Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 25

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Archive 24 Archive 25 Archive 26


Other requirements for rich media

Timesshifter, I recently added descriptive text that re-stated well-acccepted, long-standing other sections of this guideline in WP:YOUTUBE -- e.g., "(e.g., Adobe Flash for YouTube links) and, if unusually large, the file size." You reverted this, along with other changes made by other editors. Is this just because you were being sloppy -- in which case I expect you to fix it -- or because you really think that it's inappropriate for us to help out editors that might not know, for example, that YouTube uses Adobe Flash? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:23, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

This has been covered somewhat here: #"Emerging markets" penetration of Flash players. Can you please comment there? --Timeshifter (talk) 10:50, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
That discussion seems to have gone stale, so I'll put my reply here: 1 in 50 users is still too many to pretend that "everybody" already has the right software. It doesn't actually hurt Wikipedia to point out that specific software is required. It might even make it possible for people without the software to figure out what they need and install it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:04, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Software dependencies are often complex. The concept that there is a "right" version of software is based on the often incorrect premise that the most recent is the best. (Only last week, I made the mistake of updating my video card driver, and am suffering the consequences.) What's good for one application, or one computer, or one user will not always be good for others. Customer service departments may insist on upgrading, but this is in large part because they don't have the ability to debug earlier versions. Therefore, adding information about what is the "right software" is inappropriate to an encyclopedia, because the information will usually be incomplete, misleading, or wrong -- at least for some users. (Citing what the most recent software release is may not be an improvement, since the tacit assumption many will make is that earlier versions are "wrong".) Piano non troppo (talk) 05:52, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Piano, I don't think you understand the issue. YouTube flatly requires Adobe Flash software (and broadband access, BTW). It's specifically named in their system requirements (which haven't been updated to reflect Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia).
It is simply not possible to view a YouTube video without using Adobe Flash software. Typing "(requires Adobe Flash)" at the end of the link isn't making a detailed recommendation about exactly what to do; it just gives our readers fair warning that, unlike the vast majority of external links in WIkipedia articles, simply having software that lets you read the Wikipedia page is insufficient for viewing the content at this link. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:12, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Youtube (and other) videos can be played without Adobe Flash installed. See Flash Video intro : "...or one of several third-party programs such as...". Even if you cannot play them within your browser, they can still be downloaded and played in various programs offline. If we're going to recommend something, then we should be software-agnostic about it. See the other Category:External link file type templates for how we should be doing it (eg. we do not link Adobe Acrobat/Reader after every PDFlink). -- Quiddity (talk) 18:02, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I have no objection to identifying the file format without naming the software company. I continue to object to proposals that we leave rich media links entirely unlabeled. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:14, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
My iPod Touch doesn't have Adobe Flash and plays YouTube videos just fine. Stifle (talk) 10:44, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Full protected

Full protected for two days. Please engage in civil discussion with each other on the talk page and if necessary, seek out dispute resolution. See also ANI thread. Cirt (talk) 06:51, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Current thread:
Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive818#Edit warring on Wikipedia:External links --Timeshifter (talk) 17:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Hopefully, editors who are currently parties to the dispute will limit their responses to the RfC below to a simple statement of their position and not filibuster the process by continuing the prior arguments which did not result in any consensus. Let's hear from some folks who have not yet weighed in on the issue. Dlabtot (talk) 17:40, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Filibuster? You're kidding, right? Consensus has been clear on this for years and is still clear. The people opposed to the wording have been the ones filibustering, wikilawyering, tag teaming and otherwise doing their damnedest to keep an issue alive that was a nonstarter from the very beginning. DreamGuy (talk) 21:35, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

RfC: Should WP:EL state that the majority of YouTube videos do not meet our external links guideline?

Should WP:EL state that the majority of YouTube videos do not meet our external links guideline?

  • Yes. There are two means of measuring whether to link a YouTube video:
    1. Copyright issues. While YouTube and other sites have taken steps to reduce copyright violations, they still exist in non-negligible numbers. These may not be a majority but more than significant enough to require scrutiny of their inclusion.
    2. Relevance. External links should supply material that would otherwise be part of an article if it were Featured Content. If the video link is providing an interview or statement that supports the article, it should be included as a reference. If the video is just augmenting what is already been stated, its redundant. Basically, once you've passed the copyright issue, either most YouTube videos should be used as references, or should not be linked to at all as they provide nothing new already stated in the article. There are limited exceptions to this but they are exceptions.
  • Thus it is true that a majority of YouTube videos should not be used as EL. --MASEM (t) 17:17, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

  • No External links should be examined on a case by case basis. No evidence has been presented that supports the assertions concerning the prevalence of copyright violations on YouTube. Dlabtot (talk) 17:22, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

  • No The information is too vague and general in nature to be useful. YouTube and other sites contains millions of entries. What matters in a particular case is the particular entry. The attributes of all the other entries in such a case are quite irrelevant. Per WP:CREEP and WP:TLDR, we should keep our guideline brief and to the point. Colonel Warden (talk) 17:26, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The disagreement concerns the non-consensual addition of "which is rare" or "which would happen infrequently" to that section:
There is no blanket ban on linking to YouTube or other user-submitted video sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (see Restrictions on linking), which is rare. See also Wikipedia:Copyrights for the prohibition on linking to pages that violate copyrights. Most YouTube videos containing copyrighted material (outside of the official YouTube channels of organizations and entertainment/news media companies) do not have permission of the copyright owners. Each such link must be evaluated for inclusion with due care on a case-by-case basis. These links must also identify the software necessary for readers to see the content.
"which is rare" and "which would happen infrequently" both never had consensus. For more info see the ongoing multi-part discussion higher up that started at #YouTube, yet again. In particular: #Claims of consensus. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:29, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but that's simply not so. They have been on the page for YEARS AND YEARS, and were actively supported and endorsed time and time again when brought up for discussion. It has always been added back by multiple editors whenever you and the couple of other people who are opposed to it removed it. Continuing to insist otherwise is either outright lying or an indication that sheer stubbornness has biased you so severely that you are simply incapable of admitting you were wrong. DreamGuy (talk) 21:24, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Yes. Or some other explicit languge that makes it clear to spammers and fanboys and well-intnetioned "everything must be linked" editors that including a link to YouTube site needs to be solidly based on the particular value and appropriateness of the video being linked. -- The Red Pen of Doom 17:34, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

  • No, but we can say something very close. On process grounds, it seems too much like prior restraint to simply announce that Youtube videos are suspect. A Youtube link is a medium of communication, something that constantly evolves. For instance, whereas once most film trailers on Youtube were copyright violations, most are now licensed. If we had enshrined an observation two years ago that most are copyvios we would be wrong - we would have enacted as a guideline something that is merely an observation. We could say more or less the same thing, though, in more careful language, such as "experience has shown", or "Editors should be particularly careful..." But I also disagree that it is "rare" for videos to be valid. It is "rare" for any random factoid or link to be right for the encyclopedia - one out of a million. However, things are not added randomly. Editors add things they think fit. Is it rare for videos that experienced editors have found and wish to add to an external links section to be valid links? I doubt it, it really depends on the editor.- Wikidemon (talk) 20:04, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Yes. I'm not committed to any particular way of presenting this information, but there are several several independent problems with the "average" YouTube link, including:
    • Copyright. A study (linked in one of the endless discussions above) found that almost 10% of the most popular videos were shut down because of formal copyright complaints. Imagine how many more are actual violations, but aren't the subject of formal complaints (for example, the copyrighted music at a child's dance rehearsal: "homemade" videos uploaded by the videographer are not necessarily free of copyright violations). I sincerely doubt that the Wikimedia Foundation would consider a 10% chance of a copyright violation to be an ideal level of risk. Linking to copyright violations is in the WP:ELNEVER category, and many editors, especially those that skip directly to WP:YOUTUBE instead of reading the whole page, won't be aware that this is a serious and complex problem if we don't explain this problem in that section, especially given the prevalence of the erroneous belief that 'YouTube cut some sort of deal with the copyright holders'.
    • Low-quality, non-encyclopedic information. Many user-submitted videos that have no copyright issues are essentially "vanity videos". Wikipedia is not best served by linking to homemade videos of "me and my friends at the skatepark" any more than it needs yet another penis photo. There are hundreds of thousands of these videos, and nobody here would consider them appropriate. But somehow, they magically "don't count" when we're calculating the percentage of YouTube videos that could be appropriate in a Wikipedia article. Even many of the video clips in official channels simply aren't good external links. Yes, we can assume that "official channel video" are very likely to be free of copyright problems. But they're also often advertisements or promotional works (WP:ELNO #5) or news stories (WP:NOT#NEWS). An enormous number of the "educational" videos I've seen on YouTube merely repeat information that is already present in plain text in the articles (WP:ELNO #1 violation). While they might be useable in some cases as reliable sources, these are dreadful external links.
    • Country-specific limitations. Many videos at YouTube are not available in substantial parts of the globe. Linking to such videos violates WP:ELNO #7. Many American editors -- and Wikipedia has many thousands of active American editors -- are entirely unaware of this issue.
    • Rich media limitations. A ten-minute video clip is a *huge* file, even if you don't have to wait until the entire thing has been downloaded before it starts playing. Special software is necessary, and we have established above that one out of 40 Internet users does not have the software. Despite these agreed-upon facts, the few pro-video editors have consistently oppose compliance with simple WP:EL#Rich media standards, like naming the necessary software (Flash video) and identifying the total file size. Video links, and particularly unlabeled video links, directly discriminate against disadvantaged readers. If you're paying for every packet, using a slow Internet connection, or have an elderly computer, videos are simply not good choices.
    • Accessibilty for screen readers. Videos that are primarily visual are unfriendly to people using screen readers, and unlike images, they don't come with explanatory captions.
Should we ban these links entirely? No. Should we give editors a bit of "fair warning" that there are many specific and complex issues to consider? Yes. Can that be done by indicating that most of the time, a YouTube video is not going to comply with our standards for one reason or another? I think so.
Also: Timeshifter's constant claim that phrases like "which would happen infrequently" supposedly never had consensus not only demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the simple consensus that is proven by the phrases being kept in this closely watched guideline for months and months, but it might inappropriately suggest to editors that they're not "allowed" to support this now, simply because it was so obviously correct, and so obviously reflective of practice in Wikipedia's 2.5 million actual articles, that no formal discussion was necessary. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:30, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

I have no opinion on whether or not it should state that the majority of YouTube videos do not meet external links guideline, but if it does it should do it with a <ref> tag and explained in the reference section. -- Darth Mike (talk) 20:44, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, largely per WhatamIdoing: Copyright is not the biggest problem, though also a significant one. Although Flash players have high market penetration, software to play YouTube still needs to be installed, it does not come with most operating systems. YouTube does not only contain English language movies. The large majority of non-official movies (for which copyright is seldomly an issue) simply fails that they add to the page (the link to the birthday movie of my Granny Smith is not a suitable external link on Granny Smith, for obvious reasons), and of the official movies which are uploaded with questionable copyright, they should certainly not be added. What is left over is 'millions' of video's which are of official channels, where copyright is not an issue, and which are indeed fine, but which still have to be scrutinised for 'what do they add, they still need the software installed, etc. And I still argue, that people behind low-bandwidth connections have a lower access to these, as do have blind people (for which videos are also of lesser use). I realise that many of arguments also goes for linking to mp3 and other multimedia files, but video sites have simply more problems than a text-only site.

Do we need to ban them completely, NO, there certainly are good links which do add, and that should be said, but 'copyright is not a problem anymore' is not a blanket reason to include all youtube video's which are there, most simply fail for other reasons. Of all available youtube video's the ones that do pass this guideline are relatively rare. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:11, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, but this is a poorly considered question. Most of all websites do not meet the external links guideline. Arguing against this point thus is absurd, but aruing for it is to be redundant. In the case of Youtube though, there are billions of videos (not millions). A very puny percentage, less than 1%, of these are even remotely in the ballpark of meritable external links. So, either Youtube should be added the EL:NO section with personal sites, forums and open wikis which require any non-official media outlet video to be authoritative/expert... or there should be (as now) a less restrictive statement saying You tube videos will infrequently meet the criteria of this guideline. This could be said, like now, with a single phrase, or it could be expanded to perhaps three sentences that explains how official/copyrighted videos will often be fine links while anonymous user-submitted videos or copyright violations will almost never be good links.

Additionally, I say yes because the clear consensus for two years has been to call this out, and there is quite obviously no consensus to change that. 2005 (talk) 23:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Side comment: It's rumored that the YouTube had fewer than 150 million videos as of mid-August 2008, and that the number was staying fairly steady. "Many billions" is the number of times that videos are watched each year, not the number of individual videos. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:15, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes. I think a lot of new editors are confused in how to interpret this guideline. It is better to be clear that most Youtube videos are inappropriate as external links. This sets expectations appropriately, and does not restrict those videos that are appropriate to be included. Karanacs (talk) 19:36, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Neutral. I see nothing particularly wrong with stating this, but it seems unnecessary, as the vast majority of web pages in general are not appropriate External Links. However, the current wording "which is rare" is misleading, as it creates the impression that appropriate External Links to Youtube are rare, which does not automatically follow from the fact that only a small percentage of the billions(?) of Youtube videos would be appropriate as ELs. This is why I previously changed it to "which is not the case with the overwhelming majority of videos on such sites". PSWG1920 (talk) 19:50, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with PSWG1920, that the wording is problematic because it gives extra special treatment to YouTube where it's already clear from the guideline that most YT vids won't -- one might as well say that 'any' website is rare to link... ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 20:56, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely yes. Listing off statements about what is or is not acceptable isn't helpful if people aren't capable of reading them for understanding, either because it's too long to sort through all the individual parts or because the jargon is above their experience. The edits of many people, as well as comments by some above, clearly indicate that we need to specify this so people follow what has always been the whole point of this guideline in the first place. Most of the people voting no above have made comments and edits in support of links that clearly violate WP:COPYLINK, let alone the external link rules. Rewriting this to make it more ambiguous would give people the idea that they can go ahead and link to things that clearly cannot be linked to for many, many different reasons. We shouldn't leave room for people to try to argue against pretty clearcut principles.

Also, I should point out that Wikipedia is not a democracy. Should the no voters assemble a group of people in favor of linking to copyright-violation links, that doesn't mean they get to rewrite this page or any other page. This has been established quite clearly for years and cannot be changed due to the whims of a handful of people who have organized themselves over an issue that's simply not up for discussion in any real way. Our copyright rules will always overrule what anyone here who thinks differently says, because those come straight from the top. DreamGuy (talk) 21:13, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

2005 sums up my feelings quite nicely. Most of YouTube doesn't meet our guidelines of inclusion, just like most of the web doesn't meet our guidelines of inclusion. I'm not sure if we need to say this specifically about YouTube, but it's definitely true, at least. In the end, we can link to some YouTube videos, and we can't link to some other YouTube links, so what's all the fuss about? --Conti| 21:43, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

No to "Should WP:EL state that the majority of YouTube videos do not meet our external links guideline? " because the current section "Linking to user-submitted video sites" already says more or less the same thing (or is this RFC asking to simplify that section?);
but yes to greater emphasis on using ref tags (when external links get used as citations), and citation templates with more of the parameter fields filled in (even for external links only).
For context here is what "Linking to user-submitted video sites" says now:

There is no blanket ban on linking to YouTube or other user-submitted video sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (see Restrictions on linking), which is rare. See also Wikipedia:Copyrights for the prohibition on linking to pages that violate copyrights. Most YouTube videos containing copyrighted material (outside of the official YouTube channels of organizations and entertainment/news media companies) do not have permission of the copyright owners. Each such link must be evaluated for inclusion with due care on a case-by-case basis. These links must also identify the software necessary for readers to see the content.

84user (talk) 11:06, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

And here is what it looked like in the revision of 4 September 2008:

Linking to YouTube, Google Video, and similar sites There is no blanket ban on linking to these sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (which would happen infrequently). See also Wikipedia:Copyrights for the prohibition on linking to pages that violate copyrights. Therefore, each instance of allowance is on a case-by-case basis.

At first glance I would prefer the older version, for simplicity if nothing else. 84user (talk) 11:22, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Comment to 84user: the terms 'infrequently' and 'rare' have been used, indeed. I do get the feeling that the question is if either of those terms should be or should not be used (for the old version going to:

Linking to YouTube, Google Video, and similar sites There is no blanket ban on linking to these sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page. See also Wikipedia:Copyrights for the prohibition on linking to pages that violate copyrights. Therefore, each instance of allowance is on a case-by-case basis.

). --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:50, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

    • The RfC was begun by User:Dlabtot, who opposes any suggestion that enormous numbers of user-submitted videos might have a verifiable problem with copyrights in particular and with compliance with other aspects of this guideline in general. I believe Dlabtot would be happy to have the WP:YOUTUBE section shortened to something not very different from "Of course you can put YouTube-type videos in the ==External links== section, just like you would link to any other website." This RfC does not concern itself with the use of <ref> tags, as citing sources is not within the scope of this guideline. I'm a little uncertain how to interpret your response; it seems to be 'we should keep what it already says'. I have some concerns that any responses against "majority" language may be twisted later to claim disagreement with current language (either "rare" or "infrequent"), so you may want to clarify. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:22, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Please don't pretend to speak for me. Speak for yourself instead. I respectfully request that you strike or remove those comments that falsely put words in my mouth. Dlabtot (talk) 15:35, 23 April 2009 (UTC) Your characterization of my views is false and insulting. Dlabtot (talk) 15:46, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Comment. PSWG1920's current version (at the time of this writing) [1] is acceptable to me:

There is no blanket ban on linking to YouTube or other user-submitted video sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (see Restrictions on linking and Links normally to be avoided). Just as with the vast majority of web pages in general, most videos hosted on Youtube or similar sites do not meet all of these restrictions, and copyright is of particular concern. Most YouTube videos containing copyrighted material (outside of the official YouTube channels of organizations and entertainment/news media companies) do not have permission of the copyright owners. Each such link must be evaluated for inclusion with due care on a case-by-case basis. These links must also identify the software necessary for readers to see the content.

--Timeshifter (talk) 17:33, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree, I like this version, but I am a bit weary about "Just as with the vast majority of web pages in general, most videos hosted on Youtube or similar sites do not meet all of these restrictions," .. an official page of the subject of a page hardly hits any of WP:ELNO, and is actually an WP:ELYES. We might consider 'web pages containing user submitted material in general' or something along those lines? --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:44, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The reason I like this version is because it does not single out YouTube pages for special treatment versus any other web page. YouTube has official pages, too. Copyright is a problem with all web pages, not just YouTube. All web pages are "user submitted". I am a webmaster. I have many pages on the web. Some of them are so well referenced that they are used as Wikipedia references. Anybody can put up a web page. There is no magic to it. I recommend using KompoZer to create web pages. Try creating some web pages, and see what I mean about user submission. No one stops you "submitting" a web page. There are many ways to put up a web page. With text, images, flash files, and videos. Concerning imagery, Jimbo Wales said something like "A zebra is a zebra" when someone wanted to require reliable sourcing for images uploaded to Wikipedia and the Commons. The same is true for video imagery in many cases. Videos cover almost every imaginable topic. Just like Wikipedia. In many cases videos are a great addition to the millions of images on Wikipedia pages. Some people still do not like even static images on Wikipedia, and would like to remove them. But hey, this is the 21st century. Almost no one still uses 14.4 kbps modems to connect to the Internet. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:51, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I know my wording was unclear. With 'user submitted' I meant sites like youtube, myspace, where the owners of the website/server do not have, or perform, control over ALL content that is on the site. If we take a company website, then the company has a web-department and they have control over all content on the site. Same for official publishing sites, where information is controlled and scrutinised before it is added. Sites like youtube enable people to upload the video of their granny, and as long as there is no copyright violation, YouTube will not delete it. Links to the former sites are likely WP:ELYES, while the user submitted content like YouTube (and MANY others) often hit some of the WP:ELNO's. I hope this is a bit clearer. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:59, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Just because there is editorial control does not make a web page a reliable source or a good external link. All external links have to be examined on a case-by-case basis. There are many so-called "news" and publishing sites with "editorial control." They are often not "likely WP:ELYES." --Timeshifter (talk) 19:11, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
True. OK, well, I am fine with this. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:21, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Regarding "restrictions on linking"

Regarding Wikipedia:External links#Restrictions on linking. This was edited a few weeks ago [2], into a form that I regard as excessive and in part legally wrong.

I tried editing this to improve it [3] only to be reverted after less than 10 minutes [4].

The standard for contributory infringement requires that you actually know that copyright infringement is taking place and that you take deliberate action to aid or induce further infringement.

The current text which deletes "knowingly" and suggest that one needs "verified permission" before linking to a site with third party content is out of step with the law and wiki-practice. It also makes no allowance for fair use and other perfectly legitimate reasons a responsible site might have third party content.

I suggest we either modify the text along the lines I suggested in my edit above or simply revert to the version existing before the edits of April 11th. Dragons flight (talk) 03:00, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that those who keep edit-warring this flawed version into place think that it's "not up for discussion", so they probably won't bother to respond to your comments. Dlabtot (talk) 16:05, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I went ahead and restored the pre-April 11th version of this section that avoids the problematic "verified permission" clause and restores the legally relevant "knowingly" for contributory infringement. I am open to improving this, but let's have some discussion of how to do it. Dragons flight (talk) 22:36, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree that "verified permission" appears to exceed the requirements at WP:COPYLINK -- which, BTW, is more important here than the actual legal standards, since Wikipedia intentionally sets its policies to be more restrictive than the law requires. This section needs to accurately represent the policy as it is set elsewhere.
As for fair use exceptions, I can't image how a plain link (that is, what we're providing under ==External links==) could possibly qualify. Unlike references, ==External links== are never going to meet requirements like "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research". If "fair use" is being asserted as magic word that supposedly banishes inconvenient copyright considerations, then we should specifically mention it here. If not, then I probably wouldn't bother. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:34, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I can't understand what you're getting at. Why couldn't an external link's content have fairly used content? There's nothing inherent about legit ELs that preclude them from ever having them. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:20, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
It's possible that other websites are using copyrighted material fairly (=not a copyright violation), but if it's a violation, then it is never possible to link to it in this section. Let's say that the target is a page with copyrighted song lyrics on it:
  • If the song lyrics are used, for example, in the context of a critical analysis (etc) in ways that meet fair use, then there is no copyright violation, and ELNEVER does not apply. You can link to the page (assuming it meets the other requirements on this page/benefits the article).
  • If the song lyrics are just a plain copy of the lyrics, then there is no possibility of the page meeting fair use requirements (the target page itself). In this situation, there is definitely a copyright violation, and ELNEVER does apply. Under this scenario, you cannot link to the page in the ==External links== section. Such a link (the link itself, not the target page) never meets the requirements of fair use (primarily because you're not "using" the copyrighted material; you're just "distributing" it). By contrast, you might, in some limited situations, be able to link to it in the body of the article (e.g., you're presenting an analysis of a couple of specific lines out of a long song, and that's your actual source for what the lyrics are).
The bottom line is that if the target is an actual copyright violation, then an assertion of "fair use" in this section never works. There are never any fair uses/"fair links" of copyright violations in ==External links==. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:31, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, by definition, if it is a copyright violation, it is not fair use, similarly, if it is fair use, it is not a copyright violation. This statement of the obvious seems to add nothing to the discussion, so I don't know what you are getting at. Dlabtot (talk) 17:49, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

(Undent) Dlabtot, you're missing the fine distinction. Wikipedia can link to true copyright violations in certain highly restricted situations -- that is, when the link itself constitutes fair use. For example, you might reasonably invoke 'fair use' to justify a footnote that links to an example of a copyright-infringing page that is being contested in the lawsuit, next to a link to the original website that it copies.

No. If it is fair use, it isn't a copyright violation. Speaking of fine distinctions: There is no such thing as a 'fair use of a copyright violation'. There is such a thing as 'fair use of copyrighted material'. Of course, just because some other website or publication makes fair use of copyrighted material, does not mean anything for WP's use of the same material. Each use has to be examined on it's own merits. Fair use is a complex topic that does not lend itself to one-size-fits-all guidelines. Dlabtot (talk) 19:15, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

However, regardless of what is true for other parts of a Wikipedia article, there are no situations in which linking to a copyright violation in this section will ever meet fair use requirements. If we have a problem with uninformed editors asserting a specious fair use claim in this section, and for these links (not for the content on the other pages, which must be evaluated separately), then we should clarify that links in this section to copyright violations cannot be justified as fair use. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:03, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, linking to a copyright violation is always unacceptable. No, there is no situation in which linking to a fair use of copyrighted material is in any way similar to linking to a copyright violation. Dlabtot (talk) 04:37, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
The bottom line is, if we are providing a link to a page that does not include infringing material, that can not be construed as contributory infringement. Dlabtot (talk) 19:19, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
The point of my comment about fair use was that the ELNEVER text, as modified on April 11th and now reverted, would appear to have excluded links to pages engaged in fair use. I wasn't talking about whether the link is fair use for us, but rather commenting that the content at the target page can be legal and legitimate even without having been granted specific permission. I think you've gotten caught up in an irrelevant tangent because no one else was discussing the fair use status of the links themselves. Dragons flight (talk) 19:17, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Dragons, I think that the reason that the (clumsy) 'fair use' text was inserted was for exactly the purpose of discouraging (incorrect) claims that ==External links== to (non-fair-use) copyright violations somehow constitute fair use for us. They don't. They can't. I don't think that the purpose was to exclude links to pages that make fair use of copyrighted material (which are not, by definition, copyright violations). The fact that you interpreted it as excluding the second instead of the first is only proof that it was poorly written. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:06, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Youtube : "This video is not available in your country"

I am looking at an external link in the Human article, (the cite note is here). But I cannot see if there are any copyright problems or even what if the the video really is really the right music video, youtube seems to block visitors outside the US, (from what I can tell), and I get the message, "This video is not available in your country".
So, what is the policy regarding such external links? Can we really have an external links/references that most users cannot see? FFMG (talk) 06:15, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Such links violate WP:ELNO #7 and should (almost always) be removed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:36, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, somehow I missed that policy. I'll wait to see what others think before removing it. FFMG (talk) 06:40, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Key word is "most". The guideline is not backward, meaning if one country somewhere blocks it, there isn't a reason to remove it for everyone. Our linking practices aren't going to be subject to the whims of the most repressive country on Earth. 2005 (talk) 06:59, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough, I don't think I live in a represive country, (South Africa), but I am happy to hear if others can view the video.
I also asked a friend of mine in the UK to look at the video, (to make sure it was at least the right music video), and he also cannot access it for the same reason. FFMG (talk) 07:12, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Both the YouTube page and its embedded video are accessible in continental Europe and appears to be posted by the official universalmusicgroup channel. Both also look accessible from a UK-based IP address. After watching the video I accordingly extended the article's citations. 84user (talk) 15:37, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Strange, I wonder why it is not accessible in my country and from at least one UK IP address, (and apparently from Germany as well according to another co-worker).
I am just curious as to why the official release would not be available to everybody, maybe it is common practice for music videos. FFMG (talk) 15:47, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
The reason you are not seeing the video is that youtube hasn't licensed it to play in your country. It has not nothing to do with your country being 'repressive'. You see, despite the ignorant assertions of many on this page, the vast majority of youtube videos conform very strictly to copyright law. Dlabtot (talk) 16:04, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't know Youtube well enough to make a proper judgement about copyright and so on. I knew it had nothing to do with repression, I very much doubt that a song by the Killers would be banned in many countries, (well, at the very least I am pretty sure it would not be banned in mine).
My concern is more about the reference in general, not been available to some. I had no way of knowing if the link was in any way related to the music video or if it was some UFO propaganda, let alone tell if it was 'official' or 100% piracy from MTV. Anyway, if others can see it. FFMG (talk) 16:22, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, WP:ELNO #7 was noted above. I would say it comes down to an editorial judgment about what constitutes a 'substantial number of users' being unable to view, versus whatever benefit the link is perceived to provide the article. Dlabtot (talk) 16:47, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I was going to remove it because of WP:ELNO #7, (because I could not see it and 2 other co-worker/friend in Europe reported that they also could not see it), but 84user seems to be able to see it from Europe, so I guess it is available in parts of Europe? The problem with been prevented from seeing the video is that we have no way of knowing who can actually see it. FFMG (talk) 17:08, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
A year ago, you could supposedly rewrite the URL to to bypass this "feature".[5] I don't know whether it works any longer. When this 'error' pops up, it means that YouTube has received a legal demand from the copyright holder to restrict the video this way.
As for a 'substantial number' of readers, I'd say that if a given link generates two spontaneous and independent complaints, then it's probably affecting many people. Alternatively, if you can identify several countries where it's blocked, then that is also a strong argument. However, in the end, it's the regular editors at the specific article that need to weigh the relative merits and demerits of the situation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:26, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Nope, it doesn't work, I get 'Embedding disabled by request'.
I cannot identify several countries, I could try using proxies but I am not sure it is really worth the effort, but from what I can tell, (co-workers and friends), it does not work in South Africa, UK and Germany. But a user here mentioned that it works in continental Europe, (not sure how he tested it).
So far I have not heard from any other Wikipedia users that are also not able to see the video, but I must admit I am surprised that only South Africa would be blocked. FFMG (talk) 18:09, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Geolocation is an inexact art at best. YouTube guesses your location based on your computer's IP address. If you're physically in South Africa (for example), but using the computer network of a United States (for example) corporation, then YouTube will guess that you're in the U.S. (and vice versa). But this conversation needs to be continued at the relevant section of the article's talk page. I encourage respondents that can attest to whether it is visible to them are encouraged to provide that important information at the article's talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:59, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I am in Cardiff, Wales, UK .. and guess what, I can't see the video. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:33, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm in Germany, and also can't see the video. Which isn't too surprising, since YouTube blocks music videos in Germany because Google and GEMA couldn't agree on a licensing model. --Conti| 19:02, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Incidently, it works for me, in the US. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 19:06, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
This kind of what my friends told me, (not working in the UK and Germany), but 84user did get it to work in the UK and continental Europe, so it looks like not the whole of Europe is blocked.
But it also looks like a lot of users outside the US cannot see this particular music video, and given that the article is about the song in the video I am not 100% sure we can keep the link. FFMG (talk) 19:15, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
I can't see it directly in the UK, but it's easy to download if you know how to beat the system. A google search for "download youtube" gives you sites which will stream the video to you in mp4 format, as those sites are usually in the USA, you get the video. Just tried with and it downloaded OK.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 00:00, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
But this is not really the point, that particular reference in Wikipedia is unusable to anybody outside the US. FFMG (talk) 07:03, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
WAIT .. whohow. We are talking about the video AS A REFERENCE here. I see it being removed and reinstated (last addition here: This guideline deals with external links, not with references. If the video was an external link, then it should be removed, as it is indeed not viewable outside of the US (and even if that would only involve a part of mainland Europe (one or two of the bigger countries there), that really is a significant number of readers (millions), and evidence of its use should be really strong, and even then I would strongly suggest to remove it (it is one of problems why YouTube links in external links sections are quite often less appropriate than they seem, but that is a different discussion).
However, FFMG, we are talking here about a reference. A reference is attributing the information which it is linked to. Here it is reasonably appropriate attributing a description of the video, I presume this is an official release of the video (if not then the question becomes if this is a reliable source, 'is this really the video?'), and that copyright is not a problem (if so, then it is a link to a copyvio which is forbidden by policy, even if it is the only available reference). This means, that the video can be used to verify the information written in the text. It does not mean that I have to follow the ref to verify if the information is correct, but (if I would not be able to follow the link) if I have doubts, that I can ask someone to follow it for me to check (OK, it would be preferable that everybody can, but for the better reliable sources on the internet, that hardly ever is possible). Here I can ask e.g. Melodia (or any other editor in the US) to read the section, follow the link, and check if the section and video are along the same lines, and hence, the information is verifiable. Much information on typical reliable sources are not on a suitable server for by far the most of our readers ( (science!),, have the majority of their information on pay sites, and I can only read it when I go into the university or pull a copy out of the racks of a library. I can't verify the information from here, but I can verify it by a) go to the university, b) run around the corner into the library (will not have a copy of Science of last year, but you get the idea), or here: take the plane to the US, go to an internet cafe, and watch the video and verify that the info is correct (or ask someone in the US). The info is verifiable? Yes. If the info correct? Ask someone who can follow the link, or go to a place where you can see it. So the link is fine. I hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:20, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I would make sure that the description of the reference reflects that it is only viewable from the US, and maybe add a note or hidden comment to it so that those editors who can't see the video know that copyright is fine, and that it really is a link to the correct video. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:27, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Dirk. My response to FFMG's question on policy might be to add a {{clarify me|reason=Cite returns error from UK, add a second cite if possible}} requesting another cite for the claims. I sometimes find cite URLs that don't work and after checking they are not in I add something like {{dead link|reason=cite dead and not in}} in the hope that someone will find the source (maybe it got a new URL). If it's a hardcopy cite, I just accept it of course. I aim to add "|accessdate=October 2017}}" to any citation template I follow up to show it has been checked. Oh, and I'm using an Italian ISP to view YouTube and it's still viewable today. 84user (talk) 01:04, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

List of gamelan ensembles in the United States

Editors are seeking help in regard to use of official sites as references in this RfC. The article includes over one hundered gamelans, only a few of which have their own articles. The question is: when is it appropriate to use the official sites for gamelans as sources? These links were only recently changed from external links within the article to references in response to objections that they should be removed per WP:ELNO. --Ronz (talk) 18:48, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Which, as I understand it, is equivalent to using as a reference at Stuyvesant High School, or references at Michael Faraday Prize, or the references at List of acquisitions by Juniper Networks. They are all primary self-published sources, that are reliable about certain things. Hence, can be used with due care. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:23, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Question on subheaders in the External links section

example's permalink

Bit of a disagreement at 2009 swine flu outbreak in Canada#External links, an editor has split the external links into "Canadian" and "International". I'm of the opinion that this is 1) unnecessary because there's only 9 links anyway and 2) tends to give undue weight to Canadian websites. (Brief discussion at User talk:Xeno#Splitting external links section / permlink). Thoughts? –xeno talk 14:41, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Subsection in external links is almost never a good idea, and it certainly is not in a case like this. DreamGuy (talk) 14:53, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep - This is a Canadianized article, the subheader allows readers quick access to Canadianized medical advise about a potentially life threatening influenza. I think that is adequate reason to allow a subheader. Green Squares (talk) 15:40, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
    Please see WP:MEDICAL. –xeno talk 18:12, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
    It does no such thing. An international site can have in-depth content on hundreds of countries. As for the medical advice part, note the above. We don't do that. This sort of sectioning is unhelpful and deliberately confusing. 2005 (talk) 21:34, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • A subheader in ===equals=== format is usually not helpful (for a variety of reasons), but a header in ;semicolon format (or '''bold''' format ) is frequently useful and is widely used. See for examples the featured articles: William Gibson#External links and Indonesia#External links and Canada#External links and Belgium#External links and Winter service vehicle#External links. Many EL sections can benefit from this style of subdivision. I'm surprised this isn't mentioned in the guideline already - can we add a mention and example to Wikipedia:External links#External links section? Is there a better/preferred formatting for these subheaders? (;semicolons are meant for definition lists...) -- Quiddity (talk) 18:27, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
    I had considered this, seeing it in use at another swine flu article, but with the small number of links (and the fact that the canadian links were fairly obvious from their names...), nevertheless, I've implemented this compromise. I agree with adding in some guidance. –xeno talk 18:30, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I have used this as a solution in External links and for complex References sections. If added to the guidance I suggest that it is done with suitable consideration of WP:DIRECTORY and alternate use of Open Directory Project categories when available.—Teahot (talk) 20:10, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
  • The William Gibson example is terrible. What is a "references" section doing in the external links section. Subsections are normally a very bad idea and should be avoided, both because they are confusing and because any article where the external links are in subsections should have its external links pruned, not sectioned off. Ten links don't need sectioning, and anything over ten links is the vast majority of the time a bad external links section. As for a country-specific section, that's pointless and user-unfriendly. 2005 (talk) 21:32, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
There are sometimes good reasons to subsection links, but I much prefer to see it done with ;A bold text phrase instead of a level three header (that shows up in the table of contents).
For example, you might have links to wildly counterfactual, but highly relevant, websites (WP:ELNO #2 violation) in an article about pseudoscience or a political debate; rather than labeling each of three links "Time Cube supporter website", you can group them by "pro-" and "anti-". More commonly, in medicine-related articles, I find myself splitting links according to "Information" and "Charities" -- which is frequently, but not always, a prelude to deleting uninformative websites that happen to be run by charities. (Happily, if you do this when you're having a spam problem with a specific charity, they often decide that they want to be listed in the "Information" section instead of the "Charity" section, so they start posting links that actually provide information, instead of links to their fundraising pages or front page.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:36, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
* ...but a header in ;semicolon format (or bold format ) is frequently useful and is widely used.
Agree, sometimes subheaders can be useful in organizing the links to give clarity to the user. I'll not discuss on the better format, whatever experienced editors concur is OK with me. Regards, DPdH (talk) 01:31, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Harmless redirect?

I can't say I understand the point being made about banning redirect links completely, as explained in one interesting case in the archives (search for "'harmless' redirect"). I think it would be wrong to generalize too much. In the case of redirect pages by in combination with , using the DNS option, there is actualy no way to get to the content of the page without using this domain name. In this case, all URLs of the page are shown as "". Even though this is the case, are regularly banned. Shouldn't this change? Joostschouppe (talk) 12:20, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

RailPictures.Net photo search result

I'm aware of the guidance to avoid links to search results, such as [6]. However, I feel that this link actually helps, since the BNSF Railway article discusses this specific locomotive and its unique paint scheme (for which I will be adding a reference from Trains). The link shows a number of views of the locomotive, and certainly provides something useful to the reader (as would several free images from different angles, but there don't seem to be any on Flickr or elsewhere). Barring the procurement of free images, is there any way this link can be worked into the text, where it would fit best? --NE2 18:34, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

External links shouldn't be placed in text.
You could certainly place a link to the best one under ==External links==, and you might be able to include a hint about searching for others. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:06, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I know that external links don't normally go in text. The problem here is that it significantly adds to the reader's understanding, but if it's in the external links section, the reader won't know about it. --NE2 19:08, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
How come? I just went to the article and have no clue what you are talking about because whatever it is is not in the external links section where it belongs. One photo in external links with a note saying it is one of many seems the right idea. 2005 (talk) 23:43, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm talking about "VMV Paducahbilt in Paducah, Kentucky painted it in a one-of-a-kind "commemorative" scheme, combining SF's "Warbonnet" with BN's "executive" colors of dark green and cream (instead of SF's red and silver)." Someone reading that won't know to scroll down to the external links for photos. --NE2 23:50, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Then you are talking about a reference. It does sound like the statement should be referenced, but how to do or not do that isn't within the scope of this page. 2005 (talk) 00:16, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
No, it's not a reference. I have much better references to issues of Trains. This would be an aid to the reader in understanding the text. --NE2 00:47, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps explanatory text in a footnote? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:37, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think people will click down to the footnote, especially when the others are all references. --NE2 23:43, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
If the reader doesn't click down, then perhaps the reader thinks himself to understand the situations sufficiently. But I ran across an article recently that had a different numbering scheme for the explanatory notes: you got [1] for refs, and [N:1] for notes; it was clear to me which ones were which. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:59, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Or maybe the reader thinks they'll all be reliable references, which a page of photos is not? --NE2 00:02, 10 May 2009 (UTC) - pay site, social networking, spam?

We have quite a few links to this people search engine, but take a look at how it works from the links, eg [7] - yes, you can close it with the x at the top left, but the most obvious thing to do I thought was click skip, and that takes you straight to PayPal. We also have an article on this website Spock (website), still in Beta after two years. It's just been purchased by Intelius and is basically a pay social networking site. We have maybe 80 links on article pages [8]. I don't see it as meeting WP:EL and it may be that it should be blacklisted. Dougweller (talk) 10:44, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Good idea. Hard to be more worthless links. I don't know how to do it, but the main page shoud be exempted so it can be linked from the article about the site. 2005 (talk) 23:45, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Blacklisted, or 'gray listed' at XLinkBot? XLinkBot would prevent spam by IPs and new editors, but it can be reverted or placed by experienced editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:56, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Dabs and cats

This change adds to WP:ELNO the recommendation that external links should not be included on disambiguation pages or category pages.

