Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 34

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Archive 33 Archive 34 Archive 35

No longer suggesting DMOZ

I support the removal of DMOZ as a specific suggestion. Looks like it was added in 2006. Problems with it go back to the 2004. While it is still may be useful, it was much more so eight years ago, while the problems continue. --Ronz (talk) 20:09, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

The problems continue? What specific problems -- has there been a more recent discussion?
A single link in a Wikipedia article to the relevant DMOZ category helps prevent the External links section of that Wikipedia article from becoming a linkfarm, a benefit that (in my opinion) outweighs the problems that I know about. Is there some other problem(s) that I am blissfully unaware of that tilts the balance the other way? --DavidCary (talk) 15:26, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Look over the archives a bit. The same problems it's always had continue: Editors spam it and it often contains poor, even spammy, links itself. Recently: interesting mention starting 16:54, 6 April 2014 February 2014.
That discussion was about Wikia, a collection of wikis created by private citizens with no real external oversight. Some are large fan-sites, with many contributors checking each others' work, and are quite useful regarding their specific topics (e.g., Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who). Others are not. Comparing Wikia to AOL-sponsored DMOZ is comparing apples and oranges. (talk) 14:33, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
The removal was instigated by spamming from (talk · contribs), who has been citing ELMAYBE as the primary reason for including it: Talk:Michael_Grimm_(politician)#External_links. --Ronz (talk) 16:20, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I hope everyone here checks that out, along with all the related discussions going back to around the beginning of the year. (talk) 14:33, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
WP:EL is a guideline intended to improve the encyclopedia. In general, people who focus on adding external links are often abusing Wikipedia, but replacing links with a DMOZ link is helping the encyclopedia (assuming the removed links are dubious). It is not our problem if the DMOZ link is substandard—the point is that it helps improve the encyclopedia by being available as a repository for whatever links people would have liked to add to the article. That is a good thing. Absolutely everything has been abused at Wikipedia, so the fact that a particular IP may have been inappropriately spamming DMOZ links is not a reason to oppose them in general. Johnuniq (talk) 02:44, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with your explanation, but strongly disagree with your assumption I am guilty of "inappropriately spamming." This is the DMOZ category under discussion. (talk) 14:33, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
DMOZ is from a time before search engines were ubiquitous and before they became really good at prioritizing links based on relevancy. DMOZ categories are curated by individual volunteers, and there is little consistency or standardization to what is included. It can take more than a year for a submitted link to be placed in the directory, and sometimes, links are never included, with no explanation or recourse provided to the submitter. DMOZ's main value today is as an SEO resource, although even that is fading.
I disagree that we should use DMOZ as a replacement for links that we want to remove from articles. If links don't conform to our guidelines, why not remove them unapologetically? Why send our readers on a wild goose chase for more potentially dubious links? It is our problem if we replace bad links with a link to a list of more bad links—that's irresponsible. DMOZ should still be allowable on a case-by-case basis, decided at a local level, but I strongly oppose recommending it in the guideline in any form.- MrX 03:12, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Matt Cutts at Google disagrees with you re search engines. As for your claims about DMOZ, such complaints are commonly found in SEO forums regarding business, aka for-profit, sites and categories. I am not aware of any such categories being referenced in Wikipedia via the DMOZ template: see Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Dmoz. As for "bad links", I remind you that Binksternet absurdly claimed, and the rest of his group readily agreed, thus creating a "consensus", that links to such things as ongoing voting records and campaign contributions, complete and non-partisan, weren't allowed in External links because they "changed over time". iow, their point. Is that the sort of nonsense you're defending? Because that's why the DMOZ template was then added to these articles. (talk) 14:33, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
DavidCary, you missed nothing but a small group of people determined to "cleanse" all Wikipedia articles relating to U.S. politics of all useful links. This has been going on since the beginning of this (election) year. All one has to do is google the name of a politician, and compare the results to his/her DMOZ category and what they "prefer" to put in External links. They failed in deleting the long-standing Template:CongLinks completely (they "succeeded" with Template:NGOLinks, Template:JudgeLinks and Template:GovLinks - nonprofit groups, Supreme Court judges and state Governors), so they formed a "consensus" to keep the four least useful links. They have repeatedly refused to explain why such things as complete voting records, statements on the floor of Congress, full campaign contributions et al are "not relevant". (See the original claim for this by Admin Arthur Rubin, permanently topic-banned from all Tea Party movement articles.) Now their game is to claim a "consensus" to delete the DMOZ template from all political articles, then force separate "discussions" on each of thousands of articles - drawn-out until after the elections, both primary and general. We've seen these sorts of games played every election year for more than a decade now. Choose any sitting Senator or Representative, or many of the challengers. Compare the webguides at DMOZ (Senators, Representatives, elections) to what search engines provide and what these people would have Wikipedia provide (or rather, not provide). People trust Wikipedia to provide factual information, both directly (articles) and indirectly (External links and Further reading). This small group is determined to betray that trust, at the cost of Wikipedia's reputation, for their private agendas. WP:AGF only lasts until proven otherwise. (talk) 14:01, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

I also support the removal of DMOZ as a specific suggestion. Web directories are sometimes okay. DMOZ directories are sometimes okay. But DMOZ is not inherently better than any other web directory, so we shouldn't suggest that it is preferred to any non-suggested web directory that happens to have better content. Listing it as a specific suggestion has had the unfortunate effect of some people thinking that it was the only acceptable web directory. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:46, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Please provide examples, as I've never seen such a thing happen. Also, which directories are you suggesting have been unfairly excluded? (talk) 18:21, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Put me down as supporting the removal of this recommendation. We may need to have a broader discussion about the use of DMOZ links period. Thargor Orlando (talk) 19:38, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

+1. I also support the removal of DMOZ as a specific recommendation. I have nothing against its continued use providing the information is good, but alternatives should be given equal consideration. pgr94 (talk) 10:17, 6 June 2014 (UTC)


The language removed was as follows:

Many options are available; the Open Directory Project is often a neutral candidate, and may be added using the {{dmoz}} template.

Some of comments above assumed, incorrectly, that there was a specific recommendation for DMOZ and only DMOZ. (talk) 16:28, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

71.23, I know exactly what was removed. The problem is that "recommended" or "suggested" becomes "required" or at least "strongly preferred" in the minds of some less careful editors. I suspect that a good deal of this is due to the telephone game nature of communication about policies. Alice tells Bob, "Let's use DMOZ, because it's suggested in the guideline and a lot of articles use it". Bob tells Chris, "We use DMOZ around here; it's in the guideline". Chris tells Daisy, "We have to use DMOZ, because that's what the guideline requires." But we also have the occasional problem with deliberate misrepresentation, when a proponent will knowingly overstate the guideline to "win". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:09, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
My experience has been the opposite, with the same small group of editors repeatedly deleting the DMOZ template because they claim "it's against Guidelines" to link to any directory at all. Then they switch to "it can only be a temporary measure" (iow, selective quoting). Then it's "every link in the directory has to fit my personal interpretation of 'good links' which means one official link and nothing else". I don't believe the way to solve reading comprehension problems is to delete all the reading matter. Look at the recent editing history of Jim DeMint. Ronz not only deleted the DMOZ link, but the archived version of his official site in Congress! Someone had gone to the trouble of looking up the version of it in October, and Ronz's comment was: "not sure what encyclopedic purpose archived websites serve either". Well, most people would disagree when it's the official site, especially of a long-term, high-profile member of Congress, and therefore not delete it on a personal whim. Some people are determined to delete as much as possible, and then try to find some sort of justification for that. That isn't the purpose of Guidelines. (talk) 01:41, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of this guideline is to detail how we manage the External links section of an article and why: "External links in an article can be helpful to the reader, but they should be kept minimal, meritable, and directly relevant to the article." --Ronz (talk) 16:25, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Exactly my point. When you explain why you, along with Binksternet, Thargor Orlando and MrX et al) agree with Arthur Rubin's view of "not relevant", then perhaps we can discuss that point further. All of you have tap-danced around that answer for months now. First you deleted those links from thousands of Wikipedia articles, now you're trying to delete links to DMOZ categories which include similar links - while you also delete archived official links. You have yet to explain how your actions help our readers. Explain how your updates HERE, done today, are helpful to our readers. Explain why you so strongly believe a link to this DMOZ category isn't "meritable and directly relevant to the article". (While you're at it, explain your odd inclusion of "Profile" to the man's current campaign site, when the whole website is his own official site.) (talk) 16:58, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
It looks to me like you simply have chosen to ignore the explanations.
In the meantime it appears we have consensus to change the guideline to clear up the confusion you were having. If you would like to dispute something else, take it to the appropriate forum. --Ronz (talk) 02:25, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
What explanations would those be? Claiming something is "not relevant" is not an explanation. Neither is Binksternet 's "DMOZ page has no encyclopedic content, only a list of other links)" on 8 May 2014, re Michael Grimm, which was the basis of the Talk page discussion in which Binksternet continued to make up Guidelines. MrX agreed with him ("I have to agree that the EL to a DMOZ category page is not at all useful or encyclopedic for the reasons already stated, and because this is no longer 1995.") and then unilaterally deleted that section of the Guideline here. I cited WP:ELMAYBE to refute their apparent misunderstanding. Meanwhile, you endlessly repeated your "no convincing argument WP:ELBURDEN" for complete voting records, financial contributions, statements on the floor of Congress - in short, all the things most people would consider far more relevant than focusing on the horserace aspects of his campaigns. How can you claim that constitutes a consensus to delete? Then the two of you come here and claim WO:ELMAYBE is being used to force every article to include a link to DMOZ. As for a consensus here, it's clear that one does not exist. I would be open to adding language which references List_of_web_directories to help ensure Wikipedians review various alternatives. (talk) 23:37, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that ""DMOZ page has no encyclopedic content, only a list of other links" is a poor rationale; that translates to "DMOZ page is a web directory", which turns out to be permissible—but not very strongly encouraged—under the guideline. However, to reach back to what Ronz said, the main point behind a web directory is to be able to remove everything else (or nearly everything else) from the list. The goal is either a small handful of editor-chosen links, or maybe one official link (if one exists) and one web directory. What we really don't want is half a dozen editor-chosen links plus a web directory, and definitely not plus multiple web directories. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:08, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Whatamidoing, I suggested providing more suggestions from which to choose. I wasn't suggesting they all be used for the same article. As for specific counts, that depends on the subject. We don't include links to minor official links which are linked from the main official site, but we often include other official sites. For example, country articles generally include the official government site, the CIA World Factbook site. (Until recently, those CIA links did not include the World Leaders link, so that was often added separately.) I don't like rigidity. In the case of US politicians, government links are official, as are campaign links. The government sites aren't allowed to link to the campaign sites. So, both are listed. I believe Ronz, Binksternet and ThargorOrlando have all deleted official campaign links, in both politician and the actual election articles, on the grounds they provide "advertising". Most readers consider these sites important, to learn what the candidates themselves claim. (talk) 17:18, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Dear fellow Wikipedia editors including Ronz and,
Every time the word "DMOZ" occurs in Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 30, it is referred to as "generally beneficial".
The February 2014 section is more ambivalent, but if I'm reading it correctly concludes that "it's pretty good".
If you are going to claim that DMOZ has already been discussed before, and the consensus has been that it is doing more harm than good (or vice versa), I would appreciate a direct link to that discussion, rather than a link to a discussion about some other topic that tangentially mentions DMOZ -- which I admit is better than a vague "Look over the archives".
Also, statements about "betray that trust", "private agendas", "spamming", etc. sounds to me like the argumentum ad hominem described in Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions.
Please try use the higher-level arguments recommended by that essay, OK? --DavidCary (talk) 02:33, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Spamming. --Ronz (talk) 03:08, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
I will try. Links to DMOZ and Judgepedia were added to various articles to replace the deletion of Template:GovLinks, Template:JudgeLinks and Template:NGOLinks, and the attempted deletion of Template:CongLinks which ended with only the four most useless links being kept. (Please review all four deletion discussions, and the Talk page for the current CongLinks.) I see a distinction between a good-faith disagreement over too many links, vs. claiming these links (complete voting record, campaign contributions, statements in Congress, etc.) are "not relevant" for a member of Congress. The first argument is resolved by listing a link to a good category in a directory, which I did for members of Congress (DMOZ), US governors (DMOZ) and Supreme Court judges (Judgepedia External links). Note: NONE of those deletion discussions suggested replacing those links with a link to an outside web directory or alternative source. This was solely about deleting the information itself. I don't believe US governors should have nothing but a link to their personally-controlled official government link, and nothing at all once not in office (see Brian Schweitzer#External links which now only includes only a link to a speech vs his successor, Steve Bullock#External links and Brian Schweitzer previously). I believe the legal record of SCOTUS justices, from respected legal sources, isn't "spam". I don't believe the the purpose of EL/FR is to block such information. I am naturally skeptical of those who insist citizens should have less information about the records of their government officials, rather than more. I am also skeptical of those who refuse to engage in a discussion, but simply say "no". See Talk:Travis Childers#External links, a clear example of Wikipedia:Status quo stonewalling. This sort of thing has been going on in various articles for almost six months in various articles, and so my patience has worn thin. (talk) 13:34, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Here are a few previous discussions in which compelling arguments were made that DMOZ is not so beneficial:
- MrX 14:23, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
The Guidelines were different at those times. For example, this is what was stated at the time of MrX's first example:

Rather than creating a long list of external links within an article, editors should link to a related category in the the Open Directory Project which is entirely devoted to creating relevant directories of links pertaining to various topics. If there is no relevant category, you may want to create one. You can request help finding or ask someone to create a category by placing {{Directory request}} on the article's talk page.

