Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

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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Anti suicide hotline numbers[edit]

Not sure if this is the correct forum for this. There is a discussion [the Suicide methods] article. There have been numerous attempt to throw in disclaimers and warnings etc on the article. The current discussion relates to a hat note which doesn't link to similar titled articles but to a list of external prevention hotlines with phone numbers for users to call if they happen to be suicidal while reviewing this article. If this isn't the right place for this please direct me to a noticeboard that is more appropriate. Shabidoo | Talk 17:51, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

Shabidoo, this is a question about an internal link, and therefore this is not the correct noticeboard. There is probably no noticeboard that handles questions about hatnotes. I doubt that this particular RFC needs additional attention, but if you choose to, you could consult Wikipedia:Requests for comment#Publicizing an RfC for ideas. I'd also recommend reviewing Wikipedia:Canvassing very carefully, as advertising an RFC only on pages whose editors are likely to be sympathetic to you is both poor form and fairly often results in a second RFC with a different outcome. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:20, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
I've certainly taken that into account. My goal is to get as many people to express their opinion as possible and I don't know where else to get people's attention. I've used all the links on the page you suggested a few days ago and I cannot find more than three message boards that are remotely relevant to the discussion. If you could suggest where else to canvass please let me know. Cheers. Shabidoo | Talk 22:00, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Template link to a TED talk that had more than 2M views[edit]

Al Seckel was active mostly 1990-2010 as a popularizer of optical illusions. I am working on the section of his bio about this part of his career, which is in my opinion the only reason he is notable. Seckel's lawsuits, his book deals, the people who say he owed them money, etc. are topics amply covered in most of the article.

Seckel gave talks at TED (2004) and Davos (2011) about optical illusions.[1][2][3] @Ronz: removed this information from the article twice. Although now there is now a sentence that mentions the talks, Ronz then removed from EL the standard TED template, with comment "lots of problems with such links -- borders on linkspam."[4] Many GA include a TED template among their EL. What do others think? HouseOfChange (talk) 06:00, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

"X did Y,. source, video of X doing Y" is always a terrible idea. Do you have reliable independent secondary sources establishing the significance of these talks? Non-PR biographical coverage, for example? Guy (Help!) 09:18, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the informative feedback. I had assumed that since Wikipedia has an actual template for linking to TED talks, it was basically an OK thing to put in EL. HouseOfChange (talk) 17:50, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I am not sure what Guy is talking about. This is not about using TED talk video as a source, it's about template {{TED speaker}} in biography which someone removed with misleading edit summary that's it's a spamlink. I have restored it, if they believe it's a spamlink, WP:TFD is the appropriate place to go and ask for its deletion. – Ammarpad (talk) 14:17, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
It's an extremely bad idea to revert against consensus based upon not knowing what others are talking about. --Ronz (talk) 16:16, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
The "X did Y,. source, video of X doing Y" stuff is outside the scope of the Wikipedia:External links guideline and this noticeboard. The only part of the dispute that's in scope for this noticeboard is the part about whether {{TED speaker}} and similar links should be included in the ==External links== section.
Ammarpad and HouseOfChange, there are no rules against adding such links. However, there is a rule against edit-warring to put the links back in after another editor has disputed them. This is a specific rule for external links only, so even a lot of experienced editors are unaware of it. Wikipedia:External links#Handling disputes says that if a link is disputed, it stays out until you have an active consensus in favor of restoring it. The most common way to handle that, therefore, is to start a discussion on the article's talk page about whether to include the TED speaker link (and/or any other dispute links). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:10, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

"General references" in Sumner College[edit]

Another editor is insisting that external links be included in the "References" section of Sumner College. These links use reference templates but they're not used as references in the article. He or she claims that these are "general references showing the college exists and has been reported in reliable sources." I've opened a discussion in the article's Talk page; can someone else please help? Thanks! ElKevbo (talk) 18:24, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

I did a little digging at the Internet Archive. Those two general references were to press releases in the Salem News Headlines and Trenton Chronicle. The same press release—exact same text—is the inline reference to Get News that is currently in the article. Accordingly, since they are redundant dead links to press releases, I've removed them. —C.Fred (talk) 18:41, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Discussion on external links to Allmusic and Discogs on the reliable sources noticeboard[edit]

