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Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: January 19th, 2012, 7:03 pm
by Scott
Members with less than 10 posts or who have been registered for less than 3 days are automatically blocked from posting links. Any attempt to get around this automatic filter will be considered dishonest spam and will generally cause the promoted site to be blacklisted, meaning no poster ever will be able to post a link to it regardless of post count. This includes purposely malforming links such as writing website (dot) com as well as giving directions on how to find the site or product such as saying something like, 'just Google my name and click on the second website down'.

Excessive posting of links to the same website in many different posts will generally cause a blacklist of that site, particularly if the member posting the link is affiliated to that some way, e.g. is an owner or employee of the site. Once you have made 20 posts and been registered for 3 days, you can create a signature and you can set the website field in your profile to let people know about your website. Attempting to create a custom signature by manually adding your link, URL or self-promotion to the end of all your posts will cause it to blacklisted.

If you wish to advertise a website, product or service, then please contact me for rates. But advertising is not allowed within posts.

We will now get into some more general standards. Please note we have much stricter standards regarding what can be posted in the on-topic part of the forum as opposed to what can be posted in the off-topic section.

Type of links and URLs that are never allowed
  • Commercial or self-promotional links - This includes any sort of advertising, affiliate marketing or links to one's own online store.
  • Links to one's own site if it sells anything or contains advertising of any kind or is otherwise run for-profit
  • Links to pornography, gambling sites, sales-pitches, get-rich-quick-schemes, etc.
  • Links directly or indirectly to anything illegal includes warez, torrents or copyright-infringing sites or material
  • Links to Amazon that do not use the Amazon BBCode
  • Links to BookCloseOuts that do not use the BookCloseOuts BBCode
On-Topic Forum Linking Standards

Links, URLs and any mentions of other websites, videos, books or media is under much, much stricter scrutiny in the on-topic section. Namely, we want to be certain that the links are not off-topic. Because linking is a common method for spam and self-promotion, it is the most common kind of rule-violation particularly in terms of staying on topic. Instead of trying to name all the ways a promoter or advertiser might post an inappropriate link, we will name the only acceptable, on-topic links. Please note this only applies to the on-topic parts of the forum. The off-topic section has a broader range of allowable types of links. The following are the only acceptable reasons for posting a link in the on-topic part of the forum:
  • 1. The link is an allegedly credible source or citation for a certain alleged fact. For instance if a premise of yours is that 'In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue,' you could then post a link to an article by an accredited history Professor who says so. Links claimed to be of this type must follow general standards regarding academic sources or citations. Namely, this generally does NOT allow for links to self-published or openly non-credible material such as blogs, openly biased websites or Wikipedia (see "elaboration on research guides" below). Also, it must be clear which alleged facts are being sourced/cited by which links; a good way to do this is by including the link immediately following the alleged fact and then writing the word source followed be the link in parenthesis. It is not acceptable to throw out a list of links at the end of your post under the guise of sources because it doesn't make it clear which source goes to which fact.

    2. The link points to a philosophical point, argument or question which has been summarized in the post, and the link is being given out of courtesy to give credit (unprofitably to someone else, not oneself) where credit is due and to allow users to see the elaborated, non-summarized version of what has been summarized. Please see #D.4 of the forum rules for more information about this kind of link and its limited allowable use. Namely, you must quote or summarize the relevant parts of the article, video, book etc. to which you are linking, users must not be required to click the link to join the discussion (i.e. the link goes to the unsummarized version of the material just in case anyone is interested in seeing the full, presumably mostly off-topic version of what has been summarized), and the link must contain something new and useful and relevant (e.g. if you copy and paste an entire article there is really no need to link to the identical version of the article elsewhere). In judging whether a link of this type is allowed, the moderator will first consider whether or not it is on-topic simply by judging whether or not the given summary is on-topic; if not, then both the link and its summary will be deleted and probably the entire post. If the summary is on-topic for the thread in which is posted, then the link will be checked to make sure it actually corresponds to the summary and contains the material that has been summarized.
That's it. Period. Any other link posted in the on-topic parts of the forum will be considered off-topic and be suspected as spam. Before posting a link or URL in the on-topic, ask yourself which of those two categories it allegedly falls into and make sure it actually meets the standards for the category. Namely, if it's alleged to be type #1, it must not be a blog or other self-published, openly biased or non-credible work; if it's alleged to be type #2, the post must contain a summary of the link, it must be relevant and it must not be necessary for others to click it to join the discussion. In other words, if a member posts a link in the on-topic section that is neither an allegedly credible source nor accompanied by a summary with content relevant to the topic thread, then the member has broken the rules and the link and perhaps the entire post will be deleted.

Elaboration on research guides: There is no need to post links to research guides or tools that help guide someone in researching a topic in the on-topic section of the forum. At best posting such a link is off-topic and unnecessary since you can just quickly advise the person to research or 'look up' the topic. But more likely it is a condescending insult to tell someone to research a topic let alone actually link them to where to find out where and how to research the topic. Note, it is okay to post a link to a credible source of an alleged fact as evidence that the alleged fact is in fact true (see #1 above). However, sourcing a fact is different than suggesting someone go research a topic. Luckily, research guides often cannot be confused with credible sources because research guides do not present themselves as credible sources of research but rather simply as collections of advice on where to find research and information. For instance, linking to Wikipedia or Google results or telling someone to 'go Google' a term or "look it up" is thus prohibited in the on-topic section as off-topic and/or insulting. You can search Google and Wikipedia yourself and other research aids or potential sources yourself for things to add to your post to strengthen your argument, but don't tell other people to. Collect, organize and summarize the evidence yourself. Saying to your opposition that "the evidence for my side is out there" is an absurd argument at best, but worse yet is off-topic, and worse even yet--to reiterate--it is probably an insult and personal attack because it implies the other person is ignorant or too stupid to know how to research something, which you are not allowed to say ever about other members per the forum rules.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. If you notice any links posted that you suspect may not meet these standards, please use the report button to notify me and I will investigate.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: May 17th, 2012, 4:37 am
by Belinda
Thanks Scott. I hope to comply. I am pretty sure that I have cited Wikipedia in the past, more than once, however I take note of the forum rule. I must suppose that Wikipedia is a melange nothing of which is attributed to specified authors. I try to confine my links to addresses with 'ed', edu' or 'ac' in them.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: May 17th, 2012, 2:28 pm
by Scott
Even though Wikipedia is not a source itself, it may (or not) be a useful tool. One who wants to link to a source could presumably look up the information on Wikipedia and find the corresponding reference or link on the Wikipedia page. Although, that assumes Wikipedia is good about enforcing its citation policy.

-- Updated 14 Jun 2012 09:57 pm to add the following --

Here are just a few of the many humorous examples of the manifestations of's non-credibility as a source or academic citation:
plato on wikipedia.jpg
(73.69 KiB) Not downloaded yet
(57.21 KiB) Not downloaded yet
(90.47 KiB) Not downloaded yet
(59.55 KiB) Not downloaded yet
(78.22 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Another funny thing about the issue of Wikipedia's use as a source is that it creates that familiar old liar's paradox, since Wikipedia itself says that it is not a source.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: November 11th, 2012, 4:39 am
by Quotidian
I don't agree with the ban on Wikipedia. I understand its limitations but it is a useful source of common knowledge and also further links and references on various topics. Many of the people who turn up here and post could learn something from reading it. And also, if you find something wrong in it, you can either correct it yourself, or simply not link to it.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: February 18th, 2013, 2:35 pm
by Scott
Quotidian wrote:I don't agree with the ban on Wikipedia. I understand its limitations but it is a useful source [...]
By it's own admission, it's not a source.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: February 19th, 2013, 7:44 am
by Toadny
Scott wrote: By it's own admission, it's not a source.
Nevertheless it is still a source. It may not be a reliable source, but it can certainly be useful in certain circumstances, but as often seems to be the case your poorly drafted, excessively prescriptive and poorly enforced rules don't take account of that.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: February 19th, 2013, 9:08 am
by TimBandTech
This is my first post to this site. I have been recently on philosophyforums and turned off by their control freakish behavior, as are many there. So I decided this morning to try another site. I see some good discussions here, and do hope to contribute, but I do find the linking rules to be a bit strict. I regularly go to wikipedia first these days in a search on any topic, because the context of the wikipedia tends to form a very good opening on a subject, particularly technical subjects. So I do not understand this restriction.

Academia has not necessarily covered all subjects with sufficient scrutiny and I find the attachment here to academia as another poor indicator. This site is attached to old-school concepts within the new-school medium. In particular this restriction limits this site to well established ideas, for ideas at the edge of the progression will not be published within the academic circles, and the time delay that such a requirement places will then deny such discussion especially if the topic cannot be self contained within a post. I happen to work on one of these topics and do seek out the opinions of others, and yet within the rules of this site my hands will be badly tied. Beyond this, there will be plenty of bogus academic information, so that the sense of surety is artificial. This is likewise true of the bookish complaints against the internet: plenty of fraudulent information has been published in books.

