Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

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I first came across a link to this site used in citations yesterday on List of sources for the Crusades, and having looked at the link to fill out the reference, I thought it looked like a copyvio and per WP:ELNEVER / WP:LINKVIO removed it. The link went to a web version of this The Crusades - An Encyclopedia by Alan V. Murray (publishers page). The toplevel of the web version [ here shows the book front] but there are no credits, and the site itself does not give any indication of licensing only describing itselft as "Erenow - An educational project that allows everyone online to get the information they need on different subjects."

So I went on a crusade of my own, removing further links to the website on the above mentioned article (see page history for that), and then looked if there were other instances of the site being used for links. I identified about 40 possible pages, including Cave de Sueth (a Crusade era fortification) where I removed the link and filled out reference to the book. VarmtheHawk (talk · contribs) reverted and asked for a reason on the talk page (Talk:Cave de Sueth#Link removal). I explained my reasoning with respect to WP policy in this reply. They reverted my removal of a link to the site on two other articles (example) as "unstubstantiated". They have challenged me on my claim that it is a copy violating website and that "you need to provide some basis for that claim and have that verified by Wikipedia Administration." So here I am, after an opinion on the suitability of the site as an external link in citations. GraemeLeggett (talk) 07:00, 1 November 2021 (UTC)

As far as I can tell Erenow does hold some books that are out of copyright status, but they also appear to have a reputation for just uploading what they want. As a result since they're deliberately stripping the copyright info from these books a reasonable person can only assume they do not have the rights to some of these books and they should be removed under WP:COPYLINK. Canterbury Tail talk 12:24, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
I am aware of the issues with Erenow but in regard to the book in question (and several others), the publishers apparently have allowed their work to be published in their entirety on seemly reputable US-based (free) websites. I'm not an expert on copyrights, but think this may be a consideration. I'm also surprised that the issue is just arising now as the citations from Erenow are commonplace and in use for years. VarmtheHawk (talk) 14:14, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
What is your source that the publishers have allowed their work to be published on these websites? There is no time limit on when things can be rectified, some things unfortunately take years for people to notice them. Just because something has been there for years, doesn't mean it shouldn't be rectified. Ultimately anyway we don't need these links to the source, they're references so just having the book filled out as a reference is enough, we don't need a URL directing the user to the actual book. Canterbury Tail talk 14:25, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
Erenow links are not widespread. Including the articles I've already amended, the number of articles I have found with links to is less than 40. In many cases it's a single citation in the article. GraemeLeggett (talk) 16:02, 1 November 2021 (UTC)
So, they are hosting copies of original sources? Then ALL these links, whether permissible or not, are replaceable (though in some cases it may be to a paper-only version of a document, which is not necessarily optimal)? And if their hosting is questionable, then that is enough to remove the links, there is no real need to have a discussion that 'maybe' it is permissible. I would go as far as blacklisting this and only allow what is needed and proven permissible. Dirk Beetstra T C 05:53, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
I agree with Dirk.
Additionally, please see WP:ELBURDEN: disputed links get removed, and they stay out unless and until there is an actual consensus to include them. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:40, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
The fact is also these were being used in references, which was completely unnecessary. For references of books, we just need the details of the book not a link to an online copy of it. Canterbury Tail talk 00:42, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

See request (which I will be handling shortly). Please remove ALL links to this site (and whitelist the real exceptions, which should be few). --Dirk Beetstra T C 06:18, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

@GraemeLeggett, Canterbury Tail, WhatamIdoing, and Jayron32: Forgot to mention that I now blacklisted this, and that we need some (aggressive?) cleaning of this. Even if some of the material is hosted with license, the original work is still the better place to point people to (though I have no problem with granting whitelisting of material that can be shown difficult to access in book form ánd which is hosted appropriately - but please see first if there are alternatives, like google books or even WikiSource). --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:32, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, but I have no particular passion for projects like this. I got caught up in the recent addition while answering a ref-desk question, that was all. My efforts are better spent elsewhere. --Jayron32 13:35, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
It's only used in a few places, shouldn't take too long to clean it up. Fact ultimately is, these would at best be convenience links anyway, completely unnecessary for the reference. Canterbury Tail talk 13:39, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Actually I just removed one, and it seems like that was the last instance of it. All other instances appear to be gone. Only thing now is, do we want to suppress it in the histories. Canterbury Tail talk 13:42, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
There are hundreds more, see link search. MrOllie (talk) 13:44, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Hmmm, an insource search wasn't helpful at all there. Fair enough. I am right in thinking I can just remove the URL parameter from a reference, thereby removing the convenience link yes? Canterbury Tail talk 13:48, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
And the majority of them are all links to the same book on the crusades, in fact the book that this entire thing started with. Ah well, we've done nearly 300 so far. Canterbury Tail talk 19:03, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Only 35 instances to go now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:15, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
And done. The only thing left in the search appears to be a cached FAC inclusion that will likely sort itself out. Canterbury Tail talk 13:44, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Disputing the removal of WikiTree as an External Link[edit]

RE:WP:ELBURDEN User:Nikkimaria

WikiTree is a free genealogy wiki whose members work collaboratively to create and maintain a global family tree. As with Wikipedia, WikiTree also has projects - groups of members who work to keep the database accurate.

