Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

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

Mass addition of links by website owner

  • 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:

Per Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive989#Lepidoptera~plwiki, I should probably ask here for consensus:

I would like to undo all these external link additions, at least those to, with an appropriate edit summary, linking to this discussion and the ANI discussion, also taking the time to fix edits that are not the "current" version of the pages anymore.

The website contains non-free images that should instead be uploaded to Commons by the photographer. The massive promotional addition of external links has already partly been undone, and I would like to finish the process. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:38, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Two Itried were dead links. Suggest to remove, wp:not and wp:el issues. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:45, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Just an addendum. All links were added by:
I would suggest to remove all links added with currently no prejudice for re-addition by uninvolved editors (though I think that they make bad external links per our guidelines, and unless the creator of the website is a known, recognised specialist in the field, I would also say that they are not suitable as references as more authorative works do exist for this data). --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:30, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Oh! Wow. Now that I see that COIbot has revealed a long-time issue, I'll now go ahead. I'll take some time, I don't want to make a hasty bad edit. No need to rollback, I'll deal with it. Thank you for the confirmation. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:34, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I have mass rollback feature, all top edits are reverted (as far as I could see, only external links). That should clear out a lot of them already. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:39, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Ah -- the list of their contributions will not be nicely sorted between "done" and "needs extra care" then, however. Would it be useful to do the rollback after the special cases have been dealt with? ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:42, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Edit: Rollback already done, I have a new idea: Could we poke the bot a second time to get only current links? Thanks for the rollback already ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:44, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I have yet to see a link that actually is needed. As above, I think that this fails our inclusion standards (all this information could be incorporated easily into Wikipedia, WP:ELNO #1).
Literally ALL these links were added by these two accounts. Over 8 years not a singular independent editor has deemed the site to be useful for inclusion. As ALL the edits are COI-edits, I would remove ALL of them. No special cases, wipe. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:49, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
For the leftover links, please use the linksearch function (first links in summary template, 'en' and 'https'). The bot report is about additions, not about actual links. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:49, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Wow .. still 900 links left. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:50, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the search link, that's awesome. HTTPS done, continuing with HTTP. Face-smile.svg ~ ToBeFree (talk) 23:03, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Note that a few of the edits made by plwiki were not linkspam, but the correction of misspelled genus names, or the inclusion of valid species with WP articles that needed links; be careful with these mass reversions, please (e.g., see Antheraea, Agrius (moth) and Theretra nessus). Dyanega (talk) 02:55, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing these out and fixing them. I think that the edits should have contained a notice about it being a mass reversion. I also agree that care is needed. It should maybe be noted, however, that false positives can be unavoidable if someone makes a huge number of bad edits, and very few good ones among them. In this case, the number of good edits appears to be below 1 percent. Depending on the number of edits, a mass reversion may unaviodably create false-positive reverts, which does not always, in every case, have to be a huge problem. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 03:59, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

I’m just observing the discussion arranged by my “mass edit” and still can’t understand what you are talking about… I’ve started to edit articles on Wikipedia in April 2015 – so during this time I was created something like 500 additions. But the real number should be less because many times I’ve edited the same page few times. Huge number for almost 4 years? I don’t think so. I’m a well-known and respected entomologist, not whipster who is trying to promote a fake website. I don’t need any kind of promotion here because my website is well known for all enthusiasts of butterflies. When you would try to make some Google queries then you’ll see that the website is always in top 5 results – so your suggestion that it’s a “promotion” links is in my opinion unjustified and unjust.
Also I would like to take your attention for yet another aspect of this issue: if I would like add a link to website X – your answer is OK but if I would like to add a link to website Y – it’s not OK. If anybody else would add a link to website Y – it’s also OK but if I would do exactly the same – it’s not OK. I’m sorry but for me it does not make any sense. The normal user just reading Wikipedia content doesn’t care who has added/entered data – but it seems that you don’t treat me as a “normal user” but rather as a bandit/cheater.
I’m working – but maybe it’s better to say WAS working - for the community. Always. For thousands of people focused on butterflies and moths to give them much more information as possible. Always for public bono, I don’t have ANY profits for that. I gave the people my knowledge and my time – always for free. You’ve made here a hood court, but in my opinion you’re wrong and completely don’t understand the fundaments of community sharing knowledge. In my opinion you’ve made the worst thing you could do – DELETE ALL without any rules or verification. In results you have destroyed a lot of valuable data, not for me – for the community. I don’t think I would like to share my very limited time adding small pieces to the large project called Wikipedia when some proud administrators could demolish it in a second…
And one more thing – in one of the previous posts user ToBeFree had an argument, that I can’t add links to the pages where used pictures are copyrighted. I have never heard such a stupid justification… Try to imagine that some other projects – like for example my website – works on different rules. I do respect someone else's property, it seems – you not. 99% of external Wikipedia links has different kind of warnings – usually in a page footer that the contents cannot be used without an owner permission and that it’s not free to use. I can give you tones of examples. Based on motivation like yours – you should complete close external links section here because almost all used links also have a content that is a property of someone. I think you have not thought about what you said.
I think the topic is CLOSED. I’m not going to edit anything more here but I would like to plant your thoughts in your heads that not everything you do here is correct. Please think twice before you’ll make another action like that. (Lepidoptera~plwiki (talk) 10:28, 3 August 2018 (UTC))
@Lepidoptera~plwiki: I find it very hard to believe that you, self identifying as Christopher Jonko on your Wikipedia userpage are any other user than user:Chris lepidoptera (and even if it is not a new account of yours, it is someone who is very closely related to your website). Thát 'Chris', like you, got numerous remarks regarding their link additions, and that since 2010.
Your link additions on >500 (more likely >1000) pages on en.wikipedia suggests that you are interested in SEO practices, and therefore of course that your website is a top result in Google. It strikes me as utterly unbelievable that no other entomologist on Wikipedia has EVER added a link to your site. Not a single one.
Plainly stated: your link fails our inclusion standards. On some pages it does not add anything, on others it is in conflict with what is already on the page it is linked from, and where it does tell something that is not on Wikipedia, it can be incorporated. Moreover, you have a plain conflict of interest with linking to the site, you are not the person to decide whether that link is a service or not to the reader. Of course you think that it is a service to the reader, but fact remains that no other editor has found it necessary to add a link (or better, a reference) to this site. --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:48, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
wrong ping: @Lepidoptera~plwiki: --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:51, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Hi @Lepidoptera~plwiki:. I am surprised about the reasons you're naming:
  • "started to edit articles on Wikipedia in April 2015": Unlikely, see above. There seem to be skeletons in the closet.
  • "I don't need any kind of promotion": Why are you promoting then, and complaining about the removal of this promotion?
  • "website is always in top 5 results": I guess this might be because of actions exactly like the one you made on the English Wikipedia, and is unlikely to be a good reason for continuing to do so. Also, it might be because of the fitting domain name, which increases your Google page rank without necessarily having to provide an encyclopedically relevant website. By the way, the "top 5 results" when I google for free software have often been adware-infested in the past.
  • "I'm working [...] for the community.": The community appears to be unhappy about the external links, though. There has not been a single complaint about the removal of the links; all I got so far was multiple "thank you"s from active, respected community members who had not found the time to do something they would have done themselves otherwise. Also, you appear to have been ignoring well-established community guidelines and warnings about conflicts of interest and spamming since 2010. If you actually want to help the community, please listen to their advice. By uploading your photos to Wikimedia Commons, for example, you could actually help the community.
  • "I gave the people my knowledge and my time": You mostly gave them external links to your personal website. How selfless. Emoji u1f609.svg Instead, you could license your photos under a free license, and actually give something very nice and useful to the community that way. It is not too late to start with this, and I think that I can promise that nobody will complain or laugh if you decide to edit again even after your previous statement, but this time not for promotion, but actually making Wikimedia Commons and the English Wikipedia articles a more beautiful place.
  • "For thousands of people [...] to give them much more information as possible": The best way to do so would be adding reliably sourced content to Wikipedia articles, not keeping it behind an external link on your personal website. You are, and have always been, very welcome to do so.
  • "[...] it seems that you don’t treat me as a 'normal user' [...]": Really? If you have been receiving warnings about the same issue since 2010 and still continue to do the same thing, we might even have been too lax in this regard.
  • "In results you have destroyed a lot of valuable data": Sorry, no. It makes me sad to summarize it like that, but the mass rollback has not destroyed valuable data. After all, this is why the mass rollback has been done. It would not have been done if you had added "a lot of valuable data" to Wikipedia. Now would be a wonderful point to actually have a clean start and to start adding valuable data to Wikipedia. This could, for example, be: Reliably sourced information, and freely licensed images.
  • "[...] in one of the previous posts user ToBeFree had an argument, that I can’t add links to the pages where used pictures are copyrighted.": I have not said nor meant that, ever. I was only replying to your statement that your website is "based on the same rules as Wikipedia: it's open and free.". I tried to explain to you why this is not really true.
  • "I think the topic is CLOSED.": Sadly no; I'm still busy cleaning up the links. The amount of links I'm encountering makes it hard for me to believe that there was no time to make some actually useful contributions to Wikipedia instead. This could, for example, have been: Adding reliably sourced information, uploading freely licensed images.
I would be more than happy to help with uploading photos to Wikimedia Commons. Should you ever decide to upload more photos, I'll always be there to answer any questions that might arise. The "commonist" tool, which I have already left you a message on your talk page about, might be very useful for this task. I've had great fun using it, and I will happily help with fixing potential problems. Please give it a try one day; don't let this external link thing ruin your whole Wikipedia experience. Let's move on. Face-smile.svg ~ ToBeFree (talk) 21:53, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

I'm almost done with processing the edits now. Something new has come up during my research. These have later been replaced by .eu by Chris lepidoptera and/or Lepidoptera~plwiki; the original domain is no longer available

"All images on this website remain the exclusive copyright of the photographer and may not be reproduced or exploited in any other way without the permission of the copyright owner. Copyright ©2007 by Chris Jonko"

There seems to be a deep deep hole dug long ago. My personal suggestion: Own up to it, without accusing others of their patience in this matter, and move on. It is never too late. Face-smile.svg ~ ToBeFree (talk) 03:58, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Status update: HTTPS for was already done. HTTP for is now done. HTTPS for is now done (was just 1 link). HTTP for remaining. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 04:47, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

You should check some of these sites too. --Izno (talk) 11:18, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks -- as far as I could see so far, the others (except .eu and .pl) do not appear to have any affiliation to this specific incident. They might be unreliable sources as well, and might need to be removed as references as well, but that would be something I'd do after working through the list of links involved in this specific mass link addition here. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 14:38, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Just leaving another note here...

Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Spam/ (permanent link)

Monitored by WikiProject Spam since 10:48, 9 May 2010 (UTC). ~ ToBeFree (talk) 16:19, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

 Done cleaning up the links, for both and, HTTP & HTTPS. Here is a list of about 1090 edits involved with the cleanup process, taking 3 days: Permanent link
I have not used any tools or scripts, just Firefox, hundreds of open tabs and the default keyboard shortcuts. Peak RAM usage for the browser alone was somewhere between 7 and 8 gigabytes; this strategy doesn't work on every machine. To sort the backlog into multiple categories, I used the "insource" feature of MediaWiki's search engine. For the edit summaries, AddWittyNameHere has created a handy permalink that I updated during the cleanup process.

During the investigation, as already written above, it became apparent that the dimension of this spam wave, and the amount of warnings received, has been unexpectedly large. Here is a (possibly still incomplete) timeline:

And that's how we got here. There have been 30 abusefilter warnings, 9 talk page warnings, and 2 mass reverts. Lepidoptera~plwiki continued to spam anyway. Only after that, the ANI thread has been created. Only after that, the mass rollback has been done. Only after that, I have removed all the links to and We have not been unfair here. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 04:19, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

I would support an addition to the blacklist, Beetstra. --Izno (talk) 10:59, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
That has been done already earlier today. --Dirk Beetstra T C 12:43, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

As one last note, a sockpuppet investigation (permalink) has formally determined today that, based on their behavior, there is a plausible relation between Lepidoptera~plwiki and Chris lepidoptera: "It is implausible that they aren't related."

This concern has been explicitly voiced by multiple administrators (1, 2a, 2b, 3). An explanation of possible connection types, and why Wikipedia considers these to be abusive, can be found at Wikipedia:Sock puppetry and Wikipedia:Meatpuppetry. Please note that neither of these terms are meant to be derogatory. I think that there should ideally be neutral terms for describing people, but these two terms have been historically established in the Wikipedia community.

My personal view and explanation of the specific issue here: I think that using multiple accounts, in the way Lepidoptera~plwiki appears to have done, is normally not a problem. It just seemed to be an unconventional way of renaming one’s account, by creating a new account and abandoning the old one. As you can see at User:ToBeFree (old account), I have even been doing exactly that in the past, probably because I did not know that "renaming" is possible. This is perfectly okay.

The only real problem here was denying, multiple times, that there is a connection between these accounts. The following part of Wikipedia’s "Sock puppetry" policy describes this:

Inappropriate uses of alternative accounts
Editors must not use alternative accounts to mislead, deceive, disrupt, or undermine consensus. This includes, but is not limited to:
Avoiding scrutiny: Using alternative accounts that are not fully and openly disclosed to split your editing history means that other editors may not be able to detect patterns in your contributions. While this is permitted in certain circumstances (see legitimate uses), it is a violation of this policy to create alternative accounts to confuse or deceive editors who may have a legitimate interest in reviewing your contributions.
Misusing a clean start by switching accounts or concealing a clean start in a way that avoids scrutiny is considered a breach of this policy; see Wikipedia:Clean start.


Because the link has been added to the blacklist already, and because Lepidoptera~plwiki has already stopped adding the link to Wikipedia articles, there is no need for a block. Blocks are not meant to punish editors; they are only being used if really needed to prevent disruption. This is described in the blocking policy: Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Blocks should not be punitive

Lepidoptera~plwiki: Whenever you like to, and possibly even years in the future, please feel free to give Wikipedia a second chance. A good way to finally have a clean start would probably be:

  • Adding a notice to your user page that explains the connection between "Chris lepidoptera" and your current account. The easiest way to clean the whole situation would be accepting and acknowledging that it happened, and moving on. It does not have to be a large infobox, it can be a small text note. It should not be a pillory -- the important part is not that it's visible, the important part is that it comes from you personally, as a reliable confirmation of what has happened in the past. It could probably even be hidden inside a HTML comment, and would still be a nice gesture.
  • Adding a notice to Chris lepidoptera's user page. If you have lost your password, and if you have no access to the e-mail address anymore, you could write exactly that. If you are logged in as Lepidoptera~plwiki, you can edit the old account's user page. This works because you are "autoconfirmed".
  • If you like to: Adding a short explanation of the situation on your talk page, where others can respond and wish you a good new start. Even if it might look different, we are not angry at you. We have actually never been. We are trying to help, and I will happily offer new cookies if you decide to rejoin Wikipedia in a few years.

I think that this can be archived now. It feels amazing to be able to add the following text to this section:


Face-wink.svg ~ ToBeFree (talk) 05:05, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Hashtag United FC

  • 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 have now multiple times been reverted on Hashtag United F.C. where editors have included the Twitter as the official website, whereas the club has a registered domain, This domain redirects to, their youtube channel. The intro of the article reads: 'they gained notability due to recording their matches, making videos around them, and posting them on YouTube to the Spencer FC Channel.', 'They later moved to the Hashtag United YouTube channel.', 'They are the first YouTube team of their kind to become a registered semi-professional team.', which, to me, clearly shows that the youtube is their most prominent official site, not the Twitter. I further note that the 'about' section on their youtube links to their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

I therefore think that the youtube is the official website, which can be linked through their dedicated domain, or directly. Can I have a second opinion on which link we should use? --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:53, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

