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Elections, again

It is apparently normal to have massive lists of candidates in the external links sections of election pages, e.g. as seen in this diff. I've cleaned a handful, but there are likely more (and these linkfarms get reverted back in, while these links are clearly indirect, and we are not a directory). Can I have some help cleaningthis? --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:15, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

I cleaned the ones for the Senate last night, but some have already been reverted back in. — JJMC89(T·C) 01:44, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
If it's actually normal to list one official link per candidate in these articles, then why are you blanking them? "Normal" means "there is, in actual practice, a consensus to do this". Policy comes out of the normal practices of established editors, not from a theoretical rulebook. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:39, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh, lets just throw Wp:NOT out .. this is plain linkfarming, we are notthe yellowpages. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:11, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't personally love these links myself, but if it's actually normal practice, then WP:NOT will accept it.
The most relevant section of NOT says: "Wikipedia articles are not merely collections of: External links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to the external links section of an article; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia."
These are not indiscriminate links; they are the most "content-relevant links" for the candidates in the election that the article is about. Although there are a lot of them (because the article covers a lot of territory), NOT accepts "more" than one link, and this list doesn't IMO "dwarf" these articles.
And ultimately, this is a consensus-based project, not a statute-driven one. If experienced editors actually do think this is appropriate – as seen by their actual practice, meaning that they've added this to enough of these articles that it's "normal" – then they should be left alone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:58, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with having one EL per candidate in cases like this. Number 57 16:09, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
And I, for one, do. The pages are about the elections, not about the campaigns of the individual candidates. They are content relevant for the candidates, not for the elections. On some ofthe articles the lists are excessive, 10000 bytes of external links is a lot. Moreover, other external links in the same section cover the same functionality. These links are the same as having on auto obile links for all car brands (or even models), and same for bicycles, tvs, computers, hotels, .. etc. All those are similarly content relevant to their subjects. To me, that isjust what our pillar WP:NOT wants to avoid.
The articles tend to be full of tables, to me it is much more appropriate to have them there in those tables.
Now regarding normal practice, that is a consensus indeed, until it gets challenged as being opposed to our policies or guidelines. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:26, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Or until our policies and guidelines get changed to reflect consensus.
So would you be happy changing the tables from "Party | Candidate | Votes | %" to "Party | Candidate | Website | Votes | %", with the external link listed in the new column? I could live with that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:23, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see any encyclopedic reason to include it.
Also, imagine the maintenance issues when the losing candidates' websites expire. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:26, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: Good luck changing this consensus, for now it is a local consensus trying to override a global consensus where that has major implications for other subjects where it basically opens a spamhole onother subjects.
No, I have even suggested that. As long as it is not the first column as an external link under the name, and per Walter, it should be properly taken care off, likely the live link should on the election day be replaced with a webarchive link of the state of the website on that day. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:21, 26 August 2018 (UTC) (@WhatamIdoing: reping --18:24, 26 August 2018 (UTC))
Walter, I think the "encyclopedic reason" is basically WP:ELOFFICIAL. We have, for better or worse, decided that the principals' self-presentation is worth linking.
Dirk, if you're happy with putting it in the column, then I think that would be an excellent compromise. And if you do it yourself, then I'll rest easy knowing that it will be the least intrusive presentation possible. (Your comment about making the website be the first column makes me shudder.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:57, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
ELOFFICIAL is for the pages of a subject, not a table of candidates, almost none of whom are notable. It's essentially and external WP:LINKFARM of no encyclopedic value. Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:52, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, these links are NOT official links of the subject on these pages by any stretch. They are actually prime examples of WP:ELNO 13. They would be official links on the pages of the individual candidates, but there they should only be linked if they are the main outlet of a subject (and maybeas an exception as a second outlet while there is an active campaign.
I am still in favour to cut out these lists in the current form, where I would have low resistance if interested editors would add them to the lists (frozen in time if the election has past) in the tables in the articles. --Dirk Beetstra T C 02:31, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
