Wikipedia talk:External links/Perennial websites/Archive 1

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I made a revert

Could everyone pls look at this reversal i did - make sure i am not wrong - I personally think the Find a grave should not be used as a references regardless of class of article (the standers of reliability are the same for all article classes). Not sure we care about what the American military does aswell- they (a very small percentage of our viewers) do not dictate what we can and cant do (what about the other 99 percent of our viewers that can see this). Nor do i believe we should link to any project pages especially if they have no-idea about the page. I have re-added some (very small portion) of the text back with a link see the edit here. Moxy (talk) 05:13, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I think you may have gone a bit overboard. Here are my thoughts:
Text added:

*General comment: Because the Commons and Metawiki have a 100MB limit on files some files are added to Youtube for use in Wikipedia that are gathered from United States government sources such as the National Archives by WikiProject FedFlix or other projects. These files can be used on Wikipedia articles if available.

This is an interesting point that indicates a good (technical) reason for someone to link to YouTube. We don't need permission from the WikiProject to mention their existence or activities.
Find A Grave
Text added

However, if using the Find a grave entry as a reference you should only do it or the following fields: Date of birth, place of birth, date of death, place of death, burial location and cemetery location if given. Never: use the Find a Grave entry as a reference if it contains information that is known to be a copyright violation, is a circular reference to Wikipedia, for images or for the information contained in the main body of the Find a Grave entry. Also, Find a Grave should never be used as a reference on any article above B-Class.

I have some reservations about parts of this (e.g., the "B-class" claim), but it's not all bad. It might be valuable and appropriate to include the information that is generally accepted (e.g., dates taken from gravestones).
Why don't you try restoring as much of this as you think reasonable? Leave out anything that you think is totally wrong, but include whatever is probably the typical view of editors (or reasonably close to it: we can hash out the details later). WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:28, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
This is y i asked others to look and i am glad i did as i see some of your points are very valid. what i have restored (do you think the same for the changes from N to Nota bene* or vice-versa that took place - should any be changed back?)
  • "Youtube" text - ok if its normal to link to the project - i see your point - the project pages has all the links to such things.
  • "Find A Grave" The mentioning of Wikipedia:Copyright violations we could add back (should link it) and leave in grave location . However dates of birth and deaths not sure as it seems to say the opposite of our notability of information inclusion policy - That is if reliable published sources do not include information found at one location then that information is—by definition unreliable and should not be included. Also if this bio's pass our minimal notability standers then more then one proper source will have been found. Lets be honest if Find a grave is the only place were the bio is found i would question the subjects notability in the first place. And yes no mention of class as all should be treated the same. WP:SOURCES should also be link in the Find a grave section as per "Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight".

And i take it we will leave out the "standing rule that United States Government employees" bit aswell? As this is not our concern at all - not our problem a portion of our editors can see them due to censorship on there end. Moxy (talk) 06:21, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I have added back "Find-a-Grave links may have been added to Wikipedia as part of an organized campaign to promote the website (ELNO #4)." not sure who fist put it there but i guess we should tlak see if all think this is what people think (as i do). Would be nice if this guy would talk hereMoxy (talk) 16:06, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I am gonna remove it again, unless somebody presents some proof that it indeed happened that way. We should assume good faith and not include unsourced libel in these kinds of pages.
The proof has been given and its clear - as indicated over that past 5 years Wikipedia_talk:Find-A-Grave_famous_people#Find-a-grave_link_spam (2005) - Wikipedia_talk:External_links/ (2006) - But i guess all dont know its history.Moxy (talk) 16:30, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I removed it because it was for one factually inaccurate, it was subjective, and POV. For some history; that project was started along with several others, to ensure that Wikipedia had the same articles and biography as other Encyclopedias. Since Find a grave had a large Famous people section it was decided that would be a good juming off point to make sure we had the articles of famous people they did as well. It was never intended to increase visibility of the Find a grave site and it is not spam. In fact, orginially the Find a grave site maintainer didn't want it to be used by Wikipedia. This "guideline" needs to be immediately noted in someway that it is a draft and the issue is being discussed and the document written as the discussion continues. People are going to start mistking this thing for an actual guideline or policy which it is not. This guideline is Unoffial and as of yet Unapproved guideline that only reflects one point of view then all your doing is crafting the guideline to support your sid. --Kumioko (talk) 16:29, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I changed it from a Guideline to an Essay for now. Once we discuss this more and it develops into more than the opinions of 2 editors we can consider making it a Guideline or policy. --Kumioko (talk) 16:48, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
pls see WP:RSAPMoxy (talk) 16:49, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Exactly my point and I should have provided that as a link so thank you for that. --Kumioko (talk) 17:22, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Nowhere was claimed that this page was a guideline. the tag said it was an essay intended to supplement a guideline (which it is). I have no problem with using a normal essay tag while the material is still under discussion. Yoenit (talk) 17:56, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

My problem is that by saying its a supplement it infers that it is clarifying guidance not that it is a one sided Essay of opinions written by one or two editors that hasn't been adopted or agreed too. If there was a template for Draft I would have used that instead but this is the closest I know of to what was needed to convey to anyone who views it. Especially now that it has been linked to a couple policy pages that relate to it. --Kumioko (talk) 18:06, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I have np with header/tag changes as long as the link to Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays is seen (in fact like that it now is seen first). Moxy (talk) 18:48, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

LinkedIn as a reference

About this assertion that LinkedIn should never be used as a reference: Why not?

Why couldn't it be used, for example, to support a claim that a person has a given job title? What's special about LinkedIn that makes it unusable in situations for which we would accept the same person's Facebook page or personal website? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:24, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Agree its the same as an official "Facebook/Myspace" page = *As a reliable source: Nota bene* Sometimes. The official page of a subject may be useful as ...... Moxy (talk) 20:36, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I see no reason not to place Facebook, myspace and LinkedIn all under the same header. Yoenit (talk) 20:42, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I would agree that on rare occassions it could be a reliable source but in 98.9% of cases I would say there is a better reference and it shouldn't be used for anything more than an external link. See my comments above. --Kumioko (talk) 20:44, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm thinking that Facebook and LinkedIn might be a better pair than Facebook and Myspace, since FB and LI (unlike MS) require registration to see the material (ELNO #6).
Kumioko, if it is ever permissible as a reliable source, then you absolutely should not describe it as "never", which is what you did. "Never" means absolutely, without exception, NEVER, not "might be okay 1.1% of the time". WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:15, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Thats true good point. --Kumioko (talk) 22:30, 7 January 2011 (UTC)


While we have some discussion here I might as well start a new topic. The twitter section currently says:

  • As an external link: N Generally no. Exceptions are made for official links when the subject of the article has no other internet presence.
Are we actually aware of people who only have a twitter account as internet presence? I imagine they would be very rare. I would propose changing it to:
  • As an external link: N Almost never. Exceptions are made for official links only when the subject of the article has no other internet presence.

Twitter is not by definition a primary source. A recognized historian or scholar commenting on some issue in their field of research may be an acceptable secondary source (although it should still be replaced with a better one whenever available). It is probably good to expand a bit on what the limitations of self-published sources are as well:
  • As a reliable source: Nota bene* Sometimes. Tweets are self-published sources, meaning their use is restricted as detailed in that policy. They may never be used as third-party sources about a living person.

What do you think? Yoenit (talk) 21:22, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Generally speaking I would lean towards the Almost never for Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. In exxtremely rare circumstances...maybe. But generally speaking no. In the cases of all three of these sites they clearly fail several of the criteria for ELNO. In the specific case of Twitter, if it is from a Government source or if it is the individual or organizations official Tweet page, then maybe, as a temporary link, until a better reference publishes it. If though after about 60 days knowone has published it in a newspaper article or magazine or something I would say it falls under the not important enough category. --Kumioko (talk) 21:34, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
IMO the EL line is fine as-is (we don't want to exceed the actual guideline here), and the RS proposal is an improvement. I might leave out the wordy "meaning their use is restricted as detailed in that policy" bit. The longer the "instructions", the less anyone reads them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:28, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Nature of this page

Is this meant to be an essay, guideline, policy, or an article describing facts?

For example, I would take issue that Wikileaks is not a reliable source that its contents are not fabricated. Their editorial process for releasing leaks is opaque, but apparently functional; they seem to have a very good reputation in the media. I can't recall seeing even an allegation that they leak fabricated or inaccurate documents. So should I edit this to cite sources for my point of view? (The first in the article...) Or am I supposed to win consensus here on the talk page by debate? Wnt (talk) 01:04, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

  • In fairness the page was only created within the last few days, so hasn't really had the opportunity to develop broad community backing. The statements may or may not be the viewpoints of one editor; right now I think only the author has made substantive edits to it. It seems to have arisen as a Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard resource? The page might be more analogous with the FAQ Talk template than anything else at this point. It's early days as I say. –Whitehorse1 02:08, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Very much early days, and do feel free to have a whack at it. Several whacks, even. My goal was to write down the usual arguments (founded or not) that editors repeat at each other. Sources IMO aren't necessary. If you can improve it, please do.
    On the specific issue, I don't think that we want anyone to use Wikileaks for extraordinary claims, e.g., "The government of ____ hopes Israel will bomb Iran into oblivion/Iran will bomb Israel into oblivion". Even leaked documents with gold-plated statements of authenticity are still WP:PRIMARY sources that must be handled with due caution. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:12, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
    The problem, with the page as it's currently setup, is that it's more prescriptive rather than informative. It reads more like a set of dos and don'ts that readers should follow, as if this is established community practices, when in fact consensus is still unclear on usage for most of these. Basically, I fear users will mistake this page as a guideline, instead of using it as an aid to future discussions. -- œ 08:02, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
    And this is exactly what I was talking about: "per WP:ELPEREN". Users will view this page as an approved guideline and start basing their actions on something that is still being discussed. -- œ 14:50, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
    As that edit was made by an active participant in this discussion, I seriously doubt that she misunderstands the current state of the page. Instead, I take it as evidence that she finds it a useful, specific, and concise description of the reasons that she thought the link in question did not improve the specific article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:30, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
    Yes you're right. She's an active participant and she knows what she's doing. However, my concern was others uninvolved will see her per WP:FOO edit summary and make the mistaken assumption that it's now policy and it's okay to remove the links because this page exists. -- œ 20:48, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Organized campaign

About the "organized campaign" bit (which I've restored again), here are my thoughts:

  • There's nothing even remotely libelous about saying that people who are enthusiastic about a website might promote the website. Nobody thinks that saying, for example, that someone works for Coca-Cola's marketing department, or that a person started a fan page on Facebook, is insulting or libelous, and this is no different.
  • There's decent evidence that this actually happened. See, for example, the existence of Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people, and users who have done little else except add links to Find A Grave.
  • This allegation comes up basically every single time this website is discussed, and the point of this page is to accurately document what editors say each time. Leaving this out misrepresents what editors actually say about this website.

Consequently, I think it is appropriate, and perhaps even necessary, to include this statement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:49, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

"Organized campaign" suggests there was some kind of shady organization behind the link addition. Is there a shred of evidence to back that up and that show that the links were not added by enthusiastic editors thinking they were improving the encyclopedia? The existence of Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people is not proof of some evil conspiracy to spam those links as the basic idea behind the project is laudable (create stubs on notable people), its only the source chosen that was a bad idea. I would like some links to some "users who have done little else except add links to Find A Grave", as two users accused of spamming FaG links in the links Moxy posted (User:Tim Long, RustySpear (talk · contribs)) were productive editors for several years after those accusations. The fact that the argument keeps getting brought up does not mean it is a good argument and should be included. "It does no harm" is also brought up every time and nobody has argued to include that. Yoenit (talk) 20:03, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree in fact I can state with a degree of certainty that the majority of the editors that were adding those links were doing it because they felt it benefited Wikipedia and the article, not the Find a grave site. --Kumioko (talk) 20:11, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
The fact that some "enthusiastic editors" organized themselves to promote a website efficiently doesn't turn them into a shadowy, evil conspiracy. It might make them sound like goal-oriented adults with planning and organization skills, but I don't believe that's generally accepted to be an insult.
You may not quite understand the relevant guideline. ELNO deals promoting a website for any reason. You can fall foul of ELNO by promoting a website so that you will become rich or famous, and you can also fall foul of ELNO by promoting a website when you honestly, disinterestedly believe links to the website improve the encyclopedia.
Additionally, IMO the purpose of this page is to document the major arguments that keep being brought up, not merely the ones that we personally happen to think are True™ or valid. (So, yes, go add "ITSHARMLESS", if you think that's a common argument.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:22, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Its one of the main reasons the Find a Grave site keeps coming up for discussion - ignoring that fact would be suppressing many editors views on the matter - not sure all get the concept of this page and its purpose.Moxy (talk) 20:29, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
But your missing one important say it is factually wrong and misrepresents the truth. Editors can think anything they want and one of the things that WP benfits from is peoples different ideas and beliefs. But that doesn't mean it belongs in a document trying to clarify the useage of a link like this. A lot of editors think that the site is useful and should be allowed...were is that in the essay? Again they aren't promoting the website any more than we are promoting the Website of the New York times when we add links to it from articles. By your definition every time we add a link to Google books, the New York Times or a book we are "promoting" it and I don't believe that is in the Spirit or intent of ELNO. They are adding the site becuase in most cases they feel (whether right or wrong) that it adds value to the article. It is possible that a couple editors from Find a grave acted as you say but its also possible they did not. As far as the arguments point, I disagree, every time someone brings up an argument other than the one sided view that the Essay represents, which is that we should almost never use Find a Grave, it gets deleted or reverted. That Essay was designed to further the point that the site is bad by the ones who think that way. I wish that wasn't true but its clear by the way that its worded what the feeling and intent is especially given that there is NO concensus even now about what the status of the site should be. I agree that haveing the Essay page to clear up some things is a good idea but it should be unbiased and present the truth of both sides of the argument not just one. And I do think that if the site is under External links its harmless. But I don't think that adding it to the essay at this point is necessary. Speaking about the essay for a moment I also do not agree with the stance that Facebook, MySpace or twitter should ever be used. There may be a one in a 1000 article that could use it, and if its an official site then it could be used as an External link however these sites, regardless of how they are used, fail about hald the EL criteria and shouldn't be used. Since some government organizations do use Facebook and twitter now its possible that in some extremely limited cases it could be used as a temporary reference (if they put it there they usually release something later with more details) In the case of Youtube, there are occassions were this could be useful but again I can't think of one single case were it could be a reference, an External link perhaps, in the case of a Government generated Video or an open copyright file again maybe, but it should be extremely rare. --Kumioko (talk) 20:42, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Fact or not its a problem that many have mentioned regardless of anyones POV on the merits of the argument its self. This page is to show (represent) the arguments brought forward by many editors about the site. The point is to let our editors see that this has been raised (and if lucky has been address) thus leaving it upto them (other editors) to make a conclusion on how a link was added in the first place and if it should be removed and/or re-added if deleted. That said the site has so many other concerns that this realy is not a big deal - but like mentioned above is what many have said and can assume it will come up again regardless if its here or not. Moxy (talk) 21:12, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko, when editors add external links to NYT or Google Books to a bunch of articles because they personally like those websites, then YES, they are promoting those websites, and if they are doing that under ==External links==—which, n.b., is rare for those two particular websites, which are primarily used as proper Reliable sources (for which, let me say again, ELNO does not apply)—and, yes, any such links can be challenged on the grounds of ELNO.
As for your question about where the "useful" argument is: I don't know why you haven't chosen to add it. Perhaps you believe that so few editors think that Find A Grave is useful that it's not worth mentioning? Perhaps you just hadn't gotten around to it yet? Perhaps you believed WP:USEFUL was a generally discredited line of reasoning and couldn't find any accepted guideline-based reasoning along those lines? I'm not going to try to read your mind: if people think any statement, whether 'for' or 'against', is a common argument, then I'm okay with including it here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:25, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
To be honest I didn't see the essay as all that useful so I didn't bother taking the time to make changes to it. For one its completely biased and for to it only covers about 5 of the hundreds of unwanted/uneeded/innappropriate external links. I have spent a couple hours on this discussion with no end in sight and that to me translates into a conservative 500-750 edits that didn't get done. But since the essay is now being added to other things like the Find a grave template, as a "Cheat sheet" to the External links noticeboard, etc I think we should clean it up and make it unbiased and show all the facts. I have never debated that Find a Grave was anything but a weak source, my problem is when people start calling for it to be banned or that it be mass removed from the External links section because a couple editors don't like it. My other problem is that it keeps getting resubmitted repeatedly and knowone wants to say enough is enough. At this point I think one of 2 things is going to happen. Either we will continue to drag this out for the next several months with no consensus or end in sight or we will eventually close it as no consensus and in a couple months it will be resubmitted and well go through all this again. Also, with Conti systematiclaly removing the Find a Grave links from the higher rated articles based on their own high standard of what should be in the article (I already agreed with them that many of the edits were good but I have found a few I didn't agree with) its only a matter of time before more editors start showing up. But I would wager that almost knowone is going to read the mammoth discussion on the Noticeboard or find their way here. As a matter of record in fact at least a couple of users have asked Conti on their talk page about it besides me. --Kumioko (talk) 22:43, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I think that focusing on the five or ten biggest websites is our best option. My goal is to provide a concise overview of the usual arguments for the handful of websites that get the most questions, not to create a comprehensive list of hundreds of websites. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:18, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Then perhaps the intro paragraph should clearly state that.. -- œ 19:56, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Question on IMDb template use