There is a discussion on the appropriateness of external links to Allmusic and Discogs on the reliable sources noticeboard. If you're interested, please participate at WP:RSN § Musician Discographies from Allmusic and/or Discogs. — Newslinger talk 01:54, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

Does this conspiracy site meet our guidelines.[edit]

This[5] been added to Skull and Bones by User:Nocturnalnow. I removed nn earlier version[6] and it was replaced with this one. It's clearly a conspiracy site: "For about the past ten years I have been studying secret elite groups. The average person has almost no knowledge of them and there are very few sources of information. These secret groups include the Bilderbergers, the Council on Foreign Relations, The Knights of the Garter, The Knights of Malta, The 33rd Degree Masons, the Rhodes Scholars, The Skull and Bones and the Trilateral Commission. What is needed is a historical roster of the membership of each of these groups." S&B is indeed a secret society (note]] that I was never a member and although I must have met students who became or were members I'm certain no one ever told me they were - I thought it was all very silly at best. The Bilderberg Group publishes its attendees, I see no evidence that the Council on Foreign Relations or the Trilateral Commission has a secret membership, the Order of the Garter is very public as are of course recipients of the Rhodes Scholarship. There's ohviously a BLP issue as well. Doug Weller talk 07:36, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

So who is author Eric Samuelson, J.D.? As far as I can tell, this is just "a website" maintained by "a guy". No idea why it would be used as a link. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:15, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Great question. I will get back with details about Samuelson, but just to start, he is a J.D. (Juris Doctor) meaning he has attended and graduated from law school and thus is an Officer of the Court; and I bet just that puts this link ahead of many other external links which we have included in the encyclopedia. But I will provide more details later in the day. Nocturnalnow (talk) 14:13, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
As we all know, "Anyone can create a personal web page or publish their own book and claim to be an expert in a certain field." Although, it is not clear to me that having a JD, or rather, claiming to have a JD, would put this link ahead of any other external links. We're talking about an article on a secret society - not an article about legal practice. Aside, a lawyer is not necessarily an officer of the court. Someguy1221 (talk) 22:10, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks Doug Weller for bringing this up. I do not believe it is within our NPOV mission for any of us to be using the "conspiracy theory" label unless its in reference to an article which uses that label. Who am I or any other editor to decide what is or is not a "conspiracy theory"? For example, someone (not me by the way), might label the Gulf of Tonkin incident as being a well intentioned communication screw up yet, according to our article, "but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005 proved material misrepresentation by the US government to justify a war against Vietnam." which could reasonably fall into the broad, vague and selectively applied term "conspiracy theory", especially before the Pentagon Papers and McNamara's memoirs came out.
In fact, before the Pentagon Papers came out, the theory that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was already being speculated by many as being a CIA project and establishment press called that speculation a "conspiracy theory".
"Conspiracy theory" is simply an over-used term that acts as a shiny object to shut down thinking or discussing any event whatsoever. "That's communism" was a similar shiny object back in the 50s applied against things like Social Security or food stamps..
Now, if you believe that all other external links are to information which is 100% verified, then That's something worth using as an argument against this particular external link, but otherwise, I do not think this particular link should be singled out because of some tangential connection to what someone says is a "conspiracy theory"
So, I'd prefer to have this discussion about the usefulness of the link to our readers and I'd prefer to drop the shiny object term "conspiracy theory" from the discussion as it is much too pejorative a term for an intelligent conversation, imo. Nocturnalnow (talk) 13:57, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I also say that what Samuelson has written about other clubs or organizations is not particularly relevant because as Doug says, the others all publish their membership lists whereas Skull and Bones do not. However, I do think the word "secret" can apply to almost all organizations, including corporations, when it comes to their inner administrative decisions, and there is nothing wrong with that. To make the word "secret" some sort of pejorative term is a big mistake, imo. Nocturnalnow (talk) 14:13, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

(edit conflict):::So we ignore the fact that he thinks there's a conspiracy about Rhodes Scholars or Knights of the Garter? We're going to have to disagree about conspiracy theories, they are real and affect the real world, QAnon being just the latest - the first conspiracy theory to have been called a potential source of domestic terrorist by the FBI. This guy's not in that category of course, nor are the conspiracy theories he's promoting. So, we have:

ELNO 2 "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research, except to a limited extent in articles about the viewpoints that the site is presenting."
ELNO 11 "Blogs, personal web pages and most fansites (negative ones included), except those written by a recognized authority. (This exception for blogs, etc., controlled by recognized authorities is meant to be very limited; as a minimum standard, recognized authorities who are individuals always meet Wikipedia's notability criteria for people.)"