I did not say that they were official links for the election. I said that it was my belief that the rationale for including candidate links on the election page was basically (NB: not exactly, precisely, or absolutely identically) the same as the rationale for including official links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:42, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── And I think that that is a slippery slope. That reasoning is then exactly the same as linking the official websites of all car brands on Car - they are after all the official websites of the representatives of the subject. I think that the community explicitly suggested against that when writing ELNO#13. Except for those living in the country (well, America, it seems) that list there does not add anything for most outside of said country. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:46, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Consensus that's not policy based isn't consensus. These linkfarms are WP:SOAP. We should link to official pages for the election. If they don't have a candidate listing with external links, it's not our place to try to do better. --Ronz (talk) 16:44, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree that a consensus that's not compatible with our policies isn't consensus. Also, a policy that isn't consensus-based isn't a real policy. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:30, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
So while all removals havebeen reverted, we don't seem to have consensus. What's next? --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:27, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
Pick an article where it was reverted and work to align the local consensus with the our policies and broader consensus. Is there a Wikiproject for elections that could help? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronz (talkcontribs) 20:24, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
We do have a consensus that external links to a candidate's platform is a violation. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:44, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
How are such links not WP:SOAP by definition? The only reason we allow them at all is because of the exceptions that official websites are given. --Ronz (talk) 22:03, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
They are, and likely other violations. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:25, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
The argument that they are official is a red herring. They are indirectly official, or they are official for another subject.
I think that the first additions were SOAP additions, later the lists were completed to cover all candidates.
Discussing one example is not going to work (the one here is nice and big). You'll get a whole mob of people yelling 'local consensus' to you. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:20, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I'd hold off trying to align local consensus with the general consensus at this point in the election cycle anywhere there is push-back. Wikipedia:WikiProject Elections and Referendums would be the place to get the general consensus worked out and communicated. --Ronz (talk) 15:21, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I would not. General consensus should override local consensus at all times. Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:37, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
@Ronz: .. there is a general consensus, WP:NOT and WP:EL. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:44, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
By "worked out" I mean getting the consensus clarified. We all know there are experienced editors that completely ignore EL and NOT when it suits them, and we can expect at least some to do their best to make a mess of things. Given all the coi- and biased editing that we can expect through November, there are bigger problems to address than a linkfarm at the end of an article, and we'll be pressed to handle it all.
I'm saying fix what we can now, get the Wikiproject to include clear instructions on External links sections, and cleanup in November. --Ronz (talk) 16:23, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
It has already been brought to the Elections and Referendums project I noticed. The only reply there confirms my suspicion: disregard global consensus because we are not a bureaucracy, and noone is following our pillars anyway. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:35, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Diff? I looked for such discussions, and only found the briefest of mentions. --Ronz (talk) 20:19, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
I was talking about this thread. --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:16, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I have only skimmed that, and it's three editors discussing the issue. We could easily go there and overturn the local consensus to follow EL consensus. Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:20, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
One announcement and one rant, hardly a discussion. --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:25, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Agree. Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:26, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
We have a global consensus that NOT is a policy. We do not seem to have a "global consensus" about exactly how to apply that policy to this particular, somewhat unusual situation. For example: Should we remove all the official campaign links? Keep all the official campaign links? Rearrange them, so that they're in the table rather than in the ==External links== section? Replace them with a DMOZ-like web directory? Something else? We don't actually know what most editors think would make these specific articles better for their readers.
Also, editors are supposed to "ignore EL and NOT" whenever, in their own best judgment, they believe that not following a strict interpretation of those rules would make individual articles better. "Following our pillars" means Wikipedia:Ignoring all rules when appropriate – including NOT and EL. "Following our pillars" does not mean removing external links. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:16, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
We have a consensus that we should not link to things like this.
Editors are advised to WP:IGNORE all rules only it prevents them from improving or maintaining the project. Editors are not supposed to ignore guidelines when others tell them that their best judgment is not in the interest of the community. In this case it means not adding links to political candidates' Twitter feeds or even their campaign pages. It also that it means removing external links in the case. It also could mean that if one editor consistently argues against the community agreement (consensus) and works to circumvent it on a case-by-case basis, that this editor is clearly WP:NOTHERE to build an encyclopedia and could face a community block. If you want to try to argue against it (as you have here, and lost) go ahead. I'm fairly close to seeking a topic ban though. Walter Görlitz (talk) 01:29, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Okay, when I look at the situation, here's what I see:

