This question contains several references, but one of them is "dead" (dead link).

Someone pointed out the broken link, but OP refused to remove it. My first intention was to edit the post and keep relevant information only (minus broken link, minus edit info which is completely irrelevant for the post itself), but this could start an edit war.

Question: Is it OK to keep a dead link within a post?

2 Answers 2


Broken links don't provide any useful information. And contrary to what the author of that questions claims, they don't prove anything either, because nobody knows if that link ever existed. After all I could claim that the NY Times posted an article which says that Jeff Atwood eats babies which they then removed without a trace because the secret world government told them to*.

So there is no reason to intentionally keep broken links.

However, what's even better than removing the link is to fix it. If you feel diligent, you could try to find out if the document was moved to a different URL. You could also see if there is an archived version of the document on the wayback machine of archive.org and link to that. Which happens to exist in this case. I updated the question.

*) Although in the case of the article in the linked question, it seems it was apparently depublished because the article was bought from Associated Press and the NYT only had a time-limited license to publish it.

  • 2
    I might also note that the link is preserved in the edit history.
    – user9389
    Jun 27, 2018 at 21:43
  • 1
    @notstoreboughtdirt that's a pretty obscure place to bury it though. Any reader, even with no knowledge of the answer-authoring process, can see that a link is dead and potentially act on its contents to search out the information that used to be there. Broken links don't provide any useful information is not really true given the potential to fix.
    – Will
    Jul 4, 2018 at 13:44

Of course it is.

A broken link is the sign of a problem. An information which was relevant to the answer or question is no longer reachable. Hiding problems does not remove them. The relevant information is still not reachable if you remove the broken link. And by removing the broken it becomes harder to fix it for others.

Best action is to fix it. Do so if you can and are willing to. Otherwise let others do it.

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