MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist

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"Wikipedia:Spam-blacklist" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Wikipedia:Spam blacklist or Wikipedia:Spam-blacklisting.

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Mediawiki:Spam-blacklist is meant to be used by the spam blacklist extension. Unlike the meta spam blacklist, this blacklist affects pages on the English Wikipedia only. Any administrator may edit the spam blacklist. See Wikipedia:Spam blacklist for more information about the spam blacklist.

Instructions for editors

There are 4 sections for posting comments below. Please make comments in the appropriate section. These links take you to the appropriate section:

  1. Proposed additions
  2. Proposed removals
  3. Troubleshooting and problems
  4. Discussion

Each section has a message box with instructions. In addition, please sign your posts with ~~~~ after your comment.

Completed requests are archived. All additions and removals are also logged.

Instructions for admins

Any admin unfamiliar with this page should probably read this first, thanks.
If in doubt, please leave a request and a spam-knowledgeable admin will follow-up.

  1. Does the site have any validity to the project?
  2. Have links been placed after warnings/blocks? Have other methods of control been exhausted? Would referring this to our anti-spam bot, XLinkBot be a more appropriate step? Is there a WikiProject Spam report? If so, a permanent link would be helpful.
  3. Please ensure all links have been removed from articles and discussion pages before blacklisting. (They do not have to be removed from user or user talk pages).
  4. Make the entry at the bottom of the list (before the last line). Please do not do this unless you are familiar with regex — the disruption that can be caused is substantial.
  5. Close the request entry on here using either {{done}} or {{not done}} as appropriate. The request should be left open for a week maybe as there will often be further related sites or an appeal in that time.
  6. Log the entry. Warning: if you do not log any entry you make on the blacklist, it may well be removed if someone appeals and no valid reasons can be found. To log the entry, you will need this number - 776307002 after you have closed the request. See here for more info on logging.
snippet for logging: {{/request|776307002#section_name}}
snippet for logging of WikiProject Spam items: {{WPSPAM|776307002#section_name}}

Proposed additions

  • Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:

6 IPs overall. One warned in 2015, one warned in 2016, one warned now. All additions removed. Enough. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:38, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

@Beetstra: Crystal Clear action edit add.png Added to MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:39, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:

I have removed about 100 instances of this url. They all now go to a malicious site that try to infect your computer with a virus. Thinking we should add it to the blacklist to prevent further problems. Work still required in other languages. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:02, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

@Doc James: Defer to Global blacklist, cross-wiki problem. --Dirk Beetstra T C 02:49, 14 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks and I see you have done it :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:31, 14 April 2017 (UTC) Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:

@Mean as custard: Crystal Clear action edit add.png Added to MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:35, 14 April 2017 (UTC) Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:

  • Spamming by multiple single-purpose accounts, e.g.: [8] [9] [10]. Drchriswilliams (talk) 12:51, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
@Drchriswilliams: Crystal Clear action edit add.png Added to MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:42, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:
Poking one level higher .. see what else there is. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:07, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Neep to have a better look. Does NOT look good though. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:42, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

@Beetstra: Symbol declined.svg Declined, some of the sites on this domain are used appropriately, some are spammy. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:13, 16 April 2017 (UTC) Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:

Proposed removals Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:

Dear Administrators, I cite along with other websites once in a while whenever I feel it's worth doing that. I have been their regular reader since last few years. Today when I tried to add the link I got a message that the domain has been blacklisted, I couldn't understand why it happened as this website is an authentic news source. Requesting you to look into this and remove it from the blacklist.

PS - Since, I haven't done this earlier I didn't know that mention of user name of necessary for the replies. I used to update without login.

Pixel love (talk) 10:38, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Why am I not getting a reply? Pixel love (talk) 19:09, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

It was blacklisted per Wikipedia:WikiProject_Spam/LinkReports/, the report shows an very unhealthy number of IPs who solely edit to add info referenced to this site (WP:REFSPAM). I am sure User:MER-C can tell more. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:15, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
That, and when I added the domain to the blacklist hardly any of those additions had survived. I certainly don't remember removing any links, and my contribution history shows I didn't remove any when I blacklisted the link. MER-C 04:34, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't about all the IPs but I made a few additions without login as I find that easy. Also, I didn't add all the references on a single day, I cited them only when I found something made sense. So, what I am understanding is that somebody tried to add too many links from some IP and got this website banned, is that the case? Pixel love 09:19, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
Hello, please reply. Pixel love 03:22, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

@Pixel love: You mean that you made those additions using 40 different IPs out of at least 3 IP-ranges? --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:57, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

I think that there is some confusion here. I don't know remember how many additions I made, I mentioned that I made a few additions. I didn't make a user account as I felt that it was easier to do without it. This was the first part of my answer.

In the second questioned I asked, if posting from IP can result in ban, then isn't it easier for anybody to get any website banned.

Also, I am a little confused about the reason of the ban. This is solely for my knowledge about the Wikipedia usage. If posting to wikipedia without login resulted in ban for this website, then I have done this for other websites as well, will those sites be banned as well? Pixel love 14:44, 09 February 2017 (UTC)

No, but additions by 40 different IPs that all are practically reverted may be. I guess that you were one or two of the separate IPs. For the rest, see Joe job, and in a way it is not really our concern, our concern is to stop the disruption. --Dirk Beetstra T C
So, this website should not be removed from the blacklist? --Pixel love 08:44, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
Please reply --Pixel love 07:08, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
@Pixel love: there were additions by 40-ish IPs, and most of the additions were already reverted/removed .. that signifies that these additions were not wanted. We are not here to play whack-a-mole with more IPs and keep reverting such additions. If you think that it is somewhere of use, please request whitelisting of specific links with specific use ( Defer to Whitelist), but until significant use of this site is evident, indeed delisting is Symbol declined.svg Declined. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:12, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
My point here is that may be somebody tried to play a mischief, I have been a loyal reader of them since last few years and they are one of the most authentic news source in India when it comes to technology news.I know I don't have any say here, but I just tried to put my point of view. Considering the quality of news they produce on daily basis, they shouldn't be banned. Those link which you think/know are spam should be removed for sure, but banning entire site because somebody else abused the system would be too harsh. I hope you will consider this. --Pixel love 08:55, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
What happens off-site is not our problem, the purpose of the spam blacklist is to protect Wikipedia from people adding unwanted external links. In any case, the links did not seem very wanted, most of them were already removed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:58, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
You are saying that links are removed, but I saw this link today, you can also check that there is no spam here and the link was properly added. --Pixel love 12:55, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
You are right, all properly added by the spammers, I guess more cleanup is needed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:08, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Are you trying to be sarcastic? --Pixel love 11:34, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
No, no sarcastic intent. Those links that are still there were missed in the original cleanp, as they were spammed as well. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:20, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:

I copy a thread from WP:HD.

Any attempt to edit Apartheid seems to be rejected. The reason given is that the article contains a new link to banned site (or something close -- I may have gotten it wrong. The edits I have attmpted don't include anything remotely close to that. Can somebody find out what's wrong and fix it? In the See also section, I was trying to add a wikilink to Born a Crime. Lou Sander (talk) 04:31, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

I can't explain what's going on. When I try to do the same thing (both with my non-admin sock and my main account), I get MediaWiki:Spamprotectiontext and a warning about, even though that URL isn't in the page text. Nyttend (talk) 04:59, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Even weirder: I removed econlib from the spam blacklist and then tried to insert the link, and even then I got rejected because my edit added "". Time for a Phabricator bug request? In case you wonder, I've restored the blacklist entry for econlib. Nyttend (talk) 05:03, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Can anyone explain what's going on? See [16] for URL removal and click "next" for restoration. JzG, you comment about that URL in a thread higher on this page; are you at all familiar with the situation? I'm not asking for "permanent" removal; I just wondered if someone more familiar with this blacklist might have a better idea than I of how to remove it temporarily to enable this edit. Nyttend (talk) 05:08, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

