** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

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** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by Global Administrator »

Not everyone reads the tech advice Forum of course. So you MAY see this!


In Summary, heaps of members for a decade have used https://www.photobucket.com to store their images, and in turn post them here, and elsewhere. 1000s of us PAID them their annual fee to do so. I still do.

Photobucket this week for some insane reason decided to stop, with NO prior notice or advice to members, their "100 million unique users who have stored 15 BILLION images" (their figures) from doing just that - allowing them to show their stamp images on this Bulletin Board and 1000s of others - despite all these years of bragging that is JUST what they did, and offered it for free if you wanted it free.

Sure you got to endure their endless popup ads and videos as a trade off unless you paid for the PRO account, where ads were removed, and you got extra image storage, but that was a personal choice option you had.

Right NOW any image you stored to photobucket and posted on here, any other Bulletin board or Auctiva or ebay or Amazon etc, shows this nasty Ransonmare image image - unless you pay them $US399!! (=$A525) a year, up front in advance, and you have no guarantee they will be in business even in a month the way this disaster is rolling out.) Do NOT pay Ransoms, the Police always advise.
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Even when you go into your account many of your images have this "WannaCry" Gangster like $US400 cash Demand dial, and many do not.

They seem to have dreamed this up on a Friday night drink session of 19 year old techies, and are rolling it out ad-hoc globally and in a messy manner. Global outrage is deafening. Countless 10,000s of Bulletin Boards just like this are a mess as you can see.

THIS thread is locked and you can't post to it - If you want to learn MORE on this, read here and add comments here ----->>>>

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=77822

THIS announcement is simply a heads-up for the 1000s of members they have not even bothered to tell, they are holding you to ransom.

DO NOT delete your images or your account there - I have little doubt someone at photobucket with a brain will see the disaster they have unleashed, and back off totally, or in large part in the next week. Deleting your account and/or images simply makes it worse. DO NOT re-arrange or re-index your files in there either for the same reason.

You can of course simply move anything you want to be sure they do not disappear into the *FREE** and reliable host that most of us have also used for years - https://www.imgur.com - just right click the image and save it, and then load in IMGUR. They are reliable, stable, established 8 years, family run, and FREE to use.

Way before the photobucket mess IMGUR were already the ELEVENTH largest web traffic company in the USA according to ALEXA, the industry Gold Standard tracker of such things. Just behind ebay and well ahead of Instragram and Craig’s List and LinkedIn and Bing, and CNN - or any porn site even! And WAY bigger than photobucket. IMGUR are massive. Photobucket is rated about 663 on the same list. They are a MINNOW.
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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by traralgon3844 »

I see the BBC has picked up on the Photobucket Ransom Saga, in the Tech Section. (What have our U.K. members been up to???) :wink:

But Photobucket may have upset Amazon. And Stampboards gets a plug - and a direct hotlink to our discussion here.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40492668
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Amazon images broken by Photobucket's 'ransom demand'

By Leo Kelion Technology desk editor

Thousands of images promoting goods sold on Amazon and other shopping sites have been removed after a photo-sharing service changed its terms.

Ebay and Etsy have also been affected, in addition to many forums and blogs.

The problem has been caused by Photobucket introducing a charge for allowing images hosted on its platform to be embedded into third-party sites.

The company caught many of its members unaware with the change, prompting some to accuse it of holding them to ransom.

Denver-based Photobucket is now seeking a $399 (£309) annual fee from those who wish to continue using it for "third-party hosting" and is facing a social media backlash as a consequence.

The BBC received an automated response when it tried to contact the company and is still seeking comment.

Policy switch

Photobucket has been online since 2003 and says it has more than 100 million customers and more than 15 billion images on its servers.

Part of its attraction with small retailers was the fact that its ad-supported "free" accounts could be used to upload images of goods to a single destination from where they could be pushed to multiple outlets.

On 26 June, however, the company published a brief note advising users to "take a moment to review our updated terms and policies".

About 500 words into the linked document was a declaration that free accounts would no longer permit image-linking to third-party sites.

Many users realised the change only when their embedded images were replaced by graphics saying their Photobucket accounts needed to be updated.

Devon-based seller vintage store Retro 2 Go, which sells its goods on eBay, was one of those affected.

"I have quite a bit of editing to do," the store's owner, Gigha Klinkenborg, told the BBC.

"A bit of notice would not have been unreasonable to expect. I have deleted my accounts and would not use [Photobucket] again."

'Held to ransom'

Some sellers unwilling to pay the fee have handled the change by uploading their product photos to a rival service.

But the new policy has also affected historical social media posts, blogs and forums that were reliant on Photobucket.

One of those affected is Stampboards, a forum with more than 17,000 members who discuss postage stamps and share images of them.

Many of its pages are now filled with Photobucket's upgrade demands instead of the photos of stamps it once showed.

"They are holding you to ransom," the site's administrator, Glen Stephens, told members, advising them not to pay the fee.

"You have no guarantee they will be in business in a month, the way this disaster is rolling out."
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One British digital marketing company said it was understandable that Photobucket had wanted to become less reliant on ads, but criticised the service for both the sums it was seeking and the way it had gone about the move.

"It came out of the blue," blogged Runcorn's Aqueous Digital.

"There were no announcements, no emails warning people that it was about to happen and more importantly, no explanation.

"Bulletin boards across the globe are being crippled as previously vibrant threads with detailed images are disappearing.

"People who have used Photobucket for hosting these images successfully for over 10 years are finding that they will have to literally start again with what for some, amounts to a lifetime's work."
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But one expert said the public needed to be aware of the risks of relying on any free image service.

"There's a lot of websites out there looking for advertising, and there's a finite amount of advertising spending to go round," said Nigel Atherton, editor of Amateur Photographer magazine.

"And any photo gallery and storage site like this that relies on ads to offer a free service can only continue to do so if they have enough money coming in.

"So, if you put all your photos into any site or app like this where it's not clear how they are going to continue financing their business, then it could come back and bite you at some point in the future."
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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by JonEboy »

Nice coverage traralgon3844 and a good Stampboards mention.

I wonder who this 'Runcorn's Aqueous Digital' are though :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by Global Administrator »

JonEboy wrote:
I wonder who this 'Runcorn's Aqueous Digital' are though :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Jon
My inquiries lead me to a bunch of dodgy looking Pommies - possibly parolees on work experience, or football hooligans etc ......... :mrgreen:

http://www.aqueous-digital.co.uk/meet-the-team

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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by JonEboy »

Global Administrator wrote: possibly parolees on work experience, or football hooligans
http://www.aqueous-digital.co.uk/meet-the-team
or both...... :lol: :lol:

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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by MargoZ »

The parolees and soccer hooligans have hit News Limited!

http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/technology/amazon-eb ... e6ec2520c6

Amazon, eBay images held to ‘ransom’ by Photobucket
JULY 5, 20179:51PM

A POPULAR website used by sellers on auction sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and Gumtree is facing a growing backlash for effectively demanding a “ransom” from its members.

Photobucket, a US-based image and video-hosting website founded in 2003, quietly changed its policy late last month to prevent users from hosting their content on third-party websites unless they pay a $US400 ($526) annual fee.

Members who used the previously free service to store their content for use on auction sites, blogs and internet forums have discovered their images replaced with a message asking them to “update your account”.

No warning was given, but the company posted a brief blog post on June 26 announcing an “update to our terms of service”, with the change buried towards the end of the article.

The move means more than a decade worth of images hosted all over the internet have suddenly turned into broken links unless members sign up for one of Photobucket’s “competitive subscription plans”.

“Photobucket have killed the internet ... Well done,” wrote Twitter user Wevsky. “I want to know why you think it’s cool to destroy a decade worth of posts on many forums and expect people to be held to ransom for £399.”

Andrea H. tweeted: “Soooo angry! I have five years of blog posts that are ruined now.” Evelien added: “My blog looks like s***. Thousands of articles — SEVEN years of work.”

Colin Graham wrote: “Congrats on successfully committing corporate suicide. Wouldn’t it have been less messy to simply shut down altogether?”

Twitter user Spammals described it as “how to destroy a business overnight”. “Even if you revert the change it’s too late,” they wrote. “The damage is now done and it grows worse every second.”

Many likened it to recent ransomware attacks which lock victims out of their own computer systems until they pay up. “Anyone else surprised Photobucket isn’t offering Bitcoin as the only method of payment?” asked Twitter user McMike.

User Superfuture wrote: “We now have 3.2 million forum posts from 2003 littered with your ransom images. This has to be illegal. Hello all class action lawyers.”

Stefan Bosman tweeted: “Thank you for all the good years I’ve had with your product. Now deleted my account due to the $400 blackmail. Good way to go out of business.”

Photobucket, which claims to have more than 100 million members and 15 billion hosted images, has not responded to the growing backlash save for a few tweets.

“Thank you for all of the recent feedback and questions,” the company tweeted on Sunday. “We are trying our best to respond quickly and thank you for your patience :).”

A day earlier, it tweeted: “Want to know more about 3rd party hosting? Check out our FAQs.”

UK-based vintage store Retro 2 Go, which sells goods on eBay, was one of those affected. “I have quite a bit of editing to do,” the store’s owner told the BBC. “A bit of notice would not have been unreasonable to expect. I have deleted my accounts and would not use [Photobucket] again.”

On Reddit, one user wrote that while Photobucket was “absolutely entitled to change their business model whenever they feel like it”, the way the company handled it would “go down as one of the great customer-service f***-ups in internet history”.

“Folks, you’re witnessing the death of an internet business,” another user wrote. “This is the kind of screw up a company never really recovers from.”

Another wrote that “you can’t even begin to imagine what this will mean to internet forums and blogs”. “Older internet users remember what a dumpster fire the internet was when Angelfire, Geocities, and Tripod stopped offering free hosting,” they wrote.

“Broken links everywhere and it was the exact same cause, they started out to give everyone free hosting, but they reached critical mass as more people signed up for the free than the paid.”

In a blog post, marketing firm Aqueous Digital described it as a “case study on how not to do it”. “Not only did they dump this on their users with zero notice but they are compounding the issue with their communications, or lack of them,” the company wrote.

“From a commercial point of view, there must have been a growing imperative to step away from a model primarily reliant on advertising. With a growth in customer numbers and an increase in bandwidth usage, their cost base must have been spiralling. It’s a byproduct of their success.

“The solution however surely was not what they have come up with? Firstly, why make the change with no notice? Why simply change overnight and then dump on your customers? Secondly, how on earth did they arrive at their pricing point? When so many people use their service specifically for third-party hosting and nothing else, why provide this service only at the highest price point you have?”

Photobucket was acquired by Fox Interactive Media in 2007, but in 2009 was sold by Fox parent company News Corp, publisher of news.com.au, to Seattle-based mobile start-up Ontela.

frank.chung@news.com.au
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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by JonEboy »

MargoZ wrote:The parolees and soccer hooligans have hit News Limited!
Well, I'm definitely calling us a Global success now :D

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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by Global Administrator »

stampboards.com has given IMGUR $ millions of free advertising this week.

If you search google for "photobucket ransom" this News Corporation link comes up first -

https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/technology/amazon-eb ... e6ec2520c6
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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by Global Administrator »

A vague glimmer of common sense has emerged from photobucket today. :idea:

For the 10 years I have had a photobucket account, I always paid the pittance $20 or so a year to have it ad free, and the few small extra features that came with it, as I believe that all very useful sites like this deserve some modest funding by users, so they can remain commercially viable.

For the cost of a pizza a year to have my images hosted free was certainly worth something to me. 80% of photobucket users of course did not agree, and hence we have the current issue of blacked out accounts from most members, as they hit cash flow problems.

I did the same to IMGUR, and paid $20 or so a year for a "PRO"account, for some years but the CEO refunded all such payments 2 years back to all payees, very oddly. Whether photobucket, Wikipedia or Gixen, or other Bulletin Boards I use etc, I donate something, and always feel -
"There Is No Such Thing In Life As A Free Lunch"
Sadly most stamp collectors do not share that view, and of course all their images are now held to ransom. (Someone laughingly told me if stampboards had a PayPal "DONATE" button, we'd probably only raise $13.47 a year! They'd collapse if they saw our web hosting costs.) But those who paid a tiny Photobucket annual fee in the past have not been affected in the current purge.

Indeed they are being "grandfathered" by photobucket it seems today, and given many months grace for unlimited 3rd party hosting, until their pre-paid support runs out, or they can get 6 months free on the US$399pa ransom.
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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by Global Administrator »

Folks, EVERY member, and certainly EVERY volunteer here, should immediately click on these links and install these instant add-ons -

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/photobucket-hotlin ... apbifiaedg

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/photobucket-fix

These cunning codes then let you "see" every blocked Photobucket image, making the saving of them 10 times faster!

Can't see if any such clever hacks for IE/Edge or Safari exist if so - add them here please. :mrgreen:
= = = = =

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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by Global Administrator »

For those of us like me, who always did the right thing, and supported them over many years, via a PAID for Photobucket account in the past, I just got this rather Pidgin English warning below today - :twisted: :twisted:

Until NOW, all the 10,000s of images from myself and Margo's separate paid account all showed here fine - everywhere on the board. In a month they too will be Ransom Wheel victims. :evil:

If these Morons had simply asked all members who posted images on Bulletin Boards etc, to sign up for the same 'Plus 20 PRO' plan we had - I think it was $US29.99 a year - most of them would have, hence almost no loss of face of clients to photobucket, and a vast ocean of money rolls in - FAR more than they ever got from the $525 ransomware Gangsta demand they decided upon, with no advance notice.

So we must pay the $525 or no-one can see our images - no other lower cost option. CRAZY.

Photobucket had over 100 MILLION unique registered members, who had loaded more than 10 billion images. Even if only HALF paid up $US29.99 a year, we are talking $US1.5 BILLION dollars instant revenue a year. AND higher, and better grade ad revenue too! WIN-WIN.

This will go down along with "The New Coke" as the dumbest American Corporate Decision for some decades. Photobucket will be totally out of business in a year I predict - all over this one dopey move.

Some members here paid the $525 ransom - as one member put it, he had 1000s of ebay listings using PB as the image base, and that needed 100s of hours work to swap over, that so he paid, and for all future new listings he will use someone else. In a year most of the past ones have sold, and he drops PB, and many current payers of the $525 Photobucket Ransom will copy him, so their revenue going forward is near zero. No ad revenue, and no user revenue. Clever stuff!

Their ALEXA rating has fallen a massive 800 positions so far, and their ad revenue will have dried up near totally. Brilliant master plan.

They have needed to stoop to accepting the lowest level of ad content - and Wikipedia reports they now have excessive pop-up ads, scams, clickbait advertisements, and in some cases viruses embedded in ads.

Photobucket are based in Denver Colorado, and the Better Business Bureau there had a number of complaints re this Ransom move to which photobucket repeatedly refused to respond, and the BBB gave them their lowest Corporate rating possible - an "F".

This is today's missive, written in almost English -


Hi Glen,

This message is to inform you that we discontinued the Plus 20 plan in June of this year. We have grandfathered your expired plan for several months as a convenience.

In order to keep your account current and all of your content available, we are asking that you migrate over to one of our current Plus plan offerings.

Failure to do so within 30 days will result in your billing to be suspended, and your account will be reverted to a free account.

If you have any questions about your account or which of our current offerings is right for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thanks,
Sebastian,

your personal account manager

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Re: ** WARNING ** if you use PHOTOBUCKET you MUST read this

Post by JonEboy »

Global Administrator wrote:....please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Thanks,
Sebastian,
your personal account manager
Nothing quite annoys me like this abuse of the English language :twisted: . How about 'call or email us'. What was so wrong with these terms that they needed to be morphed into 'reach out'?

I'd like to 'reach out' to this mob but in a more old fashioned sense of the words :lol:

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