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I added a link in my post to an IP address based link such as 127.0.0.1/my_awesome_image.png. It appears that an automatic process added a comment on the post asking me to correct the link.

I know how the Internet works and think it is perfectly valid to have IP address based links. Why are you disallowing this?

closed as off-topic by Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog, Ward, Pika the Wizard of the Whales, Nathan Tuggy, Robert Longson Mar 1 at 4:17

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "The problem described here can no longer be reproduced. Changes to the system or to the circumstances affecting the asker have rendered it obsolete. If you encounter a similar problem, please post a new question." – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog, Ward, Pika the Wizard of the Whales, Nathan Tuggy, Robert Longson
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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From comprehensive analysis of all the out-going links on Stack Overflow it was determined that in the vast majority of cases IP Address rooted links are either broken from get go, or break in short order.

We would like to correct this issue as early as possible.

Some statistics:

On the 1st of May 2012 there were approximately 3000 posts on Stack Overflow with IP address based links with a host matching the following pattern:

\b\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\b

The vast majority of these links are broken and/or link nowhere.

To correct this issue:


  • If it is a legitimate link, find the correct host name and link to it. For example use:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:mystuff

And not

http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:mystuff


  • If it is a non-legitimate link, wrap it in a code block by wrapping it with `.
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    @waffles - So when you ban IP based links, are users also going to have trouble posting 127.0.0.1? That appears frequently in genuine posts, but not as part of a link. Blocking that address in particular seems like a bad idea to me. – shanethehat May 7 '12 at 7:55
  • @shanethehat nothing is stopping them posting 127.0.0.1 make it a code block, not a hyperlink – waffles May 7 '12 at 7:57
  • @waffles - does this also extend to comments, and should existing comments be flagged? ie stackoverflow.com/a/7589415/665800 – shanethehat May 7 '12 at 8:01
  • @shanethehat comments are ethereal, once we sort out post link rot we can consider looking at comments, very low pri imho – waffles May 7 '12 at 8:02
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    @waffles - cool. And finally, lots of the 127.0.0.1 posts also have a http://localhost url that's been auto-hyperlinked. Should they receive the same backtick treatment? – shanethehat May 7 '12 at 8:16
  • @shanethehat yes they should – waffles May 17 '12 at 2:04
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    You're spending time solving a problem that affects ~0.0009% of posts? – Kev Jun 1 '12 at 23:53
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    What about the cases where the IP-address links are fully intended? I was just trying to fix up an old answer about "valid" IP addresses. In that case, the links are not only fully intended (as live examples of how numeric addresses get parsed), but are globally valid URLs. Or at least would be, if this damned validator didn't stand in the way and keep me from editing the post... – cHao Sep 24 '12 at 18:51

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