If a hyperlink is broken and I am editing to update it with the new working URL, should I:

  • replace the existing broken url with new one, or
  • leave the old one intact and add the new one below.

It could get confusing when I replace an existing URL for example if a comment say something like "link is broken". On the other hand it makes the post messy to keep around the broken URL.

For example my pending edit on https://stackoverflow.com/questions/59222/software-architecture-related-podcasts/1605490#1605490 answer by Riussi, Oct 22, 2009.

  • To be honest that entire question has been closed for very good reasons, I wouldn't worry to much what happens to it Oct 10, 2013 at 17:00
  • 6
    I'd replace and use edit-summary like "fixing broken link: <URL1> replaced with <URL2>". That way, anyone interested can quickly find out details in the revisions-list
    – gnat
    Oct 10, 2013 at 17:00
  • 4
    If you edit a new link in to replace a broken one, you can always flag any comments mentioning a broken link; flag it as "obsolete" and a mod can delete them.
    – Laura
    Oct 10, 2013 at 18:47
  • Thanks @Laura, I like that idea.
    – JohnC
    Jan 18, 2016 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Consider the perspective of a user coming to read the answer. Will they care that there was once a different link, which is now broken? No, it's just noise, and it can't help the user, since the content it once linked to is now gone.

As @gnat writes in his comment, it's better to save this sort of metadata for the edit history.

That said, I would make sure that the link is a direct mirror for the broken link. Otherwise, it might be better to simply leave a comment for the author of the post (perhaps with a suggested replacement URL), to ensure that the original intent is retained.

As for your particular example, it is essentially a link-only post - these are discouraged for this very reason, because links can go out of date! To boot, the question has been closed an not constructive.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .