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On a few of the stack exchange sites I have come across posts where the links within the postings are dead. How should these be handled? Is this something that you should flag for moderator attention? There are cases like dead links in comments (where it looks like this is the only option), answers and questions. I know I can edit in cases of questions/answers, but that's only if it's not truly dead.

Basically, I don't want to annoy you with moderator flags on dead links if all it is going to do is annoy you. What is your preferred approach to dealing with dead links?

TIA.

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In the first instance you should have a quick look to see if you can work out what link should be now - however, don't spend much time on this. It might be that there's a new version of the documentation out and changing the version number in the URL might be all that's needed.

Assuming that you can't find the new URL leave a comment. The poster will be notified (assuming they are still active) and hopefully they'll fix it. If the flair isn't a link (the gravatar is a silhouette) then the poster doesn't have an account so there's no point in commenting.

In this case - or if it's a link only answer, flag the post for moderator attention. Ultimately if the post can't be salvaged we'll delete it.

If the answer stands without the link then all of this is less of an issue.

BTW - This shows why link only answers are a "bad thing". When the links go dead the answer becomes useless.

  • I appreciate the guidance, thank you. – jmq Feb 20 '12 at 2:57

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