And, on this basis, you declare that there is a consensus to exclude these links, and if I don't agree that an evenly divided group, both sides of which are (plausibly, although IMO not with equal strength) citing policies and guidelines as their justification, counts as a consensus for your side, then you propose... to seek a topic ban for the editor who has responded to more questions on this noticeboard than anyone else since its creation? And not only the most active editor at this noticeboard, but also the guideline itself (I believe that I can fairly claim to have written a third of it) and its talk page? Perhaps you would like to think that over again.

Note, in case it's not been clear, that I've not got a strong view about these links myself. Saying that the overall consensus is unclear to me is not the same thing as saying that I agree or disagree with anyone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:24, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

These links are wildly inappropriate. WP:NOT is policy, which means it's basically not our job to provide those links, and to remove them where they show up. WAID, you're basically throwing up whatever objection you can think up instead of meaningfully engaging with both the policy in question and the guideline attached to this noticeboard. I suspect you have many better things to do on Wikipedia than attempt to defend an obvious policy violation (yes, it's obvious). --Izno (talk) 03:21, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I understand that you believe they're wildly inappropriate and an obvious policy violation.
I also understand that at least four editors-who-are-not-me (or you), each of whom have made thousands of edits, and including an admin, believe that these links belong in these articles, are appropriate, and are not policy violations at all. Do you understand that? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:29, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) ::IAR and BOLD are all fine, but it is about improving Wikipedia. This has nothing to do with improving, this is turning Wikipedia into a soapbox for election advertising. What those pages display is hardly encyclopedic (and where it is, that should be included and the links used in context). They could be used as a last column in tables of candidates (that also ensures NPOV), but still in a context of their programme (which should then be in another column in said table). But inthis way, they are inappropriate. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:41, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
WAID, do you also see that all your supporters, and you, have not presented any content based or policy based arguments beyond IAR, local consensus and 'other crap', to have these links included. I have earlier wished you good luck to show that these linkfarms present a new consensus that warrants changing WP:NOT and WP:EL. I still don't believe that there is consensus to overthrow the practice, even with a 5:5 strawpoll no policy change would occur. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:41, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Actually, I see that one of the supporters for these links has cited WP:ELYES. And I'm citing WP:POLICY, which has traditionally held that the source of policy and guidelines is what the mass of experienced editors choose to do in articles, and not whatever "statutes" are written on a page that says "policy" at the top. If editors (i.e., not me or you, but editors who write encyclopedia articles in this subject area) think that these links are a good thing, then you and I need to fix the guideline to accommodate the community's decision, and not the other way around. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:53, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
the mass of experienced editors The mass of experienced editors, if we hadn't blocked so many along the way, want to use Wikipedia for promotion. Way too many still do. Consensus is not the will of the masses, a vote, or what editors can get away with. --Ronz (talk) 00:14, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
@Beetstra: Providing links to a candidate's campaign website is hardly "political advertising" or providing anyone with a soapbox. It's just a link. It's not hurting anyone to put them there, disk space is cheap (I have been explicitly told in the past not to make editing decisions based solely on disk space), and it's not explicitly against policy. Each link relates to one subject, so it's not a "link farm" or list of links on a single subject. There isn't a compelling reason to remove them in my view. Nevermore27 (talk) 04:00, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
Man soapboxing in Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London
@Nevermore27: How is providing links to a campaign website not providing a platform for campaigning, not providing, literally, a soapbox to the candidates.
Your argument is exactly the same aswhat you could give for car brands, and for all those websites that you receive in your spam folder. Disk space is cheap, lets list them all at the bottom of viagra.
All this is still a IAR/BOLD/OTHERCRAPEXISTS argument. What content or policy based argument do you have for overriding other policies and guidelines (and is actually an argument I cannot apply to spam on Viagra). --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:08, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
You are clearly not persuadable on this issue, so I see no merit in getting into it, as it were, with you. I was just providing my two cents. Nevermore27 (talk) 04:28, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
This is a ridiculous argument; businesses have links to their websites in the infobox and the external links section of the page! That is not "advertising". How are links to the campaign websites more advertising? MAINEiac4434 (talk) 04:48, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
@Nevermore27: That is the whole point, apparently there are no content-based or policy based arguments for inclusion, and that is what several editors say here. You are the one who wants to include the links, you should be able to give policy based arguments why to include.
