Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard/Archive 24

ELNEVER and convenience links

What I'm trying to figure is how WP:ELNEVER might apply to WP:CONVENIENCE#Citation guidelines since it also seems to apply to the links included as part of citations in addition to external links. For example, generally links to media files uploaded to websites like YouTube are removed when they are to pages containing copyrighted content that was uploaded by someone other than the original copyright holder of the content (or their representatives), at least that's been my understanding to date. So, I'm wondering if the same applies to images of text content uploaded by someone to their website; for example, an individual uploads newspaper, magazine and other print publication articles about themselves to their website as actual scans or pdf files; not blurbs or bits and pieces, but a scanned version of the entire article or even the entire publication. Uploading the entire publication would seem to be a copyvio, but I'm not sure about a single page or a section of a single page since these might fall under fair use.

It was quite common back in the pre-Internet day for people to add newspaper clippings, etc. of announcements, achievements or things that were otherwise important to them personally to photo albums or scrapbooks. These were almost always only for personal record keeping and maybe showing their family, friends, etc. People still do that kind of thing these days, but many do it online. Businesses or individuals might upload scans of the coverage they receive like favorable reviews or favorable articles in sort of a self-promoting way, but a person might upload scans of articles about family members they are proud of or they want to be remembered by others.

I get that citing the original source material is necessary since that (and not the convenience link) is the source and I know sources don't need to be online per WP:SAYWHERE. What about linking to sites containing such scans since that would allow easier verification of the source, especially if it's a true unmodified copy of the source? Would such links be considered copyvios if the original content is still protected by copyright and the site is not controlled by the copyright holder? A scan of an article is most likely just a case of c:COM:2D copying and not WP:Derivative work; so, only the copyright of the original material would seem to matter. A citation can be formatted to be for the original source, but still indicate (e.g. using the |via= parameter) that the link provided is to some other site. Lots of citations link to archived versions of articles found on sites like the Wayback Machine, and WP:COPYLINK says it's OK to link to them. There are also sites like and Google Books which upload scans of newspapers and books that are also sometimes linked to. My question is more about "personal Wayback machines" where scans of print materials that are specifically about the uploader themselves might be found. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:33, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

It doesn't. WP:CONVENIENCE is purely an essay written mainly by a couple of people and not really touched in over a decade. It carries no weight, it's really just some people's opinion. ELNEVER is a guideline, that's pretty much treated as a policy by most. And yes linking to a site with scans of a source, that is still in copyright, with the site hosting them without the rights owner's permission is a copyvio and we shouldn't link to it. If you personally end up using the scan to read the document/book/whatever, then that's fine, but the ref should be to the actual source material not the copyvio. Canterbury Tail talk 23:07, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the response Canterbury Tail. Now to be more specific. All of the citations cited in Maurice Novoa are linked to scans of print articles uploaded to Novoa's website. The sources themselves might be OK (that's probably worth discussing), but I wasn't sure about the links. I tried to advise as much on the article's talk page, but I'm not sure the person who added the links gets it. Should these links be removed? -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:16, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Wow there's something massively suspicious about that article. It was only created a month ago, yet has links to articles on the subjects website (all of which are 404ing right now) and most of them to Latin Australian Times (a seemingly local promotional newspaper, not a respectable news source that itself barely gets any coverage.) It smells to me of a potential COI and seems odd that the creator has found all these files on the subjects websites (not only on for this article, but on others as well.) Anyway it seems that the article in question only actually is sourced to that one very niche newspaper and seems to me that they may not actually be notable. In fact doing a search for his name returns almost no results, I think the article is probably liable for outright deletion as non-notable. I know that's beside the point, we don't know if he got permission to host those files on his website (just a WordPress site), but there's no attribution so seems unlikely so I'd say that they're not applicable reference links and should be referenced to the original source. Canterbury Tail talk 01:11, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
@Marchjuly, you never need to cite ELNEVER as the 'authority' for doing anything. It only encodes rules from other places. If you're concerned about ELNEVER #1, then the real rule is the policy at WP:LINKVIO. Anything that violates that policy should be removed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:07, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks Canterbury Tail and WhatamIdoing for the responses. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:45, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Opinion: (based on policies and guidelines) And policy is why wiki's are not accepted as a source or link like in the "Forgotten Realms Wiki acceptable?" above. Finding "exceptions", either on an article (local), or ELNEVER (as mentioned-- a guideline) does not override any policy and guidelines can be more easily edited (changed) than policies. Announcements, achievements or things of personal importance does not need to be included on Wikipedia.
However, I do not see an issue with citing the "External links guideline, or sections such as ELNEVER, to show the blanket reasoning and all related rationale concerning the "External links" sections. Guidelines should follow (Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines that are "Wikipedia's policies and guidelines are developed by the community to describe best practices but in "specific contexts.". The relevant policies are listed so I would be at a lost to understand blanket objections to citing the guideline even though linking to the policy is of course more preferential. If anyone looks at the section on many articles, especially media related, it has become a "repository" for many of the same links, needed or not, providing anything of importance to the article or not, for the same promotional cites, even though policy states On articles about topics with many fansites, for example, including a link to one major fansite may be appropriate. The magic number appears to be 3, so to keep objections down (sometimes) the same three (or a combination of several) are used on just about every like article even though none can be perfectly acceptable. Forgive me if I get excited to see any and all editors with interest in the section, that is often overlooked, but is sometimes a great promotional library. If a policy is relevant to support trimming (maintenance) then of course use it but if it helps an editor to use the guideline that noticeably links (at the top of sections) to a policy, so is supported by that policy, then use what works. If someone has an issue (say a reversion), that is against the guideline supported by policy, dispute resolution will generally not support the edit against policy.
As Wikipedia has grown and become a worldwide accepted source the criteria for inclusion has become noticeably tighter. At a point sourcing from the external links section was common but now it should either be a source (in a "References" or "General references" section) or if not allowed by sourcing policies (and guidelines) or barring any other reason, then as an "External link". I don't see that an "External link" guideline can be applied or "connected" to a citation guideline but WP:LINKVIO (mentioned by WhatamIdoing) is applicable to all.
Concerning WP:CONVENIENCE: Per Canterbury Tail, it is an essay. Some are written and recognized as have some authority of community consensus but at least one part of that essay "However, the guideline does not clarify whether, in the second case, the intermediate source or "convenience site" must be reliable." goes against policy. Wikipedia:Verifiability states: In the English Wikipedia, verifiability means other people using the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source. If a convenience link is from a less than reliable source it should not be used on Wikipedia. To suggest that someone should have to go find a printed copy to verify if the unreliable source actually supports the content is plain silly. The plan pushed by some that sources are "out there somewhere" suffices unless challenged (policy) that includes Attribute all quotations, and any material whose verifiability is challenged or likely to be challenged to a reliable, published source using an inline citation. While Wikipedia:Citing sources is only a content guideline it is supported by policy. Even placing a source in the wrong part of a sentence can bring valid concerns of original research so sourcing from the "External links" would obviously be suspicious.
The bottom line is still that anytime there is a question of confusion or authority a policy is the authority as empowered by broad community consensus and copyright violations are not just a Wikipedia community concern but the WMF as well. Otr500 (talk) 19:50, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't think this is the place to discuss the proper way to cite a source, and I don't think your argument holds up. Imagine that someone posts an image of an old source on a blog (old enough that copyright isn't a problem). The blog post says something like "Here's a cool thing that I found on microfiche in Big Library. It's a scan of the first edition of 'Famous Essay' by Alice Expert". You're citing the old source itself, and for the convenience of people who don't own the source, you link to the blog post. Does your source suddenly become unreliable? Do your readers suddenly become unable to figure out that the scan isn't the original? I don't think so. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:39, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, but there's a problem in the supply chain because the blog hasn't reliably published this screenshot. There is no way for us to know if the screenshot is a faithful reproduction of whatever they found on fiche. It could be easily photoshopped. I would not countenance a blog link to support anything, not even an image of a reliable source. Elizium23 (talk) 01:42, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Other editors disagree with you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:21, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

New York City Council

I'm unsure what to do with the external links in the "District" column of New York City Council#Composition. On the one hand, they're certainly useful. On the other hand, they certainly violate policy currently accepted style guidelines. Suggestions? -- RoySmith (talk) 21:01, 4 February 2021 (UTC)

@RoySmith, let's pretend that it was 2005, you were still a new editor, and we hadn't calcified into a project that cared more about following rules than about the product. At that time, would you have said that, on balance, and in your personal opinion, that those links improve the article? If so, then please Wikipedia:Ignore all rules and do what's right for the article and the reader. (Also, it might actually be in compliance with the guideline at WP:ELLIST anyway.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:16, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
The linking seems a bit excessive to me and the links if anything would probably be better in individual articles about each district if they're needed at all. I'm also not so sure this is in agreement with WP:ELLIST. I get that things were different back in 2005 (that was way ebfore my time) when Wikipedia might have been starting out and perhaps there were less "rules", but this is no longer 2005 and I think treating IAR as being the only way to do what's right for the article and the reader isn't the case as much as it once might of been. Personally, I tend to agree with Roy Smith and think the links should be removed (at least in their current form). Perhaps, there's another way to incorporate the same information. All the links seem to come from so maybe there's one link which can cover them all that can be added to the "External links" section. Another possibility is that they all basically seem to be links to maps, and maps can often be recreated in article using existing Wikimedia. Maybe someone at WP:GL/MAP can figure out how to do that. If a free image could be created for each district's article, then basically the same image could be added to NYC Council article to replace the links. A map of wards seem to be working OK in Chicago Wards and maps of individual districts seem to be working OK in Los Angeles City Council; so, I don't see why the same can't be done for the New York article. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:29, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
Putting them in the individual articles isn't viable right now, because we only have individual articles about four of the 51 districts. I like the suggestion about making a map, but I'm doubtful that it will happen unless the boundaries are already defined (e.g., on Wikidata or at OpenStreetMap).
I don't think you agree with RoySmith. He says that he is unsure what to do, and you have a firm opinion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:55, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
RoySmith posted they certainly violate policy; that’s what I agree with even though WP:EL is technically just a guideline. If I’ve misinterpreted the meaning of that, then I guess it is just my opinion. — Marchjuly (talk) 03:29, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: Lets pretend it is 1640, slavery is allowed and socially accepted, and the people who are on the build our countries have brought prosperity to their country that we still recognise. We now recognise that that prosperity brought misery elsewhere. What was 'good' then, is recognised now more as 'bad'. Rules change, guidelines change, consensus changes. That sometimes means that Wikipedia text has to move on. WP:RS decides that a certain reference is too often to bad and 'bans' it, so we also reassess all old links that were already there and remove those that are inappropriate.
@RoySmith: I agree, that list is currently not in line with our policies and guidelines. However, 'District'-> '1/1' is completely unclear as to what that link is bringing me to. It is totally surprising that the link is leading to a map of the council. But then, I agree, that map is, very, useful. However, the link is not 'evidence' for the '1'.
Turning the districts into red/blue-links where these links would be more appropriate is an option (but as said, many are redlinks .. well, that grows the Wiki). Making a separate map is another option, but that is then just supplementary to the table. These links are mainly just a form of references (but I am not sure what piece of data in the current table they properly represent). My suggestion would be to move the links to new 'last' column, where the column name clearly indicates where you are being sent to ('area represented' -> 'map'?). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:59, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
I believe that it is still important to do what's best, instead of focusing on what's "legal".
I've implemented most of Dirk's suggestion here. Moving a table column is quick and easy in the visual editor. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:32, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
@RoySmith, Beetstra, and WhatamIdoing: I think that all creating a "map" column did was to add a column of quasi-embedded citations (a citation style which has been deprecated since 2017) to the table, and I'm not sure I agree that such a thing is "best" for the article. If you look once again at the Chicago City Council article, only two of fifty wards have stand-alone articles; moreover. in addition to the whole city map image for the wards used in the article, there is also an link in the article's "External links" section which shows individual maps for each ward. So, I'm not sure why the same can't be done for the New York article. There is already a link in New York City Council#External links to which further links to which shows a map for the entire city with each district indicated by a number as well as an accompanying table which shows who represents the district and the district's general boundaries. This map is interactive so if you hover your mouse over a district and click on it, a pop of window appears which will take you to more detailed information (including a map) about the district and the member that represents it. This one link seems to essentially do the same thing that 51 embedded into the table are doing; so, they seem unnecessary and keeping them isn't something we really shouldn't be trying to do here. -- Marchjuly (talk) 06:28, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
Marchjuly, I agree that this may not be the best solution, but I think that the original situation was ... rather bad, and think that this is a better solution. It could certainly be further approved upon. Dirk Beetstra T C 07:32, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks everybody for your input. I agree that the current "map" column is not a good final solution, but it's certainly better than what was there before. -- RoySmith (talk) 15:57, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
@Beetstra and RoySmith: There might be a possible alternative to the links being worked out at WP:GL/M#New York City district maps. -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:45, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
Marchjuly, Thanks for the pointer. -- RoySmith (talk) 22:43, 16 February 2021 (UTC)

External link templates and identifiers

For templates like {{YouTube}}, {{Cite tweet}}, I was wondering if we should use {{R from identifier}} instead of the direct link to YouTube. Anyone have thoughts about that?
@Matthiaspaul: Pinging you as rcat creator. –MJLTalk 16:03, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

The Fifth Estate: Pitbulls Unleashed

Is it appropriate to include this external link [1] to the CBC public affairs program The Fifth Estate (TV program), hosted on their checkmarked, official YouTube channel in the Pit bull article? It's journalistic coverage, including interviews, video, and images that would not be included in an FA. Geogene (talk) 18:20, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

  • Oppose: An investigative journalistic piece doesn't rise to the level of EL, especially when the investigative journalists had to pay out the largest libel suit in Canadian history for another one of their pieces (link), the presiding judge stating: "this was sensationalistic journalism of the worst sort and should serve as an embarrassment to this so-called 'flagship' investigative programme"PearlSt82 (talk) 19:21, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
Are you serious? That case was 20 21 years ago. Why do you keep wikilawyering more reasons to keep the link out of the article? It's odd. Geogene (talk) 19:31, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
Because its clearly inappropriate material for both an EL and an RS, per both WP:ELNO and WP:RS. PearlSt82 (talk) 19:35, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
There is no chance that you're going to get the CBC disqualified as a reliable source. Geogene (talk) 19:42, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
If you want to discuss that on RSN, I would be happy to, but that is not the point of this noticeboard, which presumably, is intended to solicit the opinions of the broader community with respect to the EL question. PearlSt82 (talk) 19:44, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
I don't care. What you're proposing is so ridiculous that the burden is on you to prove it. If you want to waste the community's time pursuing it. Geogene (talk) 19:47, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
Please familiarize yourself with WP:NPA and WP:BLUDGEON. Per WP:EL, "The burden of providing this justification is on the person who wants to include an external link."PearlSt82 (talk) 19:49, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
Please familiarize yourself with WP:SATISFY. Geogene (talk) 19:50, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

