Some questions and answers on stackoverfow have broken links. And sometimes it is important links in accepted or most upvoted answers.

If the question is old, and I have no idea of what the link should be pointing to, how can I tell the author to try to fix it?

In my case, I am refering to this question and the link "this entry" in the accepted answer.

  • 2
    Add a comment to the post indicating that the link is broken. The poster will be notified the next time they log on (like you will be notified of this comment).
    – ChrisF Mod
    Sep 5, 2011 at 12:15
  • 2
    That question is from that Pekka guy. He's pretty unreliable, he went on vacation one day and never came back. ;)
    – jonsca
    Sep 5, 2011 at 12:17
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    @Jonsca: At least here on Meta...some other guy calling himself a Troll took his place...on the other hand that guy vanished, too, and I see a very odd ice-cream man very often in the last time...wonder what's up with that... Sep 5, 2011 at 12:22
  • The answer to the question is from him, I meant, not the question. Oops.
    – jonsca
    Sep 5, 2011 at 12:36
  • 3
    See also Can we have some tools to handle link rot? Sep 5, 2011 at 15:37

2 Answers 2


The action to be taken depends, but your options are:

  • Leave a comment, explaining that the link is broken.
  • Edit the answer yourself, replacing the link with a working one.
  • Flag for moderator attention or as Not an answer if it only consists of one link.

But the last option is only available for 0-votes not-accepted low-quality answers tm. Otherwise poke (read: comment) the user, or fix it yourself.

  • 4
    Worth noting that posts that consist almost entirely of a broken (or even working) link should just be flagged as non-answers.
    – user50049
    Sep 5, 2011 at 12:42
  • What do you mean by poke the user ? I can't PM someone on SO Sep 5, 2011 at 13:02
  • @Tim Post: Absolutely. Sep 5, 2011 at 13:15
  • @pinouchon: I meant poking via a comment. Sep 5, 2011 at 13:16
  • and if there is no way to fix it? Suppose, the user posts an image they create to imgur and the image is now broken?
    – Duck
    Jul 15, 2017 at 0:15
  • @SpaceDog Poke the user about it. If the answer can't stand without the image, flagging it might be an option. But keep in mind that I've been out of the loop for a few years now, so there might be a different protocol by now. But if the answer can't stand without the (now defunct) image, it's not an answer anymore and should be removed. Jul 15, 2017 at 9:06
  • @TimeTravelingBobby - ok thanks, but suppose the answer can stand without the image, should I remove the link or flag?
    – Duck
    Jul 16, 2017 at 1:52
  • @SpaceDog If the answer can't stand without the image (and you or the user can't provide it), then it is not an answer anymore. Jul 16, 2017 at 10:13
  • @TimeTravelingBobby, sorry but my question was not that. My question was, what to do with the link when the answer CAN stand without it. Thanks and sorry bothering you that much.
    – Duck
    Jul 16, 2017 at 14:18
  • @SpaceDog Mistake on my end, I parsed your question wrongly. Anyway, if it can stand without the image, then edit the image out. It's a "nice to have" but not essential, as long as it is there, it is nice to have, but it can do without it. As said, ping the user about it, remove it, move on in that case. Jul 16, 2017 at 20:10
  • @TimeTravelingBobby - ah, thanks for your answer. You are awesome! 😃
    – Duck
    Jul 16, 2017 at 20:20

Could SE encourage link-providing users to also provide an additional link to an archive, e.g., archive.org? That's what Wikipedia does with its cite web template. archive.org also makes "saving" (i.e., archiving a previously unarchived page) easy, which reinforces the habit.

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