I was having a discussion with a user who included an image in their post without indicating the source. My understanding is that any content that is not the work of the author needs to be attributed, independent of whether the content is copyrighted, or whether its use is permitted by its creator or by "fair use" laws.

I pointed the user to https://travel.stackexchange.com/help/referencing which says:

How to reference material written by others

Plagiarism - posting the work of others with no indication that it is not your own - is frowned on by our community, and may result in your answer being down-voted or deleted.

When you find a useful resource that can help answer a question (from another site or in an answer on Meta Stack Exchange) make sure you do all of the following:

  • Provide a link to the original page or answer

  • Quote only the relevant portion

  • Provide the name of the original author

[example snipped]

Do not copy the complete text of external sources; instead, use their words and ideas to support your own. And always give proper credit to the author and site where you found the text, including a direct link to it.

However, the user's opinion was that these rules only apply to text, and not to images or other non-text content.

It would be helpful to have clarification on this point.


1 Answer 1



Of course the attribution/referencing requirements apply to images as well as text.

It also applies to audio, movies, 3D holograms, and any other form of content.

If you copy something from somewhere else, it is required that you give credit to the original source.

If you include something unattributed in a post, it is assumed to be original content that you created. If that's not correct, and you didn't create it yourself, then you need to call that out explicitly, giving both the name of the original source and a link to it.

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