WP:ELYES says "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 copyright issues" can normally be linked. However, from the CBC's own description of that episode, I'd venture to say it does not contain neutral material: On one side, traumatized families and public safety advocates. On the other, a powerful group of lobbyists. My two cents=don't include in EL. Schazjmd (talk) 21:46, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

External links aren't required to be neutral. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:29, 12 March 2021 (UTC)

No, it does not belong (and neither does the link to the youtube channel that hosts this video - I have removed this). For this video, it is a single video from the program that has been running for many years. There is no reason to single out this one (if you have any, please provide them). Moreover, it is in the table (a way of linking which has been discussed here very often, such a way of linking is often debatable), no need to repeat it. If any of their own video's should be separately included it would be the one where they report on themselves (which seems unlikely to me). And if there is good reason to include it, link to, not

Regarding the youtube channel: we link to the official website of the subject. That page embeds all video's (and again, we link to most already in the tables), and links to the CBCN youtube channel (which leads you to the Fifth Estate youtube channel as well). It is not our task to link to all (or selected) social media of a subject, we link to only one per WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. Exceptions to that need a very strong rationale (as in that the subject gained it's notability to major extent from having said youtube channel). Here there is no reason to link it again. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:23, 11 March 2021 (UTC)

There is no reason to single out this one (if you have any, please provide them). I don't understand your meaning. Are you asking why haven't I added every episode of the program to EL sections of every article where they might be relevant and useful? Because I haven't watched them all, and am not interested in doing so? Because of WP:VOLUNTARY? Because that would be linkspam? What a question. Geogene (talk) 13:40, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
I think Beestra has accidentally gotten slight confused and is talking about the Fifth Estate article itself, when this discussion topic is talking about the Pit bull article. Beestra's comments are fully valid for the Fifth Estate article, but that's not what's in question. Canterbury Tail talk 13:55, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict) (indeed, User:Canterbury Tail) Geogene, heh, I read your request wrong. My apologies.
Still, no. It does not belong on Pitbull. It is one piece of information. If it is appropriate information it is used as a reference in the document, otherwise it is some 'additional' information. There is a lot said about pitbulls, and this is just one of those pieces of information. It is still a singled-out, cherry picked example. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:00, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
Understood, and thanks for the info. I don't deal with EL's that much, except to delete obviously bad ones. Geogene (talk) 14:14, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
@PearlSt82, could you say more about "An investigative journalistic piece doesn't rise to the level of EL"? There's no rule against including links to investigative journalism pieces in the guideline, and there never has been.
On the broader question, I'm not sure that an article about a contentious subject, such as pit bull, would benefit from having an ==External links== section at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:34, 12 March 2021 (UTC)
I was looking at WP:ELNO #1, specifically with regards to this piece is that it doesn't offer any information beyond what would be in a featured article - in that any information present in it would just be a reference in the article like a print journalistic source or article would. PearlSt82 (talk) 01:47, 12 March 2021 (UTC)
Investigative journalism produces primary sources (see this footnote in the policy), and primary sources are not usually the ideal way to build an article. Also, since it's a 45-minute-long news video, it necessarily contains many images and details that are relevant to the subject but that wouldn't be included in the article even if it were at FA standard. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:58, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification, I was looking on this as a potential secondary source. This question is possibly beyond the scope of this noticeboard, but if these kind of investigative reports are to be treated as primary sources, then should any potential references to it in the article, theoretically, be through attribution, rather than stating its conclusions/interpretations in Wikivoice? PearlSt82 (talk) 03:22, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
One source can be both primary and secondary in different places. Photographs, interviews, etc., are primary. Geogene (talk) 03:23, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
That isn't what the linked footnote is saying in this case though, as it gives "investigative reports" as an explicit example of a primary source. Should this source's conclusions/interpretations be treated as primary or secondary? PearlSt82 (talk) 03:37, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
@PearlSt82, primary sources don't always require WP:INTEXT attribution. Consider the example about a painting in Wikipedia:Identifying and using primary sources: It'd be pretty silly to write something like "According to the painting, it is a painting of a cow's skull on a background of red, white, and blue". Or think about all the times we refer to track listings in music albums, or write basic plot summaries for novels and films. We use primary sources every day without even citing them, much less providing in-text attribution.
Whether this particular source should be used with in-text attribution depends mostly on what you use it for. When you use in-text attribution, you have to be careful that you're not falsely giving the impression that a widely held view is a minority one. It would be bad to say that "According to this one television show, pit bulls are a kind of dog", or even to say that "According to this one television show, some people think that pit bulls should be banned and others don't". That would leave people with the impression that only the one television show holds that view, and that nobody else thinks that a pit bull is a dog and nobody else thinks people hold different views, when we know that everyone believes that pit bulls are dogs and that there are debates about breed-specific legislation.
On the other hand, if you were citing it to make a statement about something that is unique (or at least unusual) to the specific source, then you should strongly consider in-text attribution. You would also want to consider whether that information was WP:DUE, because while there is a lot of information that might not be found in many/any other sources, most of that is not going to be part of an encyclopedic summary of a dog breed (e.g., the name of the little boy who was killed by his babysitter's dogs). WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:28, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for responding, my concern with this source being used is that it is stating in wikivoice there is a "pit bull lobby" spending millions of dollars to try to rebrand the public image of the dog. A later sentence in the paragraph piggybacks on this (from a different source) and implies (also in wikivoice) that the veterinary literature surrounding pit bulls has been corrupted by lobbyist money. Phrases like "the pit bull lobby" are almost exclusively used by conspiratorially minded blogs run by pro-BSL proponents, and I can't find any notion of a "pit bull lobby" in other sources, and the book Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon dismisses the notion as conspiracy theory by stating that Berkey was the woman Internet conspiracy theorists believe funded the all-powerful 'pitbull lobby'.. I know this is probably far beyond the scope of this noticeboard at this point, but I would certainly appreciate any uninvolved eyes at the article's talk page. PearlSt82 (talk) 14:19, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
  • There are concerns that the article is too controversial to have an EL section, in part due to the risk of cherrypicking links. At the current time, it has an Further Reading section, which I think presents the same issues. Should that be removed? Geogene (talk) 03:26, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
I would support the removal of such a section, especially as currently written. PearlSt82 (talk) 03:37, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Attempt to add Cheng Lei's official CGTN profile (archived on the Wayback Machine) to Cheng Lei (journalist)

I attempted to add Cheng Lei (journalist)'s official CGTN profile (archived on the Wayback Machine) but the automated filter discourages it as CGTN is deemed an unreliable source in Wikipedia:Perennial sources. I was not citing CGTN as a reliable source but merely trying to link her profile so readers can see what the network said about her before her arrest.

Do I need to get some sort of consensus to add the EL in this circumstance? WhisperToMe (talk) 00:39, 19 March 2021 (UTC)

No, but it might be worth talking to the Wikipedia:Edit filter folks about whether they've got that filter written correctly. If it's possible to differentiate the types of links by the URL (e.g., "" rather than ""), then they should be writing that filter more narrowly. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:33, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
The way the filter is written is almost as strong as the spam-blacklist, with some rare/strange exceptions (bots are fine (why the heck a bot would add these sites to mainspace?), and copyvio-templates are fine (why, those can be just be mentioned in a non-linking way). I don't think we should override parts of sites, I don't think that we should exclude certain editors from the filter. Sigh. Turning the filter of to allow the edit and then turning it on again is going to harm anyone later who reverts vandalism on that page where the link got damaged/deleted.
This could all just be blacklisted where the whitelist can override the rare use like this one. But the former of that would need a consensus. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:30, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
@Beetstra: This filter is set to warn-only though; it's really just meant to be an "are you sure" button. It also tries to exclude anything that might be done via script (e.g. Twinkle-rollback, or adding a db or copyvio templates) because scripts traditionally are terrible at properly displaying filter warnings. There's a risk that the user will think the edit saved, and move on without checking. And bots should just be excluded from almost every filter; why discover the problem after you've blocked a 500-edit run? Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 22:48, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
Suffusion of Yellow, ah, I understood that user:WhisperToMe was blocked to add the link. My bad. Then there is nothing to do. WTM, no, you don’t need consensus, just boldly go. Dirk Beetstra T C 05:47, 20 March 2021 (UTC)
@Beetstra: Ok! And I added the link. Thanks to everybody for participating! WhisperToMe (talk) 05:57, 20 March 2021 (UTC)
@Suffusion of Yellow, I'm still not sure why it's desirable for the filter to warn people against adding links (as opposed to links, which seems to be the format that they use for news articles). WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:02, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
Best to ask Newslinger, who added that domain. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 02:27, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
It is because a September 2020 RfC found consensus that CGTN (RSP entry) is unreliable in almost all cases, and there was no carve-out exception for content in its author profiles. I am not aware of a practical way to have an edit filter disregard the "External links" section of a specific article related to the link. However, if an editor is sure that the addition of the link is appropriate, all they have to do is submit the edit again, as advised by the message that is shown. — Newslinger talk 02:58, 22 March 2021 (UTC)
@Newslinger, the RSN discussion was about whether the news articles were reliable sources. That suggests that the filter should be warning only for links, and not for anything else. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:42, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
The RfC statement is "What is the reliability of China Global Television Network (    )?" and the closing summary in its entirety is "There is a strong consensus to deprecate China Global Television Network." There is nothing in the closing summary that would suggest that certain parts of the CGTN website ( should be excluded from deprecation. Editors in the RfC expressed concern about CGTN's reputation for publishing unreliable information, particularly about living persons. CGTN's descriptions of living persons would fail WP:BLPRS (which "applies whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable and whether it is in a biography or in some other article") in nearly all cases, regardless of whether it is under the /news subdirectory or some other part of CGTN's website. If an editor is certain that a particular link to CGTN is appropriate, they are welcome to click "Publish changes" again after double-checking, as advised by the notice that appears. — Newslinger talk 22:18, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
There is also nothing in the RfC (NB: an RfC is the whole discussion, not just the convenient summary) that suggests anyone believes that CGTN makes up fairy tales about who's working on their staff, either, or that we need to deprecate the links to their staff bios. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:29, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
China Global Television Network ( is deprecated, per the consensus in the RfC. There was no consensus to carve out any exceptions, and the RfC does not need to discuss every portion of CGTN to deprecate CGTN in its entirety. It is inappropriate to cite staff profiles of CGTN in almost all cases, as CGTN is neither independent nor reliable for this use case. Any exceptions afforded through WP:ABOUTSELF and WP:EL can still be used: the editor can simply click "Publish changes" once again after double-checking to ensure that the link addition is compliant with the policies and guidelines. — Newslinger talk 01:32, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
I added the CGTN profile to the Cheng Lei article. WhisperToMe (talk) 05:22, 20 March 2021 (UTC)

Forgotten Realms Wiki acceptable?

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

Hello! I would like to ask if the Forgotten Realms Wiki would count as an exception to the rule no. 12 of WP:ELNO of not using external links to open wikis except...

The Forgotten Realms Wiki has been alive and kicking since 2005, currently has about 35,000 articles and 84 active users (and rising: 95 as of 2021-03-07) and a steadily high acitivity, being currently rank no. 60 at Wikia with a WAM score of 97.68 (whatever that means). In my biased opinion as a contributor the average quality of article is also relatively high.

As further background why I think having that link(s) at appropriate page(s) would be good: Recently a number of Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms related articles have been deleted on the grounds that their content belongs to fandom wikis rather than Wikipedia. I assume some readers come to Wikipedia with the same naive notion then me, that you can more or less find all knowledge here. For these people, being pointed to where that content is, that does not actually fit in here, would be helpful. The Forgotten Realms Wiki is by far the largest and most successful wiki dealing with D&D Canon.

I have raised that question in the past here and here, but I am asking again because there was no clear consensus: @Nikkimaria: and @WhatamIdoing: argued for the removal of that link from Forgotten Realms, while @RhinoMind:, @Zxcvbnm: and me were for its inclusion, with both sides giving arguments for their views and @Otr500: commenting.

It would be great to get additional opinions for a clearer consensus. Thank you very much! Daranios (talk) 16:00, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

