Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Welcome to the external links noticeboard
This page is for reporting possible breaches of the external links guideline.
  • Post questions here regarding whether particular external links are appropriate or compliant with Wikipedia's guidelines for external links.
  • Provide links to the relevant article(s), talk page(s), and external links(s) that are being discussed.
  • Questions about prominent websites like YouTube, IMDb, Twitter, or Find a Grave might be addressed with information from this guide.
Sections older than 10 days archived by MiszaBot II.
Click here to purge this page
(For help, see Wikipedia:Purge)
If you mention specific editors, you must notify them. You may use {{subst:ELN-notice}} to do so.

Search this noticeboard & archives

Additional notes:

  • Concerns with links used as references should be handled at the reliable sources noticeboard.
  • For cases involving blatant spamming, please file a report at the spam project.
  • Obvious cases of corporate vanity can be tagged with {{db-spam}}.
  • This board is not intended for generalized discussion about the external links guidelines themselves, which should be handled at the guideline talk page.
  • To mark a report resolved, place {{Resolved|Your reason here ~~~~}} at the top of the section.
To start a new request, enter a report title (section header) below:

Defer discussion:
Defer to RS/N
Defer to WPSPAM
Defer to XLinkBot
Defer to Local blacklist
Defer to Abuse filter

Castleford Tigers

Can I please have a second opinion on the continued reinsertion of an unofficial forum and a fansite here. As far as I understand, such links fail our inclusion standards. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:14, 18 September 2017 (UTC)

Abbey Rangers F.C.

Abbey Rangers F.C. has an official homepage listed that does not (obviously) link to their official twitter. I have been reverted on the removal of that twitter by User:Number 57 stating that because it is not listed on their homepage we should include it on Wikipedia. I'd like to have a second opinion on such cases. My reasoning is that that is not an inclusion criterion, and that if the club does not think their Twitter to be of so much interest that they have it listed from their frontpage, then we do not have much reason to include it either. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:13, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