Adding the WikiTree template to the External Links section of an article is justifiable as there is additional source documentation that is not allowed on Wikipedia (ie birth, marriage, death, and census records). This is in addition to the detail of the subject's family genealogy, which is not always available on Wikipedia.

As an example, please see Frank Sinatra on WikiTree

--Azurerae (talk) 20:45, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

Question. What does WikiTree tell us about the article subject that isn't on Wikipedia? Not their relatives as we already have that if they're notable people, but actually about the subject. Remember external links needs to add more information on the subject themselves. So for your Frank Sinatra example, there doesn't appear to be anything in the WikiTree article that we don't already have on the Wikipedia article, so why would we link to it? Canterbury Tail talk 23:04, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
This is a user-generated genealogy website with content that is largely unsourced or sourced to other unreliable sites. There may be individual cases where inclusion is warranted, but as a general rule no. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:00, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
No, this should be only included after very careful consideration and most certainly should not be on every article. User generated data, wiki-like, first-level information should be included on our articles (if reliably sourced) and levels further away are almost never needed on our articles (maybe, maybe only on royal families or families of the level of the Kennedy family - but then we still include it in our articles already). Hence, fits many of our WP:ELNO criteria. I have started to remove instances, I think this should be removed everywhere, and seen that this has very, very little utility overall the template could be deleted. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:24, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
It has been deleted previously: Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2016_April_18#Template:Wikitree_name. Nikkimaria (talk) 18:17, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
We even use it as a reference: Peter Schmucker?? Really? --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:26, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Here is one interesting example of Wikipedia citing WikiTree as a reference: Samuel_Morse_(Dedham) says "He is not the ancestor of famed inventor Samuel Morse" and cites WikiTree. Considering the number of Wikipedia visitors who are interested in genealogical relationships among famous people (and may try to edit articles to claim bogus relationships), I think it makes good sense to include a statement like that, and WikiTree does include the data to show that lack of a relationship. -Orlady (talk) 18:18, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Actually that's a terrible thing to have on Wikipedia and it should be removed. Just because people share a name doesn't imply to anyone there is a connection between them. For Wikipedia to say they're specifically not related to someone else of the same name isn't terribly encyclopaedic. He's likely also not related to Abraham Lincoln, but we haven't included that. Not related, not connected, not about is not something expected in an encyclopaedia article. Canterbury Tail talk 12:36, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
I don't agree. We add similar information in hatnotes at the top of many articles, and combatting common misconceptions is a reasonable thing for people to do. (I'm not sure that I'd cite it to a user-generated website, because of WP:USERGEN, but if it can be properly sourced, it can be appropriate content.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:19, 13 November 2021 (UTC)

OK, I had a bit of a look around after my last post, and saw Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_340#Genealogy_reliable_sources, Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_293#Wikitree, Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_298#Royalcruft_again, and Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_169#WikiTree. Judgement there is not very favourable, one of the threads asking for blacklisting and a second one softly suggesting the same. I've now gone through a couple of pages, and all of them are badly sourced to this, so I am starting to consider for the better of the encyclopedia, to blacklist this, only allowing some exceptions through by whitelisting specifics. --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:59, 10 November 2021 (UTC)

Yeah, these genealogy are rarely reliable, and WikiTree fails multiple WP:ELNO criteria including the ones about needing a login to view most data, user generated wiki, but mostly because they don't add any encyclopaedic info we don't already have. Canterbury Tail talk 12:05, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
What does it add? It provides the user with additional information. Sinatra's genealogical data is briefly covered on WP, but, can be further researched/expanded on WT. It's another aspect of the article in question. Where WP focuses mostly on the subject's body of work for example, on WT you can see the details of where he lived, who he was living with or working for at the time of the WWII draft.
Wikipedia is also a user-generated website where there are also some articles with errors and inaccurate information. --
There are a number of qualified genealogists that work on generating high-quality profiles. Please see:
Azurerae (talk) 15:50, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Yes, WT has its place on the web, Wikipedia has its place. That is not a reason that we have to use WT. Is full scale genealogy in scope for inclusion on Wikipedia? No, we are an encyclopedia. Do we have to link to it … no, we don’t link because something exists, we link because they have reliable, encyclopedic data. Yes, WT has a number of good profiles, WP as well. You can see what they were doing at the time of WWII draft, why is that of interest to an encyclopedia, and if it is then we write that ourselves and find a reliable source to prove it. Dirk Beetstra T C 17:26, 10 November 2021 (UTC)