Hi. I am new and trying to understand. So I could not have all the info needed to put things in the right context. I saw a lot of discussions on IMDb as EL or ref. What puzzles me is: what is the purpose of having speficic templates for IMDb links if IMDb is so discussed? When and why should they be used? Thanks Mpaa (talk) 18:48, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Templates such as {{IMDb name}} and {{}} are created by any user, usually only for purposes of convenience and/or consistency in style between articles, but they also can be beneficial for tracking and statistical reports. Just because a certain external link has an associated template does not necessarily validate that link as being "Wikipedia-approved" or anything like that, and if consensus eventually determines that IMDb links should NOT be ever be used (doubtful) then it's likely that the templates will be deleted. -- œ 04:22, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Hello Mpaa. The template issue was answered correctly. It might take a while but read some of the above comments and you might either gain some incite or become more confused. The site, along with others, are currently being discussed as to reliability of information. The discussions are to find consensus concerning use and I want it to be so new users can have access to visable information to make better edits. There are some that have made the decision that the sites in question, and possibly no matter how much valid reasoning is offered, will not be banned. The more I see what I feel to be unsubstantiated or weak reasons to continue use, the more I am leaning towards becoming a proponent of banning. I have offered information I have found and simply (and with no agenda and a very open mind) have not received comments to counter these.
Find A Grave has a large base of editors that have been integrating information into Wikipedia and this may well be the case with IBMd.
  • You will hear comments either way and I actually like IMBd but;
My opinion, since I have seen errors in both (referenced in the comments) and serious errors in Find A grave, is steer away from using any sites that are user edited, where there are questions of reliability, and specifically any questions of copyright violations.
My advise is 1)-Never use either as an EL if there is no other source or references. This would make an article non-sourced. With that, since things are still being discussed, 2)- If IMBd is used as an EL verify information. 3)- If a subject is not so notable as to have only one source it likely fails notability. There are comments that the guidelines are not as strict for use as an EL but I have commented with references where this is questioned. 4)- I personally at this time will not use IMBd as an EL and most certainly not as a reference. Otr500 (talk) 05:02, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
IF you truly want to make this statement true that means we will need to eliminate the vast majority of Newspapers and magazines as sources (they often contain references to Wikipedia, contain copyvio or POV all of which are violations of WP policy). You also need to eliminate most websites because they will fail as user edited and or could contain copyvio. We cannot use many websites also because it could be considered a fan site (like Hall of Valor, Home of Heroes, Arlington, Charles, and others). We also can't use sites like DANFS, US Army Center of military history and the USMC Marine Corps Whos Who site because they also could contain errors, could be considered POV (because they seldom mention anything negative) and could easily be thought of as fansites. My point is that we should allow the sites (Find a Grave and IMDB) and eliminate them on a case by case basis. If the information is not correct, then don't use it. If the information is copy vio then don't use it. If the Find a grave or IMDB entry doesn't add anything extra to the article then don't use it. But it should be allowed to be used. --Kumioko (talk) 19:24, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I don't find your arguments above and elsewhere useful. The Find a Grave site has been literally spammed all over Wikipedia. I used the word spam on purpose since there are projects that were set up for the purpose of using this site and even direction given on how and when to use the site. I don't know why there was a push for use but I am personally really swayed by the arguments made and thoughtfully laid out by Otr500. This editor took the time and did deep research into the situation and then again took the time to tell us all what he found and his conclusions. I'm sorry but I can't ignore what s/he said as it looks like a complete research to let us all know what he found. I personally think that the Find a Grave site should be blacklisted and a bot used to remove it from the site. I did one article about the Find a Grave a while back and found that site was used a sources in 9 locations. Those locations already had sources but the F-a-G was also there with the other sources. Then in EL, there it was again. I'm sorry but this is not acceptable and I'll bet that the one article I found is not alone with this drowning of Find a Grave in them. I say enough is enough and if there are others here who also think that this site should be permanently removed, please say so now. I've never done a request for removing a site from Wikipedia so if someone knows how I'd appreciate it but if not I will figure out how to do it if I have enough support. --CrohnieGalTalk 11:22, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
The simple directions are WP:BLACKLIST. As the process is really designed to handle other styles of problems (e.g., mass addition of the same link to thousands of articles), I am not certain that the request would be approved. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:22, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Balancing of arguments for the Perennial websites

In the essay we have a section for what the arguments are against use of the sites. In fairness we need to add a section that details the other side of the story. MY views on Find a grave are clear to most at this point but this is true of the other links like twitter and Facebook as well. Does anyone have a problem with me adding sections for each of the links that shows the arguments for use of the site as well? --Kumioko (talk) 21:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I do - as its not policy related. Perhaps you can make your own page like Wikipedia:External links/Perennial websites/MY views Moxy (talk) 21:48, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
(ec)Your funny. If were talking policy related then we can just delete the page and move on then right? Since its just a one sided essay and not really representative of policy or the facts of the whole story. I am not talking about MY views, especially since I think Facebook, Twitter and MySpace shoudl be banned. The fact remains though we have a place for people to put the reasons not to use one of these links but we don't have anywhere to put the arguments people provide for using them. My opinions aside, using the Find a grave example, many editors have had opinions against using it and as many editors (besides me) have had opinions for use of the site. This applies to the others as well. We need to include both halves of the story for readers to be able to gauge their own opinions and so that when this comes up again in a couple months well have it all documented and be ready to start into another months long discussion again. --Kumioko (talk) 21:55, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Again "Essays may range from personal or minority views, to views that enjoy a wide consensus amongst Wikipedia editors. Essays typically contain advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Unlike policies and guidelines, usually no formal attempt to judge the community's support for the essay's content has been made." If you wish to make a page on the merits of find a grave or what you believe is important pls do so. No one is stopping you from making a page that express other views. Moxy (talk) 22:07, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
So what you are saying is this is my page and my opinions and go create your own. Ok thats fine I can do that but to create 2 different pages both linked to the same resources when we can just as easily combine both into one and actually provide an unbiased opinion, like we would when writing an article, is absurd. --Kumioko (talk) 22:17, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
(ec) wp:OWN is important here. Kumioko is free to improve this page and you are free to disagree with his changes. If you can't find a compromise after discussing it for a bit go to dispute resolution or take a cooldown period before this degrades into an edit war. Telling him he should go write his own essay is not constructive, especially as this is not "your" essay. Yoenit (talk) 22:21, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
I see no need for separate "for" and "against" sections. For one thing, some statements could be construed as being either "for" or "against", depending on the specific situation at the article. Let's assume that our fellow editors have enough brains to sort out what applies in a given situation even if it's all in one paragraph. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:30, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
OMG dont know what to say about wp:OWN accusations - I see that i have to be more clear with what i am saying so some understand. O well i will let the others deal with this "I like it" argument that is not supported by any policy . As WhatamIdoing says "most" of our editors are smart enough to distinguish the valid arguments from the fluff ones.Moxy (talk) 23:03, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh come on, lets not drop to the level of veiled personal attacks, that is only gonna make things worse. Yoenit (talk) 23:24, 7 January 2011 (UTC)\

Length warning

The following will be lengthy but nowhere near the magnitude of what has been spun so far. If some editors are in a hurry or otherwise get bored easily please overlook the length in which I am trying to get a handle on things

I started out involved as an editor that is primarily concerned with proper sourcing of articles I write. I got into a discussion concerning Find A Grave external links and sites that some (more than one or two) deem inappropriate. This eventually led to an essay. Possible WP:Wikilawyering makes it appears that it might be perceived as policy or something. I suggest adding;

; or some such wording that can be changed upon and if there is consensus. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea, how do the rest of you feel about putting a nutshell comment on the essay? --CrohnieGalTalk 15:28, 15 March 2011 (UTC)


So there is no confusion; I strongly support an essay that gains consensus to be a guideline. If there are two then I will make three. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Opposing views

There is an area for comments that can include reasons why there should, could, or would be exceptions, if consensus proves that this is warranted. I support an option that gains a solution and, The fact that some "enthusiastic editors" organized themselves to promote a website efficiently doesn't turn them into a shadowy, evil conspiracy., and assuming good faith dictates that, unless evidence to the contrary, there can not be an assumption or association in some cabal. I do have a problem with the comment, promote a website efficiently, and editing Wikipedia being associated as there can be possible WP:Conflict of interest. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


Until I read the part about the organized editors I suspected there was collaboration on integrating Find A Grave information into Wikipedia and I would ask that this stop, for now if it has not, but at least for a week or other agreed upon term. This is mainly concerning advocating the use or using Find A Grave on stub articles and specifically where there might be any with this as an only source. I would also ask that edits to articles relating to Find A Grave, other than any with this as an only source (be it in any form), also stop. If an article only has Find A Grave as a source it violates Wikipedia policy and should be tagged, including as WP:OR, to give some time for corrections. I realize that non-sourced (OR) may be removed but some waiting will not produce catastrophic results, unless there is clear copyright violations, so I can not see a problem.

  • There are many articles on Wikipedia that blows my mind. They are inappropriate list articles, that are actually not titled correctly. The topic of discussion being external links concerning Find a Grave, Imbd seems to have fallen in importance but is still there, and the site is titled Find A Grave with the web site being Since the title of the web site is a proper noun then all the variants are misspelled.
As far as I can tell every single one is original research and is possibly part of the group of "enthusiastic editors" organized themselves to promote a website efficiently. One inclination is I would just delete all of them, let them get restored by some editor (likely more than one) that is probably involved with Find A Grave, and take this to the next level. My other inclination would be to tag every one (maybe as a group) for AFD. However, I will just list some and wonder when a list is considered an article and how this can escape Wikipedia editing.
and this is not the total of lists. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
These lists are not in the main namespace. Consequently, basic content policies like WP:NOR do not apply at all.
As a procedural point, these pages cannot be taken to AFD (which only accepts articles and lists: any page beginning "Wikipedia:" must go to WP:MFD. Templates go to TFD, files to FFD, categories to CFD, and so forth). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:47, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Other sites

There is discussion that the site is not reliable. I have personally found errors. The article WP:Find-A-Grave famous people#Suggestions suggests there are possible severe errors (The Find-A-Grave dates may be wrong by a year or two.) that should be of concern. The article's Suggested edit summary: Created as part of the WikiProject Missing articles, along with the above lists, shows that Find A Grave is connected to Wikipedia in a big way.
Opponents of this article or the concept of some restrictions seem to agree that the site is not credible but is alright for external links (that are part of the article) and possibly for stub articles. I assume this opinion was not intended so as to produce editors that create new articles for deletion, improperly sourced articles, or articles using references in violation of WP:Policy.
If information is known to be inaccurate, that there may be copyright violations, both covered by WP policy, then why the debate on only slowing down or in some other way trying to show a minimize of use but nothing further? I would take offense if there was a conflict of interest that places WP secondary.
I can't get past the fact that the site is user edited. This means that information that might have been accurate at some point when used as a source, reference, external link, or under see also, could be reedited and now contain errors.
  • I am fairly new to Wikipedia (and repeat this) but am not an imbecile or otherwise mentally impaired so please do not (anyone) try to convince me that starting a stub with an external link only would not be using it as a source or reference. If this is so then any stub articles with only an external link to Find a Grave must be tagged with multiple tags or boldly deleted. If this is not so then please provide the exception to the policy that allows external links, not approved as references, to be used as such but in the guise of an acceptable external link, and then my being new can be a reason for ignorance. I do not think there is a problem with external links to Find A Grave if there are other sources or references. If the only source (presented in whatever guise) is Find A Grave then WP:Notability is an issue.
WP:External links provides that, The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link., and the only way this can be assured is by having questionable sites, restricted sites, and sites that should not be used, listed some place for visibility and clarification. Surely this makes sense except maybe to some Find A Grave editor that also edits Wikipedia. I am just stating that even if I was a big fan of the site, and this could have happened, that I would have to concede several problems that need a solution. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Statements of concern

  • It doesn't seem to be a concern since most stub articles will never make it past stub anyway. Read this slowly. It is actually a sad statement. The author surely did not have the portrayed meaning in mind.
  • Possible copyright violations are more of a paranoia and should not, stop us from using the site. WP:ELNEVER states, Knowingly directing others to material that violates copyright may be considered contributory copyright infringement., and the possibility of doing so should be enough to warrant extreme caution. It apparently has not stopped or slowed down anyone.
  • The problem, with the page as it's currently setup, is that it's more prescriptive rather than informative.; Being prescriptive should be a goal as well as being descriptive.
I didn't make the "rule" but consensus can change dictates that statements like, This allegation comes up basically every single time this website is discussed, and the point of this page is to accurately document what editors say each time. Leaving this out misrepresents what editors actually say about this website., are rendered moot as far as what someone said then, but merely serves as history to see how consensus was arrived at in a previous debate, which can be important or a waste of time. This is not argumentative by a prudent person.
  • Something sad; "To be honest I didn't see the essay as all that useful so I didn't bother taking the time to make changes to it." I contest that for one thing it will be important to newer editors. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
The problem with all this is that you make it sound like Find a Grave is full of errors and something like the New York times isn't. The New York Times and virtually every other paper has had major problems in the past and they often refer to Wikipedia causing circular references so, should they also be banned since they have been known to contain circular references and copywritten information? I think not. The statement I made about the stub (at least I assume it was my statement you are referring too) is true and sad. The fact remains though that some articles don't and may never have, sufficient documentation to get past Start class let alone GA or FA status. The essay isn't useful because its totally one sided. It is completely POV and biased, thereby not useful. --Kumioko (talk) 19:15, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Are you honestly comparing the New York times to a website on which "years of birth may be off by a year or two"? That is as shitty a comparison as saying an apple and the moon are equal because they are roughly spherical. Also, I would rather have no article than have a crappy sourced stub which may be completely wrong. Yoenit (talk) 19:28, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Its not at all a bad comparison. The fact is all websites put some kind of liability waiver statement like that. My point was that we should be basing the decision to use the entry on the content of the entry not the entire site and one statement that may affect 5 entries or 500 hundred. If the find a grave entry has a picture of the headstone with the dates literally written in stone how is that not reliable. Do you honestly think that someone carved a new headstone with incorrect dates just to throw off Wikipedia? In fact if you read here the New York Times makes statements that they are not liable. That content should not be duplicated, and that to do so violates copyright. Obviously if we state they are the source that makes it better, and since the WP is a public and free site that also helps because its not a commercial enterprise. My point though is that we can pick pieces and argue about it or we can just do the right thing and use base our decisions on using the entry on the entry's merits not the entire site. And I disagree that getting rid of this article George Washington Bright, this article George H. Nee or dozens of others because you and one or 2 other editors don't like it is better for Wikipedia. I dealt with Medal of Honor recipients almost exclusively for a couple years and I can tell you for a fact that the word is out there that Wikipedia is a good source when it comes to Medal of Honor recipients and that, with the exception of the ones left from the American Civil War, all recipients have an article. If you start removing the Find a grave links, then you start removing the articles, and after you start deleting 20 or 30, 000 articles (including IMDB) or more that will start to erode the quality, value and comprehensiveness of Wikipedia more than using these 2 sites. Without using the Find a grave site at least 2 or 300 of the Medal of Honor recipients can probably be deleted. Is that really what you want? --Kumioko (talk) 20:03, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
There's no logic here. Removing a link to Find A Grave does not cause any article to be deleted. We could blacklist the whole website and have exactly the same number of articles tomorrow. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:37, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
except that without the information provided by the find a grave link there is not a way to get the information. Unless I write and publish a book on the subject just for the sake of using it as a reference. The Dictionary of Medal of Honor recipients past and present. Of course that still wouldn't solve the other 25000 articles with a link to the site. --Kumioko (talk) 02:11, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Do a damn Google search. There are sources out there for George Washington Bright and George H. Nee, and I'm quite sure there are even more sources out there in the offline world (like these). You repeat your arguments ad nauseam, and, frankly, it's getting a tad bit annoying. if is the only source in the entire world for a biography then Wikipedia should not have an article on that person. If it's not, we can use other sources. Regardless of that, removing external links is not going to change anything in relation to sources, anyhow. As you have been told a million times by now. --Conti| 08:40, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I haven't commented lately but I have tried to keep up with things. I am behind and just now reading this page again and I like what I see being written for reasons why Find a Grave is not of value. I was sort of on the fence for a while after I brought my concerns and saw people's reasons but this thread has me convinvced that Find a Grave should be blacklisted so it cannot be used. The articles above used as examples for why Find a Grave is a necessity with the follow up of showing there are sources if time is taken to look for them gives me pause as to why anyone would opt for the Find a Grave site other than a quick and easy way to put together an article or to promote the Find a Grave website. Seeing how many articles have been made just because of this F-a-G site is really sad and I am now totally in favor of saying that the site should be barred from use here at Wikipedia. I'm sorry but the constant arguments for why it should be used just doesn't make sense to me. --CrohnieGalTalk 10:35, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

My take

My first article (of an actor) was redirected (axed) so I should have stopped. Why bother right? The fact that the article is of someone with notability, and the reason another famous actor had to change his name, did not matter. The fact that I was new and did not know the workings of Wikipedia was a fault that worked in favor of the deletionist. It taught me to make bold moves when absolutely necessary and attempt to communicate on a talk page when possible. It taught me that violating policies can bring retribution but some policies can be circumvented by those with knowledge. It taught me that an essay (such as this), guidelines, and projects are important, especially to beginners, to avoid pitfalls that are learned by others. I have learned that there are groups known as Cabals and I do not wish membership, even at the risk of leaving Wikipedia. I will resubmit the article and cancel the redirect when I have time. I have created several since with "many" references and even attempted to go past stub from the beginning so this will not happen again.

