Looking through old questions I have com across many dead links. There seams to me no real consensus across the SE network as to what should be done with dead links. I have read many questions (1,2,3) about dead links and they say: just leave a comment; or edit the post to update the link. Flagging seams to be discouraged, but there is no definitive answer.

Here on BSE what should we do when we come across a dead link?

  • $\begingroup$ When I post links I try to give as much info as possible about the external site such as the article's title, the author's name and whatever else I think may be relevant such as important keywords so that if the link goes down, a mirror of the sites information can still be easily located(if it still exists online at all at that point). Encouraging people to do the same can help to minimize the impact of this in the future. $\endgroup$ Jan 14 '15 at 4:54
  • $\begingroup$ @MarcClintDion Indeed, we already encourage this quite a lot (and discourage link-only answers). However there are other kinds of links too (e.g. .blend files), I'd be curious to see if there is an established procedure for such links. Though comment -> no response -> update or remove link seems like a perfectly fine strategy to me. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Jan 15 '15 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ And what about the files linked to pasteall? We've been encouraging people to use this site but thier liks expire as well. There are a lot of questions (and answers) based on links to files that have vanished from the net. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Jan 16 '15 at 0:14

This is why it is encouraged to quote the relevant parts of your link(s) and write a full answer, links should only be to complement the text or be additional reading. Unless the question is fully answered in your opinion and the link(s) are just extra reading, flag it for deletion so it can be updated to be a proper answer, converted to a comment or removed.

  • $\begingroup$ What about the answers (like yours) where the answer is fine, the link is quoted, but the link is dead? Are we to flag, a other wise good answer, to be deleted, just because of a dead link? $\endgroup$
    – David
    Jan 12 '15 at 3:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @David Good point, if the answer has been proven to be correct or useful, perhaps just strip the link. See blender.stackexchange.com/posts/455/revisions. $\endgroup$
    – iKlsR
    Jan 12 '15 at 4:55
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe comment first? Perhaps the OP might know of an alternate link, or perhaps in the case of uploaded content (e.g. a .blend) could upload it again. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3 Mod
    Jan 15 '15 at 10:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I normally leave a disclaimer in my answers that says something like"if you are trying to click on this link 5 months or more after this post was made, do not bother because pasteall will have removed the file" sometimes I make all of that the link discription. $\endgroup$ Jan 20 '15 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ such as in this question blender.stackexchange.com/questions/21605/… and this question blender.stackexchange.com/questions/21797/… $\endgroup$ Jan 20 '15 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ But in those cases, I always have a full question/answer and the link is to a blend file which is merely an example of the things discussed in the question/answer. $\endgroup$ Jan 20 '15 at 22:27

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