Recently I commented on this question, where the asker provided a link to her website. I think the question should be marked as Too Localized, but my question is, Can editors remove Reference Links from questions? If you read the comments here you'll understand what I'm saying.

I said:

@GrantThomas You should not remove reference links

And received the reply:

@Mr.Alien Yes I should, at my discretion, just as you can add them back at yours. It's not something I do as a knee-jerk reaction, but with an ill-composed question which could be compared to a naive spam post, then yes, I will, thanks. You'll be telling me I shouldn't vote next.

Was I correct?

  • 3
    Bigger issue: While all this back-and-forth editing was happening, why did no one add spaces where they're missing after full stops and commas, or do anything else to improve the question?
    – TRiG
    Apr 15, 2013 at 12:00

3 Answers 3



The question here involves a new user trying to get help with a problem on his/her website. Without the link, the question will become Not a Real Question.

Although it is not good to just paste a link only, the proper action should be to guide him/her to edit the question and add back relevant codes that reproduce the problem. I would generally refer the OP to the following post in these circumstances:

Something on my web site doesn't work. Can I just paste a link to it?

The edit we should make here is to move the hyperlink around (so that it doesn't look like a spam post, given that the OP has no such intention in the first place):

I have a [website](http://www.example.com)

If the OP takes no further action, close it as Too Localized.

  • Totally agreed, question makes no sense in this case if link is removed, yes it is not good to share ONLY LINKS but reference links should not be removed unless and until they are pointing to +18 content
    – Mr. Alien
    Apr 15, 2013 at 10:36

It is better if the OP made a small-scale testcase to show her problem, instead of linking to her own website.

Currently, the correct reaction would be to simply close the question, "I have an issue, here is where" isn't a very good question.

Reference links are fine as an addon, but not as the major part of the question (Because much like with link answers, if the link dies, the question becomes useless).

The solution in this case would be to post the code in the question, and then and only then maybe add a link to the website itself.

  • Exactly, I voted to close the question as too localized but removing reference links makes no sense
    – Mr. Alien
    Apr 15, 2013 at 10:36
  • @Mr.Alien: No, it does not (well, not on its own). If the editor would have included the relevant code from the website, it would make more sense. Apr 15, 2013 at 10:37
  • Ya it's better to share your code instead of sharing only links, but considering the user is new, and in this case it was not possible to dump entire markup and styles here, the reference link shouldn't be removed
    – Mr. Alien
    Apr 15, 2013 at 10:39

Removing the domain name of the involved web site from that question doesn't make the question better than it is. If the question gave a link to a page containing code, the correct edit was adding the code in the question.

In the other cases, removing a link is not what I would do. If I think the question is just a pretest to show a spammy link, I would flag the question as spam. I would not remove the link, as other users would not notice the question is merely spam.

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