This appears accurate, You can fall foul of ELNO by promoting a website so that you will become rich or famous, and you can also fall foul of ELNO by promoting a website when you honestly, disinterestedly believe links to the website improve the encyclopedia., and could certainly be true of a new editor that either did not read the thousands of policies (rules), might have missed some, or saw common use of a site that does have restrictions but did not know of them.
I do not want to use information, pictures, or link to either that "may", "might", or "possibly" violate copyright laws. If I did use copyright material it would be illegal for me personally as well as damages Wikipedia.

I actually prefer some consistency. I think an article that has a certain amount of longevity, possibly reached B class or higher, and certainly GA or FA status should not be subjected to a possible title change. However, what what said by a participant in another era and repeated by someone else does not alter the fact that consensus can change. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


I can see a benefit to information found on both Find A Grave and IMBd to an editor with experience using this information. The problem is what information can be used, should be used, and should be avoided, along with who can tell the difference. When can it be known that a picture has a copyright? I did see the following o Find A Grave that is clear, I authorize anyone to use my Find a Grave images in Wikipedia or their own family research, under the creative commons attribution license cc-by-2.5, where the attribution is (his name). I do have a problem that all articles of deceased people on Wikipedia, as well as those from Find A Grave, is targeted by editors to link to Find A Grave. On IMBd I found information about a relatively small time actor that was a big music star named Mickey Gilley. Is this site acceptable? This needs to be explored but I can only focus on one at a time. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


My concerns are;
  • 1)- An accurate online encyclopedia that I participate in.
  • 2)- Quality
  • 3)- Accountability (on my part)
  • 4)- Reliability and Credibility of information used on Wikipedia that directly affects #1.
  • 5)- Accuracy of information provided and used on Wikipedia that affects both #1 and #2.
  • 6)- Avoiding systemic bias whenever I can.
Long debates that some seem to tire of easily, if the end result is hopeful improvement, should not be seen as an issue but should be seen as an opportunity to ensure improvement. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

The List

Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people#The List is a list (obviously) and I do not know what this means. It shows 46,698 entries being 81% complete (estimate). Does this mean there are this many WP articles with information from the site? If so there is a BIG problem. I would not want to try to tackle this but it is a fact that if a solution can not be reached on how information from the site can be used then maybe it should go. If this can not be attained then this problem may need to be presented for arbitration or whatever form is next in line.
The fact that, as it appears to me, a consensus has formed that Find a Grave is unreliable at best (a little, a lot, sometimes, except when backed up by other reliable information), and commercial advertising at worse.
Can there be some type of warning template (reliability and possible copyright violations?), with consensus, that could be used on articles (those that have other sources and references) that now exist and maybe one for stubs and to be placed anywhere Find A Grave is present? I am an advocate for a warning on an article but if no attempt is made to rectify the problem then nominate for AFD. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I just wanted to touch on this one paragraph. The 46, 698 # only implies that there are that many articles that also have a Find a grave entry. Not necessarily that they used it as a source. Although there are over 50, 000 that have a link to the Find a grave site (mostly in External links). I also agree that there is a possibility of reliability and copyright however theres no need to get into Copyright paranoia, there are bound to be some, sure, and as we find them they should be reviewed for elimination. But as long as the link is just an external link and not a reference then there really is no copyright issue. --Kumioko (talk) 04:34, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko, I'm not sure I understand. So imagine a link to a specific Find A Grave page. Are you saying that if that page contains illegally used copyrighted material, that it's not okay for us to link the page as a reference, but it is okay for us to link the page under ==External links==? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:42, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I almost didn't bother responding because I have grown so tired of this nonstop discussion but let me explain. Yeah basically. After rereading I can see where its somewhat confusing. According to WP:External links What to link # 3, if the link might contain copyright issues and it lends value as a link then its allowed under external links. This is also mentioned under links to consider #1 (i think). The real confusing thing is how do we determine what is copyright based on the Find a grave article? In a few very rare cases we might be able to but usually we can't and there usually isn't any. That also doesn't mean we should assume that there is either and go into copyright violation paranoia. If we do determine it does contain a copyvio then IMO it shouldn't be used as a link or a reference. But as far as I can see in the instructions for use of EL's it can be used. --Kumioko (talk) 18:58, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay: You are absolutely, totally, 100%, without-a-doubt WRONG on this point.
I apologize for being so blunt, but you really need to get this straight. If a given webpage contains a copyright violation, Wikipedia never links to it—not as a reference, not under ==External links==, not on your userpage, not anywhere. This policy-level prohibition is repeated in WP:ELNEVER #1. Note that this section says without exception, meaning "even if the link would qualify under ELYES #3."
Note that this is not merely the consensus of editors: providing such links is illegal, as in "not only will we block you, but you personally could be fined by a court of law up to US$10,000 per violation" for contributory infringement if you add such links (although the fines basically never rise to that maximum level for non-commercial violations, and cases are almost never prosecuted if it looks like an honest mistake).
I want to be clear: this is a very, very, very big deal. There are zero exceptions and zero tolerance for linking to copyright violations. Yes, it's sometimes difficult to figure out what's copyrighted. You need to do your best, and ask for help if you need it. And if you have any rational doubts, then you need to not link the possibly infringing webpage. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:42, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I already stated that I personally wouldn't use it and I am familiar with what you are saying but perhaps someone should clarify #3 since they clearly contradict each other. Were again going down a rabbit hole and getting off topic. --Kumioko (talk) 20:11, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
There is no contradiction. Recommending that editors discussing (for example) Joe's copyrighted poem provide a link to an entirely legal copy (e.g., on Joe's own website) when they cannot integrating the copyrighted poem directly into the Wikipedia article does not mean that editors can link to Joe's copyrighted poem on a totally unauthorized, copyright-violating website.
But I've started the process for changing it, because if you misunderstand it, then someone else probably will, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:30, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

What is needed

A group of editors that knows there is a problem and a need to work towards a solution. Consensus needs to be formed and those far and against need to find common ground. If I see evidence that there is a conflict of interest in anyone involved in this I will find out how to bring this to the attention of the appropriate Wikipedia location. Wikipedia needs to be the number one concern and fears of the "many" affected articles less of a concern. Otr500 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Find a Grave blacklisted?

Who feels the Find a Grave should be removed from Wikipedia?

  • Support as OP of this, --CrohnieGalTalk 11:22, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. And the site was not "intentionally spammed", the find-a-grave famous people project was NOT "set up for the purpose of using the find a grave site", it was set up as side-project under the umbrella of WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles in order to fill out Wikipedia's gap in biographies of famous people, simply using the entries from find-a-grave to discover what's still needed. I find any assertion otherwise to be an utterly appalling lack of good faith. The Find-a-Grave famous people project and the editors who work there are very valuable to Wikipedia and have done lots of great work. I'm frankly shocked at the display of bad faith from those who would claim that they intentionally wanted to promote the Find-A-Grave site or any other such ridiculous idea. -- œ 13:43, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry but reading the project it tells how to use F-a-G or make article with putting it in EL which is why I say spammed. I wasn't thinking bad faith at all, that is if you are talking about my above comment. If there is something in my comment that offends you or others please point it out and I would be happy to strike the offensive material if it's not accurate. Sorry though that I have upset you. --CrohnieGalTalk 13:55, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
It's okay, I just felt strongly about it. I'm not even a member of the Wikiproject, I just feel it's wrong to place any kind of ill-intent or blame on the good-faithed editors who had Wikipedia's best interests in mind when they formed the project. -- œ 20:06, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I think you're overreacting. The WikiProject directly told editors to "add the entry's Find-A-Grave link to the External links sections of the article" in 2005, and the instruction has remained the same ever since. Not "consider adding", not "if it helps the individual article, you may add", but a 'definitely do this every single time' statement. Such a statement can be made in perfect good faith (i.e., the person issuing this direction honestly believes that adding this link will always, without fail, improve the article) and still result in promoting the website.
In short, I think you need to stop assuming that when other people here are acknowledging reality, that they are demeaning the intentions of the participants at WikiProject Find A Grave famous people. Rather, please remember that we can describe the undeniable practical effects of the WikiProject's "rule" without saying anything about the editors' original intentions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:40, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose --Kumioko (talk) 14:37, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the site contains information, and helps find more information. It's not a WP:RS, but nobody's trying to act as if it is. When people are helped by F-A-G information to get an article written, or F-A-G contains more information that seems correct but can't be verified by other sources, it's reasonable to add a link. The instructions have said since 2005 that "For any articles you *create* (implicitly: as part of working on this project), add the entry's Find-A-Grave link to the External links sections of the article. This helps others verify the information and find out more." --Alvestrand (talk) 13:00, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Polls are evil and not binding in any way, so lets not go there again Yoenit (talk) 14:50, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose blanket blacklisting which disallows editors to use their discretion. I believe these should be a case-by-case basis relative to the article.
    ⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 02:28, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Support FaG was added by a coordinated spamming campaign and has absolutely no value in ANY article. Of course we will never get an official ruling blocking it as the same coordinated campaign will jump in to protect its linkfarming efforts and some editors confuse the assume good faith concept with rolling over and letting the encyclopedia be thoroughly abused. DreamGuy (talk) 15:09, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

A problem

I removed the collapsible box because it might be seen as disruptive editing and I am sure it is not the intent to disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point. The part, "Polls are evil" that is not policy and possibly seen as a WP:PUSH to advance the opinion that voting actually is evil, as well as using it to hide (collapse) the discussion, gives the appearance of incivility.
Please do not hide comments of other editors and disguise this with what appears to be policy that is POV, includes inappropriate religious assertions, and is not what Wikipedia policy states. There was no mention of the word poll by Crohnie. In fact "use of polls when discussing Wikipedia articles" states, There is no absolute prohibition on polling,,
One could argue polls are evil and in the same breath voting is not evil or voting is a tool so these are only opinions.
Assuming good faith , "...if I have enough support.", and the ensuing comment, which did not ask for a vote, but appears to be a request to find consensus supporting a position which would be an opinion poll or straw poll per guidelines.
  • 8; The purpose of a straw poll is to stimulate discussion and consensus. Editors should evaluate the explanations that the participants in a straw poll offer, and should see if those explanations help to develop their own opinions or suggest compromise. In this context, a few well reasoned opinions may affect a debate much more than several unexplained votes for a different course.
I am really trying to see what compromise, if any, can be reached as I clearly have a problem with the magnitude of article titles (82), an untold number of articles (someone probably knows the count) that includes Find A Grave, errors and the fact that Find A Grave can not be used as an only source or reference, even in the guise of an external link, and instructions on pages to do exactly that. Add to the fact that the Find a Grave article lists include improper categories; Category:All articles with unsourced statements, that states, "This is a hidden category. It is not shown on its member pages...", as well as other categories that are not even related.
I don't understand the last sentence above. What's improper about it? -- œ 20:12, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia has articles that reference Find A Grave and the Wikipedia article with content that states, Members can submit memorials of friends and relatives. Does this not scream a breach of no original research? Where are the red flags?


There are problems. The move (inadvertent or not) to include Find a Grave in an astounding number of articles (some listed above), sites that explain how to use Find A Grave on Wikipedia (sketchy guidelines at best), instructions that state, For any articles you create, add the entry's Find-A-Grave link to the External links sections of the article, to the fact that using Find a Grave as an external link, especially if it is an only source, is certainly against policy. Even the founder of Wikipedia has weighed in on it here. This is exacerbated by suggestions that using the site on articles that probably won't go anywhere (stubs) is a defense for use. This actually infuriates me because the burdon of proof is on the editor using material and new editors will likely not have the luxury of knowing. This is especially true when there is so much being advertised, that makes it seem that using Find a Grave must be alright.

I do not care to hear comments like, "...claim that they intentionally wanted to promote the Find-A-Grave site or any other such ridiculous idea.". It does not matter if the intent was with malice or if the intent was with sincerity. It is a fact that Find A Grave is promoted on Wikipedia to an utterly astounding proportion and to a detrimental (non-sourced articles) extent. I can not see a problem with using sites as external links that are properly sourced and where the source(s) is not contended.
Nope. Not promoted at all. Sorry. -- œ 20:19, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, promoted. Telling editors to add the link to tens of thousands of articles has the effect of promoting the link. This fact was discussed early in the project's history, and they decided that it was basically okay. Under the 2005 policies and guidelines, they were probably making the right call—although even they were unhappy about some editors, like User:RustySpear, who did nothing except add these links to articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:04, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
The word is implying intent not effect. And the instructions were to add the link to "any articles you create", with no reference to how many articles should carry the link. -- œ 21:54, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
  • As much as I know there is a problem with Find a Grave (and others) I have reservations concerning the suggestion (and straw poll) to ban or blacklist Find a Grave. These reservations can be changed really fast, and launch a new goal, depending on the narrowness of any responses not based on true possible solutions or not placing Wikipedia as paramount to other concerns.
I have listed a very few of the many hundreds of articles on lists and there are many more that are red linked to be created. I have just randomly (the N's) viewed three, Grete Natzler, Maidie Norman, and Donald Novis. The first was not so notable while the second was very notable. The first had only an IMBd external reference, and the second had IMBd and Find a Grave as an external link only. Two clicks on the second and I found more references, example here.
Donald Novis starred with Jimmy Durante, and sangs the songs "My Romance" (1935 and not credited here), and "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" with Gloria Grafton, in the Broadway musical "Jumbo", in 1935. He also sang "Looking for Romance" and the academy award nominated "Love Is A Song" (1942), What is the point? The point is that all three are not sourced. Maybe some of these very valuable editors, that are essentially flooding Wikipedia with future AFD's, could take a little time to validate simply using the entries from find-a-grave to discover what's still needed and actually do a little research (didn't take me long) to create actual sourced stubs.
I am suggesting that editors involved in "Find a Grave", "IMBd", and other like articles, stop creating non-sourced new articles and work to secure sources and references for the many now created. This will prevent some editor from requesting a very large mass AFD for non-sourced articles. I did previously mention I could see merit in the sites so would hate to have to change my mind. I could take a few hours to see how many hundreds I could find and start a list of non-sourced articles but would really like consensus and a plan. I did not explore it because the point is there does not need to be a grand move to created many thousands of non-sourced articles that are not or may not be expanded, that might fail WP:Notability, and that does not foster a positive expansion of Wikipedia. I do not need anyone, with malice or not, impugning my integrity by pointing out what is not important.
This is not a time to try to agree to disagree. This is also not the time to blow smoke until the issue is clouded. There is a problem that has to be solved and I think there are editors that feel enough is enough. I have decided that policy has been circumvented in too many areas for too long so I guess I might as well start here. I have stated many of my ideas and things I feel as I surely have shown that I am trying to be fair.
Short of some editor not believing in my sincerity, figuring that it does not matter how I feel, and causing me to question good faith, I am looking for suggestions, at this time, short of a total ban and blacklisting, that will ultimately lead to a guideline or policy that will provide a solution to the problem and put things into perspective.
  • 1)- Information that results in some aspect of limiting the spread of Find A Grave information that is inundating Wikipedia with substandard articles. So there will be no mistake I am convinced the Find A Grave related project lists needs to have the guidelines updated.
  • 2)- Find A Grave (IMBd or others) can not be used when there is no other source.
  • 3)- Find A Grave information that is not verified needs to be tagged that the information has not been verified.
  • 4)- A warning that new editors be cautious when using Find A Grave to avoid pitfalls. This would be good to place on the project pages.
  • 5)- Tag articles using Find A Grave when information is doubted.
  • 6)- All articles using no source or reference but having a Find A Grave EL must be tagged as lacking a source and subject to AFD. I think that a liberal time line should be allowed so a list might be made. A reference on the talk page to denote active reviewing to prevent premature AFD's. As with current practice salvageable articles need to be afforded a chance.
  • 7)- Category corrections to all articles affected. Consensus can help here.
  • 8)- Non-notable articles need to be dealt with.
Will this result in a lot of work? Yes and possibly some non-sourced thus OR or non-notable articles being deleted. It will result in more accurate articles. This is a starting point hopefully for serious constructive comments, that can result in some solutions for the improvement of Wikipedia. If editors, that are on this page (as well as others), think we can do that then we should try. If there are going to be disruptive comments, comments to muddy the water, or comments that are a smoke screen to try to bring about yet another stalemate (in hopes this will go away), then I will devote a serious amount of my time to exploring a different solution and think there are others that may feel the same way. Until this is explored it would be nice if the "request for straw poll" could be stricken as well as the religious innuendos.
With all of that said I would like to thank all the wonderful editors in advance for taking the time to read my comments and reflect on practical solutions. The above is lengthy but only about 30% of the information I have gathered. I have presented this in hopes that there can be a unity of consensus on this matter. I do think I could be more helpful than adversarial. Then again, who knows how the next editor will reply. Thank you. Otr500 (talk) 13:04, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
First, thank you again for taking the time to explain your opinions. I have to say I agree with what you are saying here. I also have concerns that editors during this discussion keep saying there is no concensus to keep from using Find a Grave or IMDB and that concensus can't be gotten from this page. If there is another location where this should be discussed that wouldn't make an edit charged with WP:Forum shopping than I would appreciate knowing where. I have done some removal of F-a-G from some articles that had this site used as a source and also in EL. I got reverted saying this page is not a policy or a guideline, which I understand totally that it is not. That being said, I thought that we were allowed to use WP:ELPEREN as a reason to show why Find a Grave was removed. The edit summary in the reversion of my edits said wp:elperen was not policy or a guideline (this is close to what was said though I am going from memory so it may not be exact) as the reason for reverting. Also in these long discussion this time around, I thought it was agreed upon that F-a-G was not to be used as a source. It is though, on multiple articles. I guess I'm having the most difficulty understanding why I am constantly being told, even prior to my bringing my questions here, that both F-a-G and imdb are acceptable as EL. Was there a consensus somewhere saying this? Most of the actors/actresses articles on my watchlist has imdb added and the deceased ones have the Find a Grave site in some. I have a lot of actors/actresses on my watchlist though I have never counted. What I would appreciating knowing is this;
  1. How did it become policy to allow the use of these two sites with such frequency?,
  2. Why are they being used as WP:RS still?,
  3. The few stubs I looked at from the list at the F-a-G project listed above, looks like ADF material since most only have a sentence or two with no sources or F-a-G and the F-a-G is used in the EL. What good is it to make stub after stub without any thought of going back to the stub to actually work it and find sources for it? I saw that stubs were made within a few minutes or days of each other using the list from that project. Some of these stubs went back to years ago with no changes made to them other than updating the F-a-G templates.
There are probably more questions I'd like to ask but I can't think of them at the moment though I think you get the idea of where I am coming from. I do have a POV about these sites which I hope I am making clear here. That be said, I am also open to what other editors say which may change my views about it all. I have to admit that I find Otr500 arguments very clear and I agree with what s/he is saying. There has to be a way to stop all this debating about the F-a-G and the smaller issue (I guess it's a smaller issue)of imdb. We need to get a consensus but first we need to be in the right location so that if a straw poll, etc, or even an iVote can be listened to and not closed down like it has been twice at least during these discussions. I would also like to admit that I was a tad offended by the way my question about blacklisting got collapsed, feeling I was being attacked for asking. I don't want my comment to be tldr so I'll stop this comment now with the hopes it will be read. Thanks for listening, --CrohnieGalTalk 14:59, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
In regards to some of your points.
1) I do not believe that find a grave is inundating Wikipedia anymore than links to Google or The New York Times. Are they always needed? certainly not; Is it overused and inappropriately placed at times? Certainly so. But its not the plague that this comment would suggest
2) I believe exactly the opposite. Find a grave and IMDB should IMO Only be used as a reference if there is no other reference for the info. Even then it should be strictly limited to specific things like the Date of Birth, Date of Death, Place of Birth , Place of Death and Burial location for Find a grave and similar information for IMDB (I am less familiar with that site). IMO it is especially ok if the Find a grave article contains an image of the Headstone where the information can clearly be seen and is literally "written in stone". This information should never be used as a reference if it is known to contain a copyright violation, should never be used for the content in the body (such as this person is known for [insert a paragraph of information here].... If the Find a grave information differs from other sources (which happens sometimes) it should be noted in a comment. IMO if the persons headstone reads a date different than a published source then that is something that the reader might want to know. How do we know which one is right?
3) I agree we could put a statement of some kind when its used as a reference although, if we can verify the information using another source we shouldn't be using find a grave in the first place so just use the better reference. As I stated before if the F-A-G entry contains an image of the headstone then to me that's verification. That doesn't mean we should be using the image in WP, but we could clearly see it and verify it.
4) Absolutely, I agree with this 100%.
5) I don't completely understand this one. If we know its wrong or if it conflicts with another source we should add a comment or if we know its not correct we shouldn't use the Find a Grave location.
6) If the has no references then it is unsourced regardless of the External links. Even if the Bible itself was an external link and the information it contained was without reproach it would still be unsourced and should be tagged as such
7) I don't understand what you mean by Category corrections here. If you are referring to the Hidden category thing that is due to how the templates work and is not a problem.
8) We already have guidelines for identifying and dealing with non-notable articles. The virtue of having a Find a grave entry does not disuade this or change it in any way.
Going back to some of your earlier comments. I agree that in many cases (possibly even most cases) that there is a better reference for the information than Find a grave and if possible we should replace the Find a grave reference with the better one. I do not believe it should be banned nor do I think having a link to it in External links is harmful to the article or Wikipedia in anyway. As long as the external links section is limited in the number of links we shouldn't be removing it IMO. If the article has 20 or 30 with redundant information and the Find a grave info appears in a better one (or reference) and doesn't offer anything more then fine get rid of it. But if the article only has a couple of external links then I recommend leaving it. In the case of the Medal of Honor recipients for example where I have spent a significant amount of time writing and building up I can tell you that there are a lot where Find a grave is the only source of some of the Dates/places/burial information and I have scoured the Library of Congress, the National Archives and a number of other sources to find the information. Its simply not published anywhere (at least not yet) and these are notable.
Just for clarification, I am not trying to muddy the waters or slow this process down (not implying you were referring to me...just saying) because I do think there needs to be limits on when we use the find a grave site and for what information we use but I feel strongly that this site isn't the plague upon Wikipedia that its being made out to be and that if used correctly it can be an asset and should be used although with discretion. The IMDb site seems to be the same although I don't know as much about it. --Kumioko (talk) 20:49, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

