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Six years ago I asked a question for recommendations for Firefox extensions: Firefox extension to copy the title and URL of the page to the clipboard. Since then, Firefox completely changed the way that extensions work. Most answers recommend extensions that are:

  1. No longer available (the pages on the Firefox site for them are 404 Not Found.)
  2. Don't work with Firefox anymore even if you found an alternate source to download.

I recently received an up-to-date answer to the question that brought this to my attention and I updated my own answer. However all the other answers are completely out of date and no longer useful. Anybody that finds this question has to scroll past pages of highly-voted out-of-date answers to get to something that works.

How should this situation be handled? I can imagine several possible solutions:

  1. Comment on each out-of-date answer and hope the author comes back to update it.
  2. Edit each out-of-date answer to remove the broken link and put a notice at the top of the answer that it is no longer any good.
  3. Flag each out-of-date answer so that a moderator can remove it
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  • This is a superb question. Personally, I need to spend more time thinking about it before arriving at an opinion. Another aspect of this issue is what to do when the Accepted Answer is no longer valid. I am looking forward to reading posts from our community regarding these issues. Jun 30, 2020 at 8:31
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    Looks like our community has no opinion on this: more than 2 years later there's not a single answer. It might be nice if answers could have a kind of banner pointing out "this is no longer available", which a mod could toggle. Maybe making use of the "post notice"? Unfortunately, there are no "free-form" notices. I never checked, maybe we can add our own?
    – Izzy Mod
    Jul 22, 2022 at 7:23
  • This answer begins with "All of the above recommendations are dead...". This was likely a useful addition at the time it was added, but now the only correct answer appears above this one. The helpful information has suffered the same fate it was intended to correct. ¶ (SE really needs something that will prevent "above" and "below" from being used in answers; they are more likely to become wrong than the links are.) Sep 24, 2022 at 13:52

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This is one of the reasons that we discourage product recommendations on super user.

In many cases the author is gone so pinging the author might not be a good solution on its own.

To me

  • If its a completely obsolete technology that someone is unlikely to effectively use, and relies on a dead link to work, closure of the question is the right answer.

  • If a resource has moved, replacing it with the new link is a good idea. Sometimes forks are of ambiguous officialness, and we had someone try to replace all the links to a fairly major project to their own fork of it on SU, so some form of documentation/discussion first, via comments or better yet meta might be nice.

  • If its possible to 'replace' the link with an archive link and still have the answer usable, this would be a decent alternative.

  • if the accepted answer is 'dead' - a comment or notice in the answer itself might be useful. Sometimes dead sites get converted to spam portals, in which case deletion would be the best option.

  • if the best course of action is unclear - a meta post discussing the question and its answers would be a decent form of governance/documentation of what was done/decided. Sometimes a member of the community might have an idea on the first three options. If the first option, of closing the question is incorrect discussion would be fruitful too.

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  • There's also the case where the link (and the software it points to) is dead – but the answer helds sufficient details to give a better clue what to look for. In that case it might be a good idea to "prepend" a warning note telling the reader the software is no longer available / the link is dead, but leaving the answer otherwise as-is. (made a comment so you can integrate that with your answer if you wish – looks like a "canonical" one already, covering many cases ;)
    – Izzy Mod
    Jul 22, 2022 at 18:53

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