This sounds fine to me (and thus I'm not reverting it), but I wanted to start a discussion here to make sure that there were no good reasons to reject this proposal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:06, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

That's consistent with what WP:MOSDAB says. I don't know much about category pages, though. Dlabtot (talk) 20:13, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
It seems like a sensible addition. Certainly it's in line with Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages), and I can't think of a good reason to put an external link on a category page. ELs (appropriate and useful ones, that is) belong in articles, not on navigation pages.--ShelfSkewed Talk 20:16, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I have no problems with this. ~EdGl 20:47, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Excellent addition. 2005 (talk) 23:56, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes ... making two guidelines agree avoids confusion. Abtract (talk) 09:58, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Social networking contradiction

In the links to avoid section, it says in bold at the top before the numbered list that except for if a link is for an official site of the subject, avoid linking the following, one being myspace at number 10. When you read line 10, there is a note that reads that a social networking site may be included if it is the (im assuming one and only) official website of the subject. However, this contradicts the bold writing at the top which says any official site is okay, not to mention how it is redundant to say that an official site is okay to use again just as it says before the list. Since Myspace is a reliable source when it is official according to here, I would suggest that this note be removed or altered to read "...when it is an official website...". Grk1011/Stephen (talk) 16:03, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

I'll attempt to spell out the nuances. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:38, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Inline links to relevant government documents

Are links like the Surface Transportation Board docket links in the last paragraph of BNSF Railway#History acceptable? They relate directly to the preceding text, so they wouldn't work as external links, but are high-quality primary sources for doing further research. It would seem to be roughly equivalent to longstanding use of, for example, {{usc}} in Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. --NE2 23:48, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

No. But you can trivially turn them into refs for the sentence. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:57, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I have refs already, so there's no need for that. They are useful not as references but as a link to the actual regulatory process. The docket number is useful without the link, and adding the link improves the use to readers (versus making them go to the STB site and search for it). --NE2 00:01, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

You currently have this:

The STB released its final rules (STB Ex Parte No. 582 (Sub-No. 1)) on June 11, 2001...

which conflicts with the house style and this guideline. You say here that you're providing this link for further information, but not to support a fact in the text. Therefore it falls under this guideline, which does not permit clickable external links in the middle of articles. The fact that you have other refs is irrelevant.

You can fix it, if you want, by changing it to this:

The STB released its final rules (Ex Parte No. 582 (Sub-No. 1)[1]) on June 11, 2001...

or -- for all I care -- you can delete the link. It just should not be formatted the way it is now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:20, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Did you see the example I gave, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act? {{usc}} has had an inline link for four years. --NE2 00:27, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS doesn't concern me. Both pages should be corrected, as well as any others that have this problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:35, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Policy is what we do, so if enough other stuff exists, policy should reflect that. --NE2 14:37, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I fixed (removed) the RICO links, which was not only deprecated by this guideline, but actively stupid: It took the reader to either section 1961 or 1968 of the code, and skipped sections 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1967. The much better link to the same website, which was already under ==External links==, takes the reader to the entire statute instead of to just two out of eight sections.
The fact that a small fraction of articles scatter the occasional external link in the article's text does not mean that we should change the guidelines. The vast majority of articles don't use links like this, and the guideline correctly recommends the view of the vast majority of editors in the vast majority of articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:41, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe that removal was correct and my example was bad. My point is that an article may talk about a law or other primary source without being about that source itself. The reader is obviously helped by being given a link to that source. If a transcription was on Wikisource, the standard is to add a link to Wikisource in that section, not in external links. Hence it makes sense to add a link to an STB docket when talking about it. (Yes, the decisions could be transcribed to Wikisource, which would be very pointless, but the submissions by other parties could not.) I place usablity over following guidelines, and you should too. --NE2 19:38, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Then you should start putting guidelines first. We are an encyclopedia, not a link farm or a dictionary, or a bunch of other stuff that would be very useable. There are no reasons to put external links in an article. if they are referencing something fine, if they aren't, then they can go at the end of an article, and if they are off topic, the external link is not encyclopedic. There are lots of things we could do to be more overall useable, including hyperlinking names of people to their own websites who aren't notable enough to have articles. That would increase useability but it certainly is not what we do. 2005 (talk) 21:23, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
These are on-topic official links that clearly help the reader. You should leave if your primary focus is not on producing a good encyclopedia, but on playing games with guidelines. --NE2 22:56, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
My goal is the best encyclopedia. You just said yours was not. We are not here to help the reader in all ways. We are here to help the reader encyclopedically. Don't play games with guidelines. Put guidelines first, and exceptions second. The other way around is not a good idea. 2005 (talk) 23:19, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we're here to help the reader encyclopedically, and providing a link to a quality primary source does exactly that. I put guidelines second, exceptions third, and creating a good encyclopedia first. Your priorities seem to be broken. --NE2 23:28, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
This line of argument is getting kind of silly.
About the general case: This is a guideline. It says "best treated with common sense and the occasional exception" at the top of the page. There are good reasons to have occasional exceptions, but it would be beyond silly to re-write the guideline to enshrine specific exceptions that apply, at most, to a very small fraction of situations.
About the specific case: NE2 wanted advice from someone familiar with this guideline about the use of in-text external links, and he got it: in-text links are not appropriate, and IMO he has not advanced good reasons for an exception in this instance. It's not my fault that he doesn't like the advice that he received, but his dislike for it, as evidenced by this continuing conversation, will not change my opinion. What he does with that advice is up to the regular editors of the target page, not me. Note that I refuse to pretend to give NE2 the "authority" to use the link the way he wants to, just to make him go away, because I simply don't have the ability to do so. He asked for advice; I gave him advice. Absolution for a weakly justified exception is not available here. If he was only willing to accept a yes-man response, then he shouldn't have bothered asking the question.
Now: can we stop beating this dead horse? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:12, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, let me rephrase the question: what's the best way to include a high-quality inline external link such as an STB docket or NYSE listing? --NE2 02:47, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

While we're at it, how about {{nyse}}? --NE2 23:33, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

It's usually in an infobox, which is one of the authorized locations for non-ref external links. More pointfully, why does it matter? That's not what you're trying to do. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:12, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Is it? Out of the first ten uses, nine are in the lead. --NE2 02:47, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I can't decide about this link

This is a map link [9] - which I can't decide about. It's got some advertising and a donation request, plus some maps -- but I can't get it to work properly, particularly in English. What do others think? Dougweller (talk) 05:13, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I would say no - if it's not clearly showing benefits that outweigh its shortcomings (i.e. not in English, not easily accessible), it shouldn't be linked. At best, if specific maps are useful and can't be integrated via images, link to the sub-page as a reference. Generally though sources can be non-English, external links must be. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:33, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

"The purpose of this project is to add external links to Wikipedia articles showing them on Google Street View"

Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Street View --NE2 05:03, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Here's an example of the links repeatedly added to an article, by the editor that has proposed the new project:[10][11][12]
If you're interested, please look at the links and consider presenting your opinion on the proposal page (i.e., not here, unless you want to change this guideline with respect to this idea, in which case I suggest starting a separate section). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:45, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Second opinion

Could someone else consider the contents of Postorgasmic_Illness_Syndrome#External_links? I think the article is fairly likely to survive its AfD. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:39, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Just looked at it. You've done a pretty good job. The remaining link though - a list of articles at least 4 years old, an ad for a book, and forums and blogs. I don't think it should be there either and have removed it. Dougweller (talk) 05:19, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

EL vs RS

There seems to be some confusion among some Wikipedia editors as to the differences between External Links and Reliable Sources. Does the former need to be the latter? That is, must the content of linked websites satisfy WP:V and WP:NOR in order to be included in an article’s “External Links” section? — (talk) 05:49, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Most certainly not. An EL is simply for further related info, official sites, etc. Nothing about them needing to have anything to do with sources, or even be inherently verifiabily reliable (how many movies link to IMDB for instance). ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:26, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Melodia is correct. This is clearly stated in WP:ELMAYBE #4. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:22, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. This has come up at Talk:Vorarephilia - there are several suggestions for sites to link to, but the links keep getting removed on the basis that there are no known reliable sources on which said sites can be based. GreenReaper (talk) 17:11, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Keep in mind that just because ELs do not have to be RS, that doesn't mean ELs can be added willy nilly. They still need to meet other criteria. DreamGuy (talk) 17:53, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Specifically, I would venture the cite that GreenReaper wants to link to is found in this diff, to, which allows "artists, writers, or whoever else has a similar interest to contribute material to this community". In other words, it is user-contributed (i.e. wiki-style) fansite/web forum. I see this as quite clearly violations of WP:ELNO points 10, 11 and 12, with no redeeming content provided by scholarly or knowledgeable contributors and therefore not a candidate for an WP:ELMAYBE exception. Vorarephilia has minimal scholarly interest and adding a fansite (and why only one fansite, why this fansite but not all others?) is clearly not in keeping with wikipedia's purpose. Please correct me if I'm wrong. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:29, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
The most recent suggestion (from others) was actually to link to WikiFur's article on the topic — "a section of a general website devoted to the subject of the article." The link has previously been added by editors and removed by others due to its wiki nature, but I assert that it meets the WP:ELNO restriction at 12 for stability and number of editors (English/global stats reliable to February, we're getting a dump to update them in a few days). I'm sure the editors would love to provide more than one fansite link (several were proposed), but that runs into the problem that all links are being removed. Editors tried to propose what they felt was the most reasonable compromise - a maintained directory of relevant sites hosted by a site they consider to be authoritative in the area - and it has been rejected. GreenReaper (talk) 19:24, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Undent. Wikifur is also inappropriate. Given the dearth of sources, I don't think it could be reliable, and again it will just be a mass of opinion with no more backing than the anonymous user names of the individuals behind the posts. Wikifur also fails to be a "general website devoted to the subject of the article" as it is about furry fandom and not vorarephilia specifically. At best it has a small number of articles about vorarephilia with the same flaws of relying on unreliable sources. ELNO also prohibits wikis (12) and I don't think there is reason for an exception to be made. By my reading (here) the new contributor count has stagnated at less than 1200 for several months, the pages are being updated less than 20 times per month, there are few very active editors, no new articles in the past two months, less than 12K worth of articles (of which, how many link to vorarephilia?), less than 14 edits per article, articles themselves are very small, and still little to suggest there is merit to ignoring the restrictions on linking. What is gained by linking to wikifur? Wikifur gets a link from one of the highest traffic sites on the web, and wikipedia gets a link to an article on a tangential website that does not use reliable sources, does not contain verifiable, quality information, and is essentially comprised of the opinions of a variety of anonymous individuals. I still see no reason to link to either. The actual article cites the very website that I have previously made the case for not including. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 19:50, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

As stated above, the WikiFur statistics are only accurate until about February, due to Wikia's inability to provide up to date database dumps for their larger wikis. They are working on a a hardware upgrade for this, but until then "recent trends" is exactly what not to look at. Try reviewing past months, or look at recent changes if you are unsure of current activity. The criticism of edits per article is valid in part, but consider our editors' preference for many small articles rather than a larger merged one - there is less to say on relatively small topics, which decreases both article size and per-article edit count. The Simple Wikipedia has similar "issues" and is arguably getting "worse" over time, even as it increases in size. There are about 170 new articles a month; very few are on this topic, but you wouldn't use that reasoning to avoid linking to Wikipedia from another site if it happened to contain the best article around. GreenReaper (talk) 18:15, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree: WikiFur and both fail WP:EL rules and should not be used. DreamGuy (talk) 20:28, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Adding "fan sites" to the Vor article makes as much as much sense as adding fan sites to the anorexia article - both are mental illnesses with "fans". Adding unreliable fan sites makes no sense in either case. Rklawton (talk) 15:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Lest anyone think I was trying to forge justification for adding inappropriate links, I’ll explain that I asked here because one or two editors rejected the links solely because they failed WP:RS. While there are clearly valid reasons to reject them (see WLU’s post above), that is not one of them, and one should not operate under that misconception. — (talk) 18:13, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree that we should be consistent. If editors can agree on one or two representative anorexia fan sites, it makes sense to add them to that article as well. As for mental ilnesses, classification as such is only appropriate when it causes problems for the subject (per paraphilia). There's a bias issue there with only covering the clinical definition, although that's a little outside this discussion. GreenReaper (talk) 18:19, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd oppose pro-ana websites under WP:ELNO #2: Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research". Anorexia kills; it's a disease, not a "difference". WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:39, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
It's amusing that the article has no links to websites promoting anorexia, yet about fifty references talking about such sites. If you wish to draw a distinction between topics which cause harm, I guess that's fair enough, if pandering a little to the "pro-life" (vs. death) crowd. Very few people appear to die or even be harmed by vorarephilia, though. GreenReaper (talk) 19:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Amazon links

Could I please have someone weigh in on this discussion? I'm trying to convince a user that linking to in the {{cite book}} template is not something we do. That is the case, is it not? - Biruitorul Talk 20:50, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

We link to the ISBN page, which then links to Amazon and many other sites. --NE2 20:56, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
See WP:ELNO, point 15. Do try an ISBN link instead. We don't link directly to amazon because they sell a product, and we're not in the business of sending our readers to buy products; neither should we appear to favor them over other vendors. - Biruitorul Talk 04:42, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps. Anyway, I think the "url" section is typically for Google Books or, if the book is available free online, for that sort of site. - Biruitorul Talk 14:16, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I assumed that a link was better than no link. Is there a particular policy or guideline that has this listed out so that I would be able to point it out to others?Smallman12q (talk) 19:31, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, isn't WP:ELNO, point 15 pretty clear? There's more on this at various points in the Wikipedia talk:External links, but I think "instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site..." is rather emphatic. If you're not convinced, do ask for clarification on that talk page. - Biruitorul Talk 19:54, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
It says WP:ELNO says Links to sites already linked through Wikipedia sourcing tools so I assumed we could link in the references tools. Perhaps something about this should be added to WP:Reference? I'm not trying to be rude, I'm only trying to understand where you're coming from as you're the first Wikipedian to point this out to me. Thank you again for your speedy responses.Smallman12q (talk) 20:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Just in case I'm misleading you, which I don't want to do, I've asked at Wikipedia talk:External links for outside input. Hopefully this can be clarified. - Biruitorul Talk 20:56, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
My understanding is that the main issue with linking directly to the book at a particular site is that it gives preference to that site for anyone who may be interested in purchasing the item being referenced. By using the ISBN number, it improves impartiality and neutrality in the commercial linking, as the user then receives a link to a list of multiple sites from which the book may be available. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:01, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I too support the belief that as a non-profit organization, Wikipedia should not be giving preference to certain sites over others. However, as with Wikipedia articles, I generally like to see reliable sources in the form of a policy, guideline, or a discussion where a consensus has been reached. If one cannot be found, perhaps the current policies/guidelines should be amended.Smallman12q (talk) 21:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Biruitorul that WP:ELNO #15 addresses this. I suppose it's a question of how you define and distinguish "tools". To me, a template is not a tool - so a referencing template would not be a tool; instead, I view tools as items such as the ones found in Wikipedia's "special pages" such as Special:BookSources, or external applications such as . --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Links to sites already linked through Wikipedia sourcing tools. For example, instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site, consider the "ISBN" linking format, which gives readers an opportunity to search a wide variety of free and non-free book sources. Wikipedia:Map sources can be linked by using geographical coordinates.


I interpret sourcing tools as sourcing templates such as {{cite book}} and other citation/reference templates. The other portion states :Links to sites already linked through. What is your interpretation of already linked through? (I'm just trying to gather a thorough consensus=D)Smallman12q (talk) 22:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Addition-It also say For example, instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site, consider the "ISBN" linking format, but it doesn't say anything about doing both. I've always thought that as much info in a reference as possible is good. Please comment.Smallman12q (talk) 22:05, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
At this point, I suppose it would be more productive to move this conversation to WT:EL, so that the discussion has better visibility to help build a concensus. But on the specific wording, I would view the sourcing tool as Special:BookSources, and referencing templates as mearly convenience methods to link to the tool. I also interpret "already linked through" to mean any source which can be potentially linked via the sourcing tool in the special pages (ie: older books that pre-date the ISBN numbers would not be linkable through the sourcing tool). Note for clarification: by using an ISBN number, a link is automatically created that routes through the Special:BookSources tool. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 22:10, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I've added the conversation above...any comments? (Am I misinterpreting something?)Smallman12q (talk) 22:18, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

If the link is being used as a reference, than WP:EL doesn't apply; see the paragraph starting, "The subject of this guideline is external links that are not citations of article sources..." But I certainly agree that the {{cite book}} url parameter shouldn't add a link to a commercial site where the book can be purchased, it should be used when the book itself is available online. At least one editor also uses the url parameter to link to the book's official site, but this usage is disputed (see related discussion). --Muchness (talk) 22:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Update: Ongoing discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Bookseller links in cite book. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 18:16, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

add links

Dear webmaster, My name is Ava, I have read your guidelines on external links. I would like to add my links, this is the info:

Title: Home Security Products URL: http:// www. security 2020 .com Description: Security2020, supply various kinds of security products to make your home secure.

Thanks! Any question, please send email to let me know: XXXX —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:42, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

That site would never pass WP:EL rules for inclusion on any article. It's just a site trying to sell stuff. DreamGuy (talk) 16:46, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Refer to external links section?

In cases in which it is tempting to put an external link in the text, but this guideline recommends putting it in the external links section, is it appropriate to put in something like:

...blah blah blah(see External links).

perhaps with the text being hyperlinked to the section?

Thanks, Ccrrccrr (talk) 12:51, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I think the appropriate thing to do would be to put it in a footnote. Shreevatsa (talk) 13:16, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Shreevatsa, if the article has, or could easily have, footnotes. I'm not sure that there's a perfect solution in other cases. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:20, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Proposed ELNO #2 exception

In regards to this revert, it seems to me that the reverted exception accurately describes the usual practice. Creation science#External links, for example, contains links to pro-creationism websites, as do the External Links of other creationism related articles which are not about any specific individual or organization (and thus do not meet the overriding "official site of the article's subject" exemption.) Dowsing#External links includes links to the sites of several dowsing organizations. Biorhythms#External links appears to contain links to pro-biorhythm sites, even though the subject is categorized as pseudoscience. I could probably find more examples. Now, the exception for #2 would not be a freebie, since many such sites would fail other WP:ELNO criteria, especially #5 and #11. PSWG1920 (talk) 19:35, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Editors can ignore all the rules if they need to, but I don't think that enshrining an official exception for "examples" of a viewpoint is a good idea. It's likely to encourage examples just for the sake of having examples.
Furthermore, these links aren't usually (solely) for the purpose of providing an example. You might link to a creationist website because of the organizations prominence, not to provide an example of 'a website by some random people that claim to believe this'. Users can ask Mr Google if they just want examples. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:12, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
"You might link to a creationist website because of the organizations prominence, not to provide an example of 'a website by some random people that claim to believe this'." I believe that a "website by some random people" is excluded by WP:ELNO #11. PSWG1920 (talk) 20:26, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Not really: Anyone can create a website that appears to be run by a "real" organization. For that matter, in most parts of the world, a single individual can actually create a bona fide organization, and then start a website. A website for the Society I Made Up Today wouldn't actually fail a "blogs and personal webpages" test. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:40, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps, then, another criteria is needed to exclude sites with no independent evidence of notability? Your argument still doesn't address the examples I gave above. And to clarify, by "examples" I meant articles whose external links violate the current wording of #2. PSWG1920 (talk) 20:46, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
The guideline already plainly covers that. 2005 (talk) 00:30, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Where? If you mean ELNO #11, that apparently is not enough per WhatamIdoing's comment above. PSWG1920 (talk) 00:58, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Everywhere. "neutral and accurate material", "minimal, meritable, and directly relevant", "recognized authority", etc. How can something be by a recognized authority but have no evidence of notability? It's just impossible. This guideline has enough problems with saying the same thing over and over, we don't need to do it again. 2005 (talk) 01:57, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I reverted. I don't think you should add in an exception, especially as the wording would basically make the whole listing pointless as all links to bad info are about the viewpoint being discussed already. If it's misleading info instead of just controversial then we shouldn;t link to it at all. 21:48, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
The question is, what is the current practice? (Since guidelines and policies exist to describe rather than dictate.) I'm sure that scientists could point out many, many misleading statements on any creationist website. Does that then exclude them as ELs? Practice seems to say no. PSWG1920 (talk) 22:21, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I've been looking through the history of this clause, an activity which I have found helpful in other cases where something didn't quite make sense. So far I note this: The issue I raised here, including the very example which I was using was brought up in February 2006. Note the change which was then made. [13] This apparently stood for months but was then partially removed rather inconspicuously and perhaps unintentionally, in a reorganization. [14] PSWG1920 (talk) 02:03, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

I now see that the "What should be linked to" criteria were at that time seen as overriding "Links to normally avoid". [15]. "What should be linked to" #4 was in this reorganization apparently seen as covering the "or it is a notable proponent of a point of view in an article with multiple points of view" exception in what is now ELNO #2. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:31, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
[16] It now appears to me that the concept of "What should be linked" overriding "links normally to be avoided" was subsequently lost, leaving "official site of the article's subject" as the only exception. As far as (what is now) ELNO #2 is concerned, the eventual removal of "or it is a notable proponent of a point of view in an article with multiple points of view" looks to have been an accident, which occurred in the process of multiple large-scale reorganizations. Between that and the fact that the old exception still seems to apply in practice, I think this is grounds for reinstating it. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:50, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

From above: Excluding "sites with no independent evidence of notability" means excluding nearly every non-official website in the entire encyclopedia. Many appropriate external links will not meet WP:N.