This makes the rather silly and unfounded assumption that the club have not linked the Twitter account because they don't deem it important. I'd say it's more likely that the club (which is run by volunteers) aren't familiar with the workings of the Pitchero website format and don't know how to link it to their Twitter account, or simply don't see the need. This doesn't mean that their Twitter account is not "of so much interest" – they've tweeted over 4,000 times in three years and their number of followers is more than 10 times their average attendance. Number 57 16:17, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
That is all fine, but that still does not fall under the inclusion standards for multiple 'official websites' of a subject. We only link to one, except under very few limited circumstances. Your argument has now gone from 'it is not linked from their homepage, therefore it is pertinent that we link to it' to 'they likely do not know how to link from their homepage, therefore it is pertinent that we link to it.' --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:20, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if you didn't put words in my mouth. I have not changed the basic point of my argument, I was simply pointing out the fallacy in what you wrote above. I am quite happy to stand by what I said to you in the first place: WP:ELMINOFFICIAL states that more than one official link can be provided "when the additional links provide the reader with significant unique content and are not prominently linked from other official websites". The club's Twitter account (a) provides unique content that is not on the website – e.g. news and live match commentary and (b) as you've finally admitted, is not prominently linked from the club's website. Number 57 16:26, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
'very few limited circumstances' .. we are not a news service, Wikipedia is not there to find live match commentary, that is not 'signficant unique content'.
Anyway, we are not getting anywhere, let's wait for independent opinions. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:31, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
You're correct that we aren't a news service, but we're not providing news. We're providing a link to an official source of information about the club that readers would otherwise miss out on unless they googled the club. But as you said, neither of us is convincing each other, so I'll await other input. Number 57 16:36, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, and we are not a replacement for Google either (WP:NOTYELLOW). We are here to provide encyclopedic information. A twitter feed is not providing that. Unless you want to argue that the twitter is providing more info than their official website .. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:39, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Not sure about Abbey Rangers, but there are certainly many clubs where they have far more on their Twitter account than on their website (and that isn't the point here – WP:ELMINOFFICIAL refers to unique content, which their Twitter account is certainly providing). This brings up my second concern, namely that you are blindly removing Twitter links at a rapid rate without bothering to check the websites. As well as the case here, there have been examples I've seen where you've removed regularly updated Twitter accounts and left a link to a club website that hasn't been updated for years (e.g. here). It would be interesting to know others' thoughts on this behaviour, as it's rather concerning for me. Number 57 16:49, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
You are bringing up the point that I am making here. I fully agree that sometimes what is deemed 'the official homepage' is hardly maintained, dead or not providing any information. That is still not a reason to list both of them (or, in some cases, linkfarms of 5, 6 links). If you are now making the case that one page is actually providing way less than the twitter, then maybe the twitter should stay and the other should go. But that is exactly the provision that WP:EL is giving - the burden is on you provide the justification - I leave one, if you think another is better then you replace them - but still, the burden is on those who want to include a link, we don't leave linkfarms and discuss the removals of links. Maybe I should go that far - in case there are more than one official link listed, move ALL of them to the talkpage and have them discussed there to come to a conclusion of which ONE should be included. I agree that I do not make an informed decision in my removals, but there has been no informed decision in the inclusions either. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:01, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
The reason to list both of them is if (a) the Twitter isn't linked from the main website and (b) they're providing different information. However, this can still apply even when a club website is moribund – it will still contain info that doesn't get regularly updated like the club's history, location etc, but the Twitter account will be the place to look for info about the team. Anyway, we seem to be going round in ever decreasing circles here, so I will stop responding and let others comment. Number 57 17:08, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
The first one is, again, not an inclusion reason, we are not a replacement for google. The second is true for every subject’s official page (except for Abbey’s facebook, perhaps): all official sites of a subject are providing different content. So that would mean that we should include ALL official sites of a subject. That is however also not the inclusion standard, and actually a pillar violation. Every next added e ternal link site has to provide unique encylopedic information, it should add significantly to the understanding over what is on the page. Live updates are not eithin the scope of that. So I still don’t know what the Twitter is providing in encyclopedic info over the webste over the official website (or vice versa, your argument starts to call for the removal of the other link in favour of Twitter), and I still don’t see any policy based argument why this is one of the very few limited exceptions. —Dirk Beetstra T C 17:57, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Remove per ELMINOFFICIAL. If the material on the Twitter feed is unique in any manner that's important for inclusion in an encyclopedia article on the subject, please give some examples. Please keep in mind that exceptions to have more than one official link are usually for fundamentally different content (eg targeted to a different audience with different content). In the context of a football club, I don't see how this can possibly apply. --Ronz (talk) 15:49, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