To go along with what my colleague Azurerae stated, WikiTree is actually quite accredited and well connected in the genealogical world. It may not seem like much. However, we have helped the likes of Dr. Henry Louis Gates and CeCe Moore research their family tree. They and other professional genealogists from all corners of the globe have praised the website for being one of the most accurate genealogy websites on the planet. The International Society of Genealogists and the New England Historical Genealogical Society have praised the website for outstanding work in the field of research.

While it is true the website does have errors, measures have been put in place to keep those errors at a minimum. This includes various projects which clean up uploaded gedcoms. The site is not a place for research. However, it is a place to find accurate sources collected in one spot. It is an aggregate of information. Several projects work to strengthen the tree. We collaborate and work hard to make it accurate.

One thing Wikitree does that Wikipedia does not is provide links to a source. To go along with the Sinatra example, if you were to click his profile and scroll down to the 1940 census source, you can click it and find his family in the 1940 census courtesy of sites such as FamilySearch. The information found there is guaranteed to be accurate.

It would be a tremendous mistake to blacklist a genealogy website for simply presenting the facts when both websites use the same editing styles and would benefit from working with each other as more information about a notable person's family tree can be found there since it isn't here.

With that said, here are videos of Dr. Gates Jr and CeCe Moore praising our work.

Dr. Gates:

CeCe Moore:

Thank you for your time. Cferra (talk) 16:21, 10 November 2021 (UTC)

