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I noticed that in some chatrooms there can often happen to be uploads of rather large images, usually animated GIFs. Now of course I don't want to inhibit anyone's right to upload images into chat, that's for each chatroom's individual culture to be decided and people can very well do that if everyone is comfortable with it. But users often are not even aware of how big these images actually are.

But what I did notice is that we don't seem to put any kind of size limit on those images, or at least no remotely sensible one. And I am talking here about images that are multiple MB in size, sometimes even 2-digit MB sizes. I know that nowadays bandwidth might not be as scarce a resource as it was 10 years ago, but especially considering the mobile age it eludes me if we really need chat to load a 14 MB GIF from the web, especially considering the rather small visible size of a oneboxed image anyway and the dynamic nature of chat that pretty much continues to load more and more of those images over time.

I also noticed that the actual image uploader for questions and answers seems to pose a 2 MiB limit on the filesize (though, I admittedly never tried to see what happens if you break it). This makes me wonder even more why we don't have such a thing in chat.

So my question is is there any limit on the file size of images uploaded into chat or any other measure that keeps a sensible control on bandwidth? If not, I would hereby like to propose such a limit. The specifics of how large this limit should be can be left open for answers or SE devs to decide, but I guess the post uploader's limit of 2 MiB might be a good start.

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  • And another related request: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/163563/…. Feb 4, 2016 at 20:44
  • I'm sure there's a plugin to restrict downloading images. Click to load kind of thing.
    – user212646
    Feb 4, 2016 at 21:32
  • @fredsbend Probably not available for mobile though.
    – Keen
    Feb 4, 2016 at 21:35
  • Meh, why custom plugins and userscripts when you can fix the issue at its core? Feb 5, 2016 at 0:55
  • @FranckDernoncourt I'm pretty sure OP means to restrict size of any image, not only those uploaded to imgur itself, so keeping the feature request. (Client side code can detect image size and disable it if too big.) Dec 31, 2023 at 7:32
  • @ShadowWizardLoveZelda OP wrote "images uploaded into chat" so I thought that meant uploaded to imgur. If not, I'm guessing that the image can be swapped to a larger image after it was linked to in the chat to circumvent any client side limit Dec 31, 2023 at 11:12
  • @Franck well, expected behavior is that when I paste image to chat, it will actually upload the image to the site server, and not actually link to the raw image. It's not trivial that SE isn't doing this and instead let anyone just put any image, so I can understand why people use "upload", unaware it's not really correct. Dec 31, 2023 at 13:38
  • @ShadowWizardLoveZelda "when I paste image to chat" how do you do that? I can't seem to paste image to chat on my side via Ctrl+V (Win+chrome) Dec 31, 2023 at 13:49
  • @FranckDernoncourt oh sorry, meant paste image URL, then it onebox, giving a feeling it was uploaded, but it's not. Dec 31, 2023 at 17:42
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    @ShadowWizardLoveZelda Thanks, got it. If someone wants to try large images: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/… Dec 31, 2023 at 18:59

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is there any limit on the file size of images uploaded into chat

Today, there is a limit of 4 MiB for JPG and PNG. I haven't looked at GIF. (FYI, useful tool for testing: create an image with a specific size in bytes)

or any other measure that keeps a sensible control on bandwidth?

Large images are lossily compressed.

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