Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

Welcome to the external links noticeboard
This page is for reporting possible breaches of the external links guideline.
  • Post questions here regarding whether particular external links are appropriate or compliant with Wikipedia's guidelines for external links.
  • Provide links to the relevant article(s), talk page(s), and external links(s) that are being discussed.
  • Questions about prominent websites like YouTube, IMDb, Twitter, or Find a Grave might be addressed with information from this guide.
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If you mention specific editors, you must notify them. You may use {{subst:ELN-notice}} to do so.

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Link removalEdit

Is there a script or bot that can remove multiple links @ Death to Anders, or does it need to be done manually? - FlightTime (open channel) 21:51, 13 August 2022 (UTC)

You can tag the article with Template:EL, when there are lots or embedded external links (particularly in long articles where the link issue spans multiple sections) in the article body to let others know about the problem when you don't have the time or inclination to remove them yourself. In this case, the links clearly seem to violate WP:CS#Avoid embedded links and WP:EL#Cite_note-7 at first glance; so, you could remove them yourself as well. What you kind of need to be careful of is to assess whether the links might actually be converted to inline citations instead. Some older articles used embedded citations or otherwise embedded links instead of using inline citations, and assessing the value of the link might not the kind of thing or script is best suited to do. Remember, that you're still responsible for the content of your edits even if you use a bot or script; so, you may need to assess things first regardless. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:40, 13 August 2022 (UTC)
@Marchjuly: Thanks. - FlightTime (open channel) 22:47, 13 August 2022 (UTC)
@Marchjuly and FlightTime: The external links were all clustered together in one section, and all went to artist/venue pages, MySpace and the like. None of them qualified as citations. I removed them all.
Surprisingly those external links were all present as far back as the very first version of the article, created in 2008. At the time, it was littered with external links throughout the body. All of the others had been gradually replaced with either wikilinks or citations, as appropriate, but this particular cluster was never touched. I guess nobody wanted to be the one responsible for de-linking so much of the article body. Nevertheless, save for the one band mentioned that also has an article (which I wikilinked), delinking was the correct action. I have no issues accepting the responsibility and/or blame. FeRDNYC (talk) 19:52, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
@FeRDNYC: Thank you, I had forgotten about this. - FlightTime (open channel) 20:06, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
I removed them all. ...except for the one I missed, obviously! Fortunately, Marchjuly was there to salvage my sloppy work. Thanks! FeRDNYC (talk) 04:03, 9 October 2022 (UTC)

Harry Ransom CenterEdit

A lot of external links have been added such as at Benjamin Nottingham Webster#External links which includes:

I would have thought that a link showing that a particular library has works related to the subject would not satisfy WP:EL. I will notify Hneuhauser (talk · contribs) about this discussion. Johnuniq (talk) 03:36, 30 September 2022 (UTC)

Yes, a lot! These links are not helpful, as they don't lead to any further information about the subject and are just a list of subjects for which some materials are held by the collection. It doesn't even indicate whether the collection is the principle, or even a significant, repository of materials on that subject. I consider these links to be spam. Thanks! -- Ssilvers (talk) 04:52, 30 September 2022 (UTC)
Very many, and I agree that they are spam. And Hneuhauser (talk · contribs) is an undeclared paid editor. Looking more closely, Ecolleary has also been adding external links for some months, but they do at least state they they work for the Center on their userpage. Edwardx (talk) 10:08, 30 September 2022 (UTC)
I see these kind of links added to articles all the time, and I always remove them. They fail WP:EL as they don't provide a resource on the subject. A site that says "hey we have some archives, look what contents are in box X1B" but don't provide any of the documents, is providing no value to 99.99% of people reading the article. Canterbury Tail talk 12:31, 30 September 2022 (UTC)
Well, maybe you shouldn't. These are Finding aids, and after several long discussions over four or five years (e.g., Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 39#Request for comment on finding aids and Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 41#Library links), WP:ELMAYBE now explicitly permits them. The fact that it's useless to you and me doesn't mean that it's useless to every reader. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:17, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
@Canterbury Tail@WhatamIdoing: they are ‘maybe’. They have to be helpful and add content. Otherwise I will come back to my real example (I should have saved the diff link) of a persistent librarian who pushed in one case a link to a (the only one) quilt in their collection to quilt. Yes, that is basically also a finding aid link but it does not help us further but for linkfarming. Or a museum organization who spammed links to agglomerate pages which included one work of the artist whose wikipage they spammed (yes, the overall behaviour was spamming) the link to. Yes, it may be useful for some people but not generalized. If the finding aid links to a record set of 14 feet worth of shelve space of originals of letters written by the subject (another real example) in their archives (and is one of the largest of its kind) then maybe is certainly a yes, but we are not a linkfarm of finding aids (that is something for WikiData perhaps). Dirk Beetstra T C 04:21, 5 October 2022 (UTC)
I agree. We shouldn't "always remove them". We also shouldn't mindlessly accept them. Also, I'd suggest that, as a general rule, a typical article rarely benefits from having more than one finding aid, or two at the most. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:38, 5 October 2022 (UTC)

Official website is on spam blacklistEdit

The purpose of this post is to obtain consensus that an organization's official website is permitted in the infobox and external links section. Specifically, I refer to Vrbo and it's official website https://www.vrbo.com/ which is currently in a spam blacklist. I have not attempted to save the URL directly to the Wikipedia article. As is best practice, the template {{Official website}} pulls it from Wikidata.

