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Unraveling the Photobucket Censor

ImpracticalDino

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Hello, everyone! If you haven't seen already, some Photobucket photos have suddenly been blurred, and they have that dreaded watermark on the top for everyone to see. Interestingly enough, some Photobucket photos weren't affected, but now I have found an explanation. According to a forum thread post from the SevenString website, the person there got an email from them stating...

Quote
Photobucket currently hosts over 130 million photos for over 11 million free users! Effective June 1, 2019, new hosting limits will take effect that will impact a small portion of our image hosters.

What Are the New Limits?
Free hosters will be restricted to 25MB of hosting bandwidth per month. YOUR CURRENT USAGE IS OVER 25MB PER MONTH SO THIS NEW LIMITATION WILL AFFECT YOU.

What Happens If I Go Over My Bandwidth Allowance?
Free hosters, like you, who use more than 25MB of bandwidth will have all of their hosted photos watermarked and blurred.

I'm sure that anyone who still uses Photobucket for some reason would've gotten that email by now, unless you have a paid subscription or something.

I've been pondering for a while how these images can be restored to its original form, and my salvation came just recently. As @StardustSoldier pointed out in this thread, he made a shocking discovery.

Thank you for the inspiration I got from this post for my idea, StardustSoldier! :smile


^I discovered today that, if I'm on the forum via my phone instead of my desktop computer, it actually does get rid of the Photobucket blurriness and watermarks and shows the image properly. Not sure if it'd work on every phone, but I wanted to mention it all the same.

So, there you have it. An idea immediately popped into my head upon reading this, and I was excited to test it out. Here's my plan. I would download those clean photos onto my phone, transfer it to a desktop computer, upload it to another image sharing site (Imgur is my choice of preference), and post the newly restored caption in the same caption thread that I got it from.

Did it work? Well, see for yourself. I will compile a list of all Photobucket caption threads that have been unraveled and saved. Stay tuned, folks! :DD



List of Photobucket Caption Threads Unraveled (so far)

Mo screenshot: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11457.0
Littlefoot bathtime: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12840.0
The Flier Trio: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=7503.0
Mo caption: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=6544.0
Littlefoot and Mo: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12901.0
Pterano and Petrie: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=7070.0
Chomper Without Teeth: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=7134.0
Cera & Tricia Caption!: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=6532.0
Yet another Pterano and Petrie: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=7353.0
Too many Yellowbellies, Part II: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11864.0
Pterano Caption: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=6486.0
Daddy's New Hat: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11709.0
A windy day for Mama Flyer: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12881.0
Littlefoot in a sharptooth's mouth: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=13208.0
Mama Flyer and Littlefoot: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12949.0
Petrie and Cera are surprised: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12956.0
Petrie and his army of clones, Part II: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11863.0
Chomper, Ducky, and a Sand Creeper: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=13110.0
Spike is not impressed with his new barber: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=13149.0
Chomper sneaking up on Littlefoot: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=13118.0
Doc and Littlefoot: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=13184.0
No sleep for Petrie: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11714.0
Happy Cera-2: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11824.0
Littlefoot the King: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12315.0
Flying Littlefoot-2: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11895.0
Cera's Plot, Part III: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11949.0
Ducky finds the Ring: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11946.0
Petrie's mom finds Petrie: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=13026.0
The Three Cowards: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12135.0
Cera's New Friend: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12156.0
Happy Cera: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11807.0
Cera's Plot: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11668.0
Ducky and Petrie are having fun, Part III: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12047.0
Littlefoot sees Heaven: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12132.0
Insidious Ducky: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12015.0
Cera's Attack: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11920.0
Petrie lands on Littlefoot: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=13168.0
Repost of Shorty and Littlefoot: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12440.0
Cera's Flower Garden: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=11679.0
Suddenly Chomper: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=12762.0
Panicked Mo: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=3867.0


Other Threads with Photobucket Unraveled

LBT Plushies at Wal*Mart: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=2556.0
New LBT Carry Case: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=3827.0
Big Littlefoot Plushie and More: http://www.gangoffive.net/index.php?topic=2609.0
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 09:43:35 PM by ImpracticalDino »


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Mumbling

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As an alternative, you can install the following addon:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/photobucket-embedded-fix/?src=search

Should be a similar one for Chrome if that's your browser of choice. Sadly we've had to deal with this problem before and our brave crew of Photobucket Obliterators got rid of most of the offending images (though of course many still remain). I do recommend that for future image uploads, you use either the forum's attachment ability or a trusted image site, such as imgur.