@MAINEiac4434: 'businesses have links to their website in the infobox and the external links section of the page': That is the official link of the subject of the page, per WP:ELOFFICIAL. I don't know how you can translate that to the current case where the subject of the page is the election, and the subject of the links are the campaigns of one of the people who is participating in the election. That is totally indirect. It would be direct, and official on 'Campaign of <campaigner> in the 2015 election for <election>'. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:37, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
The candidates in the election are what make it an election. The actual election (i.e., just a contest) isn't as important as the people contesting the election. Neglecting to include the links to candidates, especially candidates that aren't as well known, (for example Zak Ringelstein in Maine's Senate election, who does not have a Wikipedia page) would be giving undue weight to candidates who are more famous and whose policy positions are more well-known. MAINEiac4434 (talk) 18:38, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
That's the old, "Let's use external links to address supposed POV-problems" gambit. That's simply not what external links are for. Attempts to use external links to address content problems are inappropriate.
Repeating myself, it's not the purpose of an encyclopedia to attempt to address supposed problems with voter information. --Ronz (talk) 18:46, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
That's not what external links are for, in your opinion. External links are used throughout Wikipedia to provide a primary source on the subject of an article, and to provide relevant further information on the article's subject. An election is not the thing people are interested in, it's the candidates in that election. Links to candidates websites is relevant to the article itself.
Further, I would consider it a violation of NPOV to not include them, as providing information for some candidates but not for others (by way of candidates who have separate articles versus those who do not) could be perceived as favoritism towards those candidates. Adding links to candidates websites, where the candidates and their staffs can lay out policy positions, fights that.
For many people, Wikipedia is a news source and a source of information on people who are running to represent them in government. I fail to see how having links (and at this point in election cycle it's only a few links at the bottom of an article) harms Wikipedia and its mission to be an encyclopedia accessible and informative to everyone, lay people and experts. "Wikipedia is not a collection of links." Yeah, but none of these articles are just collections of links.
I think people in your position are taking an overly narrow view at NOT. MAINEiac4434 (talk) 20:53, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
No. External links are not used throughout Wikipedia to provide a primary source, they are used in the external links section to provide a primary source for the subject, when it provides encyclopedic information and is their official website. That's not what is being offered on those election links. Many are just Twitter feeds. If the subject doesn't meet notability guidelines we don't need to provide a link to their race site. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:01, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
@MAINEiac4434: My apologies. I should have been clearer. I believe that there is general consensus against such use of external links.
Wikipedia is a news source While some desire it to be so, it is not per NOTNEWS.
This issue comes up again and again, which is why I called it a gambit. The general situation is this: There's a list of entries, some notable and some not. Editors want to add external links for each entry in the list to "balance" the fact that notable entries may have official websites in their articles. The result of disputes in such situations is exactly what you're getting here: The very broad and discussed-to-death consensus is that such links are inappropriate.
The harm is WP:SOAP, which is enforced by POV, COIN, EL, ArbCom, etc. Yes, there is plenty of push-back to whittle away or ignore WP:SOAP, mostly because of paid editing and the interests behind paid editing.
If you want to argue an exception, questioning the enforcement of NOT isn't the way to go. Meanwhile, please respect WP:ELBURDEN. --Ronz (talk) 22:22, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
I think that we're thinking a bit narrowly here. My interest is in what other editors want in general, but for the specific dispute, we should probably be thinking about alternatives. For example, Dirk – whose anti-spam commitment cannot credibly be disputed by anyone – has suggested that these should be re-worked so that they appear in the tables with the candidates. One advantage of this approach is that it would be far more compact. Our traditional middle ground for these situations was DMOZ, and although that particular web directory has closed, alternatives have always been acceptable, and it's possible that similar web directories could be found at another website, or perhaps at a government webpage. I think it's possible to find a compromise that would be acceptable to everyone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:01, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
@Walter Görlitz: I have not seen a single link to a candidate's twitter feed, and I invite you to find one on any of the US Senate, gubernatorial or House. My interest is only retaining the links to official campaign websites; I believe candidates' personal social media accounts (or campaign social media accounts) should not be included. As a matter of fact, I believe I undid an edit on the Arizona US House of Representatives page that added personal twitters, facebooks, instagrams and youtube accounts of the candidates.
@Ronz: I don't know why you're apologizing, I know where you stand in this discussion and (I believe) I understood your most recent post. I would like to see evidence that there are paid edits providing links to a candidate's website.
I do not see how linking to the website of every candidate in the election is promoting any of them. I could see an argument if we have just the website of one of the candidates in the EL section. But if we link all of them, we're giving all candidates an equal place. I do not believe linking to all candidates with ballot access is a violation of SOAP, because Wikipedia wouldn't be promoting any of them. MAINEiac4434 (talk) 02:52, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────── Funny, I deleted some. Check my edit history and you'll see social media links. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:36, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