@Lou Sander: I am taking it off for now, but lets see what happens (see follow up edit). Maybe some lag-time? Crystal Clear action edit remove.png Removed from MediaWiki:Spam-blacklist. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:12, 19 March 2017 (UTC) Test edit to see whether this can now be saved. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:13, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Removing and re-adding seems to work now. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:16, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I am removing a large number of inappropriate links to this partisan website at the moment. It was extensively spammed by a group of libertarian agenda editors. Guy (Help!) 12:00, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
@JzG: I agree that it got spammed with many other links, however, there are now remarks about this specific one from that set of links above (both in that thread and this thread) as to being genuine. Maybe this is one for XLinkBot? --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:49, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
EconLib is the "Library of Economics and Liberty", run by Liberty Fund, a libertarian think-tank of no obvious significance. I suspect that most of the uses of this source right now are inappropriate. I removed the links from the Apartheid article. The issue is that many (most?0 of the links are to an online "encyclopaedia" of economics published by this group. It's another fisheaters. Guy (Help!) 12:57, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
Liberty Fund isn't really a think-tank, it's primarily a publishing house. One of the things they publish is the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics which is an excellent reference work on a wide variety of economic topics. The first edition was published in 1994 as "The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics: 141 Top Economists Explain the Theories, Mechanics, and Institutions of Money, Trade and Markets". Later editions got more concise - including the title - but kept the general theme of being, well, an encyclopedia. The essays are indeed written by top economists, including several Nobel prizewinners. The latest print edition is 2007 but an earlier 2002 edition is online for free which is REALLY USEFUL in fleshing out economic topics...or would be if it weren't on the blacklist. Can we get this fixed? (in addition to the Concise Encyclopedia, it's also a good place to find lots of older webbed public-domain econ texts. Bastiat, Mills, Adam Smith and so on.) Blogjack (talk) 08:56, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
@Blogjack: we do not need to link to a site because they have an online version of an older version of a real book. We have ISBNs for that, which should give the interested reader access to copies of the book, and may even give links to online copies of said book. My question now basically is, how big is the spamming problem of this specific site (User:JzG?)? --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:20, 29 March 2017 (UTC) (screwed the ping: @JzG:). --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:21, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
How big is the spamming problem? Hard to say. There are dozens of articles from Vipul and associates (Vipul has blogged on econlib), many of them are primary-sourced opinions by a fellow econlib blogger. There are also a lot of examples of test by Keynes, Mill and others presented as being published by the "library of economics and liberty", when they are in fact merely hosted copies of public domain works published by other people. Would you source copies of the works of Hayek, Keynes and the like to the Margaret Thatcher Foundation website? I don't think so. Think tanks are part of the dark money ecosystem, designed to obfuscate political activism and conceal the sources of funding.
And yes, they are a think-tank. The Orwellian title is a dead giveaway. Guy (Help!) 22:03, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
No evidence of spamming. Vipul hasn't spammed econlib. Which are the user accounts that are associated with Vipul that have spammed econlib? Jonpatterns (talk) 10:01, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

Comment: probably shouldn't be on the blacklist. It contains the full text of many classical economics texts. Jrheller1 (talk) 20:58, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

  • ... which are public domain and should be on Wikisource, not presented by links to a libertarian fundamentalist website. Rather like the issue with religious fundamentalist websites republishing out of copyright texts and surrounding them with editorialising and links and other material that drive an agenda. Guy (Help!) 21:55, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

This is not appropriate to blacklist in its entirety. Surely dealing with the actual spammers is the first move - David Gerard (talk) 23:21, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

@David Gerard: "Surely dealing with the actual spammers is the first move" .. sure, but lets entertain the idea that multiple IPs are spamming, and that they do their utter best to get this linked in any form. Are we here to play a game of whack-a-mole, or to build an encyclopedia. If this stuff is spammed, this should be blacklisted. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:15, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Are the spammers associated with the website? Is the spam effort a deliberate and co-originated effort by the website? It may be hard to tell. Is there any legitimate use of the site by non spammers. For example, three assumptions of neoclassical economics are referenced by an article written by E. Roy Weintraub on econlib (www.econ Actually, the term 'neoclassical economics' is more contested than the article makes out. That's not to say the libertarian view should be removed altogether. I believe there may be some legitimate uses for the site as long as the bias is noted.Jonpatterns (talk) 12:20, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
'Are the spammers associated with the website' .. who cares, our job is not to punish the owners of the website, our job is to stop disruption to Wikipedia. Most porn websites are NOT spammed, not even by their owners. However, editors do disruptive edits with those sites so much that we blacklist them, and have several attempts at disruptive editing a day. Totally in the realm of our tools to stop this. As for econlib, some of these porn sites have legitimate use. And we have mechanisms for that legitimate use. For nearly anything on the spam blacklist there is legitimate use, but the spamming problem is outweighing that legitimate use. What I have seen of econlib, is that there are in many cases better alternatives, or that it is superfluous altogether (you allude to similar for your one example). --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:53, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm by no means a right wing libertarian, quite the opposite (check my history). I may not like much of what publishes, but as an economist, I can appreciate the quality of many of the articles in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. For example, the article on Keynesian economics (which I can't link, because of the blacklist) is by Alan Blinder, a professor at Princeton with a named chair, who was President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers. However, the quality is patchy, as there are some unreliable articles as well. Perhaps a whitelist for links starting with "" so that articles from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics can be referenced, with a caveat that the reliability of the articles depends on the author? Thanks, LK (talk) 07:42, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

