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.
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External links to study guides

As I noted at Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Reliability_of_Cliffsnotes.2C_Sparknotes_and_study_guides_in_general (where I include links to external link search) we have thousands of links to study guides and seemingly no word on whether they are reliable or even allowed. Interested editors may want to comment there on reliability, and here on whether we should add some advice to Wikipedia:External links/Perennial websites or such. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:55, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Libertarian socialism#External links

Talk:Libertarian socialism#External links cleanup

This section has been listed for cleanup for two years and contains dozens of links. I frankly don't see a single directory or overview that provides a necessary resource outside what the references would contain if the article were to be cleaned up. Many links are dead, unrecoverable, and from unreliable sources anyway. Others are primary source documents that don't add any bearing to an overview article. The talk page discussion has page watchers who like having links but haven't weighed them against the content guideline. I'd appreciate extra feedback at the discussion. I am no longer watching this pageping if you'd like a response czar 03:59, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

  • @Czar: the burden of showing links being worthy of inclusion is on those wishing to include. My suggestion is to remove all/most in need of discussion, and get to consensus before reinclusion. That tends to be more effective than the other way around, people often have half baked arguments to keep things in, but no arguments to include. –Dirk Beetstra T C 13:55, 29 June 2017 (UTC) (ping @Czar:Dirk Beetstra T C 13:57, 29 June 2017 (UTC))
@Beetstra, I did and was reverted, and the resulting talk page discussion decided that they liked the dozens as they were. I've just removed the links again with an appropriate edit summary but could use extra eyes from additional editors familiar with the guidelines. czar 20:31, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
It was reverted as discussion on the talk page suggested a consensus for inclusion not removal. Although not many editors participated, the second wholesale removal seems to go against consensus.BobFromBrockley (talk) 16:47, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@Bobfrombrockley: You have there a massive article with 347 references and a 31 item bibliography. There is a wealth of information in the article. I do believe that each link should be evaluated separately as I suggest above, but I find it very difficult to believe that many of the links in the massive external links list adds anything over what is already being told in the article. That is, they are useful and relevant, but useful suggests that they can be used as further references, and relevant is not an inclusion criterion. I indeed think the correct course of action is to have the list on the talkpage, and define one-by-one whether it merits inclusion per WP:EL (and whether it merits that over the previously chosen links). We are not writing a linkfarm here. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:59, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
@Bobfrombrockley: <- reping. --Dirk Beetstra T C 17:02, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Cleanup needed

Sorry, but I don't have time to handle Media Object Server which I noticed when reverting some spam (see LinkSearch). It's one of those articles where a bunch of me-too external links have been added as "examples". I have added it to my watchlist but don't have the energy for battle atm. Johnuniq (talk) 07:42, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

The links were already removed, I have wiped the 'such as' list in the lede. That does not belong there, it could be in a separate section if it is notable enough (though I doubt that here). --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:18, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Alexander Povetkin / "highlights" clips from YouTube

At Alexander Povetkin, is this acceptable use of external media? That's two YouTube-hosted fan-made highlights of his knockout wins. Ehh.. looks like clearcut cruft/spam to me, but I don't want to jump the gun because the user adding them continues to make running edits and updates to the article almost every hour, with nary an edit summary in sight. 14:42, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

No, I hardly ever agree with that type of use. There are, limited, cases where the external media are of interest but generally no. Especially if they are fan made and not professional then they should go. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:20, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Which specific policy acronym should I quote if removing them? Mac Dreamstate (talk) 15:40, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
They fail WP:EL, they are indirect (not about the subject, about a match of the subject), fan-made (so not a professional representation, not necessarily representative for the whole), do not serve to give information that expands the knowledge on the subject (only if you are looking for it, and then it is OR on their fighting style). --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:01, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Specifically, WP:ELNO. If the videos are fan created from footage that they don't own, then WP:COPYVIOEL may also apply. I agree that the videos are basically spam.- MrX 17:10, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Good to know—that helped. I just hope the user understands. Mac Dreamstate (talk) 20:12, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Using as an external link

  • 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:

[COIN: RW editor, RW boardmember, author of linked article]

Hi. User:PCHS-NJROTC created a RFC on using RationalWiki (RW) in external links. Consensus was unclear. In addition, PCHS-NJROTC was very responsive despite intense personal dislike of RW. PCHS-NJROTC suggested that discussion move here. I agree that this is best and hope PCHS-NJROTC allows organic discussion.