@MAINEiac4434: No, that is not Ronz' opinion, that is the opinion of several editors here, and as it stands currently, the stand of the community consensus of WP:NOT and WP:EL. And again, these external links are NOT a primary sourceforthe subject ofthe article. They are a primary source for the campaign of the person. And in any case, as we have multiple people on each side of this discussion, we clearly do not have consensus for inclusion, so per WP:ELBURDEN and WP:BRD, remove them until we have found said inclusion. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:11, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

The actual relevant section of NOT is "Wikipedia articles are not merely collections of: External links or Internet directories. There is nothing wrong with adding one or more useful content-relevant links to the external links section of an article; however, excessive lists can dwarf articles and detract from the purpose of Wikipedia." Campaign websites are content-relevant to the election (an election isn't anything without the campaign of a candidate) and do not dwarf the articles they are included in. That is not a violation of NOT, and just as there is no consensus to keep the links, certainly none exists to remove them because the links are not in violation of NOT. MAINEiac4434 (talk) 21:36, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
@MAINEiac4434: That same contested argument again. ALL car brands are content relevant on car and without car brands we would not have cars, and all viagra spam is relevant on Viagra and without people selling viagra we would not have viagra. No, that is not content relevant, it is indirectly relevant to the subject. And 10000 bytes of external links is certainly dwarving an article that is mere tables for the rest.
And another no: you do not get to cherry pick which parts you want to counter. Again, this is almost literary what the word soapboxing means, so also that section applies (and also all the rest of our policies and guidelines).
In any case, we (including other editors here) do not agree with you (plural) that this is content relevant, that this is not linkfarming and that this is not soapboxing. To me, when several people on each side do not agree means no consensu for including that information and that it gets removed. We can then discus whether and how to reinclude it (see my suggestion above). --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:58, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

Discussion to remove excessive links in election articles

Creating a !vote section. Keep the discussion above or create a new section.

  • Remove - external links in tables and other lists. Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:25, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Remove the long lists in the external links sections per all the reasons I have layed out above. Consider to include them in the tables, locked in time of election date through an internet archive (NOT a direct link after the election). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:13, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
    • I have shortly created this for the democratic party primary (did not touch the rest of the page; yes, I know, the endorsements are better collapsed in some form). That does now include the external link with the candidate, and does not repeat the candidates 2-3 times, does not repeat over and over that a candidate is a democratic (which is already shown in the section title). Moreover, it shows (per WP:NPOV) that only one of the candidates (apparently) had a campaign website and it keeps ALL information for one primary close together. Only improvement that would here be left is that this particular primary is already over, and hence the candidate's campaign website may very well have changed already - it should be 'locked' in time at the day of the voting (or for eliminated/withdrawn candidates the date of elimination/withdrawal). --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:18, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Remove- feel it's not appropriate as they are candidates. In UK elections we always have joke candidates who have no chance of being elected so simplest way is no links/no judgment Lyndaship (talk) 07:23, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Keep - links to legitimate candidates appear to be appropriate - after all, it is an election for candidates and these links form part of the election's history. In addition, links to candidate's official sites are likely to provide users with a comprehensive listing that can be used to learn more about individual candidates and their policies. BronHiggs (talk) 09:07, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Move the links into the tables. This should be easier to read and shorten the page length. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:03, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Keep as is, but as a compromise, I would not be opposed to Beetstra's solution (and would actively help moving links into that format). MAINEiac4434 (talk) 03:53, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

