People often post links to third-party sites as a reference or to provide further readings.

Over time, these links become stale and end up leading to 404 pages. Is it possible for the framework to automatically check links on whether they are broken and mark them as such?

Or, allow for users to "tag links" as "broken" and once confirmed that they are broken, to mark the link with a broken link icon beside it?

  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/a/130399/169101
    – Rob W
    Nov 10, 2013 at 9:42
  • @RobW I don't think it ever got really implemented. google.com.au/… Only a few posts on META of a few years ago
    – Michael
    Nov 10, 2013 at 14:17
  • @Michael It was implemented at some point. I discovered this feature last year when I saw this unusual user agent in my server's access logs.
    – Rob W
    Nov 10, 2013 at 14:19
  • @RobW see link in my previous comment
    – Michael
    Nov 10, 2013 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Automatically marking broken links would be great.

Asking users to manually mark a link for later confirmation isn't worthwhile. If they have enough rep to edit, they could include an updated link or (in rare circumstances) edit to say it's broken. In the latter case, or with much less rep, a comment works and notifies the poster — who has an incentive to fix the links in content attributed to them.

  • Yeah, I added the second question as an after-thought. There obvious challenges that probably aren't worth while with regard to having other people flag links as broken. What I really wanted to suggest is a way to automate finding broken links. It should be feasible from a tech point of view, I think...
    – Remus
    Nov 9, 2010 at 18:49
  • @Remus: It's probably a bit of work on the backend side of things, to do correctly, but I agree it would be helpful.
    – Gnome
    Nov 9, 2010 at 18:51
  • 7
    If we can get a little icon showing a crying unicorn next to all broken links, then I'm on board with this.
    – user27414
    Nov 9, 2010 at 19:21
  • @Jon: I am sure there will be a userscript for exactly that available 6-8 minutes after this feature is implemented.
    – Gnome
    Nov 10, 2010 at 1:41
  • Your answers confirmed my original thoughts. Is this how feature requests are done on SO? (through a "question" with feature-request tag attached) Is there a better place to make these suggestions?
    – Remus
    Nov 12, 2010 at 21:09
  • @Remus: Yes, posting a [feature-request] on meta is the right thing to do; however, the right people also need to see it. You might edit to include better tags, which will also bring this to the front page and allow more people to see it (and vote on it); but I suspect this is a low priority feature, even if it is decided to be included.
    – Gnome
    Nov 12, 2010 at 21:19

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