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As per the previous Meta post Stack Overflow Is, the old What Stack Overflow Is Not question has been deleted.

It was pointed out to me this morning that there was a link to the now non-existant page in one of my answers, and the OP from that went and composed a question which was promptly closed as a duplicate.

However we now potentially have a massive amount of link rot, including ironically in the Stack Overflow Is post. Is there any way for these redundant links to be identified, and if so can they be automatically fixed?

Update: using the query provided by Mark in the comments I will find any remaining references and either remove them or change the link to point to the appropriate place in the FAQ.

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Posts containing a link to the deleted post –  user149432 Jul 11 '12 at 0:41
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Unless the links to WSOiN were added in [a lot of] answers, I don't see an issue. Comments aren't as important for link rot, if you asked me. –  Makoto Jul 11 '12 at 0:50
    
Thanks @Mark, that's easily modifiable to search SO for the same link - I see that a) there isn't as many links as I first thought, and b) there are fewer links on SO than Meta. It's a small enough list for me to work my way through it and fix it myself. –  slugster Jul 11 '12 at 0:55
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There's no issue with the rot in WSOIs, those comments were just there as examples. Even de-linking them won't make a diff. –  Manishearth Jul 11 '12 at 1:10
    
@Makoto IIRC the comments were mostly bulk removed (because they were the problem anyway, not as much the post itself) –  Ben Brocka Jul 11 '12 at 2:22
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It's not really massive - I deleted a lot of the references to the post along with the post itself. That said, there are still plenty of them around... Which offers a good opportunity to toss away the crutch.

In the specific instance that brought this to your attention, your answer referenced another answer that... Was not terribly specific to the question being answered.

Indeed, the author you were responding to had already seen that link, as someone had posted it as a comment on his question the day before. Presumably he was asking on Meta because it hadn't answered anything for him - tossing him another link didn't accomplish much.

Contrast with the other answer, which tackles his specific question head on and offers some constructive advice for avoiding problems...

Breaking these links allows the comments / posts referencing them to fail fast and hopefully get fixed.

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