As an example, the club tweeted about the appointment of new coaches,[1][2] something they don't seem to have mentioned on their website. ELIMOFFICIAL does not seem to say anything about it needing to being targeted to a different audience. Number 57 18:33, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
That example is covered by WP:NOTNEWS. Perhaps ELMINOFFICIAL's Wikipedia does not exist to facilitate corporate "communication strategies" or other forms of marketing should be expanded slightly to make it clearer what is and is not encyclopedic where external links are concerned. --Ronz (talk) 21:34, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
WP:NOTNEWS is not relevant here as we're not discussing article content. I also have no idea how the club's twitter page being linked on its article constitutes corporate communication or marketing – you do realise this is a semi-professional football club we're talking about? Number 57 21:56, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
I don't think you're going to sway anyone with such arguments. I think we're well into WP:DTS at this point. --Ronz (talk) 00:36, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Not even close to getting to WP:DTS territory – you cited WP:NOTNEWS as an argument against inclusion, but WP:NOTNEWS isn't relevant to external links. Rather than address this, you've then just tried to shut down the debate without actually responding to the point made. The attitude on display here and the spurious arguments to back up what appear to be personal preferences for guideline interpretation is troubling. Number 57 07:42, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
@Number 57: Your only reason to include the link is because they give club news through that outlet. News is not encyclopedic information per WP:NOTNEWS, and hence it is also not suitable information to link to, it is not encyclopedic material that cannot be included. We are also not a web directory to link to sites that may be of interest to a subset of readers. The only moment that a twitter link is added besides another official link is because that twitter feed is of interest to a large majority of readers, not a small subset of it - i.e. that the subject of the page had their tweets being discussed in worldwide media, or where a subject is known because of their tweets. That are the 'very few limited circumstances' that are in the guideline. That a club is mainly updating their followers through Twitter is not a reason to link. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:36, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
'The attitude on display here ... is troubling' .. may I again remind you that until now you are the only person who thinks that link should be there? --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:36, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Please tell me where a guideline states that WP:NOTNEWS is relevant for external links. Number 57 11:19, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Please tell me where in WP:EL we should link to non-encyclopedic information. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:23, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
I'll do you that honour after you answer my question. Number 57 11:27, 25 September 2017 (UTC)'
What can be linked: "Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject ...". News is not providing an encyclopedic understanding of the subject. However, what is to avoid are "Social networking sites (such as Myspace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram), chat or discussion forums/groups (such as Yahoo! Groups), Twitter feeds, Usenet newsgroups or email lists." (my bolding). That is further strengthened by "Official links (if any) are provided to give the reader the opportunity to see what the subject says about itself", "Normally, only one official link is included. If the subject of the article has more than one official website, then more than one link may be appropriate, under a very few limited circumstances." (not my bolding), "More than one official link should be provided only when the additional links provide the reader with significant unique content ..." (my bolding), and "Links that provide consistent information are strongly preferred to social networking and communication services where the content changes rapidly and may not comply with this guideline at any given moment in time." Now show me how this Twitter feed (any Twitter feed) is helping me in an encyclopedic understanding / significant unique content of the subject at hand if it is just providing news - data that one cannot independently verify. This Twitter feed .. any twitter feed ... is not a suitable external link with very limited exceptions. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:34, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
So, basically an admission that WP:NOTNEWS is not relevant here then. Regarding the above copy & paste from the "Links normally to be avoided" section, you've conveniently omitted the first bit, which is "Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject, one should generally avoid providing external links to". As the Twitter here is an official link, the rest doesn't seem be relevant. We're then back to the question of whether it provides significant unique content, which it clearly does (and I've given an example above). You just seem to be repeating yourself over and over in the hope of WP:BLUDGEONING the discussion. Number 57 11:48, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
No, because now you are ignoring WP:ELMINOFFICIAL, or to quote you 'Except for a link to an official page of the article's subject', not 'Except for the links to all official sites of the subject'. We do not list all official sites, only one. That is what we are saying here. And no, the Twitter feed does not provide encyclopedic information, that is why we generally avoid linking to them. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:43, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
"A" is clearly being used at the top of WP:ELNO to denote that official websites are a class of websites to which the following list does not apply. The link in the preamble clause goes to a definition of official websites at WP:ELOFFICIAL, not to the provision that for most cases Wikipedia only requires one external link at WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. If that clause was intended to apply to additional official websites, then it should've pointed to WP:ELMINOFFICIAL, and it should have clearly resolved the ambiguity. Since neither of those was done, it's only proper to read is as exempting all official websites from the ELNO provisions. I agree with Number 57 that the link provides unique, encyclopedically relevant content, and should be included. I also share their concerns that you're removing these Twitter links without consideration for their relevance, utility, and subject matter in respect to the official website, as I noted at Wikipedia_talk:External_links#Twitter and Talk:Chrystia Freeland. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 16:48, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
@Patar knight: In fact, it is linking to WP:ELOFFICIAL, of which WP:ELMINOFFICIAL is a part. Yes, I am removing them per our guidelines, because, contrary to your beliefs, social networking, except under very few circumstances, do not add any encyclopedic information, again per our guidelines. And it is still up to you to provide a proper reasonto include the link, I have seen nothing yet. Of the hundreds I have removed, a few have been rightfully changed back in/reverted, but that is way less than the number of thanks I got for cleaning up the mess that is there. Now, if you want to argue that Twitter is more useful than is expressed in the guideline, go change our guideline. Until then, ‘’’only one’’’ official link is sufficient, except under a few, very limited circumstances (and that are about 5 in the 1000s of pages I’ve seen). —Dirk Beetstra T C 03:15, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
That is exactly my argument as well. We do not add links to keep those interested up to date, we are not providing a news service. We are also not the yellow pages to make sure people can find the links to be up to date, and we are not a personal website either to have your social media linked because they don’t know how to link it from their official website. All codified in policy and guideline, hence that link fails our inclusion standards. —Dirk Beetstra T C 03:09, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