That was indeed problematical, which is why the Guidelines were changed. Let's avoid comparing apples and oranges. (talk) 18:19, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

Whatamidoing (re your 16:08, 10 June 2014 post), that is clearly NOT what Ronz intends. See what Ronz has now reverted at Travis Childers. There was one official link (his current camoaign site) and a link to his DMOZ category. Read Talk:Travis Childers. Check the DMOZ category. Ronz is practicing Wikipedia:Status quo stonewalling. He also has decided, unilaterally, to replace links to official websites with links to the 'About' page within the official website, such as 'Profile on his official campaign site' for Travis Childers and 'Profile at Jack Trammell Books website' for Jack Trammell. He deleted the DMOZ link to Jack Trammell, claiming only Ballotpedia was missing. (Note: He was part of the group who deleted Ballotpedia from Template:CongLinks.) Since when does Wikipedia not provide the WorldCat Identities link for established authors? These are not isolated incidents, but examples of a systemic problem. (talk) 12:53, 12 June 2014 (UTC)


templates : RSS and Atom field restoration

There was a proposal at Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive_29#Proposal to remove the RSS and Atom fields from infoboxes, that involves Infobox_podcast template (and 2 others) circa 15 May 2010. No discussion here or there. It went to archive 29 unclosed, and before any number of editors responded.

"RSS" and "Atom" fields should be restored to the 3 infoboxes that use them, because:
WP:ELOFFICIAL's principle of non-duplication does not hold for many cases where the RSS feed is not linked to by any page on the podcast website, the opposite case for video podcasts with many encodings conflicts with this (in this case such websites usually have an RSS list page).
WP:ELNO#EL9 - "Links to any search results pages", RSS feeds are not dynamic searches
Xb2u7Zjzc32 (talk) 00:58, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
WP:CITECONSENSUS and WP:CITEVAR - "Because templates can be contentious, editors should not add citation templates, or change an article with a consistent citation format to another, without gaining consensus"
Consensus was not obtained.
Xb2u7Zjzc32 (talk) 16:41, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
(I corrected the proposal link above). The discussion that preceded the proposal was Wikipedia Talk:External links/Archive_29#RSS in infobox, and a later one was Wikipedia Talk:External links/Archive_29#RSS and Atom feed removal from infoboxen.
ELNO#EL9 currently says "Any search results pages, such as links to individual website searches, search engines, search aggregators, or RSS feeds." While most RSS documents in practice may be inappropriate ELs, and I think they're worth addressing in ELNO, I'd agree that describing them as a "search results page" is nonsense. RSS is rarely discussed in the Talk archives, though Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive_23#DMOZ Template(s) mentions that EL9 at that time (2008) said "Links to the results pages of search engines, search aggregators, or RSS feeds", which provides insight into how it morphed from a sentence that made sense to one that doesn't. However, EL9 was just one person's reasoning on the infobox RSS/Atom issue, and debating EL9's poor wording seems better done elsewhere.
I gather the idea of the RSS/Atom infobox field is essentially to link to the article subject's most recent podcast(s) or other creations. External links to the most recent podcasts (however they're done) generally seem inappropriate according to WP:EL, as it wouldn't further an encyclopedic understanding of the topic, in my opinion.
If I'm wrong, and consensus is that external links to recent podcasts or a list of recent podcasts are appropriate, then I'd suggest it should be done only when there is not an official website with a link or information on accessing the podcasts. Whether the official website contains a link to a specific Atom or RSS document shouldn't matter if it provides some prominent information on accessing the podcasts. I would think this is unusual enough that it is better handled in an "External links" section than an infobox. Agyle (talk) 20:19, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Clarification requested for ELNEVER "uses the work in a way compliant with fair use"

WP:ELNEVER states "Linking to websites that display copyrighted works is acceptable as long as the website has licensed the work, or uses the work in a way compliant with fair use". That's fine, but who determines if the work is used in a way compliant with fair use? Particularly if a website states that it actually respects fair use and uses copyrighted content in a way that it believes is fair use - is this enough for us? Of course, they cannot wave a fair use disclaimer to cover blatant copyvios (so if a pirated movie, let's say, claims it's fair use, that's no excuse). But what about a gray-ish example, for example Wikipedia does not allow a fair use image in galleries, but another website may say that's fine. The rule that fair use is not allowed in galleries is our own interpretation of fair use, legally non-binding, and as such, no better than the other website's interpretation that fair use allows the use of an image in a gallery. I am using this as an example; the specific question is this: if a website states that it respects fair use, and is not blatantly violating copyright, but it's interpretation is a bit broader than ours (ex. it uses those images in a gallery), is linking to that website allowed or not? PS. If anyone is considering saying no, note Wikipedia:Fair_use#Other_Wikimedia_projects: even different Wikimedia projects can have different interpretations; if one is more liberal than en wiki should we remove it from interwiki links? Where's the line to draw? IMHO we should avoid linking to "pirate" sites blatantly violating copyrights, but trying to impose our version of fair use on the other websites is somewhat ridiculous (particularly considering that our interpretations is very restrictive, and in fact we would probably have to remove 99% of existing external links, because on virtually every site we could find something that doesn't meet one of our restrictive interpretations...). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:57, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

There is no simple answer for that. Some websites blatantly infringe on copyrights and try to excuse it with a fair use disclaimer or a link to their DMCA take down request procedure. I believe our concern with linking to infringing content is that it exposes the project to contributory copyright infringement liability. I would never knowingly link to an external website that includes copied material under a fair use claim if that website also has any commercial purpose. If the content is important, skip the EL and summarize it in the article. After all, we're not a link repository. As to your specific question, it would seem that a link to an external gallery where images are not properly licensed would be a bad idea.- MrX 13:27, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
@Piotrus: I think it's going to come down to common sense: Is it likely that if that web site were sued for infringement by a well-heeled opponent with good lawyers, and that web site had good lawyers and intended to vigorously contest the infringement lawsuit, and the judge and jury were knowledgeable an rendered a just verdict based on the facts and the law, would that web site lose the infringement lawsuit? If the answer is "obviously yes" then treat it like any other obviously-infringing site. If the answer is "obviously no" then treat it like any other non-obviously-infringing site. If the answer is "it would take a lawyer to even make a responsible guess" then it should be an editorial decision as to whether to link to that site or go without a link - the best outcome will probably come from case-by-case local discussions rather than a global one. If there is an alternative site that serves the same purpose but which does not have any reason not to link to it (e.g. possible copyvio, possible not-safe-for-work site linked from a g-rated article, etc.), then the alternative site should be preferred. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 18:52, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
@MrX and Davidwr: I appreciate your thoughtful analysis. What would be your views on those examples:
1) can an article about book series link to a fan-page that among a number of clearly helpful and uncontroversial stuff such as let's say their own essays and such also compiles book covers on a gallery page (attributed, relatively low res, citing fair use in each case)? If an editor is reverting inclusion of a link to that site under an argument that "Wikipedia fair use interpretation disallows fair use galleries, hence under ELNEVER we cannot link to a site which violates our interpretation of fair use as it is contributory copyright infringement", would you say they are right, or that they are overeacting?
2) another site has used some images, again under an explicit fair use/low res rationale, to create avatars/navigational elements such as buttons as such. The argument here goes that a common interpretation of fair use does not extent to "decorative elements" (hence we don't allow fair use images in templates or such on Wikipedia). Again, an editor is using ELNEVER to prevent an article on book series to link to a fan page guilty of such practices. Fair caution or overreaction? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 11:48, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
It would be helpful to know exactly what websites you are referring to, but in general, I would not link to them because they are fansites (WP:ELNO#EL11). The second one seems to have a very relaxed view of fair use. The use of galleries does suggest that the external website is exceeding de minimis usage under the fair use doctrine.- MrX 13:17, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
@Piotrus: These are close enough to edge cases that I can't give a "global" answer to either question. However, I can give two specific answers for case #1: If the page that the Wikipedia article linked to was the page that showed the galleries and that page was, on the whole, a page full of copyright infringement, then removing the link would be correct. On the opposite extreme, if the page that the Wikipedia article linked to had neither the galleries nor a link to the galleries, then removal of the link for the reason stated above would very likely be inappropriate (there may be other valid reasons to remove the link, but those are outside the scope of this discussion). As far as the second example goes: I disagree with your implied conclusion that the use of avatars and such is never going to be anything other than "decorative elements." I've known of cases where people choose avatars to reflect their real-life persona or the persona they wish to "role play" in online forums. In such cases, the avatars fill a functional in addition to decorative role. Heck, even on Wikipedia, you see people choosing functional avitars like those in {{WikiGnome topicon}} and the like. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 14:27, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
@MrX and Davidwr: The specific case being discussed is this: Talk:Honorverse#Can_we_link_honorverse.wikia.com_from_external_links.3F. The galleries in question include a generic wiki-style category for images (automatically created by MediaWiki software), a book covers gallery that I described above, and a fan art gallery, which seems relatively problem-free (most images seem to be either freely licenced or uploaded by creators/with permission), through of course there's the problem of fanart being unauthorized derivatives. See the discussion for some other potentially problematic elements. Do you think that we should remove the link? Personally I think it's copyright paranoic to do so (fansites are almost never sued; and this one has a good working relationship with the copyright holders (book publisher, book author), and correspondingly, the chance of us ever getting in trouble by linking to it seem extremely small). That said, I think it's always good to educate people about fair use, and the site's editors are willing to consider changes if there is something that can be easily addressed (I'd expect they would probably agree to remove fair use images which are used as decorative elements). If the website is not linkable as it is now, what can be do to bringing in line with our requirements? Thoughts? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:02, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Properly addressing this case would require more time than I have. However, because it is a "maybe, maybe not" case, the best place to discuss it is the talk page where the discussion is already occurring, not here. Unless WP:OFFICE gets involved or there is a court case on this specific case or a clearly-closely-parallel case, we should not use this case by itself as a reason to change an existing guideline. However, if a strong and clear consensus is reached in the ongoing discussion for that specific page, that may be grounds to call for an rfc to change the relevant guidelines or policies. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 22:15, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
@Davidwr: Since I think we have a relatively strong consensus (with one editor dissenting), what relevant guidelines and policies would you suggest we should discuss regarding possible changing? LINKVIO, as WhataIdoing suggests below? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 09:43, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
I'll just add here that ELNEVER summarizes a requirement that is actually present in full at the policy WP:LINKVIO, which may be the better place to ask your question, and that the requirement is to comply with the law, not with Wikipedia's intentionally more restrictive voluntary limitations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:33, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: Thank you for the link to LINKVIO, I've posted a note on that page's talk directing interested editors here, as I think it's best to keep the discussion centralized. I'll attempt to reformulate the discussion with regards to specific clarifications I think we need to agree on and likely reflect in one of both of the stated policies.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:29, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Specific policies as of mid-June 2014


Since most recently-created works are copyrighted, almost any Wikipedia article which cites its sources will link to copyrighted material. It is not necessary to obtain the permission of a copyright holder before linking to copyrighted material, just as an author of a book does not need permission to cite someone else's work in their bibliography. Likewise, Wikipedia is not restricted to linking only to CC-BY-SA or open-source content.

However, if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. An example would be linking to a site hosting the lyrics of many popular songs without permission from their copyright holders. Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry [1]). Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors. The copyright status of Internet archives in the United States is unclear, however. It is currently acceptable to link to internet archives such as the Wayback Machine, which host unmodified archived copies of webpages taken at various points in time. In articles about a website, it is acceptable to include a link to that website even if there are possible copyright violations somewhere on the site.

