Imgur is blocked in China (and probably in some other countries as well as many workplaces and educational institutions). This is annoying for Chinese users and Chinese.SE in particular.

Workaround: Copy the Imgur URL into another image hosting site and view a copy of the image there. However there's two obstacles to doing this:

  1. Finding an image hosting site which allows URL input (since we cannot download the image).
  2. Abiding by the terms of service and the CC BY-SA 4.0. These requirements are very weak, but giving attribution is difficult when uploading to a third party website.

For those who are willing to ignore the copyright, it's possible to do this already via multiple sites.

Question: As a workaround to Imgur being blocked, is there a image hosting site which allows URL uploads and does not violate CC BY-SA 4.0 copyright?

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    The big advantage with imgur is that SE has an agreement with them and we know it will be up. I do wonder if a script that grabs imgur images from say, the internet archive, and gets them uploaded otherwise might be a workaround Nov 25, 2019 at 13:18
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    As far as many of us are concerned, it needs to comply with CC BY-SA 3.0 because SE has not sufficiently proven that they have the legal ability to systematically convert everything to 4.0 without consent. But also, in the terms of images, many of them are not original content, and are already grabbed from sources that the author did not create, so whether or not CC is even relevant in those examples is debatable.
    – user287266
    Nov 25, 2019 at 16:42

1 Answer 1


In theory users should provide references for images so you should be able to find the source.

In practice I occasionally edit those posts which don't provide sources and search for the source using Tineye which will either find the source or can display the image for you to see (if at a reduced resolution).

You just need to input the imgur URL and click return.

  • 6
    This is not a valid workaround for some sites (e.g. electronics) where most of the images (e.g. schematics of a particular circuit in this case) are actually drawn by the poster. Because in this case, there is no source to reference.
    – dim
    Nov 25, 2019 at 14:48
  • @dim If the image that Tineye displays is too small, then you're right.
    – W.O.
    Nov 25, 2019 at 14:50
  • @dim in which case they should provide an appropriate alt. text. Which is what alt. texts are for, making sure the post is comprehensible when the image is either unable to display, or people are otherwise impaired to correctly see the image.
    – Luuklag
    Nov 25, 2019 at 15:25
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    @Luuklag The idea of electronic schematics is that it will be too difficult to convey with words...
    – user12205
    Nov 25, 2019 at 15:27
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    @Luuklag I dare you to turn the schematic in this answer into an alt text.
    – dim
    Nov 25, 2019 at 15:31
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    @dim, that is a very poor example, as the text in the image is already too small to read.
    – Luuklag
    Nov 25, 2019 at 15:36
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    @Luuklag That actually makes it easier. The alt text should be "illegible schematic". Nov 25, 2019 at 17:45
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    @rockwalrus-stopharmingMonica the icons themselves aren't illegile. If you happen to know what they represent, but that has been too long for me to remember.
    – Luuklag
    Nov 25, 2019 at 19:23
  • This won't work for user-created/personal images since there are no existing images available on the internet in the first place. Mostly happen on identification questions on some SE sites (including Chinese.SE). Nov 27, 2019 at 20:55

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