For a fan Wiki it is large. We do have an exception for Wookieepedia (though I don't believe we should but purely on the basis of it hosting blatant copyright violations.) The FR Wiki is only a fraction of the size of that, but it's still sizable and seems well maintained. I'd give it a definite maybe. Canterbury Tail talk 16:29, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
I've been using it for years as a reader, but never edited. Overall I find its articles to be surprisingly well maintained, on average quite reliably sourced and informative. With the general consensus on Wikipedia being to move away from the inclusion of in-universe content with articles about fictional works over the past decade, I don't see the harm of relevant articles from FR Wikia being externally linked as an alternative for readers who might have expected such coverage from Wikipedia in the past. Haleth (talk) 17:43, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
  • I agree with Haleth; I've seen a lot of AfDs point that the FR Wikia exists so in-universe content is unneeded here. I think we should add link(s) at the appropriate page(s). I've also used the FR Wikia to find/doublecheck ISBNs, page numbers & difficult to find links in order to update articles here (mostly D&D sourcebooks & novels). Sariel Xilo (talk) 17:55, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
Thank you everyone! Are there any more opinions? Daranios (talk) 08:05, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
I know I've already commented, but I think it's fine as an external link. Not a reference clearly, but for an external link to the specific article, sure. Canterbury Tail talk 15:51, 11 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for all opinions! Just pinging one more time: Is there anyone else who would like to provide input? Thanks! Daranios (talk) 08:09, 1 March 2021 (UTC)
@Daranios: do we really need a perennial discussion for this (December 2019, May 2020, February 2021) just because you do not get a clear consensus for inclusion? Seen the December & May discussion there is not a clear consensus.
Anyway. WP:ELNO #12 is one of our 'links to avoid'. We really avoid links to open wikis, and you really need a massive editor base to be stable (and that is not even true for Wikipedia itself). I do think the editor base is relatively small. But we do not outright forbid it, we avoid them. I can see that there are pages where the Wiki is acceptable, but no, it is not a link that should be added everywhere where it fits.
Regarding specifically on Forgotten Realms, no, I don't think it not belongs. It is not an official wiki of the subject, it is totally fan based. It is not obviously endorsed by the official site of the subject. For general information it does not add specifically over the official site, and it is not linking to specific content that makes you understand the subject of Forgotten Realsm better (beyond the official site- per [2]: "The wiki is not a substitute for the original source material"), it has a different aim. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:43, 1 March 2021 (UTC)
@Beetstra: Thanks for the input. The discussion seems important to me as I really feel that the Forgotten Realms Wiki would provide a value for the reader of Wikipedia, and because there was a majority for the inclusion of the link, but it was so slight I was advised to get back here. I am obviously here with my preconceived notions, but I am not the only one with that opinion. I still believe that the reasoning behind WP:ELNO #12 (linking to incorrect information, danger of spam, danger of the link becoming dead in the forseeable future) does not apply to the Forgotten Realms Wiki, and therefore I feel that in this case we would only adhere to a rule to avoid setting an example for other cases, but not because it makes sense in this case.
As for the question if it helps understanding the subject of Forgotten Realms better: The Wiki provides an enormous amount of details about the FR that don't have a place at Wikipedia. Sure, it does not provide much more definition of the Forgotten Realms, but if we look at the Forgotten Realms article, that does provide a number of fictional details. The Wiki expands on those. Numerous articles have been redirected to Forgotten Realms on the basis "that's too much in-universe detail for Wikipedia". The Forgotten Realms Wiki provides details that have been excised here but which someone searching for that term may be interested in. And if a user of Wikipedia is looking for a FR subject which neither has an article nor a redirect, where will they look if not the Forgotten Realms article? And then again the Forgotten Realms Wiki would provide some of the detail they were looking for. Sorry for being lengthy. Daranios (talk) 11:57, 1 March 2021 (UTC)
Daranios, if there was a clear consensus you would not have been here. The link was repeatedly included, and repeatedly removed.
No, your thinking about #12 is wrong. It is there solely because most open wikis are not stable and do not have a large enough editor base (and I do doubt that this wiki satisfies that). We avoid linking to open wikis. When a link matches one of the 'to avoid' points, you need a solid reason to include it anyway.
My second part of the reasoning is more pointed to the reason of why we link externally anyway. Is it information that is needed to understand the topic? No, not really, we have a large article with a large number of references. As for the 'where else would they look' .. they would first be directed to the official website. And apparently, the official website does not think this wiki to be important enough to link from there (I could not find it). Dirk Beetstra T C 09:41, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
There's clearly disagreement about what's the right and wrong interpretation. So, assuming for a moment that both sides have valid arguments, the question is where is the dividing line between a no-consensus situation and a representative majority, and who decides that? Daranios (talk) 16:07, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
Daranios, we don't count. "No page should be linked from a Wikipedia article unless its inclusion is justifiable according to this guideline and common sense" (WP:EL). Dirk Beetstra T C 07:38, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
@Beetstra: But IF "its inclusion is justifiable according to this guideline and common sense" is exactly what the disagreement is about. A majority thinks the inclusion of the Forgotten Realms Wiki link is justifyable according to common sense and WP:ELNO #12 as a wiki "with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors", a minority says it isn't. If we don't have any way (or neutral person) to judge when a majority counts here, that would mean the exception specified in the guideline could never be applied as soon as any one objection would be raised. That can't be right. Daranios (talk) 07:59, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
Daranios, you are now pushing it to a far end, which is not the case here, there are more than one objection/concerns. But we have mechanisms for these, and yes, in some cases we need independent closure of such cases. Dirk Beetstra T C 08:05, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
@Beetstra: So there's no further guidance between "get consensus" and arbitration? And I assume you are not convinced by the fact that six editors find it justified to include this link, and only three that it is not. Is that correct? As I said, I feel this really would be a valuable resource for the readers of the Forgotten Realms article, so I don't want to let it lie. I also don't want to escalate unnecessarily. So if not more opinions appear now, and as one of the issues is the question of substantial number of editors, I am thinking about waiting how the Forgotten Realms Wiki develops. If it should reach a number of 100+ registered editors for several months, the (minimum) value suggested by WhatamIdoing, I would start the discussion yet again, making it even more perennial but avoiding outside assistance for now. And hope that approach will not be annyoing for you. Daranios (talk) 12:28, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
Daranios, arbitration? There are so many steps between, even without escalating. And you are, again, counting (6:3), not looking at the arguments. Dirk Beetstra T C 12:51, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
@Beetstra: Cool, so I misunderstood "pushing it to a far end". So could you please let me know what could be the next step(s) towards a resolution without escalation?
As for me counting: I have looked at the arguments and am not convinced by them. I also think I have explained why. - If you want me to explain more on any point, please let me know. I am baffled by your resistance to that external link, just like you seem to be baffled by my insistence. You believe you are right. I believe I am right. I cannot be sure that I am right, because there's several persons I could not convince. You (and here the counting comes in) should not be sure that you are right because there's (a larger number of) persons whom it seems you did not convince. Daranios (talk) 16:41, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
Daranios, my 'far end' was with regard to your 'any one objection would be raised', the link was twice reverted, and editors showed concerns.
I don't think I am right, I gave my view. You realized in starting this thread there was no consensus, and therefore I think that you need to find independent closure/evaluation of the current three discussions. There are people who think it does not add, there are people who seem to not really care either way, and there are people who think it is beneficial. Or, which I think is already heavy handed for an external link, re-start the discussion through an RfC. Dirk Beetstra T C 16:57, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

@Beetstra: Sounds good. Can you point me to if there's an established way to find "independent closure/evaluation" by someone neutral to the topic/discussion so far? Daranios (talk) 19:31, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

@Daranios, you can request a summary of the discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:37, 7 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip! I have done so. Let's see what happens. Daranios (talk) 12:00, 11 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Support inclusion on Forgotten Realms page - there is certainly information on the site that is on neither the official website nor the English Wikipedia. 15 years is a "substantial history of stability". The "substantial number of editors" is less clear, but I think there's enough for a link on that one page. I wouldn't support putting this link on every Forgotten Realms topic, though more editorially than because it is a ELNO issue. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 23:26, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
    , "15 years" is a "substantial history of stability" ... how did you assess that it was actually stable for 15 years? 15 years is a substantial history, that part is true. Dirk Beetstra T C 07:22, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
    (post-closing comment) It's an open wiki, you can check the history for yourself to assess stability. I checked half a dozen pages and all had existed with minimal vandalism for over 8 years, some had seen expansion in that time while others had minimal changes. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 16:17, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. It clearly qualifies as having a history of stability. "Substantial number of editors" has no definition, and is subjective, but it's basically not possible for a site to have that much content without a substantial number of editors. A subject as popular as FR/D&D is guaranteed to attract a "substantial number" of editors to its open public wiki at the place for open public wikis on pop-culture topics, pretty much by definition. (Oh, and this is more true now than it was even a few years ago, because Fandom, ex-Wikia, has now disallowed redundant wikis on the same topic and forced them to merge). The language of WP:EL on this needs clarification, since the line is too vague to offer clearly actionable guidance. How long is "a substantial history"? Or is that about volume of developed material regardless of site age? Etc.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  02:50, 4 April 2021 (UTC); rev'd. 08:23, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
    SMcCandlish, what is your measure for "history of stability" .. "stability" is just as subjective, does en.wikipedia have "stability" (we don't use that as external links)? Dirk Beetstra T C 07:23, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
    My post already answers this; it mostly is my measuring. The entire point I was making is that it's subjective but that this qualifies under any subjective interpretation that's reasonable.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:11, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Exclude It's user-generated. Cannot support notability. Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:01, 4 April 2021 (UTC)
    That link would not be included because it supports notability (I agree that it cannot, but this subject's notability is not in dispute), but because it is a resource that can help a reader interested in the topic beyond the scope of Wikipedia. Daranios (talk) 07:12, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
    User-generated sources are not to be used. Walter Görlitz (talk) 07:22, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
    User-generated sites are not to be used as reliable sources, true. But that is not the intention here. The intention is to provide it as an additional resource under "External links". And according to the relevant guideline, WP:ELNO, user-generated wikis are used for that sometimes. So the discussion here is if this specific wiki qualifies for this sometimes or not. Daranios (talk) 10:34, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
    This isn't a valid rationale, it's "I wish the guideline were different" noise. UGC is only impermissible as a source citation (and even then only usually impermissible; there are various primary-sourceable exceptions,; e.g. a wiki is a valid source for what the wiki said when the subject is controversy about what the wiki said). The guideline, at Wikipedia:External_links#Links to be considered, specifically permits UGC in an "External links" context (specifically points 3–5, arguably also 6). So, Walter Görlitz is failing to argue whether this source complies with the guideline, but rather arguing to radically change the guideline itself. He's welcome to start a proposal, here or at WP:VPPRO, to ask whether the community wants to do that. But that is not this discussion.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:20, 8 April 2021 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

TV Tropes

TV Tropes ([3]) currently has 205 outgoing links from mainspace, discounting 28 from the website's own article. There is consensus at this TfD from March 2020 that TV Tropes should not be used as an external link per WP:ELNO#EL12. The website is classified as generally unreliable at WP:RSP. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 09:12, 7 April 2021 (UTC)

LaundryPizza03, there were COPYVIO concerns expressed in User_talk:XLinkBot/ Maybe time for a drastic cleanup? Dirk Beetstra T C 10:23, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Of course. Actually, I was considering blacklisting the site to prevent further abuse, but the copyvio concerns only corroborate that. Either that, or make XLinkBot automatically remove links in mainspace to stop misuse. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 21:49, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
While I wholly agree that the bulk of these TV Trope links are invalid, there are exceptional uses. It is mentioned at Groundhog Day (film) to recognize that the time loop from the film is named Groundhog Day at TVT due to the film's popularity, but that's supported with a non-TVT source as well. But I better this may be the only valid use among one or two others. --Masem (t) 21:53, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
@LaundryPizza03, I don't think we need to prevent people from linking to this website in userspace, on talk pages, etc. (Whether it's "generally unreliable" according to RSP is irrelevant, because it's okay for ==External links== to be unreliable.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:03, 9 April 2021 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, while it is OK to be unreliable for external links, being unreliable can go quite well with being inaccurate or misleading, which we do strongly discourage linking to as well. Dirk Beetstra T C 11:05, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree with you in the general case, but that's not really relevant in this case. Editors shouldn't cite TV Tropes because it's a WP:USERGENERATED fan site. It doesn't have a reputation for being inaccurate or misleading. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:27, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

BYU finding aids

I am concerned that these links were added in good faith but are not helpful to readers and are inappropriate external links. The links that I have examined do not provide any information beyond "this library has a collection of relevant materials." Importantly, they do not provide scans, photographs, summaries, or analyses of those materials; they simply tell readers that those materials are there and they're accessible to researchers. That is critical information for researchers but they are not the audience of our encyclopedia. I think it would be appropriate to remove all of these links that do not provide any information beyond notice that the materials are physically housed and available in BYU's archives.

(Yes, these issues do exist with other finding aids that have been added to articles; I don't have any other examples handy but I have seen and removed them in the past.) ElKevbo (talk) 21:20, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

Links to finding aids are not banned; see Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 39#Request for comment on finding aids.
I looked at three articles that link to a BYU finding aid. Two use it as a reference, which is outside the scope of this noticeboard. The third, Cecil B. DeMille, contains several links in the Cecil B. DeMille#Archival materials section. I don't think that these are very exciting myself, but I don't think that I'd remove them, either. You're right that researchers (a group that's larger than solely academic researchers) aren't Wikipedia's primary audience, but the audience also isn't everyone except researchers.
Of course, if you think that a specific external link harms an individual article, then you're free to remove it. As we don't have a consensus against the general concept, systematic removal is likely to be inappropriate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:08, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
Thanks; that RfC link is helpful context. My question is not about all finding aids but these specific ones that literally provide no information beyond "the BYU archives has materials relevant to this topic." That is minimally helpful and only pertinent for a very, very small minority of readers as the professional researchers and scholars who are most interested in that information will likely already know where the subject's papers are archived. ElKevbo (talk) 23:27, 11 April 2021 (UTC)
ElKevbo, I would say that a finding aid should actually lead to more information beyond the document / other external links. 'yep, we also have a book by X' would not cut it for me, but what I see in e.g. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer#External_links seems appropriate. Dirk Beetstra T C 07:35, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
@Beetstra: Are you referring to this link? If so, can you please help me understand how that link is appropriate? It appears to only have a few rather scant paragraphs of very basic information about the subject and I don't understand how that lets it qualify as an appropriate EL. Thanks! ElKevbo (talk) 13:34, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
ElKevbo, the library has "27 cartons (27 linear ft.)" & "1 oversize box (1.5 linear ft.) : Quarto I half-box", that looks like sufficient data for someone to walk into that library and learn more about the subject. It is certainly more than what we can incorporate in the article. Dirk Beetstra T C 14:24, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Right but those aren't web-based resources that anyone can access except those who physically visit the archives. So why does that listing of library resources belong in the External links section? Would we also accept links to a listing of library books or search results from a card catalog? What information beyond "this archive has boxes of relevant resources" does that link provide? ElKevbo (talk) 15:14, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Further clarification: It may be appropriate to mention this archive in a "Further reading" section or note in the body of the article that this archive exists. My argument is simply that this link and others like it don't provide enough substantive information to merit inclusion in the EL section. (Other finding aids that provide substantive information, including those that include scans of the materials, are of course a different discussion and likely merit inclusion in the EL section.) ElKevbo (talk) 15:19, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Library/Research libraries#Linking to archival collections and finding aids suggests that ==External links== is the usual location, but it sounds like you'd rather see it in another section. Maybe something similar to ==Further reading== or a ==Publications== section, perhaps called ==Archives==? Please have a look at these, and see whether any of them look like a reasonable jumping-off point:
Maybe something could be adapted here? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:55, 13 April 2021 (UTC)
ElKevbo, I am not sure whether being web-based is a real requirement. References can be material that is only available in hard-copy (and do not even have to be on paper). I do however think that 9 meter worth of material is a significant resource for the article. My first suggestion would however be to make sure that we clearly describe what we are sending people to: "Finding aid author: John N. Gillespie (2013). "Collection of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer scripts". Prepared for the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Provo, UT. Retrieved May 16, 2016" does not really suggest that this is a place for a physical storage, not a web-based storage.
That being said, yes, maybe there is a better header for that, but in the end they are similar - whether it is further reading or external links, it is still an external-link section. And it seems silly to me to have a further reading section with one link and an external links section with also one link. Dirk Beetstra T C 06:12, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing those specific examples:

  • The Real Paper#Archives: This seems appropriate and useful especially as this section cites an independent reliable source that clearly establishes this as noteworthy information to include in an article. I'm not completely convinced this merits its own section in the article but that's a minor quibble.
  • Eve Merriam#References: The first link is broken so I cannot comment on its utility and appropriateness beyond common concerns about link rot. The other links to the archives at Harvard are not helpful or appropriate; they do not provide information for readers beyond "these archives exist."
  • Nicholas A. Basbanes#Archives: This section is supported by multiple independent reliable sources and seems entirely appropriate.
  • Suhrkamp Verlag#Archives: This section is supported by an independent reliable source and seems appropriate.
  • Edwin Way Teale#Archives: This section doesn't have any independent reliable sources so it could be challenged on grounds of lacking sources and due weight.
  • Doris Lessing#Archives: This section doesn't have any independent reliable sources so it could be challenged on grounds of lacking sources and due weight.

Those are prose sections of articles, however, so they're distinct from the "External links" section. I would object to including any of the links in those sections in the EL section if they don't have substantive information beyond "this physical archive exists."

To respond to your second comment and set of questions: Of course being web-based is a requirement for being included in the "External links" section! If the resource is not web-based then it may be appropriate for a "Further reading" section or another section in the article. And the resource must be substantive with more information than can be included in the article. "This library has a collection of the subject's papers" is the sum total of many of these webpages and that clearly is not substantive.