Context is also important; it may be acceptable to link to a reputable website's review of a particular film, even if it presents a still from the film (such uses are generally either explicitly permitted by distributors or allowed under fair use). However, linking directly to the still of the film removes the context and the site's justification for permitted use or fair use.


For policy or technical reasons, editors are restricted from linking to the following, without exception:

Material that violates the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked. Linking to websites that display copyrighted works is acceptable as long as the website has licensed the work, or uses the work in a way compliant with fair use. Knowingly directing others to material that violates copyright may be considered contributory copyright infringement.<ref>"In December 1999, for example, a U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah granted a preliminary injunction against a religious organization that maintained a Web site that established links to other sites containing material that infringed on the plaintiff's copyright. The court ruled that the links constituted "contributory infringement" and ordered them removed." ([ American Library Association: Hypertext Linking and Copyright Issues]) However, this remains a developing area of case law.</ref> If there is reason to believe that a website has a copy of a work in violation of its copyright, do not link to it. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work casts a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors. This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as Scribd or YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates copyright.

Questions about aspects of ELNEVER/LINKVIO

First, I am going to list, in bullet points, the key relevant quotes from the policies cited above:

  • "if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work"
    • this sentence notes that we should not link to the copy of the work, however it does not prohibit us from linking to the very site in question
  • "An example would be linking to a site hosting the lyrics of many popular songs without permission from their copyright holders."
    • Now this is a bit confusing, as the example now discusses linking to a site, not a specific, copyright violating page on it. As such, I believe that one of those two sentences needs to be clarified. In particular: if a site has some copyright-violating materials somewhere on it, are we allowed to link to it or not? Personally, I'd think that the question would be what portion of a site is composed of copyright-violating materials. An extreme reading of the policy - never link to a site that has copyvio content - would, after all, prevent us from linking to ourselves, and probably to most of the Internet. I think this sentence should be fixed to read thus: "An example would be linking to a lyrics of a songs hosted on a site that did not receive a permission to do so from their copyright holders, or to the song itself hosted without permission on a streaming website such as YouTube, or a website offering illegal mp3 downloads."
  • "In articles about a website, it is acceptable to include a link to that website even if there are possible copyright violations somewhere on the site."
    • This is why we are allowed to link to The Pirate Bay website from its article. Now, here's an extension of this to consider. In an article about a concept, if there's a consensus that a specific website is the best - most relevant, informative, etc. external link related to the subject, more so than any official site (if it exists at all), can we link to that site even if there are possible copyright violation somewhere on it? In other words, it seems to me to be unfair that articles about a websites can link to (even highly problematic) websites, but articles about different topics don't get a similar dispensation. Yes, I know that a website link in a website article is of core relevance, but if an article is about a concept, and there's a website of core relevance, is it really that different?
  • Context is also important; it may be acceptable to link to a reputable website's review of a particular film, even if it presents a still from the film (such uses are generally either explicitly permitted by distributors or allowed under fair use).
    • Here we acknowledge that we treat fair use as an acceptable, global exception.
  • "If there is reason to believe that a website has a copy of a work in violation of its copyright, do not link to it. Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work casts a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors."
    • This suggests that we primarily care about preventing (or not abetting) illegal distribution (i.e. piracy).
  • "This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as Scribd or YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates copyright."

Reading the above I believe that the primary purpose of those policies is to ensure we don't link to sites that engage in what is generally understood as piracy. The policy was intended to say that "in an article about a copyrighted work, don't link to it's torrent or such". Perfectly reasonable and understandable. But the question is - how far can we take it? In particular, I want to resolve the contradiction between the first two sentences of LINKVIO, "if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work" and the example that follows. It is clear that we should never link directly to a webpage that contains a copyvio'ed work, whatever the media. However, can we link to a relevant website, when we can be reasonably sure that at least a small portion of its contents are copyvio'ed? The thing is that virtually all websites, if we look hard enough, will have copyvio problems.

Consider the following example: even if a journalistic website uses content that can be argued is fair use, if it has a reader comments section that allows non-text media to be included, from avatars to embedded pictures, then it's almost certain that copyright will be violated - taken too far for fair use to rescue it. For example, User:Nikkimaria thought me recently that fair use does not allow for purely decorative use of works. Which means that any website that uses avatars or allows readers to post pictures is probably violating some copyrights. Examples? io9 portal, for example, allows for both ([2] random article we use which I am sure in the readers comments at least violates fair use numerous times, [3] and we link to that website hundreds of time). And it's not like io9 is an exception; CNN allows registered readers to chose an avatar too. Worse, CNN for example has a "From around the web" section (see for example [4], another link chosen from [5]). Here, CNN links to headlines and images from other websites, which I think violates fair use as well (then there's also the commercial aspect). How about sites that have advertisements on them? It's certainly possible for an advertisement to violate copyrights (ex. [6]). Are we going to ban linking to all and any websites that carries advertisements? If we don't, we know that somewhere, someone will carry an ad that's a copyvio... All right, I hope this makes my point clear: on the modern Internet it is impossible not to violate copyrights. We (Wikipedia) do it, other websites do it even more. I think the cited policies should make it clear that we are not going to 1) link directly to COPYVIO'ed content, ex, torrents, files, listings of thereof and such and 2) sites that abet piracy (unless an article is about such a website), but are not restricting linking to websites that on some subpages run afoul of copyright as if we try to avoid that, we won't have any Internet to link to. Thoughts? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:45, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Official sites that primarily sell products

I'd propose tightening WP:ELOFFICIAL to exclude official site that merely sell products e.g. memorabilia. This would be counter to WP:ELNO No. 5 that discourages "Individual web pages that primarily exist to sell products or services, or to web pages with objectionable amounts of advertising." Such links also don't "give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself", as is the spirit of allowing official links. An example would be the attempt to include to Marques Johnson.—Bagumba (talk) 21:51, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Bagumba's proposal. Wikipedia shouldn't be linking to websites whose only purpose is to sell something....William 22:02, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Is that actually his official website? If so, then it certainly does tell you something about himself, namely that he'd like to make some money.
More problematically, what do you do with the official website for It, too, "primarily exists to sell products". WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:45, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Point No. 2 of ELOFFICIAL currently reads: "The linked content primarily covers the area for which the subject of the article is notable." That would make appropriate for Amazon's article, but render a pure product merchandise website inappropriate for a person who is not primarily notable due to the website.—Bagumba (talk) 01:03, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
"Marques Johnson’s official website" (also called "Marques Johnson’s official PastPros website") is a good case of an "official" website I would argue against including, but I don't think WP:ELOFFICIAL needs tightening for this particular case. EL:OFFICIAL's #1 requirement that the subject is in direct control is met only in the technical sense that Johnson presumably authorized PastPros to call this his official website, its #2 requirement is dubiously met (the content has items for sale related to the subject's reason for notability, but I wouldn't call this "covering" the subject, and it offers virtually no other useful coverage), and most importantly it doesn't meet the stated intent of EL:OFFICIAL: "Official links (if any) are provided to give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself," which this "official site" doesn't do. Johnson's Twitter page would seem to be a much stronger candidate for being included under EL:OFFICIAL than the PastPros website.
If this is a common type of controversy, or one where a local consensus of editors actually favored that type of official link based on EL:OFFICIAL, then I'd look at tightening the wording. But in Johnson's case and about a dozen other PastPros links added by the same user who added it, there's apparently been no discussion on the Talk pages about their subsequent removal, and no attempt to re-add the links. Agyle (talk) 01:43, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Links to fundraising sites

The EL guideline doesn't seem very definitive about fundraising links, although the guidelines seem to allow one to make a case against one. But in the case of a link that goes to a pure fundraising campaign (that is, the page is only about raising funds, like an IndieGogo page), shouldn't we disallow that in plain, direct language in the guideline? Stevie is the man! TalkWork 18:53, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

At least for crowdfunding sites where the goal is to try to provide information (details of the goal, etc.) I see no problem in these as ELs as primary information. In particularly after such funding campaigns are over, this provides details about the crowdfunding campaign that may or may not be reflected in third-party sources. --MASEM (t) 19:01, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree this makes sense after the funding campaign is complete, given it provides detail to article content. But while the campaign is proceeding is where I see advertising to generate funds. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 19:43, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
If the project is one identified by other sources as to give it sufficient notability and to get away from any possible COI issues, I would say it is not a problem to link to the active fundraiser, since the inclusion is more for completeness and not for advertizing the funding effort. On the other hand, linking to a fundraising page for a non-notable project does smack of possible promotional goals. Arguably, the suggestion that we don't link to fundraising pages, the same logic would say we can't link to charity pages because they are always asking for money. I think it's just a matter of making sure the inclusion of the link isn't there for promotion but completeness. --MASEM (t) 20:35, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, I see your first point -- given reliable secondary coverage of the campaign, linking to it makes sense to say effectively "this is what other independent reliable sources are talking about". As for a charity, if they are notable enough to have an article, then it makes sense under the guidelines to link to their site, where ostensibly they are raising money. In my mind, this is different from a little-known band linking to an IndieGogo campaign to "raise money for a full US tour with a new album to be released sometime in 2015", with no references (which is another problem). Stevie is the man! TalkWork 20:56, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Then I suggest that what is in WP:ADV already covers this distinction: Wikipedia uses the same standards for evaluating links to websites owned by for-profit and (real or purported) non-profit organizations. Links to potentially revenue-generating web pages are not prohibited, even though the website owner might earn money through advertisements, sales, or (in the case of non-profit organizations) donations. Choose which pages to link based on the immediate benefit to Wikipedia readers that click on the link, not based on the organization's tax status or your guess at whether the website's owner might earn money from the link. I dunno if we need to add language to this, but I think this covers the distinction well for ELs to such pages. --MASEM (t) 21:37, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Medicine-related articles#External links has a prohibition on fundraising sites. I don't know if it's enough of a problem in other areas to warrant explicit language. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:57, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the same sort of common sense applies - is the inclusion of the link a COI issue? Dropping a link to a Red Cross research report appropriate to the article topic, from their website - which is a perpetual charity/fund-raising site - isn't going to be a problem. Dropping a link to a random charity that just happens to deal with, say, breast cancer on the article about Breast cancer, on the other hand, is a problem. --MASEM (t) 15:13, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

links to voting records

---> See No longer suggesting DMOZ (archived section) <---

Let's plan a bigger discussion

I think that it might be time to set up an RFC to find out what the community wants. Let's start here, with drafting the pro and con statements. Will a format like this work for you?

For an article about a politician, are external links to the politician's voting record relevant and appropriate?
Yes, we should include links to voting records. No, we should not include links to voting records.
External links for politicians should include more than just what the politician's campaign staff says. So include one link like [7] that lists every vote he has made in office. We don't want a bunch of spam. So limit external links for a politician to official website(s) for that politician. Our readers don't want to look at detailed voting records.