… you can find his family in the 1940 census … now, that is the source we need, not a wiki that aggregates the data. The key is not being correct, the key is being reliable. Wikipedia disclaims loudly that they are not reliable. WT is not either, and should not be used as a source. And on similar premises, it should not be used as an external link. Dirk Beetstra T C 17:31, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
Dirk: The 1940 census is a primary source. Wikipedia admonishes us not to engage in original research, meaning (among other things) that articles should be based on reliable secondary sources, rather than republishing information from primary sources. Census records often contain errors, which is good reason not to rely on a single census record as a source of facts. On the other hand, genealogists need to ensure that their facts are traceable to primary records (partly because published genealogies and local histories often contain "facts" that are contradicted by primary records), and genealogists put a lot of effort into detecting end evaluating discrepancies and possible errors in primary records.
There are some biographies on WikiTree that include and discuss information found in primary records that contradicts (or disproves) the person's "official" biographies (for example, the original records may reveal an early marriage that the article's subject deleted from the story of their life) and that may or may not have made it into a print publication. Due to WP:NOR], Wikipedia should not present that kind of content as factually true, but an external link to it could add real value to the WP article.
Not nearly all WikiTree profiles have content that would add information value to a Wikipedia article about the article's subject, but it would be a mistake to say that the entire site has no independent value as an EL (or a citation) just because some WikiTree profiles lack independent value. --Orlady (talk) 18:18, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
@Orlady, our formal rules against WP:USERGEN websites is much stronger than our preference for secondary sources over primary sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:18, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
@Orlady: the careful use of primary sources is perfectly fine. If the 1940 census is known to contain errors then we cannot use it as a source (I expected that it was more correct, but OK). However, it is perfectly fine as a primary source there if the use is with proper care and using it as such.
Wikitree however is a wiki, user generated content. Then they use the 1940 census (apparently) which by your admission often contains errors. It being a wiki already disqualifies it as a reliable source.
We discourage wikis as external links. And if they use erratic data and do OR on that then my evaluation would be that it it also fits ELNO#2: 'Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research' .. and if we tell people to take that genealogy data to Wikitree because it is out of our scope, then that data is not relevant to our readers, and there is no reason to link to it.
Hence, this is not a website that we generally want to link to. It is popular, and we do not want to keep cleaning up after editors keep introducing this as references (really????), but not even as external links. There are SOME exceptions, but if the cleanup of these is more work than I would !vote to make sure this does not just get added everywhere. Dirk Beetstra T C 06:43, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm not certain that WP:BLPPRIMARY permits the use of census records for a living person. For a dead person, the difficulty is less about the rules and more about how editors could be certain that the "Robert Smith" in that 1940 census record was the same Robert Smith that the article was about. The 1940 census is unlikely to say something useful like "Robert Smith (who will become a professional athlete in another 15 years)". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:30, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
It all there depends on the specific record. However, this discussion regarding the census is tangential, and I don't even understand how we got there .. I am now totally confused with 'To go along with the Sinatra example, if you were to click his profile and scroll down to the 1940 census source, you can click it and find his family in the 1940 census courtesy of sites such as FamilySearch. The information found there is guaranteed to be accurate' where we now say that the 1940 census source is absolutely not to be used ... I find it rather ironic that we are discussing a website that we can't use as a reference as a spin off of a discussion regarding a wiki that is using said website ..
Since this is a rather popular site which is linked widely in both references and external links I !vote to blacklist this, and only where one can make a proper case of use we whitelist that link. Dirk Beetstra T C 07:15, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the conversation here - are we talking about removing one link from one Wikipedia article? Or are we talking about removing a template and forbidding people to ever link to WikiTree? I saw the question "what does it add" several times - which implies that the person asking is talking about a specific link. Since WikiTree pages are going to be at varying stages of development, that answer will depend on the specific article being linked. Answering "this specific link does/does not add to this WP article" doesn't seem related to asking whether the template should exist.
Also, someone suggested that the 1940 Census should be cited on Wikipedia - I'm pretty sure that would be considered "original research," which would go against the no original research guideline. And since WikiTree is built around encouraging that kind of original research and source citation, it seems to me that linking to WikiTree and placing the source in the WikiTree article would be more appropriate than putting a link to the 1940 Census in Wikipedia.
On balance, I'd argue for keeping the template and encouraging users to move detailed genealogical information to WikiTree, where it is more appropriate. Tad (talk) 23:47, 10 November 2021 (UTC)
@PapaSmirk: This is your first Wikipedia edit in more than a year! Welcome back. Can I ask how you found this discussion after so long away? - MrOllie (talk) 00:14, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Replying @MrOllie: - I've been "away" for a while working on the rather large project of publishing my family's history - as I'm winding down on that project, I've been adding more of my research to WikiTree. If I may, here's a link to my contributions there. I'm actually interested in this discussion because I am the profile manager for James A. Bushnell - I cited the James A. Bushnell article on his WikiTree page and would like to use the appropriate template to link from Wikipedia. Tad (talk) 04:32, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
