Sometimes users upload images to support their questions or answers. From imgur I came to know that Stack Exchange is paying for it.

This is a commercial Imgur installation for the Stack Exchange network

There is a possibility to misuse this feature. Uploading the image via a Stack Exchange site would allow them to use the hosting for their own (non-SE related) purposes.

My question is, how does Stack Exchange handle this, or does it simply not care?

As @Cole Johnson mentioned, do users get banned? How do they check it?

When I used to upload an image, I didn't find any reference that the image has been uploaded by a specific user.

  • 1
    Are you asking how Stack Exchange stops uploaded images being misused or how it stops people misusing images by uploading them to Stack Exchange? – ben is uǝq backwards Nov 30 '13 at 19:41
  • @benisuǝqbackwards how it stops people misusing images by uploading them to Stack Exchange? – Praveen Nov 30 '13 at 19:42
  • Meh, I occasionally "misuse" the service myself when I need a quick place to link to an image. I don't think they're doing anything about it - and there hardly is any need. If it were ever to become a super rampant problem, they could easily fix it by comparing which images are being linked to from SO, and which ones aren't, and delete those – Pekka Nov 30 '13 at 19:50
  • @probablyPekka I too guess that they don't care about it. Is there any expire date for the images that are being uploaded? – Praveen Nov 30 '13 at 20:03
  • @PraveenJeganathan You'll find the official answer in the dupe (spoiler: no one really cares). – yannis Nov 30 '13 at 20:14
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    Ahhh, no spoilers @Yannis!! Geez, now I won't even look any more. Thanks. Ruined my evening. – Bart Nov 30 '13 at 20:16
  • @Yannis Thanks for the link(actually I didn't get it when I searched). Bart, Sorry for wasting your time. – Praveen Nov 30 '13 at 20:22

There is nothing to prevent this, any user can upload images to the SE imgur account. But I don't think this is a serious problem. Unless the volume of such abuse is enormous, it likely would not make any difference to SE.

And there is also not much reason to misuse it in this way. There is plenty of free image hosting for the short term available, and if you're looking for a stable long-term host you might not want to risk losing all your images if SE ever got annoyed by this enough to bother nuking your images.

Of course SE could occasionally collect all image links used on SE sites and compare them to the hosted images on imgur and remove all images that are not used on SE, but I suspect that the effort of doing this outweighs the benefit.

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    I hope SE does make a check every so often because most of the time I upload an image; I upload it, realise it's wrong, edit it and reupload it! – Richard Tingle Nov 30 '13 at 21:19
  • But then the revision history would no longer show deleted images, @Richard? – Arjan Nov 30 '13 at 22:55
  • @Arjan these are never actually submitted, it's at the preview stage I realise there's a problem – Richard Tingle Nov 30 '13 at 22:59

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