Feel free to replace my unimportant filler statements with a brief (couple of sentences?) summary of the real reasons, right here in the table above. You can sign your statement if you're the only one writing it, but if we get multiple people working on a statement, then we usually leave out signatures. Because of WP:TLDR, this table format is better suited to "highlights" rather than long, closely reasoned statements. If you need more space, then it's better to put in a summary and add details in your own response. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:59, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't know what you have in mind here, but Wikipedia has always (until now) provided links to the major sources relating to a person's work aka the reason for notability (some people being notable for multiple reasons). For example, authors have WorldCat Identities, actors have IMDb and the Broadway and off-Broadway databases, and so forth. US politicians were no different until almost six months ago. Are you suggesting we revisit EL to remove all such links for all people? Or are you suggesting that US politicians are different for some reason, and there could be reasons why we should redact all information relating to their actual work? Or, are you using a straw man to illustrate the absurdity of this argument? (talk) 13:31, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
I do think it may be time to revisit the IMDb, Broadway, etc links as well, yes. Thargor Orlando (talk) 13:56, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Hardly a surprise, based on your posts at Template talk:CongLinks and all four political template deletion discussions, but you've never stated why you found all external links "not relevant". Whatamidoing is asking for your reasoning. (talk) 14:56, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, we'd have to talk individual links. Thargor Orlando (talk) 16:30, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
I have in mind a month-long, official WP:Request for comment to allow any parts of the entire community to have their say, to be followed by any necessary changes to the guideline. They'll be best able to do that if they're given a quick summary of the main arguments for and against the to positions. I strongly prefer keeping this focused on one question at a time; the more complicated it gets, the less likely people are to share their views. If we need to talk about other things, then we can do that later. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:52, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
So let me get this straight. You're proposing a month-long comment period for voting records. Followed by a one-month comment period for, say, campaign contributions. Followed by a one-month comment period for, say, statements on the floor of Congress. And so forth and so on, until the election is over? Is that your plan? Similar plans have been proposed every two years, although I don't remember if you were involved in those. "Kicking it into the long grass" or "kicking the can down the road" is how that's usually described. Still, E for Effort. Now let's return to the discussion above, shall we? (talk) 16:39, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, WhatamIdoing. That voting-records RFC sounds reasonable to me.
I assume by "later" you mean as soon as the voting-records RFC goes live, rather than a month after that.
What else needs to happen before that RFC goes live? Add a new section to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Wikipedia policies and guidelines ? --DavidCary (talk) 17:01, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
So I can include Whatamidoing, ThargorOrlando and DavidCary in the list of people hijacking the discussion from DMOZ and suitable External links for US politicians in general, to one specific type of link, that of voting records? Also, that there is no differentiation being made being complete voting records and "key votes" as determined by whatever source might be used, despite that being a major point in previous discussions? I just want to make sure there will be no later denials of this, claiming I misrepresented your positions. I would also like Whatamidoing to clarify if he is posting here under any official capacity with WMF. Thank you. (talk) 19:21, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
My (part-time, temporary) job with the WMF is collecting feedback about VisualEditor. Neither I nor any other WMF staff normally has anything official to do with content guidelines, and exceptions come with a formal notice about WP:OFFICE actions and/or words like "The lawyers absolutely insist that..."
As for the "until the election is over", I confess that my response is mostly "Um, what election?" The American ones in five months? WP:There is no deadline for deciding what to say in this guideline.
I picked this particular question because I think that it's answerable. An outcome of "no consensus" isn't going to be very helpful, whereas either "yes" or "no" could resolve this one way or the other. In terms of getting an answer think it would also be useful, if any of you are interested, to have a couple of supporting reasons for each position, and I really think that an example of a link that someone might want to add would be helpful for people who haven't been involved in these discussions before. The argument in favor of voting records could be framed in terms of WP:ELDUE and WP:ELYES #3 (for a comprehensive voting record, as opposed to a specialized collection created by a special interest group). I'm not sure how to frame the con statement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:27, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support linking to their complete voting records. If the reader wants to know about a politician enough to check out the Wikipedia article about them, then they'll want to know their voting record. Dream Focus 22:18, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Question: Noob question here, but I don't understand how this proposal conflicts in any way with the existing guidelines, if you're linking to a neutral, factual, independent site that contains a politician's voting record. "What can normally be linked" already explicitly lists sites that are "relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to ... amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics...", which seems to fit this perfectly. If the site isn't neutral (e.g., the work of a competitor or a politician's opponents), factual (e.g., a typical wiki or amateur/volunteer effort), or independent (e.g., the work of the politician or supporters), those would cast doubt on its appropriateness. I can see gray areas, like a US senator's voting record from their college "student government" days, or 20 different links for a 20-term congressperson, but links can always considered on a case-by-case basis. Perhaps an actual example, rather than the link above, would clarify the issue? If some specific change to the guidelines is being proposed, like adding "politician voting records" next to the "professional athlete statistics" example, where would the change go and what would it say? Agyle (talk) 02:19, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Answer. You may well ask. As I said, this is a hijacking of the original discussion. In January, three External links templates, which included similar information to complete voting records, were deleted. You can read the "reasons" at their deletion discussions: Template NGOLinks, Template JudgeLinks, Template GovLinks. Then read the discussion at the deletion discussion for Template CongLinks - note Admin Arthur Rubin's "not relevant" list - which led to keeping the four least useful links (the FEC link at the time being far different), followed by a rather bullying discussion at Template talk:CongLinks involving a perplexed JesseAlanGordon who sounds a bit like Alice in Wonderland trying to reason with the Red Queen. Finally, read the earlier section on this Talk page. (Sorry it's so much, but this has been going on for close to six months.) The point is, all these useful links were removed on specious grounds. A defendable argument would have been "too many, link to a directory" aka WP:ELMAYBE. This was the original in 2007, replacing individual links for ease of use and consistency of presentation. There was full discussion and consensus, led by the GoldRingChip and CoolHandLuke, the generally acknowledged leaders at the time of the US Congress project. Since then, other resources were created and added to the Template, other resources (such as StateSurge) were abandoned and therefore removed. Perhaps the number of useful resources had grown to the point a link to a directory was appropriate, perhaps not. However, that wasn't the goal of this small group of people, which is why they moved on to delete the links to DMOZ which were used to replace those templates. Now we have Whatamidoing claiming he had absolutely no idea that templates about US governors, US Supreme Court justices, US political NGOs, US members of Congress, and US members of state legislatures - including previous holders as well as current candidates - could possibly be related to US elections. He has unilaterally decided that each link must be discussed separately, for a month each, "complete voting records" being the first. It's a straw man argument, based on the ignorance of Arthur Rubin when he deleted so much of the template code: one parameter was used for two resources. Of course no one can rationally disagree, so after more than a month it will be added to CongLinks, and that will be used as an excuse to continue deleting the links to DMOZ, which provides a lot more information, all relevant. All this to avoid linking to the sort of information found at a DMOZ category such as this. Yes, you may well ask what's going on here. I certainly have been. Shell game, 3-card monte - the excuses keep changing, but their goal remains the same. I believe an encyclopedia should inform readers as much as possible. I don't trust people who believe citizens should have as little information as possible. (talk) 14:24, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Complete and utter nonsense, as usual. I have no objection to DMOZ links in general, and if a reasonably unbiased source of the voting record with a reputation for accuracy could be located, it would be an appropriate link for a current or former politician. The one from CongLinks did not qualify. If you can point out where DMOZ links have been removed without comment, I'll consider restoring them if the DMOZ category is reasonably accurate. As an aside, the claim that "DMOZ categories are curated by individual volunteers" is bullshit. There are approximately 300 DMOZ editors (those with status including "editall") who can edit any category (outside of the "Kids and Teens" category tree), and no editor is personally responsible for "curating" any (public) category. If the DMOZ article says otherwise, we need to fix it. (Speaking as one of those 300 editors, and as a WIkipedia Admin, there would be something wrong there. In the past, much of the DMOZ article was sourced to the personal hate-blog of a former DMOZ editor.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:15, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I think I get the gist of it now: pretty much everyone agrees a good (ideal-world: neutral, independent, comprehensive, reliable) link to a voting record is okay if there aren't a lot of ELs, if there are a lot of ELs then people disagree about which if any otherwise-good ELs should be trimmed, and linking to certain specific voting record sites or DMOZ directories is controversial. Is that about it? Agyle (talk) 10:50, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Agyle: Sadly, no. I was waiting to give any Wikipedians (those knowledgeable and interested in this topic) a chance to share their opinions, but it seems they've all left the building. (talk) 15:54, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
ArthurRubin: Sad but not surprised you find facts to be "Complete and utter nonsense, as usual." Example of the complete voting record for Travis Childers as previously included in CongLinks here. The default is Current key votes, and if one scrolls down there are options of View more key votes and View all votes. Please explain why you don't believe it qualifies (inaccurate? biased? I'm totally perplexed.) and what, if any, source is better. While you're at it, please explain your "not relevant" comments regarding the other previous links. I'm especially interested in FollowTheMoney (aka National Institute on Money in State Politics) which is the authoritative source for campaign contributions for state offices, as the FEC and OpenSecrets only deal with federal offices. As a former candidate yourself, I expect you know that. You removed the CongLinks coding. You made no suggestion at the time as to what might replace it, such as DMOZ. You have ignored the activities of Ronz, Binksternet and ThargorOrlando in deleting DMOZ links subsequent to this. Care to share why that might be? While you're at it, care to share why Binksternet felt comfortable enough with you to reply on your Talk page, less than an hour after I posted a comment directed specifically at your actions, and no one else's? I wouldn't tolerate such a thing on my own Talk page, but you two appear remarkable close. (talk) 15:54, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
ArthurRubin: Almost forgot. Here's one, of many, examples: a deletion of the DMOZ link for Nan Hayworth by your great friend Ronz, one of my several Wikistalkers who detest factual links, a mere 18 hours after I added it. Are you really suggesting I should have to review the thousands of politician articles on a regular basis, just so you can "consider restoring them"? (talk) 16:55, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
ArthurRubin: And here's another one by your friend Ronz - done only a few minutes after I posted the above - deleting not just the DMOZ link (no edit comment), but all the other official links but one ("quick cleanup per WP:EL & WP:NOTLINK"). I (and Whatamidoing) look forward to your explanation of that, and your revert. (talk) 22:02, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
@ Your goal here seems to be to include external links, including dmoz wherever you can. You give a strong impression that you do that, solely, because WP:EL suggests that a dmoz is a good link and because the dmoz exists and fits with the topic. I however, and I presume that Ronz thinks the same, believe that the target should be to write an encyclopedia. The behaviour to include dmoz wherever one can seems somewhat pointy to me.
Regarding the above discussion - no, I oppose a blanket 'permission' to link to voting records. There may be places, and even many of them, where the links are appropriate, but I believe that there are many cases as well where those records are 'notable' in itself, and that they therefore fail WP:EL. An effort therefore to linking them from external links sections regardless of better use would not be in the interest of building an encyclopedia. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:24, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
(Since Beetstra decided to scramble together my replies to his original two (2) separate complaints, I now have to clarify which is which.) In answer to Beetstra's first claim, that I was adding DMOZ links based solely on WP:EL: Absolutely not, as would be obvious to you if you had followed any of those links. I was much happier with the actual links, which ArthurRubin decided were "not relevant", which then became the consensus "reason" for the rest of that small group. My view if the "target"? Wikipedia's goal is to write an encyclopedia, not the book-length, definitive biography of each politician. Hence the section name "'Further reading"' for our readers looking for more in-depth information, such as complete voting records, complete campaign contributions, and so forth and so on. As you're well-aware from the Guidelines, we generally merge Further reading into External links unless each section is very large. As for your protege Ronz, he has again reverted one of the DMOZ additions, followed by threatening me with being blocked, blacklisting DMOZ and causing it to "potentially being penalized by search engines". (That was followed by deletions 1, [8], and 3, making the rather...unusual claim that the campaign itself, including candidates, are irrelevant to an election article. Wow. More at Talk:United States Senate election in Maine, 2014#RfC:, July 8-14, and Wikipedia talk:Notability (people)#Politicians, prematurely closed on July 5 by Binksternet, less than an hour after the last comment. Note the conflicts on what should be included where.) Back to Ronz's threat. Considering Bing, Google, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo (among others) all use DMOZ in various ways, that's as likely as them blacklisting Wikipedia. More to the point...why is this little group so angry and desperate? It's as if they/you (or Bell Pottinger et al) were scared to death of providing our readers with actual facts. Six months of this, involving an incredible number of hours, seems quite excessive, with one excuse given after another, all equally risible and all equally intended to block readers from learning anything other than spin. What I find particularly interesting is the near-demonic focus on U,S. politicians, a topic which several of the small group hadn't shown any earlier or later interest in. Diving in to quickly delete a DMOZ link, doing nothing else, when the article is obviously and seriously out of date? No one truly interested in building an encyclopedia for readers would do that. No, that would take someone with a very different "target", I think. (talk)
In answer to Beekstra's second claim, which appears to be the object of typos, cut-and-paste errors, or similar: I have no idea what "I believe that there are many cases as well where those records are 'notable' in itself, and that they therefore fail WP:EL." means. (talk) 19:14, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
(I've unbroken the thread, interjecting it makes it unclear who made the previous remarks and makes people miss the answers).
So, you see several people objecting against the external links you add. The rest of it is probably in the answer below, but to be clear - an article does not get better just because it is linking to the information, our target is not to include external links. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:22, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I expected so much. Maybe a good read about when not to include external links would be helpful here. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:14, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
And mind you, I am not saying that we should not be linking to the voting records or the dmoz either, but I oppose adding them without consideration of other solutions. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:26, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Please address the issues I raised, including those about Further reading, External links, and the goal of Wikipedia. Your passive-aggressive whining isn't helpful, nor is your continued refusal to explain your second claim: "better use" and "other solutions" are nothing but weasel glitter. (talk) 13:32, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
If continues on like this, I'll be reqesting a block at WP:ANI for disruption and spamming. Are others actually seeing useful discussion amidst all this? --Ronz (talk) 16:49, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't see anything significantly disruptive here. I am, however, seriously considering a deletion discussion on the DMOZ template. Thargor Orlando (talk) 17:29, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, Thargor, "Your passive-aggressive whining" is not really bringing the discussion forward, And no, there are no "typos, cut-and-paste errors and similar". I really mean that if the voting records are notable in itself, that linking to them fails WP:EL.
Yes, Wikipedia should try to contain reasonably a complete biographies. We do not have External links sections, Further reading sections so that they can be filled with external links, our goal is to write an encyclopedia that includes information. External links should be kept to a minimum. Are those voting records necessary, well, sometimes (if not quite often) that contains information that is notable enough for inclusion, and certainly not all the information there is notable enough, or necessary for the understanding. So no, it does not have to be linked on any occasion. Similar for the dmoz. They are not necessary always. Sometimes they lead to more info that is necessary for a complete understanding of the subject, but very often they are just there without any need. So no, no dmoz blanket either. And if someone is challenging your continued additions of such external links, then it is on you, IP, to show evidence on every single occasion that they are necessary. If people don't agree with the case, the link does not get added. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:48, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Beetstra: First, I have no idea why you addressed Thargor Orlando. Second, if you insist on claiming "if the voting records are notable in itself, that linking to them fails WP:EL" that brings up the obvious question: are you therefore recommending we only include non-notable links - which is absurd. Third, you continue to avoid discussing the purpose of a "Further reading" section, presumably because that refutes your personal and idiosyncratic definitions of "minimum", "reasonably a complete biographies", "notable enough", and "necessary for the understanding". Fourth, your Catch-22 reasoning of why External links shouldn't be included is also absurd. In this particular case, we're talking about elected officials, elected specifically to deal with legislation which means voting on such legislation. And you claim, along with the rest of your small group, that voting records are therefore not relevant because it's either too much or too little, according to your personal view, and somehow these same differences wouldn't happen if only all these hundreds if not thousands of votes were included in an encyclopedia-length article. Rubbish. We're already seen the results of such an approach: a section devoted to the politician's votes on "guns, gays and God." Not what most people would call useful unless they shared that particular agenda - or wanted others to sign up to it. Short read: You're claiming, "We must destroy Wikipedia in order to save it." I of course disagree, as would anyone who agrees with Jimmy Wales, "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." I'd say the burden is on YOU to prove how your "cure" isn't far worse than the supposed disease you claim exists. You want cherry-picked facts and carefully spun propaganda. I want to give our readers access to all the facts they want and need, not just those you think they "should" have. You are not some god, and your little group is not going to subvert Wikipedia's reason for existence. (talk) 16:00, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I see the anon has absolutely no idea what I said, whether or not it reflects what I meant. The same probably applies to his/her opinions on the other editors' comments. I said that voting records may be relevant, but (1) the source you suggested in your template is sufficiently biased to be rarely usable, and (2) it is unsuitable for a bulk EL template. I didn't say that an external link to a voting record is necessarily inappropriate, although it should be unnecessary if the link would be acceptable as a reliable source.
If there are a large number of potentially relevant links, and a directory of reasonable validity, such as DMOZ, has a number of entries, and many of those links are potentially relevant, then a link to the directory should replace the many links. Any attempt to delete the DMOZ template should be preceded by IMDB, IBDB, find-a-grave (well, that would should probably be marked as having insufficient accuracy to be include), etc. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:43, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I addressed Thargor because I partially disagreed with him. I do think that you are starting to be disruptive with your comment "Your passive aggressive whining".
Per Arthur Rubin, I also do agree that you clearly do not have any idea what I said, nor what I meant. I mean that voting records can be used as a reference, and some of the info in the voting records are notable enough information to be included in the article (even 'blanketed': 'John Doe generally voted for green tea with mint.[ref to votingrecords]'). If that is happening, then it is not suitable as an external link. If the information in the voting records is not notable for inclusion, then it likely is also not notable enough for an external link - if no-one cares that John Doe is voting for green tea with mint (or even voting at all), then the external link to their voting records are also not necessary. I do not think that knowing the voting records is, in general, helping towards a better understanding of the subject (it is often already mentioned in the article). Then there may be some cases where that is true for neither, but certainly not a blanket 'yes, this link should always be in the external links section' .. any form of consistently adding them to any article is therefore inappropriate, it should probably be considered (discussed!) on a case-by-case basis.
The same goes for dmoz. If there is a linkfarm on the Wikipage, one can first consider whether those can be pruned to a minimum. If that does not really work, one can consider a dmoz. If there is no linkfarm, one can consider to add a link to a dmoz if the links in the dmoz actually help. No blanket 'there is a dmoz, we add it', the same still applies: are the external links in the dmoz directory really adding to a better understanding of the subject. Dmoz (or whichever directory service) is not to be used to circumvent the scrutiny of the external links guideline - if there are 50 references on an article, and 5 relevant external links (generally the official page of the subject 'linkfarms' to other relevant information as twitters, facebooks, LinkedIns and similar outlets already), then even a dmoz with 50 'other links' is not going to help the understanding further. If a dmoz does not have those properties, it can be removed as any other external link.
Again, the goal should be to write an encyclopedia, not to just include external links to 'related information'. And we're not here to 'replace' Google, we are writing an encyclopedia. That is written in our pillars, it is not the opinion of me, or of this 'little group', it is the consensus of the community. Editors adding only/mainly external links to a selected number of external sites should really have a solid consensus behind them when doing that, and before they even start doing that (WP:ELBURDEN). You don't seem to have that consensus.
Just to note, this is also not a blanket to now add to every article a sentence along the lines of 'John Doe generally voted for green tea with mint[ref to votingrecords]' - there will be enough cases where also that is not necessary information, or it is already there, properly referenced.
The above is from Beetstra (03:53, 17 July 2014). When the original comment was added, it was inside an unclosed ref, and the signature was just four tildes. When I fixed the references, MediaWiki substituted my signature for the four tildes—I have replaced that with this comment. Johnuniq (talk) 04:17, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
ArthurRubin: You claim the WashPo link is "not relevant", then "doesn't qualify" and now "sufficiently biased to be rarely usable". Since when is a complete voting record biased? You're going to have to explain how this link is any of those things. You have yet to do so, although I have requested such explanation many, many times from you over the last six months. (talk) 00:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Beetstra: You continue to avoid explaining Wikipedia:Further reading. Perhaps you, an Admin, never read it? I find it perfectly clear. There's also its successor, WP:FURTHER. Note: "The Further reading section should not duplicate the content of the External links section, and should normally not duplicate the content of the References section, unless the References section is too long for a reader to use as part of a general reading list." (For those who weren't at Wikipedia in the early days, in-line citations were NOT used, and the References section looked much like External links does today. Most articles only had a few sources. The intent was to clarify which links had already been used to write the article, and which either had not been used or only a small section had been used.) I think it's time for you to stop tap-dancing around the issue and explain why you, of all people, should be able to strike down a standard Wikipedia section on your personal whim. How can you be so against Wikipedia's basic structure and goals? You've been here long enough to know how everything evolved. (talk) 00:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Beetstra: I've now found that this Talk page used to have a link to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Layout#Change to further reading guideline. Since you posted there, I assume you're read the Guideline, even if you now want to ignore it. (talk) 00:56, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
IP, I have read WP:NOT, which discourages the inclusion of external links. If the voting records are notable information, the notable part should be included, and the site should be used as a reference. If the voting records are not notable, it should not be included, and it should not be an external link either. We are not writing an indiscriminate collection of information, we are writing an encyclopedia. I disagree that Wikipedia is supposed to be the place to find voting records, I doubt that that is our task. I can see cases where it is useful as included information (with a reference), I can see cases where it is useful as an external link, but no blanket 'always add it as an external link', it is not always useful. What you bold in the statement is true, that could be an exception. What still needs to be questioned, however, is whether the external links adds any information that is not really already covered by the article in itself.
It is not Wikipedia's task to be a reference for elected people. I therefore oppose any form of continued unilateral addition of these links (and the same goes for DMOZ and similar) - the goal is not to include external links whereever possible, and just adding them because they exist and they may be useful is not the way forward. --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:59, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Support linking to politicians voting records, from the best, least spam-like source available. How, per WP:5P, has suppressing such information even turned up as an issue of debate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kendrick7 (talkcontribs) 02:51, 20 July 2014‎
    User:Kendrick7, I think that one of the objections is the idea that the encyclopedia article itself should contain information about the politician's voting record (maybe a ==Voting record== section? Or ==Positions==?). The challenge with that view (which is good, as far as it goes) is that the voting record will be exactly the sort of thing that ELYES describes as "neutral and accurate material that...cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to...amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics...". The US Senate held almost 300 roll-call votes in 2013. There's no way that you could put even 10% of those into an encyclopedia article—and that's just for one year! There are some US Senators who have more than 10,000 votes over their careers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:17, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
    I'm pretty sure that's the problem WP:ELs exist to solve. To quote myself on, of all places, Talk:Alley Cats Strike: WP:EL explicitly says one purpose where external links are allowed is that they provide "information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as... amount of detail...." -- Kendrick7talk 23:42, 20 July 2014 (UTC) (PS I hope you don't mind, but I moved my comment and yours to where i thought it was going last night; there was some confusion due to the open ref tag[9])