As for the three articles you name above, WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS doesn't invalidate the rule. IMO, the overwhelming majority of articles do not benefit, and could be harmed, from links to misleading or unreliable information, even if the website is associated with a notable person. AIDS denialism should not have links to Thabo Mbeki's government's denialist website, or to Kary Mullis's denialist website, or to Peter Duesberg's denialist website, even though these three people are very clearly notable, and very clearly notable specifically for their prominence in AIDS denialism. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:33, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

In that example, I'm not sure why those links necessarily shouldn't be present in that article, if they're labeled as AIDS Denialist sites. Wikipedia is not censored. But of course it may have been decided there that those links were best left out.
In regards to this, I think I've shown above that the exception in question was originally added as a result of discussion, and then over time was edited out quite by accident. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:53, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with WhatamIdoing, we don't want to have links to unreliable or misleading information. Otherwise, we could have external links that promote the Bates Method or other similar nonsense that is not only misleading, but could hurt people. Dlabtot (talk) 05:38, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
PSWG1920, you have certainly not demonstrated that it "was edited out quite by accident". You have demonstrated that it was removed in 2006 while other changes were made, but not that the change was accidental. And again: you have 100% opposition at the current time. The fact that some editors in 2006 supported its inclusion, and apparently didn't oppose its removal later, are not sufficient reasons for forcing your choice into the page over the active opposition of 100% of all editors that have responded in 2009. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:20, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Apparently its removal was not accidental: It was removed during a long discussion while this page was protected due to edit warring. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:25, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the discussion link. As best I can tell, it was actually removed a bit before that—but only because it was seen as redundant. Note the language of the version in the discussion you link to. At the top of "Links normally to be avoided": "Except where noted, the below do not override the list of what should be linked to; for example, if the subject of an article has an official website, then it should be linked to even if it contains factually inaccurate material." From "What should be linked to": "3. On articles with multiple points of view, a link to prominent sites dedicated to each, with a detailed explanation of each link." "What to be linked to" was seen here as overriding "Links normally to be avoided", a concept which has since been lost. See also this edit from 22 June 2006, which as best I can tell is when the clause in question was removed. The purpose was not to change the meaning. To sum it up, "unless it is the official site of the article's subject or it is a notable proponent of a point of view in an article with multiple points of view" was removed from the restriction in question only because it was seen as redundant. Some time later the concept which had made it redundant, that of one section overriding another, was lost, apparently in another reorganization in about November 2006. This is why it seems to me the ultimate removal was an accident. PSWG1920 (talk) 09:40, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Why do you keep saying "lost"? There was a long discussion on the guideline where it was substantially rewritten, and then achieved a level of consensus previously thought to be quite unlikely. Stuff removed was removed for a reason. Redundancy was cut down in some places. 2005 (talk) 11:54, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I guess "lost" was the wrong word here. To put it another way, "unless ... it is a notable proponent of a point of view in an article with multiple points of view" was once an explicit exception to (what is now) ELNO #2. Later, that clause was removed from ELNO #2, only because it was redundant to what was at that time an overriding exception. Later, it was apparently decided that that criterion and the others except for "official site of the article's subject" should not trump everything in ELNO (probably a good decision.) What seemed to go unnoticed was that "unless ... it is a notable proponent of a point of view in an article with multiple points of view" was once specifically associated with ELNO #2 and removed only because it had been redundant to what had become an overriding exception (not because it was rejected as an exception there.) This is why it seems to me that the removal of this exception from #2 was an unintended fluke. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:09, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

More examples

See Inedia#External links and Abortion breast cancer hypothesis#External links. Each contains links to four proponents of the respective viewpoints. Both would definitely be considered misleading, from the majority viewpoint perspective. More evidence that ELNO #2 as is does not describe actual practice. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:43, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't know anything about Inedia, but Abortion breast cancer hypothesis suffers from a tendentious editor (IMO) and I do not recommend accepting it as a representative example of anything -- not WP:NPOV, not WP:DUE, not WP:WTA, not WP:BETTER, not WP:EL (fourteen links?!). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:53, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
Examples are irrelevant. This is guideline. Exceptions can be made, and also exceptions that most sane people would think should not be exceptions are sometimes brute force made anyway. Beyond that though, ELNO #2 very clearly does describe actual practice. The vast majority of articles don't have or call out links to factually inaccurate content. The fact that some articles do, well, some articles suck in many ways. Rooting those out isn't our mission here. We are here to make a guideline that makes sense, and does follow general consensus. Linking to non-notable nutbag sources is not the norm, even if some articles have such links. 2005 (talk) 09:15, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
That's the argument? I could provide examples "proving" that we link to blatant spam and torrent downloads and anything else explicitly forbidden by WP:EL if a couple of examples of an article doing so is supposed to be proof of anything. Frankly, the "actual practice" argument is always a bad one on pages like this, because it typically means "I was ignorant of the rules and was told I can't do what I was doing and want to continue to do, so now I want to change the rules to match up with my ignorance instead of admitting I was wrong." DreamGuy (talk) 16:43, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Note that I gave more examples at the top of this thread.
As for "I could provide examples "proving" that we link to blatant spam and torrent downloads", I think the difference is that those type of links only remain as long as they effectively go unnoticed, and then if they are re-added repeatedly there will more than likely be sanctions of some kind. Not sure that is the case with the examples I cited here. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:44, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
All of the examples listed here lead to external link sections that need to be pruned as per this guideline. I think ArbCom recently upheld this point pretty firmly at Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Prem_Rawat_2#External_links, ruling that Typically, resources that provide neutral and accurate material, but whose contents are - for reason of detail, copyright limitations, or otherwise - beyond the scope of inclusion in Wikipedia, should be linked to. Resources whose contents are ultimately germane for inclusion in Wikipedia ought not be linked, but rather their contents should be incorporated into the article. Resources which are not sufficiently neutral or accurate to stand alone, but which nevertheless provide useful material, should similarly be incorporated into the article, where context and complementary material may be provided to address the problem of neutrality or accuracy. If this is not possible or not appropriate in the circumstances, then the resource should not be linked to. ThemFromSpace 13:53, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

4 on demand

I'm not sure whether this has been dealt with before, but I'm currently involved in a duscission with a user who keeps adding a 4 on demand link to an article about a recent film on Channel 4 (4od being similar to the BBC's iPlayer). I removed it believing it appears to be in breach of out External link guidelines, particularly those relating to Longevity of Links. I'm interested in gauging the opinion of others on this matter as if I'm correct we may need to cover this issue in the guidelines. Any thoughts? TheRetroGuy (talk) 13:09, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I think you were looking for WP:RFC or WP:3O?--Otterathome (talk) 13:32, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I might post a comment there, but this really affects External link policy since lots of programmes are available to watch online for a while after they've been on TV. Do we add them as links given the fact that they're only available for a limited amount of time? BBC programmes can generally be watched for a week to 21 days after they've been shown, and ITV and Channel 4 shows for a bit longer. TheRetroGuy (talk) 13:40, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Third opinion requested on individual case. TheRetroGuy (talk) 13:49, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

We're not a web directory, so there's no reason to link to them, especially with them being taken down often, frequently only being available in specific geographic areas, requiring third-party plug ins, etc. DreamGuy (talk) 20:53, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

ELNO #2 points to non-existent RS section

We seem to have a problem with the pointer to WP:RS in WP:ELNO #2. RS no longer has a section defining the relevant terms. Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute is the closest I've come, and it's not very close. Does anyone have any good ideas about fixing this? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:21, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Good observation. My suggestion would be to remove (what is currently) #2 from the list and replace it with a subsection below explaining how such links are handled. It seems to me that the actual accepted practice here is a bit too complicated to describe in one or two sentences. PSWG1920 (talk) 19:06, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
We can explain ourselves without linking to another page, so that is all that needs to be done. The text can be pulled from somewhere else, or made up here. 2005 (talk) 23:44, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
In regards to this revert, it seems to me that the actual accepted practice here is less than plain, per the examples in the above thread. I attempted to nuance the text in the new subsection to reflect that. At the same time I got rid of the wording "factually inaccurate material" and "unverifiable research", which link to non-existent explanations. PSWG1920 (talk) 01:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
They don't need to link to anything. You really should articulate what you are advocating. The existing text is quite clear. Do you not like something about it? if so, what? And then, why? What do you think is a better concept? Once again, forget the examples as they are completely irrelevant. The guideline should say what the guideline should say, regardless of how some random articles are structured. 2005 (talk) 03:14, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
Again, my issue is that guidelines are meant to be descriptive of accepted practice and not prescriptive of such. Therefore examples are relevant, that is, if we can point them out and yet they are allowed to remain despite getting the attention. In my last edit I tried to more accurately describe what seems to be the accepted practice, which is less than clear-cut but definitely not reflected in the current wording. PSWG1920 (talk) 03:55, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
And the guideline does represent accepted practice. Once again, pointing out a few exceptions is totally irrelevant. This is a guideline for general practices. If some dozens of articles go in a different way because of consensus for that article, fine. 2005 (talk) 10:49, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Let's try a smaller question: Does this guideline need to define what "factually inaccurate" and "unverifiable research" mean? Or is the plain old dictionary definition good enough? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I really dislike "factually inaccurate", as that is subject to a lot of interpretation, as is "unverifiable" to some degree. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:21, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
No we don't need to define those terms, any more than we need to define every/any term in the guideline. The guideline is not utterly rigid. Editors of different articles will always interpret the fine line of guidelines differently. "Factually inaccurate" is about as clear as it can be, and all but a miniscule amount of articles follow that lead, so it's fine with just the one sentence. It really is approaching CREEP to go much beyond that. 2005 (talk) 10:49, 20 May 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the link to the (non-existent) "definitions". If we hear of disputes about this, we can address them at that time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:41, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Link management and fair play

My two cents about the external links. Something clear have to be done. Some members delete, censor or vandalize (Call it the name you want, depending on your point of view.) the latest external links additions based on this external link policy. That's ok, but it is played fair. If you want by to play by the book, be honest and clean up the whole array in the lists you edit, not just the latest link.

In the trucks and bus articles,,, Flickr groups and stuff like that are not appropriate and have to be removed as well or undo your deletions. Keep just the corporate links and it would really look as an advertissement edited by the company itself. The credibilty is not only in the rules, but the way they used. --Villager57 (talk) 02:27, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia has two and a half million articles. The dozen or so editors that regularly watch this page can't, and don't, watch links in all of them. I recommend that you "be the change that you want to see" on this issue. You're every bit as empowered to do this as anyone else. As for the editors that remove (your?) links without reviewing the old ones: they may be thinking that it's bad, but at least they're keeping it from getting any worse. I'd encourage them to do more, rather than just complaining about them here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:27, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Is the external links symbol supposed to be on internal links?

Is the external links symbol supposed to be on internal links? On User talk:Emmette Hernandez Coleman#Whales I say it is not, Jack Merridew says in certain cases it is.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 19:51, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

This edit explains what the question is about. (Examples are helpful, when you are asking for advice about specific edits. :)
I agree with Jack, that it is unnecessary. It could even be considered confusing, as editors are used to edit-diff links appearing styled as external links. Changing them on a case-by-case basis is a bad idea. Either get the software changed, so that all edit-diffs are styled as internal links, or leave them alone. My 2c. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:33, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't suppose it's doing any harm if editors want to use <span class="plainlinks">[link]</span> markup to suppress the external link arrow on such links in their own comments. In addition to the possible confusion noted above, the main problems I see are that they make them look like interwikimedia links and they add excess code for no particular usability gain. Per WP:TPO, it is certainly inappropriate to edit another user's signed comments to add this code, as you're enforcing a personal stylistic preference not fixing a formatting error. --Muchness (talk)
About my editing other people's comments to remove the external link symbol, in retrospect (this word is probably grossly misspelled, please correct its spelling then remove this notice), I should not have done it, and I apologise. It was in good faith, but stupid.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 22:20, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
The main problem with not doing so is that it makes internal links look like external links.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 21:59, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
It's not an external link symbol. It's a symbol indicating a complete URL, and it's doing its job just fine. pablohablo. 22:10, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
That is dabateabule ,and I am pretty sure, that is disputed.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 22:50, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
What is the point of "a symbol indicating a complete URL"?--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 23:00, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
It tells the reader "if you click here, there's a chance that you'll end up at some completely unrelated website."
This is not the right page to discuss the format of links on user talk pages. I don't know what page would be the right one, but I am convinced that this is not it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:08, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you have just made my point for me, and worded it better then I could. If that is the only purpose, then only external links should have the symbol.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 00:31, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
You forget to sign you're post, would you please do so by adding ~~~~ after you're above post.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 00:24, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Until, we can find the correct page this one will have to do--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 00:24, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I did not forget to sign my message; you replied in the middle of it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:28, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, on the edit page it looked like 2 posts.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 13:15, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
It looked like two paragraphs. It is neither necessary nor appropriate to place a sig at the end of every single paragraph in a multi-paragraph message. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:59, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
and cutting-in like that is disruptive and just plain rude. cheers, Jack Merridew 03:47, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Regardless of if internal links using a full URL should have the symbol or not is, to me, is a secondary issue. The true question that I'm seeing is if it's appropriate to use <span class="plainlinks">[link]</span> to hide the symbol or not. The answer is usually not - and certainly not if it involves editing a talk post made by a different user, or editing a userpage of a different user. The only appropriate time that I see for using it are either on your own user/talk page, or in some header links (such as "click here to create a new section", etc) - but even then, still not on someone else's user space.
This type of thing should not be forced via stylistic tools. If the community should decide that internal full-URL links should be formatted the same as internal links, then that should be submitted as a proposal at the village pump, where if agreed the developers can work on making a change to the mediawiki software to make it happen throughout the wiki.
Oh, and incidentally ... regardless of if the "plainlinks" tag is being used or not, the link is still currently recognized as a full URL by the Mediawiki software - the simplest way to demonstrate this is to have you place the following code in your monobook.css page: #bodyContent a.external { color: #005500 }
Once added, refresh your cache, then all links using a full URL will be in green (including those links using the "plainlinks" tag), while internal links remain blue (be sure to remove this code from your monobook.css page afterwards and refresh your cache again - unless you want to keep full URLs green). --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 03:57, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

The diff to an edit of mine, one of a bunch undoing EHC, used an edit summary of “not appropriate” and I was referring to his imposing his view of the link on the comment of another user. The icon in question, external.png (oh, the irony), is named “external” and this name and likely the original intent was for links to off-site. There are of course millions of on-site link that use full urls which are being styled with the icon. Personally, I could support the idea of tweaking the site css to distinguish between WMF domains and the unequivocally external. Part of that discussion would concern non-WMF wikis such as Wikia. The argument that icon is needed to distinguish between internal links and fully qualified urls is weak; they are already styled in different shades of blue; your skin may vary and anyone is free to use personal styling. The implementation of this disambiguation is fairly straightforward and only involves tweaks to the css; modern browsers only, please. No need to change MediaWiki itself.

The larger issue here is what User:Emmette Hernandez Coleman is up to. I noticed him a few days ago having an inappropriate interest in Jimbo’s userpage, followed by this plainlinks nonsense — which he may have picked-up from me, as I do use it in some of my posts. Looking over his talk page and past contribs, I see a long pattern of mildly disruptive editing, and the regular admonishment of those who raise concerns with him as being “too harsh”. So, Emmette seem to be seeking some attention here and folks might want to step back and review the bigger picture, including our chat on his talk page. Emmette, can you hear me now? Cheers, Jack Merridew 04:36, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

What I am up to is irreverent for the purposes of if the "external links symbol" is supposed to be on internal links. When debating, it it usually best to attack the argument, not the arguer.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 17:28, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
think of it as a holistic approach. cheers, Jack Merridew 03:47, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Resolved: That anyone who changes the order or numbering in ELNO should be whacked with a wet trout

I see that there have been a few interesting changes recently, since reverted. I want to express my alarm at the idea of messing with the order or number of WP:ELNO (or other similar sections) for any reason less dire than preventing the complete destruction of the earth. I think that sticking new items into the middle of that list is a very WP:TROUTy choice. Efforts to group related items must take second place to the thousands of times that editors have identified issues solely by number when removing or discussing links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:14, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

MySpace question

I know, and mostly agree with, the EL policy on MySpace links — but I'd note that an increasing number of musical groups now use only a MySpace profile as their main "official" webpage and don't maintain a separate website, with the result that if the MySpace page isn't an allowable EL then there's no longer any valid EL that can be provided for the topic at all. Accordingly, I'm wondering if the policy should be updated to reflect that a MySpace page may be an acceptable EL if it's the topic's primary "official" website. Bearcat (talk) 18:52, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Isn't that already currently the policy? Or guideline or whatever? That hasn't changed recently, has it? DreamGuy (talk) 18:58, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
It may be accepted practice, but it's not reflected here in the written policy. Bearcat (talk) 19:03, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Sure it is. Official sites are the first thing listed in WP:ELYES. MySpace is listed as normally avoided, but things normally avoided aren't avoided if there's some reason to include them. If MySpace is the main official site then we list it, per "Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject—and not prohibited by restrictions on linking—one should avoid:" at the top of WP:ELNO. DreamGuy (talk) 19:13, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
That's not specific or clear enough to suffice; it requires the average reader to infer an intention into the phrasing as written. Most readers of this policy don't have that depth of knowledge and will simply point to the fact that MySpace is listed as an ELNO without even considering whether it's the topic's primary "official" site or not. When the letter of a policy isn't clear enough on what's allowable and what isn't, in my experience, it creates unnecessary conflict that can be avoided by simply making the letter of the policy clearer and less prone to ambiguity. Bearcat (talk) 19:18, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't really see a big problem, but if you have a suggestion on how to make it clearer, by all means feel free to suggest one. DreamGuy (talk) 19:27, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Bearcat, you shouldn't be having this problem. It's not just at the top of WP:ELYES and in bold-faced type at the start of WP:ELNO, there's a footnote in the specific ELNO item (#10) that directly addresses this issue! If people can't be bothered to read an entire sentence, then I'm really not sure that the problem can be solved through re-writing this guideline. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:49, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
The guideline is quite clear that official sites are not subject to ELNO. We say it in bold right at the start. 2005 (talk) 00:09, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Links to Timesonline, Times Literary Supplement, etc

I've been advised to bring the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam#User:Michael Caines to your collective attention. Thank you! almost-instinct 17:45, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

External links in BLPs

I was wondering if this would be an improved wording:

"The decision to add external links is to provide further useful information and analysis related to the subject, or major areas within their lives, of an additional or in depth nature beyond that appropriate to Wikipedia. While not always expected to be completely neutral, they should collectively be balanced, their utility, credibility and collective balance should outweigh any imbalance in any one link, and they should not be used egregiously as a means to introduce advocative stances, BLP breaching content, or other material in breach of Wikipedia policies."

(For articles generally as opposed to BLPs, replace "related to the subject, or major areas within their lives" by "related to the topic".)

