Wikipedia talk:Red link

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It's time to replace the driving in Madagascar red link before it's no longer red.[edit]

See here for the push to create it. The Nth User Care to differ or discuss? 17:39, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

It seems red to me. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:05, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Well, that's because it's create-protected...because of its use as an example redlink on this page, which is preventing the creation of a (probably) valid redirect. ansh666 20:07, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Realistically, Driving in Madagascar should be a redirect to Transport in Madagascar. Any objection to me changing the redlinks in this article to Driving in Liberland (as a plausible yet unlikely to ever be needed redirect)? --Ahecht (TALK
) 18:04, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
@RHaworth: Since you're the one that protected it due to it being "Repeatedly recreated: vandalism", would you be willing to create it as a redirect to Transport_in_Madagascar#Highways and then protecting the redirect? --Ahecht (TALK
) 18:22, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
  • What on earth is that reference to Liberland all about?? — RHaworth (talk · contribs) 18:56, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
  • @RHaworth: It was an example place that never, ever, would concievably need even a redirect about driving. Feel free to replace it with a better example. --Ahecht (TALK
    ) 21:05, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

@RHaworth: Are you aware that Wikipedia:Red link#Dealing with existing red links uses driving in Madagascar as a red link? People create that page because trolling is fun. The solution is to delete the page and salt it (protect the deleted page so it cannot be created). As the guideline explains, there is no reasonable article that could be written about driving in Madagascar and linking it to transport misses the point. Johnuniq (talk) 01:49, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

Deleted and salted. Bishonen | talk 09:25, 16 June 2018 (UTC).
Bishonen, are you aware of the discussion further up this thread? – Uanfala (talk) 10:04, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes. Surely it makes sense to delete the redirect and keep it red (salt it). Is this really an issue? Bishonen | talk 12:10, 16 June 2018 (UTC).
The guideline includes this text:
An example of a plausible red link might be to driving in Madagascar, since an article on driving in the United States exists, and country-specific driving articles like these are a likely area for future creation. However, it is better to leave this link red...
The text needs to provide a realistic example. Using a made-up example with Liberland is no help because Liberland is a joke and anyone reading the guideline would think that it was saying they should not create red links regarding joke articles. Driving in Madagascar is a good example because Madagascar is a real country and there is even a Transport in Madagascar article, however anyone trying to make an article on driving in that country would be missing the point of Wikipedia. Johnuniq (talk) 10:18, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
"Driving in X" is a common title of redirects [1]. – Uanfala (talk) 10:31, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Likely to be created v. Notable?[edit]

Hi, I noticed that one of the sections says that we should only redlink if we think an article is "likely" to be created out of it. I find this a bit problematic, because there are a lot of notable topics that are not "likely" to be created because of our cultural biases, language barriers, or because they are obscure topics that most editors who are competent enough to create an article won't find interesting. For example, I recently created an article about a suspected Mexican criminal leader and redlinked multiple other notable ones in a section. They are not "likely" to be created given what I mentioned previously (I hope I get to them at some point in the future), but I still redlink them because they are notable topics. Any thoughts? MX () 20:33, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Redlinks to Files shouldn't be prohibited by WP:REDNO[edit]

I don't necessarily think it's a problem if there are Red Links to files - how else can you alert other editors that valid, license compatible images exist for a particular topic? I am thinking in particular of lists where a large repository of US government images exist, but each image must be individually downloaded and it might be difficult for one person to do alone. This prohibition seems to have initially been added in January of 2014 via WP:BOLD, so there's no record of what anybody else thinks, but I don't think a blanket prohibition makes sense. While Category:Articles with missing files is listed as the reasoning for no redlinks to files, maybe that category doesn't make sense either, especially since it has outlived the only wikiproject watching it, WP:IM. I think a more sensible patrol category is Category:Articles with missing files without file request templates. -Furicorn (talk) 01:08, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