ImpracticalDino

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I will continue to do this despite the alternative you have presented. While it may provide a quick fix to the photos, it is not a permanent solution if you know what I mean. How does the add-on function, by the way?

It’s a shame though, really. Photobucket is still blocking and limiting images even up to this day, and due to the popularity of the image hosting website back in the day, many photos on the forum have disappeared because of it. Even the surviving ones we have now is hit with blurriness and a highly obvious watermark on top of it, A.K.A a paywall. Was a subscription for Photobucket like $400 a month back in the day? I thought I saw someone mention that in a post on this forum. But even when the prices are much more fair today, there are better image hosting sites to use, such as Imgur, like you have already stated.

I do understand the move they’re making in terms of making it a paid hosting service. Tinypic, which was free and ran by them, couldn’t raise enough revenue from advertising and was therefore shutdown as a result.

But still, thanks for the suggestion. Much appreciated. :yes


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Mumbling

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The add-on basically replaces the blurry picture with a logo with the clear pic straight from photobucket. Pretty effective, but not a permanent solution as you mentioned. Another option is to simply replace the picture in the original post, though only mods and admins can do so.


StardustSoldier

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I do recommend that for future image uploads, you use either the forum's attachment ability or a trusted image site, such as imgur.

Huh, I never noticed the attachment feature before. Testing it out now.

Edit: Okay, that's pretty nifty. Although I do wonder, if images are uploaded directly to the forum via attachments (rather than an external image hoster), is there a limit on how many images can be uploaded? Would there be any potential size/data limits?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 01:46:12 PM by StardustSoldier »
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Mumbling

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Currently we've set the limit to 10 attachments per post with a size of max 10 MB, kind of like an email. The forum is not about to run out of storage space any time soon, so there's no need to worry about that :)


StardustSoldier

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Alrighty, thanks.
See here for all the LBT films and episodes I've reviewed.




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pokeplayer984

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To be honest, if Photobucket hasn't been sued for this bullcrap, I'll be quite surprised.  I for one, am glad I changed to imgur.  It's just a much better place, and that's a fact.


ImpracticalDino

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Unfortunately, I don’t think so. Especially since they were legally in the right to do such a despicable and shady act. Although, I am shocked that nobody seemingly tried to sue them though. If you’re hosting your photos on a third party site like Twitter, Facebook, or Photobucket, chances are that you agreed to their terms of service when using the website that you hand over the control of the photos to them and they can do whatever they want with it, even preventing you from accessing your own photos. No other company I’ve heard other than Photobucket has held your data ransom, most likely because they’re smart and they don’t want to lose any customers. It made me pretty angry when I found out that Photobucket handled the situation with no care at all. Very vague blog and short posts that explain almost nothing and almost nothing at all to address all the angry users that are unhappy with the changes made.

In hindsight, I guess it should be been obvious considering that we all blindly accept the terms and conditions without giving a second glance at it. But then again, who the hell has any time to read through it every time they use a new service?

This article I was reading that discussed this certain topic was pretty informative.

https://medium.com/@AxelUnlimited/how-photobucket-broke-the-internet-and-why-you-should-care-4a244bda6b7e
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 08:08:22 PM by ImpracticalDino »


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pokeplayer984

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I looked into something.  Turns out, TinyPic is owned by Photobucket and they shut down TinyPic.  Which is why you see those notices around the forum if you chose that site.  Oh, and you know what else?  If you go to their site, there will be a notice about it and guess who they recommend?  Photobucket.  I think I've said enough.


ImpracticalDino

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With a four day weekend on the horizon for me, expect many more Photobucket pictures to be recovered! :DD


I looked into something.  Turns out, TinyPic is owned by Photobucket and they shut down TinyPic.  Which is why you see those notices around the forum if you chose that site.  Oh, and you know what else?  If you go to their site, there will be a notice about it and guess who they recommend?  Photobucket.  I think I've said enough.

I really feel bad for those people, as probably at least half of their Tinypic user base will be going to a paid photo hosting service instead of a free one just because that website recommends Photobucket. The average computer user may be ignorant about many things and not care too much about what programs or what websites they go to as long as it fulfills a requirement, therefore taking advantage of that fact. I do hope I'm just underestimating the majority though.


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