Last modified: 2005-03-26 23:11:04 UTC

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Bug 1756 - Links to redirect pages with non-existent targets urgently need another protection from rampant vandalism.
Links to redirect pages with non-existent targets urgently need another prote...
Status: RESOLVED DUPLICATE of bug 378
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Parser (Other open bugs)
PC Linux
: Normal normal with 1 vote (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
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Reported: 2005-03-25 23:54 UTC by Michael Hardy
Modified: 2005-03-26 23:11 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description Michael Hardy 2005-03-25 23:54:45 UTC
A link to a redirect page appears blue rather than red even when the redirect
page's target does not exist.  A red link would call attention to the article's
non-existence and therefore cause an expert who sees it to write a good new
article. Pre-emptive redirect pages are important and I've put a lot of work
into them.  I am alarmed to discover that [[Wikipedia:WikiProject Wiki
Syntax/redirect-target-000.txt]] and its sister pages exist in their present
form, in which they incite vandalism in the form of wholesale deletion of
pre-emptive redirect pages.  But someone argued in favor of wholesale deletion
of redirect pages when their targets don't exist and no pages link to them, by
pointing out those blue links.

So it is necessary, if at all possible, to make links to redirect pages appear
red rather than blue when the redirect page's target does not exist.  -- Mike Hardy
Comment 1 Antoine "hashar" Musso (WMF) 2005-03-26 01:57:24 UTC
redirects to an empty page are considered faulty. The way to fix them is either:
- delete it.
- create the destination article.
There is a maintenance page (brokenredirect) to track such incorrect redirects.
Comment 2 Michael Hardy 2005-03-26 22:36:38 UTC
It is very important to abolish what appears to have been considered by some to
be a policy, of calling redirects "broken" merely because their target does not
exist.  That "maintenance" page that was created to track such allegedly
"incorrect" redirects incites vandalism.  Pre-emptive redirects are important to
Wikipedia.  I have edited far more Wikipedia pages than all but a few others
(tens of thousands), and some of those have been pre-emtpive redirects.

Here's the bug I'm trying to report.  When a link points to a redirect whose
target does not exist, it appears blue, thereby creating a false impression that
DOES NOT EXIST for no better reason than that their target does not exist.  It
incites vandalism.

A really obvious case of a valuable pre-emptive redirect is "complex societies"
redirecting to "complex society".  To treat that as a "broken" redirect page and
delete it simply because the article titled "complex society" has not yet been
written is obviously destructive, and can result in two article appearing whose
authors don't suspect each other's existence, so that cannot work together.  A
more subtle case is a redirect from a misnomer to a correct title.  In SOME
cases, a misnomer may be more appropriate; in others it may merely represent a
popular misunderstanding.  So the question of whether a particular pre-emptive
redirect is valuable may be subtle and require discussion, including input from
experts.  To delete such pages without such discussion is destructive.  Making
links to redirect pages whose targets do not yet exist appear blue rather than
red encourages these destructive practices.
Comment 3 Richard J. Holton 2005-03-26 22:59:06 UTC
Without comment on the usefulness of the feature requested, I would like to
STRONGLY urge that more care be taken in the use of the word "Vandalism". A
change (or delete) done in good faith, even if misguided and wrong, is NOT
Comment 4 Brion Vibber 2005-03-26 23:11:04 UTC
Closing as duplicate of bug 378.

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 378 ***

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