Primary sources as ELs

I've been asked if an EL to a court decision is appropriate. We don't have a guideline on this. Specifically * Kansas v. Jonathan Carr decision by Kansas Supreme Court. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 17:14, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

Sure, as long as it's relevant to the article subject. It would be covered under WP:EL#YES 3.- MrX 17:31, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
It's acceptable IF the court decision has been reported on in the responsible media. Court decision links are NOT to used if found by original research in the interest of the public, as opposed to in the public interest. iow, not in what should be private matters: see WP:BLP. WP:ORIGINAL mainly addresses primary sources espousing a personal opinion, as opposed to a court opinion/ruling. Previous discussions relating to your question: "Restriction on public records" and "Court cases clarification needed". It's been almost two years, but you were part of that first discussion. (talk) 19:04, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
As an external link, it doesn't truly matter if the court case was "reported on in the responsible media", although I have a hard time imagining why you would link to such a document outside of an article about whichever court case the document is about. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:55, 9 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually, even using a court decision as an external link might (some would be more definite) violate WP:BLP. As an example, if Miss Roe files a paternity suit against Mr. Doe, then that fact should not be in Wikipedia without it appearing in reliable secondary sources, per WP:BLP. Even the existence of the suit would be controversial. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:00, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Question about using a Genius (website) [external link] URL

In Wikipedia:External_links#Sites_requiring_registration it says, in part (near the end) : "Bibliographic citations should normally cite the most authoritative source for the publication (e.g., [...snip...]), but may add a link to a free version if one is available and not a copyright violation.".

I have an "anecdote" to put my question in context, but the "anecdote" has been relegated to "Appendix A." (see below), in order to make it more convenient to skip reading the "anecdote"... since it is kinda long, and might be kinda "optional".

Maybe this -- [this business of websites with annotated copies of stuff that is, or "might" be, worthy of annotating / explaining] -- is old hat, or "old news" to some of you people who "keep up" better [than I do], ...but I had never heard of Genius (website) before!

So, here is my question:

Would a web page, on a website such as Genius -- e.g. the one at this "Genius" URL -- count as [quote] : "a free version if one is available and not a copyright violation." -- ? --

Any comments or advice are welcome and will be appreciated. --Mike Schwartz (talk) 09:02, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Appendix A. :

Here is an anecdote to put my question in context:

Once I was having trouble finding a copy of a certain page on . This episode was probably unrelated to editing ["ref" tags, in] articles on Wikipedia, but this anecdote does relate to "External links" (well, "links") to "Sites requiring registration".

I had started out with a certain link from the first EL URL . That certain link was labeled "demise of the 10x engineer in the Silicon Valley" and it pointed to the second EL URL. I then went through at least one more level of indirection (I think) -- (involving a comment at 3C EL URL, iirc) (the comment being a fragment of 3 EL URL) and I wound up here: at fourth EL URL which had a link I was having trouble following. That link was labeled "software is eating the world", and it was the one that pointed to a certain page on .

OK, so here is where it gets interesting. I was only able to access [see] about the first couple of sentences or so, of the a certain page on -- probably because it is "premium content" -- [content visible /slash "available" only to subscribers] -- or something like that.

OK, so I was *that* close to giving up, but then -- "lo and behold" -- it turned out that there was an annotated copy -- quite possibly better than the "original" copy, since it had all kinds of random nobodies chiming in with their 0.02 about what stuff means, or whatever -- an annotated copy of that certain page (meaning, that page that was originally "from", available [for free] on at this "genius" URL.

Return from subroutine: This is THE END of "Appendix A." So, from here, please (feel free to) return to about the 2nd or 3rd paragraph of this section.

