Wikipedia:External links/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the external links noticeboard
This page is for reporting possible breaches of the external links guideline.
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Looking for someone who might be able to access GenealogyBank in terms of WP:COPYLINK. Pretty much all the citations in Ray Byars and Tommy Byars are links that are apparently to old newspaper articles found on GenealogyBank, which requires registration to access. Of course, the original sources might be OK to cite without the links, but just want to know whether GenealogyBank is sort of similar to something like, and whether it's OK to link to. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:43, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Marchjuly, says enough about partnerships and agreements with the copyright holders that I'd assume it's all legit. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:51, 30 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for finding that WhatamIdoing. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:52, 30 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're welcome. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:27, 31 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Potential license laundering through[edit]

I've noticed several articles where is being used as a paywall bypasser, which is against WP:COPYLINK. In addition to bypassing paywalls, it doesn't seem to have a clear process for allowing copyright holders to request takedowns (unlike And it doesn't say who runs it, so I don't know that we can trust the archived versions to be unaltered or sustainable even for non-paywall sites. It seems to be used on thousands of pages, and sadly, many are links to The Telegraph or other sources with hard-paywalls.

For instances of use, see this diff where I removed it, and search insource:""

Note that has been discussed before at Wikipedia:External_links/Noticeboard/Archive_25#Ghostarchive, and does appear to have good technical advantages over other archivers, so I doubt a blanket-ban would be advisable. DFlhb (talk) 10:02, 10 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@DFlhb: The text in WP:COPYLINK and "license laundering" could apply to all content on all archive sites, not just paywalled content on one site.

The archive sites are only able to bypass the paywall because they disable Javascript. The unpaywalled text is sent on every request, and then Javascript is used to actually put up the paywall. The same effect can be achieved by disabling Javascript or using a no-javascript browser. and can also bypass paywalls, like ones for the Economist ( Each site can bypass paywalls of different sites, so there is no one-archive-fits-all solution. Also there are many sites that were once not paywalled but later put up one, and archives have the copies of the old articles.

Even with all of the above, WP:COPYLINK says that It is currently acceptable to link to Internet archives such as the Wayback Machine, which host unmodified archived copies of webpages taken at various points in time.

it doesn't seem to have a clear process for allowing copyright holders to request takedowns. Yes, it does. I believe its on their About page.

Rlink2 (talk) 22:08, 10 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't believe that passage in COPYLINK addresses paywall bypasses, but thanks for pointing out bypasses them too; I didn't know. If the paywall bypass is simply a technical side-effect of archival, rather than an intentional feature, then the site suddenly seems a lot more appropriate. DFlhb (talk) 22:13, 10 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah this is not necessarily an issue. Also, the website does have a clear process to address copyright violations, at (scroll to the bottom). Elli (talk | contribs) 19:47, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do readers need disclaimers warning them that they're about to be linked to unreliable tweets? (Twitter Files)[edit]

See discussion at Talk:Twitter Files/Archive 7#Warning?. The discussion is about whether we should include a disclaimer when linking to the primary source tweets of the Twitter Files in the external links section, warning people that tweets are not reliable. Here's what the warning would look like. Endwise (talk) 02:06, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • You got more responses when you asked the same question at the WP:NPOV noticeboard. But my answer is the same… no. Blueboar (talk) 14:07, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That looks like it needs {{linkfarm}} instead. If folks think that a long list of tweets would be interesting to editors, please find a single page at an external website that contains this information, and link to that instead. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:50, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@WhatamIdoing: The situation here is very complex and stupid – the "Twitter Files" themselves are a series of Twitter threads by various journalists and writers. They're the main subject of the article, which is why they were being given as external links. For some reason known neither to man nor beast, Elon Musk (who gave them access to internal Twitter documents, from which the reports were made) declared that in order to report on these materials, they had to do so via the medium of Twitter threads. This was always a little silly, but when there were five of them it was more of a curiosity; now it is more of a mess. I don't think there exists a canonical website which just has a central list of links to all the tweets (although, if one existed, surely it would be preferable to this). jp×g 12:21, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A link too such is in the article infobox. Some want it shoved in readers' faces even though they are non-reliable and conspiratorial in nature. O3000, Ret. (talk) 12:28, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@JPxG, that sounds like it could also be handled under Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lists of works (with the pre-emptive, and hopefully completely unnecessary, reminder that a list of publications really is allowed to contain URLs that link to the listed works). WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:19, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mass addition of links to DoReCo to language articles[edit]

