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Thread: Image posting and leeching - THE FINAL WORD

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Image posting and leeching - THE FINAL WORD

    Image leeching explained.

    3.2 Hotlinked images

    3.2.1 Hotlinked images (displayed with the vBcode [ img ] tag) should be smaller than 800 pixels horizontal.

    3.2.2 Hotlinked images should be hosted on Web space paid for by the poster. If not, the Web site hosting the images must allow leeching, or permission to leech from that site's owner must be granted. Without permission, the [ url ] tag must be used instead of the [ img ] tag, so an image does not load every time the thread is read.

    3.2.3 Hotlinks to Web bugs are not permitted.

    3.2.4 Posts that display more than ±500K of images must include a courtesy notice in the thread title ("56K no", "broadband suggested", etc.)

    We do not approve of bandwidth leeching and forcing other people to pay for bandwidth consumed by images in your post. Imageshack, Photobucket and other free services should be used instead of leeching.
    The no leeching rule has been in effect and posted since last November. I've just been getting around to enforcing it the past couple of weeks.

    Think of image leeching as if you're watering your lawn, but with a hose that's hooked up to your neighbor's spigot. Your neighbor is paying for the water that keeps your lawn green.

    I pay for 40 gigabytes of bandwidth a month. Let's say a non-member hotlinks to ten 150K images from the Cyburbia Gallery in a post on another message board. That thread is viewed 1,000 times in a month.

    1,000 x 150,000 x 10 = 1,500,000,000. That's 1.5 gigabytes of bandwidth I pay for is used for displaying an image on another site. That bandwidth is intended for YOU, not for non-members.

    Now, let's turn the tables. When you hotlink an image from another site so it displays the image in the Cyburbia forums, you're using their bandwidth for the benefit of Cyburbia. The site hosting the images gets nothing out of it. It's not fair to them.

    When some Webmasters discover that another site is leeching their images, they may configure their server so another image is displayed instead. Here's a real world example - this image in a Perry's Corner article.



    Someone in Toronto is hotlinking to that image, and displaying it on their personal Web page. I added the following lines to the .htaccess file so whenever someone is viewing the leeched Cyburbia image on that page, they see something else.

    HTML code:
    # Image leeching
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(members0\.)?blackplanet\.com/ [NC]
    RewriteRule \. http://img142.exs.cx/img142/8858/whitey8tx.jpg
    Visitors to the home page of the gangsta wannabe won't see the apartment building. They'll see this.

    Many Webmasters will use their .htaccess files to redirect a leeched image to something that is very unpleasant. Traditionally, that image has been Goatse or Tubgirl. Here's the description of Goatse from Wikipedia.
    ... a sexually explicit picture ... featuring a man wearing a gold ring on his left hand (and nothing else) manually stretching his anus and rectum to a diameter roughly equal to the width of his hand. Below the anus, the man's dangling penis and testicles are visible.
    This is Tubgirl.
    ... a picture ... of a naked woman lying in a bathtub, buttocks raised, projecting a fountain of liquid from her anus.
    The images will scar your corneas for life; search for them at your own risk. Again, I'll repeat the rule.

    3.5 Work-safe images
    All images displayed in posts must be safe for work (SFW). Images that are not safe for work (NSFW) in the typical workplace is not permitted. This includes nudity, adult themes, graphic and macabre content, and inflammatory content. Goatse, Tubgirl or a similar image in a message or profile field, whether intentional or accidental (for example, a redirected image); will result in immediate banning.
    So, when is it acceptable to hotlink or leech from another site?

    1) When the image is hosted on your site or your online storage area, or MAYBE that of your employer.
    2) When the image is hosted on an image hosting site set up specifically to allow leeching. You'll find a list of such sites in this thread.
    3) When the image is hosted in your album of a photo gallery site, and that site permits leeching by the album owner.
    4) When the image is hosted on Cyburbia itself.
    5) When the image is hosted on another person's site, and you have that person's permission to leech it.

    When can you get away with hotlinking or leeching from another site, but still probably shouldn't?

    6) When the image is hosted on a site with unlimited bandwidth. That includes Yahoo, large colleges and universities, and large government agencies.
    7) When the image is an old fashioned home page (www.whatever.com/~whoever) on a very large ISP (AOL, a cable company, a phone/DSL company), and that user has unlimited bandwidth for their home page.

    Under all other circumstances, and preferably #6 and #7 too, you should ...

