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I've used my own Imgur account for embedding images to questions and answers because for account owners images up to 5 MB aren't compressed. Stack Exhange's Imgur account doesn't allow uploading images over 2 MB (Imgur's maximum file size is 20 MB) and lossily compresses everything above 1 MB - files over 2 MB could be allowed, and compressed.
Imgur no longer removes images, deletions only occur by request or when their terms of service is violated. Unfortunately Stack Exhange's license may not apply to images not uploaded via stack.imgur.com.

See Imgur's support page for images.

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    Allowed: Yes, encouraged: No – rene May 28 '17 at 20:09
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    It's not about you, it's about the content. When you will remove your imgur account or lose it, all the images will rot away. So by all means, please, do NOT use some private hosting, no matter if imgur, flickr or whatever host. They will all expire/end/deleted at some point. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard May 28 '17 at 22:19
  • Note also that your uploaded content may be subject to different TOS agreements if you choose not to use SE's imgur account. If you upload directly to imgur, your deal is with imgur (and I'm assuming subject to SE's TOS as well after you post it but I couldn't tell you how they interact). If you upload through SE, your deal is with SE. – Jason C May 28 '17 at 22:59
  • @ShadowWizard: No, Imgur doesn't delete images: blog.imgur.com/2015/02/09/imgur-pro-for-everyone, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imgur#Images – user598527 May 29 '17 at 5:50
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    @ShadowWizard: When deleting Imgur account, you have an option to preserve all images. – user598527 May 29 '17 at 5:51
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    @user598527 we can't know what you will, or will not, do. Again, the first priority is the contents. You might as well delete your account and all your images one day, thus rendering all your posts with images useless. Same way we are not allowed to just delete/deface all our posts when rage quitting, it should not be allowed, or at least be discouraged, to be able to remove all images with one click in a way that can't be undone by moderators. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard May 29 '17 at 6:22
  • @ShadowWizard: I have some precautions in place. I recently deleted my Imgur account to ensure I can't accidentally remove images and I don't store deletion links. I'll see what I do. – user598527 May 29 '17 at 6:28
  • @user598527 might be true for you personally, but there are others too, who might be less responsible. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard May 29 '17 at 7:02
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    I wish you wouldn't. My workplace blocks imgur.com, but not stack.imgur.com. – ale May 30 '17 at 12:43
  • I've decided to move all private images to stack.imgur.com. – user598527 Dec 6 '17 at 19:54
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Its "allowed" but chances are someone would/should edit it into the private instance. There's nothing stopping you from using a non stack.imgur image host. You are however unlikely to really need a giant image that size over a smaller one to illustrate an answer, especially if you resize it sanely. I usually go with 1024x768 scaled images and that's in the tens, or maybe hundreds of kilobytes, rather than in the megabytes.

On the other hand, I suspect the limitations are entirely intentional - if you need a huge image in an answer (and I have an example where a 24mb image was actually useful), you can/should upload a resized 'thumbnail' and link to a larger source. This gives you better loading times (there's people on SE who use mobile or slow connections after all!) while letting people who need the full image access it.

I'd also note that stack's private imgur instance is backed up by stack exchange - so at least in theory, your images would survive the unlikely event of imgur closing down, or the slightly less unlikely event of SE switching image hosts.

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You can use what ever image hosting you like, but Stack Exchange encourages you to use their image upload to their Imgur account for various reasons. The chief of those is that Stack Exchanges deal with Imgur means that these images will never get deleted so they'll always be available and visible.

There are large numbers of questions, particularly older questions, where users have used their own or other 3rd party image hosts and these images are now missing.

Also, I'd question your need to upload images larger than 2MB. Images should be used to support a question or answer, not be the main focus of it.

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    Adding to this, there are plenty of online image resizing tools with an easy workflow. Also, I, for one, definitely don't want to load a page and be surprised by a bunch of 20MB embedded images, especially when browsing on mobile. – Jason C May 28 '17 at 22:17
  • @JasonC: I often scale my images down to fit the page width, but there are instances when a lossless image is beneficial and makes the question/answer easier to understand. – user598527 May 29 '17 at 6:05
  • There rarely is need to upload images over 2 MB, but even common digital cameras can capture larger images and scaling can be mind-bending for people not familiar with technology. Larger images of course should be compressed by default. – user598527 May 29 '17 at 6:17

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