I agree with your statement that whenever we include these links we should be clear about what it is we're linking to. I think we should even consider whether "finding aid" is the best way to describe these for a general audience as it's a term that is probably not at all meaningful for most readers of this encyclopedia. "Archive [of papers]" or something similar is probably much more clear and, as you suggest, we should also be clear about whether that archive is available online (e.g., "Scanned archive [of papers]") or not (which I am arguing should probably not be included in articles in most cases unless the archive has been explicitly discussed in an independent, reliable source).

In general, I worry that the very well-intentioned zeal of those who use and maintain archives has slightly ridden roughshod over our core policies and practices, especially WP:RS and WP:DUE. We do not include information in an article unless it has been discussed in reliable sources, preferably sources that are independent. We do not provide links to webpages unless they provide a substantial amount of information that cannot be included in the article. In many cases, the webpages for specific archives do not meet either of these sets of criteria. The proper recourse is not to ignore our policies and practices but to either expand those webpages so they provide substantive information or work with authors and editors to have information about the archive published in an independent, reliable source. ElKevbo (talk) 14:05, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

ElKevbo, references can be just a paper book, burned into wood, or carved in stone. There is no reason why we can't link to external material that is like that in external links either. Sure, it is preferred to be online, but that is not an absolute requirement. I think this is a useful pointer to external material for readers who wish to expand their knowledge on the subject, are doing a research project on it. Dirk Beetstra T C 02:04, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
We're not discussing references, we're discussing external links. By definition those are required to be online otherwise they wouldn't be links.
Exactly what about a link to a website that has one or paragraphs of information and a note that "more information can be located if you physically come here" has "further research that is accurate and on-topic, information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy?" This link, for example, was in Belle S. Spafford. What information in that link is useful for readers? How is the information that you claim is useful for readers accessible to them (this is the first bullet point in the guideline's "What to include" section)? ElKevbo (talk) 02:45, 14 April 2021 (UTC)
@ElKevbo, would you have the same complaint if the section were re-titled ==Further reading==? Or ==Archived papers==? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:52, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Good question. I would have other concerns, some of which might be dismissed or not held by other editors, but my primary concern of "these links don't provide nearly enough information to warrant inclusion in the External links section" would be answered. I also reiterate that this concern applies to many but not all of these links as a minority of them do provide extensive material that an editor could argue in good faith qualifies the link for inclusion in that section.
Regardless of which section they're put in, I do worry that in many cases there are unanswered WP:DUE concerns about what, if any, criteria are applied to decide which archives links to include. In fairness, that question probably haunts the "Further reading" and "External links" section of nearly every article that has more than just the most anemic sets of materials. But I do worry some that the criterion of "one Wikipedia editor, almost certainly one who works at the archive in question, decided on his or her own to add the link" is both the default and dominant criterion. We would avoid that problem if we were to insist that these archives be described in the body of articles and be supported by independent (of the archive and its hosting organization) sources that attest to the significance or importance of the archive.
(If it matters, it seems to me that the "Further reading" section is probably a pretty appropriate for these content-light links. It's quite common that Web-inaccessible materials - books, for example - be included in that section so a link that documents the location of a large collection of Web-inaccessible materials would probably not be out of place. I'm skeptical that there would be widespread acceptance of a new "Archives" section or something similar but I could be wrong and that's totally okay.) ElKevbo (talk) 03:26, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
ElKevbo, yes, I would not make yet another external links-like section and name it 'archives'. Then we get evasion of linkfarming by splitting it over different sections. And I agree, there must be significance in the material, and the material should be significant in size. Dirk Beetstra T C 03:35, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
ElKevbo, I know that that are references. These are external links. But to me, the same applies. It is still linking to material that cannot be included in the article for reasons such as ... amount of detail, it is meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy.
I agree, volume is a point. Half a foot vs. 27 linear feet. But that is what I said. It should not be 'we also have a book by this author'. Dirk Beetstra T C 03:31, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Update/shameless plug of WP:UPSD, a script to detect unreliable sources

It's been about 14 months since this script was created, and since its inception it became one of the most imported scripts (currently #54, with 286+ adopters).

Since last year, it's been significantly expanded to cover more bad sources, and is more useful than ever, so I figured it would be a good time to bring up the script up again. This way others who might not know about it can take a look and try it for themselves. I would highly recommend that anyone doing citation work, who writes/expands articles, or does bad-sourcing/BLP cleanup work installs the script.

The idea is that it takes something like

  • John Smith "Article of things" Accessed 2020-02-14. (John Smith "[ Article of things]" ''''. Accessed 2020-02-14.)

and turns it into something like

It will work on a variety of links, including those from {{cite web}}, {{cite journal}} and {{doi}}.

Details and instructions are available at User:Headbomb/unreliable. Questions, comments and requests can be made at User talk:Headbomb/unreliable. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:10, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

Headbomb has put a lot of energy into the documentation, and in particular, encouraging people to not use this script mindlessly. Please remember that just because something gets highlighted is not absolute proof that it needs to be removed. For some of the categories, it's really 50–50 (largely due to some large publishers producing both very good and very bad quality sources, and there's no way to tell which is which just from the URL). WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:49, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
And for external links specifically, there's plenty of things that aren't suitable as sources, but are fine as external links. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:13, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

linkfarms of social networking

I am as always keeping an eye on linkfarms of social networking. Already for quite some time I have the feeling that there is a disproportionate number of articles created with both the twitter and instagram (and only those two). Is there somewhere a 'guideline' that (mistakenly) suggests to put both the twitter ánd the instagram on a page, or is that just a wrong impression from my side? --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:15, 6 June 2021 (UTC)

My reading of WP:ELMIN is "You get one of those." And if there's a specific official website, that's the one you got. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:26, 6 June 2021 (UTC)
Gråbergs Gråa Sång, yes, indeed. But that is not what I ask, it looks like somewhere else something else is suggested. Dirk Beetstra T C 18:50, 6 June 2021 (UTC)
If it's suggested on-WP, I'm curious too. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:53, 6 June 2021 (UTC)
Are these being created by the same editor? Or by new accounts that might be suspected of Wikipedia:Undisclosed paid editing? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:02, 7 June 2021 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, no, it is all random editors. It is as if there are somewhere article creation guidelines that say to add an external links section with twitter AND instagram. I’ll try to give some examples as I run into them to see if there is a pattern. Dirk Beetstra T C 04:20, 8 June 2021 (UTC)

External links cleanup in Imee Marcos

I would want someone to review the current external links in Imee Marcos. I have checked each link and several are dead, outdated, and vaguely-related. For example, the link Ferdinand Edralin Marcos is about the subject's father, and not Imee herself, and Philippine House of Representatives is a very broad/unrelated link. Additionally, some news links there more than a decade old. Please check this reversion from a user, who judged my cleanup attempt on the external links section as "whitewashing".

I've given it an attempt. Yes there's a ridiculous number of random editorial rants, links not about the subject or at least not specifically, a general link to the Congress website, and a link about her grandfather. Most definitely a ridiculous linkfarm. Canterbury Tail talk 19:30, 24 June 2021 (UTC) is now a hotel directory

We have several movie and soundtrack articles that link to (see LinkSearch list). All of those links now redirect to - apparently a directory of Scandinavian hotel destinations.

The original ScoreNotes pages seem to be available for the most part in, but I am wondering if there is value in maintaining these links at all now that ScoreNotes is defunct. ~Anachronist (talk) 04:06, 11 July 2021 (UTC)

The following list might help evaluate these links. I've only had a quick look but removal seems attractive to me, except for some which use the link as a reference and have an archive, for example #26.
Articles linking to and the links (all these are http; there are no https links).
  1. 127 Hours (soundtrack) [4]
  2. 300 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [5]
  3. A Perfect Getaway [6]
  4. District 9 [7]
  5. Dragonball Evolution [8]
  6. Dragonball Evolution: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [9]
  7. Halo 3 Original Soundtrack [10]
  8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (soundtrack) [11]
  9. Lair (video game) [12]
  10. Memoirs of a Geisha (soundtrack) [13]
  11. Music of The Lord of the Rings film series [14]
  12. Nicholas Hooper [15]
  13. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (soundtrack) [16]
  14. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (soundtrack) [17]
  15. Sherlock Holmes (soundtrack) [18]
  16. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (soundtrack) [19]
  17. The Dark Knight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [20]
  18. The Final Destination [21]
  19. The Last Airbender (soundtrack) [22]
  20. The Passion of the Christ (soundtrack) [23]
  21. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (soundtrack) [24]
  22. Thor (soundtrack) [25]
  23. V for Vendetta: Music from the Motion Picture [26]
  24. WALL-E (soundtrack) [27]
  25. Wanted: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [28]
  26. X-Men: The Last Stand [29]
  27. X-Men: The Last Stand (soundtrack) [30] [31]
Johnuniq (talk) 06:25, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
I would convert them all as-is to archive links if they are available (some already have, like Star_Wars:_Episode_III_–_Revenge_of_the_Sith_(soundtrack)#cite_note-10). Can they be thrown in the direction of one of the bots to do that for those that don't, and then kill the original links? Dirk Beetstra T C 12:25, 11 July 2021 (UTC)
I'd just convert any that are used in citations and remove the rest. ~Anachronist (talk) 16:51, 12 July 2021 (UTC) hosting of copyrighted material

I removed a link from a citation in Liar paradox per WP:COPYVIOEL. @Fabrickator: argues that has the right to do so [host copyrighted material with out a license] because they assert that right, at the same admitting that a lawsuit over this matter is pending. Relevant discussion can be found in the edit summaries and at user talk:Paradoctor § revert of Liar Paradox edit adding source from provided by Internet Archive.

The way I see it, WP:COPYVIOEL means that, unless we have positive evidence that a license has been granted, we must presume that it hasn't, and cannot link. That WP:Book sources mentions only means that that mention should be removed, or at least qualified with a warning that not all their holdings are suitable for linking. Paradoctor (talk) 20:22, 12 July 2021 (UTC)

It is important to note that this is not related to the Wayback Machine's archive of web content, but is a separate program where they provide online access to materials in their physical library. I don't think the WMF legal team has (or should be expected to) comment on a third-party lawsuit. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 20:29, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
Not asking for that. Merely pointing out that's position has been contested by rights holders, so we cannot accept it as gospel. Paradoctor (talk) 20:32, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
I think If there is reason to believe that a website has a copy of a work in violation of its copyright, do not link to it is the relevant principle here; as the parties to the lawsuit and the court system all agree that the pending lawsuit raises bona fide questions regarding the nature of the Internet Archive's webservice and copyright law, there is sufficient "reason to believe" and it should not be linked. User:力 (power~enwiki, π, ν) 20:38, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
FWIW the relevant info is at Open Library#Copyright violation accusations. And I agree that given that this is being challenged at a trial, we should not link to it. This doesn't mean you cannot use IA's copy to do your referencing and generate URL-less citations to books/etc. for WP. --Masem (t) 21:37, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
What makes it possible for Internet Archive to share its digital library while still complying with copyright is that IA is acting as a library and sharing the content in conformance with controlled digital lending. Trust me, the folks at Wikimedia Foundation are very much involved with copyright issues as they pertain to controlled sharing of digital content.
This lawsuit came about when IA announced that due to the pandemic, it would open up an "emergency library" that would not be subject to the restrictions of controlled digital lending, but following objections, they closed down the emergency library. That was in June 2020.
The presence of links from Wikipedia to the Internet Archive digital content (including OpenLibrary is nothing new. There are over 300,000 WP articles that contain such links. They have been there going back to at least 2013. And you think it would be appropriate to close this down because you hadn't heard of it? Fabrickator (talk) 00:53, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Controlled digital lending hasn't yet been proven out by case law, and the emergency library is what prompted the publishers to take action (their suit is not limited to the emergency library issue). I know that CDL is resting on the basis that Google Books was found acceptable in courts, but CDL hasn't had the same judicial approval yet. --Masem (t) 01:17, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
This lawsuit came about [...] "emergency library" "But the plaintiffs are continuing to press their claims, and are now seeking to close the whole Open Library permanently."[1]
300,000 WP articles that contain such links
1) Currently, English Wikipedia gets 164k edits per day. Reviewing these links would be a major job, but hardly overwhelming. And that's before accounting for bots and automated editing tools like AWB.
2) Many of these links are entirely legitimate, as the works linked to are either freely licensed or their copyrights have expired.
the folks at Wikimedia Foundation Umm, close ties notwithstanding, Wikipedia is maintained by the Wikipedia community, not the Foundation. It couldn't hurt to get the opinion of WMF legal on the risk presented by these links, though. Maybe someone listening in could notify them? Paradoctor (talk) 01:26, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
@Masem: Google Books was found acceptable in courts They don't make whole novels available. It's snippet view or nothing. Paradoctor (talk) 01:36, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

From what I read at Google Books, any time you can search on a book that's in copyright, it's based on having received permission from the publisher. If the publisher has granted permission, they could allow viewing selected parts of a book or they could allow viewing pages that search terms were found on or just the snippets where those search terms occurred. This contrasts with IA, which is basing what it does on a claim that CDL is permissible under copyright law. So what Google Books does isn't much help in terms of informing us about the validity of what IA does.

Whether or not what IA does is permissible is unsettled, and we cannot know what the disposition of the case will be. The court will rule one way or the other, or there might be some sort of consent decree. My understanding is that Wikipedia is a project of Wikimedia, Wikimedia Foundation has the formal control of Wikipedia, and WMF would have liability for damages resulting from Wikipedia operations. I do not recall that any notice that has been made to the Wikipedia community that there has been a demand to cease and desist from providing links to IA on the grounds that those links infringe copyright (whether referring to the web archiving service or to other portions of the IA digital library).