FT2 (Talk | email) 15:17, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

External links to geographically-limited groups

I'd like other people's input on when it's appropriate to link to organizations related to a specific topic that only cover a small geographic area. I removed a link because it seemed of interest only to a very small community of people, with the "not a directory" explanation. An editor who had not previously edited that article reverted me without explanation, something he has a tendency to do (if it kees up I will file a wikihounding investigation). I'd like the input of people I know deal with EL issues more often and who will make a judgment based upon its merits instead of personality. DreamGuy (talk) 17:13, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

In this case, at a glance, I'd say that site's primary page is not a useful EL, but their subpage on the history of the movement (as it specifically relates to their region) might be useful somewhere. But it's already being used as a citation, so another link is not justified (unless the region is somehow a core component of the philosophy, which it doesn't appear to be). -- Quiddity (talk) 18:08, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I would have removed the link as well, for exactly the same reason as DreamGuy, although I think that Quiddity's reasons are even better. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:31, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Anyone up for reverting the individual who reverted my removal of the link, then? DreamGuy (talk) 22:08, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Pretty Litte Liars Source

I really want a link for this Pretty Little Liars site : ! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

You Tube

The guide indicates that we dont have a specific ban on links to YouTube but doesnt this contradict with links to be avoided #8 in that the user is required to use (and download) external applications (such as Flash or Java) to view. MilborneOne (talk) 22:27, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

That is a bit of a contradiction. I do not see Flash as an 'external' application, as it is usually installed as a plugin/ActiveX control in the browser, which allows the content to be shown inline. EdokterTalk 22:52, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
You can ignore that, see Wikipedia_talk:External_links/Archive_24#.22Emerging_markets.22_penetration_of_Flash_players. But youtube links are rarely appropriate anyway.--Otterathome (talk) 22:55, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
ELNO #8 is specifically concerned with direct links (to instead of because that could be incredibly confusing to a user and leave them with absolutely nothing (whereas a page with an embedded video might contain, e.g., a bit of descriptive text that is readable without the special software), although you're right that in most cases the "direct" and "indirect" links are equally useless to the person without the software, and I think the majority of Wikipedia editors interpret that item as broadly as you have.
More importantly, it's ELNO, not ELNEVER. If the editors of an article have good reasons to set aside an ELNO issue, then they can agree to do so. For rich media links, they will probably want to consider all the usual reasons (copyvio? any good content? unique resource? WP:NOT#LINKS?), plus total file size (not everyone has broadband access), accessibility to readers worldwide, and the likelihood that the specific rich media software is installed/functioning for a wide majority of readers. And, yes, large file sizes (even if streamed) and the required software should be noted. There's no good reason not to, and it's friendly to our readers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:39, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

We do not have a specific ban on YouTube, but based upon the standards required for ELs, YouTube links will almost never be valid ones. The fact that this continues to confuse people means the section needed clarification again, which I have attemtped to do. DreamGuy (talk) 23:52, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree with DreamGuy's wording on the project page. And at the same time I have been adding external links to YouTube videos where the video appears to be public domain or uploaded by the copyright owner. I also add "(needs Flash)", even though ELNO #8 does not apply to html pages. For examples see my edits that add old Edison (who died 1931) film clips: [17], [18], and this added several to 1898. I wonder if similar "good" (I hope) examples might be shown on the project page to guide users? An "External link casebook" like the Commons:Image casebook maybe? 84user (talk) 06:22, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
After a recent discussion with a user contributing YouTube link to their piano performance on a composer page, I had difficulty deciding how to apply the guidance. Good examples would be useful, particularly for such amateur video as though the contributor may say "that's me!" I don't think YouTube has any simple way of officially showing the copyright status. I certainly had difficulty evaluating "for inclusion with due care" as this seems to rely on judgement rather than simply checking a copyright declaration (as you might do with video on Flickr).—Teahot (talk) 07:36, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Looks like the issue is still confusing, my original point was that I cant see anything in my browser without loading an extra bit of software, hence my query about avoided #8. We also have users adding random YouTube links which dont allways add value to the article - although I cant tell as I cant see them! Perhaps some clarification is required. MilborneOne (talk) 08:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
MilborneOne, are these direct links to the video (you will get an entirely blank screen or an error message about not having the software), or do they go to the YouTube page, where the video part of the page is non-functional, but you can (for example) read the title, the name of the person submitting it, and so forth? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:17, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
No the links I was looking at are on Tengah Air Base go to the description page where I get Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player. I have turned on Javascript for YouTube and downloaded a flash player so I can now see the videos. Point being I couldnt see it without some positive action on my behalf. Not sure most of the YouTube links I have looked at add any real value to the articles assuming that they are not copyrighted. MilborneOne (talk) 19:28, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Okay: These are not "direct links". ELNO #8, if you look at it, is specifically about the importance of avoiding "direct links", not "links to regular webpages that have video on them". Do you understand why ELNO #8 does not apply to these specific links (whose value, of course, may be entirely suspect for other reasons)? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:07, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks - OK I understand the difference but you still need to do something to see the video, the fact it is not a direct link would not be understood by most users. If you link to the holding page and cant see the video it is probably a worthless link as they are not really regular webpages. I would still suggest that the guidelines are looked at again to make it clearer to editors what is allowed although it may be simpler to remove the use of links to YouTube pages or videos mainly as the copyright issues are a minefield. MilborneOne (talk) 22:33, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
You can certainly discuss them with the other editors at the page. Having looked at a bit of each link, I don't think that we need to worry about copyright, since they are uploaded by a user whose name matches the news service that appears in the videos. However, they don't see to actually be about the air force base itself, and so they probably fail the most basic "links need to be on-topic" requirements. I'd start there with a bold discussion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:39, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Should links be grouped according to Pro and Con?

This is how it is on the Oneness Pentecostal article. Is it normal to divide the external links into subsections? Ltwin (talk) 17:57, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

The only guidance seems to be at WP:LAYOUT, "Format: External links should be arranged in a bulleted list, with a short description of the link and no blank lines between items. By convention, if the article is about a company or organization, then its official website is the first link in the list." I'm not convinced it's a good idea, although other articles do it. WP:NPOV might be relevant but not necessarily in this article. Dougweller (talk) 14:58, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
My main question would be: why are there so many EL's that they need to be sectionalized? WP:YESPOV would suggest that good, high-quality representative links from each major viewpoint be included, but EL suggests they be minimized, so my suggestion would be to pare the links, include them in a unified EL section, and document each link's perspective in an NPOV manner. Jclemens (talk) 16:51, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I second Jclemens question about having so many that you need to organize them.
Such links should be labeled per WP:EL#Avoid_undue_weight_on_particular_points_of_view: "Add comments to these links informing the reader of their point of view." Dividing links into "Pro" and "Con" groups may be an effort to comply with this directive.
Generally, I don't have a problem with such divisions/labels, so long as this doesn't produce contention about how a given link gets classified. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:48, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I think they should be clearly and accurately labeled so people know what they'd be going to see if they click the link. Explicitly dividing between pro and con is one way to do that, but it's not the only way to do so. It'd be better to clear describe each link on the line giving the link. DreamGuy (talk) 18:55, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
It's weird that the article only has pro and con links. Aren't there any unbiased resources? If it is only pro and con, having five pro and three con seems weird too. 2005 (talk) 21:10, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

"By convention, if the article is about a company or organization, then its official website is the first link in the list."

This text does not appear on this page, but it does appear on the Wikipedia:Layout page. If it belongs anywhere it belongs here. Should we integrate it? Agradman (talk) 20:34, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Here is some more text that I found at Wikipedia:Layout#External_links that doesn't appear here. Again, if it appears anywhere it should appear here. Agradman (talk) 22:05, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

"Links to Wikimedia sister projects other than Wiktionary and Wikisource (e.g. Commons, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikispecies and Wikiversity) should generally appear here. External links can be in the form "Main page at Wikibooks", {{wikibooks}}, or {{wikibooks-inline}}. See Category:Interwiki link templates to check whether an inline template exists."

I don't think it needs to be stated here; Wikipedia:External links has more to do with the content of external links, rather than the formatting of external links. EVula // talk // // 22:07, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I ask partly because I've proposed making some clarifications and deletions to Wikipedia:Layout, and the things I'm mentioning here don't really belong there either. Agradman (talk) 22:28, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't happen to favor adding any of this information here, but I think the decision relatively unimportant. However, whether or not it is repeated here, the location of WP:SISTER links must stay at WP:LAYOUT because it gives information about what to do with these links in articles that have no external links section. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:47, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

MySpace, WP:EL, XLinkBot, ArbCom: Need for consistent, detailed rules

1) Since I do a fair amount of external MySpace link removal, I decided to take a stab at putting all the salient factors together in one place. That includes MySpace links where I don't make a decision at all, lacking information, or if for any other reasons I feel "uncomfortable" about judging the situation. One purpose for this is that a few editors felt they were "getting the run around", when, for clarity, I cited only part of the factors. Here is my effort: [19]. I invited a couple editors to comment, got moderately positive feedback, and was about to ask for more, here.

2) However, a couple days ago, I discovered that XLinkBot is removing *all* MySpace links added by new users and IPs (once only). [20]. I have asked for clarification, because it seemed XLinkBot is working with a different set of rules than I compiled. Especially: "If you are a 'new' editor, different rules apply to you." (I believe the XLinkBot "position" is defensible from a pragmatic point-of-view, but I'm not going to second guess now, let Dirk Beetstra explain when he's back from vacation.)

3) Today however, an angry administrator came to my page asking why I was deleting MySpace pages. Apparently they hadn't seen the recently revised MySpace that was all smoothed out. In the process I discovered that *I* had not seen the latest version of the footnote. So I thought: no problem, I'll just go back and update my "compiled guidelines" to reflect the change. Now I'm an unhappy camper, because before the addition of this phrase to the footnote...

"more than one official website should be listed only when the additional links provide unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites"

...I was secure in defending the removal of a particular MySpace external link. Now I'm afraid to touch them at all, because just about anybody could claim that the "Official MySpace" site has unique content beyond that of the "Official Non-MySpace" site. (A different blog, concert schedules, or background music.) I'm assuming...after all, I may have to explain an edit I made in the past at any time...that what is meant in the footnote is "unique, encyclopedic content".

4) ThemFromSpace seems to be saying something of the kind by citing ArbCom, above: [21]. But that seems to place far more emphasis on getting material from MySpace links into the Wiki article. And none on whether someone is a "new user", for example. None on some situations that I consider in my "compiled guidelines", for example, when there's an official German and an official English page for a German rock group.

It isn't feasible to give the life history of WP:EL to every angry MySpace editor coming to my page! Ok, so there are only a few. But while doing anti-vandalism patrol, the more detailed, complete and resilient our policies and practices, the easier it is to answer an editor with an element of certainty. Regards all, Piano non troppo (talk) 22:25, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

  1. I like your FAQ about MySpace pages.
  2. XLinkBot is just playing the odds, and we want it to keep doing that. If the page is watched, good links will be restored.
  3. Updating the footnote to insist on "unique, encyclopedic content" is fine with me. At the time, my primary goal was simply to discourage idiotic muliplicity of links, like word-for-word duplications of content, and URLs whose sole content is "Click here to go to the other site." WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:56, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Hmm. Not too long ago, I have been checking XLinkBot reverts of MySpace links (see User:XLinkBot/Analysis#Official MySpace pages in external links). I checked 30 reverts, and evaluated of all of them the individual merit of the edit against WP:ELYES and WP:ELNO. XLinkBot indeed simply reverts ALL myspace links (under its rules: new editors/IPs only, only revert once, don't revert undo's, 3RR compliant, etc. etc.).

Looking at those 30 I investigated, about 11 reverts needed a closer look, 19 were absolutely NOT correct (the incorrect ones having analysis like: "'Vince Rones, random black guy' on page of school", "some link to a former band-member, not to the page of the band itself. Inappropriate place anyway, there should be a wikilink to the member, if notable enough", "a town in northeastern Italy, this is not the myspace of the town, but of an inhabitant, should be a wikilink if the inhabitant is notable enough.", "addition of other band members myspaces, not of the band (is already there)"; warning: I have been quite strict in reading WP:ELNO).

Those 11 'correct' ones were at least of the format "(subject of page)" or similar. But if we then look further, we see formations of linkfarms, dead links, redirecting myspaces, inofficial myspaces etc. etc.

I think that only one of the edits was reasonable in the end (i.e., there was already the official page, but not too many links, and the myspace may have added to the page); the other 29 could all be questioned significantly somehow in the end.

Now indeed, there are appropriate myspace pages out there, and they can add to the page. But, and then especially by unestablished users who are, generally, unfamiliar with our policies and guidelines seem to add quite some which are indeed questionable. XLinkBot tries to be very friendly on a first revert (the first revert is NOT a warning), and generally, the bot seems quite correct.

As a side-note, I have argued that the myspace revert rule by XLinkBot could maybe be replaced by a AbuseFilter warning, that may be a better way of doing it, as there are not very often cases where the link gets actually spammed. I hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:18, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Advocacy sites and charities

Have advocacy sites and charities been discusssed in the archives somewhere? I just culled a bunch from PTSD, I think they're captured generically by 10, 11 and 13 of ELNO but is it worth including something more specifically? Add one charity and inevitably every other national, regional and municipal one from across the world will jump on. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:21, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

We don't link to charity sites just for the sake of getting people to donate, and haven't for years. Now there may be a page of a site that has encyclopedic information that we could link to that happens to be on a charity site, but that should be on a case by case basis. DreamGuy (talk) 17:15, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
WP:MEDMOS#External_links might be relevant: "If the disease is very rare, then a manageable set of charitable organisations may be of encyclopaedic interest" (emphasis added). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:27, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
WP:EL restrictions trump anything some minor subset of the Manual of Style might say. Very rare or not there's no reason for it. DreamGuy (talk) 23:32, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
There's nothing in this guideline that says that every single link to any charity is always inappropriate, but my point (as I expected WLU to recognize) is that PTSD is decidedly not "very rare".
But why don't you pick one page for the conversation about why you think detailed, informative pages published by a non-profit organization are inherently inferior to similar pages published by a for-profit organization, and we'll only have it once? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:18, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
And why don't you try to avoid putting words into my mouth to try to win a straw man argument? I never said anything about for-profit organizations. The point here is that we link to information pages, not organizations that happen to just be about the topic. Sites that exist to have people donate money are not valid links. If a nonprofit has an informative page, then we link to that page, not the home page of the charity itself. I see two people here saying such links are inappropriate, so for you to insist otherwise and then also to force a subpage of a manual of style (!) page to try to set a policy on charity links while ignoring rules and consensus here is pretty silly. We are not here to promote causes, even ones most people can agree are good ones. There is no encyclopedic purpose to link to a charity, but of course we can link to pages with encyclopedic info. DreamGuy (talk) 20:56, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Your edit changed a fairly specific list of inappropriate links to (direct quotation) "Links to charitable organisations", and you asserted (direct quotation) "A MOS subpage cannot contradict WP:EL standards". The list you edited already called for informative pages instead of front doors, already banned fundraising pages, and so forth. Your change, however, also banned informative pages if they were part of a non-profit organization's website.
Note: there are only three kinds of organizations in this universe: governments, non-profits, and for-profits. if you ban all links to non-profit organizations, that leaves only links to governmental and for-profit websites. This is highly undesirable.
You also appear to be unable to show me exactly where all "[l]inks to charitable organisations" are banned in this guideline, or any individual editor that thinks the sweeping ban you added to all links to all pages at a charitable organization's website is a good idea. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:11, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Easiest thing to do is avoid all of them and link to the DMOZ category; that helps avoid a growing link farm. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:27, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

True, but the best thing to do is usually to link to webpages that provide detailed, accurate information along the lines described in WP:ELYES, without first determining whether those pages are part of a charitable org's website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:59, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Linkvio, ELNO question

A question has been raised at WP:CP about the inclusion of a specific link on Differintegral. Pending clarification of the issue, I have removed it. (See [22]) and opened a discussion at the talk page. Input on the issue would be appreciated, since currently there is dispute among several editors to the article as to whether the link is in violation of copyright. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:21, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I responded there... you say there's a dispute among several editors: where? Just on the editing of the page, or is it discussed on any talk page anywhere? I'd like to see what on earth kind of argument would be made to try to justify it, as it seems to be very clear cut from what I see. DreamGuy (talk) 21:05, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. The editors are the tagger and the restorer, who have gone back and forth in placing & removing. Sorry I didn't give very much information on it. I was kind of racing through the little backlog at CP. :) The CP listing said, "Strange case: one editor is insistently re-inserting a link to a scanned source hosted by an obscure Russian site." The original contributor said, "as I know links to Google Books are allowed where books are also scanned and also not in PD. This is the same case: domain belongs to a book search system, similar to google books" I tried to review the source myself, but couldn't. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:25, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Enumerating list of sites under Iran election DDOS

Some folks have been trying to list the Iraqi government websites which are being DDOS'd by Mousavi supporters in the Iranian election protest article, as discussed by their original contributor here. So far I have been removing them for violating WP:NOTLINK, but other than that is there any other particular policy that covers whether or not we should be listing these sites? Thank you. --Aeon17x (talk) 15:29, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

How about the general principle of being nice to the people we're linking to? If you've got a distributed denial of service attack, then providing the opportunity to "click here to add to the attack manually" is not very nice. A connection started by a person that is just curious takes exactly the same number of server resources as a connection started by a person that is malicious. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:54, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I've cleaned up the list a bit, labeled sites that need labels, and removed some of the more obviously inappropriate links. I'm not convinced that the campaign websites should be included, but presumably they're being considered "official websites" for the protest itself, instead of just for the campaign? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:13, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure either, they're in Persian. Although I suppose since the election is still being contested, the campaign websites would detail why their candidate are the true winners and why the protesters should keep supporting them. Probably. --Aeon17x (talk) 00:08, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
The last one is labeled as being the purported winner's protest coordination site; presumably the others have some similar content. If you get curious enough, you could always leave a note on the article's talk page, and see whether anyone can justify their inclusion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikis are more reliable/special than other websites?

Why do Wikis (not just Wikia wikis) get formatted as a This instead of This?--Otterathome (talk) 17:48, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

In the article text, or under ==External links==? Can you give me an example in a regular article? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:50, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Under external links, rarely in the article text. See Template:Wikia.--Otterathome (talk) 19:08, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm having trouble following this. Please provide concrete and clear examples -- like link to an EL section of a site with wiki links and normal links and briefly explain the difference so we can go check. Wikis shouldn't be treated as more special, but I want to see what you mean. DreamGuy (talk) 19:16, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Those links are on the interwiki map. See Help:Interwiki linking. - MrOllie (talk) 19:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The interwiki map is at Meta, and we don't control it. The Help: namespace is not an article, and therefore WP:EL does not apply to it.
Are you talking about things like Jim_Henson#External_links, which until a minute ago listed:
(It also used the Template:Muppets to direct readers to that wiki; I've removed the redundancy.)
I don't know why editors have chosen that format in this context. This discussion at the WIkia template suggests that some of them are determined to defend the formatting choice. The format would probably have to be changed globally, which would result in sister links (e.g., Wiktionary) also appearing like regular external links.
In any given article, you can change the formatting by replacing the template with a proper URL. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:01, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Removal of link mandated by EL guide

Resolved: Question asked and answered unanimously. [ Posted by DreamGuy 17:03, 22 June 2009 ] Resolution disputed per WP:BURO (see below). Milo 05:34, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Per the following guide, can I get some consensus and help in getting a long-standing and mandated external link restored?

WP:EL#What should be linked: "Wikipedia articles about any organization, person, web site, or other entity should link to the subject's official site, if any." [emphasis added]

The late academic and clinical research endocrinologist, Broda Barnes, MD,PhD, (1904-1988) created a medical research foundation with his name. Its website has been externally linked in the Broda Otto Barnes article since April, 2008, about a month after creation.[23]

== External links ==
* [ Broda O. Barnes M.D., Research Foundation Inc.]

Barnes' foundation link has been removed with the following edit-summary debate:

(diff) 17:58, 19 June 2009 Ronz (?External links: promotional, off-topic)

(diff) 20:20, 19 June 2009 Milomedes (?External links: rv - WP:EL#What should be linked "Wikipedia articles about any organization, person, web site, or other entity should link to the subject's official site, if any.")

(diff) 20:39, 19 June 2009 Verbal (Reverted to revision 297397947 by Ronz; that website isn't about the person. (TW))[24],

The first passing editor perhaps wasn't aware of the above EL guide.