How the Find-A-Grave project has been working

A few words from someone who's spent a few too many hours on the Find-A-Grave lists...

The lists of Find-A-Grave entries on Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people was created during a time when there was much concern about whether or not Wikipedia had appropriate biographical coverage. The lists were dumped into Wikipedia as an aid to figuring out which people were missing, with the permission of the owner, approx. October 2005.

After the dump, people have been doing three things with it:

  • Removing names from the lists that occur in Wikipedia.
  • Adding redirects to Wikipedia from the name used in Find-A-Grave to the name used in Wikipedia.
  • Writing new articles, based on sources outside of Find-A-Grave.
  • Sorting out those who, based on information in Find-A-Grave, we do NOT think can ever satisfy WP:N notability requirements.

Only in the case of new articles have the instructions said that you should add a link to Find-A-Grave; I think of this as common courtesy - Find-A-Grave helped us figure out that this person deserved an article, and Find-A-Grave should be acknowledged for that. An external link is an easy way to do it, and does not cost Wikipedia anything.

In some cases, information is in the Find-A-Grave article (especially death dates) that seems reasonable, but can't be sourced easily (such as dates that we can read off the gravestone in the picture), but we can't cite F-A-G as a source due to WP:RS requirements - again, I think it reasonable to acknowledge the source of the hearsay by an external link, but your mileage may vary.

At the start of the project, there were 46.698 names on the list. At the moment, there are 8.791 people listed where it's likely that they could satisify WP:N criteria; once people can get a WP:RS for the information, it's time to write an article for them. Not before. --Alvestrand (talk) 13:22, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

So—in your own opinion—providing thousands of links to Find A Grave pages is a way of saying thank you: you helped Wikipedia be a success, so we'll help you (by sending traffic to your website, which is the traditional way of saying thanks online). Right? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:57, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
Umm no I do not think thats what they are saying. Unless you are saying that adding an inline citation is a way of saying thanks! --Kumioko (talk) 02:42, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
My question was directed to Alvestrand, but one more time: An WP:External link is not an WP:Inline citation. If you would please read his comment, he specifically said "...Find-A-Grave should be acknowledged for that. An external link is an easy way to do it...". He did not say that an WP:Inline citation was an easy way to acknowledge their assistance: He said that an WP:External link was an easy way to acknowledge their assistance. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:07, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
In my opinion (which is not Wikipedia policy, and not the POV of others who've worked on Find-A-Grave), yes, I think adding these links is appropriate. By adding content to the encyclopedia without an inline citation to a reliable source, I'm adding hearsay to the encyclopedia. By adding the external link, I allow other people to find the same hearsay and figure out if they want to replace my hearsay with their own hearsay or not. If they add information from a WP:RS, they should of course replace it. (Note that I regard hearsay as reasonable information in many cases - for instance, my own birthdate has never been published in a WP:RS, so by the most strict reading, it's hearsay. But I still think it's OK to include it in Harald Tveit Alvestrand). And I do not think it is a Wikipedia-wide decision - it's a per-article decision. The fact that thousands of other articles have links to Find-A-Grave has, to my mind, little or no bearing to whether or not it's appropriate to add a F-A-G link to the article I may be editing next week.
One more point - the cases of "new article, creation was caused by F-A-G information" and "old article, information added from F-A-G" are different. In both cases, I regard the link as a pointer to "where information came from, but only in the first, I think of it also as a "thank-you note". --Alvestrand (talk) 21:31, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I am about to change my mind. I am not going to be involved in something pointless that goes back and forth with no intended solution but will seek an alternative solution. If there is a resolve, by not finding consensus to solve a problem with continuing banter, I will go on record in a different direction. I have tried to be open minded but the verbiage is such that I am beginning to see a solution, with those involved, only ending up circular, thus not resolved.
I was born in a backwards state but it issues a birth certificate and a hospital birth record. These are state authorized published records (WP:RS) that proves my birthday. I do not have a published source for notability so do not warrant an article. All of this is actually irrelevant to the issue. The use of hearsay in articles on Wikipedia is not acceptable in any form but I am sure this is known so can not understand the use of the word.
I am a notable Wikipedian (claim others; I did not write Harald Tveit Alvestrand myself. But I know of no published WP:RS secondary source that lists my birthdate. I'm using the word "hearsay" for "facts that cannot be attributed at present to a WP:RS". Sure, my passport and my birth certificate are valid sources. But they're primary sources, and not published sources. A better word than "hearsay" may be found, but I wasn't able to find an appropriate term when I was writing the above. --Alvestrand (talk) 12:57, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
There is a problem linking all articles of deceased persons, as a thank you or for any other reason, to the same site. If this is the acceptable opinion of the majority of editors that participate I will certainly change my point of view.
  • Copyright infringement; I am having a problem with assertions of infringements regardless if vicarious, contributory, or possibly both. Since this is serious with Wikipedia it would appear it would be more of an issue with editors. Listing a source, not crediting such, but listing it as a external link thus actually a source, is a possible infringement as well as against Wikipedia policies.
As a sometimes active participant in WP:CP (I used to prune the daily lists before moonriddengirl started doing it much better), I have a problem with copyright infringements too. I also have a problem with the "link is infringement" interpretation of the legal doctrine of copyright - the RIAA has failed to make that argument stick in the music business, and I've never seen anyone pursue it in the encyclopedia business. I also have a problem with the statement "listing it as a external link thus actually a source" - an external link is a means of finding information. The whole point of the split between EL and sources is that by listing a source, we claim that it's a reasonable source to use - that is, WP:RS. --Alvestrand (talk) 12:57, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  • The dump: "The lists were dumped into Wikipedia as an aid...". I would like to research this some. 46,698 names on a list, 8,791 people listed needing reliable source. Does this mean there are 37,907 articles created with Find a Grave as an external link?
No. For the pages that had little pruning before I started working, the numbers (from memory) are roughly that 1/3 of the list entries were blue links pointing to the correct persons when I started pruning them, 1/3 was persons found by searching for them on Wikipedia, because there were slight changes in spelling or similar issues - so 2/3 were preexisting articles. Only rarely was a F-A-G link added in these cases. Of the remainder, about half were/are being classified as "not notable" based on the F-A-G information - no compelling reason to create an article. I have no good feel for the number of articles created based on the F-A-G list; I've created probably less than a hundred - always with sources other than F-A-G. --Alvestrand (talk) 12:57, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Commercial site. Find a Grave is a commercial site. I am trying to understand the idea of just being a good editor and listing thousands of references to a commercial site, of course with no other intentions save a thank you, and not even questioning anything. This leads me to concerns of WP:EL#ADV and I believe this to be a significant issue.
If it had been correct, it would have been relevant. But WP:EL#ADV says "you should avoid linking to a site that you own, maintain, or represent". I know of no case where someone editing based on the Find-A-Grave project has claimed to own or represent Find-A-Grave; for myself, I don't even have an account on that site - I've never contributed to it, so I'm pretty certain I don't fall into any of those categories, even if one somehow were to claim that all contributors to an open site are "maintainers". So unless you have other information, I believe that WP:EL#ADV is a red herring. --Alvestrand (talk) 12:57, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
The site lists, "We aim to create a comprehensive 'virtual cemetery' where loved ones can visit graves, leave flowers, etc. when they cannot do so in real life due to geography, finances or other circumstances.", here. Now we have a commercial site that is building a data base. I imagine such a sibling site would charge a fee. So with this possibility in mind we should take a list, graciously provided for by the owner of the site, and apply links on every single article involving a deceased person on Wikipedia. Of course will will do this simply because we are so appreciative. We will do this on articles that do not actually need it, and we will circumvent Wikipedia policies and guidelines by doing this with new articles, listing this site as an external link, even though it is a source that is not allowed to be used on Wikipedia.
(the above was written by otr500 as part of edit [1] - --Alvestrand (talk) 12:34, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
There have been a lot of good arguments against the use of the site but IMO the fact that the site is commercial is not not one of them. Personally I don't think that the site makes all that much money other than making enough to keep the servers running. Cerainly more respectable sources such as the New York times makes a profit and is "commercial". All the government sources that are free to use are only free because they are paid for by taxes so arguably they are not free. So of all the arguments that have been presented about the site, to me, the most irrelevent is that it is commercial. --Kumioko (talk) 11:54, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Apologies for the number of inserts into OTR500's writing above, but I felt that it was important to discuss his specific points. --Alvestrand (talk) 12:57, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Serious problems

When Find A Grave (IMBd or others) is used as an external link, and there is absolutely no other source or reference, and more especially if the article was created from information on these sites, then these sites are in fact being used as a source in violation of WP:RS and can be WP:CHALLENGED as WP:NOTRS (WP:QS}; Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight.. This will mean the articles would be in violation of WP:NOR, one of Wikipedia core content policies.

The statement,...but can't be sourced easily ... means with work even a hard to source article can be sourced. If this is not so then it certainly fails notability. I do not have an issue with the fact of there being many "lists" provided of notable people that are deceased in a convenient location. I have a serious problem with editors, fantastic intentions or not, that feel there is a need (or a group effort) to include a link to every name on these list, needed or not.

The statement Only in the case of new articles have the instructions said that you should add a link to Find-A-Grave; is a concern.

  • 1)- The project list page Wikipedia:Find-A-Grave famous people/A (an example of many) gives the instructions, For any articles you create, add the entry's Find-A-Grave link to the External links section of the article, and is at the top of the list of my concerns as explained above per creating an unsourced article and one that potentially violates copyright laws.
  • 2)- The page also states; Only delete blue links if you've verified that the person linked is the same person on Find-A-Grave's site, that is clear instructions to add (or verify the addition) Find A Grave to more than just new articles.
  • The above statement, By adding the external link, I allow other people to find the same hearsay and figure out if they want to replace my hearsay with their own hearsay or not., blows my mind. I would hope the author could see that this statement advocates disregard of Wikipedia policy, further points to the assistance in propagating the disregard, does not exemplify being here to build an encyclopedia, and is not only a practice of using original research by creating unsourced articles but also advocating this.
(the above was written by otr500 as part of edit [2] - --Alvestrand (talk) 12:34, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Any article that has no source other than F-A-G should be tagged with {{unreferenced}} and treated accordingly. I think we all agree about that. My comment on "facts that can't be sourced easily" (note example of the publication status of my passport, above) was strictly about facts that a) are uncontroversial, and b) can't be found in other sources. I've added death dates from Find-A-Grave to articles where the sources in the article that established notability were all sources published while the person was still living, for instance.
Any article that copies blocks of texts from a site in violation of copyright needs to go to WP:CP processing. But facts aren't copyrightable - if you, in your own words, create an article that states the same thing as an article I've written, you hold the copyright on that article, not I.
"For any articles you create" talks about articles you create. Deleting a blue link from the list of Find-A-Grave entries does not change any article - I know, I've deleted thousands of them.
It may not be a surprise that we disagree about policy and the interpretation of policy. I'm much more worried that we seem to disagree on such a basic thing as what the words "for any article you create" mean. --Alvestrand (talk) 13:06, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

What to do?

Did I explain the problems I see clear enough? I can understand zealous editors wanting to do a great thing but now that many issues have been brought up I am struggling to understand why, knowing as well as I do that the issues are valid, that there are arguments trying to water down the concerns. I edited the find a Grave article concerning this community concern but it was reverted citing main space reasons. I added a "Concerns" sub-section with a discussion on the talk page. This will probably be reverted resulting in my placing a NPOV tag on the article. I have every intention to follow this issue through to a conclusion. If there is no intention of editors, that may be so bent on continuing the practice to complete the lists, regardless of Wikipedia policy, to come to an understanding, I will change my approach to believe that these sites are not only unproductive but detrimental. I am not sure of the "tit for tat" or appreciative reciprocity but WP:LINKSTOAVOID#4 is a concern. The BBB lists Find A Grave, as a Cemetery Equipment Supplier business, covered by WP:LINKSTOAVOID#14. Concerning Find a Grave at this time I have to split my thoughts with;

  • 1)- Considering what is and has been good about the site,
  • 2)- Inclusion on Wikipedia, knowing without a doubt, that the site is being misused as a source,
  • 3)- Trying to discuss this and get a group to understand these concerns, while wondering why something so evident is being defended so strongly as if there is not a problem.
  • 4)- Struggling against the fact that this problem has been on-going for a long time, with repeated attempts at a solution to no avail, and the consideration of if this is intentional.
  • 5)- Trying to keep all this in mind and hoping there will be an understanding so I don't have to decide that I should be against the site(s) altogether.
  • 6)- Wondering if what I am writing is falling on deft eyes and I should just stop trying to seek compromises.
  • Issues have been stated with references. I am still trying to find if there can be a group of editors, both for and against, but with primary Wikipedia interests, that can explore options that include valid concerns of all editors. I keep seeing comments but not productive comments. I am candid and trying to be fair but an observation could be made that some editors may be more concerned with not hindering any aspect of Find A Grave on Wikipedia than with Wikipedia.
(the above was written by otr500 as part of edit [3] - --Alvestrand (talk) 12:34, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't regard myself as zealous. But I fail to comprehend the concern here - and I especially fail to comprehend the vehemence of the concern. I have also failed to see anyone but otr500 who considers this to be a very grave concern; I may have missed some.
And I'm struggling with the arguments that are presented - pulling in the Better Business Bureau's classification of the company when BBB says right on the same page that "The BBB has requested basic information from this company but has not received a response. As a result, the BBB may not have current information about the company" strikes me as not a terribly compelling argument. After this long series of inserts, I'll leave my "what to do" comments at the end. --Alvestrand (talk) 13:15, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Hugh task

I want to be clear in my reasoning. I am for the WikiProject Missing encyclopedic articles. I note that the project advises concerning WP:N and WP:COPYVIO. The sub-project, WP:Find-A-Grave famous people covers notability but not copyright violations.