Another example: Richard Montgomery and his WT profile. Here's a pretty notable individual with some minimal genealogical information in his "Early Life" section. I have posted a question in the comment section of his WikiTree page hoping for some clarification, and I plan on digging through some of the relevant local histories as time permits over the next few weeks to see if I can answer it myself. But when it comes to expanding what I learn about his immediate family and beyond, how much of that would you want in his Wikipedia article? For a general encyclopedia, it's probably good enough to link to his "brother [[Alexander Montgomery]] (1720–1800) and cousin, another [[Alexander Montgomery]] (1686–1729)" - but as a genealogist, I need to be able to differentiate between these multiple Alexanders and understand more about their family tree. That's where I would argue the link to WikiTree comes in handy. If you'd like to argue that the WT articles are under-developed or under sourced, I'll make the same counter-argument that I make when people complain about stubs on Wikipedia: "You're invited to improve them." Or, if you're concerned about the notability of any of these relatives with stub articles, maybe consider moving their content off Wikipedia, and using the WikiTree link template so people who care can follow the breadcrumbs? Tad (talk) 21:05, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
@PapaSmirk, it looks like the site is running a heavily modified form of MediaWiki, with many of the usual "background" pages like Special:ActiveUsers disabled, and I can't find an editable or source-viewable page to see what {{NUMBEROFACTIVEUSERS}} says (it's 123,829 here at the English Wikipedia). Can you tell me how many different people contributed to the site during the last month? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:31, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing - I can only see a limited view of the total feed, based on the surnames and pages I've added to my Watchlist; that limited view gave me more than 500 edits over the last 10 hours or so. You would probably need to contact the site managers to see if they have that information handy: Tad (talk) 23:10, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
If you can only see a limited part of the total feed, then our usual calculations are off. We do link to wikis and other user-generated sites, but we're usually looking for sites that have ~100 different contributors each month, because that helps us know that there will be plenty of people around to spot and fix problems. But if each contributor can only see a fraction of the feed, then we'd need to see far more people, so that there are multiple people who could look at each piece. I'm doubtful that this is likely to be true. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
Same question to @Cferra:, welcome back straight to this thread after a long 11 years away from Wikipedia. Canterbury Tail talk 01:07, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
@Canterbury Tail:, I spend most of my time doing genealogy work on WikiTree. I work with @Azurerae: and other WikiTreers to help improve the website via its many projects. She linked me to this thread and I offered to lend a friend a hand. People did not seem to understand what the website was about and so I offered to strengthen the case for the website.
That being said. If you wish to remove links, it may be open for debate. However, straight up blacklisting a genealogy website over links is probably a bad idea since both websites can coexist and work together toward the same goal--expanding the knowledge base. While Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, WikiTree is akin to an encyclopedia of almost every human that has ever lived. We do biographies just as Wikipedia does. In fact, we discourage people from doing straight copy/pastes from Wikipedia and just create their own biographies. It's a long process. But, it can be done. It's really annoying when people do that.
If you or anyone else has questions about WikiTree, feel free to ask. 14:33, 11 November 2021 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cferra (talkcontribs)
Yes, we are here now talking about ever linking to it. Anyway, I am glad to see that you understand Wikipedia’s OR guideline, and hence that WT is doing that for us. That still makes WT unsuitable as a source. I guess we need to do some work expunging this from WP now. Dirk Beetstra T C 02:14, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Having encouraged certain Wikipedians (current or ex-) to quit posting genealogical content in Wikipedia, and move that content to WikiTree instead, I strongly endorse the idea of encouraging users to move their detailed genealogical information to WikiTree. Wikipedia articles should not be based on primary sources such as the 1940 U.S. Census, and they should not include details like an indication that a non-notable niece of the article subject died in an car crash (this is the sort of detail I have told people to expunge from Wikipedia and move to WikiTree).
WikiTree is interested in trivial details like that car crash story that do not belong in Wikipedia, and WikiTree encourages original research using primary records, which is contrary to Wikipedia policy. It seems to me that WikiTree can be a worthwhile complement to Wikipedia. So encourage use of WikiTree for content that does not belong in Wikipedia, and allow external links to WikiTree (or citations for specific facts) when WikiTree has worthwhile content that cannot or should not be included in Wikipedia. --Orlady (talk) 01:29, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm with User:Beetstra I !vote to blacklist, use the whitelist where there is an excellent case that only Wikitree will suffice. Doug Weller talk 13:27, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm also wondering if there isn't an issue with WP:COI here with editors who are very heavy into WikiTree creating links to it in Wikipedia. Canterbury Tail talk 14:46, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
COI is maybe a bit too harsh, but their opinion is likely not neutral. Dirk Beetstra T C 18:04, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
Yeah it's not quite full COI, but they're adding links to a site where they do a lot of work. Is it really much different to linking to your company if you worked a part time job really? I know there's no payment here, but the connection is similar. It's the same as adding links to an organisation you volunteer for. Canterbury Tail talk 19:11, 15 November 2021 (UTC)
I'm always concerned about putting any "popular" link on the blacklist. That can be very disruptive, especially to less-experienced editors (which is most editors). WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:40, 27 November 2021 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: but having something continuously 'spammed' here (I mean many editors adding something utterly useless over and over, not only newbies but also regulars who do not know) is a) disruptive to readers, b) disruptive to editors having to clean this up. If something is so blatantly useless as this seems to be control measures against additions should be made, whether blacklist, or a totally blocking edit filter (which is just basically the same as the blacklist though you can put a pre-warning). Dirk Beetstra T C 05:37, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
Strong support for this. Doug Weller talk 09:12, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
If we put this in the AbuseFilter, we can stop (or warn against) new additions without forcing editors to clean up old ones when they want to make an unrelated change. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:34, 29 November 2021 (UTC)

