Wikipedia talk:External links

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Padding for neat placement[edit]

Without padding WP:ELPOINTS is smushed by the infoboxes at right on desktop, and its shortcut box is misplaced (preview). For this reason, I have added {{clear}} at the botton of the lead. Please inform me if you have a better solution. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 11:18, 18 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The result
@LaundryPizza03, unfortunately, that solution causes other problems. The MOS has warned against such efforts for years, because what looks good on "my" screen isn't going to look good on "your" screen. As you can see from the screenshot, the clear template produces (more than) a full screen of no content at all. In this case, one effective solution might be to just remove the generic guidelines navbox from the top. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:49, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@WhatamIdoing: This seems like a good solution, but it would make the policy and guideline list inaccessible on mobile, since that ocurs only in the navbox. Should I try that anyway and rely only on the {{guideline}} header for mobile navigation of the guidelines? –LaundryPizza03 (d) 20:59, 19 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that would be fine. You're not likely to end up on this page because you want general information about guidelines anyway. The "Linking and page manipulation" box is likely to be more relevant, assuming that what you need isn't on this page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:09, 20 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
 Done. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 08:55, 20 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ELLIST: List and table formatting[edit]

I think the change made to WP:ELLIST back in 2019 discussed at Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 39#List and table formatting that boldly carves out an exception for such link use in in-body tables/lists in articles about elections needs to be revisted. There's seems to be nothing wrong with adding such external links to the "External links" ofr such articles pretty much in the same way they would be added to any other article. Such links are after all basically no less "promotional" in nature than linking to a company's or organization's official website, and I don't see really any reason why they need to be added to in-body tables either as bare urls like or as embedded links like Website, especially when they're also listed in the "External links" section of the very same article. If a "link" is truly needed for an individual entry, then there's no reason why an internal wikilink (e.g. [[#External links|Official website]]) to the article's "External links" section wouldn't suffice and serve just as well encyclopedically as a "direct" external link to the website.

I think a much stronger consensus should be established (possibly even via an RFC) for something such as this. Most of these links are added much in the same way logos are added to such tables; there purpose seems to be more for "decoration" or "sake of convenience" than as having real encyclopedic in value to the reader. Campaign website links, in particular, would seem to be at risk of becoming dead links or being over-written with new content once the election is over, and the candidates and everyone else has moved on to other things or their next election. Adding archived version could be a way around this, but the same could be done for links in an "External links" section; moreover, this assumes that those adding the links or editing the articles are going to be just as dilligant about adding archived links before also moving on to other things. These links at best seem to add minimal encyclopedic value for however long the election cycle is, but create much more potential for disruption. This type of linking also seem to be used in more predominant in recent at the sub-national level (at least for US elections) where individual candidates might not be Wikipedia notable enough for stand-alone articles in their own right. Some might argue it's also potentially discrimintory against certain minor party or non-aligned candidates who aren't promently featured in the individual election articles (i.e. in candidate tables) but might have "official websites" for their campaigns.

Anyway, if the consensus is that something like this is really OK to do, then I think more clarification about when and how it should be done should be added to the ELLIST section then simply just a table as an exanmple of how to do it. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:09, 13 March 2023 (UTC); [Note: Post edited by Marchjuly to change "or" to "of" in the second sentence. -- 13:29, 14 March 2023 (UTC)]Reply[reply]

See also Wikipedia talk:External links/Archive 40#Links In Lists illustration for even more discussion.
I agree with you that there's nothing wrong with having these links in the article.
Whether they're better placed inline or at the end partly depends on how many there are. A very short list might easily be placed in the ==External links== section, although we have had folks complaining that links to candidates' websites are not official links for "Election of..." articles, and then removing them. That's the approach taken in 2022 California gubernatorial election: two (of 28) candidates' official campaign websites are listed under ==External links==, and the actual official link, which would presumably be is not listed at all.
However, they decided to include links only to the two most plausible candidates. A list of external links for all 28 candidates' websites would not best presented by requiring people to engage in a huge amount of scrolling and searching, and we normally consider more than about 10 ELs to be evidence of a {{link farm}} that requires serious weeding.
Additionally, IMO it would be pretty silly to have an article that says:
  • Alice Expert
  • Bob Business
  • Carol Christmas
External links
There's no need to list each candidate's name twice, and "but I want all the external links in the labeled section" is not IMO an adequate justification for it. We've got to use some common sense. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:51, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I actually don't think it's OK to have these links in the body of the article, and I apologize if my OP was confusing to the make it seem as if I did. (I think the problem was that I mistakenly typed "or" when I meant to type "of") I'm not sure I also agree with your idea of common sense regarding whether it's better to have all "external links" in the "External links" section, but that could just be me. The example you cited above as "silly" seems to be the format that's used in 2013 New York City mayoral election and 2017 New York City mayoral election (though the formatting was changed for 2021 New York City mayoral election) as well as 2022 Los Angeles mayoral election, 2021 Seattle mayoral election and 2022 Wisconsin gubernatorial election. Sometimes a mixed-format is used like in 2023 Philadelphia mayoral election and 2023 Chicago mayoral election. Sometimes like in 2015 Philadelphia mayoral election no external links to candidate's official websites are provided. Obvious there's lots of inconsistencies in the formating and styling of these types of articles that have nothing to do with external links, and maybe there's WikiProject guidance for how these articles should be formatted. It might also have to do with the country where the election is held since 2021 London mayoral election and 2022 Toronto mayoral election and 2021 Rome municipal election also seem to refroan from using external links to official candidate/party websites. Because there's so much inconsistency among election related articles, it seems like a bad idea to try and use elections and an example of an acceptable type of linking in ELLIST. Personally, it seems much simpler to limit external link use like this to "External link" section, even if it means an extra click, particuarly when the link has pretty much zero value as citation and is primarily promotional in nature. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:11, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How many candidates were there in 2013 New York City mayoral election?
Imagine that we made a complete list of campaign websites for every single candidate, not just a couple of them. What do you think that would look like if it were under ==External links==?
(Never fear: We have only agreed that they ought to be somewhere on the page.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:32, 15 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