It is completely speculative what the resolution of the court case will be. In the absence of a demand that WP cease and desist, removal of such links would be premature. If the court case is resolved such that IA may not continue to provide certain content, we can expect IA to make the changes necessary to refrain from continuing to provide access to prohibited content, such that once IA has made those changes, WP would no longer be guilty of contributory negligence. Of course, the links to content that has become inaccessible will essentially become dead links, and at that time, those links should be treated accordingly. Making changes before then is not really called for. Fabrickator (talk) 21:17, 13 July 2021 (UTC)

One thing I've noticed some editors doing is uploading blatantly copyrighted books themselves to and then linking to them. It's pretty obvious when the upload happened within half an hour of the edit. This isn't something that comes under any kind of lending etc that I'm aware of.WP:COPYLINK is pretty clear that the only links to that are permitted under our copyright policies are for archived versions of webpages, not anything else linked elsewhere in the system. So webpage backups only, not books someone has uploaded. This is policy so the External Links noticeboard cannot override this, so if the link is not to an backup of a webpage we cannot link to it. Canterbury Tail talk 21:26, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Also it should be reminded that we do not require sources to be immediately accessible; PAYWALL etc. all apply. To use a separate example: sites like and allow academics to upload their own papers - as well as other users to upload others' papers. Many of these papers are subject to copyright of the journals they were published in, but there's a fair number of academics that continue to balk at this model, and thus see uploading their paper to these sites as legit. There's no case law yet to support either interpretation (as best I know). However, as a matter of principle, we do not want editors linking to the researchgate/ paper in their citations. Off the books, we don't care if you find a citation, go to researchgate and happen to find the paper there - what you do with the reference information we provide you is your own matter. The same would be true for linking to IA for books. We're already providing a full, proper citation for the book, the IA link is a "convenience" but absolutely unrequired link, and if there is any doubt (which we should be concerned about given this court case) we should discourage editors from linking to non-PD books over at IA until the case is resolved and hopefully IA shown in the clear. --Masem (t) 21:34, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
And our policy is updated in the even of that outcome in the case. As currently it clearly prohibits it, but that will be another huge conversation. Canterbury Tail talk 21:37, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
@Canterbury Tail: Your statement "the only links to that are permitted under our copyright policies are for archived versions of webpages" is without basis. I suggest you educate yourself. You might start at Internet Archive or Internet Archive "about" page. Fabrickator (talk) 22:19, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
Neither of those links are to Wikipedia policies and are not relevant to that point. Our policy on this matter is located at WP:COPYLINK. If your interpretation of that policy differs from mine then that is fine and fair. However the Internet Archive pages make no comment on Wikipedia's policies, and are also not relevant to Wikipedia's policies. IA's thoughts, ideas or any other comment they may make has nothing, and can have nothing, to do with Wikipedia policy. Canterbury Tail talk 23:31, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
@Fabrickator: Maybe you could educate yourself about Wikipedia policy? It is currently acceptable to link to Internet archives such as the Wayback Machine, which host unmodified archived copies of webpages taken at various points in time.
No mention there of Open Library, which is what we're talking about. What is said is if you know or reasonably suspect that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. The pending lawsuit constitutes reasonable suspicion. The fact that OL has put forward a legal theory is immaterial unless and until this theory has been tested in the courts.
The argument that the existing links may be legal and reviewing may turn out wasted effort further down the line doesn't fly either. Such lawsuits can drag on for years. Years during which the number of links will grow, and likely faster then ever. If OL loses, we will face a much bigger review task than now. If WMF receives a cease and desist then, we may not be able to comply within the given time frame, we may face fines, or even takedowns. That's the nightmare scenario, sure. But as you yourself admitted, we cannot know what the disposition of the case will be. Let's not let normalcy bias lull us into complacency. Paradoctor (talk) 23:38, 13 July 2021 (UTC)
I had gotten a message that I appear to have stopped participating in this thread, that is absolutely not the case. Some research has been required. There has apparently been support from WMF for controlled digital lending functions of Internet Archive (which includes Open Library as well as books that are not available through Open Library). From what I can tell, rules are being made up on the fly. Aside from the need for greater transparency, I'm pretty sure there are many more interested parties who would have material input if they were made aware of what was being proposed here. Fabrickator (talk) 19:07, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
If there is statement of support from WMF related to the OL, then yes, this does not become our concern, as should any future legal issues emerge from that case then, it would be on the WMF's endorsement of OL to support us linking to it that would be the issue. (There's a lot of hoops to that). This would be similar to WMF's role in National Portrait Gallery and Wikimedia Foundation copyright dispute. Absent any clear statement, though, we should be using caution, because the CDL approach has no case law to establish it legal or not (no matter how morally right it seems to be). --Masem (t) 19:11, 14 July 2021 (UTC)

@Fabricator: From the top of this page: This board is not intended for generalized discussion about the external links guidelines themselves I agree that, WRT Open Library, WP:COPYLINK policy requires clarification or even an update, possibly an RFC. But here, our only job is to determine what current policy says. The only question that should be discussed is whether reasonable doubt exists that the linked page is in accord with copyright laws. As I've pointed out before, you yourself admit that it does. Unless you can provide evidence that the page in question is clearly conforming to copyright laws, we have consenus, and the issue to be decided here is resolved. I propose you concede that and open discussion at Wikipedia talk:Copyrights. Paradoctor (talk) 20:30, 14 July 2021 (UTC)

Exactly. COPYLINK is quite clear. Is it right? Who knows, but that's not for this board to discuss. WP:COPYLINK is policy, we cannot override it. By all means start a conversation on the copyrights talk pages and see about getting the policy changed if you believe there's reason to do so. However until that time, there's nothing this noticeboard or any other editor can do as linking to these books is clearly in violation of COPYLINK, and such links need to be removed if they're added or seen. Canterbury Tail talk 21:05, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
We've had these links to in-copyright non-Wayback content for at least 2 years, so I'm rather hard-pressed to appreciate the urgency of eliminating these purportedly non-compliant links. Additionally,it is not obvious (to me) that there's any straightforward and reliable method to distinguish between links going to "in-copyright" and "out-of-copyright" content. Additionally, if such links were removed, and it's subsequently determined that the links ought to be permitted, I don't know about the difficulty of re-inserting the links after they have been deleted. So those are issues with any proposal to delete these links while the status of these links (either under current policy or following a change in policy) is subject to change.
There are nevertheless valid doubts that these links are prohibited under the current policy. For instance, "fair use" is permitted. While statutory language may define "fair use" as applying to a case where someone otherwise has no legal rights whatsoever, it could also be interpreted to refer to rights that one has actually acquired, such as through purchase of the copyrighted material, e.g. if I acquire title to a book, then I have the right to give, or sell that book to someone else might be described as a form of "fair use", at least in a colloquial sense. So the WP policy may be interpreted to allow such "fair use" without having to obtain any separate license. Alternatively, having legal title to the material may be construed to constitute an "implicit license" to use the material in all lawful manners. So the demand of evidence that Internet Archive has the required "license" may already be fulfilled by IA's existing processes. (Perhaps these seem like stretches to you, but "the law is the law", and just because it doesn't "feel right" to you doesn't mean that it isn't right.)
Anyway, there are still the technical challenges I raised. Can anybody say how challenging it would be to address them? Fabrickator (talk) 22:27, 14 July 2021 (UTC)
valid doubts that these links are prohibited Are you not listening? Our policy requires that links are legal beyond reasonable doubt. "Might by legal" does not cut it.
proposal to delete these links There is no "proposal". The policy says we have to.
"the law is the law" There is no law that mentions CDL. Until such time that there is, we cannot use it. Paradoctor (talk) 02:55, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
There is no law that mentions CDL. Until such time that there is, we cannot use it.
I suggest that CDL could plausibly be inferred from the first-sale doctrine. But more to the point, regarding your contention that a term can never apply until it's been codified in a statute, I would ask you to provide a citation. Unless you're secretly the judge that's assigned to the case, you're making various assertions, but they are nothing but speculation. Fabrickator (talk) 07:09, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

Our policy states we cannot use these links. They need to be removed if come across and no one can add them. Any further discussion on this topic needs to happen on Wikipedia_talk:Copyrights, there is literally nothing this board can do here. Canterbury Tail talk 12:09, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

@Fabrickator: Our policy puts the burden of proof that a link is permitted on the editor(s) desiring to add the link. That means you. As far as I'm concerned, this discussion is over. Paradoctor (talk) 14:42, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
The biggest issue I have is the possibility of someone demanding the premature removal of existing links, so that we then wind up losing links which ultimately could be determined to be permissible. The way this "conclusion" is worded, nothing would prevent someone from doing that. This is what I would hope to avoid. Fabrickator (talk) 15:28, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
Fabrickator, That's a feature, not a bug. We should be encouraging people to remove such links. MrOllie (talk) 15:50, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
Yes, such links must be removed. Canterbury Tail talk 16:40, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
I am still confused why nobody is doing anything about the link in WP:Book sources. Perhaps this was not understood. Every citation with an ISBN (or any of the various identifiers that it accepts) will check for the availability of a link to the book at Open Library. It seems like this should be extremely easy to do and would be trivial to revert depending on the outcome of the lawsuit, and I would suspect that there's probably two orders of magnitude more books linked from there than linked via the "url=" parameter. So it's bizarre, like you're trying to catch stuff with a 3-inch fishnet that gets a fraction of 1% of the available catch, when you have a way to get 95% of what's there with one swoop. Is there a reason for this approach or is it that none of the participants know any better? Fabrickator (talk) 22:20, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
I would support such a removal, but I wasn't about to do it while this discussion was still in progress. - MrOllie (talk) 22:31, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
@MrOllie: Nothing left to discuss here: Wikipedia talk:Book sources § Open Library WP:EL violations
Not directly related, but maybe it helps some editors to overcome loss aversion.

The essence of editing is easy come easy go. Unless you can really say to yourself, "What the hell. There's plenty more where that came from, let's throw it away." you can't really edit. You have to be a big spender... Editing must be cut-throat. You must wade in with teeth gritted. Cut away flesh and leave only bone. Learn to say things with a relationship instead of words. If you have to make introductions or transitions, you have things in the wrong order. If they were in the right order they wouldn't need introductions or transitions. Force yourself to leave out all subsidiaries and then, by brute force, you will have to rearrange the essentials into their proper order. Every word omitted keeps another reader with you. Every word retained saps strength from the others. Think of throwing away not as negative-not as crumpling up sheets of paper in helplessness in rage-but as a positive,creative, generative act. Learn to play the role of the sculptor pulling off layers of stone with his chisel to reveal a figure beneath. Leaving things out makes the backbone or structure show better... Editing means being tough enough to make sure someone will actually read it...

Paradoctor (talk) 23:17, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

"Not directly related"? I'll call that an understatement. What's being advocated is a destructive partial solution, the explanation offered that another partial solution, yet one which is completely non-destructive, isn't mentioned is because it would have been a distraction, yet the delay in implementing this has resulted in a couple of days of added infringement, yet for the small potatoes stuff, we must suffer this destructive approach. It seems to me it shouldn't have required any discussion, yet the idea was summarily dismissed when I previously mentioned it. This seems to demonstrate a poor risk assessment. Fabrickator (talk) 23:53, 15 July 2021 (UTC)

@Canterbury Tail: "One thing I've noticed some editors doing is uploading blatantly copyrighted books themselves to and then linking to them. It's pretty obvious when the upload happened within half an hour of the edit. This isn't something that comes under any kind of lending etc that I'm aware of." As far as I know, what you're seeing is in fact backwards; there's a bot (User:InternetArchiveBot) which, among other things, bluelinks books after they have been digitized by the internet archive from their physical copy (for controlled digital lending). To my understanding, it's not possible for arbitrary users to link a book on the internet archive with the open library (though arbitrary users are able to upload content to and the open library also serves as a more general database of information about books). I think it's worth pinging users related to InternetArchiveBot too: @Cyberpower678, Harej, and GreenC. Having said that, I oppose removal of these links for books digitized by the internet archive, but I don't wish to get involved in a more detailed debate here (as this is far out of my area of expertise). --Pokechu22 (talk) 04:04, 16 July 2021 (UTC)
No I've seen users adding direct external links to books on these archives after having uploaded them. I don't know about Open Library linking, but I'm talking purely about hosting of copyrighted works. Here is a good example. Canterbury Tail talk 11:56, 16 July 2021 (UTC)
@Pokechu22: Removing these links is required by policy. If you wish to change the policy, then this is not the right forum: This board is not intended for generalized discussion about the external links guidelines themselves (top of this page). Paradoctor (talk) 04:50, 16 July 2021 (UTC)
Paradoctor, the bot currently retains approval to add links to these books where said approval came from a near unanimous community consensus in support of said links and subsequent bot proposal. After legal objections were raised we opted to suspend automated book linking, but this would suggest exceptions to policy can and do exist. So at the very least, removing existing links would be very inappropriate until a much wider discussion has happened here. —CYBERPOWER (Message) 05:20, 16 July 2021 (UTC)

Further discussion of this matter has been started at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) § Links to copyrighted material on Open Library. Paradoctor (talk) 06:21, 16 July 2021 (UTC)

Technically, I understand that posting such links could be considered contributory infringement. It could alternatively be considered de minimis and being done in good faith, especially if it was just something you did occasionally (rather than systematically posting links in every possible case).
However, when I imagine trying to make that case, when the people posting those links are also saying, on a public website, that we don't have to be concerned, because if we get in trouble, the Foundation will protect us – well, (a) that suggests that wasn't just a good-faith mistake, and (b) I'm not actually convinced that they would. The penultimate paragraph of foundation:Terms of Use/en#Overview says that editors are legally responsible for their own edits. Nobody should be intentionally adding links that they think are legally problematic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:27, 17 July 2021 (UTC)

References spam

A report of significant WP:REFSPAM is at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Spam from Edmunds (company). Johnuniq (talk) 05:02, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Quadrant roadway intersection examples

Okay so I need your input here. Have a look at Quadrant roadway intersection#Examples.

Notice how none of the examples make any sense without clicking an external link? My gut feeling is that's not how we build an useful encyclopedia - but all I can find in the guideline is "External links normally should not be placed in the body of an article." The page/section is literally useless without online access to Google.

Also, there is no rationale - why is one intersection in the list of examples and not another? Had we used the example selection of a source that would be one thing but now it could just be "the intersections from my childhood town" or something (I don't think it is; just that there's no way of knowing how the examples were selected).

If I had to make a call I would say "either create inline/onpage maps, or scrap the idea of examples". Perhaps you have a better idea? CapnZapp (talk) 13:43, 13 August 2021 (UTC)

Yeah I see what you mean. And to be honest, I'm not entirely convinced they're actually all examples of this. Smacks of a lot of Original Research, but no sources that describe these as quadrant intersections. The very first example, the Dortmund one, doesn't appear to follow the description in the article. So yes a poor use of external links, thought I see why it was done, but overall heapings of unsourced WP:OR. Canterbury Tail talk 17:41, 13 August 2021 (UTC)
Can I ask you what specific action you recommend me to take, if any? CapnZapp (talk) 16:36, 14 August 2021 (UTC)
Honestly, I would personally remove both examples sections entirely as unsourced original research. I think this is beyond the external links issue. Canterbury Tail talk 16:51, 14 August 2021 (UTC)

Templates that link to a list of links

{{DNA India}} is intended for use in the external links section of an article. There are only 18 articles with the template so perhaps I shouldn't worry but these examples seem to violate WP:ELNO#9.

{{Bollywood Hungama person}} is a similar problem with over 800 occurrences, for example:

Any thoughts on whether these are ok? Johnuniq (talk) 05:05, 23 August 2021 (UTC)

Aside from being a straight breach of how we usually do things, one of my concerns is that this type of template gives a sense of authority to a website in Wikipedia's voice. Of course, some sites may actually be the authority for a given purpose but a random Indian news website - one among dozens & not a particularly good one - is not. What next? Flood the external links sections with similar templates for The Hindu, The Times of India, Dainik Bhaskar etc? - Sitush (talk) 09:19, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I am always ambivalent there. I love that external links are inside template wrappers so they have consistent display, can be tracked, 'verified' (compare to WD), etc. But they do tend to invite 'inappropriate addition' ('we have a template for it, so it must be good'; as per Sitush). I guess that actual use however should be rather strictly as per WP:ELNO: does it actually add something that we need (DNA India does not seem to be a majorly important resource), etc. Bollywood Hungama is not going to be dissimilar I think. Meh, I already am totally not convinced imdb should be on every page. All of these are on their way to WP:SPAMHOLE. I'm afraid we at some time should set up a list like WP:RSP for specific external links, a bit more elaborate then WP:ELPEREN. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:11, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
At least IMDB pages usually have information that is quite useful/interesting, even if not of a high reliability. By contrast, DNA India presents nothing other than a tiny subset of what could be seen in Google. Johnuniq (talk) 11:18, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
I agree that imdb often has material beyond what we would include (more complete lists, etc), but not always, or to a level that we should standard just include it. I do think that DNA India and Bollywood Hungama are much less likely to have sufficient additional data (.. that cannot be included). Dirk Beetstra T C 11:47, 23 August 2021 (UTC)
DNA India just looks like a website search (tags), not useful formatting like you see on IMDb. No qualms getting rid of that. BH is somewhere between those extremes, so toss-up for me. Ravensfire (talk) 19:21, 25 August 2021 (UTC)
I agree with @Ravensfire: the DNA India site looks like search results, which makes it unwanted. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:12, 25 August 2021 (UTC)
I have just noticed that the Bollywood Hungama template was created by a subsequently CU-blocked account & that an SPI raised the suspicion of paid editing. - Sitush (talk) 01:57, 24 August 2021 (UTC)

Redding realtor

Ejlewis, apparently a realtor in Redding, California and undeclared paid editor, is edit-warring to spam pages from his real estate web site to articles about local features: Shasta Lake diff, Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay diff, Redding, California diff, and much less recently Whiskeytown Falls. See also my talk. Additional opinions welcome. —David Eppstein (talk) 22:08, 9 September 2021 (UTC)

Yes I am a Broker & Realtor in Redding who has put together a local resource of the area I live in have have for most all my life. Years ago I added additional content via the links section that have been in place on this site. Today when updating these links to a fresh version I have been eliminated. Am I wrong to add content helpful to people interested in Redding?? On the Redding California page for instance there are other pages with local content that apparently are ok. What is the difference?? Truly I was only trying to add content with what I have put together for those with interest. Shasta Lake, Whiskeytown and others have been there in the past without issue, I'm confused. Additionally many pages have links to outside resources, at what point is that ok or not ok?? Ejlewis (talk) 23:28, 9 September 2021‎ (UTC)
Welcome to Wikipedia, @Ejlewis. It's a confusing place.
@David Eppstein, I looked at one of the pages, and I'm not sure exactly why you object to the link (e.g., compared to WP:EL#ADV or any of the ELNO rules). Is this primarily a behavioral concern, or a link-content concern? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:33, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
The links don't satisfy the criteria in WP:ELYES or WP:ELMAYBE, and do seem to meet #1 in WP:ELNO, even without the clearly promotional real estate links on each of the website's pages. Schazjmd (talk) 00:43, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
Yes, the website has prominent, clearly promotional content, starting with the banner on top and continuing with repeated "Search Redding Homes" notices and such. If there are other bad links on those pages, the solution would be to remove them; they don't set a precedent for allowing more. Nor is the rest of the content (brochure-type photos and blurbs) particularly worth pointing to. XOR'easter (talk) 01:17, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
@XOR'easter, I imagine that not every editor knows this, but the presence of some "prominent, clearly promotional content" is not actually something that the Wikipedia:External links guideline cares about. Advertising content only becomes a problem when it is the primary purpose of the page (which is not the case here; NB "page", not "website") or when it is "excessive" (e.g., enough to interfere with reading the useful content; the line was written particularly with multiple pop-up ads and large blinking ads in mind). While posting your own website is a behavioral concern, in terms of the page's content, the guideline is a bit more Wikipedia:We don't care what happens to your website. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:17, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
@Schazjmd, talk to me more about the ELNO #1 idea. Do you think that if Redding, California were listed at WP:FA, that it would contain 30 photos of local tourist attractions? I don't. contains 30 photos. IMO that's "a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article". WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:09, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
I was focusing on the text on the pages. Any web search on images will find a multitude that are not on Wikipedia (copyright etc) so I don't consider the realtor site as a "unique resource" in that aspect. Schazjmd (talk) 15:28, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
"Unique resource" might be misleading. We don't require a link to go to a page utterly unlike any other in existence; we only require that it not duplicate what is (or should be) in the article itself. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:58, 18 September 2021 (UTC)
Maybe you should ask Ejlewis to upload them to Commons, then we could point to them there as a gallery. If he's here to help build an encyclopedia and not to get links to his website that should be no problem. - MrOllie (talk) 15:40, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
A gallery on commons would be unobjectionable to me. It is the framing of the linked web site, as "these attractions are why you should buy real estate in Redding from me", that I object to. (My concerns are more based on WP:ELNO #5 than on #1.) —David Eppstein (talk) 18:40, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
This page is okay under ELNO #5. The main purpose of the individual web page is to provide information about the subject of the article, not to sell things. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:59, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

I find this very interesting and thank those who are understanding. Many of the photos I have taken myself and added to this section of my website. In some of the responses I see concern with the advertising on the website. Here's a question: If I was to add this content to another website called something else and then plastered it with ads to my real estate site what would be the difference? As mentioned elsewhere I see many links to outside sources that have blatant advertising that is clearly for the benefit of those sites. In this case there are no flashing ads only local information people can review with subtle single line advertising. You'll also note the link has no mention of real estate at all which it would if all I was after was real estate related links. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ejlewis (talkcontribs)

I don't really understand your question. If you hosted the content on a different website, it would still be the same hobbyist observations on local area features and would still not be appropriate for an external links section (in my opinion). As for the link has no mention of real estate at all...huh? The domain of each URL is Schazjmd (talk) 20:28, 10 September 2021 (UTC)

Thank you for your response and thoughts. Here is another question, if my link is inappropriate as in "it would still be the same hobbyist observations on local area features..." then what is the purpose to providing any links to outside sources for more information? Separately but equally important is another question, Why are these links on the this very page in the reference section ok?? Does it have different criteria??

  1. 1- "Redding, CA Real Estate and Living". Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  2. 7- "How Redding got its Name". Retrieved August 25, 2017. (page does not exist)
  3. 12- "City of Redding Flag". Retrieved August 19, 2017. (this one goes to a gambling site.)
  4. 20 - ( no content for visitors at all)
  5. 31 - "New plaza to open at Sundial Bridge in time for Celebrate 10". Redding Record Searchlight. April 30 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2020. (clearly an revenue generating website which has less information that what I am providing)
  6. 34 "AIBRA – Find a Station". Retrieved May 2, 2015. (this is junk)

Other pages such as also have many links to sites like mine adding information. What is the difference here also???

Sorry I don't know how to ask these people who have commented directly:'easter

Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ejlewis (talkcontribs)

This editor is attempting to use Wikipedia to advertise a business. If he wants to share photos, add them to a Flickr page, or even better, upload them to the commons. Instead, he adds a link to his business, where his photos are beneath a huge banner promoting his enterprise. Under no circumstances should links like this be permitted, per WP:PROMO. Magnolia677 (talk) 21:34, 10 September 2021 (UTC)

And again the questions go unanswered.

Ejlewis, you don't state which article those are links on, so I can't examine them. Just because a link is in an article does not mean they're OK. Often it just means another editor hasn't challenged or removed them yet. (Also, every time you make a comment on a talk page, please end it with four tildes (~~~~) so the software can automatically insert your signature so others know who made the comment.) Schazjmd (talk) 21:41, 10 September 2021 (UTC)

As you may be aware this is not something I do regularly, just trying to answers so I can understand why it ok in some cases but not others. Interesting I went to my "contributions" page and see these links have been ok since I added them in 2007, that is until now.,_California

(Ejlewis (talk) 21:44, 10 September 2021 (UTC))

Maybe you can figure out how many of your clients were attracted to your business because of the links you added 14 years ago, and then donate a share of your profits to Wikipedia. Magnolia677 (talk) 22:02, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
I think that was an unhelpful comment. It would be just as logical to say that we should figure out how many readers had absolutely no interest in buying anything, and send money the other direction. Remember, Wikipedia:We don't care what happens to your website. If we think the contents of the page might be helpful to a reader (e.g., to a high school student writing a report or wondering whether to apply for admission to Simpson University), then we keep the link. If it wouldn't, we don't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:06, 18 September 2021 (UTC)

Pretty unreasonable comment. When was the last time you went to Wikipedia looking for a home?? Still hoping for some reasonable answers to the questions, thanks. (Ejlewis (talk) 22:07, 10 September 2021 (UTC))

So now I see the pages I've referenced are being edited to remove many of the links I commented about and noted as "remove commercial link" yet that is not the Wikipedia policy based on what this page says: (Ejlewis (talk) 22:20, 10 September 2021 (UTC))

@Ejlewis, you pointed out some questionable refs so I checked them. Several needed archive links. That's how stuff gets fixed. What you linked to is not a policy; it's an essay, which means some editor wrote up their opinions. It has no weight in decisions. Schazjmd (talk) 22:27, 10 September 2021 (UTC)
As I wrote earlier, just because a link has been sitting there doesn't mean it's good. Articles accumulate all kinds of junk. Sometimes a link is only there because nobody has noticed that it needs to be removed. Sometimes whole pages only exist because nobody has noticed that they need to be removed. XOR'easter (talk) 01:01, 11 September 2021 (UTC)

OK, I give. While thinking this would be helpful for the visitors, most of you apparently disagree. I hope as much effort that was put it getting rid of my links are put forward on all other links. Interestingly, one on the Redding page titled "Images of Redding from the Eastman's Originals Collection, Special Collections Dept., University of California, Davis." shows absolutely nothing. The same subject matter I was trying to help with but that one remains. Cheers. (Ejlewis (talk) 22:34, 15 September 2021 (UTC))

That wasn't a link you had previously questioned so I hadn't checked it out. Now that you have brought it up, I looked at the results the link gives and agree with your assessment so I've removed it from the article. Schazjmd (talk) 00:17, 16 September 2021 (UTC)

@Ejlewis: Wikipedia is rather restrictive regarding addition of external links. Wikipedia does not like 'linkfarms'. The point of Wikipedia is to write an encyclopedia, not to connect to everything related on the web. The basis of that is part of our policy Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not (specifically WP:NOTREPOSITORY). That is then explained more in our guideline Wikipedia:External links where we show what we generally avoid as external links (WP:ELNO, and what we generally allow (WP:ELYES). I looked at Redding, California and Shasta Lake specifically. The former has 22 images in the article, and links to a commons category of more than 200 images (and several subcategories with overall another 200 images or so), the latter has 6 on the article and links to a commons category with about 80 images (there is for both obvious overlap between the images in the article and images on commons). It is unlikely that there are external repositories that enhance an article to such a level that it surpasses what Wikipedia already hosts and that significantly aids in further understanding. If you believe that you can make that case (as per the intro of Wikipedia:External links: "...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") then you need to start that discussion on the talkpage of the respective page (and that is especially true since you have a conflict of interest with the links, see Wikipedia:Conflict of interest " are strongly discouraged from editing affected articles directly; you may propose changes on talk pages ...").

Yes, there are other things which are not up to standard, but that is not a reason to add more things which do not follow the standard either (an argument similar to WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS), the solution is to solve the overal problem. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:25, 16 September 2021 (UTC)

Adding External Link with ?Apparent COI


I'm very much new to Wikipedia and despite some background reading I would like to ask about a Wikipedia article on Dish Network. The issue relates to an apparent conflict of interest if I were to post an external link that directs users to my own informational website.

I make print-friendly TV channel lineup guides available as free PDF downloads from this website. The idea started after my elderly father asked to see his channels when I discovered most, if not all TV providers in Canada and the States did not provide such guides. They were either hard to read, out of date and incomplete or were not print- or search-friendly, etc. Originally, I was going to charge a small fee for each guide and built the website around an e-commerce platform, however, I since decided to make them free of charge. A small amount of revenue is generated from the website's ads and so far, this has been used to reimburse website costs. There is no other source of earnings.

A lot of work went into the website's commerce product pages (let alone the guides themselves!). I do not wish to remove the e-commerce side of the website. It would be a gargantuan task to do so. So instead, despite a "click to add to cart" button (but one that actually reads, "Get your Free Channel Guide"), all guides are clearly listed as "free", with a $0 price. This includes the Dish channel guide.

Please provide feedback as to the suitability of this proposed link. The whole idea is to help others (like my dad who want to access important information) as opposed to self promotion. I wonder if I can post the link on the Dish page, along with disclosure of the COI, given the benefits to others outweigh the personal future benefit from increased web traffic (and ad revenue).

I should add that there is an external link already provided at the bottom of the Dish Wiki page. It is an html version of the Dish channels, however, it is out of date and incomplete.