Gyanshankar Mishra citations by Newzolt[edit]

Over the eight years since account creation, User:Newzolt's edits have been entirely for the purpose of adding citations to papers by Gyanshankar Mishra. The linked papers appear to poorly summarize work by other authors, and appear to all be published in predatory open-access journals. In my opinion, while not egregious enough to be classified as outright spam, the citations do not add any value to the articles and appear to be for the primary purpose of promoting Gyanshankar Mishra. Around 2021-10-30, User:Quisqualis reverted a substantial number of these edits and created User talk:Newzolt with a warning to stop posting such links. Newzolt posted a mostly-incoherent response which I cannot make sense of, then continued with their previous behavior. What is the proper remedy in such cases? Although the easiest solution is to mass revert and block Newzolt, I am still willing to WP:AGF that they may become a good contributor if they are steered in the right direction. ⁓ Hello71 21:10, 21 November 2021 (UTC)

The current edit by newzolt was regarding a statement that "Drug-Resistant TB is a man-made phenomenon" with 2 citations from Pubmed, since it needs to be backed up with evidence. This is a very important statement that every reader needs to understand in the genesis of drug-resistant TB. One of the articles cited a case study detailing the specific details of how drug resistance develops and is a man-made problem. We need to follow the scientific evidence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Newzolt (talkcontribs) 18:55, 22 November 2021 (UTC)

Promotion aside, this should be on WP:RS/N not external links. Canterbury Tail talk 19:11, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
@Headbomb, is this something you can check? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:41, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

@Hello71, WhatamIdoing, and Quisqualis: see [1]. Or alternatively, you can review

Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:48, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

@Headbomb, I was wondering whether they all seemed like bad journals to you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:57, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
Some are at least bad. Others seem borderline at best. It's clearly promotional WP:REFSPAM, so they should probably be purged. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 04:02, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
There are only four left now (plus one false-positive). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:35, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
WP:MED can probably help with the rest, and see if they make sense or not. They likely all fail WP:MEDRS as primary research though. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 06:42, 29 November 2021 (UTC)
I've blocked the editor. Doug Weller talk 09:11, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
And their appeal was rejected after they made it clear they weren't going to discuss any possible connection with Mishra and didn't appear to be planning to return to editing. Doug Weller talk 13:08, 2 December 2021 (UTC)

Canvassing links to[edit]

I've asked Rhodendron several times to stop adding canvassing links to programminginsider, and ad-laden commercial website, until a consensus is established that they are appropriate. Rhodendron claims that they are the only available source for Live+7 TV ratings; my contention is that Live+7 ratings aren't absolutely required (nor were they typically previously included) on articles about television shows. The user claims to not have a COI, despite having made very few contributions beyond adding these links. OhNoitsJamie Talk 12:51, 23 December 2021 (UTC)

Jamie you're accusing me in bad faith now ans I shall be registering a complain. You've chosen not to believe me even when I've told you multiple times I'm only using the source for Live+7 ratings. And the fact that you're claiming it's not required, it shows that you partially admit that's what I'm really doing.
Live+SD figures don't capture the true viewership of a programme and ypu shouldn't decide what's necessary. [2]. And btw they've been included for years. See Supergirl (season 1) for example.
Regardless not necessary doesn't mean you should stop someone from doing it. The template for TV ratings on Wikipedia has a "Total" section for a reason.
I admitted already have few contributions beyond Live+7 because I set my account up primarily because users here didn't regularly update Live+7 numbers. I don't have any connection with Programming Insider but you seem to not want to believe it despite all my explanations being adequate enough.
I ask User:Magitroopa, User:Rootone and User:YoungForever who I have often seen editing articles about shows to talk about Live+7 ratings and Programming Insider here. They'll be able to explain the situation well. Rhodendron (talk) 14:40, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
The general consensus (at least AFAIK from WP:TV) is that Programming Insider is reliable. The reliability of it was previously questioned in September at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television/Archive 35#Reliability of Programming Insider, and a much larger discussion was held in May-June at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television/Archive 34#U.S. TV ratings sources when at the time, Showbuzz Daily went defunct. Magitroopa (talk) 14:52, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
Live+7 ratings have been available since the mid-2000s and were routinely added to American TV show articles until the main source, TV by the Numbers, went offline in 2020, and for some reason other publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter stopped reporting them about a year ago. Since then, Programming Insider has been the main source. The featured article Grey's Anatomy (season 17) (promoted in November 2021) cites Programming Insider, as does the featured article Janet(s) (promoted September 2021). A discussion occurred about its reliability here, and well-respected editor Nikkimaria accepted its reliability. You're the one going against consensus by reverting edits citing it. Heartfox (talk) 19:43, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
I concur with Magitroopa. There is a general consensus that Programming Insider is a reliable source. — YoungForever(talk) 21:09, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
That's good enough for me, thanks for the input and links. OhNoitsJamie Talk 21:17, 23 December 2021 (UTC)
It appears that this editor has been blocked for 48 hours. Perhaps further discussion, if needed, could wait until the block ends. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:06, 23 December 2021 (UTC)


I could not think of a better place to post this: Am I the only one who finds Ghostarchive a little shady? I'm worried that we are mass linking to a website with no identified owners or supporting organization, and whose only contact form seems to be its tumblr account.

Contrast that with the Wayback Machine, which is hosted by the Internet Archive or, which is maintained by the Harvard Law School library.

