site requires registration but is free it still has most of these problems. Most people will be turned off by the process so it's not a useful link. And if there's a registration it's not really free - there's an exchange of value. I believe there's wide consensus on this point. Wikidemo (talk) 17:30, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Wikidemo, word for word. Franamax (talk) 16:26, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Reg. required links

The original discussion was about registration, but it looks like "non-free" means something else.

Does anybody want to defend removing all links requiring registration from external links sections? (talk) 17:36, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

It helps if you use section headings that are a bit more descriptive than "sigh" (I changed it now). Han-Kwang (t) 17:40, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Poll - Proposal: should 'free registration required' links be allowed as external links?

  • Neutral - I will follow consensus. Han-Kwang (t) 17:40, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

*Bad poll question and stop edit warring. The consensus, and status quo, is that these links are not permitted. The question isn't whether anyone "want[s] to defend removing all links" but whether we should change the rules to permit them. I think not, for the reasons discussed above. A number of anonymous IP editors are now edit warring on the guideline page, never a good thing, on a flimsy claim that this brief conversation taking place on a Sunday morning is establishing some kind of new consensus (despite some clear opposition to boot). If you keep that up we're going to have this page semi-protected. Wikidemo (talk) 17:47, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Just to be clear: consensus is that no registration-required links should appear on external links sections? (talk) 17:48, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Can we please not vote on this issue? I think it is much more helpful to discuss, as we are admonished at the top of the page! (talk) 17:44, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

As ReyBrujo mentioned upthread, non-free sites and sites requiring registration are perfectly acceptable as references, provided they're reliable sources. However, external links sections are intended to provide useful additional material, and I agree with Wikidemo's point that registration severely limits the general usefulness of the link. I also want to make the point that WP:EL is a guideline, not a policy page, and there's always scope for talk page discussion to determine that a non-free or register-to-view site may be linked from an article's external links section on a case-by-case basis. But as a general guideline, I think this practice should be discouraged for the reasons mentioned previously. --Muchness (talk) 17:50, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
(aside) I do agree that we shouldn't be throwing up poll questions. Polls do have a few uses but usually not, and only towards the end of a discussion or when there's a deadlock, to get people to come off the fence and state what they think. If you're reading this, Han-Kwang, please keep that in mind because polling can actually make a disagreement worse instead of better.Wikidemo (talk) 18:00, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

OK, so both Muchness and Wikidemo think that all external links that require registration should be removed except through discussion on the talk page? I just want to be clear here. (talk) 17:52, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

This guideline page, which has been stable until today, prohibits such links so yes, that is the consensus until proven otherwise. I agree with that, and admonish people to be slow and avoid contention and edit warring when considering changes to guidelines.Wikidemo (talk) 17:56, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
OK, I will go and clarify on the page that that includes various important newspapers. (talk) 17:57, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Just a heads up to the annons you both could be blocked for WP:3RR right now. lets give the conversation a few days before attempting to change policy. βcommand 18:06, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Gosh, that was weird. I was in the process of issuing a 3RR warning when was blocked. This discussion is such a mess to read and rather unconstructive to boot, and one of the main participants is now blocked, so I suggest we declare it closed and if anyone wants to take the issue up again later they may start a clean new section. Wikidemo (talk) 18:10, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Agree, βcommand 18:12, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I requested protection at WP:RFPP. Ideally, I did not want to have the ips blocked because they could add another point of view. I don't like having the list of accepted sites requiring registrations there, mostly because it invites people to add other sites. The anonymous came from somewhere, so it is likely more will come. The only problem was that they changed the guideline directly (and created two different threads here, making "staying in focus" harder). -- ReyBrujo (talk) 18:15, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

current discussion on reg-required links

OK, as far as I can tell from the current discussion (let's leave pay links aside for a moment):

  • Betacommand2 thinks that reg-required links are fine.
  • Wikidemo thinks that reg-required links should always be removed.
  • Muchness thinks that reg-required links should be removed, except if talk page discussion resolves otherwise.

My personal view is that it's pretty clear that major sites such as the Times are absolutely fine as ELs as long as they satisfy the other criteria. And it's also pretty clear that that's the working rule on EL sections all over the wiki -- i.e., the page as it stands does not reflect the consensus of people who do not obsessively monitor guideline pages.