Because I have asked for instantiation I should give some too. Nuclear fusion is a bleeding edge topic, and the Pons/Fleischmann debacle is an instance of hard science turned fraudulent. Within circles of philosophy where the topic is often pure thought then the constraints must be even more loose then the quantity of nonsense works within academia may be quite large. Topics such as time are still treated as open problems, and as such fundamental concepts are not finished within academia then such restrictive measures are not appropriate.

My own resolution for time involves the generalization of sign, which I call polysign numbers. This happens to be a topic whose complexities do require external linking to provide a complete background, but suffice it to say that a formalized one-signed number exists through polysign which has been overlooked by physicists and mathematicians since they have adopted the two-signed real number as fundamental. The one-signed form is both unidirectional and zero dimensional while still providing an algebra, and so its confluence to the common perceptions of time is established. I will attempt to have the discussion without links, but it will be difficult.

- Tim

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: May 7th, 2013, 7:18 am
by Blauw bloed

I tried to post this small image of Pushkin in my thread about a different approach to racism, but could not 'as it was not possible to determine the dimensions of the image.' Never heard such a thing in my life. I do not believe my posting privileges have been curtailed, or I would have been told I might expect. Can you please look into this, as images are the mainstay of my research and enjoyment.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: June 21st, 2013, 4:07 am
by DeviantSimian
Hello, I've been looking through the policies and such and just want to confirm if the 'no advertising' policy includes linking in the off-topic (or other) forums to gauge interest in and/or advertise a local, face-to-face discussion group with no commercial affiliations or intentions of financial gain. I'm trying to organize such a group in my area and am trying to reach as many people as possible. There will be no financial profits or contributions associated with the group - no membership fees, no voluntary donations, etc. At most, the group members might opt to engage in book swaps, other than that the only things to be gained are information, knowledge, and social interaction. The group will not be affiliated with any educational institutions, religious/spiritual organizations, or businesses. Any meetings would be held in a free meeting space (such as a library) and will be open to the general public. Would it be acceptable to post about that sort of group on the forums? Are there any fees associated with advertising a group of this nature?

Thanks, ~D

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: August 27th, 2013, 2:16 am
by Tadstormy
I attempted to insert a link to an image located at ... d_Ente.png.

It was rejected with a message saying that links to Wikipedia is disallowed. I uploaded the image to my personal web site and linked to the image. Is that OK?

I understand why links to Wikipedia pages are disallowed, but I am puzzled why links to images at Wikipedia are be disallowed.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: October 18th, 2013, 11:24 pm
by Scott
Tadstormy wrote:It was rejected with a message saying that links to Wikipedia is disallowed. I uploaded the image to my personal web site and linked to the image. Is that OK?

-- Updated 10 Oct 2014 09:50 pm to add the following --

To add another followup, here is an explination of a rejected topic I sent to a member:
Scott wrote:This has the potential to be a great topic, but the links need to be described. The on-topic part of the forum is not for posting lists of links of suggested reading. It's fine that you include that, but the post ALSO needs to be a rule-abiding OP that allows for a certain kind of discussion/debate, without someone necessarily reading through several links. Each link needs to come with a summary of what it is supposed to show, such that one does not need to check it to participate in the discussion (namely if they are willing to take what you purport the link to show to be true as a premise).

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: October 15th, 2015, 10:56 am
by Tron
I think I may have unintentionally violated the site's policy regarding linking. I came on here and posted before I read the rules...I know, shame on me! I Upon reading the rules just now, however, I sort of mentally said "whoops" to myself, and have come here to respectfully ask for a second chance. I feel I have much of value to contribute to the discussion here, and also feel that there is much I can learn as well.

So...I get linking, and no saying "just google this or that." I was surprised to read that even wikipedia linking is off limits, but now that I know that I can see just how strict the policy is against all types of linking actually is here.

Having said this, I am not sure if I have been banned, or my posts deleted, or whatever, but I would like you to know that I will not make such mistakes again in the future.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: July 23rd, 2016, 1:44 am
by Citizensearth
If I make an argument about something and want to at the end of it link to an article on my philosophy blog where I've more fully exploring the topic, is that allowed?

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: July 23rd, 2016, 4:28 pm
by Scott
Citizensearth wrote:If I make an argument about something and want to at the end of it link to an article on my philosophy blog where I've more fully exploring the topic, is that allowed?
@Citizensearth No, linking to your own site is prohibited.

Re: Site Policies Regarding Links and URLs

Posted: August 31st, 2016, 6:53 am
by JohniJones
I received an email from Scott telling me to get in touch via the PM service. I can see no PM service, my posts for clarification are being deleted, a link that I was sent does not work, and the facebook post I sent has not generated a response.

I need a response please, with a good link that I can use.