The question: Are external links to RationalWiki ([1]) acceptable? In opposition, PCHS-NJROTC has linked WP:ELNO and states that they see "no policy-based grounds to include a link to Rational-Wiki". Arguments in favor focus on the idea that external links should "provide a route to additional information about the topic covered in the article that is covered elsewhere but not in the article" (User:Thryduulf) and argue that RW does so.

Thank you for your time. FuzzyCatPotato (talk) 22:52, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

  • To be clear I believe the link to the RationalWiki article on Vaginal steaming is a useful external link from our Vaginal steaming article (the location of the RfC, which was my first and only involvement in the article). I do not wish to imply that links to RationalWiki are always good (or always bad) as the quality of content there varies as much as the difference between a stub and a featured article on Wikipedia. Thryduulf (talk) 23:25, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
  • I appreciate FCP's civility in this matter, though I do believe that he has more or less created unneeded drama in our wiki by pushing hard for the inclusion of a link to his site. This seems to be pretty blatantly a matter of WP:ELNO (failing 1, 11, and 12), WP:ADV (the link was added by an RMF board member), WP:ELPOV, and WP:NOTPROPAGANDA (specifically mentions "scientific"). Rational-Wiki is an open wiki that is far from having a substantial history of stability as evidenced by numerous content disputes and instances of "headless chicken mode," and some of the WP:USEFUL arguments are that it provides information for skeptics, basically making it a fansite for a specific group of people. In contrast, Rational-Wiki fails WP:ELYES because it is admittedly not neutral or encyclopedic. I have been scrubbing links to Rational-Wiki from articles for many years since someone from Rational-Wiki (I cannot remember who) was discussing the use of Rational-Wiki links on Wikipedia in a private email, and not only have I not had problems, but I am often "thanked" for removing them. The discussion at the RfC has blatantly been bludgeoned by both sides, so there needs to not be any undue weight given to that accusation. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 01:34, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Break down of consensus by User:PCHS-NJROTC, copied from the Vaginal steaming RfC

  • There are four users who are admittedly editors or frequent readers of Rational-Wiki
    • Three of these users are in favor of the link WP:USEFUL
    • One of these users is against the link, per chiefly WP:ELNO and other policies and one supports the link but concedes that the comparison of Rational-Wiki to Conservapedia and Encyclopedia Dramatica is a great argument
This is deceptive: the thing that made the argument "great" is that it's a fun argument to respond to. Not that it's convincing. ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 21:55, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
  • There are three uninvolved Wikipedians
    • Two oppose the link, one flat out opposing it because it is a joke site, and the other defacto opposing it by offering an argument against the link but refusing to take a hard position, both basing their opposition in WP:ELNO.
    • One supports the link per WP:USEFUL
    I think that one is intended to be me, though categorization under WP:USEFUL is an interpretation, not what I said. The governing policy, as I see it, is WP:ELNO#12 which recommends against Open wikis, except those with a substantial history of stability and a substantial number of editors. So what is under discussion is whether RW qualifies under that exception. That devolved into a comparison of RW's worst failings vs WP's own worst failings. I still say that we need to trust the judgment of our editors; that if, in their judgment and consensus, a particular RW article represents stable, reliable-enough information, that a external link should be allowed and not forbidden through some blanket policy. In no way am I suggesting that we declare RW to be considered WP:RS. — jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 04:10, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
    It's not you, I included you as a reader because you stated that you are fond of a particular part of R-W. Please don't WP:BLUDGEON the analysis, it makes things more difficult for people to evaluate the situation. (Also, Rational-Wiki has described itself as a small wiki, so it fails the other half of the exception criteria too). PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 12:45, 15 August 2017 (UTC)


This RfC has been going on for a few days, and while there are numerous opinion-based WP:USEFUL arguments for the link, there are numerous policy-based arguments against it, including by supporters of the link. I was going to propose closing this as consensus against the link today, but in light of the most recent comment that came in today, I don't think it's that simple. I don't see further consensus coming from this medium because both sides have strong opinions on the matter, so I propose taking this issue to the Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard where those who frequent are more familiar with the external linking policy, to reach a clearer consensus. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 21:32, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

Just as Wikipedia should not be used to promote external websites, Wikipedia should also not be used to beat dead horses. Please give it a rest. FuzzyCatPotato's edits do not need your intense scrutiny. If you want to see some issues that actually challenge Wikipedia's integrity, have a look at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Paid editing sockfarms proliferating (permalink). By the way, what does "Have a blessed day" in your signature mean? Is that using Wikipedia to push a certain view? Johnuniq (talk) 02:52, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
There's the definition. You tell me what part of #3 (which is the context of the word's usage here) pushes a point of view, and furthermore, explain how a signature has anything to do with pushing a POV in Wikipedia content anyway. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 12:27, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Well, I do not think this is a useful link, since the value of this Wiki, slim (it's geeky for the lulz, as far as I'm concerned), and including it here is little more than linkspamming. Drmies (talk) 15:32, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
  • I don't see any encyclopedic value, and if some has tried to give it, I'd appreciate a diff. --Ronz (talk) 16:02, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
    @Ronz: Discussion of encyclopedic value took a back seat in the lengthy RFC. If interested, try these diffs: [2][3][4][5] FuzzyCatPotato (talk) 16:33, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
    Thank you. Remove the link per NOT. --Ronz (talk) 16:56, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
    The comment by Thrydulf has value--but that the Rational article has so many links--yeah, including Entertainment Tonight on Paltrow, the website for an "integrative healing center", the website for a holistic physical therapist, a website for physical therapists in athletics, the website of a really alternative doctor, one for a holistic sex therapist (?), a blog post, and the blogger's blog. Surely this lowers its value some. Drmies (talk) 17:01, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
    @Drmies: Would you dismiss a news article for linking to primary sources of the alternative-health claims? FuzzyCatPotato (talk) 19:05, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
    • I don’t think that we should dismiss a news source for linking to sources, we however should dismiss even a news source if their sources are all sources that we ourselves would determine to be not reliable ... yet another tick on the ELNO list I guess. —Dirk Beetstra T C 02:04, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
      • I think you misunderstand. If one hopes to debunk an unreliable source, one must first cite said unreliable source. FuzzyCatPotato (talk) 03:10, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Remove that link, see WP:ELNO, and the intro of WP:EL. —Dirk Beetstra T C 17:39, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Spam blacklist

I see that some of the people commenting are part of WP:WikiProject Spam. Is there anyway we can get Rational-Wiki added to the spam blacklist so this doesn't happen again (and WP:TROUT FuzzyCatPotato for creating wikidrama)? Links and references to that site are a recurring problem introduced by both Rational-Wikians and less experienced editors who just aren't familiar with WP:EL and WP:RS, and there's little reason to link to it other than in its own article; I'm editing from my phone right now, but I can get diffs when I'm on a PC if needed. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 03:11, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

For what I see the linking is mainly related to the existence of rationalwiki (there are a couple more places than only the parent article). That can all be handled through whitelisting of the 'main page' and the 'about page', and maybe one or two other meta-pages on the site. I am not going to work this out further here (need to look further into the situation), but I am worried that I see an earlier encountered paid editing ring also involved in this. I don't seem to have many records for --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:42, 16 August 2017 (UTC)
See this, this (link questioned by someone else at [6]), this, this (received thanks for the edit), this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this (this is a good argument for TROUTing or even blocking FuzzyCatPotato; linking had just been discussed when he decided to add a link the Vaginal steaming, which is why I left him the level three warning that upset him so much)... if you want an idea of how long I have been working with this problem with general support from the community, see this and this One of their people was community banned for admitted deliberate disruption, and although now inactive at Rational-Wiki, he continues to disrupt. Since we're on the topic of possible paid editing, it's worth pointing out that Rational-Wiki's founder states openly on his user page that he hopes his project will "some day be complimentary," which I interpret to mean links to his wiki to push his point of view has been a goal since day one, although with all of my years at Wikipedia, Conservapedia, and Rational-Wiki, I would have never guessed that they would stoop so low as to pay someone to promote them (assuming that they have indeed done so). I have been dutifully removing links to their website for several years now after an off-wiki discussion with another person who tried to say that Rational-Wiki is more respected than Conservapedia because Wikipedia links to it, and I pointed out that those links are there because anyone can edit Wikipedia, but that doesn't mean that Wikipedia endorses them or that the links even belong there. To me, this is all about trying to legitimize their site, and that's not what we're here for. If it can be confirmed that they are working with a paid editing farm to promote their wiki, I think there will be community support at WP:ANI for sanctions restricting major contributors at their site (their own current voting requirements would probably be a good tool of measurement) from editing anything related to their site, and regardless, I think the wiki needs to be blacklisted with a whitelist for the links that do need to be here. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 14:39, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Time series database

