I think it would be a useful feature to place a button next to link|edit|retag|flag called for example report dead link.

After somebody clicks on it he/she could point to a dead link.

  • That link would be red.
  • The question/answer owner would get a notification.

This feature would have three main advantages:

  • People would know that a link does not contain any useful information any more.
  • More up to date questions/answers (because I hope people will refresh their content after they get the message)
  • No more "hey your link is dead" comments

Maybe it would be more effective if

dead link = -2 rep

repaired dead link = +2+x rep (x for the effort)

Why can't you just downvote the question and leave a comment yourself?

In this case all people will still click on the dead link. After they read the comments and see, that somebody has reported the link, but that won't change the fact that he/she wasted time. But if the link would be red - as on Wikipedia too - he/she won't even click on it.

downvote/ close it

bad link != bad question/answer

bad link = a part of the question/answer is bad, see this

  • 5
    There's a background process that goes around and detects broken links in posts, and notifies OPs to fix them....
    – yannis
    May 24 '12 at 9:41
  • @YannisRizos that process is not effective enough see for example: stackoverflow.com/questions/9959798/…
    – user65130
    May 24 '12 at 9:42
  • 1
    Why can't you just downvote the question and leave a comment yourself?
    – Cody Gray
    May 24 '12 at 9:43
  • 2
    @YannisRizos: This isn't active on Stack Overflow is it yet? I though it was only deployed on meta as a test?
    – Matt
    May 24 '12 at 9:44
  • @Matt Hmm, now that you mention it... I remember getting a "fix this link" comment on an SE2.0 site and I might have assumed it works everywhere (could have imagined the whole thing though).
    – yannis
    May 24 '12 at 9:46
  • @YannisRizos: Ooo, it might be on SE2.0 actually, but it's definately not on Stack Overflow yet (no comments from the Community user, and no "Broken Links" tab in the Review section).
    – Matt
    May 24 '12 at 9:47
  • 1
    @Matt No "Broken Links" in /review on SE2.0... Either what I saw was also a test run or the comment was actually on MSO (I got another broken link comment on MSO, that I didn't imagine).
    – yannis
    May 24 '12 at 9:49
  • @user65130 In that particular case I would almost be inclined to simply vote to close the question as a result of it.
    – Bart
    May 24 '12 at 9:49
  • 1
    @Matt Ah, now I remember, I got the "there's a broken link" notification on ProgSE yesterday while I was submitting an answer and it didn't let me post until I fixed it. The check is definitely there on submit, don't know if the bot is doing the rounds though.
    – yannis
    May 24 '12 at 9:51
  • What is the point in flagging a broken link
    – Pekka
    May 24 '12 at 15:00
  • 1
    @Pekka incrase the speed and effectiveness of navigating/searching for answer (by flag I mean mark red)
    – user65130
    May 24 '12 at 15:21
  • If the answer is link only and hence now worthless you can flag it and put a comment in the "other box" to make it very clear that this is now worthless.
  • If the answer is free-standing and the link is only a small part you can edit the post to remove the broken link or correct it, nothing is lost and there's no need for any moderator involvement at all.

There's no point leaving broken links around no matter how you present them. Broken is still broken. If the answer was link only before then it shouldn't have been kept around long enough to get into this state of brokenness.


It would be useful if the Editor would accept a "W" for a link modifier, that would mean to use the WayBack Machine. There's also Google's Cache, their translator, and other similar services.

Don't leave things broken or delete the decent Q&A's, fix them.


This is Meta.StackExchange's URL address. = This is [Meta.StackExchange's URL address][3].

This is Meta.StackExchange's URL WayBack. = This is [Meta.StackExchange's URL WayBack][W3].

That way edits could be made and tested very quickly.

Note: Google's Cache involves prefixing your URL with: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:

  • Fixing might just not be feasible if the linked resource has moved in an unconspicuous way (or has been lost altogether). With the advent of resources made available through APIs this case will happen. Simply dropping the link potentially cripples the answer even if it is not just a link-only answer. Marking dead links allows for some future visitor who would know where the resource has moved or where to find another resource to address the issue to replace the link. Notifying the Q/A/comment's author might be another option but needs some guard to prevent flooding them.
    – collapsar
    Jan 10 '20 at 18:19

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