There are broken images on election page of any SE site, e.g. on SO:
As suggested by PeterJ in comment opening the flair image leads to HTTP 500 error. Screenshot from the Chrome browser:
We had a web server that was misbehaving in ways that really don't make any sense, and as part of a debug of things, a reboot magically fixed it. System.Drawing (being swapped soon) was saving 0 byte files only on this box (
ny-web05). This meant all users had a 1 in 9 chance of hitting the issue, for all flair from the box. Unfortunately
System.Drawing throws an
OutOfMemory exception for everything and is damn near useless in terms of debugging anything after-the-fact.
Since we're going to replace all this code for the .NET Core port here, I'm not advising we spend any more time digging into it...it's just not a good use of resources.
TL;DR: I know what it was doing, but not why it was doing it. And the symptoms are no longer there to debug. So we'll call this a fluke.