I found a new user who is adding external links to multiple articles to The user admits to being affliated with it. This seems like a clear cut case of spamming to me. So, I reverted them all and gave a warning and explanation to the user. They haven't edited since, but I was surprised to get reverted by another user (@Sapphorain:) stating "This site is definitely not a spam; it is hosted by "Laboratoire dynamique du langage, CNRS and Université de Lyon 2'". I'm still confident this is an unnecessary external link, and quite spammy, but I just wanted some additional feedback. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 19:00, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The link in the article Swiss French directly leads to the Swiss-French dataset compiled by a team of researchers from various university labs, within the much larger langage site DoReCo, which is maintained at the « laboratoire Dynamique du Language » of the CNRS and of the University of Lyon 2. Providing such a precise and relevant link to a narrow subject can definitely not be qualified as « spamming ». And whether or not the user who did it is affiliated to the general project or to some part of it, is completely irrelevant. --Sapphorain (talk) 20:43, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, but that convinces me of absolutely nothing. It doesn't explain why it's needed, what it does, or why it's useful to be linked to from an encyclopedia article. And the fact that the user is affiliated is completely relevant. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 13:40, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Doreco is a collection of text corpora, which includes audio recordings, their transcriptions and grammatical glosses and annotations of the texts. It's the most basic resource for the study of a language. A Wikipedia reader who follows such a link can hear what the language sounds like, they can read texts in the language and they can learn about its grammar. Most of the languages in Doreco are small and endangered, so this collection is one of the few places on the internet where readers can do these things. If Doreco has a collection on such a language, then the Wikipedia article should link to it, the way the article is expected to link to similar collections at the ELAR, Paradisec or AIATSIS archives. If links have been removed, they should please be reinstated. Thanks! – Uanfala (talk) 14:14, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After a quick look at the Swiss French example mentioned by Sapphorain above I agree with him that that link is definitely not spam, but legitimate encyclopedic content, providing primary data on the language with adequate metadata. Invoking COI is also not called for here, as the article is not about DoReCo, but about the language. If Conflict of Interest were a problem here, then I wouldn't be allowed to provide links to Ethnologue, as I am a member of the organization that publishes it. So far nobody complained when I set a link to Ethnologue on a language page. LandLing 14:13, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, I stand corrected. Since the two of you have more knowledge than me think that the links are relevant, then I have no problem with them. These explanations are much clearer than I was given before. However, in my opinion, a COI can still apply if you're adding links to an external site where you have an interest in, especially financial, but this isn't the place for that the discussion. I appreciate your responses. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 15:05, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The COI guideline doesn't prohibit people from adding refs to their own publications (see WP:SELFCITE), so it probably wouldn't make sense for us to be stricter about the external links section.
That said, if you are the owner of a website, or otherwise make money off of it, the best practice is for you to propose the link on the talk page, and at least wait a while (a week is typical) to see whether anyone objects. Also, nobody should be edit warring over external links, because WP:ELBURDEN is quite strict. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:51, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German links[edit]

On the article located [|here], the following two links were posted

[|This is one], [|and this one]

The diff log is [| here for when added], and [| here for when removed]. The talk page regarding this addition and removal is at [[1]]

Does adding reliable sources that include an arrested suspects name within the url itself violate the BLP guidelines, or is it allowed as long as they are in fact reliable sources, and are included in the references portion only? With an upcoming court case and what is sure to be more media coverage, I figured it was better to get clarification. Thank you.

Awshort (talk) 09:08, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Awshort, no, the BLP policy doesn't prohibit that, but that's a question for Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard or Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard, because it's be used as one of the ==References==. This page is about ==External links==. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:53, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]