Thank you for reporting this issue.
The current logic for removing broken links is by design. But you are right, removing the link will break the text if it is just words in the text. However, the behavior you suggest is also not an option: If we remove only the <a> tag but leave the text, it will be strange for cases when the text is something like “Click here”, “Learn more”, of just the URL is pasted as a link.
In both cases, auto-removing will resolve the problem with broken links, but the text will look broken. And it will be more harder for editors to find such words (ex. links) rather than to find broken links (at least links are easy to scan). I think content writers will expect to fix broken links than to fix broken text because of auto-fixed broken links.
In our opinion, link shouldn’t be removed. It should throw 404 - Page Not Found. It is a content writers’ job to find and remove broken links.
Here you can find the PITS Issue: Public URL
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