I will give this a little more time but will assemble a list of all articles with Find A Grave, IMBd, both, or any other non-acceptable sites, per Wikipedia policy and guidelines, that are used as source or reference only, and I will begin to tag these articles. These articles, possibly referred to as hearsay, fail WP: SOURCE. An article created without a reliable source is a candidate for AFD or even a WP:SPEEDY. This is not argumentative by policy and guidelines of which most are listed in this discussion.

This will be a large task and I am sure other editors will be willing to join. It will not be a large as deleting all Find a Grave reference if the site is found to be unacceptable by Wikipedia consensus. Now would be a great time to help formulate such community consensus in a project that can become a guideline or policy, that allows certain use, instead of assuming this will go away as before. There is still the issue of wanting to show appreciation on every article.

In the event of option 2, I will also present what I have found to appropriate areas of Wikipedia to see if I can find assistance there. I am, however, still trying to gather information as to if there can be a community of editors willing to find consensus concerning Find a Grave and IMBd as well as others. Otr500 (talk) 05:39, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
Since we haven't even reached an agreed concensus on whether the site is ok to use I don't recommend tagging articles for deletion. I anticipate many editors just reverting the tagging and or its going to stir up a lot of emotions. Additionally, since there are several thousand of them it is going to be a monstrous task and will IMO do more harm to the Pedia by deleting them (if they do in fact get deleted) than anything else. --Kumioko (talk) 11:44, 27 January 2011 (UTC)
In the first place I stated I am assembling a list. In the second I did not state that I would tag the articles for deletion only that such non-sourced articles are candidates. Third and for one more shot at trying to explain the so plainly obvious that it is utterly astounding; I have been more concerned from the beginning, no matter what the out-come of the site as an external link, that the site can not be used as a source or reference. Is someone going to now argue that it can be?
I have only looked at a couple but the above comment shows that it must be wide spread.
  • An article that has no source or references, but only any external link, and more especially any site that is prevented from use as a source or reference, is a non-sourced article. I did not make the rules nor have I found exceptions. In fact I am not for deleting articles unless they are not encyclopedic. I still have not understood why there is a move to create non-sourced articles. Did I make this clear or should we talk circular some more. A site that does not list a source or reference is against Wikipedia policy.
  • A site that is being used as an external link, when there is no other source or reference, especially when information from that site is included in the article, and more especially when the site can not be used as such source or reference by Wikipedia policy, is in violation of policies. Did I miss something here? I have pointed out that this has been going on and it is of no concern to some? This is not an issue of Find A Grave as an external link but a separate of non-sourced articles. :Forgetting the circular talk for a moment would someone please inform me of any mistake in this reasoning? If I do tag an article -- even for deletion-- for deletion, especially after I use the talk page and give reasoning, and it is reverted, I will deal with that at the time. The heading of this section indicates that it would be an large task but editors creating, or being complacent with the fact that articles have been created, that there is a list advocating such, in violation of more than one policy, should not be alright. I do not care what the name of the article is wrong -- is wrong -- and someone, hopefully more, should ensure that this is not allowed. Are you in support of non-sourced article on Wikipedia? Are you in support of non-sourced new articles being created? Otr500 (talk) 10:57, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I think you may have WP:V a little confused. 'Unsourced' does not mean 'Unverifiable'. An unsourced article is not against policy simply because it is unsourced. -- œ 11:50, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Note - the discussion I've participated in is strictly about Find-A-Grave. IMDB is a whole separate set of issues, so conclusions reached about Find-A-Grave shouldn't be assumed to apply to IMDB, or any of the other heavy-linked non-RS sites on Wikipedia.
I think we agree on the following points:
  • Any article that has no source apart from Find-A-Grave should have a {{unsourced}} tag, and be treated accordingly.
  • Any article that has copies, word for word, from an external page with restrictive copyright, such as F-A-G, beyond what's permitted by the guidelines, shoud be treated according to procedures on WP:CP.
Where we don't agree is on:
  • What the appropriate guideline is for adding links to Find-A-Grave into articles
  • What, if anything, should be done with existing links to Find-A-Grave.
I would urge that no precipitate action is taken by any editor unless there's a clear consensus that it's a reasonable action. --Alvestrand (talk) 13:22, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
A main difference between the two is editorial control. IMBd has some form and Find a Grave does not. I am working on Find a Grave at this time. The one thing that may be common to both is the fact that any article that uses IMBd as an external link, but is an only source (but this applies to any link used as such), will be subject to the same unsourced tag.

I must first reply to "An unsourced article is not against policy simply because it is unsourced." Any unsourced material is original research; "No original research" is one of three core content policies, along with Neutral point of view and Verifiability, that jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in articles. Because these policies work in harmony, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another, and editors should try to familiarize themselves with all three. This is not complicated because an article that does not have a source has nothing to verify because it is original research. From WP:NOR; If no source exists for something you want to add to Wikipedia, it is "original research" . The policies goes on to state, If no reliable third-party sources can be found on a topic, Wikipedia should not have an article about it.. Jimbo Wales has stated, Wikipedia is not the place for original research. I am very patient. This does not mean I am going to wait forever for consensus on something that is a given. I know that I will have the full support of the entire Wikipedia community to tag any unsourced article as needing references. I also do not feel it is proper, even though intentions may be well placed, for it to be suggested that I look the other way, waiting on consensus on an unrelated issue to be resolved, or in fear of being reverted by an editor not acting within Wikipedia policies. If an article is not sourced it is certainly in violation of Wikipedia policy and does not need consensus as to if it is an acceptable external link or not. These two issues are not related and I have repeatedly stated this. This is something that should have been done a long time ago.

  • No. An unsourced article is not original research, it is simply an unsourced article, and should be tagged as such. You're still a bit confused, let me try to clarify: Wikipedia has many, many, many unsourced articles. They are not against policy for being unsourced. Once again, unsourced does not mean unverifiable, only content that is not verifiable is original research and against policy. You quoted from WP:NOR, the key words in those quotes are "exists" and "can be found", meaning any existing unsourced content CAN still be sourced IF the sources exist. I'm sure this is just a minor miscommunication between us, but I hope you understand now what I meant. -- œ 10:22, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
As far as;
  • Where we don't agree is on:
  • What the appropriate guideline is for adding links to Find-A-Grave into articles
  • What, if anything, should be done with existing links to Find-A-Grave.
If this is in reference to what is in this project page I have not weighed in on the matter. I simply was not going to be involved in token project page that serves no purpose. Consensus reached here must be of substance that can be presented to the community and advanced as a guideline or policy. With that stated I have commented that I do not feel that Find a Grave is improper as an external link to a properly sourced and referenced article. I became involved in this for three main reasons;
  • 1)- Find a Grave has and is blatantly being used as a source listed as an external link. This is not supposition but fact and regardless of intentions has supporters.
  • 2)- Find a Grave is being pushed to be included on every article on a deceased person on Wikipedia.
  • Uhm huh?? Every article on a dead person? Where did you get this idea?? I doubt if the Find-a-Grave site even has entries for every dead person's article we have on Wikipedia. -- œ 10:27, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
  • 3)- There are Find a Grave project guidelines that advocate using Find a Grave to start an article without clear stipulations that it never be used as an only source. I actually had to provide proof from that project that it was being advocated to include Find a Grave in new articles as well as established ones.
Members of this project need to review their guidelines. I am not required to defend Wikipedia policy that is in conflict with any project. It is being suggested that I attempt to created, or be a party to the creation of, project guidelines that will not curb, alter, or affect, the guidelines of another project that is in violation of Wikipedia rules. I would bring these to light on that project page but editors that belong to that project should step up to the plate and do what is right.

Before someone makes off-the-wall comments about these reasons please read the comments I have previously provided. I have listed clear evidence and these can be read. I do not feel I should have to copy and paste those here again to support what I have already proven.

The Find a Grave company, as far as I know, is not a sister project to Wikipedia. There is no reason to include Find a Grave as an external link on every article.
  • Adding links to Find-A-Grave into articles: If it is the goal of members of the Find a Grave project to continue to add external links to every article then I have an issue with the site being used on Wikipedia at all. The project then is a blatant push to advertise Find a Grave regardless of intentions. I do not have a problem with an editor using a name from the Find a Grave lists, creating an article with sources and reference, and providing an external link to Find a Grave. I do not have a problem with Find a Grave being added to an article where inclusion is warranted. I do have a problem if there is a group of editors that simply wish to inundate Wikipedia with the name Find a Grave. I feel project members should recognize that this issue will not go away but continue to be an issue until resolved.
  • What, if anything, should be done with existing links to Find-A-Grave: I am trying to maintain the position that I do not see a problem with the use as external links (again on referenced articles) but feel that project needs to revamp some guidelines to make it easier for me to maintain this position.
Articles in violation of Wikipedia policy need tags to reflect this. This does not need consensus and all should agree. If an editor reverts a tag of another editor the tag should be reinstated with comments on the talk page. If the tag edit is reverted again the issue should be brought before the Wikipedia community and not start an edit war.

This is where I stand at present. I have hope with this editor weighing in that some work can begin. Otr500 (talk) 09:48, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Otr500, your habit of inserting text with odd, inconsistent indenting and without signing inserts means that I have absolutely no idea who said what in the above without doing changelog review, and that means I have absolutely no idea where you stand, except that you're against something. Please reformat and mark your inserts. --Alvestrand (talk) 16:39, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Two comments:

  • Otr500, I'm with OE here. For example, I've re-written several sections of Cancer this month. (It's the official medicine collaboration for January. None of it is original research, even though I haven't (yet) typed up most of the citations. Every last sentence is verifiable.
  • Alvestrand, I am concerned about your statement of agreement above. I do not agree that every article with Find a Grave listed under ==External links== (and no proper ==References== section) is actually unsourced. Things that are labeled as external links sometimes turn out to be the actual sources used by whoever wrote the article. Pages that contain WP:General references, even if they are to lousy sources or to sources that are mislabeled as external links, want to be tagged with {{no footnotes}} or perhaps {{refimprove}} rather than {{unsourced}}. "Helpful" editors sometimes change section headings based on what the contents look like, rather than how it was used. (Frankly, I'd be surprised if a trip through my own contributions didn't turn up examples of exactly that mistake.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:37, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, I gave the wrong template name - it's {{unreferenced}}, not {{unsourced}} - even if the latter is a redirect to the former, the impression one gets from the name is different. What I've gathered from other discussions (especially WP:BLP related) is that if it's in the source section, it's got to be a reliable source - and if there is no reliable source, it's considered unreferenced - not that there is no source for the facts, but that the sources can't be cited in the source list because they're not reliable. I have my doubts about whether that makes sense in all cases - and the template doc for {{unreferenced}} seems to not advocate quite such an absolutist position - but that's what I have concluded is Wikipedia policy, and I don't see any point in trying to reopen that discussion. (I'm not that active on Wikipedia these days - this weekend has been an exception). If Wikipedia policy is different, fine with me - but I didn't want to disagree with Otr500 on anything where he and I agree on what Wikipedia policy seems to be. We disagree enough already. --Alvestrand (talk) 02:46, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
And notice how the {{nofootnotes}} tag makes a further distinction for articles that may have a list of references OR external links, but are unCITED. -- œ 13:17, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Find-A-Grave: Update for the record

The project

My observation is that the lead includes, Note that whether a source may be acceptable as an external link but not as a reliable source, and vice versa. that makes no sense. This needs to be clarified. Find a Grave, IMBD, and other such sites are not acceptable as a source or reference and vice versa is confusing. The project lists N GENERALLY NO for Find a Grave as an external link and states, "Rarely, a link is acceptable because of a specific, unique feature, such as valuable images and location information of graves, that is not available elsewhere.", and I can not find an exception anywhere to support this. At this time it may be editors preference but until a consensus or some other deciding factor Find a Grave is acceptable as a external link regardless of any "unique features". I like the site for my reasons but will not use it or advocate the use. This does not reflect consensus at this time and is only my preference and opinion. I feel the spirit of this essay was to air concerns and find consensus concerning external links. This essay page lists that Find a Grave not be used as an external link and I have a problem with this unless there is consensus that the site be specifically added to the EL exception list or blacklisted. WP:EL#4 concerns me, with the 30,000 plus references to it but this includes, mainly intended and I do not see evidence provided that this is or was (I choose to assume good faith) the intention of the project or any editor. If there is proof I would be among the first to jump on the battle wagon but I also think this should have been brought up at a point some 30,000+ additions ago. At the beginning would also have been a good time to draw the line concerning external link spamming. Consensus can change but editors have had since 2005 to make changes so I am only concerned at this point with source, references, and external links. WP:EL#11 includes, most fansites that contains the word most with no specific exclusions for me to base deletion. I will delete unrelated links in violation of WP:EL#13. As long as Find a Grave is not listed as a source or reference and only an external link then I feel copyright issues are avoided as long as there is no reference to the site in the article. I do have problems with Find a Grave, especially some of the instructions on the project page, and some have been corrected but specifically;

  • For any articles you create because of this project, you can add the entry's Find-A-Grave link to the External links sections of the article. This helps others verify the information that you did not source from another source, and find information you have not chosen to include. You can use the template {{Find a Grave}} template missing ID and not present in Wikidata.. Other than confusion the use of "This helps others verify the information that you did not source from another source", that I seem to be missing the meaning of but advocates, against conflicting instructions, the using Find a Grave as a source.
  • Take care when adding information from Find-A-Grave to articles. This needs no interpretation and allows the using of Find a Grave as a source or reference., as well as,
  • If you add facts from Find-A-Grave into the article, and If you don't enter any material, or if all the material you add is sourced from reliable sources, do not add a Find-A-Grave link. . This instructs editors to use information from Find a Grave which would make it a source.
  • If you add facts from Find-A-Grave into the article, add Find-A-Grave as an external link, not a source, and add a comment explaining what information you have fetched from the page. This allows people to check your facts with Find-A-Grave, but does not assert that the fact has a reliable source. Where I come from this instance of "fetched" means gathered and in this instance also used. The fact of fetching material, which obviously includes using it, and instructing editors that this does not assert that the fact has a reliable source to me is wrong. Otr500 (talk) 17:01, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Find a Grave is listed N "ALMOST NEVER" as a reliable source and there is simply no proof to support that Find a Grave is allowed any exceptions (covered below), or other exceptions to be a source or reference in any instance and Find a Grave, IMBd, or any other sites being used as a source or reference is in violation of Wikipedia policies and guidelines. It is also not acceptable when used as as a source exhibited as an external link. Failure to provide sources or references means notability should be examined. If any editor reads the policies and guidelines differently then perhaps we should seek dispute resolution possibly through WP:RSN. Common issues; #1- 3 that cover external links and should be placed there and #4 and #5 that covers source likewise needs to be placed under source. Surely it is not unreasonable that I suggest these instruction be reviewed and updated. I have grave concerns about the wording of the above and I feel some are detrimental to Wikipedia as well as to any new(er) editors attempting to do the right thing. I hope these concerns are not ignored and if any editor feels I am in error please let me know. I feel strongly enough about this to seek appeasement of my concerns. Otr500 (talk) 17:01, 7 March 2011 (UTC)


I am making edits to articles to remove Find a Grave, as well as any other inappropriate sites, as a source or reference as this is one of my main concerns. My rationale is supported by Wikipedia policies and guidelines. I go over my past edit history and use that for future possible expansions to articles. The reasons for removing Find a Grave or any other inappropriate link used as a source or reference is;

