Wikipedia Grappling with Deletion of IHT.com
May 9, 2009
Alerted by my earlier posting about The New York Times deleting links to my (and all) IHT articles, the Wikipedia community has started grappling with the problem.
This was an angle that had not occurred to me until now.
The issue: Wikipedia – one of the highest traffic websites on the Internet – makes reference to a large number of IHT stories, but those links are now all dead. They need to delete them all and find new references or use another solution.
Wikipedia will quite possibly now look for references in rival publications, such as the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
In fact, this presents a great opportunity for someone in the WSJ or Washington Post to build up the authority of their publication on Wikipedia: Find and replace the dead links to IHT articles with links to their own publication. (Would that be ethical within the Wikipedia world? On the one hand it is clearly self-interested, on the other hand you are fixing dead links.)
Why, oh, why did the NY Times delete all the links to the IHT stories instead of redirecting them to the same stories within the NY Times website?
Below is a snapshot of the discussions you can follow at the Wikipedia Village Pump page.
One interesting suggestion in the conversation:
The best solution for this is to also cite the source as if it were from the hard copy version — article title, page, date of the newspaper. The URL is just frosting on the cake. That way, if a bonehead webmaster (or more likely his pointy-haired boss) decides to erase the online archive, then the reader at least has a chance of finding the article in a physical archive of the newspaper. (Same goes for other periodicals.) — llywrch
How can we count the links to the IHT in Wikipedia?