discussion regarding !votes

  • @BronHiggs: 'links to legitimate car brands appear to be appropriate - after all, it is a choice of cars and these links form part of the history of cars. In addition, links to official sites of car brands are likely to provide users with a comprehensive listing that can be used to learn about individual car brands and their features.' That argument is a direct violation of WP:NOT. That is NOT the purpose of wikipedia. We are writing an encyclopedia here. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:13, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
    Can you please explain us what is so different between elections and car brands (or rental companies, mobile phones, painters, butchers or whatever, for that matter). I do not see why this is an inclusion reason here that overrides global policies. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:18, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
    Beetstra As the note in the preamble states - "keep the discussion above". This section is for votes and I have given mine. It's not up for discussion here. ThanksBronHiggs (talk) 23:04, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
    @BronHiggs: OK. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:17, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
    Dirk, the difference between United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas, 2018 and Car is that the elections article lists exactly eight (8) external links to the official websites of the exactly eight (8) candidates that exist, 100% of whom are individually named in the article, whereas Car lists zero external links to the official websites of the many hundreds of car brands that exist (or existed), only a tiny fraction of which are named in the article, and many of which get little more than a namecheck in the article. So "the difference" is that you're comparing apples to oranges. A far more relevant comparison would be why an article that covers a subject with a limited, objective number of people/organizations involved (e.g., an article about a corporate merger or about an athletic event), and that also names and discusses 100% of the involved people/organizations, doesn't necessarily include external links to all of those people/organizations. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:28, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Cars and a specific election are simply not comparable. An election is a specific event (intangible) with a finite start and end date while a car is a product (tangible) which has a long and evolving life-cycle and no apparent end date. An article on cars, used generically, is not the same as an article on car brands. Just the same as an article on elections (in general) is not the same as an article, such as the one under review, which is concerned with a specific election in an identified geographic location with a finite and relatively small number of candidates. If there was an article on car brands (in particular), then it would seem reasonable to include lists of brands or marques, but such an article would be of questionable encyclopedic value which is why it probably doesn't exist. However, an article on cars (in general) would not include brands, other than possible mentions of leading brands, as identified in a reliable source such as Interbrand's brand valuations. The question posed by Beestra is so absurd as to barely warrant a reply. The bigger question is why Beestra puts such inane questions to people who vote against his wishes, in contravention of his own directives about refraining from discussion in the vote section, while he fails to challenge those who align with his views? BronHiggs (talk) 02:01, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Eh, I don't think it's an inane question. Dirk is highly experienced in this area and generally thoughtful. For example, you might notice that his comments trend towards a compromise of moving the links into tables rather than removing them entirely.
(Challenging people that agree with you is usually either pointless or pedantic (or both, if you're me ;-).) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:01, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
@BronHiggs and WhatamIdoing: my point is not the comparison to cars (as I made clear in my text) .. it is the comparison to EVERYTHING else here on Wikipedia. Elections are the only articles that have these lists. For all other pages with in-text tables which name these, we don't add such links, or they are in lists in the text (in tables), not as linkfarms in the external links sections. Elections are the only orange between the apples ... (and it is even worse, it seems to be only an American orange, the other countries are apples as well).
Note, for United States House of Representatives elections in Arkansas, 2018 it is true, not necessarily for others. For the example I gave above, there was only one website for one of the candidates of the primary, not the other. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:14, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
note on note, User:WhatamIdoing. It isn't 8 candidates. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:25, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

YouTube Excerpt from Film

I'm not sure if my edit providing the YouTube link for the this relevant excerpt from the film Koyaanisqatsi will be a problem. I am posting here for experts who know the copyright rules and can tell if it might be a problem.

I also don't if there is a preferred way to provide a reference to an external excerpt like that. I have never added a film or sound excerpt before. If there are guidelines for that, please let me know. --David Tornheim (talk) 05:10, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

That looks like a copyvio, which shouldn't be linked to per WP:COPYLINK. Also, external links should not be used in the body of an article per WP:ELPOINTS#2. — JJMC89(T·C) 05:43, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. --David Tornheim (talk) 17:56, 1 October 2018 (UTC)
Note: Further discussion here: Talk:Pruitt–Igoe#YouTube_excerpt_of_Koyaanisqatsi --David Tornheim (talk) 18:12, 1 October 2018 (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 • Yahoo: backlinks • Domain:

The website link in the infobox of Bitch (magazine) seems to perhaps lead to some sort of phishing scheme when I follow it - but it could just be not loading right on my end. I ran it through a few virus checking tools (that I found through a google search for the like) which did not seem to pick anything up. Does anyone else have any issues when they follow the link? The aforementioned article is one of the DYK on the main page, heightening my concern. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 07:20, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

I don't think so. It seems just a url redirection to the parent company portal in lieu of dedicated web for the magazine. –Ammarpad (talk) 08:26, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Appears to be on the same server for about 20 years, don't expect any hijacking or anything. Also the Wikipedia page has been linking to this domain for a long time. I may be physically somewhere else, but I see no reason why it would be suspect from the data. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:38, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
@Ammarpad and Beetstra: Good; just something funky on my end then. Thanks for taking a look. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 08:55, 30 September 2018 (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 • Yahoo: backlinks • Domain:

Editors have been adding Wikimapia in external link sections of articles. Some examples:

  • Ribarroja Dam - "Riba-roja Dam". Wikimapia. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  • Royal Dutch Shell - Template:Wikimapia cat (now removed)
  • Digea - inline set of links for showing the location
  • Area 51 - this site wikimapia
  • Toliara - See Tulear on WikiMapia

What is linked are just maps as we already link extensively through a toolserver page by location. Some are (were) plain wrong, when I clicked the link on Royal Dutch Shell I get a map somewhere in the middle of nowhere, 'No objects found ..'.

