In the comments below my answer, I asked a mod, who had happened to post a helpful but unattributed comment, whether it was policy for every link to be attributed.
This is their comment complete with its unsourced hyperlink
They were also called pikes for obvious reasons
This is my comment addressed to them:
Since when do "we" have to attribute links? Excerpts, yes. Quotes, yes. But links? I mean, imagine giving the title of every book that Ily provides a link to. It would look a real mess. (I see from the edit history that the editor, XXX sensibly refrained). Moreover, I don't like the aesthetics, the answer [mine] looks crowded and the links should be on the terms not the sources. I don't have time to sort this out, or to find a compromise, but I'm very disappointed by the (ugly and unwarranted) editing. Unless you can point me where it has become official policy. @Mari-Lou A
I am sorry for that rushed comment, it lacks elegance and diplomacy, but I simply didn't have the time to craft the comment properly. And besides, I was upset.
I did get a response
There's no rule that you have to attribute links (got into the same argument myself elsewhere). However, it may be helpful for the less technically savvy (who don't know how to see the URL without clicking on it). A more elegant solution (or compromise?) would be in-text (e.g., "according to Etymonline…")
Searching in the Meta archives, I found the following guidelines, which I quote verbatim:
Why can people edit my posts? How does editing work?
When should I edit posts?
Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to suggest an edit, you are welcome to do so.
Some common reasons to edit a post are:
- To fix grammatical or spelling mistakes
- To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
- To include additional information only found in comments, so that all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
- To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
- To add related resources or hyperlinks
It's not exactly clear whether an editor who decides to add extra information to hyperlinks is be lauded or not. However, it is puzzling that of the eleven hyperlinks in the OP, whose sources were unnamed, none were touched by the editor.
- Can the editor please explain why they believed my five hyperlinks needed to be attributed but not those in the original question?
UPDATE 13 July 2023
I've edited the answer and struck a balance between reducing the noise but including the sources, and in some cases I've gone into some detail. I especially hated the editor's choice of writing YouTube next to a link, it was so reductive, but it is an Italian video excerpt and I can see why someone would prefer to lower the volume before clicking.