This is not only an "optics" problem: I'm concerned about the long-term stability of such a website and its ability to meet our WP:COPYLINK requirements, which anonymous websites don't have a good track record of doing. JBchrch talk 11:32, 11 January 2022 (UTC)

@JBchrch: And doesn't suffer from the same problems? We have over a million or two links to that site, and we do not know who owns And we knew who owned Webcite and look where it is now.
I personally think that as long as the site does the job (archiving links), it doesn't matter who owns it. We link to a whole bunch of sources here, and I am sure we do not know the owner of many of those sites. You state anonymous websites don't have a good track record of staying up, but didn't provide any examples?
Alternate archive sites are not replacements for the Wayback machine, they supplement the Wayback machine. GreenC said that Wayback has more, a lot more, than any other provider. and it will stay that way for the foreesable future. However there are many sites the Wayback machine can't archive. Just today someone contacted me regarding a dead link that had a broken archive on Wayback, but a working one on Many of these ghostarchive links are Youtube archives, which no other archive can handle properly. The wayback machine has very recently trying to fix their Youtube archiving capability, but it has a long way to go I think. Internet Archive is preparing to archive about 9000 Youtube videos a day from all Wikimedia properties, which is good i guess.
I spoke to someone working at the IA, who said they aren't even going to work on Instagram, Facebook, or Linkedin archiving. Ghostarchive and are doing all three of those sites. I use all three sites quite heavily, they have their own strengths and weaknesses. It's about using the right tool for the job. Also i think this a better place for WP:LINKROT talk page where the archive guys hang out. Rlink2 (talk) 15:32, 11 January 2022 (UTC)
@Rlink2 Just to clarify, the reference to anonymous websites was only in relation to COPYLINK, not the ability to stay up. JBchrch talk 15:58, 11 January 2022 (UTC)

Archive provider loss is a real problem. In the past few years we have lost 5. One lesson from WebCite is you can kind of predict ahead of time: site goes down often, lacks support, no new features, bugs not fixed, etc.. By comparison, and Ghost appear well attended. Also of the five, 4 were conscientious to arrange moving before they shut down ie. Pandora, Europa Archives, Proni Web Archives, Collections Canada. These were institutional. That leaves WebCite as the outlier case, but also most similar to Ghost and as an anonymous one-person provider. It is a problem of "who watches the watchers". It might be as simple as a best-practice that any archive at Ghost have a backup at another provider, or some other arrangement to ensure against total loss of Ghost. The newer the provider, the shorter estimated lifespan it will have. -- GreenC 03:39, 12 January 2022 (UTC)

The couple of times in the last week that I have come across a ghostarchive link with Firefox (under Win10/64; FF95.x and 96, with several extensions) I have got " could not be loaded due to the following error: SecurityError: The operation is insecure." Another browser (Brave) works. My response is to replace these links with the Wayback Machine, if available, saying why in the summary. Best wishes, Pol098 (talk) 22:26, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
Can you try in incognito mode to verify it's not a plugin? -- GreenC 22:33, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
@Pol098: Have you tried clicking on the "archived page not working?" thing on the side bar? That usually works, at least for me. Rlink2 (talk) 23:55, 12 January 2022 (UTC)
@Rlink2:@GreenC: Private mode doesn't make any difference as I have the plugins enabled in that mode, but I tried it on a Win7/32 virtual machine with a Firefox without extensions. Same error. I clicked on the "archived page not working?" thing on the side bar, and the page then did load. I still think this behaviour is completely unacceptable. It's not just the cumbersomeness and extra click; anyone who comes across it is likely to give up in frustration rather than look at the sidebar. Best wishes, Pol098 (talk) 00:31, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
@Pol098: SecurityError: The operation is insecure sounds to me like you are not on the HTTPS version of the site, make sure the beginning begins with https:// and not http://. Anyway, if I encountered any given website and it doesn't load, and there is a very visible link saying "click here if the site doesn't work", I would click on it before giving up. also has issues with not working with certain DNS providers if I recall. Rlink2 (talk) 00:49, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
I'm writing as an editor, not a reader; I have no particular interest in opening the archived link, but in making Wikipedia work for everyone. My posting here is not a request for help but a bug report. If the link is http:// where it should be https://, whoever inserted it is at fault. My view was and is (unless this issue is fixed so that the link opens when clicked in any browser without the reader needing to do anything) that ghostarchive links should be replaced where possible by Wayback ones. I've done a couple. By the way, I didn't notice the sidebar note "click here if the site doesn't work" (my reaction was "this doesn't work properly, it needs fixing" rather than "how can I read this page"). I would expect a lot of people would just give up without reading the small print. Best wishes, Pol098 (talk) 11:16, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
@Pol098: making Wikipedia work for everyone is one of my biggest goals as well, it drives everything I do.
FWIW, I was able to reproduce the issue after searching the error string on Duckduckgo. You need to have "Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed" in settings turned off. It was off in my Firefox by default, so you must have set it on manually. Rlink2 (talk) 13:59, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
@Rlink2: Good detective work/debugging; I do indeed always set cookies to delete in Firefox. I'd still call this an error, and unacceptable - I'm surely not the only person to delete cookies - in particular, it happens during a session without closing the browser, but even at the beginning of a session it's not OK (links archived with other archivers don't do this). If I were trying to resolve the issue I'd contact the ghostarchive people with a bug report; as it is I avoid ghostarchive. Best wishes, Pol098 (talk) 14:22, 13 January 2022 (UTC)
@Pol098: Each site is different, there will always be a very small amount of people that can't access any given site on the internet. Like i said before, there are people that can't click on links because of the DNS issue either. Some people avoid for the same reasons. And even doesn't work in certain browsers and configs. What matters is that the links work for 99.99% of readers and editors, which it seems to do. And if the links don't work, there is something on the sidebar to help those few. Rlink2 (talk) 14:50, 13 January 2022 (UTC)

Merit of external images[edit]

Is it a desirable or unacceptable idea to offer readers an opportunity to view a few archival images pertaining to a specific WP article? Whereas many contributors use the "External links" section to link a few historic images, which represent the essence of an article, other zealous contributors systematically delete all such image links. Should such deletion be encouraged or discouraged? DMBanks1 (talk) 00:29, 15 January 2022 (UTC)

Links to external media are permitted. In the case of "an article about a book, a musical score, or some other media", it is encouraged (assuming a legal, free-to-view link exists). Even when the article is not about an image, we encourage links to "neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues". This would include, e.g., links to historical images of a place in the article about that place, especially when we can't find any free images to put in the article.
See also Template:External media, which exists for the sole purpose of linking to very important photos/images.
I'm going to assume from your comment that you aren't one of the "other zealous contributors". In their defense, Wikipedia:Nobody reads the directions, and they probably thought that they were enforcing an actual rule. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:26, 17 January 2022 (UTC)
But I would also argue that the general reason why we add external links needs to be fulfilled. I have seen links being added to pages which themselves have 2-3 times more images than the external repository, external sites which have the same images (or, at best, a different angle of the same image), or cases where the external link is one of literally 1000s of such links that shows yet another example of the same (‘look, we also have an image of the common wagtail on our website’) The external repository/link should generally bring something unique to the article. For the rest, what WhatamIdoing said. Dirk Beetstra T C 05:22, 17 January 2022 (UTC)

AQUIND Interconnector protest group?[edit]

The AQUIND Interconnector is a controversial proposed sub-sea electricity cable that will come ashore in Portsmouth in England. The article until recently only had one external link - the official link for the project. However, today the protest website has been added, so a reader would understand that the project is controversial and why. The article already describes why the project is controversial and who has protested against it. Personally I think that the external link is reasonably well written - much better than a lot of protest group websites - and adds balance to the article. I'm minded to leave it but would love to hear what other more knowledgeable editors think. --10mmsocket (talk) 18:18, 19 January 2022 (UTC)

I'll say one thing, for a protest site that's one of the best I've ever seen. It's not a frothing personal opinion disaster like many, and it actually has some really good info. It has much better info on the route it's going to take, the construction methods etc, than the official site. So I say we step back and look at it from that perspective. If this wasn't a protest website, but was just a regular site that contained that much info on the project route and construction would we include it? Would we even question it? If so, then why would this being a protest site change that when it's still info? I'm usually anti protest site inclusion, since they're rarely even marginally coherent, but this one is really good. Canterbury Tail talk 18:48, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
Thanks. That's a really useful analysis and it echoes my own thoughts. Hopefully you can see why I'm minded to keep it and am therefore seeking advice and ultimately consensus here. 10mmsocket (talk) 18:54, 19 January 2022 (UTC)
If nobody's objecting, then there's no need to formally establish consensus. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:28, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
Good point. So I'm looking for consensus with myself as normally I would delete such a link. 10mmsocket (talk) 08:19, 20 January 2022 (UTC)
I guess it would be good to note on the link that it is a website with a lot of extra information beyond what we cover on Wikipedia or what is covered in other external links, and that that site is maintained by a protest group. Currently I do think that it is a bit strange that we list a link to a protest group whereas we do not have significant prose in the article that the protest group exists and how 'notable' they are. Dirk Beetstra T C 08:40, 20 January 2022 (UTC)