To me, these links fail our inclusion standards in external links sections. They, generally, do not add anything over what our articles already have (or which could easily be included by using coordinates linked to non-wiki sources). --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:26, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

I spent a while looking at the Spanish dam, and I couldn't even be sure that the Wikimapia map was correct (i.e., that it didn't have the Flix dam labeled as the Ribarroja one). These are essentially WP:ELNO#EL1 problems: a good article for geographical locations should include (and not just link to) a map. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:10, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Wikimapia has categories for objects. For instance, it has a category for "police station". Template:Wikimapia cat was intended to be like Template:IMDb name and such but the template has already been nominated for deletion.--Sa57arc (talk) 17:20, 13 October 2018 (UTC)

tokyograph 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 • Yahoo: backlinks • Domain:

I reported this on the spam noticeboard but no action was taken. Probably the wrong venue but reposting it here as something needs to be done. Seems this site was once a useful resource for Japanese topics. It has been used in a lot of references, seemingly both for news and as a more encyclopaedic reference, judging from the ways it’s been used.

The problem is the site has gone. The domain is up for sale. Meanwhile it is being used for malware distribution. All the links on the site lead to a site prompting you to download malware (and I would recommend against clicking on them unless you are confident in your OS and browser’s ability to deal with them). I am not sure what to do as there is no obvious replacement. Even adding an archive link normally leaves the link there, and we should remove them, not only to better protect our readers but to stop helping out the malware hosters with many links to their site.

Note this is not a user problem, as far as I can tell. The links seem to have been added in good faith years ago when the site was active.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 12:11, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

@JohnBlackburne: I guess the links need to be aggressively removed (preferably with a clear edit summary) and blacklisted, and then 'reverted back in' to include an archive. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:01, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
You can set |deadurl=unfit or |deadurl=usurped in CS1/2 citations. --Izno (talk) 13:47, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
I had not come across them before, but those both look like the way to deal with dead URLs we no longer want to share with readers. Is this something a bot could take care of? I know we have bots for archiving but can they also take care of marking the dead url as unfit/usurped? As it would be very tedious to do by hand, from my own experience of retrieving even single references from 14:24, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Archiving the site can be requested on User talk:Cyberpower678's talk page but I'm not sure if he can target a certain timeframe for archival or if it just grabs the access date as Best Fit or.... I'm not sure IABot can take care of the 'this is usurped" aspect, so you can request it there also. If it doesn't/can't, you can probably run AWB to add the parameter (you might end up with some duplicate parameters). I would settle whether the website is reliable or not before going to the effort to AWB hough, because the other alternative is simply to remove the site and replace with {{citation needed}} as appropriate (similar levels of effort, you just might save yourself the run). --Izno (talk) 15:37, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Judging by the archive of their about page, I'm not sure they ever were an WP:RS, or at-least I don't see any indication they were, especially for WP:BLPs Galobtter (pingó mió) 14:33, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
It’s come up on the RS noticeboard a couple of times but no-one has objected to it there or anywhere else that I can see. The links seem quite diverse, a mix of news, information, and individual pages on particular items, so some may be more reliable than others. but it’s not really the best time to consider this now, as links to the site are much harder to review.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 15:20, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911)

To what extent is it a good idea to include external links to the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica articles available on wikisource? The question was previously discussed in 2007, 2010 and 2017. I'm bringing it up because there has been a disagreement between User:PBS and me on whether Punjabi language should have an external links entry for wikisource:1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Panjabi (some discussion at Talk:Punjabi language#Wikisource). This might be an extreme case: the EB article is outdated entirely, and – being a few sentences long – contains less content that the lede of our wikipedia article. However, PBS has apparently been adding such EB link to a large number of articles, so maybe a general discussion is in order.

In terms of guidelines, we've got WP:ELNO, which states we should generally avoid adding external links to:

Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article. In other words, the site should not merely repeat information that is already or should be in the article.

A strict reading of this would appear to altogether rule out linking to other encyclopedias, full stop. But on the other hand, I think it's OK to use common sense and add links that will be useful to readers, and that will be so if the external encyclopedia's article is much better than wikipedia's (I've sometimes linked in this way to Encyclopedia Iranica – there are topics on which its articles are better and more detailed than ours are likely to be in the foreseeable future). However, this generally isn't the case for the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: most of the time, the articles there are much shorter than ours, and given that they were written over a century ago, it's likely that they will often be outdated. Hence, I would expect that links to EB 1911 should generally be avoided unless the article is much better developed than ours and there are solid grounds for believing it is up to date. PBS disagrees and as far as I can tell their opinion is that the guideline here applies to sites, and given that the site in question is wikisource, we should add links to it as it is a sister project. – Uanfala (talk) 20:40, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

It should not be used as an EL. I should be used as a reference. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:14, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