Proposed: The official website should be whitelisted for use on this one page only.

With a sufficient number of editors approving, I can take this request to the next level. Thank you. Senator2029 【talk】 07:41, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

  • I think you are proposing that all official websites are to be displayed on the article for the organization, even if the URL is on the spam blacklist. That, Vrbo is just an example? I would oppose such a proposal since context always matters. Perhaps there are some blocked URLs that should not appear even if "official" and a case would need to be made for the particular article. WP:EL should be followed and there is no requirement that Wikipedia act as a directory of official URLs. OTOH, if this refers only to Vrbo, it should be discussed at Talk:Vrbo perhaps with a link to the discussion added here. Johnuniq (talk) 08:46, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
    I agree with Johnuniq. Doug Weller talk 11:35, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
@Senator2029, requests for whitelisting normally happen at MediaWiki talk:Spam-whitelist, and WP:ELOFFICIAL links in the articles about notable companies don't usually require much in the way of demonstrated consensus. You just have to let the admins know that there's a problem, and one of them will take care of it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:07, 14 October 2022 (UTC)

churchofjesuschristtemplesEdit

The website churchofjesuschristtemples.org is a personal self-published website that aggregates a lot of statistics, information, and images for LDS temples. It is not an official website of the LDS Church and therefore doesn't meet the reliability criteria or allowable usage cases for self-published sources. However, I think that it might still be allowable as an external link on specific temple pages, similar to how Hagiography Circle and CatholicSaints.info is used on articles for Catholic saints. Any reasons or thoughts on why it would not be a valid EL? --FyzixFighter (talk) 23:19, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

@FyzixFighter, in which article(s) do you think it should be listed in ==External links==? Has anyone objected? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:54, 31 October 2022 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing:: I was thinking of the LDS temple specific articles - it is already used on some, such as Albuquerque New Mexico Temple. Another editor has been removing links, see here and here, in citations (which I agree with as it fails WP:RS) but also in External Links sections, calling it a fansite. I disagree that it is a fansite but is akin to the Catholic Saints links use elsewhere. Before I go back and reinsert as EL, I thought I'd check what others think at this noticeboard. --FyzixFighter (talk) 02:44, 31 October 2022 (UTC)
Have you at Horse Eye's Back talked about it before? I looked at your first link, and I'm not sure that "fansite" is quite the right word. The photographs, in particular, could be interesting to readers. I also noticed that the link after it, which was kept, is a dead link, which should probably have been removed (see WP:ELDEAD for a short explanation). I assume, since the contents of the second link are unknown, that the two links weren't considered redundant, which would be a valid reason to remove one of them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:29, 31 October 2022 (UTC)

Find a Grave as an external linkEdit

In the John Allen Lewis article I had included a Find-a-Grave external link for Lewis. Nikkimaria has deleted this link, twice, not used as a source or citation. Entries to Find-a-Grave are supported by dates of death, cemetery location, photos, grave plot numbers etc. There is no policy that mandates that we can't include this in an external link, so I really don't see why this apparently is a pressing issue for an external link for some individuals. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:14, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

This particular link provides no photos, grave plot numbers, etc - only unverified user-generated information. See WP:ELPEREN. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:20, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
The link provides cemetery name and location, birth and death dates and locations, supported by sources, date of burial, memorial ID number, and photos of gravestones of family members. There should be no issue here, the contention of which more than suggests the info has all been fabricated, for an external link, again not used as a source. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 02:39, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
Findagrave has zero mechanisms for ensuring the accuracy of entered information. Any user can add any junk. Should be blacklisted. Moxy-  02:45, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
What sources? There are no sources provided in the entry, plus it claims that the individual may no longer even be interred at that location (though that claim is as lacking in sources as every other made there). See WP:ELNO points 2 and 11. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:46, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

"Should be black listed"? Yet WP has not done so. Why is that?

Points 2 and 11:
2. Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research, except' to a limited extent in articles about the viewpoints that the site is presenting.
I see no reason for "misleading the reader", at F.A.G., and none has been presented here. Another assumption.

