This may be a bit of a temporary issue, but of late, and in particular today, I have noticed an unusual number of questions that contain their content in linked images. I generally do about 20 close reviews per day, and today I have seen at least six or seven questions (and at least one answer in the LQ queue) that primarily contained its content within an image.

The phenomenon is not infrequent -- I generally see one such question every few days or so, usually from a new user -- but I am curious if my observations of the increased frequency match with others' observations as well.

And, if this is a trend to continue, would it perhaps be worth suggesting to modify the quality score algorithm to look for questions that have a low text-to-image ratio? Most of the questions that come through the close queue don't have any commentary on them, but in my experience questions that go through the LQ queue get the auto-generated comment from reviewers, so that might streamline the process.

Perhaps we could add an auto-comment such as, "This post contains its content in image form. Images may be difficult to read for some users on some devices, and links to external images can break in the future. Please write your question in text."

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    $\begingroup$ Related: On the inclusion of pages-of-text-as-images in questions $\endgroup$
    – Did
    May 9, 2015 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Did I figured there would be a predicate question, but I couldn't find one. Thanks :) In any case, the resolution suggested in that link still holds, but the question is four years old, and perhaps worth revisiting, particularly because platform changes in the intervening years have led to new challenges -- the SE app is younger than that question, and browsing images on that causes me some problems, for instance. $\endgroup$
    – Emily
    May 9, 2015 at 22:44
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    $\begingroup$ There are no built-in auto-generated comments for questions, other than "possible duplicate". The LQ queue has built-in comments for answers only. I think the most realistic way to get something done along the way of your suggestion is to add a comment to List of comment templates. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    May 10, 2015 at 4:23
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    $\begingroup$ The question asker didn't put any effort in their question, why should we (re: templates)? I don't think this is a recent or temporary problem, though; there have been questions in the form of an image for as long as I can remember. In general I downvote, vote to close and move on. $\endgroup$ May 10, 2015 at 9:13
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    $\begingroup$ An expected phenomenon: Da Final is coming! $\endgroup$
    – MonkeyKing
    May 11, 2015 at 20:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Najib: Dismissing such questions our of hand as showing no effort is unjusitifed. Some of the images contain diagrams and pictures that would be very difficult to produce any other way. And if, as is perfectly reasonable, a new user does not yet know $\LaTeX$ and MathJax and has a question that requires typing up a good deal of mathematics, I’d much rather deal with an image than with ASCII mathematics; if it’s diagram-free, I usually simply transcribe it. Of course there are also image-based questions that are probably the result of laziness, but I can’t get terribly worked up over them. $\endgroup$ May 14, 2015 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


This is more of a status update than an answer.

Since about 26 May 2015 math.SE has joined other larger sites such as Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User and Ask Ubuntu in having an extra new user restriction. Now new users (meaning users with less than 10 reputation) cannot post images. When they try, they will see the following pop-up:

You need at least 10 reputation to post images.

As long as inline images are detected in the post, it cannot be submitted. (It does appear that naked links to images are not blocked.)


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