The question here has a clear answer I gave to an author, but it was converted to a comment.

3 Answers 3


Your answer contained just a link to another website. This is not considered a good answer, instead it is one of the reason to delete an answer.

In the past I often tried to comment on your answer and to give a hint how to write good answers. Please take a minute to review the sites above and to think about how your answers could be improved. I really appreciate your work in this site and hope this will help to improve your answers.

  • I understand your concern - but in that particular case there's nothing more to say than just point a person to an original and first-hand documentation of the authors of Firefox, which is used as a base for a Tor Browser. There's - literally - nothing more to say or add to my answer. The request was for doc's/manuals - and there they are, a first-hand source
    – Alexey Vesnin Mod
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 20:09
  • 2
    The page has some good sample commands. You could include those in your answer whilst still linking to the original source for reference; that's what makes a good answer. Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 23:18
  • OK, but maybe I can present a one more true vandalism-like action from moderator? My comments/answers have actually helped the asker, but the troubleshooting process was "affected" by - in my opinion - very improper moderation technique. I'm not chasing for rating/score/anything-like-that, it just can help others to solve similar problems, and I'd like to help them
    – Alexey Vesnin Mod
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 17:41
  • Your answer may have helped the asker (and will continue to help the asker as a comment), but will it help someone who finds this question via a search in 10 years time? Not if the link is dead. This is not improper moderator technique, it is encouraged behavior on stack exchange sites. Please read the links Jens linked you too. Let me remind you again: Jens did not delete your answer, he simply moved it to amore appropriate setting for a one line answer that contains no information (just a link to a place where information can be found).
    – user5
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 2:33
  • a weird thing - I remember accepting this answer, but now I have to re-accept it because it's not marked as an accepted one...
    – Alexey Vesnin Mod
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 14:20

When posting an answer, it's worth thinking beyond the current askers needs. Stack Exchange sites are designed to be repositories of information for many people, not just the original poster. How often have you done a search for keywords related to a problem you were trying to solve, and the first result was a link to a stack exchange site that answered your question?

Now imagine in 10 years time you do a search for this problem or one similar, and the only answer is a link to a site that has taken that particular page down, or moved, or no longer exists. This will not be helpful, and you'll think twice before clicking through to another answer on the same site. This is not just a moderator inventing rules either, the help center for all Stack Exchange sites spells it out quite clearly:

Provide context for links

Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

Try to make your answers future proof by copying bullet points or other useful information from any links you might post.

  • Agree, but one remark: if FF/Mozilla will be down in 10 years, so the Tor Browser will be at least based on a different code.
    – Alexey Vesnin Mod
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 13:47

Link-only answers are almost never really enough. Give visitors an idea of what the page will tell them; in some cases that may be enough to trigger "oh, I know how to do that" or "no, that won't work for me" before they even have to click away.

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