I just noticed that this question has a broken link. Is there a standard way to deal with this? Should we delete the link, add a comment beside it, or fix it? I'm not that good with technology, so I'm not sure what the options are.

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    $\begingroup$ For clarification: the question Byron linked to has a broken link to a DropBox url, which presumably was owned by the OP. Fixing it then isn't an option. Note that this is why we prefer question statements to be self-contained and not rely on external links. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Jan 17 '12 at 15:51

Rather than start a new thread, I'm going to try repurposing this older one as a catalog for reporting medium to large breakage of existing URLs.

Apparently Encyclopedia of Math has switched off support for http: protocol, so that many existing URLs here (search url:encyclopediaofmath.org on main site, $346$ results) now redirect to the encyclopediaofmath.org "home page". Replacing the protocol with https: seems to be sufficient, but it's a post-by-post edit job. (I stumbled on this checking one of my old posts for broken links.)

I've picked this year-old Answer at random to illustrate the problem.

Clean up completed Thanks to Diamond Daniel F. and others who helped with the fixes.

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    $\begingroup$ Better search: url:http://www.encyclopediaofmath.org to exclude the https links. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Fischer Apr 27 '16 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ There was a separate topic concerning EOM: Link Rot Notice: Springer EOM (However, that one was about different issue, not http vs. https.) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Apr 27 '16 at 15:54

If/When you do encounter this situation, there are a couple of things you can try:

  • Leave a comment indicating that the link is broken. The user will get a notification, which hopefully they will see if they're still active or have turned on emails.
  • If you are able to find a replacement link, edit it in! Make sure that you incorporate the content into the actual post so that the same situation doesn't happen again though. If it's something indexed by Google you can find it in their cache, or maybe archive.org.
  • If the post is completely dependent on the link, then an answer with only a broken link isn't exactly an answer, so in that case, flag it as "not an answer". Same goes for a question. Unless the answers save it (maybe try and reverse engineer the question from the answers?), if the question still needs answers and those can't possibly come, perhaps the question doesn't belong.

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