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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:38 am 
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The Photobucket Debacle Shows Us the Danger of Relying on Free Services

So you might have heard the rumblings this week that Photobucket is holding users' photos ransom after a recent change in their Terms of Service. The long and short of it is that free accounts can no longer embed their images on third party sites. Photobucket's failure to inform users with anything besides the quick blog post linked above has caused an uproar amongst their millions of users; many of whom have relied on the image hosting service for years to provide storage for anything from photos for blog posts to online sale listings on Amazon and eBay.

So yeah, this sucks for people who rely on Photobucket for hosting all of their images for free. People are upset to say the least.

There's plenty to be upset about here: the somewhat ridiculous price Photobucket is charging for their hosting service, the complete lack of communication to users who have relied on the service for years, the fact that migrating to a different service is a huge pain that won't fix all of your links. Take your pick. Some people are even going so far as to call Photobucket's new policy "ransomware" (spoiler alert: it's not) and claiming that the image hosting company's policy change is illegal (second spoiler alert: also not). What everyone should really take away from this is the inherent danger that comes with relying on a free service for anything in your life, let alone for things you need to conduct your business.

Full article here
https://fstoppers.com/originals/photobucket-debacle-shows-us-danger-relying-free-services-182200

edit to add
I did not feel comfortable advertising there upgrade everywhere I posted a picture so I reluctantly deleted my account, but not before copying the photos, the ones I don't have copy's of I can always redo. Not necessarily the best idea but whats done is done

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:24 am 
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Wow... That's insane. People still use photobucket? :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:51 am 
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Yup. Monetization is inevitable. I'm a little surprised Photobucket waited more than a decade. That's long-term planning! This could be seen coming from at least a decade away. I sympathize, but it was so wholly obvious an outcome that I hold the users responsible for their own folly.

Monetization comes when a company ostensibly, or even cynically, offering a free product knows its users have become addicted and withdrawal would be too painful to endure, so they pay. LogMeIn users were outraged not long ago when it happened there. LogMeIn is still in business making Returns on Investments.

This is why OpenUru.org has a policy of accepting your pictures and graphics for your forum and wiki content on its own server instead of external file sharing services. We hate those little square missing graphic icons.


From 2009:

On Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:35 pm, JWPlatt wrote:
Of primary concern is how all free services left unattended by people who abandon their site eventually render the content therein unusable or lost. The content hosted here is guaranteed to not get lost or its self-contained links broken simply because the person who created them thinks little of archival importance or has left to pursue other things. Just look at free upload sites like Photobucket and others and think about all those great pictorial forum discussions and other hotlinked source material websites use which are now diminished by the loss of its linked content due to abandonment and account expiration. I want people to trust that the content here will not vanish with the originator who abandoned it. It helps projects to do and include all that under one integrated domain with unfettered access.

http://forums.openuru.org/viewtopic.php?p=1711#p1711


From 2014:

On Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:00 am, JWPlatt wrote:
...Even in the "cloud," sharing sites like Photobucket shut down or inevitably monetize and accounts and content are lost...

viewtopic.php?p=407587#p407587


On Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:38 pm, JWPlatt wrote:
Forums and websites everywhere are full of dead picture links due to photo hosting services like Photobucket and, I suppose, Dropbox that are inevitably monetized or abandoned by the user and deleted by the service. It leaves tutorials, walkthroughs, pictorials, and even signatures devoid of the history and meaning that was once there - a valueless carcass of something that was once alive; another victim of digital decay rendering electronic media more fragile than paper and film. I would urge anyone to use private hosting under your own domain name from which you can commit to a lifetime of preservation if you can afford it.

viewtopic.php?p=412155#p412155

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:11 am 
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Huh ? All my photobucket links are working fine. Did they somehow re-enabled external linking for older images ?

Bah, I guess I kind of saw that coming too. Or should have.
Over the years the website became more and more cluttered with ads, popups etc. Which, ironically, always made me want to switch to some other platform that wasn't using a bazillion javascript nonsense. Guess it's time.

Whatever. It's just like megaupload: one down, three new pop up to take its place. Although I think I'll take JWPlatt's advice and use private hosting this time.

Tomala wrote:
Wow... That's insane. People still use photobucket? :shock:

Mostly because we're too lazy to switch to something else. Until today, at least.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:41 pm 
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lesson to be learned, from all sides


[Reveal] Spoiler:
in the Twilight Zone

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:01 am 
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The last Photobucket embeds I did were in 2012. I looked that post up and find thumbnails still display. The larger images do not. They show as Photobucket's 'Cannot Display' image.

If I click on the thumbnails, they normally enlarge and show the image, a JavaScript thing on the blog. Now they enlarge and show the 'Cannot Display' image.

For a service with a ton of banner ads, I think they would want lots of people coming to the site. But, checking out the changes and their various posts on the subject, even your linking is limited. So, the limiting of incoming links seems counterproductive.

I expect to soon see the service being sold again (last sold 2009) or closing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:02 pm 
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I used Photobucket for several years, to host images for posting onto forums. All of those forums are gone now so the loss of the photos doesn't matter.

In 2004 I started a blog on Blogspot. I used Photobucket to host images for blog posts, and those are still working. A few years ago Blogspot was taken over by Google and, sometime after that, started self-hosting images. This makes the process of posting much simpler and quicker. It's still a free service, not under my control, so I keep backups of everything I post. These days it's mainly sand sculpture reports and images, as an accessible visual database. I derive no income from it, so the free service is helpful.

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