@Sam Sailor: who has been going through that category. Red-links to images are normally typos or because of file deletions, or are to arbitrary names that don't make clear what content is wanted. I don't see how the specific example you give is served by redlinks; a template noting that an image is requested or a place-holder image of the correct size will fit the page better and make it clear what content is requested. power~enwiki (π, ν) 01:15, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Ok so it sounds like there are definitely 3 categories of redlinks to files that would be good to avoid -
  1. redlinks due to typos (solution: fix typo)
  2. redlinks to unclear/arbitrary names (solution: request a clearer name)
  3. redlinks on an article without a file request template (my suggestion, solution: add a file request template)
Case 1 sounds like a rule that makes sense, "If you get a redlink to an image, check for typos". Case 2 seems harder to make a rule about, but I understand the spirit of it. I think it should be fine to create redlinks to files as long as the naming is clear and there is a file request template applied. To get more specific about my example, Water Resource Region and the subregions available (example: Lower Mississippi Water Resource Region) in the table all have freely available USGS images, but the images are a bit tedious to upload. Therefore, I created redlinks to the files to encourage others to contribute (didn't know about requests templates at the time), and to follow a particular naming convention. It seems perfectly reasonable to me to signal to other users that their contribution is welcome, and to suggest the naming convention for the contribution. There are quite a few images in the category commons:Category:Hydrologic Unit Code maps of the United States and I think it's helpful to minimize the number of image naming conventions for these images. -Furicorn (talk) 02:11, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
The intro to the guideline is short and sweet in this regard "Articles should not contain red links to files", and WP:REDNO says outright "Do not create red links to files." That does not leave much room for in the spirit of the law-interpretations. Would a change in the guideline allowing for redlinked files result in a better encyclopædia for the reader?
The case at hand deals with three regions of Water Resource Region, one being Lower Mississippi Water Resource Region. It was created in main space one month ago on 9 August, and had the table added on the 13th with 6 out of 9 subregion maps missing. How should any other editor without prior knowledge to the subject know where to go and get these files and upload them even if the more generic {{map requested}} had been posted on the article talk page concurrently? Which it was not. Earlier this evening with the info posted by OP exclusively to Talk:Great Lakes Water Resource Region I downloaded the six maps missing in Lower Mississippi Water Resource Region and uploaded them to Commons. It took me 15 minutes. Sam Sailor 23:20, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
It makes sense to prohibit redlinks, even in the case that an article should exist. Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:27, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm just learning about WP:REDNO and the various {{media request templates}} from Sam Sailor (talk · contribs). I am glad that they were able to quickly upload the images, and since it takes me a while to do that many images maybe they would be willing to show me if there are some tools or tricks they use that I can learn. Unfortunately they were unable to give me a rationale for this portion of WP:REDNO, beyond directing me to the discussion archives. Since I couldn't find any archived discussions on the topic, I believe all we have to go on is what's written on the project page, and some best efforts guess based on the edit history. I am glad we are having the discussion now. I see that there is definitely a maximalist "no red links" position, and I guess there might theoretically be a competing maximalist "every red link is sacred" position, although I doubt anyone holds it. I feel like my position is fairly reasonable. Generally, no red links to files, but if you signal that you need files and provide some explanatory information it should be fine. Ideally a template would exist that would allow us to do that, but unfortunately it seems like all we have to use are the various {{media request templates}}. In the absence of a more specific template, I would like to incorporate what was said above and say that the requirement to have red links to files should be a {{media request templates}} and a talk entry explaining where to find the images. Optionally the editor could explain why they haven't put the images in, but I can see several disability reasons why, so I don't feel like we necessarily need to obligate them. -Furicorn (talk) 08:24, 11 September 2018 (UTC)
  • comment As someone who has fixed tens of thousands of issues with file red-links over several years I would disagree with the premiss - a red-link in an article does not in anyway "alert other editors that valid, license compatible images exist" unlike a content redlink that gives information about an actual subjects name a file name gives little to no information to if an image exists at all, if suitably licensed or where to find it. The majority of issues flagged in Category:Articles with missing files are obvious errors, typos, hot-linking attempts, users correcting text in file names, deleted files (those left after 3 bots try to fix), users 'desires' an image did exist, etc. If a case such as described existed "a large repository of US government images exist" why would someone add the file names, but not create the files, or a suitable request, and how is anyone seeing the red-link supposed know the image exists somewhere for downloading?
  • My key point would be a content red-link gives the reader information, a file-red link gives no information and is just a distraction. Who would like other websites/magazines etc having what is in affect just a placeholder that just says "we wanted an image here, but could not find one". Saying Mr A Redlink created a company Redlink Inc still conveys the name of the person and company, but File:Mr A Redlink.jpg and File:Redlink Inc HQ.jpg give the reader no information about what they look like of were the images may exist. Regards KylieTastic (talk) 20:49, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
    • To address why one might not always download all the images, I usually create these tables in excel, where I autogenerate the string value for the file name. I don't know ahead of time which ones will have an image and which ones won't. Once I know how many images there are, its a slow process for me to download and add them all to commons. So it is helpful for me to be able to upload the images and then not have to edit the table again. If I hear you correctly, your main complaint is that red links alone are not enough information for other editors or readers. I hear that complaint, so taking that into consideration I think a {{media request templates}} and information on where to source the images should be required to allow red links to files. -Furicorn (talk) 08:36, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Anyone object to me opening a separate section as an RfC? I'm a little new to wikipedia policy discussion processes, so I'm learning as I go. -Furicorn (talk) 09:00, 11 September 2018 (UTC)