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To be able to post images on the Scratch Forums, one must upload the desired image to a third-party image host that is white-listed by the Scratch Team. If one was to try and link to an image that was not white-list, they would get an error. This is to prevent spam images, the risk of viruses from unauthorized sites, and simply to avoid inappropriate content (usually from popular sites such as YouTube, Tumblr, and DeviantArt).

Host List

The current white-listed hosts are as follows:

Pending Review

xomf.com (Requested by ncro2005; request forwarded to developers by Paddle2see)[1]

Previous Hosts

These are hosts which were formerly on the whitelist:

  • imgur.com (removed for inappropriate images on the host)[2]
  • any .edu domain outside of Scratch (removed because it was used to exploit requests to Scratch APIs from the user viewing the post e.g. to logout the user or delete replies)[3]
  • modshare.futuresight.org

Controversy

Tinypic

TinyPic was subject to debate[4] by some Scratchers over the fact that it uses bad advertising techniques to generate revenue. For example, one user experienced warnings of hidden malware[5] when a malicious ad was shown on TinyPic. The site also showed adverts[6] that lead to downloading potentially unwanted programs. The Scratch Team also took part in the debate and decided it would be the best option to de-emphasize the use of TinyPic. The Scratch Team member, Paddle2See, said that they would be modifying all documents that mention TinyPic as a white-listed image host to warn Scratchers of the bad advertising practices.[7]

Imageshack

Imageshack also came to a debate[8] because of its subscription practices. In this debate, people also wanted Imgur back. The Scratch Team has yet to state their presence on the matter.

It has been also reported that the images can "expire" over time and be replaced with an advertisement.[9]

Profit

Each image host has its own way of earning profit. Of course, money is necessary to pay the workers, supply the electricity, and maintain the server hardware. Many sites simply have ads, like with Tinypic and Photobucket, whereas some image hosts take a different approach of having paid accounts such as Imageshack. Some of the ads on Tinypic and Photobucket have been known to exploit malicious code on individuals' computers or use pop-ups since Tinypic and Photobucket do not regulate their third-party provided adverts.[10] There is also the possibility of an image host earning profit by solely donations. This is the approach which cubeupload takes to maintain its site.

References

  1. https://scratch.mit.edu/users/Paddle2See/#comments-45313925
  2. http://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/4628/?page=1#post-25730
  3. https://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/177300/?page=1#post-1717123
  4. http://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/69912/
  5. http://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/69912/?page=5#post-602954
  6. http://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/69912/?page=1#post-595276
  7. http://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/69912/?page=17#post-609768
  8. http://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/67646/
  9. https://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/157358/
  10. http://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/69912/?page=12#post-607122