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Gfycat is a hosting service for (animated) GIF files, which will close on September 1st, 2023. Since some MSE users might have included GIF files hosted on Gfycat in their posts, does the service's closure affect us? How did the Imgur closure get solved?

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, unfortunately more posts will suffer from link rot. In my eyes, we haven't found any generally good way to handle link rot. In principle, we ask that posts be fully self-contained so as to not suffer from link rot — but this is not followed in practice. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 20:44
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    $\begingroup$ A basic query finds only 9 - perhaps I have not searched well enough, but it may be fixable without gargantuan effort. $\endgroup$
    – KReiser
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ @KReiser: Excellent find, but a problem remains: what other hosting sites are there, where we could upload the images in jeopardy? I am thinking of the more reputable ones, that have a higher chance of staying in the business for years to come. $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 21:37
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexM. imgur has some sort of arrangement with stackexchange - using the dedicated image functionality in the post editor should provide a solid repository until that arrangement ends, in which case it there are much bigger problems. $\endgroup$
    – KReiser
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 21:45
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    $\begingroup$ @davidlowryduda: Would you say that KReiser's query returns all the posts containing links to Gfycat, or do you have moderator tools capable of returning even more of these? What about deleted posts that might get undeleted, and that might contain such links? I intend to edit manually all of these posts and fix them before Gfycat is closed, but I would like to receive moderator approval to do this, so as my actions should not look like vandalism. $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ What imgur closure are you talking about? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 7:20
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  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi: My bad. It was not really a closure, but a great deletion of content by Imgur, as Martin Sleziak correctly points out. $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 7:55
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    $\begingroup$ You can use this SEDE query (which I originally wrote for dealing with an earlier incident with ImageShack) to find inline uses of Gfycat images. However, it doesn't seem to find anything not already found by @KReiser's url: search query (which apparently nowadays finds both clickable links and inline images; it used to miss the latter). $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ A somewhat similar concern is what we would do with posts where the image is gone, and without the image the question is obsolete. There's no point of such questions because there's no such question, so can we push for deletion of such questions provided they are of no value? I came upon this when I was searching my own answers. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ A past request to increase the 2 MB limit for animated GIFs on Stack Imgur was extremely negatively received, and was automatically deleted as it didn't get any answers within 30 days arguing against (or for) it. $\endgroup$
    – gparyani
    Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 18:41

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One possible solution would be to ensure that the posts which include such third-party content get archived on the Wayback machine (https://web.archive.org)

By searching for these URLs on the wayback machine you can capture the page and third-party hosted content.

This will ensure the content is saved in a separate location and can be retrieved later without much effort. This won't be the fastest or most convenient option, but it's very likely to stick around for a long time.

Here's one example.

http://web.archive.org/web/20230705032342/https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/3754723/move-a-circle-along-the-circumference-of-another-circle

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