The article was previously much longer.[25] The second regular editor has opportunistically made an excuse for another piecewise deletion in a POV stub-and-AfD campaign (see the AfD for a description of that too-frequent anti-project tactic). Milo 07:17, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Doesnt appear to be the official website of the subject but of a foundation, I would suggest it is not covered by the should link to the subject's official site guideline. MilborneOne (talk) 07:32, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Self-named foundations are of course official entities of many wealthy and professional persons, for reasons of taxes during life, and/or to project their social influence in life and beyond death, as was Dr. Barnes' intent.
But just in case, I've helpfully compiled a deletable-on-sight list of foundation external links, based on your "not covered" suggestion:
I think someone should inform regular editors of these rich, powerful, and famous person articles, that you categorically accept drive-by takedowns of their foundation links. Milo 10:06, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Just to make it clear I suggested the link wasnt covered by the should link to the subject's official site guideline that doesnt mean that the link to a related foundation can not be added by consensus. As it has been contested in the Broda Otto Barnes article it should go to the talk page to gain that consensus. MilborneOne (talk) 11:19, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree... it's not covered by the official site clause but could be included anyway as a valuable link if editors agree. DreamGuy (talk) 15:00, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I also believe that this is not the individual's own official website, and that the fact that the link is not "required" under WP:ELYES #1 doesn't tell you anything about whether it is "permitted" under the rest of the guideline. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:16, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

←This isn't about consensus links, it's about an apparent change to the "official site" link guide.
Dr. Barnes created his self-named foundation, and subsequently died in 1988. The World Wide Web was created in 1989. His foundation created a web site some time after that.
Sounds like you're making new sub-guide(s) that:

(1) Dead people can't have a WP official site, meaning that WP official sites cease to be WP official the instant a person dies; or
(2) people who died before 1989 can't have a WP official web site; or
(3) people who die before they create a WP official web site can never have one; or
(4) people who create organizations named after themselves, but don't request that their organization create a web site before they die, can never have a WP official web site, or
(5) people who create organizations named after themselves cannot have an official web site in the name of that self-named organization – so even if they requested that an organizational WP official web site be created, they can't have one; or
(6) other kinds of self-named organizations are ok to create official web sites, just not foundations, or
(7) no one can have a WP official site unless stamped with the official-site-proving words "OFFICIAL SITE OF (name)"; or
(8) some bureaucratic combination of the above, or others I haven't thought of.

Please clarify which ones caused Dr. Barnes and his foundation to lose their official web site link. Milo 18:55, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I am sorry you did not get the answer you expected but the site belongs to the Broda O. Barnes, M.D. Research Foundation, Inc. not the individual. Suggest you just add an explanation why you think the link adds value to the article and if nobody objects then you can then add it. MilborneOne (talk) 20:18, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
An objection has already been made as posted above, and it's not going to change. That makes it necessary to review what rights-like expectations a minority-viewpoint subject has, to limit censorship by POV stubbing. Milo 12:23, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
When proposing a link under WP:ELYES #1 in a biography, you have to present some compelling reason to believe that the site is actually an official website for the individual person. For example, Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple, Inc, and Wikipedia has an article on Jobs. It would be understating things to say that Jobs is "extremely important" to Apple's past, present and future. However, the biographical article about him does not include an "official website link" to, because Jobs is not Apple (even if some investors think that Apple is Jobs).
Similarly: Barnes is not the foundation he formed. If the foundation has its own article, then the article about the foundation gets an "official website link". If he (or his estate) created a website about himself, then that could be linked as the "official website" for Barnes (but not as an "official website" for an article about his foundation). To address your numbered objections:
1-4: Dead people can have official websites listed on Wikipedia if the websites were created (A) by the deceased person (and still exists) or (B) by their estates (the legal entity able to act officially on behalf of the deceased individuals).
5: The official website for an organization is not the official website for an individual involved in the organization. (We exclude here the case of an "organization" that amounts to the single individual, e.g., a small business that is technically a corporation, but the only person associated with it is the individual in question; many celebrities have incorporated their "businesses". In this situation, such a website could be justified as an official website for both [there being no material difference between the "person" and the "organization" for our purposes], but is irrelevant to the instant case.)
6: This rule applies to all organizations' websites.
7: We're looking for common sense, not mindless bureaucracy.
8: The "rule" missing from your list is the only relevant one: Barnes is a person. Barnes is not the organization he founded. The official website for the organization is not a website for the human individual. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:26, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Dead people can have official sites. Whoever has the electronic media rights to his name can have an official site. Looking around the site, I can't find the claim that the Foundation has such rights -- whether it is true or not even, the claim should be there before it can be called an official site. This website may in fact be his official site, but there is no way for us to tell that currently. 2005 (talk) 22:47, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
What you see is what you get. He created a self-named private foundation to carry on his work in his name, so of course they have the rights. That's what he wanted them to do, and they did it. Milo 12:23, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
We don't deal with assumptions like that. They don't even claim the rights on the site. It seems like an okay link, but there is zero evidence that they are an official site, even if they in fact are. 2005 (talk) 23:57, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
"They don't even claim the rights on the site." No such guiderule requires it, legally there's no need for it, and without such a rule Wikipedia editors should, inclusively, accept off-wiki sites as "official" by the way they are accepted off-wiki. As a practical matter, the link has been up for over a year with no problem.
"there is zero evidence" I already presented two pieces of evidence below, but I suppose you are referring to an "OFFICIAL SITE OF (name)" type statement in #7 above. For #7, WhatamIdoing already pointed out above, that kind of formal evidence is not necessary under WP:BURO. If you don't accept WP:BURO policy, why are you editing at this project?
I don't understand what your concern is. What the worst that could happen, that isn't likely enough to happen in a year? That hoards of dead doctors' foundations will jam the servers? (nah) That you might not be able to force opportunistic band members and COI business owners to submit to unwritten rules? (hmm...)
You were on the other side the last time this issue came up. To quote you to yourself: "Wikipedia_talk:External_links/Archive_9#Official MySpace pages User:2005:

"Why would we care where somebody has their official presence? What we care about is that the article subject meets WP:CORP or WP:WEB or whatever to merit an article. If Einstein wants his official site to be a My Space page, then he does."

Barnes (a contemporary of Einstein), wanted his Barnes foundation to make such decisions, and so they did. Milo 10:07, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing (20:26): "1-4:...5:...6:...7:...8:" Very helpful, thank you. The issues seem to be some combination of #1-4, #5, and #7.
Despite your #7 endorsement of WP not a bureaucracy, that is exactly the problem here. The root word of "official" is "office", a residence for a bureaucrat. In particular, I observe an attempt to apply bright-line rules instead of a balancing test to an "official site" issue that is fuzzy across all the different kinds of entities that have articles.

Rightly understood as a cultural phenomenon, an "official web site" is one that is endorsed by the subject. Whether they own or control it is secondary; perhaps those are useful tests in the case of need to choose among multiple official sites. Endorsement means some form of 'I approve of this message' ranging on a continuum: from direct → to implied → to inferred → to speculative in the absence of denunciation.

  • Endorsement is usually easy to decide in the case of a living person. Living people who don't either endorse or denounce are likely to have "official fan sites", because the living person just shrugged or said "Whatever", when asked for an endorsement.
  • Estates of dead people can officially endorse things with effort, but fan sites of the deceased may easily become semiofficial if the estate, living family, or posthumous agent doesn't denounce the sites.
  • Dead people also may have made endorsements while they were alive, and they may have endorsed endorsers, such as foundations and agents, who may continue to represent them beyond life.
  • Persons deceased for too long to have estates, may have fans or living relatives who claim to know what the deceased would have officially endorsed.
  • Dead poets endorse from within living poets.
  • A few ancient deceased persons have priests of religion to endorse in their name.
  • The rest of the notables and the known ancients have academics, God bless them.

"Barnes is a person. Barnes is not the organization he founded. The official website for the organization is not a website for the human individual." That's an irrelevant dichotomy for Barnes. A WP:EL demand for one doctor (dead before the web was invented), and his small private foundation (actively operated by two people), to have two separate official web sites is bureaucratically absurd. Having explained why, I invoke WP:IAR!

"When proposing a link under WP:ELYES #1 in a biography, you have to present some compelling reason to believe that the site is actually an official website for the individual person." "Actually" is overly bureaucratic, but if read "endorsed as" the request is reasonable.

Reason 1: Dr. Barnes endorsed an endorser, his self-named private foundation, to endorse further research and education on behalf of himself after his death in 1988. One of several educational methods they endorsed for him (including books, videos, seminars) was a web site. That makes it an official web site of Dr. Barnes.

Reason 2: Activist patients and Barnes-method supporting doctors consider the foundation to be Dr. Barnes' official site. For example:

"Although Broda Barnes has since passed away, his work lives [o]n at the Broda Barnes Institute. .... Broda O. Barnes, M.D. Research Foundation, Inc." —Jeffrey Dach, MD, 2009-05-15 [26]

Milo 12:23, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Milo, I'm sorry that you don't like the answer you were given. Your unhappiness does not, and will not, change the answer.
Note that I would support inclusion of the website in that article for other reasons -- simply not as an "official website". WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:13, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
"Your unhappiness does not, and will not, change the answer." I don't recall making reference to it, but I agree that my happiness is, and should be, irrelevant. Back to the relevant debate.
What should change the answer, but didn't, is the valid points of the debate. You all have lost this debate on points, since I have countered all of your points, and you have been unable to (or chosen not to) rebut my counter points.
What appears to be your debate closure is a variant of because we said so. That is a merely majoritarian power position, because it lacks the required logic for governance of Wikipedia by consensus of "the good answer".
Good answers must not only be reasonable by valid points of debate, but must also be compliant with policy. Consensus may not override policy.
The majoritarian position here is to deny Dr. Barnes recognition of an official site that the off-wiki community accepts – based on WP:EL editors' unwritten bright-line rules, pidgeon-hole categories, and Procrustean bed judgments (eew) for all types and sizes of "official site" entities from Microsoft to barely notables. This majoritarian position is in clear policy violation of Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy (WP:BURO).
Don't misunderstand me, this isn't anything personal. If bad-answer majority rule was the governing policy at Wikipedia, I would accept it. It isn't, so I won't.
"I would support inclusion of the website in that article" Thank you for that support. It is an obvious link to include – outside of a stub-and-AfD WP:GAME. It is because of this game that unbureaucratic access to an uncensored "official site" has turned out to be important.
On the other hand, if that external link is returned to the article and sticks through tendentious attempts to keep it out (to do that I think it will require at least three active editors in article edit and talk), then there's no pressing need to decide the WP:BURO issue at WP:EL. Milo 10:07, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
You just seemed really confused by a simple concept. My position certainly has not changed. There is zero evidence this is an official site. Your opinion is not evidence, even if you keep stating it. 2005 (talk) 22:35, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
There already is no pressing need to continue this discussion here, as the advice you sought here has been unanimous. You choosing to ignore it and trying to filibuster until you get what you want isn't of any use to this talk page. Demanding that you get the link you want or else you'll continue to post here is, quite frankly, a major WP:POINT violation that, should it continue, could result in a block. The bottom line here is that we do work by WP:CONSENSUS, regardless of whether you think it's bad or not. It is, in fact, policy here, so you have no choice but to accept it. DreamGuy (talk) 16:53, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
DreamGuy (16:53): "WP:CONSENSUS, regardless of whether you think it's bad or not. It is, in fact, policy here, so you have no choice but to accept it."
WP:Consensus#Exceptions reads otherwise: "Consensus decisions in specific cases do not automatically override consensus on a wider scale – for instance, a local debate on a WikiProject does not override the larger consensus behind a policy or guideline." Likewise, guideline consensus debate at WPTalk:EL does not override the larger consensus behind a policy such as WP:BURO. So, to the extent that the WPTalk:EL consensus debate violates WP:BURO, no, I don't have to accept it. (←reset)

Edit summary:
(diff) 16:53, 22 June 2009 DreamGuy ... (?Removal of link mandated by EL guide: this is becoming disruptive, especially with claim that CONSENSUS isn't policy and that he'll continue posting until he gets what he wants)

1. DreamGuy (16:53 edit summary) "...becoming disruptive, especially with claim that CONSENSUS isn't policy..."

  • I didn't claim that.

2. DreamGuy (16:53 edit summary) "...claim ... that he'll continue posting until he gets what he wants"

  • I didn't claim that either.

3. DreamGuy (16:53 post body) "Demanding that you get the link you want or else you'll continue to post here is ... a major WP:POINT violation..."

  • I didn't make that demand.

All three DreamGuy (16:53) statements are misrepresentations per Wikipedia:Talk#Behavior that is unacceptable: "Do not misrepresent other people".

In addition, two are accusatory ("becoming disruptive" and "major WP:POINT violation"), so they are personal attacks by accusations lacking evidence – per Wikipedia:NPA#What is considered to be a personal attack?: "Accusations about personal behavior that lack evidence."

I've had to spend too much time today working on DreamGuy's ill-considered accusations instead of on the debate issues. So, it doesn't surprise me that DreamGuy was blocked for talk page disruption as recently as 23:11, 6 March 2009.[27] (and is currently under a 1RR editing restriction[28].)

Under the terms of Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/DreamGuy 2#DreamGuy restricted:

"DreamGuy (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) is subject to a behavioral editing restriction. If he makes any edits which are judged by an administrator to be uncivil, personal attacks, or assumptions of bad faith, he may be blocked for the duration specified in the enforcement ruling below. ...¶... Passed 4-0 at 17:14, 16 October 2007 (UTC)"

I'm going to be a nice guy and first request a retraction.

DreamGuy, please strike the DreamGuy (16:53) sentence: "Demanding..." through "...block", and in the edit summary of the striking post write,

16:53, 22 JUNE 2009 EDIT SUMMARY RETRACTED: "...<s>becoming disruptive, especially with claim that CONSENSUS isn't policy and that he'll continue posting until he gets what he wants</s>

If the edit summary doesn't accept striketype, everyone will know what the wikitext strike symbols mean. (N.B. It's really unwise to write accusations into edit summaries. If you get it wrong, it causes admins to think about longer blocks to prevent future extra work if someone has to delete them.)

An apology would be nice, but optional.

However, if the strike and retraction don't happen, I'll feel free to go looking for an admin to investigate your statements for possible violation of your Arbcom behavioral editing restriction. Milo 05:34, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Debate of "official site" Reasons 1 and 2

User:2005 (22:35): "Your opinion is not evidence" How does the community know that, if you and others here refuse or ignore the Wikipedia requirement to debate in good faith, the points which I have asserted to be evidence?
I presented two pieces of envidence in Milo (12:23), and WhatamIdoing did not rebut them in WhatamIdoing (04:13). In Milo (10:07), I informed you (User:2005) that I had presented the two pieces of evidence "below" (in Milo 12:23), but you also did not rebut them in your next post User:2005 (22:35).
Tendentious refusal to debate points by ignoring them is a violation of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. But maybe you just didn't notice them, so here is your chance to actually address and debate my two pieces of evidence, point by point:

(convenience copied from Milo 12:23):

[WhatamIdoing 20:26] "When proposing a link under WP:ELYES #1 in a biography, you have to present some compelling reason to believe that the site is actually an official website for the individual person." "Actually" is overly bureaucratic, but if read "endorsed as" the request is reasonable.

Reason 1: Dr. Barnes endorsed an endorser, his self-named private foundation, to endorse further research and education on behalf of himself after his death in 1988. One of several educational methods they endorsed for him (including books, videos, seminars) was a web site. That makes it an official web site of Dr. Barnes.

Reason 2: Activist patients and Barnes-method supporting doctors consider the foundation to be Dr. Barnes' official site. For example:

"Although Broda Barnes has since passed away, his work lives [o]n at the Broda Barnes Institute. .... Broda O. Barnes, M.D. Research Foundation, Inc." —Jeffrey Dach, MD, 2009-05-15 [29]

Milo 05:34, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The website is clearly the official site of the FOUNDATION and not the INDIVIDUAL, no matter that the foundation seeks to carry on the individual's work.-- The Red Pen of Doom 06:29, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's the hard line literal position. But why? What harm would come to WP from respecting Dr. Barnes' wishes for his foundation to officially represent his life's work, and what the public accepts as his official site? If no harm, wouldn't allowing the foundation to be his official site be more neutral toward him, and make Wikipedia look better off-wiki? That's where the donations come from y'know. Milo 08:41, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I think I'm finished with this conversation. We were asked a question, and we answered it. The editor did not like the answer. We have discussed this at length and are at an impasse. I don't wish to speak for anyone else, but my answer on this point simply won't change, and I have no reason to believe that the editor's unhappiness with the answer will change, so IMO further conversation seems to be well beyond "pointless" and verging on tendentious and disruptive.
I'd like to suggest to other editors that they individually consider whether this conversation continues to be a reasonable use of their time and energy, and then to make choices about their participation that they personally think are best (whether or not their choices look like mine). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:09, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:EL and the official Shonen Jump Myspace page

Okay, a user and I disagree over whether the official Myspace page of Shonen Jump (magazine) should be listed alongside the main official website of the Shonen Jump. I argued that the official Myspace contains dates in which staff members will appear at conventions. As part of my argument, I stated that this information would not be appropriate in the Wikipedia article, but it would be of interest to people who are interested in the subject, so as per Wikipedia:EL#What_should_be_linked criteria regarding official websites and the "Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues, amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks)" criteria the official should be allowed. In addition as per WP:NOT its "linkfarm" policy warns specifically against having too large of an external links section; with the official main site and the Myspace site there would be two total sites in the external links section. AnmaFinotera feels that the information in the Myspace, including the convention information is too trivial for listing as an external link, and therefore it should not be listed. Please see: User_talk:AnmaFinotera#Official_myspaces_are_okay_to_link - This is the Myspace account in question: - It is an account controlled by Shonen Jump/VIZ, so it is not affected by "links normally to be avoided." - It contains times at when SJ staff members will appear at conventions, information regarding promotions involving the magazine itself, photographs of magazine covers and logos (Pictures section), and the usual user comments. WhisperToMe (talk) 19:31, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Refering to an above conversation, which may or may not be applicable here - but might because it also deals with the removal of MySpace links - is the EL policy line of more than one official website should be listed only when the additional links provide unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites. Applying this guideline to your specific example is difficult. The information you are presenting as being of interest to the casual reader (the convention date appearances) is not only non-encyclopedic, but the MySpace page itself doesn't appear to be linked from the organizations' official site by itself... which brings up the question of how authoritative on the subject is the MySpace page vs the primary site. Looking into the future, do we also link the organization's Twitter feed, RSS panel, Facebook profile, Facebook fan page, home address, LinkedIn profile, DIGG account, or other similarly "official" pages as well? Where is the line drawn when dealing with info that is of questionable value for encyclopedic inclusion vs just linking to the org's main page and being done with it? <joke>Besides, who uses MySpace anymore anyway? </joke> SpikeJones (talk) 19:49, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
The Myspace page is linked from a news release on the organization's website: - Using a Google site search I cannot find any other links to this website on - To access this one would have to first go to the Newsroom section of and select the link - There is no centralized "Links" page where all official pages are posted. Even though the SJ Myspace is linked on the website, the website's organization does not allow an average user to easily find the MySpace link, as it is only linked through a press release.
I agree that the convention dates would be non-encyclopedic; I feel it would be under the "amount of detail" criterion for inclusion of an external link (examples given for this on WP:EL are "professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks") - In other words external links can be used to link to information that is not suitable to include on Wikipedia.
If a given subject has so many social networking sites/links that WP:NOT link farm begins to become an issue, one could reduce the amount of links by linking to a central page on the subject's website that lists all of the official social networking pages.
WhisperToMe (talk) 19:55, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
  • If their official website links to the myspace page, then it should be considered like any other webpage would be. It has information the main one does not, and thus a reason to link to it. Dream Focus 00:17, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, that's silly. What is someone's official page linked to that infamous goats# website? We wouldn't want to include just any page that the official website linked to. Funny aside, the above user stated that he had trouble even finding the MySpace link on the official website, having to dig into a press release archive to do so. Doesn't sound as if the MySpace page plays a significant enough role to warrant qualifying as a notable entry. That turns the inclusion/exclusion into a mere judgement call that can turn into a revert war. Hence the conversation here. SpikeJones (talk) 00:47, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the example, I think he meant if the main official website linked to another official website of the same subject - I don't think too many credible business operators have co-official goatse mirrors floating around :) WhisperToMe (talk) 00:50, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Really, ff their official website links to it, then there is no reason to repeat the link here because its already linked to from the official site. We aren't here to repeat their navigation. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 01:01, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
While it is linked from the official website, it isn't linked in a manner in which one could obviously find it; one has to go to a specific press release of the news section, which is not where one would go to find related links. I needed to use Google Site Search in order to find where the Myspace was linked; Google site search pointed exactly where the word "Myspace" was mentioned on If had a "Links" section in which all of the related links were posted, a casual user could easily find a Myspace link. WhisperToMe (talk) 01:06, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Here are the relevant issues, IMO:

  • Because the MySpace page is NOT prominently linked on the main official website, it could be linked under the "multiple official websites" rule.
  • Just because you can link more than one official website doesn't mean that you should link more than one official website.
  • Therefore the extra link is neither prohibited nor required.

Personally, I'd skip it, since I think that the calendar is not encyclopedic in nature, but -- much more importantly -- I think that the editors in question need to pursue standard dispute resolution methods, beginning with an end to edit warring and an acknowledgment by all parties that neither the inclusion nor the exclusion of the link would violate this guideline. It's time to WP:Use common sense and develop WP:Consensus. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:00, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

As a minor note, there was no edit warring. She added, I removed, she followed BRD and began a discussion. :) -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:02, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
While I am a male, AnmaFinotera was correct in stating that there was no edit warring. :) WhisperToMe (talk) 02:26, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
gomen - I was almost expecting that to happen. *doh* -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:45, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Anyhow, I'm going to go on a trip, so (effective by 6:30 AM Central U.S. Time on June 27, 2009) I will be unable to edit for a few days... When I am back I will resume posting here. WhisperToMe (talk) 02:52, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Both websites look quite different. Since it has been determined that both are maintained by the magazine, why not link to both of them? The information is presented differently, and there is some valid information found on the myspace page that isn't found on the main website. Dream Focus 03:12, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

If the article isn't overburdened with links (and this one isn't), what reason is there to not include a useful external link? And if none, default to include until external links become excessive in number. ("Useful" is determined from the viewpoint of the fan, not the editor.)

On the issue of whether the MySpace page is an official SHONEN JUMP page: "Welcome to the SHONEN JUMP MySpace page!": "Just remember, by signing up to be a SHONEN JUMP friend on MySpace, you are agreeing to have your pictures, comments and/or profiles appear in SHONEN JUMP magazine." Taking this disclaimer at face value, the connection to the magazine is official. That means that SHONEN JUMP has multiple official web sites.

On the issue of accessibility of the MySpace link at the main official site. It's really hard to find, including being buried two identical news index pages deep. There doesn't even seem to be an indirect link to the news index page on the front page. (From the magazine's point of view, they probably focus on driving traffic toward the main site where their money is made.) This inconveniently organized main site navigation is a valid reason to link to an additional official web site at the article, for the convenience of the serious fan.

On the issue of "meaningful, relevant content". From the reader's viewpoint, the MySpace page handles discussion and information useful to serious fans such as convention dates, fan special discounts, free premiums, and other promotions. I've spent time as a serious comic fan, carefully analyzing letter-to-the-editor replies for clues to canonical continuity and backstory details. Such fans would find this 'convenienced' link useful.

On the slippery slope issue. Slippery slopes with little editing effort downside like link sets can be dealt with after they slip. If a popular commercial web site has a badly organized set of useful links, personally I don't see a problem if Wikipedia organizes that information for the readers.

I don't know the views of the individual editors here. I do know that in general there is a huge conflict between Britannica-ists and Popular-ists over the subject of fiction at Wikipedia. The 'B's tend to be older, more academic, and think popular fiction should be abbreviated, discouraged, and deleted if possible. The 'P's tend to be younger and want as much detail as possible included about the universe of every fictional character. This conflict is serious enough that I suggest that all fiction be moved to a separate namespace or project, or at least all fiction before a certain date, say the 1922 public domain date, or one of the other major copyright act dates.
Milo 06:49, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

I must add that the "fan" and the "editor" in Wikipedia's case likely are the same person. WhisperToMe (talk) 05:07, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
How is a social network "meaningful, relevant content" to the majority of readers (not the handful of people who are "series fans". Wikipedia isn't a fansite nor are articles oriented towards fans. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:09, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I think you're citing an argument about article body content, not external links.
Editing external links with the intent to prevent certain readers from easily finding official "serious fan" material is a leap of Wikipedia philosophy that I suggest you should take up with Jimbo. Milo 18:26, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
There's no need for Collection to take anything up with Jimbo, as we don't generally link to fan sites, the official website was already linked to, and we don't link to a long string of (allegedly) official secondary sites because we are not a web directory. It's not an "intent" to "prevent" certain people from doing anything as much as it's just following our rules. DreamGuy (talk) 18:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Since philosophy trumps rules, I stand by my suggestion. Milo 19:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure where you came up with that wild idea. Philosophy doesn't trump anything on Wikipedia, and especially not the rules. DreamGuy (talk) 13:49, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Dreamguy, The Shonen Jump Myspace is not a fansite - It is an official MySpace account operated by VIZ Media, the U.S. company that publishes Shonen Jump in the United States and Canada. Since this Myspace is official, it cannot be treated like a fansite. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:20, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Guess you missed everything I said except the one part you could twist the wording on to take issue with. I repeat: We do not link to a whole string of allegedly official sites because we are not a web directory. If they don't think highly enough of their own MySpace page to link to it from their own main page, why should we? The MySpace page is a page for fans. Whether it's the official fan page or an amateur fan page is not relevant. It serves no encyclopedic purpose to link to it, and they already used up the official site slot. If their MySpace page was their official official site instead of just another official page, then we'd link to it. It's not, and it fails or other standards, so it should not be linked to.DreamGuy (talk) 18:05, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
1. You said: "We do not link to a whole string of allegedly official sites because we are not a web directory." - One, multiple websites are acceptable. Two, WP:NOT External links specifically warns against having too large of an external links section - Having a grand total of two external links in no way infringes on the prohibition of a web directory, so WP:NOT External links is not relevant in this discussion.
2. "If they don't think highly enough of their own MySpace page to link to it from their own main page, why should we? The MySpace page is a page for fans." - VIZ thinks highly enough of its myspace that it is linked from the pages of its magazine.
3. " Whether it's the official fan page or an amateur fan page is not relevant." - Wikipedia's Wikipedia:External links style guideline clearly contradicts your sentence. The entire "Links normally to be avoided" section is exempted by the "Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject" sentence. Also this sentence is not to be interpeted that the exemption applies to only one official website at a time, or something like that. It applies to any and all official websites. Official pages of subjects are treated differently than fan sites. Please read Wikipedia's page on a fan site, which defines it as a website created by a fan of a property. A VIZ Media official website *cannot* be a fansite.
4. You said: "except the one part you could twist the wording on to take issue with" - Bad faith presumptions are not appreciated in this discussion
5. You said: "If their MySpace page was their official official site instead of just another official page, then we'd link to it." The discussion above, and discussions in other pages have stated that it is acceptable to link to multiple official pages
The issue is now down to a simple editing dispute, whether to include an allowable link or not on its own, specific merits.
Dreamguy, next time please understand all of the undisputed previous points and fully and properly address them. I am going to ask you to re-read the discussion above and understand what the dispute is and which aspects are not disputed.
I must re-affirm that fansites are covered in "Links normally to be avoided" - And the section addresses fansites. Most fansites are not to be linked.
WhisperToMe (talk) 18:33, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
(EC) Sorry, but DreamGuy is exactly right. We do not link to every last official site just because it exists, and Wikipedia is not a valid source for arguing the definition of a "fan site". The MySpace page is not an official site in terms of parting company information, it is a site made for fans to allow them the illusion of socializing with the Viz staff. We do not link to every actors MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc just because they exist if they have an official central website. By the same token, we don't link to every language site of large international companies. One link is sufficient. And putting the link in a single magazine issue on a single page is not really "thinking highly", it was by your own remarks a minor note. This link does NOT meet the guidelines for inclusion as an EL no matter how you continue trying to twist the guidelines to claim it is exempt. It is not. Just because there is an exemption in "Links normally to be avoided" does NOT negate the overall guidelines of ELs "contain further research that is accurate and on-topic; information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail; or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy". The MySpace page is neither meaningful, nor relevant to the topic at hand nor to the majority of readers. Therefore, it does not belong. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 18:49, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
What you said about not linking every language site or every social networking site, etc. applies when the number of external links is very high. That is the key concept of WP:NOT#EL. Because we are talking about a grand total of two external links, in the case of multiple language websites we could/would link the extra non-English website. In the case of the one social networking site we could/would link the extra website. The time when NOT to link to these extra sites is when the number of external links becomes large. Then we begin paring down the external links. On Air France Flight 447 the editors had to pare down the links to mainly English links and one official link apiece because there were so many links.
You said: "The MySpace page is not an official site in terms of parting company information, it is a site made for fans to allow them the illusion of socializing with the Viz staff." - It is operated by the company, so it would be official. What is "official" and what isn't depends on who has the control.
You said: "it was by your own remarks a minor note." - If you are referring to what I think you are referring to, I wasn't referring to the magazine, I was referring to the press release in that because the link is not easily found on the website, it ought to be included - I wasn't saying it wasn't important, I was saying it was not easily found. Because it is not easily found on the main site, the social networking site should be linked to. In any case, when referring to other people's posts it helps to quote so we know what one is referring to and the context.
You said: "This link does NOT meet the guidelines for inclusion as an EL no matter how you continue trying to twist the guidelines to claim it is exempt." It is exempt from many of the guidelines, which have been used as arguments by some editors on this page. DreamGuy argued that the SJ Myspace was a fansite, and that particular guideline is exempted by the official site clause. The exemption is not related to the sentence in the header of WP:EL which you are trying to use in your argument. In that case it would not be exempted by the official clause.
You said: "And putting the link in a single magazine issue on a single page is not really..." - It was the latest issue that I received. I could see if VIZ keeps referring to it in later issues.
You said: "Wikipedia is not a valid source for arguing the definition of a 'fan site'." I scoured published dictionaries and couldn't find the word. In any case the prohibition against linking fansites on most occasions is under "Links normally to be avoided," so that argument is moot for this discussion.
Your argument centers on this phrase: "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; or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy." - This is not under the official sites exemption, as you correctly state. Because the official sites exemption clears out everything in "links normally to be avoided," the discussion focuses on the other parts of WP:EL, and you are referring to these parts.
Now, as for this particular sentence, I argue that the SJ MySpace site meets the criteria:
The information is accurate as it comes directly from VIZ Media.
The topic is the US/Canada Shonen Jump, so the information is on topic in regards to the magazines and its editors
Including the convention dates and listing every promotional offer in the article itself would be too much detail. Including the Bleach poster image on the Myspace account in the article would be a copyright issue. External links are there to link to detail and content that would not appear on Wikipedia itself.
The content is certainly relevant to the subject (US/Canada Shonen Jump)
The reasons why the information in the MySpace is not included in the article are not related to the accuracy of the information
Now, the subjective part is whether it is meaningful. External links are used to link to unencyclopedic information, and I feel that convention dates and additional promotional offers related to the subject itself are meaningful for the audience of the article.
WhisperToMe (talk) 19:46, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Why we link official websites - proposal

#What should be linked currently reads: Wikipedia articles about any organization, person, web site, or other entity should link to the subject's official site, if any. • "We get a lot of questions about official websites (usually about multiple websites and MySpace links). In the interest of better explaining the issues, I'd like to propose a new section that unifies all of the "official website" stuff." —Quotation from User:WhatamIdoing, 19:47, 22 June 2009; RfC posted by Milo 08:06, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

We seem to have some confusion over the purpose of links to official websites. The usual thought is that it's a handy web directory service for readers -- but Wikipedia is WP:NOTDIRECTORY. The second thought is that it's a reasonable resource for further information -- but such a website would be trivially justifiable under the rest of the guideline, and thus would not require a sweeping exemption from (nearly) all other rules (WP:ELNEVER being the only requirement).

The actual reason that official websites are given a pass on any issue that doesn't conflict with WP:ELNEVER is specifically because they are controlled by the entity in question, and by linking to their official website, we're giving the entity itself a bit of say. It's an effort at neutrality. So if we spend most of Coca-cola talking about the history of marketing campaigns, they can refocus the readers' attention on the current ones. If we write that the Church of Scientology is a bunch of nasty goons, they can say that their organization is all sweetness and light.

The reason that we don't accept websites not under the control of the relevant entity (for example, a fan site) under this specific line is because they're not controlled by the entity. might present an excellent defense of an entity that we pan -- but it doesn't (and can't) give the entity's own response. It can only give the response of a third party. Thus such websites have to be justified under this guideline. For example, a website run by a supporter must contain more information than a perfect article would (WP:ELNO #1), not try to mislead the reader (#2), not try to install malware (#3), not primarily exist to sell things (#5), be accessible to everyone (#7), and so forth. By contrast, such violations are acceptable behaviors in official websites (although AFAIK we've never encountered #3, and it would merit at least a warning).

We get a lot of questions about official websites (usually about multiple websites and MySpace links). In the interest of better explaining the issues, I'd like to propose a new section that unifies all of the "official website" stuff. It might say something like this:

An official website is a website that is both:

  1. controlled by the organization or individual person that the Wikipedia article is about and
  2. about the thing that the subject of the article is notable for.

Links to official websites (if any) are provided so that the reader has the opportunity to see what the organization or person says about itself. Such links to official websites are exempt from all of this guideline except for Restrictions on linking. For example, although links to websites that require readers to register or pay to view content are normally not acceptable in the External links section, such a link may be included when it is an official website for a business.

If the subject of the article has more than one official website, then more than one link may be appropriate. However, Wikipedia does not provide a comprehensive web directory to every official website. Complete directories lead to clutter and to placing undue emphasis on what the subject says. More than one official website should be listed only when the additional links provide unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites. For example, if the main page of the official website for an author contains a link to the author's blog and Twitter feed, then it is not appropriate to provide links to all three. Instead, provide only the main page of the official website in this situation. In other situations, it may be appropriate to provide more than one link, such as when a business has one website for the corporate headquarters and another for consumer information.

In contrast to official websites, personal websites are websites predominantly about the individual's personal life, family, and friends, and they are not included under this rule. For example, an official website for an artist will present information about the artist's work, not about the artist's grandchildren.

Links to websites that are not considered official websites may still be justifiable under other sections of this guideline, e.g., Links to consider #4.

What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:47, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Reads OK do we need to mention Template:Official ? MilborneOne (talk) 20:22, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Need to? IMO, no. Can we? Sure, if you want. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:14, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I have posted this proposal to an RfC.
Thanks to WhatamIdoing for making this proposal. Even if we don't agree on the details, any proposal for discussion helps address my concern about the many unwritten "official site" practices at WPTalk:EL. Milo 08:06, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Debate of official websites link proposal

  • 1."controlled by the organization or individual person" "Endorsed by" is better than "controlled by", because for example, a political prisoner may not be allowed to own or control a web site. Young musicians may not want to spend time or money controlling a web site, but they expect their friends to promote them with their endorsement.
Famous dead people may have "official" web sites as endorsed by businesses that the dead founded long before the web existed, or "officially" endorsed by societies, governments, academia, and even opinionated individuals, none of whom the dead control. Families can have official web sites for their famous dead with no "official" estate approval, so the dead may not technically control them either.
Then there are the variety of arrangements that the dead did make before death with friends, lovers (poets), publishing companies, agents, private foundations, public foundations, even corporations the dead may have founded. The dead may never have heard of web sites or even computers, but many understood publicity and expected it to be handled in their long term interests by arrangements they trusted (such as disciples in ancient times). These arrangements may not technically be "control", but if the dead endorsed these arrangements, the arrangements should be respected as "official" in the absence of challenge by persons with legal standing such as lineal family. Milo 08:22, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
(Numbered portions 1.A&B copied from WhatamIdoing 17:56):
  • 1. A. "Controlled" is deliberate. An author might "endorse" a fansite. A business might "endorse" an affiliate. These are not "official websites" for Wikipedia's purposes. "Control" does not imply "sits at the computer and types the HTML code". "Control" means "if something's on this website, and I don't like it, I can have it removed." Prisoners, bands, and businesses all have "control" of their official websites: if someone complains to them about its content, they can tell their "publicity department" to fix it. By contrast, they don't have control over unofficial websites, or websites that they've merely "endorsed", and if a previously dedicated fan decides to smear them, then there's legally nothing they can do about it. Additionally, "endorsement" leads to confusion with product endorsement, and we don't want anyone to think that, for example, is an "official website" for any of their (many) spokespersons.
    B. Dead people can have a website. When you die, you do not legally cease to exist. Your estate is able to act legally on your behalf. Commonly, it pays your bills and disposes of property, but it can do anything that a live human could do, including start a website. If the estate controls the website, then it's an official website. As a result, "official websites" exist for hundreds of dead people. [WhatamIdoing 17:56] (Portions 1.A&B copy posted by Milo 08:52, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
  • 2. "about the thing that the subject of the article is notable for" This requirement means editors must periodically police hundreds of thousands of official web sites to make sure they haven't gotten off topic. What's the point of this? If it's endorsed by the subject, why should Wikipedia try to impose any off-wiki censorship that has no compelling purpose and will inevitably be abused? Milo 08:22, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
(Numbered portion 2. copied from WhatamIdoing 17:56):
  • 2. On topic. We have to periodically police websites anyway; businesses change their names and drop their websites all the time. The point here is that notable people might have strictly personal websites, and that these are not appropriate links. Our links serve our readers, and if you're notable for, say, filing lawsuits about free speech, then linking to your blog, which is entirely about your flower garden, is not helpful to our readers. When faced with a website that is partly on-topic, and partly off-topic, then I trust our editors' judgment. [WhatamIdoing 17:56] (Portion 2. copy posted by Milo 08:52, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
  • 3. "In contrast to official websites, personal websites are websites predominantly about the individual's personal life, family, and friends," Suppose a person notable, rich, and famous for business only has one website, but it's not about his business. It's about his personal life, family, and friends -- and, oh yes, his strong and controversial opinions about politics, plus support for doubtful but popular conspiracy theories. Furthermore, he has many opponents among Wikipedia editors who refuse a consensus link to 'proven conspiratorial lies'. Oops, Wikipedia has just censored him. So he sues Wikimedia, and it costs a bunch of money that could have been spent on server hardware. Point being, why go there? What compelling reason does WP have to parse distinctions between a notable-subject web site and a personal web site, if only the latter exists? Milo 08:22, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
(Numbered portion 3. copied from WhatamIdoing 17:56):
  • 3. Censorship claims. Getting a link to your personal website -- or to any website -- on Wikipedia is not a right. Declining to post a link in a BLP, especially if it's done to respect the individual's privacy, is NOT censorship. Wikipedia is not an advertising opportunity for the non-notable opinions of notable people. [WhatamIdoing 17:56] (Portion 3. copy posted by Milo 08:52, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
  • 4. "such a link may be included when it is an official website for a business." Tweak the wording some? The slight implication is that a person couldn't have an official pay web site. Milo 08:22, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
(Numbered portion 4. copied from WhatamIdoing 17:56):
  • 4. Examples. I've tried to use a variety of examples. This is just an example. You will notice that the sentence begins with the words "For example". I chose "business" as the example because (1) it was a broad category, (2) it was different from the other examples, and (3) it was more likely to require registration or payment than non-business websites. If you're curious, I specifically had online media sites in mind, since "register to read the articles" is not uncommon. [WhatamIdoing 17:56] (Portion 4. copy posted by Milo 08:52, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
  • 5. "an official website for an artist will present information about the artist's work, not about the artist's grandchildren." Don't count on it. One of the functions of art, and the artistic personality is to defy categorization and blur boundaries. And, candidly, they enjoy making trouble for the bureaucratic class of rulecrafters like WhatamIdoing and myself. Flexibility and balancing tests are the key to avoiding this kind of trouble. Milo 08:22, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
(Numbered portion 5. copied from WhatamIdoing 17:56):
  • 5. Personal websites. Again, you're picking at something that it just an easily understood example. I could have given examples of times when the personal is the official: some people are famous for how they live, and there would be no difference between the "personal" and "official" websites. Taken in context with the "on-topic" requirement, I think that the average Wikipedia editor will be able to easily apply this advice without us providing counterexamples. However, in general, websites that cover purely personal subjects are not considered "official websites" under this guideline. I doubt that anyone will have any trouble understanding the point. [WhatamIdoing 17:56] (Portion 5. copy posted by Milo 08:52, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Milo, I've numbered your question so that I can respond to your misconceptions more easily:
  1. A. "Controlled" is deliberate. An author might "endorse" a fansite. A business might "endorse" an affiliate. These are not "official websites" for Wikipedia's purposes. "Control" does not imply "sits at the computer and types the HTML code". "Control" means "if something's on this website, and I don't like it, I can have it removed." Prisoners, bands, and businesses all have "control" of their official websites: if someone complains to them about its content, they can tell their "publicity department" to fix it. By contrast, they don't have control over unofficial websites, or websites that they've merely "endorsed", and if a previously dedicated fan decides to smear them, then there's legally nothing they can do about it. Additionally, "endorsement" leads to confusion with product endorsement, and we don't want anyone to think that, for example, is an "official website" for any of their (many) spokespersons.
    B. Dead people can have a website. When you die, you do not legally cease to exist. Your estate is able to act legally on your behalf. Commonly, it pays your bills and disposes of property, but it can do anything that a live human could do, including start a website. If the estate controls the website, then it's an official website. As a result, "official websites" exist for hundreds of dead people.
  2. On topic. We have to periodically police websites anyway; businesses change their names and drop their websites all the time. The point here is that notable people might have strictly personal websites, and that these are not appropriate links. Our links serve our readers, and if you're notable for, say, filing lawsuits about free speech, then linking to your blog, which is entirely about your flower garden, is not helpful to our readers. When faced with a website that is partly on-topic, and partly off-topic, then I trust our editors' judgment.
  3. Censorship claims. Getting a link to your personal website -- or to any website -- on Wikipedia is not a right. Declining to post a link in a BLP, especially if it's done to respect the individual's privacy, is NOT censorship. Wikipedia is not an advertising opportunity for the non-notable opinions of notable people.
  4. Examples. I've tried to use a variety of examples. This is just an example. You will notice that the sentence begins with the words "For example". I chose "business" as the example because (1) it was a broad category, (2) it was different from the other examples, and (3) it was more likely to require registration or payment than non-business websites. If you're curious, I specifically had online media sites in mind, since "register to read the articles" is not uncommon.
  5. Personal websites. Again, you're picking at something that it just an easily understood example. I could have given examples of times when the personal is the official: some people are famous for how they live, and there would be no difference between the "personal" and "official" websites. Taken in context with the "on-topic" requirement, I think that the average Wikipedia editor will be able to easily apply this advice without us providing counterexamples. However, in general, websites that cover purely personal subjects are not considered "official websites" under this guideline. I doubt that anyone will have any trouble understanding the point.
I hope that this explanation was helpful to you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:56, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
If numbers preceding my posts are helpful to you then I'm happy to cooperate. I've restored the bullets in front of the numbers since this is an RfC and bullets are customary to flag the start of commentary threads in formal debates.
However, your ganged set of responses (WhatamIdoing 17:56) is unexpected for separately posted thread starts. It makes it very difficult to follow a debate, since readers typically have to tediously scroll up and down, or inconveniently open two browser windows, to follow the debate logic (or lack thereof) between the posts. For this reason, Wikipedia standard discussion format is threaded per WP:Talk#Layout: "Thread your post".
Therefore I've copied the appropriate portion of each of your numbered responses to its expected indented thread position under my thread-start posts. Technically long quotations within my new signed post, these copy portions are cautiously delimited with a format I've previously tested to avoid misrepresentation as to copy source and authorship. Milo 08:52, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I want you to undo that, for several reasons: It's hard to read (thus discouraging participation), I intended to respond to your objections in a block to emphasize that the concerns were (1) related to each other and (2) from a single editor, the use of bulleted lists in these discussions is not mandatory, and your specific formatting decisions violate WP:ACCESS restrictions on the formatting of lists. (A screen reader will process that as ten separate single-item lists.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:43, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing (18:43): "It's hard to read (thus discouraging participation)..." I sympathize with your threaded reading handicap – but – threaded posting is easier for most people, which is why it's standard at WP:Talk#Layout. Fortunately, you have been able to post in threads every place I've checked, so your personal problem must be must be inconvenient yet manageable.
"...respond to your objections in a block to emphasize that the concerns were (1) related to each other..." Since you answered them in separate paragraphs without a holistic connection, your emphasis violated WP:Talk#Layout for the sake of an empty gesture of style.
"...respond to your objections in a block to emphasize that the concerns were ... (2) from a single editor..." There's no need to violate WP:Talk#Layout to emphasize what is already quite obvious from my signature.
"the use of bulleted lists in these discussions is not mandatory" Straw man. I wrote (Milo 08:52) "... this is an RfC and bullets are customary ... in formal debates". WP:Talk#Layout: "Thread your post": "...bullet points (... are commonly used at AfD, CfD, etc.)"
"your specific formatting decisions violate WP:ACCESS restrictions on the formatting of lists." WP:ACCESS only applies to articles (and is incompatible with talk pages). Since you are an editor there, you should have known that.
Also, I did you the courtesy of allowing numbering of my separate posts into a pseudo list (they are functionally reference numbers), and you have the nerve to complain that my subsequent threading of my posts in the standard way violates (inapplicable) list rules. (tsk, tsk)
"A screen reader will process that as ten separate single-item lists." Probably not. That problem also shows up in regular wikitext, and I recoded to prevent it. Milo 08:16, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