As the Twitter link was there at the start of this dispute, I think it's fairer to say that you've reverted several times in an attempt to impose your preferred EL on the article. If we have to choose between the two, then personally I think the Twitter link is preferable as it provides much more frequent updates than the Youtube channel. Also, I can't see that the Youtube account links to their Twitter account, but the Twitter account posts all the videos from Youtube.
Perhaps also worth noting that the club also uses (this is the link provided on their Twitter account), which redirects to a club shop. Number 57 19:07, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
I have double checked, again, but the Youtube channel carries a link to the same twitter feed as that is inserted in the article.
Interestingly, the article has contained as official website, for a long time, '', until it was replaced (by the same user that originally placed it) with on 28 June 2018. That link is to the shop (IMHO, certainly inappropriate). That link then stood until it was replaced with "-" on August 8, 2018 (seen that user's talkpage, I guess vandalism). You then added the twitter shortly after the (vandalising?) removal of the shop link. I find it therefore a bit difficult to swallow that you think that I think that it is my 'preferred link', where that link has stood as the official link for 8 months, and the shop for over a month. And I wonder whether the dispute started when you added the Twitter last week, or when I started removing it. (Note that the editor who added the official link in the beginning, and later replaced it with the shop link appears to have a COI with the club - but they would know what they consider to be the official website).
Now, putting away the 'Beetstra prefers X' (whatever that may mean), it seems to me clear that Hashtag United F.C. pays for the domain '', and that they decided to redirect that to their YouTube. If they would regard the Twitter to be their official website, to me it makes then more sense that their domain would redirect there. --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:56, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
The reason the article previously contained the link to is that until a few weeks ago, there was a proper official website at that address (you can see it at the Web Archive here). I suspect it was changed to the shop link after it had been converted into a redirect to the Youtube channel. Number 57 20:19, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
That it previously contained a 'proper' website shows that the domain is owned by the club, but that they decided to change it to a redirect to YouTube. Maybe they did not want to pay the hosting fees (but kept the domain registration), or decided that this is a better reflection of their origin . --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:05, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
But likewise, is also clearly owned by the club and redirects somewhere else. Ultimately, the club has several different official presences online – Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, the online shop. If we're limiting ourselves to a single link, then we have to decide which one is the most approporiate. As I've said, I think the Twitter is preferable. Number 57 07:46, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, is also theirs, but that is the shop, which would not be the preferred official link. Again, seen that the official domain is redirecting to the youtube makes me believe that the club considers that as the official website. Moreover, it is what we mention as where the club gained a large part of their notability. --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:09, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Feedback on Project!

Hello, I am looking for some opinions on a variety of documents. I am currently working with the Rhode Island State Archives to add relevant external links to articles on Wikipedia. I am wondering if I could obtain some feedback on these articles (user There'sNoTime has been very helpful in getting me to this point!) A quick side note, the Archives are currently updating its catalog system, so sometimes the links do not work. If one of the links does not open, please let me know. Also, I was wondering if some of these would be better off as me composing a new sentence and attaching it as a footnote instead. The proposed footnotes are below:

1. Battle of Rhode Island map: Battle of Rhode Island page:

2. Declaration of Independence: First Newport printing by Solomon Southwick facsimile: Solomon Southwick:

Possible sentence with footnote: On July 4th, 1776, the first printing of the Declaration of Independence took place. On July 6th, a copy was sent to the Governor of Rhode Island. Southwick used this copy to print and distribute a Newport edition of the Declaration.

3. Guide to the Station Nightclub Victims’ Collection: The Station Nightclub Fire:

4. Guide to the Rhode Island School for the Deaf records and photographs: Rhode Island School for the Deaf:

5. Kings County Courthouse photograph: South Kingstown, Rhode Island:,_Rhode_Island

Possible sentence with footnote: The building that currently serves as the Kingston Free Library used to be the King’s County Courthouse. This courthouse also served as one of the five original state houses between 1776-1791. In 1959, the General Assembly sold the building’s title to the Kingston Free Library Corporation.

6. Rocky Point Ferris Wheel photograph: Rocky Point Amusement Park:

Possible sentence with footnote: As early as 1895, Rocky Point also featured a Ferris Wheel.

7. The Rhode Island Building: Louisiana Purchase Exposition St. Louis: Louisiana Purchase Exposition:

8. People's Constitution: Dorr Rebellion:

Revise this sentence with a footnote from: In October, they held an extralegal People's Convention and drafted a new constitution which granted the vote to all white men with one year's residence.

To: In October, they held an extralegal People's Convention and drafted a new constitution, known as the People’s Constitution, which granted the vote to all white men with one year's residence.

9. Ratification of the United States Constitution: New Shoreham: Block Island:

Possible sentence with footnote: On March 24, 1798, a vote was conducted in New Shoreman to ratify the United States Constitution, with those in attendance voting against it.

10. First Petition for Women's Suffrage in Rhode Island: Elizabeth Buffum Chace:

Possible sentence with footnote: She played an integral role in women’s suffrage in Rhode Island with her assistance in creating the First Petition for Women’s Suffrage in Rhode Island to the General Assembly.

Any constructive feedback would be amazing! Thank you! Rcar01 (talk) 19:07, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Linking to a newspaper's col2l2exction of artixcles on a subject

Sorry, k1eyboard just went sout-h. Is [1] a good link? Doug Weller talk 08:57, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

New Stack Exchange site for Wikipedia users

I have just created a proposal on new Question and Answer site for helping Wikipedia users and editors. The link is here:

--Mladifilozof (talk) 18:58, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

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 weare not adirectory). Can I havesomehelp 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)
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