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.

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    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 Sep 5 '11 at 12:15
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    That question is from that Pekka guy. He's pretty unreliable, he went on vacation one day and never came back. ;) – jonsca Sep 5 '11 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... – Time Traveling Bobby Sep 5 '11 at 12:22
  • The answer to the question is from him, I meant, not the question. Oops. – jonsca Sep 5 '11 at 12:36
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    See also Can we have some tools to handle link rot? – Hendrik Vogt Sep 5 '11 at 15:37

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.

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    Worth noting that posts that consist almost entirely of a broken (or even working) link should just be flagged as non-answers. – Tim Post Sep 5 '11 at 12:42
  • What do you mean by poke the user ? I can't PM someone on SO – Benjamin Crouzier Sep 5 '11 at 13:02
  • @Tim Post: Absolutely. – Time Traveling Bobby Sep 5 '11 at 13:15
  • @pinouchon: I meant poking via a comment. – Time Traveling Bobby Sep 5 '11 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 '17 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. – Time Traveling Bobby Jul 15 '17 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 '17 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. – Time Traveling Bobby Jul 16 '17 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 '17 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. – Time Traveling Bobby Jul 16 '17 at 20:10
  • @TimeTravelingBobby - ah, thanks for your answer. You are awesome! 😃 – Duck Jul 16 '17 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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