Since today the image uploader inserts an image using:

![enter image description here][https://i.stack.imgur.com/blah]

I'm sure that the previous default value, alt text, made no sense and almost nobody changed it to something meaningful.

So how about to change it to the same URL as image's URL? i.e.


which will make sense for a person with turned off, etc images.

  • 7
    Do you really think http://i.imgur.com/tJWuU.png is any more meaningful than alt text?
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jan 23, 2011 at 19:35
  • @balpha: That's real image URL. In case of turned off images, it will be helpfull Jan 23, 2011 at 19:38
  • And now pretend you're using a screen reader?
    – Arjan
    Jan 23, 2011 at 20:22
  • 1
    This would delight me greatly, as our net-nanny at work has imgur blocked. Jan 23, 2011 at 20:30
  • @Jason, then what would you learn from tJWuU.png? And what browser are you using that displays the alt text when images fail to load?
    – Arjan
    Jan 23, 2011 at 20:40
  • @Arjan, I would figure out a little more easily that there was supposed to be an image there, rather than wondering why the author chose to have a paragraph with an apparent sentence fragment in it (in the case that the default "alt text" is not used). I see the alt text in Firefox and/or Chrome IIRC. Jan 23, 2011 at 23:07
  • Aha, @Jason, I never noticed: indeed all my browsers show the alt text if the image is large enough to fit it. My Firefox 4 beta is the only one to only show that text and not show some placeholder using the image dimensions — which I guess is bad for formatting (at least when dimensions have been explicitly set).
    – Arjan
    Jan 23, 2011 at 23:19
  • 1
    Related: the default text has just been changed to "enter image description here".
    – Arjan
    Jan 23, 2011 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


Adding the URL is, in my opinion, useless - it's a data most people don't care about, and those that do can access it via right-clicking the image and copying its URL, or examining the page source.

I agree that leaving the "alt text" text there is even worse, but if anything we need to encourage people to just write alt text properly. As far as screen readers go, putting the URL as the alt text is probably worse than just making it an empty string.

  • Agreed, except for that leaving "alt text" would be worse. Just imagine hearing a screen reader trying to read http://i.imgur.com/tJWuU.png. (Still: +1 for the good link!)
    – Arjan
    Jan 23, 2011 at 20:49
  • @Arjan: Does anybody on SO use screen reader? Come on! Jan 24, 2011 at 7:41
  • 1
    @abatish see stackoverflow.com/questions/118984/…
    – Oak
    Jan 24, 2011 at 8:20
  • Considering that it's a point of bitter debate amongst English pedants whether it's acceptable to use "data" as a mass noun (e.g. "the data shows X") rather than as a plural (e.g. "the data show X"), the use of the definitely-incorrect singular "a data" here is rather delightful.
    – Mark Amery
    Mar 26, 2018 at 11:23

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