As we discussed the other day and as you probably well know by now if you’re even reading this, Photobucket eliminated hotlinking on all but their most expensive account forms, basically ruining untold numbers of blogs and other websites across the web, and the internet, needless to say, isn’t taking kindly to this.
Now, that article I wrote the other day is trending quite well. This is good, very good, as it means people care about this subject – people across the world. No joke, I’ve been finding my article linked on Swedish and German websites and shared heavily across typical social media, not withstanding massive search engine influx. Cool.
Now, ignoring that ego boost, let’s really look at this: It’s not an exaggeration to say that this really has destroyed some websites. Not only has Photobucket apparently made it annoying, if not outright difficult to actually find and save all your images and maintain context with them when you are saving them, thus making re-construction of broken pages quite a pain in the ass, but at least the images are there. That’s something, right? Right?
As stated, there are alternatives, and many people are using them, but the fact remains that Photobucket was the image hosting site for so long that there damn well might be websites long abandoned that still contain incredibly useful information that now have images locked away, possibly in such a way as to be difficult, if not impossible for end users to actually discover, let alone easily see within context of the website – Sure, I could pull them, probably, but the average user? Not likely!
Now, while this hit hard back on the 28th, the policy change actually occurred on the 20th of June, and happened with a rolling implementation over that past week, or so it would seem based on what users noticed. To that end, I thought it would be nice to share a few links to some of the first reactions to this that my friend Watercress had found. They paint quite a picture of rage.
These entries are all over the place, just to show the varied usages and reasons for people, and Photobucket.
First off, this article which was the one that alerted my buddy Prince Watercress to what was going on on his site:
Next up, a Reddit thread with a user discussing the issue and some peoples reactions to it (I’m sure there are dozens of threads on this now!) Note that this is in the “rants” section, as seemingly a very early venting about such before conversation logically would move into blogging and image hosting sections of the discussion site.
Lastly, a few forum posts, some made by the same user as another, but different threads, worth reading for initial discussion sake.
The last thing of note is to look at the dates for all of these and see that they are all over the past week, as this became a thing. Now, it seems most everyone in the blogging and forum communities knows of this, and they are all pissed.
Lastly, but most importantly, we have the Photobucket Facebook page, where people are venting out in mass – some are playing devils advocate, but these poor misguided people seem to forget that the average user, especially on a mobile device, won’t know or easily be able to view the image alone, and they are ignoring that this disrupts the very purpose of in-line images in a website page or a forum post.
Oh, and they also have decided to censor me linking to my own article, but that’s another story, one I’ll give a day on before I fully make a claim against them. What it looks like though is that liking right to my site got blacklisted, but a follow-up comment that then has a secondary link to the article got through just fine, so it could have just been anti-spam measures, but the fact that the comment doesn’t show at all tells me that it’s not an automate system, if you catch my drift…
UPDATE: According to a user on Facebook, they ARE indeed deleting comments in mass! They can’t take the heat!