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I have one pet peeve on this site - the notorious Link Answer. I review often, and this is an issue that I have seen come up frequently. I know I am being a hypocrite, but here is a list of reasons to not use link-answers.

  1. Link Rot

    Ever wonder what happens if they site you linked to goes down? That's right, we have a useless link. Because of this, links are a very bad way to explain answers.

  2. Not Your Own Work

    Obviously, links are not your own work. Even if the information is free, it is important to treat the original author and the community with respect. For this reason, it is better to explain the link, and then use a link for credit not explanation.

  3. Lowers the Value of Original Work on Stack Exchange

    Having a link answer lowers the value of all answers around it. A new user may ask him or herself Why take the time and effort to ask a question if all I get is a link from a Google Search? This leaves a bad taste in their mouth, and is thus detrimental to the community as a whole.

Please do not use link answers as they are not useful, subject to change, disrespectful, and annoying.

  • Also, how do I make a question community wiki? – xxmbabanexx Apr 23 '13 at 2:45
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    This isn't a question :) – Jivings Apr 23 '13 at 6:46
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I think you'll find this topic discussed a lot elsewhere :)

Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really "good answers"?

Should I flag answers which contain only a link as "not an answer"?

How do I write a good answer to a question?

Obviously I'm being slightly ironic. But seriously, an answer with links doesn't constitute a good answer for many reasons. Just vote down and suggest the poster summarises the external source.

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    Or even better: click the link and edit the answer based on what you learn. – ramblinjan Apr 23 '13 at 18:11

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