Ok, phew, that's it. Only took me 1.5 hours to write! :)

--GebienD (talk) 06:04, 9 October 2021 (UTC)

Pertinent Wikipedia Policies/Recommendations —— Wikipedia Policy Page on External Links

  • "Links to potentially revenue-generating web pages are not prohibited."
  • "In line with Wikipedia policies, you should avoid linking to a site that you own, maintain, or represent."
  • "Links mainly intended to promote a website, including online petitions and crowdfunding pages." [under "Links to Generally be Avoided"]
  • "Individual web pages [6] that primarily exist to sell products or services, or to web pages with objectionable amounts of advertising."
{rto|GebienD} best practice would be to suggest the link on the talkpage and wait until another editor adds the link for you. — Dirk Beetstra T C 14:57, 9 October 2021 (UTC)
@GebienD, I agree with Beestra. Linking to your site is not prohibited, but it would be better if someone not associated with the website added the link. Posting a note on the talk page of the article is a good idea, and I recommend that as your next step. If nobody replies within a week or so, then you might consider posting a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Disability to see if anyone there would please take a look at your request on the article's talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:46, 10 October 2021 (UTC)

Find a Grave external links on bios

Heading off an edit war between Nikkimaria and I. When creating biography articles, I often use Template:Find a Grave. While the site has its problems, I believe it to be an invaluable resource. My understanding is that the overwhelming consensus is for allowing this template to be used within ELs, but Nikki's gone about removing the template indiscriminately wherever it's used per Wikipedia:ELBURDEN. Please help us solve this dispute. Rockhead126 (talk) 02:42, 21 October 2021 (UTC)

The consensus on this issue is outlined at Wikipedia:External_links/Perennial_websites#Find_a_Grave, underlined by multiple discussions here previously. The point of WP:ELBURDEN is that by default disputed links are excluded pending consensus, rather than included; please self-revert your restorations. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:47, 21 October 2021 (UTC)
@Rockhead126 and Nikkimaria: First: I have re-reverted the link additions per WP:ELBURDEN (or, if you want, WP:BRD, which states the same).
Find a grave is not 'forbidden', it would qualify as a 'maybe', but general consensus is that it contains user generated material, it sometimes contains copyvio material, etc. etc. It is on WP:RSP and on WP:ELPEREN, and on both it is deprecated - use it only when there is a clear reason to do so. Now a bold addition is fine, but any removals should then first be followed by discussion. I am sorry, but you will now first have to get consensus on the talkpage, we cannot give a 'blanket' approval as per the many discussions that has shown the problems - it needs to be case-by-case. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 21 October 2021 (UTC)
  • With Find a Grave I often remove it as well when I come across it, but not always. The fact is that the vast majority of the time it's used the page at Find a Grave contains zero encyclopaedic information that isn't already in the article. The only new piece of information may be the exact location of the grave (which remember it is 100% not considered a reliable source so this information on its own isn't a justification for it as a link as we wouldn't trust that as a reference), which I don't believe to be encyclopaedically useful. Most of the time it's just people posting best wishes and random memory cards, which is definitely not encyclopaedic. If it contains more information, i.e. photos that we don't have, more extended childhood biography etc, then I will leave it. However remember it is user generated and is practically a Wiki. Overall I think it needs to contain a lot of good info not already in the article to be included as a useful link. As a great example you reinserted this Find a Grave link, there is nothing in that link even remotely useful and it has zero value. And that link is actually typical, not the exception, for Find a Grave pages. Canterbury Tail talk 11:25, 21 October 2021 (UTC)
Hello, all. I understand not being able to give blanket approval, but what about in situations like Wikipedia:External_links/Perennial_websites#Find_a_Grave mentions, where the page includes valuable images of a grave? Rockhead126 (talk) 15:42, 21 October 2021 (UTC)
Define valuable images of a grave. Is it really encyclopaedically useful to have a photograph of someone's gravestone? What need is it filling? A basic gravestone, I don't see that it's in anyway valuable. Canterbury Tail talk 16:01, 21 October 2021 (UTC)


Is PCGamingWiki an acceptable external link to add? It contains a lot of information that would be rather helpful to most readers per WP:EL#YES 3. I just want to make sure because someone might disagree as to whether it overcomes WP:ELNO#wiki. –MJLTalk 21:20, 21 October 2021 (UTC)

@MJL, do you know how many active users are at that site? If it's more than ~100, then it's less controversial. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:40, 21 October 2021 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: 291 active users according to Special:Statistics. –MJLTalk 22:44, 21 October 2021 (UTC)
So it's about half the size of Wookieepedia, and larger than most. I think it is at least possible as a link, especially if there happens to be a particularly good page there on a highly relevant topic.
Of course, as with all external links, if there's a dispute, the link is removed unless and until there is a consensus to restore it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:14, 22 October 2021 (UTC)
Alright, so I am going to add a template just to make it easier to link to these pages. {{PCGamingWiki}} –MJLTalk 15:53, 22 October 2021 (UTC)

I first came across a link to this site used in citations yesterday on List of sources for the Crusades, and having looked at the link to fill out the reference, I thought it looked like a copyvio and per WP:ELNEVER / WP:LINKVIO removed it. The link went to a web version of this The Crusades - An Encyclopedia by Alan V. Murray (publishers page). The toplevel of the web version [ here shows the book front] but there are no credits, and the site itself does not give any indication of licensing only describing itselft as "Erenow - An educational project that allows everyone online to get the information they need on different subjects."

So I went on a crusade of my own, removing further links to the website on the above mentioned article (see page history for that), and then looked if there were other instances of the site being used for links. I identified about 40 possible pages, including Cave de Sueth (a Crusade era fortification) where I removed the link and filled out reference to the book. VarmtheHawk (talk · contribs) reverted and asked for a reason on the talk page (Talk:Cave de Sueth#Link removal). I explained my reasoning with respect to WP policy in this reply. They reverted my removal of a link to the site on two other articles (example) as "unstubstantiated". They have challenged me on my claim that it is a copy violating website and that "you need to provide some basis for that claim and have that verified by Wikipedia Administration." So here I am, after an opinion on the suitability of the site as an external link in citations. GraemeLeggett (talk) 07:00, 1 November 2021 (UTC)

As far as I can tell Erenow does hold some books that are out of copyright status, but they also appear to have a reputation for just uploading what they want. As a result since they're deliberately stripping the copyright info from these books a reasonable person can only assume they do not have the rights to some of these books and they should be removed under WP:COPYLINK. Canterbury Tail talk 12:24, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
I am aware of the issues with Erenow but in regard to the book in question (and several others), the publishers apparently have allowed their work to be published in their entirety on seemly reputable US-based (free) websites. I'm not an expert on copyrights, but think this may be a consideration. I'm also surprised that the issue is just arising now as the citations from Erenow are commonplace and in use for years. VarmtheHawk (talk) 14:14, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
What is your source that the publishers have allowed their work to be published on these websites? There is no time limit on when things can be rectified, some things unfortunately take years for people to notice them. Just because something has been there for years, doesn't mean it shouldn't be rectified. Ultimately anyway we don't need these links to the source, they're references so just having the book filled out as a reference is enough, we don't need a URL directing the user to the actual book. Canterbury Tail talk 14:25, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
Erenow links are not widespread. Including the articles I've already amended, the number of articles I have found with links to is less than 40. In many cases it's a single citation in the article. GraemeLeggett (talk) 16:02, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
So, they are hosting copies of original sources? Then ALL these links, whether permissible or not, are replaceable (though in some cases it may be to a paper-only version of a document, which is not necessarily optimal)? And if their hosting is questionable, then that is enough to remove the links, there is no real need to have a discussion that 'maybe' it is permissible. I would go as far as blacklisting this and only allow what is needed and proven permissible. Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
I agree with Dirk.
Additionally, please see WP:ELBURDEN: disputed links get removed, and they stay out unless and until there is an actual consensus to include them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:40, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
The fact is also these were being used in references, which was completely unnecessary. For references of books, we just need the details of the book not a link to an online copy of it. Canterbury Tail talk 00:42, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

See request (which I will be handling shortly). Please remove ALL links to this site (and whitelist the real exceptions, which should be few). --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:18, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

@GraemeLeggett, Canterbury Tail, WhatamIdoing, and Jayron32: Forgot to mention that I now blacklisted this, and that we need some (aggressive?) cleaning of this. Even if some of the material is hosted with license, the original work is still the better place to point people to (though I have no problem with granting whitelisting of material that can be shown difficult to access in book form ánd which is hosted appropriately - but please see first if there are alternatives, like google books or even WikiSource). --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:32, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, but I have no particular passion for projects like this. I got caught up in the recent addition while answering a ref-desk question, that was all. My efforts are better spent elsewhere. --Jayron32 13:35, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
It's only used in a few places, shouldn't take too long to clean it up. Fact ultimately is, these would at best be convenience links anyway, completely unnecessary for the reference. Canterbury Tail talk 13:39, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Actually I just removed one, and it seems like that was the last instance of it. All other instances appear to be gone. Only thing now is, do we want to suppress it in the histories. Canterbury Tail talk 13:42, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
There are hundreds more, see link search. MrOllie (talk) 13:44, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Hmmm, an insource search wasn't helpful at all there. Fair enough. I am right in thinking I can just remove the URL parameter from a reference, thereby removing the convenience link yes? Canterbury Tail talk 13:48, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
And the majority of them are all links to the same book on the crusades, in fact the book that this entire thing started with. Ah well, we've done nearly 300 so far. Canterbury Tail talk 19:03, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Only 35 instances to go now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:15, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
And done. The only thing left in the search appears to be a cached FAC inclusion that will likely sort itself out. Canterbury Tail talk 13:44, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Disputing the removal of WikiTree as an External Link

RE:WP:ELBURDEN User:Nikkimaria

WikiTree is a free genealogy wiki whose members work collaboratively to create and maintain a global family tree. As with Wikipedia, WikiTree also has projects - groups of members who work to keep the database accurate.

Adding the WikiTree template to the External Links section of an article is justifiable as there is additional source documentation that is not allowed on Wikipedia (ie birth, marriage, death, and census records). This is in addition to the detail of the subject's family genealogy, which is not always available on Wikipedia.

As an example, please see Frank Sinatra on WikiTree

--Azurerae (talk) 20:45, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

Question. What does WikiTree tell us about the article subject that isn't on Wikipedia? Not their relatives as we already have that if they're notable people, but actually about the subject. Remember external links needs to add more information on the subject themselves. So for your Frank Sinatra example, there doesn't appear to be anything in the WikiTree article that we don't already have on the Wikipedia article, so why would we link to it? Canterbury Tail talk 23:04, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
This is a user-generated genealogy website with content that is largely unsourced or sourced to other unreliable sites. There may be individual cases where inclusion is warranted, but as a general rule no. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:00, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
No, this should be only included after very careful consideration and most certainly should not be on every article. User generated data, wiki-like, first-level information should be included on our articles (if reliably sourced) and levels further away are almost never needed on our articles (maybe, maybe only on royal families or families of the level of the Kennedy family - but then we still include it in our articles already). Hence, fits many of our WP:ELNO criteria. I have started to remove instances, I think this should be removed everywhere, and seen that this has very, very little utility overall the template could be deleted. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:24, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
It has been deleted previously: Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2016_April_18#Template:Wikitree_name. Nikkimaria (talk) 18:17, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
We even use it as a reference: Peter Schmucker?? Really? --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:26, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Here is one interesting example of Wikipedia citing WikiTree as a reference: Samuel_Morse_(Dedham) says "He is not the ancestor of famed inventor Samuel Morse" and cites WikiTree. Considering the number of Wikipedia visitors who are interested in genealogical relationships among famous people (and may try to edit articles to claim bogus relationships), I think it makes good sense to include a statement like that, and WikiTree does include the data to show that lack of a relationship. -Orlady (talk) 18:18, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Actually that's a terrible thing to have on Wikipedia and it should be removed. Just because people share a name doesn't imply to anyone there is a connection between them. For Wikipedia to say they're specifically not related to someone else of the same name isn't terribly encyclopaedic. He's likely also not related to Abraham Lincoln, but we haven't included that. Not related, not connected, not about is not something expected in an encyclopaedia article. Canterbury Tail talk 12:36, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
I don't agree. We add similar information in hatnotes at the top of many articles, and combatting common misconceptions is a reasonable thing for people to do. (I'm not sure that I'd cite it to a user-generated website, because of WP:USERGEN, but if it can be properly sourced, it can be appropriate content.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:19, 13 November 2021 (UTC)

OK, I had a bit of a look around after my last post, and saw Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_340#Genealogy_reliable_sources, Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_293#Wikitree, Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_298#Royalcruft_again, and Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_169#WikiTree. Judgement there is not very favourable, one of the threads asking for blacklisting and a second one softly suggesting the same. I've now gone through a couple of pages, and all of them are badly sourced to this, so I am starting to consider for the better of the encyclopedia, to blacklist this, only allowing some exceptions through by whitelisting specifics. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:59, 10 November 2021 (UTC)

Yeah, these genealogy are rarely reliable, and WikiTree fails multiple WP:ELNO criteria including the ones about needing a login to view most data, user generated wiki, but mostly because they don't add any encyclopaedic info we don't already have. Canterbury Tail talk 12:05, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
What does it add? It provides the user with additional information. Sinatra's genealogical data is briefly covered on WP, but, can be further researched/expanded on WT. It's another aspect of the article in question. Where WP focuses mostly on the subject's body of work for example, on WT you can see the details of where he lived, who he was living with or working for at the time of the WWII draft.
Wikipedia is also a user-generated website where there are also some articles with errors and inaccurate information. --
There are a number of qualified genealogists that work on generating high-quality profiles. Please see:
Azurerae (talk) 15:50, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Yes, WT has its place on the web, Wikipedia has its place. That is not a reason that we have to use WT. Is full scale genealogy in scope for inclusion on Wikipedia? No, we are an encyclopedia. Do we have to link to it … no, we don’t link because something exists, we link because they have reliable, encyclopedic data. Yes, WT has a number of good profiles, WP as well. You can see what they were doing at the time of WWII draft, why is that of interest to an encyclopedia, and if it is then we write that ourselves and find a reliable source to prove it. Dirk Beetstra T C 17:26, 10 November 2021 (UTC)

To go along with what my colleague Azurerae stated, WikiTree is actually quite accredited and well connected in the genealogical world. It may not seem like much. However, we have helped the likes of Dr. Henry Louis Gates and CeCe Moore research their family tree. They and other professional genealogists from all corners of the globe have praised the website for being one of the most accurate genealogy websites on the planet. The International Society of Genealogists and the New England Historical Genealogical Society have praised the website for outstanding work in the field of research.

While it is true the website does have errors, measures have been put in place to keep those errors at a minimum. This includes various projects which clean up uploaded gedcoms. The site is not a place for research. However, it is a place to find accurate sources collected in one spot. It is an aggregate of information. Several projects work to strengthen the tree. We collaborate and work hard to make it accurate.

One thing Wikitree does that Wikipedia does not is provide links to a source. To go along with the Sinatra example, if you were to click his profile and scroll down to the 1940 census source, you can click it and find his family in the 1940 census courtesy of sites such as FamilySearch. The information found there is guaranteed to be accurate.

It would be a tremendous mistake to blacklist a genealogy website for simply presenting the facts when both websites use the same editing styles and would benefit from working with each other as more information about a notable person's family tree can be found there since it isn't here.

With that said, here are videos of Dr. Gates Jr and CeCe Moore praising our work.