11. Blogs, personal web pages and most fansites
None of these apply to Find-a-Grave. Again, there is no WP policy for censuring Find-a-Grave as an eternal link. This really is an exaggerated issue, as far as external links not used as sources go. Can you cite just one example where Find-a-Grave has put out bogus information, or is this entire argument just based on a personal sweeping assumption that everything is "junk"? If this is really going to ruffle one's feathers I'll leave it out. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 04:08, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

  • The relevant guidelines are Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources#Find a Grave and WP:FINDAGRAVE-EL (which is an explanatory supplement, not a guideline, although it is the accepted practice). The standing consensus is that to be included, it should present valuable information that is not present in the article (such as a picture of the grave). In this particular case, the Find-a-Grave only gives trivial information, and should therefore not be included in the EL. Pilaz (talk) 14:22, 30 October 2022 (UTC)
  • WP:EL outlines when a link should be considered for inclusion and when it should not. Self-published sites from non-experts comprising unverifiable research are on the "not" side. If you'd like just one example of bogus information I'd invite you to note Abraham Lincoln was his own sibling, although you could get much deeper into the issues. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:03, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

There are a few names under Siblings with Lincoln included, but there's nothing that says, "his own sibling", or anything to that effect, so I fail to see the issue there, also. In any case Pilaz has offered something I can accept, that this particular F.A.G. article doesn't offer anything valuable that can't be found in the sources, and though that is really something that doesn't amount to some sort of pressing issue, I'll concede to consensus, and simply bow out here. In any case, thanks to all for looking out. -- Cheers. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 17:54, 30 October 2022 (UTC)

templeknowledge.comEdit

Looks like a spammed blog. I don't have the time right now to look closely or start cleanup. --Hipal (talk) 17:11, 12 November 2022 (UTC)

Found while doing looking at the situation. --Hipal (talk) 18:37, 12 November 2022 (UTC)

@Hipal, it's good to see you around. You might like glancing at #churchofjesuschristtemples above, where we have a similar situation (but probably less spammy).
I looked at Chilkoor Balaji Temple. I am more concerned about the links for car rental services, which are obviously inappropriate. Having removed those, there are three remaining links. They are all basically interchangeable, so there is no reason to have all three. There might be some reason to keep one of them (i.e., containing information that doesn't belong in an article, such as opening hours and entry fee), but I'm not even sure about that. What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:21, 12 November 2022 (UTC)
I don't know why we'd assume these websites are accurate, nor can we tell what biases they may have. --Hipal (talk) 18:34, 29 November 2022 (UTC)
I don't know why we'd assume these websites aren't accurate, and we don't care whether they're biased. Not being a reliable source is not a problem for ==External links==. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:57, 1 December 2022 (UTC)
I don't know how that meets our basic purpose here, writing a serious encyclopedia. --Hipal (talk) 18:36, 1 December 2022 (UTC)
When you put a link in the ==External links== section, you are not "writing" anything. You are "adding a link". Links are expected to provide "meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article", such as how much the entrance price for a tourist attraction is. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:59, 3 December 2022 (UTC)
We disagree, and I believe WP:EL emphasizes accuracy, neutrality, and value:
  • Some acceptable external links include those that contain further research that is accurate and on-topic, information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy.
  • Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to... --Hipal (talk) 17:21, 3 December 2022 (UTC)
And we have no actual reason to believe that those sites are anything other than neutral and accurate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:49, 4 December 2022 (UTC)

It's definitely been spammed, including dead link spam as a reference and as the official website. --Hipal (talk) 22:26, 1 December 2022 (UTC)

Another find. --Hipal (talk) 17:31, 15 November 2022 (UTC)

prayer-bracelet.comEdit

I noticed the above SPA has been adding such links to 3 articles over as many years, so we may want to inspect the site and see if it is worth including anywhere or just spammed. Elizium23 (talk) 00:38, 29 November 2022 (UTC)

It's a store, so almost definitely advertising. ThadeusOfNazereth(he/him)Talk to Me! 00:48, 30 November 2022 (UTC)
I'm not seeing other instances of it. --Hipal (talk) 02:58, 30 November 2022 (UTC)
https://www.prayer-bracelet.com/blog/orthodox-icons-are-magnificent/ is a blog post. One of the things that surprises editors these days is that ==External links== are evaluated on the basis of the specific page that readers will see when they click the link, not what's on the rest of the website. See Wikipedia:External links#cite note-6. Treat this like any other blog post on any other website. Don't worry about what's on the other pages, because we're not linking to the other pages.
External links are also allowed to have any amount of advertising that's below the level of "objectionable". (See WP:ELNO#EL5.) Advertising for items sold on other pages of that same website are treated the same for this calculation as advertising for items sold on other websites. This is because Wikipedia:We don't care what happens to your website. We care whether readers (assuming any of them click on the link, and we know that most of them won't) will find some useful/interesting/relevant information about the subject that wouldn't be appropriate for inclusion in a well-written encyclopedia article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:06, 1 December 2022 (UTC)

clustrmaps.comEdit

Just ran across this while cleaning up other spam. --Hipal (talk) 16:45, 30 November 2022 (UTC)

That was used as a reliable source to support article content. If you want to discuss its suitability for that purpose, please take it to Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. If you think it was spammed (here's one diff of it being added), please follow the process for reporting it at Wikipedia:Spam blacklist. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:15, 1 December 2022 (UTC)
I vaguely recalled this or similar external links, and didn't have time to look. Still don't. --Hipal (talk) 18:38, 1 December 2022 (UTC)

Do we use links to IMDb or Google Scholar ie "publications indexed by Google Scholar"Edit

I'm not clear about these two. Thanks. Doug Weller talk 15:50, 4 December 2022 (UTC)