For example, a Times book review seems quite OK. Currently, the page as it stands says that all reg-required links should be removed. What do people think we should do next to clear this up? (talk) 18:17, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

In this situation, I'd cite the Times book review in the section of the article that discusses the book's critical reception. --Muchness (talk) 18:26, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
The policy explicitly says reviews and interviews are OK for EL. So, do you want to prohibit review ELs, or registration required sites in ELs? (talk) 18:28, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
We must differentiate the external links from the references. I favor adding links to sites that require registration when they are used as references (specifically, inline references). But I don't like the idea of having these links added to the External links section, because they can refer to the whole article, a determined section of the article, or nothing in particular. For example, a reliable site that requires registration like The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times or The Times would be used as reference and not external link. So, instead of having an external link that says "Times review for The Book (requires registration)" I would have a paragraph in the "Critical reception" section of the article about The Book to say "British newspaper The Times was critical about The Book presentation, although it considered it an interesting lecture.[link to The Times review]" This not only makes these links appear in the references section (which is true because they are being used as a source for the article) but also they remove them from the External links section (which is likely to be spammed with Amazon links to buy it, reviews hosted in GeoCities-like pages, etc) and allows the user to immediately know what The Times opines about The Book, even though he cannot access the site because it requires registration. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 18:33, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
We are drifting off topic. We all agree that reg-req inline references are fine. The question is: should reg-req be prohibited in ELs? ReyBrujo, could you be explicit on what you think about this issue? Allow, discourage, or forbid? (talk) 18:34, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
As I said, there is no reason for having registration required links in the external links section. They can either be used as references, or removed altogether. Consensus in articles can modify that, of course, but as a general rule, if you have registered to the site and know what the article is about, have the courtesy of using it as a reference for those who haven't registered. If you want to put it in one of those three options, discourage tending to forbid. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 18:41, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
As an aside, the New York Times is a bad example because its articles are available without registration.Wikidemo (talk) 18:44, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
That's not true; it may be the case if you're accessing from a .edu IP, but in general, you are asked for registration information. It is the payment demand that has gone away. (talk) 18:47, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
There is a special link URL that allows accessing their pages without registration, which is used by all outlets when linking to them. Show me a URL they require registration, and there will likely be another that makes it accessible without it. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 18:53, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
That's interesting to know, but we're drifting off topic again -- my mistake as well. Let's stay focused. (talk) 18:57, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

The guideline page's prohibition on external links to registration sites is no accident or anomaly. It is emphatic and explicit on the point. "Sites requiring registration" is a heading under the "Links normally to be avoided" section, where it is clearly stated, twice, that registration site links are prohibited. As enumerated item #7 in that section, sites that "require payment or registration" should normally not be linked. I don't see any support for your claim that this rule is some kind of accident or oversight. Further, I don't think your claim is right that these links are often used. External link sections tend to be magnets for inexperienced new editors, and for all kinds of spam, but other than having a high noise content and having to be cleaned out regularly, I just don't think it's a regular practice for articles to include external links to registration sites. If you think otherwise, could you point to some? Wikidemo (talk) 18:38, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

I quite understand your point of view; and I agree that the policy is currently clear and unambiguous. It is also silly and out of line with usual practice on the wiki -- experienced users or not. As for reg-req links -- gosh, everywhere, as experienced users I think know! Helen Vendler and Harold Bloom are two articles that I've looked at recently that both have reg-req links in the ELs. (talk) 18:47, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Nope. Neither article has any external links to registration-required content. The Harold Bloom article's external links section, though, is a complete mess in need of a clean-up and illustrates my point about newbie editors. Wikidemo (talk) 19:06, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, right, Vendler's is NYT, yes. As for Bloom: we are in a bit of a bind: any time there's an article with a reg-req it's a case of a "newbie editor" -- according to you! So perhaps you can come up with a better way for me to show you you're wrong? I should get back to work here, but perhaps (since my own attempts are being reverted) you and others can come up with a better version of the paragraph? (talk) 19:10, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
(ec x 5) Do you agree with me that the one who added the link to the external links section should have added it as a reference backing some text to give you an idea of what the contents of the links are? And Wikidemo, the NYTimes requires registration if you don't have a login and have cleared your cache (it actually takes you to this page). I think it has to do with the referral (to prevent deep linking). -- ReyBrujo (talk) 19:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a NY Times login and it's not asking me to register. My comment about newbie editors is an observation, not a rule. The Harold Bloom article doesn't prove anything except that people can make a mess out of an external link section. Among the 19 links, one is a dead link, one or two is to a site peddling a book, and four are duplicative links to the same person's self-published personal website. Yet none are to a registration site. Bad editing doesn't demonstrate anything about consensus. You haven't supported at all the claim that people are actually linking to registration sites, and frankly, from what I can see your claim to the contrary looks like a simple error of observation.Wikidemo (talk) 19:32, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
The Wall Street Journal is a registration site and is linked in the Harold Bloom article -- the reason you didn't see it is that the article that is actually linked is a copyvio reproduction of its content on the site; I am having the same problem as ReyBrujo accessing the NYT article on Helen Vendler without a login. Would you like further examples of ELs that have reg-req links? (talk) 20:26, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
That's zero examples so far, so sure. No doubt there are a few out there, but I seriously doubt the practice is widespread. Wikidemo (talk) 20:53, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, that's two: NYT in HV, WSJ in HB. You are being deliberately obtuse. (talk) 21:00, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

