FORUM UPDATE: Image Policy

Hey gang, you’re friendly moderators here. And we’d like to talk to you for a moment about pictures.

Uploading images and/or memes is great! They are a lot of fun and, in general, promote conversation (or at least participation) in threads.

The problem is that those image files are big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big they are.

Okay, maybe not that big, but the files are sizable, and we do not have infinite forum storage. Chances are, at some point, your moderator staff will have to comb through old posts and remove images to make room for new images in new conversations.

No one wants that. You don’t want to lose your content, and we don’t want to have to delete things.

So what can we do as a group to stave off that day? Glad you asked!

  1. Limit your images in a comment to two or three, as opposed to six, eight, ten. You get the idea. A couple of images are good. A flood of images, not so much.

  2. Only add images when they serve a purpose. Sticking pictures into a comment just to stick an image on a comment eats into our memory and doesn’t do anything to facilitate conversation.

Hopefully, by doing this now we will prevent the need to delete old images for a good long time.


Ok ok I get the picture :yum:

But I have a real question…
I use Imgur to post my pics, and I think it reduces the image size automatically but I don’t know this for sure. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:
Or is it some people grabbing images straight from their computer and directly posting on the forum without reducing the size, is that the problem?

Further context: this isn’t like Facebook where images make your post attractive to the algorithm. There is no algorithm here.


sign language GIF by Sign with Robert

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Is there a way to set a file size limit? Lots of forums do that.
Other forums I’ve seen them do pixel size limits, that also keeps the file size down.

I usually resize my images down so they take less than 200KB, just scanning through some of the threads that have lots of images it does seem like people are using the raw images from their phones, don’t need a 3MB image for a plate of food.

Yes. We can restrict by file size, megapixels, or height and width. We may have to tighten those a bit eventually.


Wouldn’t that depend on the food? :yum:

But I think just publicly requesting all images be under a certain file size could help immensely. Hell, modern OS comes with software that can do it. I don’t think anyone here would be opposed to it.


Do the mods have server access? If so, an image resizing script could be written to shrink all existing user uploads and then periodically shrink new uploads after that.

Though frankly I’m surprised if that’s not built into Discourse already. If I were writing this software, there would definitely be something for “any uploaded image gets resized to max height/width of 1000, and max DPI of [whatever it needs to be, I dunno probably 300; I ain’t researching that unless I have to].”


There appear to be some built-in resizing settings. I’m not sure if they are working or are set optimally (honestly, I don’t know what some of them even mean). We will have to dig into them further, perhaps. Perhaps we will set up some experiments to test them.


Thank you.

I think image size limits are already kicking in to some extent.

Often the album covers I post in the “what are you listening to” thread are lifted at 1500x1500, but when i post them it reduces them to 500x500.

Whether it is actualy ensmallering them or just setting a display size, I don’t know.

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Here are some of the current settings

Filesize limit: 4MB

Megapixel limit: 80

Size before resizing and lightboxing: 690W × 500H

What the heck is “lightboxing”?


It also looks like some PNG images may get converted to JPG, with a configurable compression quality.


80 megapixels?!! That’s enough pixels for the entirety of the movies riffed in all of MST3K.


Testing resize:

2048x1536 3.1MP 344kB

Resized to 1342x1000 (thumbnail)
Clicking brings up original (I believe)

Ok. This definitely exceeds the stated max image size.


Are hyperlinks to images still okay, or do they also cause storage issues?

Asking because that’s usually how I share my art on here.



I usually try to resize mine down… but I typically use .png as they have lossless compression. But I can convert to .jpeg, if file size is becoming an issue. Is there a way to gain more server size for the forums? I have no idea who is paying for the forums. :woman_shrugging:


The problem with this is it assumes. 1) that people know how to do this 2) that we have time to check every image that’s posted to make sure it fits within the parameters.

There may be a way to set something in the software, but we haven’t played with those setting much.

For now, please just limit how many images you post in a comment. You don’t need to post your entire photo album with each reply. :slight_smile:


In an unwelcome plot twist, we soon learn that it’s the same backers who were funding the Hunks & Babes Of Gorgo calendar. :grimacing: