Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the external links noticeboard
This page is for reporting possible breaches of the external links guideline.
  • Post questions here regarding whether particular external links are appropriate or compliant with Wikipedia's guidelines for external links.
  • Provide links to the relevant article(s), talk page(s), and external links(s) that are being discussed.
  • Questions about prominent websites like YouTube, IMDb, Twitter, or Find a Grave might be addressed with information from this guide.
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Extensive list of 'personal website' hosts

Do we have somewhere an extensive list of anything that is considered 'personal' as per WP:ELOFFICIAL? In cleaning up, there are some that are unclear whether they are totally maintained by the subject:

  • <subject>.tld (e.g. for BBC), or sometimes <organisation>.tld/subject (e.g.<program>, where BBC is the producer of <program> and is maintaining that as the main website for the subject
  • blogs - blogger/blogspot (
  • facebook
  • weibo
  • twitter
  • snapchat
  • instagram

Are there any more I missed (SoundCloud?)? --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:18, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

I don't get what you're asking. As far as I know either internal clues ("This is the official website of X") or external sources (" is the official website of X") are main starting points for figuring out whether a site is official. I don't suppose the Town of Ocean View, Iowa (or whatever) would maintain official records on Snapchat or Instragram or whatever, but I guess they could, so I'm not sure if we need a list of sites which we can never consider anything hosted on them to be official, if that's what you are asking. Herostratus (talk) 04:46, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
@Herostratus: No, what I am asking are on which domains subjects can have an 'official website' of themselves. That is their own official website, their own official blog, their own official facebook, their own official weibo, their own official twitter (&c.). Those can all be an official website of a subject, they are in principle all controlled by the subject alone (barring hacking attempts and influence from agents etc., I presume that what Donald Trump posts on his twitter is what he types on his device himself). Per WP:ELMINOFFICIAL, we only list one (and then generally the one that the subject uses as their main personal outlet / which one is most informative about them). IMDB or Wikipedia, as examples, is not controlled by the subject - they may be editing the pages, but everyone in the world has access to change it to something else.
What I am trying to establish are a 'complete' list of the social networking sites out there, which lists should be 'reduced to one' (barring exceptions like Donald Trump). Are SoundClouds totally controlled by the subject? Are Bandcamps totally controlled by the subject, .... I am then targetting to put that list into WP:ELPEREN to explain the WP:ELMINOFFICIAL requirements (and avoid having to go through these discussions over and over), and get a rough 'order of information content regarding the subject' on all of them. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:00, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Oh, OK. Herostratus (talk) 12:38, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

External links at Günther Lütjens

I would appreciate third party opinion on the matter of external links.

Article: Günther Lütjens (edit | visual edit | history) · Article talk (edit | history) · Watch

Links in question:

  • "Günther Lütjens". Bismarck: Portrait of the Men Involved. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  • "Günther Lütjens". Battleship Bismarck. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  • "Günther Lütjens". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  • "Günther Lütjens". Maritime Quest. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  • John Asmussen. "Operation Berlin". Scharnhorst Class. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 

These are personal web sites of unknown accuracy. For example, one of them ( states: "This website was created by Aziz Evliyaoglu in 2000. Later it changed ownership on the 7th of November, 2005. Calcio Network © Copyright 2000 - 2007". Another one is "© 2005-2017 Michael W. Pocock and". I don't see linking to these sites being of service to the readers.

The opinion by the reverting editor was: "Links supported by inline citations and requires no further comment". I believe that the editor is misinterpreting the relevant guidelines, WP:EXT or WP:NOCONSENSUS.

The relevant Talk page discussion is at: Talk:Günther_Lütjens#External_links.

I would appreciate feedback on the matter. K.e.coffman (talk) 23:16, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

on a page of this size, and with 113 references (bibliography of 20 references), how much detail do these links add to the page. Note that reliability of external links is not an as hard criterion as with sources, unless they are just demonstratably wrong on a majority of material. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:38, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Discussion at Talk:List of Archibald Prize winners#Embedded external links

You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:List of Archibald Prize winners#Embedded external links. -- Marchjuly (talk) 13:01, 18 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 noticed someone, User:Ankitrana28, adding several external links to (e.g. here or here, putting aside the sometimes problematic location of the link for the time being). It looks to be a music site that claims to be "India's #1 music app" or something along those lines. I've no idea as to the legality/integrity of it. In some of the cases it's clearly not appropriate per WP:EL, but it's possible that for some music-related articles a legal music site could have something to offer. Anyone familiar with it? — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:25, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

'official' YouTube videos hacked into infoboxes (or generally, on song pages)

'Song pages' contain links to the 'official' YouTube video upload of the song. On many pages they are however 'hacked' into the infobox:

  • diff
  • removal diff

by using a 'misc' field. That to me shows that there is no (local) consensus to having the YouTube video's in the infobox (otherwise there would be a dedicated field for holding the link). Do we consider linking to the official music song in this way according to policy/guideline? --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:46, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

I really don't care that much to argue about it. I just don't think there's been a consensus to remove official licensed uploads of YouTube links on pages either, has there? There's no "consensus" on either side, but most music editors I know (experienced, with good and featured articles to their names) include links to the official record label or artist's Vevo YouTube upload. Using Template:External music video is also not what I would consider "hacked" into the infobox. Also, there is no need to continually tag me; I watchlist talk pages I post on. Ss112 10:49, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
The general point with external links is that the burden of showing that something should be included is on the editor who wishes to include it. I know that it seems to be 'general practice' but my main question here is whether linking to the (official) music video is in line with our inclusion standards. Our general practice is to minimize external links. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:57, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
One link to the official licensed upload of the video on YouTube hardly contributes to a plethora of external links. I don't even see that it encourages other external links. There is no consensus to remove them all at the moment; it's just a decision, as it is also a decision to include them. I haven't added YouTube links—that's not something I'm particularly interested in doing, hence why I said I really don't care enough. I have only reverted (on one page) an IP editor who has linked to an opinion/interpretation for removing the link. We need others' opinions, then we may reach a consensus on what is the best way to deal with links to official YouTube uploads. I'm for inclusion if it's an official upload. That's all I really have to contribute. Ss112 12:02, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
I would suggest that an official copy of the music video falls completely within WP:ELOFFICIAL. I would not want these "hacked into an infobox", however (and we should work to remove external links from infoboxes, but that's a separate concern). --Izno (talk) 12:04, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Consider it an analogue to an "official website" link. After all it's an official upload and it gives readers the opportunity to hear the song in its official version.
By the way, VEVO now uploads "audio-only" videos for old songs, here's an example: [1]. What would you prefer to listen to, a user-reencoded excerpt or this? (And who knows what sources and what software people use when they make excerpts for Wikipedia, some are awful quality.) --Moscow Connection (talk) 12:39, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Do you think Wikipedia readers will profit from removing YouTube links? We need to give them an opportunity to hear the actual song and to watch the video.
By the way, there is another template like this, {{Extra music sample}}. It, too, is put into the infobox. What do you think is more useful, a 30-second excerpt of doubtful quality (re-encoded by a random Wikipedia user) or a link to an official-quality upload on YouTube? --Moscow Connection (talk) 12:20, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Just my 2c but FWIW I used to add YT vids to Infoboxes if there was no album info however if there was album info then I wouldn't (I'd only done this for about 6 within the space of 4 years), We have links at the bottom of the article so I to a point don't see it necessary to add them to infoboxes however the easiest way of resolving this is to start an RFC on VP. –Davey2010Talk 13:30, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
The practice described seems OK to me. This is not the Army where everything not mandatory is forbidden, so if people want to do, it's OK I guess. I'm willing to reconsider if someone can cogently explain either why it degrades the user's experience or why it puts a burden on our internal processes here.
I don't like linking to YouTube in general, since -- unlike a few years ago -- it doesn't take you to the video we want, but rather to an ad, which the reader is required to see some of and sometimes all of. Which is a lot more intrusive than linking to site that just has ads on the page or whatever. It's possible that we should reconsider our stance on YouTube generally. But that's a different and much bigger question. Herostratus (talk) 13:50, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

reply to quite some people here:

  • This is not 'an official site' of the subject. This is a representation of the subject, uploaded to YouTube. The official site is likely on the website of the artist or their agent (but that may not exist).
  • The video is not the official site of the subject (2), it is the accompanying music video of the subject.
  • It is very dependent on each individual cases whether readers will benefit from being able to see the video. Some of the pages have a plethora of information describing the subject, what they meant with the lyrics, who made a cover of the song, etc. etc. The Wikipedia article is inclusive, it contains all that information. The official link then does not give much extra information. Do the readers profit more from seeing the video than from hearing an excerpt .. maybe they profit more from the video than from the excerpt, but the question is whether either is necessary for the understanding of the subject.
  • As mentioned at the bottom: in most cases when you go to YouTube you first get through an advertisement (that at best you can skip after 5 minutes).

So that is why I asked my initial question: do we consider linking to this material in line with our policies and guidelines? I, for one, am not convinced. Try to convince me that seeing Miley Cyrus sitting naked on a wrecking ball singing about the deterioration of a relationship is making me better understand the subject than the article telling me that '"Wrecking Ball" is a pop ballad which lyrically discusses the deterioration of a relationship...with footage of a nude Cyrus swinging on a wrecking ball.' And that is what external links are for. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:15, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

  • For individual songs, an official website which is not a music video or lyrics video is unlikely to exist. So your objection on this point seems to be pedantic.
  • This is certainly being pedantic. The official website of Example is, but that is really just the accompanying description of Example at, not Example itself.
  • Providing a link to the music video is marginally more useful to the end reader than to an audio file of the music video. Then they have the choice either to listen, or to listen and watch, which is a choice we should leave to them. The "extra information" is information we cannot host due to our copyright limitations, but which another organization may be able to do so (through some licensing scheme or because they themselves carry the copyright). That the Wikipedia article does not contain this information is the reason these are linked. (Wikipedia fundamentally cannot except in excerpted form, and even that requires a non-free use rationale in almost all cases.) I would certainly suggest that access to the media (whether book, music, video, or otherwise) certainly increases understanding of that media.
  • Forbes has interstitial advertisements that last at-minimum 5 seconds these days. Other websites as well. These are not objectionable--and accordingly, I do not find a 5-15 second video advertisement to be "objectionable", which is the required barrier under ELNO #5, even if we don't consider these videos to be official.
In other words, in the absence of an external link to a page maintained by the organization producing the media about that specific media item (a song, in this specific case--not the album(s) on which that song appears), I see 0 reason why we should not link to the YouTube music video (or lyric video, if one rather than the other exists). --Izno (talk) 14:29, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • The example of the Wrecking ball above was specifically chosen. Our article is Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus song) (my bolding). The article is about the song, not about the video. I stand with my point that the video that is uploaded on YouTube is hence not an official website of the song, it is an upload of the video that is there to accompany the song.
  • Now we are certainly pedantic: "the official website of example is". Exactly my point. The official website of the Miley Cyrus song is .. the, and I quote, 'accompanying music video' that is made available on YouTube. That is rather different, isn't it? Notwithstanding the fact that there are at least two versions available on YouTube .. which is the 'official one'? Maybe in this case there is no official website for the subject.
  • I still insist that a lot of this information is failing WP:ELNO #1. The encyclopedic information on the song is included in the Wikipedia page. Again, what extra information do I get that is not already there (actually, I get more information from the Wikipedia page, however entertaining the music video is). The only thing that I would consider to be exempt from that rule is the official website of the subject ..
  • That is a 'what about X' argument. I find the advertising that YouTube is currently putting before video's (and at regular intervals within some video's) rather annoying.
I do agree that a page maintained by the artist/their agent (the 'organization producing the media about that specific media item') would qualify. But a YouTube upload of the official music video that is made to accompany the song that is the subject of the page does not. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:28, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
See Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus song)#Music video. The article is about the song and the music video.
And you have said above that "the Wikipedia article is inclusive". Do you really honestly think that the actual song and the actual video don't add anything to the Wikipedia article? Like, if a person has read the article, it is as if he has heard the song and has seen the video? (Do you think that the Wikipedia article contains all the visual, musical and lyrical information?) Cause for me it is obvious that the article is useless without actually hearing the song and watching the video. And it's obvious that the textual information the Wikipedia article contains is nothing compared to the sound recording and the video clip. --Moscow Connection (talk) 16:48, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
That means that we will never understand the Testarossa unless we actually drive it, or Mars without actually going there. Those articles are actually useless. You do not need to hear the song or read the lyrics to understand the song, --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:11, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Your examples are impossible (as of now; I would like to have a button to go to Mars and back and I'm sure the Wikimedia Foundation would have opted for such an option themselves), while adding sound and visual clips is possible. And it is done on Wikipedia already (La Paloma, Abraham Lincoln (1930 film), Polar orbit). And according to your logic, we should remove images too. --Moscow Connection (talk) 17:29, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

GetItRight is equally useless. No, your argument was that, to you, it "is obvious that the article is useless without actually hearing the song and watching the video". The article is useful without images, references, and text, it becomes more useful with references, some images, and incorporated media, and external links can make it more useful. However, there are limits to that. There are points where more references become useless (the point is made), where more images become useless (every frame of a video can be captured, uploaded to commons, and incorporated if the material is out of copyright), pieces of media can be incorporated (the whole song if it is out of copyright, or a couple of illustrative pieces), external links to external media. But we limit that, and that limit is one of our pillars. Although I can see that providing links to videos of certain material can be providing insight, in many cases, like here, the external link does not provide a significant amount of information beyond the article. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:59, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
Since I am the "instigator" of this thread, let me share my piece. Do you guys think that I want to have them removed? I actually started out in favor of adding YouTube Links, but a Bot reverted my fisrt edit relating to it in 2017. As pointed out by User:Beetstra, links in general are not allowed. I'm just trying to adhere to them, that's why I'm very touchy about this topic. I would like to add them, but if I understand the rules right, one of them are to not add external links (they stand as their own). I just find it hypocritical that this site says one thing, then adheres to another. - (talk) 01:25, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
So, did you do this [2] simply because you had been reverted earlier? By whom, by a bot? XLinkBot automatically reverts unregistered editors who add links to YouTube. It is because there's a very high risk of copyright infringement. So basically, while unlogged you can't add a YouTube link. --Moscow Connection (talk) 02:15, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I did. I guess I'm going to sit this one out and leave it up to you guys, because apparently unlogged users have no say in this matter, and I'm not going to sign-up now because I've been disrespected in the past by other wiki users in other wiki sub-sites as a logged-in user who was only trying to look after their respective pages and I can only handle so much backlash due to my condition (sickness). - (talk) 02:32, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
No, YouTube is not on the revertlist only because there are copyright problems, it is on our revertlist because it often fails our inclusion standards. We do not link to YouTube videos just because they are on-topic, we do not link to YouTube Channels because they are another official website of the subject .. We are not writing a linkfarm. External links, and that goes for YouTube as well, should only be included if their inclusion is justifiable. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:13, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
I don't know why you're arguing with me on this one, because I'm the one removing YouTube Links based on your own arguments. It's users like User:Luke Stark 96, User:Ss112 and apparently User:Moscow Connection who are at odds with you. Off topic, please respond to my last message to you on your talk page. - (talk) 03:30, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, that was unclear, it was basically a remark to User:Moscow Connection (this threading does not always make that clear, I should have pinged). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:23, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
That's cool, Dirk. Whatever you guys end up with regarding this issue, I believe that the rules and regulations need to be a lot more clear on paper and updated if needed (which it does, to prevent issues like this moving forward, i.e. Allowing/Prohibiting External Links like YouTube). - (talk) 06:10, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
@ This is not about allowing/prohibiting, the area is grey. Every article needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis, and whereas I argue that most will fail, there will be cases where this link does add significant information that cannot be conveyed in words .. this is not going to result in a blanket ban or blanket allowance. --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:17, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
@Beetstra: If the area is "grey", then again, where is the line drawn? Either way, I clearly have no say in this whatsoever. - (talk) 06:37, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
There is no line, we have the consensus that is established in our policies and guidelines, and we have consensus that can be established on talkpages. We are not a court of law, we are not a bureaucracy. Wikipedia has only few bright red lines. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:10, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Well, everything regarding this still isn't clear to me. To save everyone some trouble, I'll stay away from this hot topic for now, but I'm glad that I brought this up. To those who are adamant on retaining YouTube Links, don't worry, I won't be removing any more out of respect to this discussion until you end up coming up with something. Good luck figuring this out amongst yourselves. - (talk) 07:34, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @ "Adamant" on retaining YouTube links? I reverted you on one article. Please stop tagging me in your replies. Ss112 07:40, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

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