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After loading a chat transcript with a large number of images, requests to i.sstatic.net have started returning 429s and a Cloudflare CAPTCHA check, which... seems to defeat the point of a dedicated image hosting service? See also Cloudflare protection is triggering on Stack Overflow authentication API routes.

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    I have the same on the league page for the user profile images: stackexchange.com/leagues/1/week/stackoverflow/… here is what my dev console says: i.sstatic.net/cWQ3IU2g.png
    – rene
    Commented May 19 at 16:46
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    No repro, most likely there were thousands of requests from the same IP (maybe shared?) hence it was considered as attack and blocked. Commented May 19 at 16:53
  • Are they serving all the images directly from their servers‽ I'd have thought they'd at least be using the CDN.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented May 19 at 18:54
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    The 429s have stopped, but the fact that this happened at all doesn't seem right. Generally, when a browser fetches an image, it doesn't expect a bunch of HTML back...
    – Ginger
    Commented May 19 at 19:01
  • Kind of repro'd when I opened SOfT a few days ago, my avatar couldn't not be loaded, then opening the image in a new tab showing a CAPTCHA check, which I manually did, but the image still not loaded until few hours later. Commented May 20 at 6:17
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    I would think the rationale for the "bunch of HTML back" is the same as in meta.stackexchange.com/a/399874 : (1) The response is the same for all content; the HTML message is there, as a courtesy, to be served on regular HTML pages. (2) It can be safely ignored when the browser does not expect HTML: what really matters is only the status code. Commented May 20 at 7:06

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