  • 1)-WP:SOURCES; Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.
  • 2)- WP:NOTRELIABLE; Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight.
  • 3)- WP:SELFPUBLISH; Find a Grave is user edited and uses anonymous or pseudonymous editors.
  • 4)- WP:SPS; This includes any website whose content is largely user-generated, including the Internet Movie Database,,, and so forth, with the exception of material on such sites that is labeled as originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff, rather than users. Find a Grave is not currently specifically named as is IMBd but falls under "and so forth". Rational dictates that Find a Grave, while not listed by name in WP:SPS, certainly falls under the criteria.Otr500 (talk)
  • For rationale and consensus (aside from the policies and guidelines listed) please read WP:Find-A-Grave famous people#When creating articles which states, Remember that all articles must satisfy Wikipedia core policies of notability (WP:NOTABILITY), verifiability (WP:VERIFIABILITY) and reliable sources (WP:RELIABLE SOURCES). Find-A-Grave is not considered a reliable source., and further, For any articles you create because of this project, you can add the entry's Find-A-Grave link to the External links sections of the article.. While this deals with articles being created it also certainly applies to any articles already created. Otr500 (talk) 17:01, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I will take such appropriate actions or tag any articles with source or reference violations as needed. It is not my intention to delete, or pursue a deletion process, unless there are serious reasons or copyright violations as I do not consider myself a deletionist. When any copyright violations are found I will have no choice but to correct these. If an article list no other reference or source, and only an external link, I will try (time permitting) to locate at least one source, move the inappropriate link used as a source to an external links section, and tag the article with a reference tag and possibly a notability tag. In most cases I start with a reference tag (and talk page comment) and wait awhile. I realize editors watch articles they have interest in and usually this gets results. In such cases I do not want to delete an external link used as a source or reference but if there is no fairly immediate action from the talk page comments and tags I will revisit the article, try to find a source or reference, and if not possible take such appropriate action at that time. I can not allow implied consent by lack of necessary actions. Otr500 (talk) 17:01, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I have decided, after consideration and no comments, that I will not add links taken from a reference section, that do not conform to Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and add them to an external links section that some do not feel belong there. I had initially decided to do this not so much as appeasement but because these misplaced links seemed to belong more there. I have stated I do not use these links myself, and in what is actually compromising I have contradicted this, and do not wish to do this. If it takes awhile to garner interest and help this means I have a lot of work (mentioned above) to make corrections. I would have preferred some collaboration but do not intend to wait, for what has been predicted to fail, and then take action on something that already has consensus. This will lighten the burden and I can focus on other things I feel are equally important. I will not be apposed if editors follow up and make such external link edits pending community consensus. Otr500 (talk) 00:42, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Few editors watch this page and I think that most editors are tired of saying repeatedly that they do not agree with deleting these links and are tired of it being brought up every single month. It has been stated repeatedly in the past so theh appropriate thing is to not bring it up again a month later. I think that regardless of my objections the mass deletion agenda of Find a grave has continued and there is little that I can do to stop it other than to simply revert the edit. Eventually though the time will come when the information cannot be verified and we will either allow the data from Find a Grave to be used under certain circumstances or be forced to delete the article thereby doing a disservice to our readers and the pedia. Simply put I think that mass deleting these links as you have been doing is counter productive aside from your good intentions. --Kumioko (talk) 00:56, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy to see that otr500 seems to have abandoned the quest to remove external links to Find-A-Grave. The work on inappropriate references is much less unreasonable.
After seeing the repeated citing of the statement in the essay about Find-A-Grave as justification for this unilateral action, I'm changing the guideline for external links to "rarely". It's clear that the formulation "almost never" does not have Wikipedia consensus. --Alvestrand (talk) 06:52, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Official contributors to Find-a-Grave

Perhaps not unexpectedly, editors not familiar with FAG do not know that the US Veterans Department, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the American Battle Monuments Commission are major contributors to the FAG listings. See: [4] for the VA, which has added almost 2 million records to the FAG database. See: [5] for the ABMC & CWGC, which have added 760,000 records to the FAG database. See: [6] for the International Wargraves Photography Project which has added 1.3 million records. The listings from the VA, ABMC and CWGC are very accurate in that they consist of database transfers to Find a Grave. These records contain correct dates, names, assignments, etc. Accordingly, these records should be considered WP:RS. With these facts in mind, the "rating" on Find a Grave should be raised. An appropriate annotation to the rating could be added as a caveat to those who use FAG. --S. Rich (talk) 04:58, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Thank you S. Rich for your comments. Apparently other Find a Grave friendly editors did not know the information you provided either. I have seen comments concerning Medal of Honor recipients but do not recall the others. I have defended Find a Grave several times but my volumes of concerns were met with what I feel as hostilities, here, on my user talk page, and now I have discovered on the MFD that includes suggestions of an ANI, more than a desire to work things out. The very serious problems that I have listed above has not been addressed. I have a serious issue with the Find a Grave instructions on the Wikipedia Find a Grave project page and have listed them above. The comments of Kumioko, "It has been stated repeatedly in the past so theh appropriate thing is to not bring it up again a month later", to me is saying that concerns of editors are not important and that consensus can change is not relevant. A way to address this would be by an essay that could reach consensus to be guideline or policy and not hoping it will just go away again. My edits will prove that Kumioko is either in error in claiming I am "mass deleting" Find a Grave (or others) or maybe he is just trying to pile enough straw on the camels back in hope one more will break the back. As noted I have moved links to an external links section and not mass deleting as I am accused of doing. Kumioko certainly has the option of reverting my edits but I feel should consider my discussions on the talk pages to avoid requests for arbitration, AFD, or other avenues for clarification.
I have repeatedly stated I was fairly looking for consensus and defended Find a Grave on questions of blacklisting and even recently concerning the essay listings involving external links and Find a Grave. My concerns, reflected here and on article talk pages is that what I read leaves no doubt at present that Wikipedia policy (also listed in "Action" above) and the Find a Grave project instructions paint a different picture concerning the site (at present) as a source or reference. Specifically:
  • The reasons for removing Find a Grave or any other inappropriate link used as a source or reference is;
  • 1)-WP:SOURCES; Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.
  • 2)- WP:NOTRELIABLE; Questionable sources are those with a poor reputation for checking the facts, or with no editorial oversight.
  • 3)- WP:SELFPUBLISH; Find a Grave is user edited and uses anonymous or pseudonymous editors.
  • 4)- WP:SPS; This includes any website whose content is largely user-generated, including the Internet Movie Database,,, and so forth, with the exception of material on such sites that is labeled as originating from credentialed members of the sites' editorial staff, rather than users. Find a Grave is not currently specifically named as is IMBd but falls under "and so forth". Rational dictates that Find a Grave, while not listed by name in WP:SPS, certainly falls under the criteria.
My continued stated concerns are articles using Find a Grave as:
  • a)-a source or reference, and
  • b)- most certainly articles that list no source or reference but have Find a Grave or IMBd listed in an external link that appears to me to be such source or reference masked as an external link. Even the Find a Grave project page instructions (surely created with consensus) states the site is not a reliable source and gives instructions to only place links in an external links section.
I have been moving links to an external links section but it seems to me that (if my opinion is allowed) there are some that feel that if enough circles are drawn the problem will just go up in smoke (go away) as so many times before. This is why I had decided not to move the links but just delete them. Here is one example that I have not edited.
Seeing my position as evidenced in my edits on this talk page I find it rather strange that some editors wish (again my opinion) to make an opponent out of a friend. Even this has not deterred me from being fair in my assessment as also evidenced by my edits above and calling for changes (with consensus) in the project page. Lacking any constructive comments to solve issues I have decided to delete the above listed links be it Find a Grave, Imbd, or any other site that has consensus that they are not acceptable. I will now look at the links you provided and make sure these instances are not present and if they are I will actually move them to an external link. I am open to logical and rational discussions but I did not make the policies and guidelines and feel community consensus is needed (per policy) to change this.
Your suggestion, " These records contain correct dates, names, assignments, etc. Accordingly, these records should be considered WP:RS. With these facts in mind, the "rating" on Find a Grave should be raised. An appropriate annotation to the rating could be added as a caveat to those who use FAG. ", but there are still issues:
  • 5)- Many instances of using Find a Grave in the above listed ways (#a and #b), in violation of Wikipedia policies and guidelines, do not involve any of the sites you mentioned.
  • 6)- The policies and guidelines I have listed (and posted on every talk page of articles I have edited) do not support using Find a Grave as a source or reference. If anyone wishes to examine my edits (as some on the MFD have done) my purported "mass deletions" are only edits involving sites used per the stated #a and #b above, my edits use policy and guidelines and not an essay page rationale, and I have been moving links to an external links section and not mass deleting.
I feel the problems I have listed will not just go away but only be postponed as I am not the only editor that has raised concerns nor will be the last. An essay that possibly leads to a guideline or policy would actually be advantageous. What really needs to happen is editors, especially those involved in the Find a Grave project, examine my concerns fairly and without bias to make corrections to the instruction pages to allow a starting point. It would also be nice to have a discussion about my concerns of improper linking and how to address this and maybe even help correcting the problems. With the animosity I feel directed at me I dare not make any suggestions there (Find a Grave project) as I have not even been able to get constructive comments here.
I again would like to thank you for the important information you have provided and I will review this and certainly even be willing to discuss and corroborate with you (if interested) concerning articles with links that provide such information. Otr500 (talk) 07:42, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Otr500, repeating your concerns do not make them more serious. I have examined your concerns, I agree with some of them, and have tried to make the WP:FINDAGRAVE guidelines clearer in its advice to editors to address them; I disagree with others, and have said so - if I have not seemed constructive in those comments, I am sorry, and will attempt to do better. Unfortunately, you keep on stating your position in absolutist terms that seem to me to admit of no compromise, and do not seem to admit of the possibility that you do not have the backing of the Wikipedia community with regard to external links, and that your reading of the guidelines do not warrant your proposed actions.
I will be happy to debate the WP:FINDAGRAVE guidelines on that talk page. Unfortunately, I suspect that few people will see those guidelines; I think it's likely that most of the people making the edits you so abhor do not come in via the project. (Different concern). --Alvestrand (talk) 13:06, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
First Otr500 I want to apologize if I seemed unfair to you. You are correct I do believe that for the most part you have been fair about deleting the find a grave links but you have been deleting a lot of them lately. I also agree that there are occasions where using the Find a grave link is unneeded such as Albert Einstein or someone else who's life has been documented in great detail. I also admit that there is data on the FAG entries that are not appropriate to be used in WP articles. I have also stated repeatedly that if we find evidence of errors, copyright violations, etc then it should not be used. However I do not think that is should be blacklisted. I think that it should be allowed in the External links section (especially if there are details that might be useful to readers), I even think that in certain circumstances it should be allowed as a reference (especially if the info being used is clearly visible in a picture of the gravestone). But I understand that many do not agree with that. I also agree with Alvestrand's comments above and I was also unaware of the information S. Rich provided. --Kumioko (talk) 01:59, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
As Kumioko is aware, I have removed some Find a Grave links that were used as reliable sources which I did because I think using it as a reliable source had consensus that it wasn't one. I also removed some of them from external link after I researched whether it should be in EL. Those were ones that had another grave site link that was a reliable source thus the Find a Grave was not needed in either realiable source or EL. You can see our discussion at my talk page. That being said, I just looked at the links that S. Rich put up about the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the others dumping a bunch into Find a Grave. That is not what I am seeing though. Individuals are doing this. For example, the VA has there own site for graves as did another one. I suggest that editors research the comments of S. Rich to see what exactly was done. S Rich would you give some more information about all of this? For example, how do you know that it was actually the VA who dumped that much into the Find a Grave sites data base? I would think that privacy concerns would be an issue for some of the VA's family and friends. As a spouse of two living persons that are veterans and one veteran who is dead, I don't know if I would like them to be added to this public site though I don't know until I see how it was done. Please, editors check this out. Thanks, --CrohnieGalTalk 14:30, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Reliability of Find A Grave

I have found a WP:RS who comments on the reliability of FAG. Sharon Tate Moody (a "board-certified genealogist") says "tombstone photographs obviously are reliable." (Duh!) I have edited Find A Grave to reflect this verification. --S. Rich (talk) 05:42, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't think anyone disputed that (assuming we know that the pictures aren't photoshopped). That doesn't change anything about find a grave's application as an external link, though. --Conti| 07:48, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I think we also should consider what it says in Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources. The reliability of a source depends on context. Each source must be carefully weighed to judge whether it is reliable for the statement being made and is the best such source for that context.. In this case the Find a Grave site is, in many cases, the only source of the information regarding the subjects birth, death and burial. Aside from any silly misconceptions that this information is not important enough to print if its not in a better source. Admittedly in many cases the find a grave link isn't appropriate as an inline citation and therefore using an external link is the only way to pass that infromation to the readers. --Kumioko (talk) 13:06, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
No. The status as a reliable source has nothing to do with the status as an external link. The site should not be used as an external link. Period. And if you can't use the site as an inline citation, then it still can't be used as an external link. Period. Not to mention that your statement that "the Find a Grave site is, in many cases, the only source of the information regarding the subjects birth, death and burial" is blatantly false. In 99% of the cases, the information regarding birth, death and burial is widely available. --Conti| 13:17, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
It has everything to do with it. If the site isn't appropriate as an external links then it can't be used as an inline citation. Additionally your comments would seem to indicate that since it can't be used as an inline citation or as an external link that the site should NEVER be used. That is as you put it blatantly false as is your claims that 99% of burial information is widely available. It is not!. That may be true for those who died in the last 50 years or so but case in point the Medal of Honor recipients from the American civil War. Without using original research (ie going to the grave or searching through birth certificates or burial records myself) it would be next to impossible to find the information on many of these folks. This is also the case of a number of actors and sports figures farther back in time. The information just wasn't recorded in media and there aren't as many books about these folks. I agree that if a better reference is available we should use it, but in lieu of that the Find a Grave site should be allowed to be used for Birth, Death and burial info. Especially were an image of the gravestone is there with the information literally written in stone. Additionally, as identified above some of the records are Reliable since they were provided by the VA and other reliable sources and just by virtue of the fact that these organizations support and continue to develop the Find a Grave site is some evidence of respectability regardless of what some who hate the site might think. --Kumioko (talk) 14:13, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
"If the site isn't appropriate as an external links then it can't be used as an inline citation." Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. There is a reason why there are inline citations and external links. They are different. The requirements for each are different. There are acceptable inline citations that are unacceptable external links. There are acceptable external links that are unacceptable inline citations.
"Without using original research it would be next to impossible to find the information on many of these folks." If original research is the only way to include information, we don't include that information at all. Period. That's the entire point of WP:OR.
I've gone through hundreds of articles that include links to find-a-grave, and 99% of them did have information on birth, death and burial available practically everywhere. Your medal of honor recipients from the American civil war are the 1% that might not have such information.
Personally, I wouldn't mind a/an link/inline citation to find-a-grave on articles that literally have no other sources. But a) that only concerns a minority of the current links, there are thousands of links that have nothing to do with this and even according to your arguments ought to be removed. And b) it'd still be against policy. --Conti| 15:11, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Conti: A URL can be both a very good external link and an absolutely horrible reliable source, and the other way around. The standards by which they are judged are completely different.
Kumioko, I believe this is now the third time that I have personally told you this fact, and I'm not the only person who has patiently explained this to you. What do we need to do to help you remember this? Would it be helpful to you to have examples? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:15, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I know what has been said and I understand how the policy is written. The problem I have is in the Black and White interpretation of them that some users are taking. For example comments like "almost never", "unreliable", "99%", etc are mostly guesses, conjecture and opinions and doesn't really represent the data in the site. Again, I admit that in many cases there is a better reference but even in many of those cases the Find a Grave link provides extra value. For example many have additional pictures that are not on the WP article, many link to the grave entries of other family members, some give additional details that we cannot and or should not include in the article. But most of the time the entries are being deleted because someone deems that the link is spam, that the site is trying to promote itself or some other nonsense. I say again if the data contained is found to be incorrect or a copyright violation then we should not use it. Otherwise we are just making assumptions of bad faith. Of course there is some bad entries and some bad information but even the most trusted publications like Fox news the New York Times has bad info. All I am trying to say is that stamping the site with a standard can't be trusted, unreliable, almost never usable brand is not appropriate either. --Kumioko (talk) 17:54, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
The large majority of the uses of the site are inappropriate. Can we agree on that? You always list your exceptions as if they would apply all the time, or even just most of the time. They don't, they're exceptions. --Conti| 18:53, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree they are exceptions but the way that some people are trying to word the rules make it sound to most, including me that Find a Grave should never be used and that is what I don't agree with. It should only be used with certain restrictions I admit to that but those are not listed anywhere. For example. I personally believe that the only things that should be allowed are the Birth date, Birth location, Death date and location and place of burial. Especially if an image of the headstone with the data is visible to verify the details. No images, no details about what they did or who they are (presumably we already have those details somewhere else) and no information about other family unless they are linked to the FAG entry and have their own FAG entry. Certainly nothing if we know that its wrong or that its a Copyright Violation. To be honest if we were to modify the rules slightly to state something to this effect then that would largely shut me up. I am not opposed to curbing its use but I am opposed to a complete ban of the site. --Kumioko (talk) 19:01, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I can see the reasoning for exceptions, but you keep arguing even against the most basic opposition to the site, and you constantly give the impression that you would oppose every single removal of the site. I know that's not true, but I wouldn't know it from your arguments here. The large majority of the links to the site should be removed, but as soon as someone does that you wave and scream that they ought to stop and discuss this some more. If you want to have the essay (essay, not rules) modified, make specific suggestions and try to convince others why they're good. Don't start a very general discussion on how the site really isn't that bad (in some cases, sometimes) every time. --Conti| 19:09, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
To be honest I really don't think the site is as bad as some users make it out to be but I do admit that I don't think all the data should be used in Wikipedia for a variety of reasons. To be honest I think the problems with the site identify exceptions in its data and does not represent the majority of the entries. I have also seen several users removing links en-masse from articles and for the most part I haven't complained (although I have reverted a few I didn't agree with). If we want to establish some standards going forward with what should and should not be used and when from the site thats fine but I don't think we need to just start hacking the links from 50, 000+ articles. Also, In many cases I have seen one user remove the link and a few days later another comes back and adds it right back so its fairly counterproductive anyway. --Kumioko (talk) 20:11, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
We got to start somewhere. If, say, 8000 links out of 12000 are inappropriate, you're bound to get a few links wrong. If you got any other suggestion on how to get rid of the bad links, feel free to make suggestions. --Conti| 20:26, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I added the info re FAG being a RS in certain cases, namely the data actually on the tombstones, thinking the Project Page should be revised WRT the Reliability N. The "almost never" description is not accurate -- it needs explanation as to when and when not. Also, there are various FAG listings that are managed by FAG itself. The RS of those listings ought to be evaluated. --S. Rich (talk) 16:49, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree and thats what I am trying to say if perhaps in a poor and unclear way. --Kumioko (talk) 17:54, 15 March 2011 (UTC)


I wondered when I start this page whether I'd regret using icons. Candidly, I think the decorative aspect was appealing at the time.

