Is Removing a Link Valid in Quoting?

I just did this…and am wondering if I did wrong. Someone posted something, and one of the words had a link to somewhere else (actually to another SDMB post.) I quoted the post, but took out the link. I wanted to address what was said, not what was linked.

Is this an oops? Is this unfair alteration of a post? I left in the text that was visible inside the URL tags; I just took away the URL link. Should I not have?

My thought is that it’s a little like adding bold tags…so long as you say, “I’ve bolded the relevant part of your post.” Is saying, “link removed” acceptable notice of the change?

I would think that would be fine. If I really wanted to I could view the original post and look up the link. It IMO is akin to bolding or some other form of emphasis/de-emphasis. I suppose it would be a courtesy to note that the link was removed, but I personally would not be offended if there was no comment.

Hang, with my post rate, I take it as a compliment if anyone notices me at all – let alone quotes me. I don’t expect people to be that pedantic in dealing with my comments.

That’s a tough one. On the one hand, if the link was a citation, you’re taking something away from what the person said. OTOH, as your quote gets older and older the links are likely to not work anymore (at least if they link to something offsite). I usually know I’m looking at an old webpage if the links don’t work anymore. When that happens, often times I’ll go find a different source. Taking out the links, if it doesn’t remove anything from what you’re quoting, will help remove the possibility that someone will discredit your quote just based on the links not working years down the line.

But like I said, it depends on what’s been linked too. If someone says “Bacteria HAS, in fact, been seen on other extra-solar planets” and has a link, you best leave that in tact. If they say “Elephants have 4 legs” and link to a goofy youtube video you’re probably okay to take it out.

I think you need to show that something has been deleted:

It’s still not clear that something was deleted using the ellipsis like that, the quoted post could have looked like that originally. I usually use square brackets as well:

(Hopefully I’m doing that correctly.)

I call that bad form. If the link wasn’t (seen by the quoted poster as) a deliberate, overt inflection of their words, it wouldn’t have been done that way.

Dropping the link could be seen as like dropping words and punctuation so as to shift the meaning of a sentence.

That requires the reader to recognize that the original post had a link, which is a little unfair if the quoting is done far down a long complex thread, or in a different thread.

Why not just leave the link in? It doesn’t really affect readability.

The link is part of what was ‘said.’ Or at least could be seen that way.

So, yeah, bad form.

Really? I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

The simplest thing is to use quotation marks instead of the quote box. The no-editing-quotes rule applies only to stuff in quote boxes.

To be clear, I’m not talking about forum rules. Nothing at all to do with that. I’m talking about accuracy, readability, and respect.

I can’t see how this violates any norms of quoting. I’d say you’re in the clear.

I would add a note after the quote saying “link removed”, as we do for “emphasis added”.

And be careful not to deliberately delete words so as to alter the meaning of the original post.

I did NOT vote for Obama/Bush!!

Double post.

But the rule about the quote box here is so strict that removing the link might be considered to violate it. That’s why I suggested using quotation marks instead, for which the rules are much less strict. (Plus it avoids issues with nesting quotes.)

[NOPARSE]Text inside

tags is sacrosanct. Normal editorial rules apply: that is, you may indicate omitted portions of a quote by the use of ellipses “…” and you may add text to clarify a word using square brackets (e.g., “her [the sister’s] friend”), but you may not add editorial comments or edit a quote so as to change the substantive meaning; nor may you substitute text such as “some blather” or “more nonsense” inside the

You can always use the <snip> method.

It’s always been allowable that quotes can be trimmed to single out a point or add clarity or lots of other reasons, as long as that doesn’t change the meaning of the quote.

A link is not part of the words of the poster. John Mace’s example would still work if the link were removed but the word “NOT” were retained. It’s only the removal of the poster’s actual wording that would affect the meaning.

Somebody might create a tortured exception that would make this a bad thing, but since I’m not coming up with one and nobody has yet presented a good case against it, my opinion is the same as most everyone else’s: just say “link removed” and go on.

It’s really not that strict a rule. All it actually says is “don’t change the the meaning of the post you’re quoting by editing the quote”. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. (Actually, you’d think people wouldn’t have to be told that, but… we’ll, you’ve been the around the interwebs, so…)

And I have no idea why you don’t think the same applies to using quotation marks. If you put something else between those marks than what the poster said, I would assume that you’ll be slapped with a moderator action, same as when you’re using quote tags. The rule isn’t there because of some arbitrary hangup someone has with quote boxes. It just there to remind you not to misrepresent another poster’s words.

Seriously, just use some common sense. It’s perfectly normal practice here to quote just part or parts of a post, if those are the parts you wish to address, and indicating omitted parts with ellipses. It cuts down on the noise.

Not saying that it’s not possible to be dishonest that way, too, of course. If you quote someone who says “I love my husband, and I hate Hitler” as “I love (…) Hitler”, and then call them out for being a Nazi, then, well, you get the point. But again, just use some common sense, don’t be a jerk, and you’ll (presumably) be fine.

But it can be part of the meaning. Online text is not like text on paper. The quoted poster felt it was bearing on that specific part of their post. It seems disrespectful, and wholly unnecessary, to revise that presentation.

I don’t think anyone has presented a good case for it. What’s the problem with leaving the link in as a shortcut for people who want the expanded context of the original? Just like leaving in the trackback arrow to the whole post.

My feeling is, if you have to explain what you did to somebody else’s post–in any way–you’re doing it less than elegantly, at best. I never say “emphasis added,” for example–because I would never bold somebody else except where I think it obvious that I’m ‘pointing’ to those particular words.

It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s really a case-by-case thing.

Although I’ll admit that I can’t for the life of me picture a situation where there would be a reason to remove the link. Replacing it with “link removed” surely is just as distracting and takes up as much space as just leaving the link, and would probably make me more likely to go find the link in the original post and click it, since it it would make me suspect that there was something nefarious and therefore enticing about it.

I usually quote via copy and paste, which means that I’d have to go to extra effort to put a link (or any other formatting) back in.