@Lawrencekhoo: That is a very legit consideration, and such an analysis would make me whitelist that link immediately, as possibly the one above suggested by Jon. Our goal is not to stop legitimate sourcing, it is to stop disruption. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:53, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
  • is still on the blacklist. I was seeking to use an article written by Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (and retired Marcus Wollenberg Professor of International Financial Diplomacy at Georgetown University. See: This is just plain wrong!! Please remove from the blacklist. – S. Rich (talk) 21:03, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
@Lou Sander: Symbol declined.svg Declined, Defer to Whitelist for specific links on this domain. I see hardly anything left in mainspace, and very little resistance against removal. Alternatives exist (ISBN for real books, etc.), and whitelisting can handle the rest for now. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:51, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
What does this mean? E.g. "{{Declined}}". Is still restricted in some fashion? The website was added to the blacklist by a patently POV inspired admin and I am shocked, shocked! that this problem persists. – S. Rich (talk) 06:25, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
@Srich32977: It was blacklisted after an AN/I thread unanymously suggested to block an SEO spammer out of an editing ring who was spamming this and other links. I still think that for much of this alternatives exist (using blogposts on such stes as references .. if there are no better sources), or it can be plainly sourced to the original work through regular Linking. For the rest, there is the whitelist. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:29, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I think you got some of the facts mixed up. Econlib was added to the Blacklist on March 10, long before the massive deletrions thread was opened (March 26–April 2, yet to be closed). I think you are referring to the Vipul gets paid thread of March 9–15 and User:Vipul. HOWEVER, that thread does not mention Econlib. (Also see the User talk:DGG thread of March 13–17.) Rather, it seems that Vipul has done editing on a variety of topics since 2005 (and declared his COI by listing his COI edits). A few years ago, when he was at the University of Chicago, Vipul started the [] blog, and Bryan Caplan mentioned it on his (Caplan's) Econlib blog. (But I find no evidence that Vipul is connected to Econlib.) Well, User:JzG has taken it upon himself to remove any and all Econlib links in WP because the tenuous non-connection between the evil Vipul and Econlib. (And in so doing JzG often wipes out whole paragraphs containing Econlib links, even when those paragraphs contain other material supported by other RS.) Shamefully, JzG abused his admin privileges by adding Econlib to the Blacklist while the discussion about Vipul was underway. JzG's motivations are clear from his edit summaries and discussion posts – he is anti-libertarian. So two things ought to happen: 1. Remove Econlib from the Blacklist so that editors can link high-quality, original material from Econlib; and, 2. Admonish JzG for letting his POV get in the way of neutral admin'ing. – S. Rich (talk) 18:20, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I've just done a search on the page. Vipul Naik comes up 99 times as being mentioned. He, like many other readers, makes reader comments about blog posts originated by the 5 Econlog bloggers. Here is one from September 26, 2012: "Very interesting, thanks!" Vipul Naik himself is not a blogger on Econlog. – S. Rich (talk) 19:00, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
ALCON, I'm now traveling on WikiBreak. I'll be back April 14th. In the meantime, Happy Editing! – S. Rich (talk) 00:25, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
You are completely wrong, userSrich32977, I am talking about the thread that precipitated the blacklisting, where another editor got unanymously !voted to get blocked. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:54, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
@Beetstra: please provide a link to the thread. Thanks. – S. Rich (talk) 18:43, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Ai, my apologies, I had the timeline wrong. The thread about one of the users mentioned there was (shortly) after that Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive948#Riceissa. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:26, 16 April 2017 (UTC)
I am surprised by how many of these links were added by Srich32977, and by his failure to mention this. Guy (Help!) 23:04, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
And he spammed it multiple times - virtually every articles that he edited or wrote where it could possibly be crowbarred in, it was. And there are articles that had five or more External Links to econlib, but none to any other think tank. There is no doubt in my mind that this has been abused, whether through zealotry or whether it's spamming is pretty much immaterial. Oh, one more thing: were you going to mention at some point how many of these links you added yourself? Guy (Help!) 22:00, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Incidentally, Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain: , Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain: and Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain: are all the same organisation. There is a lot of abuse of these links, some of which may well be innocent - example: [17], [18], [19]. I am pretty sure that neither Chodorov nor Adam Smith published in the "library of economics and liberty". Out-of-copyright sources should be linked to Wikisource or Gutenberg, not think-tanks. Guy (Help!) 22:51, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