I'm not familiar with the website in question, but the first thing to establish would be whether it's a copyvio. If they post one or two news articles from a paper, with substantive commentary, that might be fine, but if they do this systematically (e.g., all major stories from the paper), then it might well fall afoul of WP:LINKVIO. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:41, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Torrent links

Directing the discussion back to the talk page per suggestion below.- MrX 00:40, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

At Talk:James Foley (journalist)#Is that right? and on his talk page User:Wnt is arguing that a torrent link is fine and should be accepted. Comments? Dougweller (talk) 17:21, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Note that I am not arguing for it to be used in preference to a stable HTML link, if someone is willing to provide one, but it is definitely better than no link to a relevant source that the article discusses in depth. (I don't want to start a duplicate discussion here, just wanted to clear up that point) Wnt (talk) 17:28, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think a torrent link is at acceptable, for reasons already argued on the talk page. WP:EL applies to external links (not links within citation), but common sense would suggest that the reasons for omitting a torrent link would still apply. PDF is ubiquitous; bit torrent is not.- MrX 18:31, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
How can common sense be that a policy you say doesn't apply, which doesn't prohibit torrents and speaks generically of many types of software, is actually prohibiting torrents? And as for ubiquity: to begin with, Bittorrent was 30% of all downstream traffic in 2011 [10] and 37% of upstream traffic [11] in 2012. More to the point, Bittorrent is genuinely, ubiquitously available to every user. There are free-as-in-free, open source clients that work well. We have Wikipedia articles, which I've linked in the reference per the EL guideline, which give information about how they work. Any reasonably competent user who is capable of updating an OS and a browser often enough to avoid being taken down by a virus should have no problem going through the simple installation process for basic Bittorrent use for obtaining documents like this that are distributed legally. (Concealing their identity from Comcast censors when pirating movies is their own bailiwick) Note the really, bittorrent is more available than PDF because someone who wants to download the PDF reader has to click on an agreement with Adobe that they may find repulsive, whereas the Bittorrent user is subject to no such humiliation. Wnt (talk) 19:28, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not saying that torrent links explicitly violate WP:CITE; I'm saying that that would be a logical extention of WP:EL. That's just my opinion of course. Based on my SWAG, approximately 6.3% 8.9% of users have bit torrent clients installed. Assuming that's close to accurate, that does not seem sufficient to justify including links which are only easily accessible by a small minority. By the way, the cite in the article contains this text. "(magnet link for a Bittorrent client; PDF)". Is that because the source is a PDF document?- MrX 19:56, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Someone mentioned this guideline, and it says that PDFs are supposed to be linked (even gives an example). Nobody actually does that normally, but I thought as long as they'd raised the issue I'd follow it. Could you explain what "SWAG" is and what it tells you? I am skeptical that few users have really used Bittorrent!
To be clear, my support for using a Bittorrent when it is what is available is not actually contingent on the program being used by X% of users. I would support referencing even very obscure documents (a dataset in ArcGIS, a GenBank sequence) provided only that the interested and motivated reader is able to make use of them by some straightforward procedure. I believe this guideline presently permits that, though more grudgingly than I would prefer. It's always better to give the user a way to see what is being talked about than not to. Wnt (talk) 20:42, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
SWAG meaning I didn't spend much time verifying the statistic that I provided (I took the estimated number of installed BitTorrent clients and divided by word internet users as of December 2013). This dilemma does reveal a potential gap in our CITE guideline, and a possibly a need to shore up our EL guideline. It would probably be a good idea to start a discussion at the village pump to get some broader input. As far as this case though, I'm concerned about accessibility and also about referring users to a torrent of unknown origin. Also, wouldn't there be similar copyright concerns as linking to Scribd content?- MrX 20:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I haven't really seen copyright concerns with Scribd content - generally when I've run across it it really is in public domain. The big problem I have with it is that it's an inaccessible interface in the sense you have to enable a bazillion scripts to use it and the content is locked up in an annoying reader to keep you from copying it, even though it is public domain, and above all else, >90% of the time (at least that's my impression) when I see a scribd link to content there is some other link to the exact same content that is not subject to all that nonsense. Even so, if I see a scribd link I'm not going to delete it unless and until I find a better link to the same source to replace it with.
You're free to go to village pump or otherwise propose a change in policy, but really I don't think this "gap" is a problem. Internet changes, unfamiliar protocols become familiar, venues that were pioneered solely for file sharing become more general purpose. Certainly accessible with minor effort is better than totally inaccessible. Last but not least, yes, I agree that the "torrent of unknown origin" part would normally be a risk. However, I happen to know that I viewed the exact same video clip on LiveLeak before they decided to "stop spreading propaganda", and there were news stories about the clip on that site. In a different situation I would think that trackers that list this as the torrent, with user comments about its authenticity, would be positive evidence, but it might be harder to be convinced. The good news is that a torrent's "address" (magnet link) actually is a checksum of its content, so it is not possible for that content to be changed. If people who have viewed a widely watched and well-known clip can recognize that a given torrent is an authentic copy, that will remain true no matter how much time passes afterward. Wnt (talk) 23:14, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment, the file/torrent name is an mp4, i.e. a video. This particular link is worrisome, in that it seems to be the terrorist propaganda film that most news agencies and video feeds refuse to show (inferred, I have not downloaded it). Clicking on this link will download the video, but will also disseminate that video to others. As I said on the John Foley talk page, this is a contravention of terrorist legislation in the UK, the Patriot Act:- Providing material support for terrorism in the US. Providing a hard to find link may in itself be against the Patriot Act, and we should remove this specific link. Martin451 23:24, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I request we restrict the discussion of this to the other page, because it has no general bearing on the EL guidelines, unless you are proposing a separate point that we should ban external links to material that may (perhaps in puff and bluster only) be subject to censorship in any country of the world (including Tiananmen Square footage). Wnt (talk) 23:36, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
But thanks for mentioning the mp4 thing. Crap, I just copied off the wrong line in my download folder mindlessly. I'd say I was in a rush, except I repeated that stupidity about three times and still didn't see the problem. Wnt (talk) 23:38, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Open Directory Project (DMOZ)

Recently this guideline was changed without, I think, adequate consensus.

I'm glad MrX made this change, because bold action to actually change a guideline is often more useful than paragraphs of discussion. Some of the previous discussion about DMOZ (Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 34#No longer suggesting_DMOZ) showed that some people felt that DMOZ shouldn't be unfairly promoted above other web directories.

My understanding is that we have less than 5 Wikipedia templates useful for adding a link from a Wikipedia article to a web directory. If so, I suggest this guideline should link to all such templates. --DavidCary (talk) 04:34, 31 July 2014 (UTC)

Nearly two months ago, there was lengthy discussion and a clear consensus reached for the change here: WT:External links/Archive 34#No longer suggesting DMOZ, so I have reverted your bold addition of the material. If you wish to revisit this, that's fine, but I think you should present a stronger argument for recommending what other consider an obsolete link directory. The existence of the template or number of templates has no bearing on whether we should recommend DMOZ in this guideline.- MrX 12:48, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
As anyone can plainly see, there was no consensus in that discussion, just Wikipedia:Gaming the system, primarily by refusing to engage in a serious discussion by responding to the questions and points raised. WhatamIdoing is currently trying to address the cause of the issue (deleting External links from Wikipedia) from a different perspective, but getting the same Wikipedia:Gaming the system practices by the same people. This "cleansing" of U.S. political articles has been going on, in one place or another in Wikipedia, for over six months now. (talk) 13:59, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Incorrect. By my count, there were 5 supporting the removal, 1 opposing, and 1 (the OP) asking for links to previous discussions. If you believe that is an improper assessment of consensus, then you could perhaps request a formal closure at WP:ANRFC. Of course, I'm not precluding a new discussion here to propose re-adding the DMOZ recommendation.- MrX 14:26, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
At this point, I really think it might be worth nominating the DMOZ template(s) for deletion to discourage their continued use. Thargor Orlando (talk) 16:05, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree, but I think there would be quite a bit of push back, especially since the template has 6978 transclusions.- MrX 16:20, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
About the number of links: I read through Category:Web directories (notable web directories) and {{dmoz}} and {{Yahoo directory}} were the only ones that I found in Category:External link templates. However, I didn't look in any of the 44 subcategories, so there might be more. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:09, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

you should present a stronger argument for recommending what other consider an obsolete link directory.
recommending a link to a page on some other site, a page that is a long list of links about that topic
Many people hear that Wikipedia is a repository for all human knowledge (Wikipedia: all human knowledge).
Many of those people know things that are not yet included in Wikipedia, and want to help. In general, we should encourage those people to be bold and improve Wikipedia (WP:IGNORE).
Sometimes these people become obsessed with some particular topic and want to know "everything" about it, in far more detail than is appropriate for an encyclopedia article.
Directly inserting the complete text of Euclid's Elements directly into Wikipedia is problematic, but many people find the direct link to that text (hosted on some other site) a useful addition to the Wikipedia article Euclid's Elements.
In the same way, directly inserting a long list of links about some topic directly into a Wikipedia article is problematic, but many people find a single direct link to such a list (hosted on some other site) a useful addition to the Wikipedia article on that topic.
Such a link is useful to the people who read that article and want many more details on the topic.
recommending a link to some specific link directory
It helps the editors of Wikipedia when, when a guideline suggests doing something, we also mention (or link to some other page that mentions) a convenient method for doing that.
In this case, there are convenient link directory templates that such an editor, reading this guideline, might find useful.
Removing that little tip leads to well-meaning editors who don't already know about that trick staying blissfully ignorant, leading to them doing things the hard way and wasting their time.
Dear editors who think DMOZ shouldn't be unfairly promoted above other, superior web directories that allegedly exist:
Could we please briefly *mention* those other, superior web directories in this policy?
My understanding is that there is less than 5 of them, so I wish this guideline listed *all* of them -- something like the way WP:NPOV recommends listing *all* the significant points of view in an article.
I would be surprised and delighted to learn that there are so many that they couldn't be briefly mentioned in a single short sentence, so WP:BLOAT becomes an issue.
--DavidCary (talk) 16:20, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
I still object to restoring the examples as you did here, for reasons that I've already stated. I'm not going to revert because I've already been too active on this topic, but I believe that your edit goes against consensus.- MrX 23:36, 13 August 2014 (UTC)
DavidCary, if you want to mention all of them, then you need to make a list of all of them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:48, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I think indeed, DavidCary that what User:WhatamIdoing is suggesting is the way forward. I also find it inappropriate that since it was removed after an earlier discussion, that the re-inclusion is pushed while discussion about that re-inclusion is still ongoing. More general, I think that linking to a directory service is also somewhat outdated, it is an option, but I do not think that it should be (strongly) suggested. Mentioning directory services as an option is more than enough, it should not be presented as 'if people object against your linkfarming on-wiki, then please go ahead and link to the directory service'. If the links do not merit inclusion on-wiki, then they do not merit being linked to through a directory service either. --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:59, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
linking to a directory service ... is an option, but I do not think that it should be (strongly) suggested. I agree -- linking to a directory service be neither strongly suggested (WP:ELYES), nor forbidden (WP:ELNO). I guess that means that we all agree that linking to a directory service should be de-emphasized by putting it in the WP:ELMAYBE section? Is there some way to further de-emphasize it without going so far as to forbid it?
... inappropriate that since it was removed after an earlier discussion, that the re-inclusion is pushed ... Huh? I was under the impression that people around here were comfortable with the Wikipedia: BOLD, revert, discuss cycle process (BRD).
It's likely that I didn't catch all the nuances, but the impression I got was that: Some people want to remove DMOZ from this guideline. Other people want to keep DMOZ in this guideline. As far as I could tell, the discussion never actually actually persuaded anyone to change their mind.
Then MrX did exactly what BRD recommends doing in that situation: boldly made a change. Then DavidCary did one of the options BRD suggests: revert. After that, according to BRD, the obligation was on MrX to discuss, which he did.
If you feel the BRD process is inappropriate, please give me a pointer to a more appropriate process?
WhatamIdoing, I thought I did make a list of all of them, but perhaps I was mistaken. Please tell me -- which ones did I leave out? (Or feel free to add them to the list yourself).
Some people seem to have the idea that a link never merits inclusion in a Wikipedia article whenever the text (or other content, such as a list of links) at the destination of that link doesn't merit including directly into that article.
That idea is wrong. For example, a link to the complete text of Euclid's Elements is appropriate in the Euclid's Elements article, even though the complete text itself is not appropriate in any Wikipedia article. --DavidCary (talk) 19:09, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I haven't seen any such list. I've seen you say that you believe there are fewer than five templates, but I've never seen you list the templates that do exist. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:29, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • DavidCary, you're well outside of the original BRD cycle. You have essentially made a bold edit challenging the consensus established in June. BTW, why did you wait two months to bring this up again?- MrX 23:54, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
  • DavidCary - It was removed after discussion, that is the established consensus. It was a de facto consensus for 2 months that it was not there. You boldly re-included it, and it was re-removed. That is the B and R of your BRD-cycle, B is not the removal of 2 months ago and R the re-inclusion. However, when 'D' was busy, you re-insterted it. That is NOT what BRD is about, BRD is not about having your edits standing against consensus while discussion (which was against it, and does not seem to have changed) runs. Please remove the edit and establish consensus for re-insertion here.
  • Anyway, I am against the inclusion of 'some' examples, or even the 'many examples are available'. They are utterly superfluous. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:20, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
There are good reasons to mention templates for link directories, such as (a) It helps the editors of Wikipedia, when a guideline suggests doing something (in this case, WP:ELMAYBE mentioning "A well-chosen link to a directory"), that guideline also mentions (or link to some other page that mentions) a quick method for doing that (in this case, link-directory templates).
(b) The people who wrote "{{no more links}}" seem to think that DMOZ helps reduce a lot of unnecessary drama over arguing over which links to include or exclude.
After reviewing my edits, I see I did make one edit beyond BRD. Sorry. Please don't let one mistake distract from the topic at hand.
There exist good reasons to delete all mention of DMOZ in this guideline. Could someone please state those reasons, rather than alluding to unspecified "problems" or "previous discussion" or "reasons already stated"?
Stating actual reasons is much more likely to change my opinion from "DMOZ has problems, but mentioning it in this guideline is better than not" to "Let's not even mention DMOZ in this guideline".
Some people seem to be saying that DMOZ is "an obsolete link directory" -- which link directory(ies) made it obsolete?
After my previous waffling and asking for links to previous discussions, I'm leaning towards "opposing the removal", which -- by my count of the Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 34 archive -- gives 5 supporting the removal in that archive, and 3 not supporting removal -- Johnuniq, an IP user, and myself.
Is a 5 to 3 majority what passes for consensus now?
How can we craft a compromise ("alternatives should be given equal consideration" -- pgr94) that would be acceptable to practically everyone? --DavidCary (talk) 19:46, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
which link directory(ies) made it obsolete? Google. Here is a game, which to be honest I don't play a lot: browse around DMOZ, and come up with a link that you find especially useful. Now search in google the head of the directory it was in, or the title of the most relevant W article. If it is not in the first page or two, you won. trespassers william (talk) 22:30, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
As someone who has only vaguely followed this discussion, I must say that this comment pretty much sums up my feelings. Continuing to recommend DMOZ, or any web directory, in the year 2014 is like still linking to a Webring. It's just outdated. So count this as a vote for removal. oknazevad (talk) 04:16, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Since there seems be dispute about whether or not the previous discussion supported removing the DMOZ material, I suggest that someone create an RfC to get a clearer determination of consensus. But please, make a decision, and don't wait two months to comment. This is not worth the energy being expended over a few words that don't really have much practical impact anyway. For the record, I'm opposed to recommending any directories.- MrX 23:00, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
How should we respond to an editor who believes we should prefer DMOZ even if it is of poorer quality than an alternative? Can we make clear we have no favourites? pgr94 (talk) 12:36, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
And perhaps link to the "link quality" criteria to be used. pgr94 (talk) 12:48, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Someone has asked for a list of reasons why mentioning only DMOZ was removed. Off the top of my head, here are the main objections:

