No More 3rd Party Pic Hosting on SVTP

Visual Distress

How we saved years of tech-threads.

By SID297

If you have visited any forums over the past few months you may have noticed what I have lovingly termed the “Picocalypse”.  In short one of the major 3rd Party photo hosting sites decided to change their hosting policies and block all hotlinked images.  What that means is that every photo that member hosted on Photobucket and then posted on the forum was essentially lost.

I don’t have to tell you that pics make up a major part of a successful forum.  Without these pics thousands of invaluable tech and how-to threads are rendered essentially useless.  The Terminator FAQ thread was heavily hit, along with massive losses in the S197 and S550 forums.  To compound the issue Imgur has also blocked hotlinking on SVTP.  Needless to say, tens of thousands of threads have been affected.  And this issue goes far beyond SVTP, it has affected forums all over the world.  Decades of useful information was gone with the flip of a programmer’s switch.

But if you’ve been an SVTP member for more than 5 minutes you had to know that we weren’t going to just stay on the canvas.  Over the past 30-or-so days we have been working to restore all the lost photos.  To give you an idea of the scale of this operation we managed to recover ~500,000 photos from Photobucket alone.  This hasn’t been the simplest task; and we have had to dedicate a lot of server resources to complete it, including adding more storage space.  We had a dedicated team working behind the scenes to pull this off, and I can’t thank them enough.

While other sites are still dealing fallout from the “Picocalypse”, this image is a thing of the past on SVTP.

So now that this crisis has been averted, what can we do to make sure we don’t find ourselves in this situation again?  First, we have an excellent attachment and hosting utility built right into the SVTP forum software…

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