We shouldn't be just removing citations. We should be actually changing the citations to point to Wikisource. (If Wikisource doesn't have the content yet, then it should be copied over there.) Otherwise, we run the risk that articles will get deleted for being unsourced. See., e.g., Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Libertarian perspectives on natural resources. But actually, I would support removing it altogether from the blacklist. N I H I L I S T I C (talk) 23:59, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I agree the approach has been heavy handed, but I don't think there is any guideline about that. It is possible that the sub-domain "www.econ" could be white-listed. This appears to more useful and less bloggy component of the website. Jonpatterns (talk) 06:48, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

Here is an example of the heavy-handed editing; the edit removes the mention of and reference to an Econlib material - but also takes out two unrelated books.Jonpatterns (talk) 13:11, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

The problem of heavy-handed editing was raised at Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents. Nobody cared. I guess we just have to put up with it. N I H I L I S T I C (talk) 23:10, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
Its not that no one cared, but it is a hard thing to account for - therefore we should keep an eye on the situation.Jonpatterns (talk) 12:41, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Quick poll

I believe from the discussion above, that there may be consensus for whitelisting within econlib, links begining with "". This will allow articles from the online Concise Encyclopedia of Economics to be used, as these articles are usually written by experts in their fields, and are not available anywhere else. I'ld like to run a quick poll to check consensus.