official YouTube channel[edit]

Many people, corporations, and other organizations have "official" websites. These are often included in the External links section using something like the template official website. The use of official website (or explicitly specified URL) is currently allowed under the existing WP:EL policy. However more recently, many of these same entities also have "official" YouTube channels (carrying corporate content or other content specific to that corporation). Can the official YouTube channel of a corporate entity (of whatever sort) be included as an External link? The use of an official corporate YouTube channel has been flagged by an editor as not allowed due to the existing restrictions on the use of External links. Are external links to official YouTube channels for corporate entities (persons, corporations, or organizations) officially disallowed under the guidelines of WP:EL?

Arguments for allowing:

  • all videos within the channel are copyrighted by the organization itself
  • the organization maintains their own channel exclusively
  • the content of the channel provides further insight for WP article readers about the nature of the subject of the WP article

Arguments for disallowing:

What is the current policy on this issue? Thanks for any information. L.Smithfield (talk) 07:32, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It sounds like you're asking about WP:ELMINOFFICIAL; in other words, the practice of trying to minimize the number of external links to a subject's official websites as much as possible. Usually, linking is limited to the primary website, particularly when that website predominantly displays links to the subject's other official websites. So, for example, if the main official website of a company has links to all of the company's official social media accounts, generally only a link to the main website is considered OK. Of course, there could always be exceptions to that, but that seems to be the general principle. -- Marchjuly (talk) 07:58, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, although I would add that if an organization does not bother providing an easily seen link to their Youtube channel, neither should we. Johnuniq (talk) 08:28, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Although I see your point, it would seem that WP:ELMINOFFICIAL would come into play first, whether the organization (or whatever sort of corporate entity) provided a link on their own website to their own YouTube channel or not. But regardless, I think that there is (so far) consensus that under the current WP:ELMINOFFICIAL policy, explicitly providing links to corporate YouTube pages should be disallowed. More opinions are welcomed, but I will assume this (above) consensus so far. Thanks. L.Smithfield (talk) 09:09, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the reference to WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. I had not thought about that at all. So if an official YouTube channel of a company (for example) would be considered a second "official" website of the same company, then under WP:ELMINOFFICIAL only one of those two links should be provided, rather than both. It would make sense to provide the link to the "official" website (template:official website) rather than to the YouTube channel, if only one of these two were allowed. So I am going to take your response as a case for not allowing "official" corporate YouTube channels when an template:official website exists and is linked under External links. Thanks very much for this insight and clarification. L.Smithfield (talk) 09:02, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed change to ELMAYBE[edit]

So, I'm not sure if it's an artifact from when Wikipedia had looser standards, but is anyone else bothered by the statement in ELMAYBE that says "4. Sites that fail to meet criteria for reliable sources yet still contain information about the subject of the article from knowledgeable sources." I'm struggling to find a situation when it would be appropriate to link to an unreliable source. If it is unreliable, then anything it says is suspect. Unless anyone can come up with some actual use cases (and I can't think of one) perhaps we should remove this criteria; inviting people to link to unreliable sources seems like a bad idea. --Jayron32 12:17, 20 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article about book, linked to unreliable book; article about pseudoscientific idea, linked to website of notable proponent of the idea; article about event, linked to oral histories describing event; article about a place or thing, linked to a website with photos of that place or thing...
Since "failing to meet the criteria for reliable sources" could just mean that the website is (as nearly all of them are) self-published. Most WP:ELOFFICIAL links "fail to meet criteria for reliable sources" at some level. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:17, 21 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Social media links[edit]

I'm unsure what the policy is for adding social media page links. For example, a TV presenter, whose only online presence is their Instagram page, no official website. Is it then acceptable to put an external link in the infobox to their Instagram page? If it is, and they have multiple social media pages in use, e.g. Instagram and Facebook, is there a preference of linking to one over the other?

