This has nothing to do with sex.
In the recent past I have had two oddball encounters with posters using images in a manner that seemed... less than constructive. Both of these happen to have been links to webcomics; both of them occurred on sister sites. (One on Skeptics, one on English.)
Neither of the examples felt flagrant enough to flag, so I just downvoted and moved on. But afterwards I began to wonder, what is the intent behind image links? What purpose should they serve and how far do images have to stray before they cross the border into unneeded noise?
The reason I feel this deserves discussion aside from simply linking to the posts in question is because I encounter these types of images frequently. Skeptics, in particular, seems to have a few authors who enjoy adding images in a manner I get all cranky about.
Instead of brewing about this, I figured I would ask.
- What is the underlying purpose of the image on SE?
- What is the appropriate action to take when an image is not fulfilling this purpose?
My best guesses: An image should provide context or information that is impossible or not easy to convey with mere words. Graphs, screenshots, diagrams and their ilk seem like a useful tool to have around. Comics, witty graphics, or iconic imagery doesn't seem to fit this well.
Currently, I am just downvoting posts that contain images I find "distracting" in the sense that it takes more work to sift out the image from the post than to read the post itself. This just a personal call; but I feel that is just a temporary stopgap and I suspect I will continue getting slightly more bothered by this until I am downvoting any post with an image whose usage I disagree with. That seems like a dangerous end; I am here trying to subvert it.
What are your opinions on the subject?
Edit: Here are some examples of typical non-comic images of cats and dogs, Indiana Jones, and Baywatch. How am I supposed to maintain my crotchety status if my browsing is being interrupted by puppies and kitties?!