  • Support as proposer. LK (talk) 09:34, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Follow-up note: Some editors object to this proposal arguing that the host organization has a POV. However, a source having a bias is not a reason to black list a source (Fox News and the New York Post are widely seen as biased, but they are rightly not black listed). The only reason to black list a source would be a persistent ongoing campaign spamming the source into various articles. LK (talk) 01:29, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Conditional support (though we should do this at the spam whitelist directly, not here). Although I suggested so above, I think I'd like to see a couple of granted whitelisting requests on econlib so we can gauge whether there is really no replacement information available elsewhere. User:JzG, as you looked into this in more detail, was the /enc/ part of the original spam problem, and of what scale is/was the general appropriate use? --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:08, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - this measure would allow the blog type portion of the site to remain blacklisted and allow use of the more reliable part. Where is the evidence of mass spamming of econlib? User:vipul appears to concentrate on spamming other sites, see history. User:JzG mentioned that it was associates inserting the links, are these named accounts or IP address edits?Jonpatterns (talk) 12:41, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
    • Jonpatterns, did you also go through the edits of the accounts that Vipul paid to edit? They are disclosed on their userpage. The ones that are not disclosed will be more difficult to find. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:46, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
I had a quick look. There may be a tool for showing the reference-sites-used stats for a particular user, but I'm not aware of one. Jonpatterns (talk) 14:20, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
I have that with my bots, but I need decent shell access, as it is over the limit of my bot access (have to pull it manually out of the db). May try one of these days. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:31, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Just for reference: Turned out there that that site was also spammed unrelated to the paid editing spree a long time back (not saying that this is going to be the same, but I don't believe that this was altruism either). --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:37, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support per LK, sounds fine to me. Morphh (talk) 13:56, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Support FWIW, I found this discussion in connection with Airline deregulation. The relevant Concise Encyclopedia page ( ...library/Enc/AirlineDeregulation.html ) certainly has a point of view, but refers to a bunch of relevant facts and references that the WP page does not cover, such that also reading the ConEnc page helps add useful context. Going back through the history we notice that this particular "See also" reference - the one JzG just removed - had been there AT LEAST since 2014 - it certainly was not placed as part of any RECENT spamming effort. I wanted to update the article using some of those facts, properly sourced, and couldn't due to the blacklist. The point of having the "See also" reference is so somebody could read the ENTIRE Concise Encyclopedia article to get more context - clicking an ISBN link doesn't cut it because current permissions don't allow Google to show more than a brief snippet. So I do support whitelisting, though I would prefer to just remove the blacklist. Blogjack (talk) 00:15, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose at this point. Where is this consensus? Why is a libertarian encyclopaedia reliable? Would you also include an anarchist encyclopaedia, the encyclopaedia of Occupy, or one run by the Fabian Society? Guy (Help!) 20:38, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't think bias alone is enough to blacklist a source. The source should be used appropriately and bias noted where relevant. It can be useful for sourcing the libertarian opinion.Jonpatterns (talk) 21:00, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
@Jonpatterns: No, the abuse was the reason to blacklist. Much of the material on this site is easily replaceable. I stand with my caveat of showing that this is needed as it cannot be replaced, and that it is generally reliable what is published in the /enc trees. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:46, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
This ^^^. Blacklisting is a response to abuse, bias mitigates against a broad whitelisting to enable a large proportion of the links to remain and continue to be added. Guy (Help!) 11:23, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
The comment I was replying to was - Why is a libertarian encyclopaedia reliable? Would you also include an anarchist encyclopaedia, the encyclopaedia of Occupy, or one run by the Fabian Society?, this makes it sound like the main objection was bias. I don't think bias mitigates against a broad whitelisting. Also, where is the proof econlib was spammed? Jonpatterns (talk) 11:42, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
OK, Jonpatterns, the site was blacklisted because of the abuse. Now to whitelist you will need to show that it (or a part, or even one document on it) is needed so that we can need to take the risk to have (a portion of) the site whitelisted (and the broadness of the need will determine what needs to be whitelisted - the broader the whitelist the more 'space' there is for continued abuse as well, we'd prefer specific whitelistings for specific links on specific pages instead of blanket whitelisting of whole subtrees or even a whole site). That 'need' needs to show whether the material cannot be replaced (as said earlier, parts of the site is hosting copies of old economic works - which are a) linkable through ISBNs, or b) alternatively could even be uploaded on WikiSource - it would be convenient to link but not needed, there is no need to take a risk of having it abused again). Those parts are hence not 'needed', and we would be reluctant to whitelist. For the encyclopedia (or parts thereof) the argument is made that it is not replaceable and deemed reliable, and hence 'needed'. If either of these arguments fails (either the site is unreliable, or the information can be linked elsewhere; or both), we would not whitelist it (we're not here to play Whack-a-mole with external link/reference abusers - if you whitelist a tree it is equally open to them as it is to the users).
I am sure that User:JzG can show you cases where the editors (Riseissa, Vipul) have added the links that have subsequently been removed. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:31, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
It seems most articles in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics are copyrighted. That leaves the possibility of referencing the book, or the web article without linking. Here is an example of an apparently high quality article on monetary policy, it is written by James Tobin - who to my knowledge does not hold particularly libertarian views. Currently there is no user:Riseissa, but the account could have been deleted. Jonpatterns (talk) 14:39, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
The user was banned. Guy (Help!) 22:59, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here's why I am having a hard time assuming good faith re this source. During cleanup activities, I have found a very large number of {{cite encyclopaedia}} links to econlib, often but by no means always dded by the same editor (not Vipul). In many cases it is the only entry in "further reading". Big red flag for a site with an openly declared fundamentalist POV. In some cases, e.g. Road pricing, Congestion pricing, Traffic congestion, Rapid transit, Public transport, exactly the same econlib article has been linked from multiple articles, often on subjects where the economic POV is tangential and the fundamentalist libertarian economic POV even more so. Guy (Help!) 22:59, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

