Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Quick, get out of Photobucket while you still can

It’s weird, but it seems every time I go offline, or can’t go online for a while, something significant happens and I don’t find out about until long after I should.

It’s only July 2, and after being out of touch with the web for most of June, I looked at my web site to find it filled with this blackmail message from Photobucket, instead of the thousands of image I have uploaded and had hosted there since 2005 or so, I can now only have them show if I pay these crooks $399 EVERY YEAR:

Photobucket blackmail

Photobucket blackmail

Now we know why Rupert Murdoch (Mr Paywall) bought into Photobucket.

But don’t take my word for it, read this from PCMag UK:

The key feature of a Photobucket account we’re talking about here is called “3rd Party Hosting.” It allows you to embed images from Photobucket in another location on the Internet, e.g. in a forum post or on a website.

As Norvic Philatelics discovered, Photobucket changed its terms and conditions and removed the 3rd Party Hosting feature from the lower subscription tiers. If you want to continue using that feature then a Photobucket Plus 500 subscription is required. It costs $39.99 per month or $399 per year.

Not only is that very expensive, it means existing Photobucket accounts on lower subscriptions tiers will have any embedded images they’ve created in the past cease to work. Considering Photobucket has been around since 2003 and hosts over 10 billion images, that’s potentially millions of embedded images across the Internet being broken thanks to a policy change. Here’s just one example of how this change impacts a forum thread.

The worst part of this debacle, according to, is the fact Photobucket users were apparently given no warning of the change. The subscription features simply changed, and images stopped loading without explanation.

There’s hope this is a mistake, or that Photobucket’s management will realize the scale of the problem they have created with this change. But if that doesn’t happen, expect to see that Photobucket broken link image above many times in the coming months.

Photobucket Breaks Image Links Across the Internet

No faith or trust – Photobucket is now dead

Like many others (take a read around for responses), I was taken aback by this step-change.

While Photobucket has been happy to keep filling my InBox with crap adverts for the cheap tat it wants to be to buy, there was not ONE WORD OF WARNING OR ANY ALERT regarding this fairly significant change to its Terms & Conditions, opportunity to plan/prepare in advance, or even offer feedback for them to ignore.

Like many, I am now in the process of downloading whatever material I had there (to host myself), and then closing/deleting my account.


Also, like many other responses I have read to this betrayal, I will not use Photobucket ever again, even they cancelled this change and restored this free aspect of their service.

While I’ve used some fairly questionable (free) hosting services in the past, and they HAVE disappeared, I at least was able to look at their offering and see this was likely.

Not so with Photobucket – at least not until the last sell-out/takeover, when it went rapidly downhill, lost quite a few functions, started selling aggressively, but did not make any changes that affected the free hosting, which carried on as before, so I left things alone.

I should have jumped ship then, when I noticed New International and creep Rupert Murdoch lurking.

A DECENT company does not remove your images THEN give you the option to pay to get them back.

Maybe they just thought it would be ‘kewl’ to change their business model to that of the current spate of Ransomware operations that have appeared recently.


July 2, 2017 - Posted by | Lost, photography |

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