In this question: Will increasing samples reduce fireflies?

Someone answers with a link to an article, and even tough the answer is helpful, some are saying that is not ok to answer with a link, what's the reason behind this?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If the link goes down, the answer does too. Answers should contain enough information to stand on their own without links, but also having supporting links is good. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 2:01

1 Answer 1


Your answer is in another castle: when is an answer not an answer?
Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really "good answers"?
Why is linking bad?
Should there be a policy about 'One-Link-Only-Answers'?

Please define “link only answer”

end of example answer

OK so even though all those links may very well answer your question. I did not answer your question. You had to go somewhere else to get the information. Thus it is a link only answer.

Why are LOAs (Link Only Answers) bad?

  1. Links break, period. then you are left with nothing.
  2. It is not an answer, it only points to the answer (or where you might find the answer)
  3. It is super lazy.

Nothing you can do to prevent problem one. On BSE we have had wide spread link rot. cgcookie changed all their links which broke them all; and blender changed the manual (twice) which broke all the links. The internet is not forever. So don't post just a link.

If I was at Disneyland and asked you "How do I get to Cars land?" I would much rather you say "Go down that path it will be on your right", then "Go back to visitor services then can tell you." Sure I can get my answer from your link but there is an extra step that should not be there.

Now yes being lazy is kind of a problem. Sure if you are about to leave to get on a plane for siggraph and you only have time to post a link, then yes that comment is better then nothing.
But think of the OP, and then all the others that will come after the OP looking for the same answer. If you just took the time to write a bit in your answer, so that the link is now supplemental, it would save so much time for all those that follow. Also it would not pollute the internet with yet another useless post that will be deleted when the link goes dead.

link only answer Lets pretend the little blue text was not at the end of that line in the "answer" above - the link was dead.

BlenderGuru has a nice article about how to get rid of fireflies here

I now know nothing more about whether or not increasing the samples will eliminate fireflies then I did before I asked the question. Essentially it is not an answer.

Us mods are instructed to delete (or what I do, convert to comment) any link only answer - even if it is UVed and accepted. They are just not answers.

Now don't get me wrong I have no problem with links. Links should be used in answers to provide further information. But if all you are going to do is post a link, then do it in the comments. (Like I did here)

Quote relevant material to keep the user from having to click on every link given to get basic information.

Copied from How do I write a good answer to a question?


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