My second question, I'm a little unsure how to interpret "Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links". My initial assumption was that an external website link or social media page link in an infobox adds useful information, because someone might want to go there next. But if Wikipedia is not a repository of links, then adding external links invites people to leave Wikipedia, rather than reading the article itself. I'm unsure which is the best approach with external links, which is in keeping with the intentions of Wikipedia. I'd appreciate more detail on when an external link is useful and recommended, and when it's a distraction and not recommended. Are there specific article types it's recommended to add links to, and other article types where they're not recommended? Thanks Snowpeek (talk) 01:12, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You might want to read the section above titled "official YouTube channel". In that discussion mention was made of the WP policy WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. With regard to social media links, I would sort of interpret this policy as meaning that only one URL to a personal media website of some sort (whether an "official" website or a social media page) is encouraged. It would be the responsibility of the website or page put into the External links section to contain links to any other social media sites (if the article subject even has any). So if no "official" website is available, then I would tend to come down on the side of YES, put one social media page URL in the External links section, but only one. But you might want to wait a while for further opinions to show up here on your question. Others may see the situation differently. The issue of "Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links" might have further implications that I am not taking into consideration. --L.Smithfield (talk) 01:51, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Wikipedia is not a mirror or a repository of links" is specifically about not adding collections of links. It doesn't express any judgment on the use of individual social media links. Dan Bloch (talk) 02:21, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for your advice. You said you think putting one link in the external links section would be the right approach. Is the top right infobox not recommended as a place to put an external link?
An example is I recently edited the article for fashion designer Esme Young who also features on some TV programmes. I added a link to her Instagram page in the top right infobox. She's known to be a private person, but her Instagram account is actively used and posts are regularly added, and so is a source of further info about her. This is what started me thinking about the use of external links to social media on Wikipedia articles!
What do you think of the edit, with her Instagram page linked in the infobox? Should I move it to an external links section at the bottom of the article? I think that would be less visible and less likely to be noticed by people visiting the Wikipedia article. I'm not sure if Wikipedia prefers external links to be less visible, or more visible. Thanks Snowpeek (talk) 14:18, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
YES, I would move any external links to the External links section of the article. I (for myself) have never (ever) seen any external links (URLs) in any info-box. One can put proper references (with full citation information) in the info-box, but those are not external links proper (even though they usually contain a URL to an external source of some kind). And YES, I would only put a single URL link that is in any way personal or owned by the subject of the article (in other words an official website of some sort) in the External links section, in keeping with the WP policy of WP:ELMINOFFICIAL. Happy editing. --L.Smithfield (talk) 19:01, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
L.Smithfield is mistaken. An official website can go in an infobox--this is what the website parameter is for. If this is an official website, which by Wikipedia's definition it probably is, it can go in the infobox, the External links section, or both. Dan Bloch (talk) 19:46, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It might be worth noting MOS:INFOBOXPURPOSE: "the purpose of an infobox [is] to summarize (and not supplant) key facts that appear in the article (an article should remain complete with its summary infobox ignored..". In other words, start with the external links section. -- zzuuzz (talk) 20:10, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I echo User:zzuuzz's point. Whatever the official website is, it is usually the first visible item listed under External links (apart from any special templates, et cetera). Also, I apologize for any confusion I may have introduced. --L.Smithfield (talk) 20:43, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
MOS:INFOBOXPURPOSE was helpful, thank you. It does seem to make clear that the first place to put links should be the External links section, based on an article should remain complete with its summary infobox ignored.
I'm also thinking about The less information it contains, the more effectively it serves that purpose, allowing readers to identify key facts at a glance. This suggests to me to not put an external link in the infobox in a lot of cases. An official website isn't a key fact, and this says the less information in the infobox the better. I can see why a website could be a key fact, for example an online only company, e.g. Dropbox. Having the website URL in the infobox gives the key fact of its main "address" or location. But with e.g. a famous person, their official website / official social media page isn't a "key fact" about the person. I'll use this guidance going forward and adjust my previous edit accordingly. Thanks Snowpeek (talk) 17:17, 27 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that's a good distinction. The website for a company (whether it's online only, does substantial business online with the company, or there are other similar circumstances) is often a key fact, and for some sorts of people (e.g., an author of popular fiction) it might be a key fact, but you should use your judgment.
Also, @Snowpeek, just so you know, you're now among the top 5% of editors in terms of experience. We're likely to trust your judgement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:47, 28 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, User:Danbloch is correct. Official websites (official website) can go in the info-box, but I was referring to external links other than the official website. To User:Snowpeak's point, if the official website is a social media site other than a real (non-social-media) site, then yes, I suppose that it can also go into the info-box as well. But this is a very rare case. I have never seen these cases. But if a social media site is considered the official website then I suppose that it would be allowed. --L.Smithfield (talk) 20:38, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal to blacklist a health website[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Healthline: deprecate or blacklist? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:36, 28 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]