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I think it would be a useful feature to place a button next to link|edit|retag|flag called for example report dead link.

After somebody click on it he/she could point to dead link.

  • that link would be red
  • and the question/answer owner would get a notification

this feature would have 3 main advantages:

  • people would know that a link does not contain any useful information more
  • more up to date questions/answers (because I hope people will refresh their content after they get the message)
  • no more "hey your link is dead" comments

maybe it would be more effective if

dead link = -2 rep

repaired dead link = +2+x rep (x for the effort)

Why can't you just downvote the question and leave a comment yourself?

In this case every people will still click on dead link. After they read the comments and see, that somebody has reported the link, but that wont change the fact that he/she wasted time. But if the link would be red - as in wikipedia too - he/she wont even click on it.

downvote/ close it

bad link != bad question/answer

bad link = a part of the question/answer is bad, see this

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There's a background process that goes around and detects broken links in posts, and notifies OPs to fix them.... – Yannis May 24 '12 at 9:41
@YannisRizos that process is not effective enough see for example:… – user65130 May 24 '12 at 9:42
Why can't you just downvote the question and leave a comment yourself? – Cody Gray May 24 '12 at 9:43
@YannisRizos: This isn't active on Stack Overflow is it yet? I though it was only deployed on meta as a test? – Matt May 24 '12 at 9:44
@Matt Hmm, now that you mention it... I remember getting a "fix this link" comment on an SE2.0 site and I might have assumed it works everywhere (could have imagined the whole thing though). – Yannis May 24 '12 at 9:46
@YannisRizos: Ooo, it might be on SE2.0 actually, but it's definately not on Stack Overflow yet (no comments from the Community user, and no "Broken Links" tab in the Review section). – Matt May 24 '12 at 9:47
@Matt No "Broken Links" in /review on SE2.0... Either what I saw was also a test run or the comment was actually on MSO (I got another broken link comment on MSO, that I didn't imagine). – Yannis May 24 '12 at 9:49
@user65130 In that particular case I would almost be inclined to simply vote to close the question as a result of it. – Bart May 24 '12 at 9:49
@Matt Ah, now I remember, I got the "there's a broken link" notification on ProgSE yesterday while I was submitting an answer and it didn't let me post until I fixed it. The check is definitely there on submit, don't know if the bot is doing the rounds though. – Yannis May 24 '12 at 9:51
What is the point in flagging a broken link – Pëkka May 24 '12 at 15:00
@Pekka incrase the speed and effectiveness of navigating/searching for answer (by flag I mean mark red) – user65130 May 24 '12 at 15:21
  • If the answer is link only and hence now worthless you can flag it and put a comment in the "other box" to make it very clear that this is now worthless.
  • If the answer is free-standing and the link is only a small part you can edit the post to remove the broken link or correct it, nothing is lost and there's no need for any moderator involvement at all.

There's no point leaving broken links around no matter how you present them. Broken is still broken. If the answer was link only before then it shouldn't have been kept around long enough to get into this state of brokenness.

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