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I notice that there is an image link that no longer works at the end of this recently updated page in Meta.SE.

I suspect that this is only one example of many items that have links to tinypic.com.

Can anything be done about this situation before that site shuts down?

TinyPic is shutting down Due to an inability to support a high-quality free digital service that derives 100% of its revenue from ever declining on-site revenues, TinyPic will be permanently shutting down on September 16, 2019. Because we want to give you as much notice and information as possible during our transition, please carefully review the following information.

Note that September 16 is the date that those users who registered for accounts there can download their own images; images hosted there will no longer be accessible to third parties tomorrow, August 26, 2019. Images uploaded by "anonymous" users there will also no longer be accessible by anyone then.

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    While sad, that's the fate of most free image hosts. Nothing SE can do, except don't let people post links to external image hosts to begin with. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Aug 25 at 13:41
  • @ShadowTheDragonWizard - Which would be great advice.... if SE didn't periodically forget to put 50p in the meter, resulting in Imgur stopping working. – Richard Aug 25 at 16:10
  • Update 28 August: editing posts is still possible (I just did this one). Sometimes pasting the link into the SE editor works, other times you need to paste the tinypic link in a new browser tab, download the file, then browse to it from the SE editor. – Jan Doggen Aug 28 at 9:03
  • For anyone wanting to edit recent posts on a specific website, use the created parameter: stackoverflow.com/search?q=url%3Atinypic.com+created%3A2019 – Jan Doggen Aug 28 at 9:11
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To give an idea of the extent of this problem: according to this stackexchange.com search, over 8000 posts are affected. Some of them may contain images which are already lost (e.g. the last image in the Meta.SE post you found).

There are some options:

  • Edit the post and upload the images via the Stack Exchange image uploader, which stores them on imgur.com. If you come across one of them, please do so. As you saw, my Broken Image Repairer script already does that automatically; it detects/chooses those posts because the images were embedded as HTTP links, which doesn't work anymore after the upgrade to HTTPS. The downside of this is that this bumps the post to the front page, which is why the script is rate limited to 3 posts per 36 hours (except on Stack Overflow, where it makes about 100 edits a day - Stack Overflow has a personalized front page where bumps are less visible).
  • Add the links to the Wayback Machine, permanently archiving them. Incidentally, the Broken Image Repairer will try to restore images it can't access anymore via the Wayback Machine.

Thanks for catching this, I'll have a look if I can automate the process in the second bullet so that in any case, the images aren't lost. Immediately uploading them to Imgur but not editing the post isn't really useful since we'd need to maintain a mapping table somewhere.

Update: the script found 9904 TinyPic links (some of them have already been replaced meanwhile). There might be some duplicates among them but I expect not many. 998 were already archived in the past; 8118 links have been archived now (except that I don't think archiving video links really works, but I don't want to install Flash to test it out). 787 links are FUBAR and probably lost forever.

I've uploaded a CSV file with the results to GitHub, it includes the site and post where the links were found. WARNING: older images may have been replaced by newer, unrelated uploads to TinyPic, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some NSFW images among them.

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    for extra fun, some of these are flash videos – Journeyman Geek Aug 25 at 13:22
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    Or videos ;-) (movies.stackexchange.com/questions/21914/…) – Jan Doggen Aug 25 at 13:35
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    Gotta be quick; it looks like it's going to need an army of manual editors: August 26, 2019 - hosted images will no longer be viewable on 3rd party websites – Jan Doggen Aug 25 at 13:40
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    The script is running now, but no idea how long it will take. I'll post a CSV with results on GitHub. So far, a lot of images are already broken or have been replaced with a completely different image. – Glorfindel Aug 25 at 14:54
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    @Glorfindel Yeah. I did some manual edits and e.g. found a car picture where a screenshot was supposed to be ;-) – Jan Doggen Aug 25 at 20:52
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    I reviewed and approved 3 of your automatic edits on cstheory. The third edit used the same image as the second edit, and the image made perfect sense for the third edit. So I manually fixed the second edit: cstheory.stackexchange.com/posts/17207/revisions Can you please check whether your script still contain bugs such that it can confuse images from different posts? – Thomas Klimpel Aug 26 at 8:45
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    @ThomasKlimpel thank you very much for catching that, that must have been a copy/paste error. These edits are only partially automated, if the upload fails somehow I'll retry it manually. – Glorfindel Aug 26 at 8:46
  • After your script runs I was still able to manually find and replace Tinypic URLs from within the SE image editor (up to today 29 August CET) . Would it be a good idea to run the script(s) once again? Maybe they pick up some strays. – Jan Doggen Aug 29 at 8:11
  • There are actually two scripts. One fully automated (a la the Broken Image Repairer) which archives links (that one is finished now), and one userscript working from the post edit page, which uploads them via the SE image uploader. What Thomas is talking about is the latter script, which is started manually via pages like meta.stackexchange.com/search?q=url%3Atinypic.com I haven't finished that operation yet, nor am I sure I will; there are simply too many posts to edit for one person. Thank you for editing as well! – Glorfindel Aug 29 at 8:14

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