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Someone just edited an old answer (from 2009), removing links to a 3-part article which did go dead (the whole site seems to give PHP errors now).

I happened to see this in the edit approval process and inserted the appropriate links from archive.org.

Is this the right thing to do in such cases, or should we better delete the link (if the post contains useful information beside the link) or the whole post (if it is not really useful without the link)?

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That looks more like a comment than an answer – random Jun 1 '11 at 19:15

If you can fetch the content from the dead link via archive.org, then wouldn't an even wiser avenue be to copy the content from that link into the post, so that it is no longer a link, dead or alive?

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In this case it was kind of a "This article is also a recommended read" answer (see the link given in my question), and we would not want to (neither have the right to) copy the whole article to this site. (The question seems to be answered by another answer, too.) – Paŭlo Ebermann Jun 1 '11 at 19:03
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@Paulo If the article is just a side-piece and there are no critical components to cite, then I think either approach (deletion or archive.org) works. If it's front-and-center a main part, then I expect that citing the critical components would be much the wiser. – Grace Note Jun 1 '11 at 19:06
    
If it's a sidebar I think linking to archive.org is a safe option. If it's integral to the answer I agree with Grace - the relevant bits should be incorporated into the post so the community never loses them. – voretaq7 Jun 1 '11 at 19:10
    
Note that archive.org has a "Save page now" API that could be used. Wikipedia is an example of an organization that keeps both the external live link and an archived link, and swaps them if the live link goes 404. Of course answerers should be encouraged to make the answer not overly-dependent on the external link. – Greg Lindahl Jan 16 at 23:20

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