I get annoyed with people putting unnecessary images in their questions and answers, but I wonder if there is any rational objection to the practice, or is it just irrational prejudice on my part? Is there anything wrong with posting a useless image, aside from making me waste my precious time scrolling past the picture so I can read the post?
(I've expanded this answer quite a bit from its original version. Even though the Question is a duplicate, I thought a more complete answer covering the current status of including images would be useful.)
I don't think much has changed since an earlier version of this question was asked 4 years ago:
- images that illustrate exactly what's being said in the text are useful, even if there are a lot of them (e.g. "Batman wore such-and-such armour in this situation.")
- images that are large and require a lot of scrolling to go past are distracting
- unrelated or barely-related images in posts are distracting and many people (myself among them) find them annoying
- there's a wide range of opinion as to what's related or not
How bad is the problem?
Not bad at all, IMO.
I spent some time looking at questions with images in them (search for imgur urls) and I didn't find too many that I thought were pointless:
- looking just at questions, there are about 50 per month that have imgur links
- even though I'm "prejudiced" against images, I'd say at least 50% of them are clearly relevant, and another 20%-30% are probably useful - I didn't think they were totally relevant, but I had to agree they were at least useful to illustrate something in the question
- most of the images I thought weren't relevant were from relatively new users who probably just haven't developed a good sense yet of what's relevant or not
So overall I think at most 10% of images that get posted aren't relevant and could be edited out.
What to do about it
There are a few options:
- Don't do anything, it's not actually that big a problem.
- Edit posts and remove links to irrelevant images. If editing old questions, limit edits to one or two at a time so they don't overwhelm the front page.
- If the images are hosted on stack.imgur, it's easy to edit a question to convert large images to thumbnails:
If the image URL is:
You can add an
m or a
t to the end of the filename to make the image a thumbnail.
https://i.stack.imgur.com/MGbrXm.png makes the largest dimension 320 pixels.
https://i.stack.imgur.com/MGbrXt.png makes it a thumbnail with 160 pixels max.
I think this is the how you do an "m" thumbnail with a link to the original picture:
[![picture whose claim I am skeptical of]] : https://i.stack.imgur.com/wa5kLm.png : https://i.stack.imgur.com/wa5kL.png
Again, if editing old questions, only do a couple at a time.
This has gotten to be a bit long, so I'll just mention that one of the answers to the earlier question has some good comments on fair use.