This is a non-issue.
A "strict reading" of WP:ELNO does no such thing, because the sentence that User:Uanfala mentions is misreading is about a site and not content. I think that User:Uanfala is also making a fundamental mistake with regards to sister projects in not reading the sentence in the context of all the polices and guidelines (as is implied at the start of the three major content policies "These policies jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles, and, because they work in harmony, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another"). For example User:Uanfala's interpretation ignores the bullet point that immediately proceeds it (see section Links to be considered point 5: "Links to Wikimedia sister projects with relevant material"). Also, there are other guidelines to be considered and when they are considered in conjunction with the sentence that User:Uanfala has highlighted shows that the strict interpretation that concerns User:Uanfala is a misinterpretation. See for example LAYOUT § Links to sister projects
  • Links to Wikimedia sister projects ... should generally appear in "External links", not under "See also". and More precisely, box-type templates such as {{Commons category}} shown at right have to be put at the beginning of the last section of the article (which is not necessarily the "External links" section)
And also Wikipedia:Wikimedia sister projects "Wikipedia encourages links from Wikipedia articles to pages on sister projects when such links are likely to be useful to our readers," and the section in that guideline "Where to place links". "Sister project links should generally appear in the "External links" section".
-- PBS (talk) 21:29, 16 October 2018 (UTC)
I am removing sister links when they are NOT useful. Empty commons categories or commons categories that only have images that are already in the article are utterly useless (and anyway often already linked in the toolbox). I will argue that EB articles can be useful, but in by far, far the most cases they do not offer anything more than what we already have.
For external encyclopedic texts, they should only be included when they add to the article. When removed, discussion should lead to consensus first before re-including.
Do note, that this guideline does not only cover external links in =external links= sections, it is for ALL links to sites outside en.wikipedia that appear in the article and are not references. --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:04, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
How do you, Dirk Beetstra, decide if something is "useful" or not? -- PBS (talk) 06:44, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@PBS: As defined e.g. in the intro of WP:EL/WP:ELNO#1. Similar to links to commons, if the category on commons has one image of the subject, and that image is already incorporated in the page of the subject, then there is (at that time) no need to add it. I recently deleted a commons category link where the commons category had 5 different zoom levels of the same image that was used on the subject page here. What are you getting 'more' out of the commons category in that case? That same image? The same goes for encyclopedia articles, if we have a 88 references article with hundreds and hundreds of lines/sentences of prose, then what extra is being added by a not-referenced, 4 line / 5 sentences piece of text that is over a hundred year outdated.
I am sorry, but that type of information does not add anything to our articles, it distracts, it is plain linkfarming. There will be cases where it does add something (though, from another encyclopedia that can, and should, all be incorporated into our articles), but this example is not one of them. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:11, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
With regards to your comment in the sentence "As defined e.g. in the intro of WP:EL/WP:ELNO#1", see my posting above. Your argument about commons entries makes sense to me and is analogous to not including a entry in external links that is already cited as a reference. On the rest I disagree with you. If the EB1911 article "add[s] something" factual to an article then it will be cited and not placed in "External links". Your argument about "plain linkfarming" is off target, because the same information can be included without a url. The entry contains information (that the topic has been included in English language encyclopaedias for more than a hundred years and Wikisouce has an article on it), which is over and above the content of the EB1911 article at the end of the url. The place do discuss the content of specific urls is on the talk page of the article where theurl is location, or it is proposed that it be located. -- PBS (talk) 18:31, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
@PBS: what, you want to include the link because it is already for a hundred years an encylopedic topic. No, that is not what Wikipedia is for.
No, it does not necessarily have to be a reference. That is a misunderstanding of why we do add external links.
The talkpage? I guess that if something is against guidelines or policy would mean that we discuss it widely, as it has implications everywhere. Not just some local consensus which we try on each page. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:46, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
To which "it" are you referring? "something is against guidelines or policy" Posting sister links to external links is not against either policy or guidelines (see my initial post to this section for more details). -- PBS (talk) 10:05, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
You are right, it is not against policy to add links to commons, even if there is nothing additional there. It is however rather useless. There are also commons categories with a zillion images, where our article has only 2 or 3. In that case, linking to the commons cat is appropriate. That same is true for EB. IF the EB article has significant info that we do not hold on en.wikipedia, then it is worth linking in the external links section (or being incorporated and used as a reference). In other cases, it is not. Both follow the same reasoning as our external links guidelines: if there is something substantial there, we link, otherwise we do not. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:44, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
There are however cases where the EB article has an amount of detail that we would want to link to, and then the external links is the right place.

BBC INfax links are 404

Links to :- seem to be generating 404's, are these internal intranet links? (They should ideally be marked for archival replacement)

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