  1. Mentioning only one web directory unfairly promotes one web directory over others (especially for editors that are unaware that any others exist).
  2. Mentioning DMOZ by name discourages people from using better webpages.
  3. DMOZ's quality has declined compared to five or ten years ago. If we were going to recommend one web directory, it would be better to recommend one that is generally high-quality.
  4. Mentioning DMOZ may tend to promote needless links (in articles that could realistically have zero links rather than a link to DMOZ).

There may be others, but this is what I recall off hand.

The arguments in favor of mentioning DMOZ by name appear to be:

  1. Inertia: it's been in the guideline for years.
  2. If you don't mention DMOZ by name, then people won't be able to figure out that the template exists.
  3. Most DMOZ pages look okay in the particular subject area that I edit.

I happen to think that the one set of arguments is better than the other. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:36, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Excellent, thank you very much, WhatamIdoing.
I think there are 4 possible options for this guideline:
  • "Don't mention or link to any particular link directory."
  • "Only mention DMOZ." This has been the status quo for years. WhatamIdoing and pgr94 have presented some good arguments against it.
  • "Only mention one link directory, something better than DMOZ." Several people have alluded to this option "If we were going to recommend one web directory, it would be better", "an obsolete link directory", etc., but I wish they would specify what specific link directory they mean by "it".
  • "Link to a list of link directories, or mention more than one link directory, or both." This seems to me[12] to be more helpful to "editors that are unaware that any others exist" than the "don't mention any particular link directory" option.
Currently I think that "link to a list of link directories, or mention more than one link directory, or both" is the best of these options, given the above reasons and arguments.
--DavidCary (talk) 19:00, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
You might be right. The biggest problem with the "link to a list of link directories, or mention more than one link directory" is that none of our WP:VOLUNTEERs seems willing to spend time writing the list. As a purely practical matter, we can't include a list if nobody is willing to create it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:48, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Why on earth would we want to include more directories? Who actually uses directories in 2014? Thargor Orlando (talk) 22:20, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Books' Details vs Books' Author's blog

Some Wikipedians believed that if book of the author is not referrable in internet except in blogspot means then we can refer his blog with that book contents as reference.

But I beleieve that Book Details is enough.

Is it correct to cite a blog in wiki even the blog has that Book contents.?--Tenkasi Subramanian (talk) 19:22, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi Tenkasi Subramanian,
This question needs to go to a special discussion page, called the WP:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. They'll need to know the name of the article that you're editing, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:45, 8 September 2014 (UTC)


I am from Tamil wiki and this is for Tamil Article. Anyhow I'll question on that respected page. Thanks.--Tenkasi Subramanian (talk) 23:11, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: Allow for links to simulations and models under "Links to be Considered"

I propose the addition of the following under Links to be Considered:

"Links to interactive website pages containing relevant quality simulations or models of article material or phenomenon."

See, for instance, Monty_Hall_problem#External_links where simulations are of considerable use and are included under External links.

Currently there is no explicit statement that such links are allowed. Cannot you imagine that such links can be relevant and wrong to exclude?

I would like to get some consensus on this. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Reidme (talkcontribs) 20:35, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

I suggest that you post a note about the discussion on that article's talk page at WP:ELN. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:55, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
There is no reason to modify this guideline for the example given. Per WP:ELYES some pages can normally be linked, and if a discussion establishes that a simulation assists the encyclopedic understanding of the topic, then a link is appropriate. That's if the link is helpful—articles do not link to every page that some readers might find useful. Johnuniq (talk) 09:20, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
no reason to add this specific type WP:CREEP ( particularly at the request of an SPA determined to get their particular link added). There are "simulators" for lots and lots of topics but very few where a "simulator" would generally be encyclopedicly helpful for a reader to understand the subject. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

In-text external links

This article should say that in-text external links should generally be avoided. This is referred to obliquely in WP:ELOFFICIAL ("Official links are still subject to standard formatting requirements, such as ... not placing links in the text of the article."), but the rule isn't expressly stated here for all links. The rule can actually already be found at WP:MOS#External links, but it should be repeated here.

Also, the rule is broken frequently enough that I believe it deserves its own shortcut, e.g. WP:ELINTEXT

--Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:35, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I agree and it wouldn't hurt to link "formatting requirements" to WP:MOS#External links also.- MrX 22:14, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia:External links#How to link might be a better link for formatting requirements.
The rule about not (normally) putting external links in the text of an article is in the very first sentence of the entire guideline, and it is repeated under WP:ELPOINTS #2. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:49, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I missed WP:ELPOINTS. Thank you. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 03:36, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Linking to images on external websites

Greetings! I ran into the most peculiar problem at Cao_Đài. First, the user added plenty of images on the article that were later removed by Filedelinkerbot for various reasons. Now, the user is trying to go around the problem by linking to images on external websites in the middle of the text[13]. I removed the links and advised her/him to try to find decent images from Wikimedia Commons, but (s)he reinserted the external links to the article.

Therefore, I'd like to suggest about adding the following to Wikipedia:External links#Links normally to be avoided: "Links to images on external websites" Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 19:44, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

There is no need for a change: WP:EL has "External links should not normally be used in the body of an article" and WP:MOS#External links has similar. I added the article to my watchlist although I might miss activity there. Just raise the issue at WP:ELN if a problem. Johnuniq (talk) 23:10, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
{{External media}} is the usual template for adding links to images, and it is sometimes (if justifiable) used in the body of the article. I prefer having it used only in the ==External links== section myself, but there are a few circumstances in which it is not unreasonable to provide the link in a more relevant location. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:20, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Johnuniq and WhatamIdoing. Johnuniq, I agree. I actually gave a similar response to the editor.
I can forward that info to the user, WhatamIdoing. Hopefully he/she will find that useful! Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 20:01, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Amazon link to buy book

I guess providing a link to buy a book on amazon in the external links is prohibited? Tremello (talk) 09:51, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Yep (or to any other bookstore that is selling the books, and whereever in the article). We have the internal 'linkfarm' for ISBN for linking to books, so people can find where they can obtain a real copy. Linking to the previews can sometimes be suitable, but that is generally in references anyway. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:49, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Links to material that relies on DMCA exceptions

Recently, the Internet Archive hosted a large number of playable software titles from old MS-DOS and earlier operating systems - the games are playable via a browser interface, but cannot be downloaded. For articles on these games, this would be useful links to have, but there's been a question of their validity. The Internet Archive is claiming the validity of a 2006-2009 exception to the DMCA to host vintage software that are not readily playable on modern computers/operating systems. Now, technically, after 2009, that exception was not renewed, but from reading the DMCA findings, it is not that these exceptions are hard coded laws and that exceptions not renewed immediately render that class of material invalid if not licensed appropriately, but that also doesn't bless the work as exempt from copyright laws. Before we at the VG project rush off to add these links to these software pages, we'd like to check if in this situation, where the DMCA on the linked side may come into play, if we should avoid these links. --MASEM (t) 19:20, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Multiple country-specific "official" links

Looking for additional input to resolve a dispute with User:Jimthing regarding whether Chipotle Mexican Grill#External links should have multiple countries'/languages' official sites, or limit to English (for en.wp) or to US (as US-based company). Other sites appear equivalent (not special content other than local details and not being used to support any country-specific content. The EL guidelines seem ambivalent and I can't find strong precedent either way in the archives, which is why I'm here rather than simple article talkpage. On the one hand to recommend offial corporate sites, even multiple ones that are for distinct audiences but on the other hand that we should limit EL and especially omit ones that are not unique additional value. DMacks (talk) 03:14, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

WP:ELMINOFFICIAL seems to be pretty clear. Normally, only one official link is included. If the subject of the article has more than one official website, then more than one link may be appropriate, under a very few limited circumstances. The footnote then links for examples, and "one for every country" is not one of the limited exceptions.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 03:47, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I cleaned the section. When it is reverted, please raise the matter at WP:ELN. An article is not the company website, and it is not Wikipedia's role to record every possible link. Johnuniq (talk) 04:09, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you both. DMacks (talk) 11:34, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

Harry Potter and the X Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film) currently includes a link to the appropriate IMDb article as an external link. However, apparently depending on the locality of the reader, the IMDb article itself appears to be either titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone or, according to a UK editor, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone with your title underneath and smaller, described as the "original title"".

I haven't seen this particular sort of situation come up before and was wondering what the best approach would be for handling the titling of the external link.