This whole section is unreadable. If someone has a proposal please restate it so comments can be made conventionally. 2005 (talk) 09:31, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

From the parts I could follow I'd recommend he not bother, as I see no need to change WP:EL to solve nonexistent problems. DreamGuy (talk) 15:29, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
Please look for the block quote introduced with the words, "We get a lot of questions about official websites (usually about multiple websites and MySpace links). In the interest of better explaining the issues, I'd like to propose a new section that unifies all of the "official website" stuff. It might say something like this:" This is ABOVE the "Debate" subheader that Milo added, which in turn is above the (IMO) "unreadable" section that Milo formatted.
As for this proposal addressing 'nonexistent problems', please see the long argument we just had with Milo on this very point, and just about every reference to MySpace in the archives. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:23, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
IMNSHO, from the conversation above Milo's problem isn't that WP:EL needs to be changed, it's that he refuses to agree with it. DreamGuy (talk) 20:38, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
What about his proposal directly conflicts with what is already stated in WP:EL? What do you feel he "refuses to agree with"? WhisperToMe (talk) 20:34, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I think you've confused my proposal with Milo's opposition to it. Milo is unhappy that "official website" is defined too narrowly for Milo's goals with the article about Broda Otto Barnes. I interpret DreamGuy's response as suggesting that my proposal is simply unnecessary. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:08, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Links normally to be avoided exception sentences

I would like to determine if there is a consensus for the removal of these two sentences in "Links normally to be avoided" - done by User:DreamGuy:

Is there a consensus for the removal of these sentences? I think it may be helpful to have both as clarification of how the guidelines interact with one another. I feel that by removing the second it makes the "official" exemption of everything in "Links normally to be avoided" less obvious. WhisperToMe (talk) 18:35, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

No, there is no consensus for this, and I have reverted it.
DreamGuy is right that the explanatory text is entirely redundant, but it exists because no one reads the (complete) directions, and repeating that important point reduces the number of questions on this page about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:06, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
If the justification is that it's there to provide extra information to help clear things up, it should be worded in such a way as to suggest the exact opposite of what it means. It adds more questions than it solves. And, frankly, if we're going to risk confusing people it's better that err on the side of people thinking they can't add links that maybe they could have instead of erring toward having people think they can add links willy-nilly. DreamGuy (talk) 17:45, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand. Official websites are given a pass on ELNO issues. This is clearly supported by widespread practice. We say, in plain English, that official websites don't have to comply with ELNO. This is what we actually mean to say. So why would we re-write that text to say the opposite of what we actually mean? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

What is the general consensus on whether or not the TV wiki meets WP:EL? The specficic article where the link is in question is macial negro. Thanks! -- The Red Pen of Doom 14:50, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

(I'm the editor who wanted to add the link.) As I said at Talk:Magical Negro, it is my opinion that TV Tropes is comparable in nature to the Star Wars ("Wookieepedia"), Star Trek ("Memory Alpha"), or Harry Potter wikis — not at all a "reliable source", but definitely exhausti{ve,ng} and (to readers who like that sort of thing) useful. It seems to be one of the wikis that are "impressive, covering their subject in more detail than Wikipedia ever could or would even want to do". Considering that "With the strong desire to generate this content, an outlet for these editors (and readers) is desired", adding an external link to TVTropes on articles that are very clearly about an archetype/trope might even help decrease the amount of non-notable trivial "examples" that well-meaning editors keep trying to add to our articles. Shreevatsa (talk) 16:06, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
It clearly doesn't meet WP:EL rules. The content is quite low quality in general with just random comments strewn here and there, people arguing with each other if something meets some ill-defined trope or not. "Links to blogs, personal web pages and most fansites, except those written by a recognized authority." should be avoided. This is basically one big fan site (fans of made up terms as seen in lots of fiction) with no authority at all. The wiki section here says that the wiki must be stable, and a site that says: "There Is No Such Thing As Notability, and no citations are needed. If your entry cannot gather any evidence by the Wiki Magic, it will just wither and die. Until then, though, it will be available through the Main Tropes Index." is never stable. That's just a free for all. And, frankly, Shreevatsa, Wikipedia:Linking to other wikis is just a proposal that says all sorts of things that contradict what WP:EL says. *This* is the page you have to be concerned with. Ignore that one. DreamGuy (talk) 17:02, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
The current "Linking to other wikis" (apparently dead) proposal is simply to change the visual appearance of links to other wikis. It is not a justification for increasing the number of links to wikis. (Links to a wiki to promote the wiki or to attract more editors to it would violate WP:EL#EL4.)
External links to wikis must comply with all the usual rules, and specifically with WP:EL#EL12. This particular link does not appear to do that and should not be included. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:15, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I concur that (a) TV Tropes is not WP:RS, and (b) it should not be encouraged as an External link, in spite of being notable enough to have an article. Happy Editing! — (talk · contribs) 19:03, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if those who frequent this talk page would ever approve of any questionable external link, no matter what the cicumstances. :-) While I recognise the wisdom that no doubt went into the creation of the WP:EL "rules", I would appreciate having a sensible discussion without lawyering over policy. The question that matters is whether it is useful for Wikipedia readers — does it make an article better — to include a certain link. I do not see why the answer is different for the Harry Potter wiki versus the TVTropes wiki, because (having spent almost no time at either of them) it seems that if anything, it is the latter that is more stable and mature in practice. In the former case, it seems that the link is included despite violating WP:EL, simply because good judgement suggests so. Anyway, I am not associated with any wiki and have no desire to "promote" any of them; I was only trying to add something that would be useful to the readers of the Wikipedia article, but I really have no much enthusiasm to go further, especially when the discussion veers bureaucratic. Best regards, Shreevatsa (talk) 01:22, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
It's not bureaucratic. It's straightforward. "Useful" is not a criteria on its own, and makes no sense to be one. Being a link directory, including reams of good and bad links and even marking them so, would be "useful", as would being a dictionary, or a price comparison guide. We aren't any of those things. We are an encyclopedia, and this guideline reflects that. We are not here to be all things useful, only encyclopedically useful. 2005 (talk) 02:12, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
"I would appreciate having a sensible discussion without lawyering over policy." So you disagree with the consensus and therefor the discussion wasn't sensible? That's an impractical way of looking at things. DreamGuy (talk) 14:00, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say that. This discussion was sensible, I just wanted another sensible discussion without a tone of "don't read other pages, confine your thinking to the purview of the rules here". Surely we ought to be able to arrive at a consensus through independent reasoning, possibly changing the policy when necessary. After all, the top of the page refers to common sense: "It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense and the occasional exception." (Also, what consensus? There hasn't even been a discussion of the specific case, just general talk about EL12.) Shreevatsa (talk) 15:52, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

←I've examined several pages on From the previous slighting descriptions here it was not what I expected. It is a delightfully highbrow view of popular fiction in general, and selectively worth recommending to the reader of Wikipedia fiction articles.
Tvtropes is a general literary analysis site. It is no more a fan site than is Wikipedia. The level of detail is impossible for Wikipedia to cover, yet the unique exposition of "trope" units has the academic flavor common to all analysis. This site is useful to arts-learning readers who are interested in pursuing the common thematic details of latter twentieth-century-plus visual fiction genres.
At Tvtropes, fiction is analyzed for "trope" story-telling content: themes and sub-themes common to fiction and real life, which are sometimes but not always clichés. To make the process consistent, a substantial category list of defined tropes to be wikilinked appears at: Narrative Tropes - The elements of storytelling.
Tvtropes has article pages paired with a discussion page. Unlike Wikipedia, the trope article analysis can continue as long as the readers or editors remain interested. The discussion page has discussions like Wikipedia, signed but not dated.
I was pleased by the actual analysis quality of the fictional works I know, as well as the apparent quality of some random works I don't know.
The tropes are not ill-defined. I examined "Chase scene". I have seen this distinctive trope many times on TV and in movies. Under chase scene I examined the sub-trope "Fruit cart", a category of showy things that chase scene vehicles destroy. Particularly amusing is the provided example of fruit-cart trope parody in Waynes World 2: "Garth Algar: What do these guys do? Chicken-man: Well, their job is to walk back and forth with this big plate-glass window every couple of minutes. Garth Algar: Weird. Wayne Campbell: Yeah, you've got to wonder if this is gonna pay off later on."
I recommend Tvtropes to anyone who aspires to the art and craft of fiction writing.
Let's have a look at as examined by WP:EL#EL12: "12. Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors."

  • Tvtropes was founded in 2004 - five years.
  • It appears to have hundreds of pages.
  • It appears to have hundreds of editors (or more since anons are allowed).

It's substantial, stable, and therefore eligible for an external link.
Based on what I have so far seen, I consense as a qualified external-link wiki companion to selected Wikipedia fiction articles on a case-by-case basis. By case-by-case, I mean that an editor who links it should first actually read the Tvtropes analysis for a particular work, and find it interesting enough to recommend to others. Milo 09:38, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

You "consense" it as a qualified external link?!? Did you just make that word up thinking that your opinion somehow becomes consensus just because you say it is? The actual consensus, as attested to by several editors above, is that it doesn't meet WP:EL rules. DreamGuy (talk) 14:00, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Regarding Milomedes's points, I will see them. He said: "Tvtropes was founded in 2004 - five years." - But this is talking about a history of stability, which means that the content is stable. Also hundreds of pages and hundreds of editors do not sound big enough. Therefore this does not match WP:EL guidelines. WhisperToMe (talk) 03:08, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the educational opportunity. Wiktionary - "consense": "To agree; to form a consensus." The first time I used it, it was my original back-formation of a type permitted to skilled writers of North American English. Alas, I can't take credit since "consense" was consensed beginning as early as Harry Hay in 1970. British English writers seem to agree (since they can't yet "consense") that such words be first formed and generally used in North America. Milo 20:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
So you did use it to pretend to have a consensus when you clearly don't. Thanks for educating us about your deceptive practices here. DreamGuy (talk) 17:58, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we need an External Links noticeboard? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I would support that idea. Right now, I use this space as such(se below). Anyways, --Tom (talk) 15:01, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
It seems to come up enough. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
This is essentially the EL noticeboard. I don't see a need to split it off until volume demands it. DreamGuy (talk) 17:58, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I too consense an External Links noticeboard. There are at least three isolationist editors here at Talk WP:EL, rejecting external links based on excessively strict interpretations of WP:EL, and too many unwritten rules that they can't even consense to write down. (See the RfC above #Why we link official websites - proposal.)
The result is trending Wikipedia toward a walled garden. Milo 20:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, these questions come up often enough so I think there will be volume for it. Technically speaking, the article talk page is supposed to provide space for editors to discuss changes to its associated article. Asking "Is appropriate for an external link?" has nothing to do with improving the article. Plus, it would keep discussions about the guideline separate from discussions about whether a particular Web site meets the guideline. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:19, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with DreamGuy and TVTropes does not meet the community consensus for a valid wiki article per the guidelines here at WP:EL (someone's personal failed proposal that directly contradicts it has nothing to do with the discussion). TVTropes does not have a "substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors" and it certainly is not "useful, tasteful, informative, factual" nor does it meet the very first standard of an EL, as it certainly does not contain "research that is accurate". It completely fails EL guidelines and should not be added to any age beyond its own article, and should be removed where found on fictional topics. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 15:57, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
"research that is accurate" To test that, I sample-checked fiction that I knew, and it accurately contained the tropes they listed.
"TVTropes does not have a "substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors"..." How is hundreds of articles and editors since 2004 not substantial? I question whether your position is based on fact denialism, not permitted under WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT.
This is the third time I've encounted this problem in about two months. Maybe we need a Fact denialism noticeboard? Milo 20:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Milo, considering that all of your edits to this talk page have basically been WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT, using it to describe other people's comments is just absurd. DreamGuy (talk) 17:58, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree that this open Wiki should not be linked as per WP:EL. Links normally to be avoided states "Links to open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors." - Since, from my understanding, this website does not have either, we should not link to it. WhisperToMe (talk) 03:05, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for talking about TVTropes itself. I do think that it has "substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors", and also that it is "useful, informative, factual", but if the consensus at the moment is that it is not, that is fine. Shreevatsa (talk) 16:10, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Of course TVTropes is substantial. Unfortunately, your routine EL request has become the latest victim of the Wikipedia Fiction Conflict. See my "insider" explanation at the bottom of this post: [30]. Also see an aspect of it discussed here by the major players: [31].
If you want to do something about this unfair situation at Talk WP:EL, how about keeping this page on your watchlist and add your opinion, based on the facts, to the consensus about each requested link? Milo 20:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to "revise and extend" my comments: This may be an okay link.
Specifically, (not the wiki's main page) is probably acceptable -- or at least not prohibited -- under the wiki-specific rule. I base this on Milo's identification (thanks, Milo) of the wiki's age and the number of active editors: 100+ different editors each day is enough to deal with vandalism (which is one of the major points behind that rule). I therefore think that its existence as a wiki should not be held against the webpage.
The link would still have to meet requirements like having more information than the Wikipedia article, not telling lies, not violating copyrights, etc., but I think we can give it a pass under ELNO #12 and evaluate it the same as, oh, a magazine website or university website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:20, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Wiki ranking resources

Just to clarify if you researched your own data on "editors each day", perhaps using a wiki tool?
I roughly estimated pages and editors based on the scanning the trope index, and the great detail found in pages that I sampled. The 2004 founding year came from the WP article. According to the article, is a PMWiki rather than a Mediawiki, so I didn't presume the Mediawiki tools would work, and I'm new to using them anyway.
I did locate a useful resource for estimating ranking of wikis: 999/612 largest Mediawiki wikis -
Note that Wikia occupies ranks 6 through 394, yielding 388 identical ranks of 1,442,672 users. Wikia is certainly large but doesn't match the parameters of this list, so subtract 387 from 999 = 612, placing Wikia at an artifactual rank of 6.
I matched TVTropes to a estimated rank of 247 (IIRC) of 612 wiki ranks, based on 3,583 unique U.S. visitors provided by for 05/2009. Equating "visitors" to "users" may not be technically correct, but it does yield a rank number to falsify.
Dividing 3,583 visitors by 31 days of May yields 116 visitors per day. If the vast majority of the visitors are also editors (a reasonable possibility at TVTropes), there would indeed be 100+ editors per day. Milo 08:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
You can see the list of recent changes at this page. For a small wiki, counting unique names by hand is trivial. For myself, I have simply assumed that your assertion above of more than 100 unique editors (not visitors) was accurate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:06, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that tool at TVTropes. Counting the unique editor names at TVTropes certainly wasn't trivial. It required too much text processing time to do perfectly, but that's usually not necessary for ranking.
At I loaded the maximum number of recent changes: 2,000. The date range was 07/Jul/09 at 09:30 PM to 08/Jul/09 at 12:43 PM covering 15h13m, about 63% of a 24 hour day. These changes were made by about approximately 1,940 unique editors, by one count. By a different count, 1,844 made 1 edit, 69 made 2, 19 made 3, 7 made 4, 2 made 5, 1 made 6, 2 made 8, 19 made 13, 7 made 18, 2 made 22, 1 made 27, and 2 made 36 (largest). Edits add to 1,975 - 1,940 = 45, a known text processing error of ~2%. (Data supplied for future comparison use.)
By proportions, 100% of that 24 hour day equals approximately 3,175 changes by 3,106 unique editors.
According to the page, "1650 pages edited so far on 8th Jul 09" in 12h43m.
I found the info in a summary table at Since the TVTropes changes page yields proportional one-day estimates that are so similar to 3,583 unique U.S. visitors provided by for 05/2009, it seems possible that "3,583" and "05/2009" means a one-day number of U.S. visitors sampled sometime during May, 2009.
In Milo (09:38), I made a conservative eyeball estimate, intended to convey the number of registered (not daily) editors at TVTropes based on the appearance of factors described in Milo (08:41). To indicate an eyeball estimate, I used the term "appears" because it has the general qualification that "appearances can be deceiving". However, in this case appearances were conservatively correct.
With some numerical data available, TVTropes now seems at least an order of magnitude larger than my conservative estimate, with thousands of daily editors and thousands of pages. That many daily editors and edits could support an even larger number for registered editors (+ anons) and article pages.
I conclude that this recent changes data at TVTropes falsifies my estimated wiki rank of 247 in Milo (08:41). Assuming that the lists numbers of registered "users", I also need the number of TVTropes registered users to estimate a wiki rank for them. Milo 00:32, 9 July 2009 (UTC)