Dr. Gates:

CeCe Moore:

Thank you for your time. Cferra (talk) 16:21, 10 November 2021 (UTC)

… you can find his family in the 1940 census … now, that is the source we need, not a wiki that aggregates the data. The key is not being correct, the key is being reliable. Wikipedia disclaims loudly that they are not reliable. WT is not either, and should not be used as a source. And on similar premises, it should not be used as an external link. Dirk Beetstra T C 17:31, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Dirk: The 1940 census is a primary source. Wikipedia admonishes us not to engage in original research, meaning (among other things) that articles should be based on reliable secondary sources, rather than republishing information from primary sources. Census records often contain errors, which is good reason not to rely on a single census record as a source of facts. On the other hand, genealogists need to ensure that their facts are traceable to primary records (partly because published genealogies and local histories often contain "facts" that are contradicted by primary records), and genealogists put a lot of effort into detecting end evaluating discrepancies and possible errors in primary records.
There are some biographies on WikiTree that include and discuss information found in primary records that contradicts (or disproves) the person's "official" biographies (for example, the original records may reveal an early marriage that the article's subject deleted from the story of their life) and that may or may not have made it into a print publication. Due to WP:NOR], Wikipedia should not present that kind of content as factually true, but an external link to it could add real value to the WP article.
Not nearly all WikiTree profiles have content that would add information value to a Wikipedia article about the article's subject, but it would be a mistake to say that the entire site has no independent value as an EL (or a citation) just because some WikiTree profiles lack independent value. --Orlady (talk) 18:18, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
@Orlady, our formal rules against WP:USERGEN websites is much stronger than our preference for secondary sources over primary sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:18, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
@Orlady: the careful use of primary sources is perfectly fine. If the 1940 census is known to contain errors then we cannot use it as a source (I expected that it was more correct, but OK). However, it is perfectly fine as a primary source there if the use is with proper care and using it as such.
Wikitree however is a wiki, user generated content. Then they use the 1940 census (apparently) which by your admission often contains errors. It being a wiki already disqualifies it as a reliable source.
We discourage wikis as external links. And if they use erratic data and do OR on that then my evaluation would be that it it also fits ELNO#2: 'Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research' .. and if we tell people to take that genealogy data to Wikitree because it is out of our scope, then that data is not relevant to our readers, and there is no reason to link to it.
Hence, this is not a website that we generally want to link to. It is popular, and we do not want to keep cleaning up after editors keep introducing this as references (really????), but not even as external links. There are SOME exceptions, but if the cleanup of these is more work than I would !vote to make sure this does not just get added everywhere. Dirk Beetstra T C 06:43, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm not certain that WP:BLPPRIMARY permits the use of census records for a living person. For a dead person, the difficulty is less about the rules and more about how editors could be certain that the "Robert Smith" in that 1940 census record was the same Robert Smith that the article was about. The 1940 census is unlikely to say something useful like "Robert Smith (who will become a professional athlete in another 15 years)". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:30, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
It all there depends on the specific record. However, this discussion regarding the census is tangential, and I don't even understand how we got there .. I am now totally confused with 'To go along with the Sinatra example, if you were to click his profile and scroll down to the 1940 census source, you can click it and find his family in the 1940 census courtesy of sites such as FamilySearch. The information found there is guaranteed to be accurate' where we now say that the 1940 census source is absolutely not to be used ... I find it rather ironic that we are discussing a website that we can't use as a reference as a spin off of a discussion regarding a wiki that is using said website ..
Since this is a rather popular site which is linked widely in both references and external links I !vote to blacklist this, and only where one can make a proper case of use we whitelist that link. Dirk Beetstra T C 07:15, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the conversation here - are we talking about removing one link from one Wikipedia article? Or are we talking about removing a template and forbidding people to ever link to WikiTree? I saw the question "what does it add" several times - which implies that the person asking is talking about a specific link. Since WikiTree pages are going to be at varying stages of development, that answer will depend on the specific article being linked. Answering "this specific link does/does not add to this WP article" doesn't seem related to asking whether the template should exist.
Also, someone suggested that the 1940 Census should be cited on Wikipedia - I'm pretty sure that would be considered "original research," which would go against the no original research guideline. And since WikiTree is built around encouraging that kind of original research and source citation, it seems to me that linking to WikiTree and placing the source in the WikiTree article would be more appropriate than putting a link to the 1940 Census in Wikipedia.
On balance, I'd argue for keeping the template and encouraging users to move detailed genealogical information to WikiTree, where it is more appropriate. Tad (talk) 23:47, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
@PapaSmirk: This is your first Wikipedia edit in more than a year! Welcome back. Can I ask how you found this discussion after so long away? - MrOllie (talk) 00:14, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Replying @MrOllie: - I've been "away" for a while working on the rather large project of publishing my family's history - as I'm winding down on that project, I've been adding more of my research to WikiTree. If I may, here's a link to my contributions there. I'm actually interested in this discussion because I am the profile manager for James A. Bushnell - I cited the James A. Bushnell article on his WikiTree page and would like to use the appropriate template to link from Wikipedia. Tad (talk) 04:32, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
Another example: Richard Montgomery and his WT profile. Here's a pretty notable individual with some minimal genealogical information in his "Early Life" section. I have posted a question in the comment section of his WikiTree page hoping for some clarification, and I plan on digging through some of the relevant local histories as time permits over the next few weeks to see if I can answer it myself. But when it comes to expanding what I learn about his immediate family and beyond, how much of that would you want in his Wikipedia article? For a general encyclopedia, it's probably good enough to link to his "brother [[Alexander Montgomery]] (1720–1800) and cousin, another [[Alexander Montgomery]] (1686–1729)" - but as a genealogist, I need to be able to differentiate between these multiple Alexanders and understand more about their family tree. That's where I would argue the link to WikiTree comes in handy. If you'd like to argue that the WT articles are under-developed or under sourced, I'll make the same counter-argument that I make when people complain about stubs on Wikipedia: "You're invited to improve them." Or, if you're concerned about the notability of any of these relatives with stub articles, maybe consider moving their content off Wikipedia, and using the WikiTree link template so people who care can follow the breadcrumbs? Tad (talk) 21:05, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
@PapaSmirk, it looks like the site is running a heavily modified form of MediaWiki, with many of the usual "background" pages like Special:ActiveUsers disabled, and I can't find an editable or source-viewable page to see what {{NUMBEROFACTIVEUSERS}} says (it's 120,811 here at the English Wikipedia). Can you tell me how many different people contributed to the site during the last month? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:31, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing - I can only see a limited view of the total feed, based on the surnames and pages I've added to my Watchlist; that limited view gave me more than 500 edits over the last 10 hours or so. You would probably need to contact the site managers to see if they have that information handy: Tad (talk) 23:10, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
If you can only see a limited part of the total feed, then our usual calculations are off. We do link to wikis and other user-generated sites, but we're usually looking for sites that have ~100 different contributors each month, because that helps us know that there will be plenty of people around to spot and fix problems. But if each contributor can only see a fraction of the feed, then we'd need to see far more people, so that there are multiple people who could look at each piece. I'm doubtful that this is likely to be true. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
Same question to @Cferra:, welcome back straight to this thread after a long 11 years away from Wikipedia. Canterbury Tail talk 01:07, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
@Canterbury Tail:, I spend most of my time doing genealogy work on WikiTree. I work with @Azurerae: and other WikiTreers to help improve the website via its many projects. She linked me to this thread and I offered to lend a friend a hand. People did not seem to understand what the website was about and so I offered to strengthen the case for the website.
That being said. If you wish to remove links, it may be open for debate. However, straight up blacklisting a genealogy website over links is probably a bad idea since both websites can coexist and work together toward the same goal--expanding the knowledge base. While Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, WikiTree is akin to an encyclopedia of almost every human that has ever lived. We do biographies just as Wikipedia does. In fact, we discourage people from doing straight copy/pastes from Wikipedia and just create their own biographies. It's a long process. But, it can be done. It's really annoying when people do that.
If you or anyone else has questions about WikiTree, feel free to ask. 14:33, 11 November 2021 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cferra (talkcontribs)
Yes, we are here now talking about ever linking to it. Anyway, I am glad to see that you understand Wikipedia’s OR guideline, and hence that WT is doing that for us. That still makes WT unsuitable as a source. I guess we need to do some work expunging this from WP now. Dirk Beetstra T C 02:14, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Having encouraged certain Wikipedians (current or ex-) to quit posting genealogical content in Wikipedia, and move that content to WikiTree instead, I strongly endorse the idea of encouraging users to move their detailed genealogical information to WikiTree. Wikipedia articles should not be based on primary sources such as the 1940 U.S. Census, and they should not include details like an indication that a non-notable niece of the article subject died in an car crash (this is the sort of detail I have told people to expunge from Wikipedia and move to WikiTree).
WikiTree is interested in trivial details like that car crash story that do not belong in Wikipedia, and WikiTree encourages original research using primary records, which is contrary to Wikipedia policy. It seems to me that WikiTree can be a worthwhile complement to Wikipedia. So encourage use of WikiTree for content that does not belong in Wikipedia, and allow external links to WikiTree (or citations for specific facts) when WikiTree has worthwhile content that cannot or should not be included in Wikipedia. --Orlady (talk) 01:29, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm with User:Beetstra I !vote to blacklist, use the whitelist where there is an excellent case that only Wikitree will suffice. Doug Weller talk 13:27, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm also wondering if there isn't an issue with WP:COI here with editors who are very heavy into WikiTree creating links to it in Wikipedia. Canterbury Tail talk 14:46, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
COI is maybe a bit too harsh, but their opinion is likely not neutral. Dirk Beetstra T C 18:04, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
Yeah it's not quite full COI, but they're adding links to a site where they do a lot of work. Is it really much different to linking to your company if you worked a part time job really? I know there's no payment here, but the connection is similar. It's the same as adding links to an organisation you volunteer for. Canterbury Tail talk 19:11, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm always concerned about putting any "popular" link on the blacklist. That can be very disruptive, especially to less-experienced editors (which is most editors). WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:40, 27 November 2021 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: but having something continuously 'spammed' here (I mean many editors adding something utterly useless over and over, not only newbies but also regulars who do not know) is a) disruptive to readers, b) disruptive to editors having to clean this up. If something is so blatantly useless as this seems to be control measures against additions should be made, whether blacklist, or a totally blocking edit filter (which is just basically the same as the blacklist though you can put a pre-warning). Dirk Beetstra T C 05:37, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
Strong support for this. Doug Weller talk 09:12, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
If we put this in the AbuseFilter, we can stop (or warn against) new additions without forcing editors to clean up old ones when they want to make an unrelated change. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:34, 29 November 2021 (UTC)

Gyanshankar Mishra citations by Newzolt

Over the eight years since account creation, User:Newzolt's edits have been entirely for the purpose of adding citations to papers by Gyanshankar Mishra. The linked papers appear to poorly summarize work by other authors, and appear to all be published in predatory open-access journals. In my opinion, while not egregious enough to be classified as outright spam, the citations do not add any value to the articles and appear to be for the primary purpose of promoting Gyanshankar Mishra. Around 2021-10-30, User:Quisqualis reverted a substantial number of these edits and created User talk:Newzolt with a warning to stop posting such links. Newzolt posted a mostly-incoherent response which I cannot make sense of, then continued with their previous behavior. What is the proper remedy in such cases? Although the easiest solution is to mass revert and block Newzolt, I am still willing to WP:AGF that they may become a good contributor if they are steered in the right direction. ⁓ Hello71 21:10, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

The current edit by newzolt was regarding a statement that "Drug-Resistant TB is a man-made phenomenon" with 2 citations from Pubmed, since it needs to be backed up with evidence. This is a very important statement that every reader needs to understand in the genesis of drug-resistant TB. One of the articles cited a case study detailing the specific details of how drug resistance develops and is a man-made problem. We need to follow the scientific evidence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Newzolt (talkcontribs) 18:55, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Promotion aside, this should be on WP:RS/N not external links. Canterbury Tail talk 19:11, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
@Headbomb, is this something you can check? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:41, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

@Hello71, WhatamIdoing, and Quisqualis: see [32]. Or alternatively, you can review

Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:48, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

@Headbomb, I was wondering whether they all seemed like bad journals to you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:57, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
Some are at least bad. Others seem borderline at best. It's clearly promotional WP:REFSPAM, so they should probably be purged. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 04:02, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
There are only four left now (plus one false-positive). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:35, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
WP:MED can probably help with the rest, and see if they make sense or not. They likely all fail WP:MEDRS as primary research though. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 06:42, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
I've blocked the editor. Doug Weller talk 09:11, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
And their appeal was rejected after they made it clear they weren't going to discuss any possible connection with Mishra and didn't appear to be planning to return to editing. Doug Weller talk 13:08, 2 December 2021 (UTC)

Canvassing links to

I've asked Rhodendron several times to stop adding canvassing links to programminginsider, and ad-laden commercial website, until a consensus is established that they are appropriate. Rhodendron claims that they are the only available source for Live+7 TV ratings; my contention is that Live+7 ratings aren't absolutely required (nor were they typically previously included) on articles about television shows. The user claims to not have a COI, despite having made very few contributions beyond adding these links. OhNoitsJamie Talk 12:51, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

Jamie you're accusing me in bad faith now ans I shall be registering a complain. You've chosen not to believe me even when I've told you multiple times I'm only using the source for Live+7 ratings. And the fact that you're claiming it's not required, it shows that you partially admit that's what I'm really doing.
Live+SD figures don't capture the true viewership of a programme and ypu shouldn't decide what's necessary. [33]. And btw they've been included for years. See Supergirl (season 1) for example.
Regardless not necessary doesn't mean you should stop someone from doing it. The template for TV ratings on Wikipedia has a "Total" section for a reason.
I admitted already have few contributions beyond Live+7 because I set my account up primarily because users here didn't regularly update Live+7 numbers. I don't have any connection with Programming Insider but you seem to not want to believe it despite all my explanations being adequate enough.
I ask User:Magitroopa, User:Rootone and User:YoungForever who I have often seen editing articles about shows to talk about Live+7 ratings and Programming Insider here. They'll be able to explain the situation well. Rhodendron (talk) 14:40, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
The general consensus (at least AFAIK from WP:TV) is that Programming Insider is reliable. The reliability of it was previously questioned in September at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television/Archive 35#Reliability of Programming Insider, and a much larger discussion was held in May-June at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television/Archive 34#U.S. TV ratings sources when at the time, Showbuzz Daily went defunct. Magitroopa (talk) 14:52, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
Live+7 ratings have been available since the mid-2000s and were routinely added to American TV show articles until the main source, TV by the Numbers, went offline in 2020, and for some reason other publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter stopped reporting them about a year ago. Since then, Programming Insider has been the main source. The featured article Grey's Anatomy (season 17) (promoted in November 2021) cites Programming Insider, as does the featured article Janet(s) (promoted September 2021). A discussion occurred about its reliability here, and well-respected editor Nikkimaria accepted its reliability. You're the one going against consensus by reverting edits citing it. Heartfox (talk) 19:43, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
I concur with Magitroopa. There is a general consensus that Programming Insider is a reliable source. — YoungForever(talk) 21:09, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
That's good enough for me, thanks for the input and links. OhNoitsJamie Talk 21:17, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
It appears that this editor has been blocked for 48 hours. Perhaps further discussion, if needed, could wait until the block ends. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:06, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

Merit of external images

Is it a desirable or unacceptable idea to offer readers an opportunity to view a few archival images pertaining to a specific WP article? Whereas many contributors use the "External links" section to link a few historic images, which represent the essence of an article, other zealous contributors systematically delete all such image links. Should such deletion be encouraged or discouraged? DMBanks1 (talk) 00:29, 15 January 2022 (UTC)

Links to external media are permitted. In the case of "an article about a book, a musical score, or some other media", it is encouraged (assuming a legal, free-to-view link exists). Even when the article is not about an image, we encourage links to "neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues". This would include, e.g., links to historical images of a place in the article about that place, especially when we can't find any free images to put in the article.
See also Template:External media, which exists for the sole purpose of linking to very important photos/images.
I'm going to assume from your comment that you aren't one of the "other zealous contributors". In their defense, Wikipedia:Nobody reads the directions, and they probably thought that they were enforcing an actual rule. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:26, 17 January 2022 (UTC)
But I would also argue that the general reason why we add external links needs to be fulfilled. I have seen links being added to pages which themselves have 2-3 times more images than the external repository, external sites which have the same images (or, at best, a different angle of the same image), or cases where the external link is one of literally 1000s of such links that shows yet another example of the same (‘look, we also have an image of the common wagtail on our website’) The external repository/link should generally bring something unique to the article. For the rest, what WhatamIdoing said. Dirk Beetstra T C 05:22, 17 January 2022 (UTC)