Is it prohibited to embed images from SE (uploaded to SE into my questions) into other sites or forums with <IMG> tag? Will SE server allow such images to be visible?


I want to post question in Eclipse community. It will not contain my images on the beach of course.


To test this I will need to:

1) create a post on separate site with embedded images; I will see images first, because of my browser cache

2) then I should look at the post with different browser to see if SE allows to embed them

3) if SE does not allow, then I will get very bad post with broken images, which I will need to either delete or refactor.

So I would like official answer in advance.

  • This is most likely technically possible (didn't try yet hence just a comment) question is what is the purpose of this? SE should not be used as a personal free image hosting. If you post it as part of programming issue related to question you also posted on Stack Overflow it's fine but otherwise? Not really. Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:31
  • I wan to ask the same question with the same screenshots on the other forum. I want to know, can I just embed the same images? Wikipedia.org allows this. Since you think that this implies that Wikipedia is "personal free image hosting", then SE has probably different view of the world.
    – Dims
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:35
  • You can share existing images you added to existing posts on SE, that's obvious: I was referring to uploading images to be used elsewhere, e.g. picture of you on the beach to be published on your personal blog. Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:36
  • Wikipedia.org allows images to be used elsewhere, for example, on Stackexchange. I wonder, does Stackexchange allow the same? Question is simple, why we need to debate so hard?
    – Dims
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:37
  • Because looks like we miss the point of each other. If you want to cross post a question you asked on Stack Overflow elsewhere you're welcome to do that and yes, you can also include the image URL and I'm pretty sure it will work just fine. Of course it's better to link back to the question on Stack Overflow itself, but as it's your own question you're not obliged to do that. Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:41
  • Not URL, I wish to embed image into the post with IMG or similar tag. Some sites disallow this by referrer header.
    – Dims
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:42
  • <img /> tag must have URL attached to its src attribute, that what I meant. :) Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:43
  • Okay, but some sites disallow this. They regard this as stealing of traffic. I.e. IMG SRC is stealing, while A HREF is not.
    – Dims
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:45
  • To clarify, you want to know if image links to i.stack.imgur.com from outside the Stack Exchange network are a violation of the terms of service (assuming they're your images in the first place)? Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:49
  • Can't see the problem: it's a picture you uploaded so it's yours. How you can steal from yourself? Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:50
  • @ShadowWizard this is the stealing of traffic, not of an image. Visitors of other site create load on SE server, while not visiting it actually, for example, not seeing advertisements on it and so on.
    – Dims
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:51
  • @MonicaCellio yes true, this is my question. SE looks crowd sourced site like wikipedia, so probably it should be allowed.
    – Dims
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:52
  • 1
    @Dims it's hosted by imgur.com so no hit on SE servers. Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


Images that you upload into your posts are hosted at i.sstatic.net, not on the SE network directly. So linking there doesn't affect SE's servers.

Stack Exchange has already said that you don't need to follow the attribution rules for your own content, so you should be safe on that front.

The only question, then, is whether SE has any special restrictions on using its (presumaly paid) imgur account for non-network deep links. I don't see anything relevant on a quick scan of the user agreement, but I am not a lawyer or SE representative.


Probably it IS allowed, at least now, and at least on livejournal: http://dims12.livejournal.com/115528.html

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