You've come up with no examples and no cogent argument to support your position. It's not worth discussing this further with you. Wikidemo (talk) 21:43, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

I certainly agree with your latter point. Please make good on your threats and go away? (talk) 22:17, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

  • suggestion: since the purpose of links is to benefit the readers, if the site is important enough, the trivial very indirect cost that the reader has in letting the site owner know his registration information is less than the benefit of accessing the site. As long as all readers can access,and the site is important enough, it should be permitted provided that it is clearly the best site for the purpose, and is so specified on the talk page. the requirement for specification on the talk page is intended to discourage spamming. DGG (talk) 04:04, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Unprotect page

Can we get an assurance that if the page is unblocked, nobody is going to break 3RR again or insist on making changes to the guideline over anybody's principled objection? I've tried discussing this with User: on the user's talk page but that's not going anywhere. If I don't see a sign that this is all proceeding in good faith, then as far as I'm concerned this discussion is over and the proposal to change the guideline is simply rejected.Wikidemo (talk) 19:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Leave it protected, it won't harm anyone. And as I said, there is a possibility that both users have come to this page directed by another page (it is interesting that two anonymous arrive here to make changes to the same section of the guideline at virtually the same time, and just after one was warned for 3RR). -- ReyBrujo (talk) 19:17, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Protecting policy and guideline pages is a harm in itself - it has to be unprotected sooner or later, and as far as I can tell the only source of trouble is these two anonymous IP editors. I share your suspicion that this whole matter has not been handled by all parties in good faith. My position against changing the guideline to allow links to registration sites is clear. So unless anyone has anything new to add, I'm on to more productive things.Wikidemo (talk) 19:38, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
If you don't want to join in the discussion, you're welcome to leave -- but do please refrain from reverting and undoing other people's work on the page in that case. (talk) 20:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Your word play is not a fair request. My standing position is clear. I have gone well out of my way to patiently explain things to a very misguided editor, but my standing position is clear and I am well within our policies (and defending the integrity of the project) to revert any inappropriate changes made to the guideline. By the way, are you the same user as User:, or related in some way? Wikidemo (talk) 20:50, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

You are welcome to your position, but if you leave the discussion, please do not return to revert as you have previously done. (talk) 21:01, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

I have done nothing. Your request is improper and you have not been editing in good faith. Please drop this matter.Wikidemo (talk) 21:24, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I think the best place to accuse me of things is on my talk page (pick one!), as you have been previously accustomed. (talk) 21:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
As you requested I moved the discussion here. You crossed the line there and here of civility and personal attacks. This started when you reverted the same section of the guideline page ten times in less than a day in the face of five experienced editors who restored the guideline language and others who disagreed here on this talk page. You still don't seem to get that that's not allowed here judging from your ongoing warnings to me and others that we shouldn't revert your edits. Your contributions on the project page and in this discussion have not been productive. You are wasting everyone's time. As I said on your talk page, if you're going to edit here, please familiarize yourself with and follow Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, WP:3RR, WP:EW, WP:NPA, WP:BRD, and WP:NPA being a good place to start.Wikidemo (talk) 21:42, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Both IPs are out of Chicago they are either connected or this is the biggest coincidence ever. IrishGuy talk 20:59, 27 January 2008 (UDT)

Hi IG -- yes, of course! (talk) 21:01, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Our site has a new domain, hundreds (thousands?) of links to it in Wikipedia need to be updated

