Photobucket Accused Of Blackmail / Holding Images Hostage!

Discussion in 'XENFORO Forums Guide' started by GTR-Admin, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. There is growing anger and frustration worldwide over Photobucket's "ransomware" approach to customer service! Many GT-Rider member's images are still being held hostage hostage - hundreds - perhaps thousands of images on GT-Rider, are still inaccessible...

    Globally, thousands of forums are screwed up, along with product lines in various online retail stores such as Amazon etc.

    This recent article Moto-Rex just sent is worth reading:
    Photobucket accused of blackmail after quietly requiring users to pay $400 a year to hotlink | The Verge

    Quote: Users are now accusing Photobucket of extortion, as the service failed to make the update to its terms of service abundantly clear....You can imagine, then, the outrage that ensued. It appears some users can’t even download their own photos out of their Photobucket accounts without upgrading.

    The BBC have also weighed in on the issue: Amazon and eBay images broken by Photobucket's 'ransom demand' - BBC News

    "There were no announcements, no emails warning people that it was about to happen and more importantly, no explanation.

    "Bulletin boards across the globe are being crippled as previously vibrant threads with detailed images are disappearing.

    "People who have used Photobucket for hosting these images successfully for over 10 years are finding that they will have to literally start again with what for some, amounts to a lifetime's work."

    Hopefully, commonsense with prevail soon and Photobucket will realise the the public relations disaster this underhanded act of extortion has caused. Reversing it would be a smart move.
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  2. Dropbox started this, and now Photobucket. More to come.
    I've started to delete and re-upload pictures to GT-R, post by post.
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    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. It would be difficult to come up with a worse way for Photobucket to have treated loyal customers, many of whom have used their services to 10 years or more!

    Sincere thanks to Oddvar and Goran for their intention to have a go at replacing the broken images in their posts. I'm sure others will also will follow suit as time permits.

    At the forum end, we've worked long hours to capture all the Photobucket images that had not yet been blocked. That effort saved thousands of them, plus 10s of thousands more from Smugmug and other photo-sharing services and blogging sites etc.

    The GTR server has been given a costly update;
    • Beefed up with extra resources; 6 CPUs, 8Gb of RAM and 200 Gb of fast SSD drive space
    • Technicians have installed Zendopcache and Memcached, and revised the SQL database with a tuned MariaDB
    • Zenforo has been enhanced with [bd] Cache and Lazy Image Loader etc
    • JetBackup has been installed on the server, automated file and database backups occur daily to secure "Cloud" storage
    • GT-Rider content is delivered globally across the Cloudflare content delivery network
    That work allowed us to handle the extra load of first converting the images from 3rd party hosting sites into at a consistent maximum pixel size, and then optimising file sizes with image compression software.

    In total, almost 400,000 images were processed this past week.

    The net result is that;

    • the forums now load much faster than ever before
    • all Thread and Post images are stored on and served from the GT-Rider web server
    • the process of posting trip reports has been made much easier
    Its been a tough week! :sweat:
    - but at the end of it, I am confident that we are in better shape than we were a week ago!
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  4. Yes, I just noticed the email from Photofucket abut this. They deserve to go bust.
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