RationalWiki link on the William Lane Craig article

I wish to include the following link to the William_Lane_Craig article:

While critical of Dr. Craig's ideas, the article, in my opinion, is well-documented with copious references. Some editors of the William_Lane_Craig article are, however, objecting to the link. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jehannette (talkcontribs) 02:01, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

I moved your comment to the bottom of the page where editors would expect it. Please click "new section" at the top for a new topic. Also, see WP:TP for information about signing comments with four tildes. Johnuniq (talk) 02:30, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
@Jehannette: Our article, William_Lane_Craig, is rather big, it has 106 references. Most external links fail on such articles per WP:EL#EL1. In general, external links are supposed to add something that is not included / cannot be included in the article and I think that here that is not the case. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:14, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
It's critical of Dr. Craig's work and ideas, something that one will not find in the main article on him, and, it's full of copious references.Jehannette (talk) 12:36, 28 September 2017 (UTC)Jehannette
Again, per WP:EL#1, that is not an inclusion standard. See also the rest of the document. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:54, 28 September 2017 (UTC)


Over at least the past nine years, this page has repeatedly had added to it links with the base URL or earlier variants such as the GeoCities version of the site. This appears to be in violation of WP:SOAP and WP:FANSITE (section 4), and in some iterations of WP:Wikipedia is not for things made up one day, since some of the links added refer to variants with 3-sided and 9-sided "dice", and as far as I could determine from a web search, neither of these variants have any existence other than on this site.

To prevent further abuse, perhaps this site could be added to the blacklist? — (talk) 18:23, 29 September 2017 (UTC)

Renamed "External links" section.

The criteria for inclusion in an "External links" section is well established but I ran across Jenna Jameson, a B-class article, and found external links under the section heading "Notes". This seems to be a way around having too many links in the external links section especially since AVN,, and are listed many times as "External links". Otr500 (talk) 12:57, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

I've moved them and removed the tag. I take on opinion on whether they constitute excessive links. --Izno (talk) 13:44, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

List of biological databases has been a very valuable resource to the scientific community, but recently a huge number of the links were de-activated. It appears this was because of the external link policy of Wikipedia. I am hoping this particular page falls into one of your exception categories because the names of the databases are often not enough to make them easily discoverable. Can the links please be re-instated and granted a waiver of some kind so the site editors don't do this again?

You can convert the links into references. (The links are available in the article history.)
though a more complete reference with title and publisher would be better. See User:Yunshui/References for beginners. StarryGrandma (talk) 13:16, 15 October 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ BioGraph
@StarryGrandma: I believe that you are talking about this old version of the document, before the edits that cleaned it up. That is indeed not in line with our policies and guidelines. Lists of external links are in direct conflict with the pillar 'What Wikipedia is not' - 'Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files' (point 1) and 'What Wikipedia is not' - 'Wikipedia is not a directory'. There are other solutions, as you say the 'reference', or a table where there is also a direct link to the database.
Note, not-wikilinked items should actually have an independent reliable source per WP:LISTCOMPANY (see also Wikipedia:Spam event horizon - spam is a continuous problem in practically any list). --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:47, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Beetstra, this is not a list of companies but of databases as in List of biodiversity databases. The links are not to companies since most of these are provided by groups of researchers. References are needed to show that an entry meets the requirements of the list, but it is standard in software articles that a link to the software web page is sufficient. Whether these lists and their methods of referencing are good or not is another question, but whoever removed the links did not challenge the list, only the external links within the article text. StarryGrandma (talk) 15:15, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
@StarryGrandma: No, it is standard in violation with our pillars, see also WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS. —Dirk Beetstra T C 19:18, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Just to note, Not being a for-profit organisation does automatically not spam. —Dirk Beetstra T C 19:19, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA