I guess this is part of the reason many people hate identify questions.

We had a question with a non-descriptive title and post body. The question was asking for identification of a song in a link that has since gone dead. The question was correctly answered and accepted, but is now completely useless to anyone.

What do we do? Make up a new question that fits the answer? Delete? Shrug and move on?

What is the name of this song?


3 Answers 3


Ultimately it's up to the community (rather than CMs like myself) to determine whether you want "Help me identify this song" questions on this site.

Bebs advice here about how to fix up answers is pretty sound. The OP doesn't always come back though. In order to make sure the site doesn't devolve into a ghost town of unloved posts with broken links, it's a good idea to commit either seeing that the post gets cleaned up in a couple days, or seeing to it that it gets closed.

Finally, the best way to make sure dead links don't ruin your answers is not to rely on links and instead to only encourage answers which provide complete information right there in the text of the post. The link can be a great supplement, but it should not be the meat of the answer.


imnsho, all 'identify this song' questions are of little value to the site as a whole.

They are like 'shopping recommendations' on all SE sites - they are of little to no value to anyone other than the OP.
They are pretty much 'un-Googlable' to future searchers & contribute nothing but random noise.

  • 4
    I don't know if that's true. I had an identify-this-song question myself recently, and I ended up finding the answer on another site because many other people had searched for it. And I've also discovered good music through those questions here. I do agree the ones that are nothing but links are pretty worthless tho. Dec 31, 2016 at 6:13

You'll never know what question is useless, or not. I think every question could be useful to another person some day.

About dead links with answers, I would suggest these steps:

  1. Calling the asker in the comments and telling him his link is dead.

  2. After a few days, check the user's recent activity on SE and if he hadn't been around for some time, edit the question yourself: update the link or remove it.

  3. If possible, rewrite the question, add useful description that could catch future people who could have a similar question.

  • 1
    Updating the link is great, if it can be done; removing a link has to be done with care as some 'dead' links might just be 'sleeping' (i.e.. website is down, etc).
    – user16
    Dec 24, 2016 at 8:54
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    The reason I described it as "useless" is because there is literally no information about the song available from the OP except the link, which is now permanently dead (removed by the poster, presumably). Dec 27, 2016 at 15:41
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    And if the answerer is against your actions (angry comments, reverted edites), downvote.
    – user2590
    Dec 28, 2016 at 16:22

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