Photobucket Deserves All of Your Wrath
This has been a news item for a while, but in a move that mirrors our current political post-apacolyptic wasteland, it became a crisis today because it finally happened to me. A lot of you in the blogging world will have had it happen to you too, and hopefully you are able to rectify the situation as quickly as I have.
For those of you not familiar with the wide world of web hosting, there is (or was) a very popular site called Photobucket (and no, I"m not going to link to them). Photobucket is one of those image sharing and hosting websites that for at least the past decade, has been free. They provide third party hosting - the ability to create clickable image links that we blogger types can use for everything from social media icon buttons to advertisements and beyond.
Apparently Photobucket decided at some point that they wanted to boost their profits, so they veeeery quietly changed their "terms of service" agreement, announcing it only in a company based blog post on the 26th of June. The change was buried deep within the post, near the end. They did this because they know that nobody reads their damn blog.
So. Over the last few weeks, bloggers like myself have been checking in on their blogs to find that all of their clickable images that were hosted by Photobucket had been replaced. With this.
The Internet understandably went ballistic, as Photobucket was sort of the go-to for everyone from part time bloggers to retailers like Amazon and Ebay. The entire Internet was awash with these ungainly grey images. And when you clicked for the "important info", you learned that if you wanted to ever see any of your images alive again, the price was round about $400 per year. Remember, this was a service that was previously free. This has widely being referred to on the Internet as Photobucket's "ransom", and you can read up on it in the New York Post, and the BBC, among other news sources.
Today when I logged on to the blog, apparently it was my turn, because my blog was awash with these grey images. They were crawling up my sidebar like an ant colony at a picnic, as well as on any older posts that may have needed a hosted image at the time. However, not being one who negotiates with terrorists, like any good Internet patriot, I knew instantly that my relationship with Photobucket had to be over.
Looking at my home page, you can see the three little dashes to the left of the title. That's what I believe they call a "hamburger" menu. Click on that and the sidebar will appear.