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For those who did not know, linking to off-site content in answers is a no-go at SE sites unless you provide context. From help:

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.

What about linking to off-site content for questions? How do I ask a good question? is not clear about that.

A question on meta.stackexchange reads: "Auto-ban questions that use pastebin?". This hints to banning people that use external linking in their answer.

I can image for large sites (hundreds to thousands questions a day) or specific sites (about programming) you definitely want a method to shift the quality of questions. But we are small. Furthermore, it is sometimes necessary (as the OP does not have the knowledge, and we don't have the overview) to ask for the complete file (e.g. configuration.h or G-code). You sure don't want people to post their complete configuration.h or G-code file into the question.

As links to off-site content seem to die over time, what can we do best to preserve the information for the question?

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Copied from chat


I agree about the posting of the entire configuration file or G-code in a question is too big to fit, etc. What is really needed, and I've thought this for a long time, is a SE sanctioned version of PasteBin [functionality]. A persistent scrapbook/scratchpad site internal to SE (like the i.stack.imgur.com site) where over-sized chunks of code/configs/text can be pasted, without it being an external link (which carry the inherent risk of link death). That would be the correct solution, and I don't understand why that hasn't been set up. Seems odd to me.

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  • $\begingroup$ That sounds like a great solution, hope the SE developers pick that up. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Dec 30 '18 at 16:00
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A possibility is to allow off-site content for the OP to post. Once the problem is spotted, the one answering the question could update the question with relevant parts of the off-site content, or copy the relevant parts into the answer.

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