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Concerns regarding image hotlinking on CFC

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Omega124, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. Omega124

    Omega124 Challenging Fate

    Nov 1, 2008
    Albany, New York
    So, it was brought to my attention earlier today on this thread that there are changes on terms of services for the two main websites people commonly use to host images. The thread was posted on the Civ 3 C&C subforum, but I feel like this issue is really a sitewide problem, and that it needs to be brought to the attention to the forum as a whole. Because this could easily hurt every single subforum, quickly.

    1. Photobucket decided to go full crazy and disabled hotlinking to any account that doesn't fork over 400 USD a year, while also making it extraordinally hard, if not impossible, for people to redownload their affected images off of photobucket. Essentially, if you had images on photobucket, you need to either pay 400 dollars or have the foresight to keep local copies of all your images. Yes, you should always keep local copies of every image you upload, but people change computers every so often and some people have been using photobucket for over a decade. Don't blame the victim for photobucket's extortion.

    2. According to our own moderator Vincour, Imgur has been using bots to track websites which hotlink off of their servers, and are blacklisting entire domains which use "too much bandwidth".

    Photobucket and Imgur by far represent the main two services used for image hosting in 2017, and it seems that both are no longer going to be options for hotlinking, either now for Photobucket or the near future for Imgur (potentially).

    Every subforum uses hotlinking. We use it in AARs to visualize the story of what is going on. We use it in Creation and Customization to showcase the mods and art. We use it in General Discussions to illustrate a point better than words can. We use it my native subforum of Imperium Offtopicum in order to run the games themselves. And Offtopic uses it to showcase our personal lives (and for arguments).

    If nothing more, if nothing else can truely be done, I hope this thread can at least serve as a warning to users to not use Photobucket or Imgur for the time being, as one is currently unusable and the other might become unusable for everyone if we don't cut down on our usage of it.

    As Vincour himself said:

    Perhaps try using one of these services to host images for the time being?
    Reus likes this.
  2. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

    Feb 2, 2003
    Plymouth, MA
  3. shadowplay

    shadowplay your ad here

    Nov 6, 2003
    Worst Case Ontario
    I use imgur quite a lot. I guess I'll switch to one of the services Vincour suggested.

    It'd be nice if we knew what Imgur's threshold was for "excessive" hotlinking.
  4. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

    Nov 19, 2006
    "CDN-like behaviour", which is... well, vague.

    Most of the sites that get flagged by Imgur are the ones that use Imgur to host graphics that are loaded every single time a user accesses the site. The banner at the top of CFC, for example, would be a significant drain on Imgur's resources if we hosted it there instead of on CFC's own server.

    CFC is not at risk of that, of course, but we are a large community. Mod threads and the like are accessed frequently and often include dozens of images per page that would get loaded each time a member accessed those threads.

    My post wasn't meant to incite panic. You can still use Imgur for images in General Discussion and OT and the like and it'll go unnoticed by Imgur unless they pull a Photobucket and start severely cracking down on hotlinking of any kind. But for communities on CFC that heavily rely on Imgur or may need to switch to Imgur because of Photobucket, it'd be better if they instead made the switch to hosts that explicitly allow hotlinking just to be safe.
  5. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Widowmaker

    Jun 17, 2002
    Versailles City, United Systems of New Coruscant
    First Imageshack, now Imgur is gonna be effected?!
  6. danjuno

    danjuno Keeper of Ancient Memes

    Feb 19, 2010
    Meme City
    Good thing the new engine for this site lets you upload full images directly.

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