New users can't post images. On websites like StackOverflow this isn't really necessary, and thus a good way to prevent new users from spamming unwanted images. However, on EE.SE, we often need a schematic, a pinout diagram, an image of a pcb or circuit. Isn't it a good idea to remove the 10 reputation restriction for images? Or perhaps a limit on the amount of images for new users?


They just need to give us the links and we can upload it for them. It is a bit of an issue here, but it is how spam bots get by also, maybe worth putting a notice to the user of how to go about giving us the links. I agree that something needs to be done. – Kortuk Feb 12 '13 at 16:43
Yes, well I have no idea how many spam bots we have around here. Do you? It might be less effort to close the spam questions rather than edit the questions to add images... – Camil Staps Feb 12 '13 at 17:09
images with details of a site are very hard to implement algorithms to detect automatically, while text is, this is a major major way to stop spam bots. We dont have many, but they are often just a text link, because they can only do that, and SE has many ways to stop such an attack. – Kortuk Feb 12 '13 at 17:34
Would work for me. You may submit this as an answer if you ask me. – Camil Staps Feb 12 '13 at 21:07
I'll also note that downvoting a new user because they didn't include a schematic is counterproductive towards the new user being able to get 10 rep for posting images. – W5VO Feb 13 '13 at 8:17
@W5VO: But they can at least put the schematic on a server someplace and include the link. Nothing stops from from doing that, and nobody will downvote them for it. In fact, when the users shows a little effort, someone usually jumps in and edits the schematic inline. Downvoting is for when they expect us to know their circuit without even trying to properly describe it. These people probably don't even know they can't in-line a schematic image. – Olin Lathrop Feb 13 '13 at 14:51
@OlinLathrop as a new user on the site though tries to add an image and it tells them they dont have sufficient rep to add an image it is not a large leap of logic that the new user is confused by such an interaction and does not think of adding the image somewhere else. The nice part about the image tool is you can pick one from your HD and it handles things like imgur, which I never actually used myself until I was using it with SE. – Kortuk Feb 13 '13 at 21:38
@OlinLathrop That sounds like a fantastic idea, I am one of the 7 upvotes your comment has, you should make it an answer. – Kortuk Feb 14 '13 at 14:11
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In response to this Meta Stack Overflow request we have implemented a change that will sort of allow low rep users to post images.

If a user with <= 15 rep tries to post a screenshot, they are presented with a message in the image uploader:

enter image description here

If they are on a site where image embedding is blocked for new users, we also implemented a change that if a user has less than the new user privilege and they add an image, we will now include a link to the image and a message.:

enter image description here

Instead of embedding the image, the post will now have a link. Previously these users would get an error message when they attempted to post.


I suggest that the system let a new user upload a image inline as the rest of us do, except that the image is not actually inserted into the post immediately. Instead, the post goes onto the edit review queue. Reviewers can view the image and approve or reject the image content, and of course can flag as spam, leave a comment, etc, just like they already can when reviewing suggested edits.

I'm not sure what should be displayed in the post in the mean time. Possibly a box saying a uploaded image is awaiting review. If it is spam, nobody has to see it, but can still read the rest of the post and won't downvote due to missing schematic or whatever. Another option is to show the URL. That gives people access to the image, but could also give spammers underserved hits. I guess that really isn't so bad if the link is pointing to a image on imgur so that it can't be a bad URL. At worst you see spam, but there would be nothing to click on, the spammer can't track the action, and it's only a image so can't exploit a security hole in your browser.

I'd probably go with the second approach because the usefulness of being able to see a real image outweighs the relatively rare case of viewing a spam image, which you'd then quickly flag anyway.

It also solves the problem where the new user just hasn't got a clue about where to upload an image while not having enough rep to upload it on imgur. I myself in such a case simply put it on my own webserver, but most people don't have their own server available. – jippie Feb 15 '13 at 11:47
@jippie: I have never seen a internet service provider not include at least some web space along with the internet connection. As far as I can tell, everyone does have access to some web space somewhere. The small amount included with even low end internet connections has grown significantly over the last few years. Now I doubt you can find one less than a few 100 Mb, more likely at least a Gb. – Olin Lathrop Feb 15 '13 at 13:25
I have upvoted this because I think it is an excellent idea, but I have to disagree with the 'provided with connections' statement. My internet provider does not give me any storage space, all of mine is through services I have purchased, and less technical folks may have no idea how to do that. – Rory Alsop Feb 15 '13 at 16:47
This has been requested on meta.SO awhile back with no outcome: – Rory Alsop Feb 15 '13 at 16:48
@OlinLathrop I wouldn't be so sure about that; afaik mine (regional us cable co) doesn't: When I signed up I'd've jumped on a 10MB chunk of space to put files and it's not listed among the feature bullets on their current offering pages. Also, even if their ISP does provide a bit a webspace the odds against an average user today knowing about it and knowing how to use it are fairly low these days because sites like FB, etc give everything they see a need of for free. – Dan Neely Feb 15 '13 at 18:46
@RoryAlsop as I already said, we need images more on this site than on SO. – Camil Staps Feb 16 '13 at 8:00
Camil - exactly. I agree. Hence adding the links for extra visibility! – Rory Alsop Feb 16 '13 at 9:39

We can't change the image posting privilege without changing the entire "new user restrictions" privilege right now.

However, the user experience we currently have that a new user would run into when trying to post an image is suboptimal. There are several ways to possibly resolve that (and Olin described one of them) and we're going to look into that.


Posting images takes only 10 rep, or two upvotes on the question. New user posts should receive extra attention through the review mechanism. When I review a first post that has a URL to an image, I edit it in, and if the question was well-asked, I also upvote it. One more upvote is likely, and their next question can then include the image without help.

Unfortunately, most posts don't even seem to realize that a schematic is required. Allowing new users to inline schematics won't do anything to fix that.


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