I know that the Community User has recently edited a lot (all?) the links to other questions in the SE network to have the HTTPS url.

But today I've seen several suggested edits by a certain user which consisted in modifying URLs of links to other sites (such as Wikipedia or Wolfram Alpha). Are such edits really necessary? My understanding of the change to HTTPS (explained here) is that it is only about links to other questions on Math.SE or other SE sites. Moreover, doing such edits manually rather than having Community do it means that the questions get bumped to the front page, which is unnecessary and potentially annoying when the questions are several years old.

Since I was uncertain, I've skipped these edits in the Review. Should they be accepted or rejected?

Edit : I just realized that these edits are actually on the tag wikis rather than on questions, so my point about bumping questions is not really relevant in this case.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Martin for adding the tag, I had'nt noticed it existed but it is of course relevant. $\endgroup$
    – Arnaud D.
    Jun 22 '17 at 9:43
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    $\begingroup$ Done correctly (verifying the new link works) this adds value. It would be a more difficult task to "automate" properly than the conversion of "internal" StackExchange links (where HTTPS support is known to exist). $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Jun 22 '17 at 17:43

I'm that user, so let me chime in here.

I'm not sure why this process isn't automated like with questions and answers. As a few of my edits were approved by a Stack Exchange employee, I don't think there is something wrong with it.

But I keep the following in mind:

  • For the protection of our users, it's better to make all external links HTTPS instead of HTTP. Who knows, in the future browsers might even block HTTP links on a webpage served over HTTPS.
  • As you already noticed, no questions get bumped to the front page – regular users of the site don't notice anything at all.
  • Meanwhile, I try to solve other problems like typos as well.
  • I'm careful not to flood the review queue so much that other suggested edits (on normal posts) do not suffer from being neglected. I help out reviewing those as well.
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. I was mostly wondering if there was any use to these change ; I just tried an unedited Wikipedia link, and I automatically got an https link anyway. $\endgroup$
    – Arnaud D.
    Jun 22 '17 at 10:15
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    $\begingroup$ @ArnaudD. Do you have an extension on your browser, such as HTTPS Everywhere, that attempts to connect via https even for http links? Conversely, has Wikipedia converted to forced https? Either could have the effect you observed. Testing it by manually entering a Wikipedia link in the address bar could help. The possibility of browsers ignoring http links on https pages is a real possibility as https coverage grows and attempted attacks increase, so converting links where possible is a good idea, IHMO. $\endgroup$
    – user455973
    Jun 23 '17 at 1:41
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    $\begingroup$ Not all URLs can be changed from HTTP to HTTPS, as not all servers handle the latter. $\endgroup$ Jun 24 '17 at 3:34
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed, while unlikely in practice, a server could even serve unrelated content over http and https for an otherwise equal URL. $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Jun 24 '17 at 12:34

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