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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.
The current white-listed hosts are as follows:
|Note:||Some of the hosts might not be seen properly in forums for users, such as scratch-wiki.info|
- photobucket.com (costs money; has a free plan of up to 250 images with a watermark)
- cubeupload.com (used by most Scratchers, however users must sign up for a account to upload images)
- imageshack.com and imageshack.us (30-day free trial with account before payment is required)
- scratchr.org (The ScratchR domain is no longer owned by the Scratch Team, and is now an SMS sending service.)
- wikipedia.org and related subdomains
- wikimedia.org and related subdomains
- scratch-dach.info (Now redirects to de.scratch-wiki.info)
- uploads.scratch.mit.edu, cdn.scratch.mit.edu, and cdn2.scratch.mit.edu (most commonly used for project/studio thumbnails - note this does not include scratch.mit.edu)
- assets.scratch.mit.edu (This is more complicated than using the other image hosts because it requires knowledge about HTTPS POST requests)
- wiki.scratch.mit.edu (This domain can no longer be updated because of the Domain Transfer)
- scratch-wiki.info (This works with all language subdomains, e.g. en.scratch-wiki.info)
- imgbb.com - Requested by colinmacc and other members of this forum topic; the request was forwarded to developers by Za-Chary.
These are hosts which were formerly on the whitelist:
- imgur.com (removed for inappropriate images on the host)
- 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)
- tinypic.com (website was shut down)
TinyPic was subject to debate by some Scratchers over the fact that it uses bad advertising techniques to generate revenue. For example, one user experienced warnings of hidden malware when a malicious ad was shown on TinyPic. The site also showed adverts 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.
Imageshack also came to a debate because of its subscription practices. 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.
Wikimedia servers had a bug that allows dynamic images from another external website to be put into forum posts. Some Scratchers used it for creating dynamic images about post counts. However, it got fixed as of July 2020.
Each image host has its own way of earning profit. Of course, money is necessary to run the sites. 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' devices or use pop-ups since Tinypic and Photobucket do not regulate their third-party provided adverts. There is also the possibility of an image host sustaining itself purely off of donations, which is the approach that cubeupload takes to maintain its site. However, in September 2019, their site was temporarily shut down as they did not have enough donations.
- jettypumpkin07. (19/8/2020). "I realized you only get to use it free for 30 days before they stop you from uploading new pictures. " post:4341430
- MClovers. (6/9/2019). "It's a 30-day-free trial. I need a forever-free one." post:3694013
- A subscription is required to have full access to all the features ImageShack has to offer. However, we do a free 30 day trial to give people a sneak peak into what we're all about. https://imageshack.com/faq
- colinmacc. (1/10/2019). "Have you looked at ImgBB?" post:3717193
- Za-Chary. (9/10/2019). "I've brought up ImgBB to the Scratch Team. They will look into the website further." post:3724649
- BoltBait. (10/5/2013). "The problem is that the people in charge over at imgur don't do a very good job of policing for inappropriate images." post:25730
- thisandagain. (9/1/2016). "We no longer accept images from any .edu domain" post:1717123
- Flowermanvista. (18/7/2019). "According to a notification on their website, TinyPic is shutting down their website at some point in 2019" topic:361842
- Paddle2See. (1/10/2019). "The last couple of times we've tried to use Xomf.com, it doesn't seem to work." post:3717081
- Za-Chary. (9/10/2019). "xomf.com is indeed rejected for failing to actually work." post:3724649
- turkey3. (3/12/2014). "Down With Tinypic![title]" topic:69912
- cheeseeater. (7/12/2014). "[TinyPic] is showing malware infested adverts which possibly run drive by downloads!" post:602954
- cheeseeater. (4/12/2014). "[S]ome users may be more vulnerable to mal-advertising attacks." post:595276
- Paddle2See. (9/12/2014). "Because of the concerns you brought forward, we are de-emphasizing the use of Tinypic." post:609768
- Detriment. (24/11/2014). "Make the forums stop using Imageshack for pictures[title]" topic:67646
- Chibi-Matoran. (8/10/2015). "Apparently, images can expire and are replaced by an ad for RainApp!" topic:157358
- LuckyLucky7.(7/19/2020). "Cubeupload.com gives me a 502 error when I try accessing it" topic:424278
- Harakou. (7/19/2020). "It's down, and unfortunately does somewhat often." post:4237800
- dude341. (10/4/2015). "Any CubeUpload image on the forums are gone. Instead it is just a blue square with a question mark." topic:156104
- Zro716. (8/12/2014). "you cannot legally force them to moderate their ads because that's not their stuff." post:607122
- "Sadly our primary sources of income (donations and Patreon) are no longer covering our costs and we are having to seriously consider closing the site down" https://twitter.com/CubeUpload/status/1169299066242682880