Images in comments: good or evil?

Themis Athena and I, as always when we’re let loose on something together, have been madly going back and forth discussing the various details of posts/projects/pages/tags/catgories/menus.

I needed her to see a screenshot and didn’t want to have to create another post that would make NO sense to anyone else, so I found a plug-in to allow images in comments.

  • It allows us to embed images and sound files (also video and heaps of other stuff, but I turned that off;
  • It embeds video links into the comments for YouTube, etc. (though that too can be turned off);
  • It uploads the image from your computer to the media library;
  • Once comments are deleted, either by the Admin or by the user, the image is deleted from the media file.

Did I unleash a monster?

16 thoughts on “Images in comments: good or evil?

  1. I like this change.

    Almost everything I write has images in it these days. It seems to me that the Internet has shifted communication towards the ideographic.

    I’ve already found it frustrating not to be able to embed images and either to have to load a link in full or forego having them.

    The only reservation I have is the sites that we link to.

    I despise FaceBook as an organisation. I won’t use anything they own. So that rules out FaceBook, Instgram and WhatsApp.

    These guys have some of the best data mining and data scraping tools in the world and they’ll sell whatever they can to whoever pays best.

    So, I’d rather we didn’t link to them but, if we do, I’d like to know who we’re linking to see I can leave the link alone

    I’m fine with embedding images from our users computers.

    I’m concerned about using iframe to embed content because it compromises the security of the site. If we do use iFrames, we should select the sites that we’ll allow embedding from. Personally, I’d exclude and FaceBook owned site.

    Here’s an article on iFrames

  2. I’m more ambivalent about this because the lack of this function never really seemed like an issue to me over on BL. But that doesn’t mean I am opposed to it.

    I agree completely about not linking to other social media sites, especially FB, but also IG and Twitter.

    1. I’ve turned that off – I only left it on yesterday because of the YouTube, which I remember some people using.

      I have no feelings about keeping this one way or the other – I admit I am not a fan of animated .gifs at all because their infinite movement drives me to distraction and I can’t focus on anything else. But sometimes, especially like yesterday when I was explaining something technical, it’s handy to have. And I know a lot of other users like using the images.

      I’m happy to keep it or trash it – either way.

  3. To the extent that this is just about links in comments, we wouldn’t need it, because as far as I can see, unlike on BL links are “active” (take you to the target site upon being clicked) in WP comments anyway.

    That said, I like the idea of being able to embed images in comments — your response to my blog post was a great example how this could be put to use, and that’s not even mentioning our community’s propensity for gifs, memes, etc.. BUT question in return: Does this plugin pull images only from the blog’s built-in media library, or does it also work with images hosted externally (on Imgur, Flickr, Pinterest, etc.)?

    The reason I’m asking is that even without this plugin, I am already worried about the size and configuration of our site’s media library. It’s one thing to be able to create sub-libraries for each blog member, but even if we have an overall generously-sized media library cache, with upwards of 40 users it may not take all that long until we’ve reached full capacity; especially if by “media” we also mean audio and video files. (By way of an example: my old iPhone had a 128 GB cache. It took me about three years to more or less max out on that cache, chiefly with images and audiobooks, all by my lonesome.)

    So even if we tell people to treat the blog’s built-in media library like a raw egg, host their images externally if and whenever they can, and really only use the blog’s built-in media library for images in comments (or which for whatever reason can’t be hosted on their external image site of choice), IF the plugin ONLY draws on the blog’s media library, it may be fun to use for a few months or a year and then we’ll be back to where we were before (unless we tell people to clear their sub-libraries every couple of months, or have them cleared by us — which has all the attraction of having your teeth pulled).

    Long story short, if the plugin works with externally-hosted images, too, AND if we can get people to bring some discipline to the use of the blog’s own media library, I can see it as a useful and fun addition. But if it only works with the WP media library, I think for a group as large as ours it may ultimately be only of limited use.

    1. The plug in does not work with externally hosted images. But my hosting service has unlimited storage, so we’re not going to hit a limit, unless WP’s media library has a built-in limit I don’t know about?

      1. They typically do. We’ll have to investigate how big ours is — for the free WP accounts it’s something like 3 GB; I think for paying plans and self-hosted it’s (considerably) more, but it might still not be enough. If there is no limit, though, then by all means let’s go for it.

        1. Did you say you are with Bluehost? Here’s what I found on their site about their WP plans:

          (I.e., between 20 and 80 GB storage space … total.)

          Though, elsewhere on their website ( ) I also did see “unlimited storage” — now I’m wondering if that only applies outside of WP hosting? Or are you on a plan not mentioned on the first page linked above?

                1. Pure luck – I’ve been with them since 2008 and I have no memory of why I chose them over anybody else. But I’ve never regretted it; I’ve always found them on top of everything and easy to work with when I have had issues.

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