I recently came across a question [The question has since been removed by the author, but you can find some others here] where an image containing the question is posted, instead of textual content. What should be done with such questions/posts?

The user who posted this particular question seems to do it pretty frequently. When I tried to reason with them, I got a thoroughly distasteful and offensive response (which I have flagged, so let's forget about that for now).

I'd rather not be bothered to edit the question if the OP doesn't care enough to use text in the first place. It's simply too much work. Is downvoting the question in such a case, fair?

What is best for the community?

  • FYI, I have edited that particular question. I've changed your link to now link to the original revision.
    – Bart
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 10:26
  • That particular question is now deleted and hidden from us plebes.
    – ale
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 13:05
  • @TartLevee - If you want other examples, feel free to browse the gallery here ;) Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 13:11
  • 7
    That's...unbelievable. It's obviously homework and/or a take-home exam. (Or an exam that's been stolen, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt.) No wonder he/she doesn't want the text to be text: It would be easy for the instructor to do a web search and find out one of his/her students is cheating.
    – ale
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 13:14
  • 4
    Here's another case of this.
    – Pops
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 19:45
  • @PopularDemand I'm curious. How did you find that one? Or did you just stumble upon it?
    – Bart
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 21:33
  • @Bart Johan Lundberg posted it in chat earlier today. When I asked him how he found it, he said "just a stumble."
    – Pops
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 21:34
  • Wow, @Tart, I think you're absolutely right, given the rollbacks at the other example Popular Demand posted... (And they've more of such posts...)
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 16:50
  • Oh, @Popular, I didn't even notice that user first created Markdown versions and then make an image out of that...! (Another one, but luckily no recent examples, I think.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 16:56

4 Answers 4


Editing is the best for an individual question, images are not searchable and not accessible. I'd mention this to the poster so that they can adjust their behaviour. This only applies if the question is on-topic and constructive, else I wouldn't bother.

If they react with offensive comments to this, as you mentioned in your case, and continue to post text as images, flag one of the user's posts and explain that this is a behaviour pattern. Editing it once is fine, but if a user continues to post images instead of text he's causing a lot of unnecessary work for others.

  • Yeah, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but it seems to be a behaviour pattern all right.
    – Bart
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 10:45
  • This answer takes the middle path between the ones written by Arjan and Bart, which are both also good advice. I guess what one does is eventually about individual choice. Thanks everyone. Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 11:21

Downvote it to feed the automatic ban filter, and comment if you like to. Expecting others to fix that is extremely abusive, I'd say.

  • (And yes, I know how voting works here on Meta. So, please use your voting if you disagree!)
    – Arjan
    Commented Jul 31, 2012 at 10:36

Edit it. There is no reason to "hide" text in an image. This should be taken out. Leave a kind comment that the user should stop this behaviour.


This is completely wrong, two big goals of SE sites are being interrupted by his behaviour:

  1. Editing: no post is perfect or can't be improved.

  2. Search Engines: the images are useless and are not refining the search in any way.

And additional inconveniences:

  1. Take more to load/store

  2. Does not let you select text to mark what you have read or to right click+search words (some browsers only)

  3. Won't wrap and adapt better to mobile templates

  4. You can't modify this text by using custom CSS

So it is best to edit them (as the content itself could be correct)

  • 1
    See my question here. It got brutally down-voted.. but mark my words… this feature will be de rigeur accross the web within the next 10 years. Resistance is futile.
    – alex gray
    Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 22:42

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