"In addition, although the article isn't a biography it falls under our BLP policy. WP:ELBLP says "In biographies of living persons, material available solely in questionable sources or sources of dubious value should be handled with caution, and, if derogatory, should not be used at all, either as sources or via external links. External links in biographies of living persons must be of high quality and are judged by a higher standard than for other articles. Do not link to websites that are not fully compliant with this guideline or that contradict the spirit of WP:BLP." Doug Weller talk 14:13, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

Ok, I see what you are saying. I just noticed List of Skull and Bones members which is a much better approach in any event. Thank you for your time and discussion. Nocturnalnow (talk) 02:49, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Does this site meet our guidelines.[edit]

So I am trying to restart this sub-section leaving out the pejorative and non-established description of the site as a "conspiracy" site. If that "conspiracy" description is to be accepted then I feel someone must present evidence to show it to be a "conspiracy" site. Nocturnalnow (talk) 14:06, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

This is absolutely not necessary. You've already replied above about the author's J.D., it gets too confusing to have a subsection while there is relevant information above. Doug Weller talk 14:13, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
This is not an appropriate link for that page. Per WP:ELBURDEN, it should not be included unless and until there is an actual consensus to include it, where the minimum definition of "actual consensus" for this purpose means "established editors other than Nocturnalnow believe that its inclusion would improve the page". WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:54, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Need to reach a consensus[edit]

It has come to my attention that Nikkimaria is removing Find-a-Grave as an EL from some (but not all) articles based on the reasoning that there is already a picture of the grave in the article. While pictures of resting places are a feature of that website there is other information available. Of greater concern to me is the precedence this sets in regard to other external links. For example should the links to IMDb be removed from film articles that have a complete cast and production list or from actor articles that have a complete filmography. I've started this thread to try and reach a consensus about this kind of criteria for excluding a website that otherwise meets the guidelines as an EL. If the consensus is to partially exclude a site then IMO that should be added to the instructions at Wikipedia:External links. Thanks ahead of time for any responses. MarnetteD|Talk 03:25, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Hi MarnetteD, links to Find-a-Grave have historically been accepted when they provide unique resources such as images of the graves of the subjects. In cases where there is already an image of the grave in the article, what additional value do you feel this site provides? Keep in mind that the site's textual content is almost entirely user-generated and/or unlicensed copies of newspaper articles, both of which are problematic in terms of the EL guidelines. As to instructions to partially exclude a site, does Wikipedia:External_links/Perennial_websites fit the bill? The description there for both Find-a-Grave and IMDb appear consistent with my understanding of practice. Nikkimaria (talk) 03:43, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) All of those things apply to IMDb as well. The reason I started this thread was my concerns over "the site is okay for some articles but not others" situation. Whether the site should be used at all is a different conversation (I think there was one in the past but I could be wrong) and probably should be discussed in a separate thread. MarnetteD|Talk 03:51, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Hah you added that link while I was typing the above :-) This one will save anyone reading this a little scrolling Wikipedia:External links/Perennial websites#Find a Grave. Based on what is there you edits look to be within the guidelines. Though you might wait a day or so to see if other editors feel that there is any reason to discuss "consensus can change" in this situation. MarnetteD|Talk 03:55, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
I tend to leave Find-a-Grave links only in STUBs, very small articles, etc. --Ronz (talk) 04:14, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Why would it be a problem for a site to be okay for some articles but not others? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:05, 23 August 2019 (UTC)

Noticeboard discussion on copyright status of documents hosted by Semantic Scholar[edit]

There is a noticeboard discussion on the copyright status of documents hosted by Semantic Scholar. If you're interested, please participate at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard § Semantic Scholar. — Newslinger talk 06:36, 25 August 2019 (UTC)