However, I couldn't find a similarly styled "!" icon. If we're going to keep this, could someone make an orange exclamation mark icon for the page? Or maybe a question mark? (Or both?) WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:12, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

You can find lots of treasures if you know where to look, take your pick: ???? ? Nota bene* exclamation mark-
Ideally, I'd like an exclamation mark that isn't reversed (that is, it is an orange exclamation mark on a white background, rather than a white exclamation mark on an orange background). WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:32, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Type in search WP:Icon. You will get more than you'd expect, at least I was surprised. Add an s to icon and get even more. HTH! --CrohnieGalTalk 15:59, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah, oke. How about this Nota bene*. Yoenit (talk) 16:03, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Looks great. Thank you. Would you like to put it in? (Perhaps it should be moved into the Template: namespace first.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:56, 20 March 2011 (UTC)


How about using a Nutshell comment that is not as extreme as the one used now? The problem I have with the one used now is it sounds accusatory and not simple. Seriously, all we want to show is that it's an essay and not policy or guideline. I think this nutshell is all that is needed.

Thoughts? --CrohnieGalTalk 15:55, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

It's the same template. The only difference is that we've used the parameter to add "on Wikipedia:External links & Wikipedia:Reliable Sources guidelines" to the middle, since it's an essay about how to interpret these guidelines (especially EL, but somewhat RS). WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:58, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Find a Grave as a source

Common issues: #6 still needs work, "...but having an external link allows others to find where information comes from.", either has to be omitted or reworded. If a site is considered unreliable as a source then information used in the body of an article from that source is inappropriate or not sourced. I am not going to challenge information such as dates of birth, death, and place of burial, in articles I review. I have undertaken a large project already and would prefer not to have to be involved in major issues so please figure out another way to state this. I am not going to get into another long discussion and would prefer not to have to take the issue before the reliable sources/Noticeboard but even the suggestion of, "allows others to find where information comes from" is admitting the information comes from a source considered unreliable. Similar wording is used on the Find a Grave project instructions, as I have stated before, and is not in accordance with current policies and guidelines. I may still have to go before the noticeboard to get clarification if good faith and proper edits to clean up Wikipedia is reverted (or whatever it is chosen to be called) on articles. I will comment on the project below. Otr500 (talk) 13:43, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

There is a special callout in the "verifiability" policy about "information likely to be controversial" (WP:CHALLENGE). A date written on a gravestone is rarely controversial. If one has the resources required to go visit the public records of the subject's city (including the time required to figure out their procedures), it's rarely hard to verify - but those resources are well beyond what's reasonable to expect for uncontroversial information across a large article set.
Apologies if I seem to be just arguing and doing nothing, or if I seem disrespectful of the amount of time you're putting into Wikipedia (not my intention). I have spent hundreds of hours on Wikipedia in the past, but my current circumstances mean that my time on Wikipedia is counted in the single digits per week, if that. I would prefer if available resources (both yours and mine) could be spent on areas where we agree, and not in re-arguing the points where the Wikipedia community does not seem to have a consensus. --Alvestrand (talk) 10:02, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Note, verifiability means that things can be verified, not that everyone (physically) has to be able to verify it. If a gravestone says "1-1-1900", and people have verified that, then the information is verified and verifiable. If you read the article and think 'I want to know that it is true', you don't have to go to the actual gravestone to check, you can call the keeper of the grounds, you can ask someone else nearby, trust that others did their work correctly. What do you do when there is no tombstone with the date on it .. then you trust ... ??
The only reliable source for much of this info is government documentation/people records and maybe the tombstone if it exists .. we do not need find-a-grave for that. There is much information which is verifiable which is not available online. That does not mean it is not verifiable. It only makes it easier if there is a link to a reliable document. But if that is to a, often unreliable, site .. hmm .. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:36, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

External links project

I am reviewing article external links. I have started with the first 500 found here and am at 192 on the list. I temporarily stopped as a courtesy and to evaluate concerns. Any organized help will be appreciated. I hope interest can be generated so I do not have to seek outside help in the form of some blanket removal. My actions include;

  • 1)- Removing any unreliable references that include but are not limited to Find a Grave. I have stated that without cooperation I would just delete these but have been moving them (against my better judgment) to external links. At a point, if there is no interest from others or the workload is just too much I may stop and let someone else worry about following up.
  • 2)- Tagging instances where there is no source or references but an external links section. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that in this case these links will be the source. Articles such as these need help as they are subject to notability, original research, and other actions to include nomination for AFD.
  • 3)- Any instance where an unreliable source or reference is used in the reference section and the external links section. I will just delete the reference.

As long as other editors can understand that I do not have the intention of sabotaging Find a Grave, that my issues are valid with policy and guideline consensus, and that improving Wikipedia is my goal, then I feel I can be easy to work with. Any comments that I am or have been mass deleting Find a Grave will cause me to change directions as this is false and offensive to me. It still, as commented on from the beginning, would be better if there was cooperation. A suggestion, that will probably not happen, would be a Find a Grave sub-project of some kind with the same goal in mind. I feel, against the opinion of at least a couple of editors, that the above concerns are not productive to good articles, and do more harm than good. I worked 98 1/2 hours last week and average 60 to 70 so it is probably in my favor I only sleep 4 1/2 to 5 hours a night. My point to this is that I am not on a deadline but in time will review articles I edit to see if there are any corrections. I do not oppose suggestions or civil comments concerning my actions, so as long as my intentions (that have been questioned before) are clear, then I can focus on corrections and solutions. If time allows, and certainly on articles of interest, I will seek other references and possible article expansion. I will use my contributions history to actually do this at a point. Otr500 (talk) 13:43, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

About #2: Sometimes, when editors encounter a list of WP:General references that happens to refer solely to websites, they rename the section ==External links==, even though they shouldn't. Whenever you encounter this, the best course of action is to correct the section heading, not to tag the article as having no list of sources. "Reliable sources confusingly listed under the wrong section heading" is not the same thing as "Zero reliable sources on this page." The test for this condition is simple: Do the websites actually contain some or all of the information in the article?
I've sometimes renamed such sections ==General references== in the hope that the next editor will discover that WP:Inline citations are not the only possible form of providing a list of reliable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:39, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Wait, WhatamIdoing. If there is under 'general references' or 'references' a 'external-link-like list of links' disguised as sources, and the links do not point to the correct place, then they are NOT sources. The homepage of find-a-grave is not a reference for a specific part of the article, or even for all. The 'general references' should exactly point to the right documents that were used to write (parts of) the article. I still think that it is then better to actually link them to the specific statements, though sometimes that results in 50 uses of one reference on practically all statements in the page. One needs to use common sense with those, but if a 'general reference' is used specifically for one specific statement in the text, then it is not a 'general reference'
And still, general references are still that, references, and references need to be reliable sources. If they are useful to the document, but not reliable, then they may be suitable as an external link, if they obey our external links guideline. Putting them in a separate section is not exempting you from either WP:EL or WP:RS (or our core policies what that regards). --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:31, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I understand the relevance of "the links do not point to the correct place". If the links point to irrelevant pages, or are dead links, then surely the links cannot support the article content, and thus are obviously not general references?
(I certainly agree that WP:Inline citations are highly preferable to WP:General references, but Wikipedia actually uses both.)
My point is this: Just because it says ==External links== doesn't prove that it is a list of WP:External links. A section that is labeled ==External links== might actually be WP:General references.
In that case, the correct solution is to fix the error in the section heading, not to delete the general references. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:42, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I sorta agree. I have seen numorous cases in the past were people even pu Reflist and references in the External links sections because all the references were links external to Wikipedia. --Kumioko (talk) 19:07, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's a problem, especially on older articles. Additionally, some newbies "helpfully" change the section headings. There's no way to prevent this kind of well-intentioned error, so we just need to watch out for these situations. Editors must use their best judgment. Mindlessness is not okay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:03, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Concerns: The comment, "Reliable sources confusingly listed under the wrong section heading", by WhatamIdoing is not relevant. The question, "Do the websites actually contain some or all of the information in the article?", surely can not be referring to Find a Grave because information can not be used in the body of an article that is from an unreliable source. Obviously it can and has been but if it is [[WP:CHALLENGED}} the burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material. A source or reference that is considered unreliable is by definition unreliable no matter what section heading it is under. I have listed (several times) the policies and guidelines I use to determine if a source is inappropriate. Of all the comments not one person has given arguments that I am in error concerning Find a Grave as a reliable source nor has any editor shown examples of any exceptions that so allows Find a Grave to be used as such. If an article uses Find a Grave, IMBd, or other similar sites, listed under a reference section, more especially with no other source or references, I have been moving these to an external links section. Once this is done (according to Wikipedia policies and guidelines) the article has no source or references. I am fully aware that such an instance means the site was actually used as a source but since I do not support this I hope the attention will elicit edits for correction. If not I will revisit the articles for further action. If there are no other sources or references available the article needs to be nominated for an AFD.

Kumioko has commented on my talk page that certain edits I made were reverted. I have not had a chance to review these but the reasoning for the reversions:

  • 1)- The edit you made broke the link to Find a Grave and the link was creating an error (there are a lot more of these); Reply: If my edits are within the boundaries of the policies and guidelines then repairing or tagging the problem is an option not reverting back to a clear violation. (otr500)
  • 2)- A picture of the grave with the sourced information clearly visible is available on the Find a Grave entry validating the information; Reply:As above (and one more time) if information is located on a site considered unreliable as a source then that information can not be used in the body of an article or to validate any information (a source or reference) this is the reason for the use of external links. (otr500)
  • 3)- Medal of Honor recipients whose information cannot so far be gained from any other source without using original research; Reply:I am a big fan of this. I also have to ask a question. If the information is found on Find a Grave they got it from somewhere so where did they get it? Regardless of the answer if circumventing the policies and guidelines are allow because something is important then why not submit a MFD on all policies and guidelines? (otr500)

If there is confusion as to if Find a Grave can be used as a reference such as Wilbur E. Colyer, Arlington National Cemetery (info box as a reference), and Margo Davidson, maybe the confusion should be brought before the WP:Reliable sources/Noticeboard, to seek a consensus. Of course consensus on any particular article would be a precedence to other articles. Here is one that would give credibility to the need of an external links clean up project or reference and external links patrol; John Siomos lists three Wikipedia references, two allmusic references, a Find a Grave reference, and a Find a Grave external link. Should we all say "to hell with policies and guidelines" or maybe agree there are severe problems that need addressing. How about one from my home state, Vance Plauche that not only uses Find A Grave as a reference but uses a bare URL. James Jordan utilizes absolutely no source or references but seven external links including Find a Grave. Bella Darvi has Find a Grave as a reference and an external link. Belinda Lee has 5 external links (including Find a Grave) and no references with a no reference tag since December 2007. Jaap Penraat has a NY Times external link that displays (registration may be required). Last (of a few random picks) we have Cayetano Alberto Silva, that is like the color black that for some reason some wish to call extremely dark gray. I say this because it has no listed references but Find a Grave as an external link. It can be said that this article is simply using an unreliable source as a reference, because it really is, but this is against several mentioned policies and guidelines. The problem, and apparently no one can offer a plausible solution I can use, is that when there are no references listed, closer examination will confirm that there are actually no references listed. An external link can't count because these can't be used hence the reason for external links. What is the aversion to calling the color black what it actually is? This will help me to understand and possibly agree that there is enough gray to consider using the nofootnotes tag.

When I review the reverts to my edits I will probably seek a solution at that time. I do not intend to get into any edit wars and reverting, especially without the consideration of discussion, leads me to deem that my edits have been considered improper. I feel that collateral damage that is caused by the removal of an inappropriate link is not grounds to revert an edit. For this reason I will probably submit those articles, that I feel are not in error, to the Reliable sources/Noticeboard. I would like to point out that during the MFD, and comments that included examples of my edits, it was not pointed out that my edits were in error. Otr500 (talk) 17:18, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

First when I said you broke the link I literally mean broke. It generates an error when the page tries to load and you did it on quite a lot of pages. Also, regarding the use of find a grave several editors have voiced there opinions about the use of the site as an external link and as an occassional use as a reference but claiming it wasn't valid because you don't like it doesn't cut it. I also believe that some of the "evidence" and policy that you present are extremely weak and an exaggeration of the "problem". I understand and agree that the find a grave site is not the best reference, there are limits on when and how it should be used and I could even see using a refimprove tag if its used as a reference. --Kumioko (talk) 14:10, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

New find a grave type sites

I see that there are a few new sites out there like or favourite site find a grave - i have recently seen a few links to Canadian Headstones. The Canadian Headstones looks like they are very simple, with no POV bios or copyrighted pictures on the pages (good on them). Just want all aware the this new Grave site are being used and should be looked over to see if they meet External links and referencing policies. SO far i have seen a few used as refs for dates and they seems fine since thats all the info the pages realy provides. Moxy (talk) 21:27, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. The dates and places are all we should be using the Find a grave site for also. The only problem I see with this new site is that if you have multiple people with a common name it would be hard to tell which one it is. One benefit of the Find a Grave site is that it does offer a description of the person even if we choose not to use it. --Kumioko (talk) 23:14, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually we should not be linking our readers to POV bios or copyrighted pictures ever - we cant use only parts of web pages - anyways this site does not look as bad as find a grave. Moxy (talk) 23:38, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Both reliable sources and external links are permitted to have POVs, but you're right about the LINKVIO problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:00, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I should have said self published - original research bios sorry.Moxy (talk) 00:05, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
So are you saying that if a source is written in a POV fashion or if the source contains a copywritten image then we can't use it as a source? I agree that we shouldn't be using copywritten images in the articles and we shouldn't be writing POV articles but I don't agree with that statement. --Kumioko (talk) 00:47, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
- more about original research then POV WP:SELFPUBLISH the fact its a wiki is bad - and yes never link to copyrighted material WP:ELNEVER. Moxy (talk) 02:58, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Well if we can't link to copy written material then we shouldn't be linking to most books, most websites or news magazines because nearly all of them with the exception of Government sponsored ones are copywrite protected. Most government websites, especially biographies have a POV slant and could be considered self published so I guess those are out too. The original research thing might be valid for some but if the entry contains an image of the gravestone and doesn't require searching through birth or death records then that doesn't really work either. The Wiki comment has the most validity but again if the image of the gravestone is provided with the information literally written in stone then that's pretty good validating evidence that the information is correct. That sure doesn't leave us with much to work with here to build an encyclopedia. Aside from that the Self published argument doesn't really stand for the Find a Grave entries because most people probably lack the ability to write them from the great beyond (unless your Obi wan kinobe anyway). --Kumioko (talk) 03:15, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
I have said all this before and dont realy want to get into this again. But i am a little concern you have been advocating the sites use and your not familiar with copyright issues. Websites, newspapers, magazines hold the copyright thus its there's to display and distribute and we can link to them - As for digitized books (like at Bibliography of Canada) they are snippets and previews, thus only show a portion of the work and theoretically staying within copyright law (well most of the time i guess see Google Book Search Settlement Agreement for more info). Some older books or like you say government and some Universities like Harvard will allow most works to be published. There is simply no way around copyright laws for images when they are stolen and posted to find a grave. I agree that gravestone are good refs (and they dont have a copyright problem - as find a grave hold the rights to display them after they have been uploaded) - but this fact does not negate all the other policies violations to not link to the site. It does not say there is an exception that allows to link to copyrighted material if there is other usefull info that can be derived from the site. The policy is clear "dont" knowingly link to copyrighted material. Just as its says do not link to original research especially in bios. Moxy (talk) 03:42, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Moxy, the blanket assumption that another site is violating copyright is a dangerous one too. And just to be perfectly clear - the rules say that we shouldn't link to material that is copyright VIOLATION, not that we shouldn't link to material that is copyrighted (or most links would be illegal). I think that's what you are saying, but your words didn't come across quite that way. --Alvestrand (talk) 03:54, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
You are correct i mean "copyright VIOLATION" and is y i said " stolen and posted to find a grave." and explained that the grave photos are fine. As for find a grave copyright violations not all articles have this problem but many do. This website needs to get a handle on things.Moxy (talk) 04:42, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Yup, it would be good if they did better. Wikipedia is at least public about the process it uses for the same kind of problem. --Alvestrand (talk) 11:25, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Kumioko, no, you are totally mistaken with "we shouldn't be linking to most books, most websites or news magazines because nearly all of them with the exception of Government sponsored ones are copywrite protected" - that is not what is the problem: the problem is, that we should NEVER link to sites which violate copyright. If the external site is having images on them which are in violation of copyright, then linking to that document on that site is also a violation of copyright. That is different from linking to websites which have a copyright on their data. If that site owns the copyright, then we can link to it, and that is the case with most books, most websites or new magazines, CNN owns the copyright on their video's, if they publish them on, they are fine, if CNN uploads a video to YouTube, then CNN still owns the copyright, just hosts it on YouTube, if someone records a broadcasted part of CNN into a video (or downloads a video from, and uploads that to YouTube without asking CNN, then that person uploads that video in violation of CNN's copyright, and we should not be linking to that video (but can link to the non-copyvio one, even if it is the same one as one uploaded by CNN themselves or as the one on the website). And even, that CNN video is a good reference, a good reliable source, but if it is a copyvio version of that, we can not link to it, even as a reference. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:56, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