    A) Use a link to the image with URL tags instead of IMG tags. Someone is still consuming their bandwidth when they click on the link to view the image, but you can see the source of the image, and their bandwidth won't get sucked up every time the thread on Cyburbia is viewed.
    B) Upload the image to an image hosting site, or your own Web space, and link to that.
    C) Attach it to your post. (four images, 50K max each image, 500 pixels in any direction max)

    Many message boards ban users that leech from other sites. We won't do that here, but if leeching is still a problem a week or two from now, we may start suspending users and MODERATORS.

    Fin.




    * Yes, Cyburbia users with Gallery privileges can hotlink to their images from other sites. It's a service to Cyburbia users, and really the only type of leeching from this site to another site that is permitted -- with the condition that if it's for a multiple image post on another message board, that post has to be copied in the Cyburbia Forums, too.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    A) What is a "web bug"?

    B) Is there a way to search my posts to figure out if I ever violated this rule? (I don't think I have -- I typically upload pics to my website and link from there. But, gosh, I run my mouth here a lot. Maybe I did this once or twice and don't remember. )

  3. #3
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I'm often guilty of this practice. I will [img] no more forever.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    So just to be clear, if you take a picture from a random website and upload it into your cyburbia gallery first is that OK or not OK?

  5. #5
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    So just to be clear, if you take a picture from a random website and upload it into your cyburbia gallery first is that OK or not OK?
    That is ok, if you follow the gallery rules.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    For the Caption Contest and GTCs and other short use of pics for threads...The Temporary Photos Gallery should be used (I presume).

    That way...we can use them but the mods can dispose of them after the thread is old and seldom viewed......or use the attachement functtion for putting pics into threads.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    For the Caption Contest and GTCs and other short use of pics for threads...The Temporary Photos Gallery should be used (I presume).

    That way...we can use them but the mods can dispose of them after the thread is old and seldom viewed......or use the attachement functtion for putting pics into threads.
    You can use the temporary directory in the Gallery, but I don't want the "new images" section of the gallery to get too cluttered up with non-planning related stuff. You can upload and attach images to the post - the option should be in the "Additional options" section of the new post page.

    My preference for images that are truly temporary, like the caption and GTC threads, is an image upload site like http://www.imageshack.us or http://www.imageupload.org . There's a list at http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15518 .
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    Is there a way to search my posts to figure out if I ever violated this rule? )
    Just about everybody did, including myself, before November. After November, almost everybody did. The rule isn't retroactive, though.

    Please understand that this isn't some arbitrary rule I made up to make your life miserable, or stop you from having fun. Looking at other message boards, a majority have "no leeching" rules, and their use is growing. Some ban users for leeching. Again, fair is fair; it would be hard for me to tell others to stop leeching images from Cyburbia when we do it ourselves.

    I explained several ways you can display images without leeching. You just have to put a few more seconds of workt into it. The "no leeching" rule does not spell the end of caption contests, GTC contests, and the like.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Just about everybody did, including myself, before November. After November, almost everybody did. The rule isn't retroactive, though.
    In a way, I am glad I asked -- because of your "it's not retroactive" comment. But in a way, I now feel Stoopid: it is not like I can EDIT those old posts. Duh.

    Uh, what about an answer to my OTHER Stoopid question? (what are web bugs?)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Hmmm most of my images that I use for my Caption Contests or any other image.. I upload it to the Temporary Images category in the Cyburbia Gallery. I understand that Dan doesn't like the fact that non planning images appear in thumbnails in the main gallery page. I hope that there can be a solution to this, so we won't have to use 3rd party image hosts that "support" leeching.

  11. #11
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I'll see if I can set up an upload area, similar to Photobucket, Imageshack and the like, for Cyburbia users only.

    The problem with temp images in the Gallery is that they get displayed along with planning-related images on the random and new images listing. A serious blue-shirt planner will visit the Gallery, see 0wn3d images, and never return. I've looked the other way for temp images in the Gallery, but it's a problem when temp images start to outnumber planning-related images.

    I've tried to find ways to set up photo albums where temp and personal non-planning related images won't be displayed in the random and new image listing, without much luck. I'll try PhotoPost tech support and see what I can find.

    Remember, you can still attach up to four images to a post, but they're limited to 50K 500 pixels in any direction.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    OK my 0.02:

    I ws guilty of this after November, and as a mod, I MISSED the rule going into effect. When I was slapped for it, I self banned for about a week, partly out of shame and partly out of work being WAY too busy since November for me to keep up. That said:

    Quote Originally posted by wanigas?
    This would be a fun caption contest: (image intentionally gone)
    If I have to be held to a higher standard, everyone does. That's just downright offensive.

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