Wikipedia advises its editors to backup their citations with an archive service.

Editors are also encouraged to add an archive link as a part of each citation, or at least submit the referenced URL for archiving, at the same time that each citation is created or updated.

Given the problem of broken links, I think it would be a good idea if Stack Exchange also advised users to use an archive service like archive.org to backup the links they post in questions or answers, so people can still check out the websites by themselves in case the link gets broken and see a context of the information of that website that the user posts in the question or answer. Maybe even add a tool to help in that.

Related questions:

Use Archive.org for links in answers?

Should we be using archive.org links to replace dead ones?

Archiving links referenced in questions

  • 7
    A link should only ever provide additional information. If the answer relies on the existence of an external link, it's inherently unsuitable.
    – Nij
    Aug 24, 2017 at 5:21
  • 1
    @Nij "Additional" doesn't mean "useless", and if it's not useless, it might be worth taking a step to prevent a broken link. If it is useless, it shouldn't be in the answer in the first place. Aug 24, 2017 at 6:26
  • 1
    If it's necessary to answer the question, it should already be in the answer. Being useful is not enough to justify additional resources; answers must stand alone.
    – Nij
    Aug 24, 2017 at 7:34
  • @Nij Dukeling is right. Besides, as I said in the question, context is many times important. Why to provide links at all anyways if you dont care if they are broken links? Aug 24, 2017 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


I don't think that's necessary.

We have a user base that edits or updates broken links as and when they're noticed, all day, every day.

Making such a rule will most likely deter users from participating here.

Besides, as user Nij commented, answers should contain all the relevant information right here, even if the link is broken. That means quoting the relevant bits here, and adding links only for citations and further reading.

And if users want to use such "unbreakable" links, let them.

  • I didnt say make a rule, i said advise, so your point is moot, and my guess is that wikipedia dont want to deter editors either. Probably some questions or answers go unchecked for a long period of time. I have flagged questions that were three years old and they get closed, probably no one before cared to flag it. There are many reasons why someone would like to take a look to a linked website, like getting the context of the highlighted information posted on the question or answer, checking if the highlighted information is accurate, getting more information to make a better answer, etc. Aug 25, 2017 at 1:05
  • If I had known about archive.org and the point that wikipedia made before, I would have backed up the links I provided in my questions or answers, so I guess other users would too. It's not about compelling them, it's about advising them, making them a suggestion, informing them. Aug 25, 2017 at 1:08

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