There is at least one user who has been editing posts to make links into footnotes containing the references as full text (including links).
Can we please officially discourage this practice?
This is not how hypertext works: links replace footnote references. The are technically superior. Printed texts use footnotes because they cannot have hypertext links. But text on the internet doesn’t have this restriction.
Footnote links are user-unfriendly because instead of just hovering over the link, or clicking on it to get to the linked information, the user has to perform the manual operation of looking up a numeric reference further down the page.
Apart from that, footnotes simply increase the text size at no (or little) gain.
I do think that having a “references” section may make sense in answers. But this isn’t generally true, and unless there’s a compelling reason, links should not be replaced by footnotes. In fact, I have already rolled back such an edit performed by somebody else on my own post. I won’t roll back edits on other posts without a consensus, which I’m seeking here.