Is there a way to globally update links that contain our old domain to the new one? Opening up each article individually isn't practical (see linksearch results below). Our old site was located here: and the new one resides here: . Everything is still in the same place, just a different domain ( is now for instance)

I put the old URL in the Wiki linksearch and got a rather large list: Any help would be appreciated! Txnomad (talk) 17:22, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but there is no simple way unless it is put in a template (and putting external links in templates would make it an easy target for spammers). The best way is to use AWB or maybe Twinkle for that. Maybe you can request a bot for the changes, though. Or see for someone with editcountitis to help. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 17:49, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
From what I see there are 3035 links. Some (the ones without determined page) can be removed since they aren't giving information to the articles. The 3000 others are the ones to change. -- ReyBrujo (talk) 17:51, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Bot requests. -- SEWilco (talk) 17:55, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
I notice that identifies itself as run by the Texas State Historical Association. Is there some reason why the existing page at couldn't redirect all visitors over to Is there some legal reason why they can't anymore be included at Remember that this change will not only break all the links at WP, which are fixable, but all links elsewhere on the web, which will reduce the usefulness of the information in this historical collection. State history is surely not so controversial that U of Texas can't link to it. Perhaps Txnomad could have a conversation with the webmaster of EdJohnston (talk) 18:40, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
The site is at, not .com. (Strangely, the .com site seems to be a different but related site that links to stuff in the site.) *Dan T.* (talk) 05:11, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

There is a template at {{Handbook of Texas}}. I updated the URL in that template. There are still some 2000 links to convert to the template-- User:Docu

Everything is still in the same place, just a different domain ( is now for instance) You can do this in your server's config... by issuing a Permanent redirect from the old domain name to the new domain name. Contact your hostmaster or webmaster to do this. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 02:04, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't know if this would apply to this situation, but situations like this can often benefit from being added to Meta:Interwiki map, if said site passes the criteria there. This would allow for such an update with minimal work. Alternatively, you can also make a template for the link. Granted this doesn't really help anyone out now, nor can we always predict when someone will change domain names, but I thought I'd throw it out there. -- Ned Scott 06:26, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Recently Hu12 raised a spam concern about some of these links. See my reply to him here. I left a message on Txnomad's talk asking him to return to this discussion, since he's been active today. So we have two questions: (a) is mass conversion appropriate? (b) should we be keeping the generic links to the TSHA site at all, or the generic links to their handbook? The links to specific historical documents, from relevant articles, are likely to be OK in my view, but I don't know if those are the majority. EdJohnston (talk) 18:13, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Regrettably, we have got no response from Txnomad who originally raised the question. So I have started a very slow-moving update process, where I use a Linksearch for references to the Handbook of Texas and try to replace the links I find with instances of the Handbook template. For example at White Rock Lake I used this format: {{Handbook of Texas|id=WW/row4|name=White Rock Lake}} . EdJohnston (talk) 22:34, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
The original crisis has gone away, since is now redirecting to, which is what some of us hoped would happen. So our articles won't be stuck full of dead links. I still think the new template {{Handbook of Texas}} is superior to the old way of linking, since it doesn't create an unnecessary clickable link to the top level of the Handbook, and it lets our readers go to the Wikipedia article on the Handbook if they wish. However conversion of the 3,000 links now drops so low in priority that it won't happen soon. EdJohnston (talk) 04:38, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
The server isn't configured correctly, it should be sending out a 301 (permanent redirect) code instead of the 302 (temporary redirect). The difference is that in former (in theory anyway) bot would update the links cementing the change. — Dispenser 03:06, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Blogs of the article subject

Is it really reasonable that a personal blog of the person the article is about be removed? I refer to Aaron Turner, where his own blog has been removed from the external links section. Surely that's a little overly-literal in the interpretation of the letter of the law? Thoughts? If I'm wrong, please direct me to the relevant guideline, so I can gape at it in disbelief. Thanks. Seegoon (talk) 11:48, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

By my reading of these guidelines, a blog authored by the article subject is okay to link to in most circumstances. My feeling is that a blog authored by the article subject falls within the "official page of the article subject" exception; so, provided the blog isn't prohibited by this guideline's Restrictions on linking, I don't see a problem with adding it to the external links section. --Muchness (talk) 12:12, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd agree. As long as the blog is provided solely as an external link and not as a source, and as long as the fact it is indeed their own blog has been authenticated, I think there should be no problem. Orderinchaos 22:12, 2 February 2008 (UTC)


In contrast to the discussion above: There are now several sites out there, where you can create your own content, and when someone visits that page the site provides payment to the creator, or the site (strongly) advocates to add such advertisements. Examples include hubpages ; ehow ; mywikibiz. It is very tempting to create your own page there, and add these to wikipedia, or provide information on such sites which people like to link, resulting in others linking for you.

There is nothing in this guideline about such sites. I understand that there may be in some cases information on such pages which allows it as a reference or even as an external link, but there will often be issues with (some or all of, and maybe others as well): WP:COPYRIGHT, WP:COI, WP:SPAM &c. (these all include reasons to not include the link, but it is not directly mentioned here, and when I add the link to such a page which is not mine, none of them would strictly apply).

May I suggest that we add something about these sites to the guideline, e.g. something along the lines of: 'It is strongly discouraged to link to sites which provide payment to the maintainer of the site, even if it is not your site'?? --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:05, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Major news media sites (such as the Washington Post) carry ads. I am not privy to the contracts between these sites and the advertisers, but I would imagine there is some connection between the number of views and the payment. So your suggested wording could be construed to strongly discourage links to these reliable sites. --Gerry Ashton (talk) 20:38, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

You are right, it should not be the maintainer .. what I meant was the person who published the page on the free hosting site. --Dirk Beetstra T C 22:29, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

And these sites are worse than, how? -- Konk Republik (talk) 03:59, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Google books

Sorry for the basic question: Does Google books violate copyright? Is it OK to link to a Google books result of, for example, a page in a copyrighted textbook? Thanks much, delldot talk 07:00, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Not in my opinion: GB, in the material it displays to the public, does not violate copyright. It as been asserted that some of the internal handling procedures of GB violate copyright (more specifically, the making of an electronic copy of the entire book for its internal storage even though it only displays a short excerpt), butt hat has not yet been brought to a legal decision. Probably it never will, since GB is actively trying to make arrangements with all possible publishers to prevent such litigation. In any event, most material on GB is free from copyright restrict: essentially everything before 2014, and the later material from the large number of cooperating publishers, who control the amount that appears. In general, refusing to link on the basis of copyvio require some reasonable confidence that it is copyvio, and that is not present here. DGG (talk) 04:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Good summary DGG, I had been wondering the same.--Hu12 (talk) 04:15, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
"2014"? --DocumentN (talk) 02:43, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

"Cannot be saved"

The "Restrictions on linking" section currently includes the text: "Sites that match the spam blacklist without being whitelisted. Pages that contain such links cannot be saved." What does the "cannot be saved" part mean?

The text was apparently added in this edit, but I'm not sure where the discussion it came from is. --DocumentN (talk) 02:36, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

What it means is that when you try to save a page that contains a blacklisted spam link, you get a spam filter notice informing you that the spam filter blocked your page save because it detected a blacklisted hyperlink. --Muchness (talk) 02:47, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Makes sense. I've attempted to clarify the wording with this edit. --DocumentN (talk) 02:57, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Linking to Adult sites

Is there a Wikipedia policy about whether it is appropriate to link directly to a subsection of a bigger website, if the subsection is marked 18+ due to its adult content and the direct link bypasses the age restriction warning within the website. Meowy 13:21, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:FreeContentMeta

Template:FreeContentMeta, which creates external link boxes similar to those of Wikimedia's sister projects, has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. — Jpatokal (talk) 06:06, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research. See Reliable sources for explanations of the terms "factually inaccurate material" or "unverifiable

I would like to suggest that this guideline is vague and highly open to interpretation which leads to subjective views distorting the "truth" of a given page. I think this guideline should only be applied if there is a deluge of external links on a given article which require pruning. Otherwise subjective opinion on a given subject is perfectly valid if the information in the main article is subjective or contains unverifiable claims. I believe that it is important to give power to the reader by not deciding what constitutes as "unverifiable" for them.

This guideline merely gives power to those who can decide what is "relevant" and what is "irrelevant" thereby heavily slanting articles in favour of the administrator who commonly edits them. See: Prem_Rawat - Teachings and the lack of a criticism section or critical external references within this article as an example. Icky Media (talk) 20:43, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Why would we want a link to a misleading site? External links talk page should not be used by editors as platforms for their personal views.--Hu12 (talk) 21:04, 7 February 2008 (UTC)