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It has recently been noticed that ImageShack does a horrible thing: they re-purpose old image URLs for advertising purposes. This can lead the impression that some older posts are actually spam, for example:

Free iTunes $50 giftcard

But looking closer at the actual content of the post, you can tell that outside the non sequitur image, the post makes sense and is appropriate for the site.

Please do not flag posts containing these images as spam. Spam flags are really meant to identify sources of spam, in particular the user who originally posted. In this case you would be penalising the wrong person.

For examples of what to do, see this meta.MO post by Ilmari Karonen:

  • ... [Try] to recover [the images] from the Wayback Machine by prepending http://web.archive.org/web/2/ to the image URLs, and reupload the recovered images to stack.imgur. (Please don't just leave the image links pointing to archive.org; while this does generally work, we don't really want to rely on them or cause them extra server load.) To make this easier, you may wish to install this user script, which automatically tries to reload ImageShack images from archive.org when you click them, and also highlights such images by graying them out and adding a red dashed border.

    If you can't recover the images, and the author of the post is still around, consider leaving them a polite comment to let them know that their post is broken, and asking them to reupload the images if they can. If the author seems to be long gone, see if you can simply edit out the broken images without unduly damaging the post, or perhaps even try to recreate them yourself.

    Finally, if the post really seems unrecoverable and useless without the images, you may wish to flag* it or, if you can, just vote to delete it yourself.

*The flag mentioned here should be a "low quality" flag, if possible. Otherwise passing a note to the Reopen? Undelete? Close? Delete? chat room would be a secondary option. Lastly (and likely leastly) a mod-only "other" flag is also a possibility.

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    $\begingroup$ Useful link. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Aug 20 '15 at 10:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf Usefuller link. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Aug 20 '15 at 10:58
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    $\begingroup$ ^^ Both useful, because they find disjoint sets of posts: (a) with image as a link; (b) with an embedded image. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Aug 20 '15 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure that all the posts from the SEDE query that can be fixed by someone other than the OP have now been fixed. $\endgroup$ – Ilmari Karonen Aug 25 '15 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ Asaf's link shows 8 results. When fixed, does this mean the Math Stack is free of this issue? $\endgroup$ – JoeTaxpayer Aug 26 '15 at 12:45

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