Thanks for your assistance! DonIago (talk) 20:40, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Since the article uses {{IMDb title}}, what would be the effect of simply using that template with no parameters? Or does the Sorcerer title have a different title ID from the Philosopher title? Alternatively, we could just cheat and link it as IMDb. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Omitting the title parameter would somewhat be dodging the issue, as without it the template just uses the WP article name (less any disambiguation). DonIago (talk) 23:30, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Note: this discussion has been linked from Template talk:IMDb title --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:51, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm in Denmark and see the Danish title Harry Potter og de vises sten, followed by: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (original title). There is no "Philosopher" anywhere, except if I click "See more" at "Also Known As" and get a long list [14] of names starting with "(original title) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". PrimeHunter (talk) 22:03, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

List of TED speakers

See Talk:List_of_TED_speakers#Keep_convenience_links_to_speaker.E2.80.99s_TED_talks

Should a list article, a list fundamentally of web media items, include direct ELs? Thoughts? Andy Dingley (talk) 21:59, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Inappropriate venue. Already discussed at length. --Ronz (talk) 23:02, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Ronz, you've never discussed anything with another editor: you simply tell them that you're right. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:21, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Please WP:FOC. Thanks! --Ronz (talk) 14:53, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
What's the rationale for removing the links? I cannot fathom why their presence would be a problem, but their absence certainly creates issues with respect to the usefulness and verifiability of the list. It's fairly common across the encyclopedia in cases where we have a manageable list of items all related to the same thing, e.g. a list of TV episodes, a sports team roster, models of a particular device, etc., that all the sourcing links happen to be to the official source. - Wikidemon (talk) 15:45, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Although this in not a good place to discuss this, list articles should include notable entries that link to other Wikipedia articles, not external content. WP:NOTLINKFARM, WP:EL#EL20, and WP:ELMINOFFICIAL make this quite clear.- MrX 16:16, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
This case does not fit any of those squarely; also, I was curious as to the rationale as opposed to a rules-based argument. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:26, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Very simply, a Wikipedia article should increase a reader's knowledge of a subject. The subject is List of TED speakers, so in my opinion the content should focus on how the speakers are selected, the subject of each presentation, dates, name of the conference and links to the speakers biography. The subject of the article is not "links to TED presentations", and as currently written, seems overly promotional.- MrX 16:44, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, Thanks. I think this may point to a deeper issue with the article. As CURRENTLY written, with or without the links it is a list of TED speakers, alphabetized, with their date, talk title, and version of TED — a bit of a data dump of information that's on the TED site. It does not really present any information about a subject beyond just being a bare list. Without the links it's kind of pointless; with the links it's useful but mainly as a directory of links, which is not a purpose of the encyclopedia. I contrast that with a more robust list article like List of Governors of Texas, which gives a lot of encyclopedic information. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:00, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
That's very much not the article we have here. Now (as I noted on the article talk:) we can also decide that a list of media items just doesn't belong here at all, per WP:NOTDIR. What's clear though is that the current article is largely useless as it doesn't have links to the media. We should move one way or the other, but sitting in the middle is pointless. (And no, indirecting the links into a Refs or ELs section is not an appropriate change.) Andy Dingley (talk) 00:14, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Number of links

An edit claimed there are too many external links in this article, which contains eight (five with templates). The following two FAs have seven and nine, respectively: Bette_Davis#External_links and Katharine_Hepburn#External_links. What do editors here say? (notifying editor who made the edit: Lady Lotus). Lapadite (talk) 20:45, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

There's no hard-and-fast "articles may have no more than X links" rule - we don't want articles to become linkfarms, but where that line is drawn is a matter of judgment and varies from article to article. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:00, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Which is my understanding. I should note I also posted this on the ELs Wikiproject (an editor commented there). Considering those informative sites are reliable sources that provide a further understanding of the subject, in accordance with WP:ELYES & not violating WP:ELNO, and they are commonly linked in WP articles on actors, plus many GAs and FAs contain about the same amount of ELs, I would say there's no issue there. Am I wrong? Lapadite (talk) 22:23, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
As I said, it's a case-by-case judgment, so if you disagree with this particular judgment I'd suggest discussing it on the article's talk page, where you might get more input from those who watch that particular page. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:18, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
In the given case I see no improvement by removing the 2 links from such a lengthy article and the given justification "EL need to kept minimal" actually looks somewhat dodgy to me. While it is true, that we don't want link farms and link collection with entries of often dubious quality, there is nevertheless no requirement to keep links at an absolute minimum. Moreover from my perspective it is inappropriate to start edit war over such marginal issue with somebody doing the heavy lifting for an article. Such behaviour risks driving needed editors/authors away while producing no benefits for readers or the article's quality.--Kmhkmh (talk) 14:39, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
@Nikkimaria and Kmhkmh: Thanks for the comments. It looks dodgy perhaps because the editor came off a dispute regarding one of the subject's articles. I will delete the and National Library of Australia links which, after perusing it, don't really offer more information than what the article currently does. Notifying Lady Lotus of this discussion. Lapadite (talk) 08:05, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
My original edit of removing the links were 6 links:
Not including the 4 other links for AllMovie, TCM Movie Database, Internet Movie Database and I find that excessive. I removed the Sydney Theatre link because as it's the official link it needs to be on their article not hers. I also find the virtual history a little fishy on terms on reliability. I don't see why BAFTA (while reliable) is necessary, you might as well put a link to Academy Awards and Golden Globes and Empire Awards and so and so forth...but then that's just getting too much so that's why I removed it. Having BAFTA and not the others to me is WP:OR. LADY LOTUSTALK 12:31, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
The article as it stands has 6 relevant links; it originally had 10 links. I had removed the Sydney Theatre Company link for that reason (then also removed the aforementioned). BAFTA's A Life in Pictures is a famous webcast event where actors and filmmakers discuss their craft and career; Google search; Main page; A Time article on actress Emma Thompson's. Lapadite (talk) 08:22, 17 April 2015 (UTC) comment originally posted at 16:23, April 15, 2015‎
Ok, above I was only commenting on the number of links that still might considered reasonable for the Cate Blanchett article. Now looking at the individual 6 links listed above, I'd agree that at least a partial removal was justified. In fact the only link I'd argue to keep is virtual library one as it offers plenty of picture of Blanchett in her movies we cannot offer on Commons and also offers and it has a longer list of reading material on her. As far as the Bafta link is concerned it is definitely not a violiation of WP:OR. The WP:OR policy is about content in Wikipedia articles and not about link selection (not to mention that any link selection would be WP:OR in claimed sense). There is also a good reason for reason for providing the Bafta link - it contains a in depth video interview with Blanchett. However unfortuntely that video can only be seen within the UK and such a severe restriction could be seen as a grounds for removal. The Sydney Theater Company link definitely doesn't belong in the article and the rest of the links though looking somewhat appropriate have nevertheless so little information on Blanchett that their removal is justified as well.--Kmhkmh (talk) 20:19, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

pay-per-view links

I am soliciting comments on whether or not pay-per-view links should be included in articles. One editor removed such links from an article, for example here. Another added them back, here. Technically, the first editor is correct as per point 6, in the Wikipedia policy on external links. But as matter of substance, the second editor is right. More and more academic journals are behind paywalls. So are many major newspapers: Wall Street Journal for instance. It's a matter of simple survival. Discouraging pay-per-view links deprives readers of a useful resource if they have library access or are willing to pay. I think we should reconsider the link policy. Perhaps the solution is some special template advising Wikipedia readers that a particular cite is behind a paywall.ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 23:38, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

In my opinion, it is a bad rule to arbitrarily block editors and readers from seeing valuable information. Note that The Wikipedia negative rule #6 has a "see below" Outside of citations--that is, it does not apply to citations, so it is not relevant here. We're talking about citations to scholarly articles through JSTOR and similar sites. That is the place of original publication, and is the only place available on the web for them. The guideline also states: "This guideline does not restrict linking to websites that are being used as sources to provide content in articles." In reality, the great majority of English Wikipedia readers already have access to a library, and most libraries have access to these online resources such as JSTOR. These services typically allow free access to an abstract or first page, which is truly valuable to the reader. Furthermore JSTOR & many other subscription services are currently providing thousands of free subscriptions to Wikipedia editors. This is of enormous benefit to us. I don't think a rule restricting the editors, and the readers, to a subset of the available information is a wise idea. Rjensen (talk) 00:41, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, agreed--and thanks for pointing out that "outside of citations" language is already there. Not readily apparent, but there nonetheless. So I think we've reached a quick consensus that the right thing to do is: nothing. Maybe somebody might make it more clear that "external links" and "citations" are treated differently since that is counterintuitive, but I leave that to others.ElijahBosley (talk ☞) 12:05, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Important points to remember

Greetings! I reverted the recent addition by User:Fuhghettaboutit[15] at Wikipedia:External links#Important points to remember. I think that the new addition is quite ambiguous when it comes to linking to external sources, such as Google Books. I think the addition could be interpreted by some as a "strict no" against linking to Google Books. There's been some discussion about the subject earlier here: [16]. Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 19:22, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi Jayaguru-Shishya. Your revert makes no sense by virtue of what you've written above. You're conflating two entirely different matters; pure apples and oranges. This is not about the links to sources being, in and of themselves (by our act of linking), copyright violations. This is about linking to sources that are copyright violations, like YouTube videos that are copyright violations because they are some user taking a CNN broadcast and posting it, as opposed to CNN posting it on their channel. The examples are legion. Moreover, the same reason you removed it, the same misunderstanding, would apply to the entire section of WP:ELNEVER. My change says nothing new about what is a copyright violation. It only memorialize what is already the state of the policy by use – i.e., b/c editors for years and years point people to WP:ELNEVER when removing links to copyvios in citations and not just in external links) – that WP:ELNEVER applies to all links. That's how we use it. This idea that links themselves are copyright violations is nowhere implied or fostered by my edit. For that reason I am reverting you.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 20:38, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Fuhghettaboutit is right. Recent edits have not changed the definition of "copyright violation", but the same principle stands: We must never link to copyright violations. That applies to citations too. Google Books as a whole is not copyvio, but there are certainly some books which are copyvio. bobrayner (talk) 21:40, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your answers. I guess I didn't manage to express myself clear enough, though I realized this might be the wrong forum for the discussion. Anyway, what I meant by ambiguous was the the very definition of "copyright violation" (that's why the wrong forum), since I've recently ran into some editors that discourage external links to Google Books, claiming it's a copyright violation. My first intuition was to see if WP:EL has anything to say about it. Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 12:21, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Generally discouraging Google Books claiming it is a copyright violation is wrong (though I would discourage links to Google books (over our in-house linkfarm through Special:ISBN), though that is besides the question (why Google books over Amazon or other sources of books online - that is exactly why we should link to a linkfarm like Special:ISBN, giving the choice to the reader)). The point here is that some things are proven copyright violations (and that may include pages/books on Google Books), and those should never be linked to - not in the external links section, nor as an external link in the prose, nor in an infobox, nor as a reference. I presume the situation is similar to YouTube (where most of the information is not a copyright violation, and there are no restrictions ('legally') to link to them, but the ones that are a copyright violation should simply not be linked from Wikipedia). --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:32, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, most of YouTube is copyright violations.... — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:59, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
? Most of YouTube is either uploaded by the owner of the video (home-made stuff, like a movie of a birthday of a family member, which is generally useless on Wikipedia), so they are not copyright violations. Then there are the official channels of subjects (e.g. the BBC uploading stuff themselves, artists uploading their own videos) which are not copyright violations either. Then there are people who indeed record something and uploading it to YouTube (copies of DVDs), which are indeed copyright violations (noting that thos are also taken down by YouTube). The latter two get linked a lot, and a substantial part of that is indeed copyright violating, but I would not go as far as saying that most of YouTube is copyright violations - it has significantly improved over the last years. Question is still, even when it is not a copyright violation, whether we need/want to link to them. But maybe I have wrong information here, Arthur Rubin. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:09, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
@Beetstra: I should have said that most YouTube videos cannot be authenticated as not being copyright violations. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:45, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I saw the edits when they happened, and I don't really care one way or the other, but it's superfluous: the WP:LINKVIO policy prohibits it, and therefore it doesn't matter whether this guideline does or doesn't say anything about it. This guideline is only repeating with LINKVIO says anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:39, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Links galore

Can someone take a look at Coast Watching Service. It has is a table full of external links to OneDrive uploads, Bing, Flickr, Instagram and Irish Ordnance Survey maps. What can we remove and what can we turn into references? ww2censor (talk) 10:14, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

In my mind, this is a rare example where external links in a list may be beneficial per WP:IAR. OneDrive is obviously not a reliable source, but the images are useful to understanding the list subjects and complies with WP:EL#YES 3. Columns 4-7 can be combined and use a coordinates template. Possibly also the 10th column. Normally, these links could be in the external link section of the article for each list entry, but since each list entry is not notably by itself, this approach seems reasonable.- MrX 14:16, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
IAR isn't good enough. In practice, IAR challenges to EL fail 99% of the time. This guideline is strictly enforced, down to the last letter, and even beyond. If you believe that editors should use their judgment, then you really need to loosen up the sentence about lists, perhaps by adding a word like "generally". (It's also sometimes helpful to include examples of good practice, so if you think that table is okay, then you might want to link it in a footnote.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:16, 4 June 2015 (UTC)