No I completely understand but my point is that most of these comments are just assumptions of bad faith. If we know that there is copyright violations then we shouldn't link to it and I agree with the comments we shouldn't be using images from Find a Grave (the only info we should be using is Birth date and location, Death date and location and burial location, thats it). Virtually every News site in existance has had copyright vio on it at least a few times including CNN so by your arguments we shouldn't be linking to it. What I am saying is that jsut because Article A has a copyright violation doesn't mean we shouldn't be linking to Article Z on the same site that does not. Its also like saying that just because Youtube has Copyviolation videos then we can't link to anything on the site. I am also contesting that posting an image of a gravestone with the name, birth and death information clearly visible and written in stone (literally) is not a reliable source. Are there going to be mistakes? Of course and if we are aware of them we shouldn't use them, same thing with copyright violations, but that doesn't mean the whole site and all its contents are garbage and untrustworthy. Thats all I am trying to say. BTW my comments were also in contrast to what Moxy was posting and seemed to be implying. --Kumioko (talk) 19:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Simply dont link to pages that are believed to contain copy vios (images or text)- "even" if someone would like to use the dates from that page - just link directly to the grave stone image and not the main page when you believe there a copyvio. So instead of linking to this page of Corey Haim that has a main image stolen from his official page - just link to this grave image page well still giving credit to Find a Grave in the ref link description under |publisher and under |format you could even tell our readers its a jpg. that there about to open. Moxy (talk) 22:51, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
My question there is do we know that there is a copyright violation with that image? How do we know this isn't an image that the studio allows others to use. We don't. In some cases we do but this is not one of those cases. I have always agree that we don't need to be using images from that site but just linking to the page is not bad unless we know that there is an error or the information/image is a copyright violation. --Kumioko (talk) 23:23, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
As i said its stolen from his official pages - the photo is by Deidhra Fahey a very famous head shot photographer. Her photos are used on his Official pages one on my space and the other on his main web site here - I can assure you Caroline Lagace who is attributed to the photo at Find a grave is not Deidhra Fahey. Theres not even mention of were the image comes from at find a grave- looks like user Caro does this alot -- Again all we can do is try our best to not link to Copyvios.Moxy (talk) 01:08, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
No, Kumioko, I said that we should not link to the specific copyvio document, indeed, the rest of the site is good. I thought my example using was good, if CNN uploads themselves a version of a news broadcast to YouTube, then that is NOT a copyright violation, and we can link to it, if I would upload the same video, it would be, and we should not link to 'my' version.
I have not commented on the reliability, but the point is right, if the proof is a copyvio image, and the text on the page contains the data from the copyvio image, and/or the page is displaying the copyvio image, then we should not be linking to the copyvio image, and not to the copyvio page (back to YouTube, we can not link to the page where the copyvio video is embedded in, that is the same as linking to the copyvio video). Even if the image is right, the data is right, as Kumioko says, it is literally written in stone, the proof is copyvio. If the page with the data does not contain the copyvio image, we could link to it, but then the reliability is .. maybe not the best. Then the solution is: find the original image, and use that as a source, and otherwise, you can not source the article to that information, even if it is true, reliable, verifiable etc.
And since we know that find-a-grave carries quite some material in violation of copyright, I think that we should inform every single editor who adds find-a-grave about that problem, and that they better check (XLinkBot?), and maybe do a good clean-up of these things. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:36, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Just one more wrinkle of copyright law into the mix: Facts are not copyrightable. So the copyright status of the fact that someone was born on such-and-such a date does not depend on where the fact comes from. So a date with a reference saying "this is copied from the image of the headstone next to the copyvio image on that site over there that I refuse to link to because it contains a copyvio image" is perfectly reasonable under copyright law. It's just very convoluted. --Alvestrand (talk) 09:08, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
True, but if you know that the image is a copyvio, you are probably also aware of the original .. which would be less convoluted. Also note, that "Find-a-grave, entry ####" (or however an entry is formatted/defined on Find-a-grave) is a perfectly sensible reference as well, as does 'The tombstone on the grave, lot number ##, next to the Church in the capital in Far Far Away' .. you do not need to link to an online version of it, the info is still verifiable for everyone (linking only makes it easier, but as we discussed here, we sometimes can't - and not having the link makes it for some/most of us very difficult to verify it .. but still, one can verify it). --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:14, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Could all keep an eye on Elizabeth Taylor article as i have removed Elizabeth Taylor - Find a Grave that links to a copyvio image from time life magazine see here image was done in 1971 thus is still copyrighted --> Copyrights, Trademarks and Other Proprietary Rights..Moxy (talk) 11:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
To adding find-a-grave to XLinkBot: Yes, please. --Conti| 18:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes for XLinkBot. Unregistered users and brand-new accounts are the people who are least likely to place these links correctly (e.g., to consider the possibility of copyright violations). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:46, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you noticed but the Elizabth Taylor headshot you mentioned has been removed from the Find a Grave site. I just thought I would mention that to show that they do make changes. I suspect that they have the same problem we do, we just have a couple bots and a more active group of users who look for these things. --Kumioko (talk) 11:22, 30 March 2011 (UTC) is now revertlisted by XLinkBot (I added the tracking template here so we can find this discussion back when needed). --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:21, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

On the ostensible purpose of this section: Unless and until we get a lot of questions about a website, I see no reason to mention it on this page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:47, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree no need to mention them until there is a clear problem (if there is one to be).Moxy (talk) 09:58, 26 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok so since it couldn't meet consensus were just going to sneak it in under the wire and hope knowone is watching? Is that the tactic now? I agree that the other Find a grave like sites should be on the list but there has been repeated failed attemps to add find a grave to the XLinkBot list so adding this now is not appropriate and it should be removed from the XLinkBot list. --Kumioko (talk) 12:55, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko, you are aware that there are quite some pages there which are a copyvio (not all, true, if that was the case, it should be blacklisted), that is a quite grave problem, we should NOT link to copyvios. Furthermore, find-a-grave is a site which, most of the times, fails WP:RS and a site that often fails WP:EL. XLinkBot is designed to warn new and IP editors for sites which often have (grave) problems. Find a grave fits that description. You are of course free to keep up with it by hand and remove/replace bad find-a-grave links by hand. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:17, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Find a grave fits that description sometimes true, many times it does not and many times other sites like CNN does as well.CNN does not offer proof of ownership over the imaegs they use in their newspaper articles and neither does time magazine. Can we assume that 'they took the image? If we are going to apply the assumption of bad faith logic to one site then it should be applied across the board. If we "know" that the image is copywritten I agree it shouldn't be used but I can give you about 300 examples to the 1 or 2 very specific high profile and well documented ones given above that are completely free to use. So although I agree that the Deidhra Fahey and Elizabeth Taylor images are probably copywritten and shouldn't be used I also know that there are far more that can and picking 1 or 2 specific examples out of 40 million to ban a site that a couple users don't like is just stupid. The fact remains that repeated attempts to add Find a Grave to xllinkbot have failed to gain a consensus and doing it now is against that so it need to be removed. If you want to block it for specific pages like the ones mentioned above do to a perception of Copyright violations then fine but blocking the site as a whole is not the answer. I and others also disagree on some editors interpretation that it fails External links guidelines. --Kumioko (talk) 13:26, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Wiki's generally fail WP:ELNO, so yes, the editors who came to the consensus that wikis are not good external links should note that find-a-grave is, often, not a suitable external link. Same goes for, there are some exceptions, but generally, wikia-wikis fail our external links guideline. Just as other wikis. is therefore revertlisted.
Your comparison with CNN here does not hold. is NOT a freely editable site (except for maybe the blogs), yes, there we can assume easily that CNN has the rights over the images they publish, and maybe you can find examples where they do not, but believe me, CNN will make sure they do, they have editorial control for that. find-a-grave on the other hand, like wikia wikis, is basically a wiki, no single form of editorial control, and anyone can link there whatever they want, just like here on Wikipedia. It may be with the best of intentions, but that does, and will result in images being uploaded which fail the proper copyright status (that happens here on Wikipedia, such images are liberally deleted ASAP). We have to assume that a similar mechanism exists on find-a-grave. However, if that mechanism there is not strong enough, like e.g. on YouTube, then that results in images (video's for YouTube) which fail the proper copyright status, and we, simply, should not link to (pages containing) those images (video's). So, no, with linking to CNN the chances of linking to copyvio's is minimal. With find-a-grave that is, apparently/clearly, a bigger problem. I have removed many wikia and other wiki links, I have even removed CNN links from external links sections. External links still have to follow our external links guideline, and though CNN and wikia-wikis and find-a-grave certainly can add to an article via the external links section, the latter 2 more often do not than that they do. And even when the image for Elizabeth Taylor's find-a-grave would not be a copyvio .. I doubt if the find-a-grave article would add anything to the Wikipedia document which could either not be incorporated, or which is not already there. Even then I would consider it failing the external links guideline. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:03, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok first, Find a grave is not, nor has it ever been a wiki. Its a site that individual users can input information too as well as input from various other locations as well including government sources like the VA. But its not a wiki. Second, that doesn't mean it cannot be used as an External link. Your right CNN is not freely editable but they use copywritten images, so does most major news sites and most of them including most books are copywritten and contain copywritten images. By your logic we shouldn't be linking to them as either because we don't "know" that the images aren't copy vios. Yes they have editorial control but that doesn't make them above error and they have had several in the past. Therefore we can say that there is a "chance" that they could. If we know that its copyvio we should delete it otherwise we should WP:AGF. I reverted your edit adding Find a grave to xlinkbot. Aside from my personal feelings it has been rejected multiple times in multiple discussions. As for failing EL there are tens of thousands of links to Facebook and Myspace and blogs and a number of other sites that should be deleted and we should be focusing on other than this site. Even most Youtube links should be eliminated (although there are a few that are good). --Kumioko (talk) 14:26, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
You do know the difference between a copyright violation (which is what is happening all over find-a-grave. If you really, really want to I can find you dozens of examples) and the proper display of a copyrighted image (which is what CNN is doing. Attribution, paying the owner of the image, etc.), right? --Conti| 14:48, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes I know the difference the problem is the way its being debated here is in a general very vague way that would seem to include nearly anything as justification to ban the site. I agree and have always agreed that many of them shouldn't be linked to. In fact I would go so far as to say that most major celebreties or public figures would gain little value in having the link. The help lies in what the site provides for those not so well known or well documented cases such as Medal of Honor recipients, early politicians actors and celevrities. There are where the Find a Grave site proves to be useful. I also think that more time and attention is being paid to the site than needed when we have other, truly problematic sites like facebook, blogs and myspace littering WP by the tens of thousands. I agree that there are problems with Find a Grave and there should be limits on when and how its used. I have stated that all along many times. But not a complete ban as some seem to continue to advocate repeatedly. Just to clear up another question that was just sent to me anonymously via EMAIL. The reason there are few advocating to keep the site is because editors haev repeatedly said they use it and they don't want it blocked or banned and repeated attempts to eliminate it have met with a lack of consnensus or keep. And then no sooner does the discussion close when someone opens it up again with a couple weeks. People are tired of continuously talking about it month after month after month. Clearly there is no consensus to eliminate the site so lets try and attempt to regulate its use. --Kumioko (talk) 15:06, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. Well said. This Find-a-Grave fear mongering has gotten way out of control. -- œ 15:25, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
We're not even talking about a complete ban here. You do know that, too, right? XLinkBot will only revert the addition of the link by IP's and new users, to educate them about our rules. It will not at all revert any regular user that adds a link to find-a-grave. --Conti| 16:09, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Sigh. Thanks Conti. contains a lot of copyrighted information, but hardly any copyvios, if any. If a reporter would knowingly violate copyrights with images, then I can not believe that an organisation like CNN would keep such reporter on repeated offenses (violating a copyright is a criminal offense!). An no, while all (new) books are copyrighted by the owner or publisher, and all (new) books contain a LOT of images which are copyrighted, hardly any books violate copyrights, and hardly any books contain images which violate copyrights. Again, if a publisher would find such books, then I can't imagine that the author would stay long with the publisher .. again, it is a criminal offence.

If XLinkBot would revert, then yes, it would make >95% mistakes, the only way CNN fails WP:EL would be on 'the link is superfluous' .. while with, I believe that XLinkBot will be in >95% of the cases right to revert, and quite some will be links to copyright violations (and the rest is superfluous, and it is still linking to freely editable pages with questionable reliability - it may not be a wiki, it is pretty close to it).

XLinkBot is about regulating its use, the spam blacklist is about eliminating the site. And that is what should happen, it should be regulated, it should be rigorously cleaned up. Most of the links are superfluous, in most of the cases better sources for the info can be found (original obituaries e.g.). --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:23, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I have re-added findagrave reverting, I had a look around, and I did see more (likely) copyright violations. Just to explain further: e.g. this image is an image from, very likely copyrighted by this site. I am allowed to that image, as it is on the site that holds the copyright, there is no problem there. However, a (cropped) version of exactly the same image is available from on the page of the subject. I am NOT allowed to link you there, as it is very likely a copyright violation on ( is hosting an image for which they likely do NOT own the copyright). is likely violating copyright for this image, if I would link to the image or the page showing the image on that would also be wrong (that does not mean that I can not link to the original copyrighted image as that image on that server is not in violation of copyright). Of course, other images on which are not in violation of copyright, or pages which do not contain images or information in violation of copyright (and which comply with the rest of WP:RS/WP:EL can freely be linked to!!). Seen those concerns, and seen that a link to a page on findagrave containing this image were added by a (relative) new editor (not 'new' enough to be reverted by XLinkBot ..), I do see value in having new editors being made aware of these problems. Editors are of course free to undo the XLinkBot reverts when their links do comply with our policies and guidelines. I hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:14, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Hey, did you guys know that find-a-grave differs in their contribution lists between "photos" and "volunteer photos" on their user pages [7]? If that means what I think it means then.. yikes. --Conti| 11:53, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
It looks like 'volunteer photos' are made by editors who have volunteered to make photos of graves in their geographical region. What did you think it was? --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:14, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. So what's "photos", then, if it's not pictures they made themselves? "volunteer photos" are those they made themselves, and "photos" are those they got from a Google image search, or what? :) The user in my example made over 16.000 "photos", including the copyvio you mentioned above. I'm just wondering if that means that there are thousands of more copyvios from just that one user out there. --Conti| 14:29, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I guess that assumption could also be said of WP. Commons is full of picures that weren't taken by "volunteers". BTW if you didn't notice my comment above the Elizabeth taylor image was removed. --Kumioko (talk) 14:36, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Kumioko, that we have a lot of copyright violations here on Wikipedia is NOT a reason to link to copyright violations elsewhere. Editors are very busy cleaning out the copyright violations here, other editors are very busy to get rid of links to copyright violations. Letting one floodgate open while we are busy mopping up another (with floodgates open) is not really helping. Conti's concern is a real one. if the editor made a couple of hundreds of pictures himselves by request, then the question is, where did the other 16,000 come from. I will assume that those are also largely made by this editor, but not as a request .. but since this editor did upload an image which is very likely in violation of its original copyright, one could ask if that has happened more (do I need to note that the other image on the page that I can not link to is also a likely copyright violation, also uploaded by .. the same editor (can't find the original there, but there are logos on a uncropped version elsewhere - I will not link to any of them)?).
I know that has a policy that such images are removed, and that is what happens if people or the organisation get notified of it. But by the looks of it .. a lot of it gets unnoticed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
"Volunteer photos" appear to be photos made in response to a specific request. The assumption that all/most other photos from that user are copyright violations is quite frankly ridiculous. Yoenit (talk) 15:05, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree and that was the point I was trying to make. Its very possible they downloaded the photos from a Government source. Of course it is possible I admit that they are copywritten to Assume so is just a bad faith assumption. We need to deal with cases on an individual basis. If an F.A.G. entry is found to contain a link to something that is a copywrite violation then it shouldn't be used. Period. But that doesn't mean ew should automatically assume that every entry is a copywrite violation. --Kumioko (talk) 15:23, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, Yoenit, you also clearly misinterpret my comment. Thanks for that insult as well.
And Kumioko, here similar as below, you misinterpret my comments here again. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:34, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
As for copyrighted photos: I looked around the other day, at the graves of people I know (my own family seems to have been completely skipped when someone went through the relevant cemetery; I guess they didn't get to that part of the cemetery yet). I found several studio portraits of neighbors and acquaintances. I actually found zero non-copyvio images of the people who had died: if the page had a picture of the person, it was a copyrighted professional studio portrait. (The photos of the grave markers I assume are all properly licensed.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:18, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

XLinkBot removal

I see that we are now disagreeing whether it should be on User:XLinkBot/RevertReferencesList - I have self-reverted on User:XLinkBot/RevertList (the main revert list), XLinkBot will now not revert the link in external links. As I show, I am strongly in favour to revertlist this, and I would say, that it should be on there again. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:33, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

The original idea sounds fine - a simply way of informing new editors of the concerns about the site. The site is already linked extensively and this will simply help for the addition to new deaths. However i am not all that concern about it being on XLinkBot - as in time our editors will pass on the knowledge gained here on this talk page and sites of this nature will be more scrutinized in the long run. As seen here if educated our readers generally get the point and disputes will be avoided with the knowledge gained and thus spread about Wikipedia in a positive manner. All that said the concerns of the site do not out weight its minimal contributions to our readers as stated by the "VISIBLE" majority here on this and previous talks. On a similar note was thinking of writing an essay to help our readers that summarizes Copyright infringement and Wikipedia:FAQ/Copyright based on Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry (unless there is one out there that i cant find - anyone know of one?)Moxy (talk) 21:49, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I believe that Find A Grave should be listed on XLinkBot. The unregistered users and complete newbies are by far the most likely to place an inappropriate link to the website. This gives them an explanation and a one-time removal, which they or anyone else can override at will. It doesn't interfere with an established editor, whom we'll assume is less likely to place an inappropriate link. I think this is a reasonable and proportionate approach. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:15, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that Find a Grave should be listed on XLinkBot too for the reasons stated above. --CrohnieGalTalk 13:54, 1 April 2011 (UTC)