Posts With Only a Link, With Little or No Explanation

I’ve also seen a lot of threads that look like this:

Note that the OP contains nothing more than a link. No mention of what the OP is upset about. No mention of how he/she feels about it. Merely a link, which the reader must click to learn about what has interested the OP.

I’ve often seen posts that look like this:

TITLE OF THREAD: What Will Be the Dominant Colors in Lipstick And Eyeshadow This Fall?

OP: I’m wondering what the dominant colors will be in lipstick and eyeshadow this fall. I don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb at my sister’s wedding!


Neither the example OP nor the example reply I gave contain any information other than the link.

I’d like to propose that we encourage SDMB users to post a summary whenever they post a link. That would be helpful to those of us with slow connections or who simply come to the SDMB for discussion, rather than just re-direction to other sites.

I humbly ask for moderators’ and other users’ opinions on this matter. If I’m out of line or otherwise all by myself in my feelings, then I’ll go have a slice o’ Humble Pie.

Works for me.

Well, hey, you won’t get no argument from me, I’m with ya 100%.

Speaking as a Moderator, I agree entirely.

People often check the Message Boards while at work, and a link with no summary might be, ah, inappropriate. That’s against our rules and a Moderator would fix that, but there could be a delay between the time the link is first posted, the time someoene checks it out and sees it’s inappropriate, emails a Mod, and then the Mod takes action.

A quick summary of what’s on the other end of the link will let people know whether they want to go there.

Can we get a sticky, perhaps?

Definitely an outstanding idea for OPs and posts of argumentation. I encourage its being a part of the rules and an expectation from all members making posts.

The exception would be if someone asked a question to which the link was the answer – e.g., “What proof is there that Burke actually said that?” is post #15 in a thread, and post #18 quotes that question and links to a web page giving the speech in which Burke said that. There, a link with no commentary is clearly providing the answer to the question in the quoted post.

Is this such a common problem that we need a special rule? I haven’t seen a lot of these posts, but then again I’m not a mod and I don’t read the whole board. In any case, as always, I defer to the PTB.

OTOH, a more limited rule requiring warnings like as “LOUD” or “possibly not safe for work” (a la Fark) where appropriate would take care of Dex’s concerns. That sounds good to me.

I see Rowrbazzle’s point, but I see it as a matter of posting courtesy to provide an extract or summary of a linked item, particularly in an OP. I am normally on a dialup, and spending four minutes to download a PDF file to find out what the heck a poster’s issues with a given item that intrigues me might be is not my idea of a good time. I’ll take the time and open the PDF if it’s a topic that I’m particularly interested in – but if he or she can’t be bothered to tell me that it’s about an outbreak of rats in southside Chicago or some idiot’s idea of how to put “good Christian American values” into the text of the Constitution, I really don’t want to spend the online time to open his or her link to find that out. Particularly annoying are links to news sites that open two or three popups before they get around to actually showing the story linked to. I’d say to such people, “You can obviously type, at least enough to type in a thread title like ‘This Pisses Me Off’ – take the time to describe what the devil it is you’re linking to that pisses you off. If you don’t, expect prompt thread locking by a moderator who has no more time than you to waste reviewing your uninformative OP and pain-in-the-fundament link.” Dex touches on one major issue – but there are others associated with this, and I’d really like them to be looked at too if we’re going to take the time to discuss the question at all.

My major concern is with Pit rants that describe crimes, with titles like You Sick Fucks!, where the OP is naught but a link to a news story. I think common courtesy dictates that a summary of the news story in question would be nice.

Even if the thread title is specific. For example,

THREAD TITLE: Illinois Man’s Pet Alligator Eats a Baby.

OP: Link.

Even with this descriptive thread title, a summary of the article is in order. Don’t expect the reader to link to the article itself - just give a brief summary AND the link, in case the SDMB reader wants to read the full text of the article.