This is one of the articles that I had for long on my watchlist, trying to keep the list relevant and reliable. It has recently been upgraded from a list of external links to a full table, but that has not really helped the situation. Material keeps being added in, and I have now arrived at an edit war regarding a handful of externally linked, primary sourced items.

Relevant guidelines: Wikipedia:LISTCOMPANY, WP:CSC. I'd like to have some independent guidance on this WP:SPAMHOLE. --Dirk Beetstra T C 02:47, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

I'm similarly involved on this article. I also would like to keep the list relevant and reliable. Thus far I have seen very little spam on this article, and the aforementioned company guidelines are seemingly unrelated to this debate, as no companies are being added to this list. Instead the list is compromised of high-profile TSDB products that directly relate to the content of the article. Lists have a different criteria than articles, and notability is a lesser issue.

With regard to the nature of the content: TSDBs is a relatively new type of database. The field is rapidly evolving, and frequently the only way to find out about new TSDB development is through gated technical journals such as ACM. It is unlikely we will have high quality references for niche technology development as is being discussed here, though there are many reasonable references out there, which is where the bar currently lies. For whatever reason the above user has taken it upon himself to police this article rather than to contribute and edit it towards the greater good. Intervention is appreciated to help resolve the dispute such that we have better direction.

--Kamelkev T C 02:57, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

@Kamelkev: "Thus far I have seen very little spam on this article". In the discussions on the talkpage it is made clear that someone is there with a likely conflict of interest. this shows where we end up (and see many other reverts and removals throughout the history of the article).
"aforementioned company guidelines are seemingly unrelated" - at least two of them are stated to be commercial, they are products of companies or entities (as opposed to being persons).
"It is unlikely we will have high quality references for niche technology development as is being discussed here" - but that is what we need. If that is not available, then Wikipedia should not be talking about them.
I have not taken it upon me, there are several editors who do this type of edits. These are typical spamholes, we start with high-profile material in the lists, and then the development projects come in (one of the three I keep removing is a version 0.2 ..). There is no greater good here, many of these do not (yet) belong in this list on Wikipedia, and that is what I am trying to do.
Moreover, we keep material out, until its inclusion is justifiable. That is a consensus that needs to be established on a talkpage. Repeatedly trying to push it in is not the way forward. --Dirk Beetstra T C 03:20, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
@Beetstra:"It is unlikely we will have high quality references for niche technology development as is being discussed here - but that is what we need"
No, we don't need such high quality references for a list, you're thinking of a page. The guidelines for a list are much less strict than a page, a point that was repeatedly made during debates on the associated talk page. Those same debates reached a consensus: we are going to add TSDBs to this list such that this article is informative regarding the current state of affairs for this technology. For whatever reason that entire history is being ignored and we're seemingly right back at square one, arguing over criteria which has previously been well stated and argued.
I've also seen the repeated argument that this page is somehow a spamhole. I've reviewed your list. A majority of those entries are legitimate well-known TSDB, or they are hybrid models which are not "just" a TSDB, but also include other features. I would not consider any "spam". Such debatable entries can and should be discussed for inclusion, but that is not what this specific discussion is about.
Finally, regarding lists and page criteria - there is a very good rationale for why lists criteria is less strict than a page: we didn't want people trying to create pages for content just so it could appear in a relevant list. That is effectively what your criteria for this list has become: if the TSDB has it's own page, it may be included. Otherwise it may not. That's utterly stifling and has prevented this article from growing in breadth and depth as one would have expected for such a timely group of products.

--Kamelkev T C 03:44, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

@Kamelkev: - no, that is where you are wrong, all material that is challenged needs the high quality references. The inclusion of items has been challenged for a long time. --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:18, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
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