I came upon a question which shall remain unnamed and unlinked, where data relevant to the question was linked to a pastebin post.. which then linked to other pastebin posts.

On Stack overflow(which I am aware this place is not), when a question includes relevant data in an outside resource which has a chance of becoming in-accessible(link rot), we close said question.

What is the proper course of action here?

I've already attempted to flag the question as 'unclear what you're asking', but that was declined. I can't seem to find any articles in the help center about link rot either.

  • 1
    Feel free to include a link to the question in here. It's hard to tell from your current problem whether the pastebin is big enough to include.
    – Nzall
    Sep 5, 2017 at 9:54
  • 1
    @Nzall the only question that I accidentally stumbled upon recently with "pastebin inside pastebin" is gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/317433
    – antimo
    Sep 5, 2017 at 15:17
  • @Nzall I wanted to avoid question shaming. That sort of thing is usually frowned upon on SO.
    – Daedalus
    Sep 5, 2017 at 19:58
  • @Daedalus When policy discussion is prompted by a question, it's usually better to know what question prompted it.
    – Nzall
    Sep 6, 2017 at 7:20
  • @Nzall Then the question I was referring to is the one linked by antimo.
    – Daedalus
    Sep 6, 2017 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


As per Should we leave crash logs as is?, we prefer to have logs and such posted here, but have nothing against using Pastebin especially if it's very lengthy.

I think as raw code & logs are a lot rarer here than on Stack Overflow, we haven't had quite the pervasive issue of 'Pastebin Link Rot' to justify a blanket ban on using it. Plus, questions that do contain crash logs already need to contain a whole lot more than just a log dump to be acceptable here.

What is the proper course of action here?

This should be handled on a case-by-case basis. Is the Link-Rot question now unusable without the code/log, or can it still stand on it's own without it? How useful are the answers if potential viewers can't view the original source that spawned the question?

If the question or answers cannot stand without the Pastebin or are effectively useless without it, it should probably be closed.

Further, if you come across a question with a link to a Pastebin that hasn't yet expired, perhaps see if any of the pertinent information contained in it can be merged into the question body proper. A preventative measure today stops the symptom from occurring further down the line.

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