  • Oppose whitelisting of an entire section. Individual pages/entries, if actually valuable, can be whitelisted upon evidence being provided of their actual value. --Calton | Talk 03:06, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

whitelisting details

On a technical note the forward slash shouldn't be included at the end at "" as some pages begin "", for example Jonpatterns (talk) 21:03, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
This is one of the articles out of the encyclopedia, which is in itself a whole 'book'. Would one link to the book suffice? --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:46, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
The article was just an example of part of the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics that would be not be white-listed if the final forward slash is included. If you white list "" then links beginning with "" would still be blacklisted. Ie. white listing "" would not white-list the whole of the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics as the proposal suggested.Jonpatterns (talk) 11:42, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
That is what I mean, it is a part of the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Instead of whitelisting paths to each part, can we whitelist a top level only? --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:31, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
I am not convinced. Is this actually a neutral encyclopaedia? The publishers ahve a clear and very strong POV, as do the authors of many of the articles (i.e. all of those I have checked to date). When the editors and authors of a thing all seem to share a strong and aligned POV, that does not often make for neutrality. At least not in areas like economics, where where there is no recourse to objective fact. Guy (Help!) 23:08, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Looks like Guy has quite a task set-out for himself. Bibliography of encyclopedias lists 1,700 encyclopedias and I'm sure many of them are not neutral. So he ought to go through and blacklist those evil non-neutral sources. But wait – what is the WP policy that dictates that sources be neutral? (Hint, there is none.) WP policy dictates that editors use the sources neutrally, and doing so often entails presenting minority viewpoints. This effort to Blacklist a website that publishes original material from highly reliable sources is nothing less than censorship. (nd requiring editors to go through a process of whitelisting flies in the face the idea that WP is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit. No! Requiring such approval means that self-appointed gate-keepers (not the community) must pass judgment on whether the particular page is "neutral", has "actual value", is "a libertarian think-tank of no obvious significance", etc. (PS: Thank you, Jonpatterns, for your listing. So far you've got one Nobel Prize winner and five university professors listed as authors of the particular CEE, now blacklisted, articles.) – S. Rich (talk) 18:34, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Analysis of spamming and bias

I've started compiling a list of when Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (CEC) links were added to check for spamming. It also lists author which may be useful for checking likely bias. User:Jonpatterns/Analysis_of_the_Concise_Encyclopedia_of_Economics. Editor are welcome to help.Jonpatterns (talk) 19:34, 12 April 2017 (UTC) Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain: Please can this site be de listed - its a legitimate non profit site promoting re tramming in Bath. I dont see how we can be spammers since we dont sent out any emails???


Engineman (talk) 19:52, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Not done because there is nothing to do. @Engineman: does not appear on either the local English-Wikipedia blacklist or on the meta-blacklist. I can link to it just fine:
What are you seeing that suggests it is blacklisted? ~Anachronist (talk) 20:02, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
@Engineman: The definition of spam is wider than just sending emails, it is also unsolicited pushing of information or webpages. WP:SPAM will tell you what Wikipedia defines as spam.
You've been repeatedly hitting the blacklist because you were copying the link from the google search result page. Those are Google tracking links sending you to the webpage, not the address of the actual webpage itself. You have to follow the link from the Google result page, and copy the address from your browser's address bar. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:44, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
@Engineman: I will add, however, that you absolutely should never add a link to your own organization in a Wikipedia article. You have a WP:Conflict of interest (read it). It is best, if you want a link added, to propose the link on the talk page of the article. ~Anachronist (talk) 19:49, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

OK thank for that. Understood.Engineman (talk) 13:58, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

OP blocked as a sockpuppet. Guy (Help!) 23:18, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion. Linksearch en (https) - meta - de - fr - simple - wikt:en - wikt:frMER-C X-wiki • Reports: Links on en - COIBot - COIBot-Local • Discussions: tracked - advanced • COIBot-Link, Local, & XWiki Reports - Wikipedia: en - fr - de • Google: searchmeta • Domain:

This was added pursuant to MediaWiki_talk:Spam-blacklist/archives/ VisaJourney isn't a commercial site and I would like to see evidence showing it was refspammed before I believe it. N I H I L I S T I C (talk) 05:15, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

@N I H I L I S T I C: Symbol declined.svg Declined:

And yes, that is the same Vipul that is involved in the edits that resulted in the blacklisting of --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:47, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

VisaJourney is not that big a deal since it's more the kind of site that one would use as an external link rather than a reference. But it does seem that someone like Vipul can poison the well pretty badly by paying people to add links and then telling the world, "These are all the users I paid to add links." From what I saw, no one had completely figured out his agenda, because in many cases, what he was doing didn't seem to have any logical purpose. Maybe he was paid by certain sites' enemies to help get those sites blacklisted, by spamming their links and then documenting the spamming publicly! It's as plausible a theory as any.
Is there any sunset on these blacklistings, or do they remain forever because of what Vipul was doing? In other words, how long before it's appropriate to come back and say, "Let's revisit this, now that some time has passed"? N I H I L I S T I C (talk) 14:18, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
@N I H I L I S T I C: we generally only revisit when significant use is shown, That is, when we get overwhelmed by numerous granted whitelisting requests. If it is just useful for a couple of pages (and here I could currently only see use on one, the subject itself), whitelisting will suffice.
Note that who spammed it for which reason is of no interest to us - we blacklist to protect Wikipedia against spamming, not to punish the spammer. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:31, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
I was thinking also along the lines of, "Once he and his crew are gone, if there are no other spammers, then maybe it's safe to remove those sites from the blacklist." VisaJourney's visa-specific timelines and flowcharts make it one of the more useful sites out there for navigating the U.S. visa process, so I could see some of VisaJourney's pages' being useful external links on wiki pages pertaining to those visas. I'm not sure how many people will go to the trouble of requesting whitelisting, though. N I H I L I S T I C (talk) 16:14, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
@N I H I L I S T I C: "Once he and his crew are gone" ... spammers seldomly are gone. I've seen to many cases in the past, some of them are here for 10 years or longer and still active. Point is, we hardly ever remove just because it is obsolete, we remove because it is needed (and the spamming stopped). It may be useful for flowcharting etc., but that type of information is out of our scope (WP:NOTMANUAL). --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:32, 9 April 2017 (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.

Troubleshooting and problems

Logging / COIBot Instr

Blacklist logging

Full Instructions for Admins

Quick Reference

For Spam reports or requests originating from this page, use template {{/request|0#section_name}}

  • {{/request|213416274#Section_name}}
  • Insert the oldid 213416274 a hash "#" and the Section_name (Underscoring_spaces_where_applicable):
  • Use within the entry log here.

For Spam reports or requests originating from Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Spam use template {{WPSPAM|0#section_name}}

  • {{WPSPAM|182725895#Section_name}}
  • Insert the oldid 182725895 a hash "#" and the Section_name (Underscoring_spaces_where_applicable):
  • Use within the entry log here.

Have added a supplement, a general " how-to of sorts. --Hu12 (talk) 10:31, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Note: if you do not log your entries it may be removed if someone appeals and no valid reasons can be found.

Addition to the COIBot reports

The lower list in the COIBot reports now have after each link four numbers between brackets (e.g. " (0, 0, 0, 0)"):

  1. first number, how many links did this user add (is the same after each link)
  2. second number, how many times did this link get added to wikipedia (for as far as the linkwatcher database goes back)
  3. third number, how many times did this user add this link
  4. fourth number, to how many different wikipedia did this user add this link.

If the third number or the fourth number are high with respect to the first or the second, then that means that the user has at least a preference for using that link. Be careful with other statistics from these numbers (e.g. good user do add a lot of links). If there are more statistics that would be useful, please notify me, and I will have a look if I can get the info out of the database and report it. The bots are running on a new database, Eagle 101 is working on transferring the old data into this database so it becomes more reliable.

For those with access to IRC, there this data is available in real time. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:41, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

poking COIBot

I notice that sometimes people who are not active on IRC need some link reports. Admins here can now add {{LinkSummary|domain}} to User:COIBot/Poke, when COIBot picks up the edit to that page (and it should), it will put the domains into its reporting queue (high priority, which is, only behind waiting XWiki reports) and create a report on the link(s). The first report should be saved within about 5 minutes, if it takes longer than 15 minutes there is probably something wrong, and it may be useful to add the template with the link again (it reads the added part of the diffs (the right column)), or poke me or another person who is active on IRC personally. Hope this is of help. --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 12:46, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

P.S. Please don't overuse this function, everything still needs to be saved .. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:54, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
It had some startup problems, but all seems to work fine now. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:27, 4 June 2008 (UTC)


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