In a question such as this including a link to an image essential to the understanding the question, is it appropriate to edit the question so that the image will show without following the link, like this?

PS: after I started to write this question (but before I posted it), user figlesquidge did just what I was considering to do (I then modified the links in the present question). I'm not implying the change is wrong, much to the contrary.


2 Answers 2


I would say not only is is appropriate, it should be encouraged. You never know when the image will change or be moved.

That said, we did have problems in the past of someone posting images for which we subsequently received a takedown notice. We can argue the legality of it all day, but I think often this won't even matter as it should be covered by fair use.

That said, proper attribution should be given (a link to the original or acknowledgement to the creator).


I should clarify that I did not copy the image onto crypto.SE servers, rather I turned what was a link into an included image through the markdown version of .

Personally, whenever a question links to an image, I see two steps:

  1. Embed the image. This allows other users to read the content, and possibly solve it, without leaving the site.
  2. Copy up the image into text or indeed LaTeX as appropriate. This tends to happen a few hours later when one of the more frequent editors decides to give it the time. At this point the content becomes self-contained and all is good (unless we get a copyright request etc).

I think the best would be for the question to be self-contained straight away, and certainly it would be better if no question infringed anything resembling copyright, but the current processes seem to work.

edit: the italic section is new

  • $\begingroup$ I suppose the time to upload the image is not that much more than adding the code to inline it, is it? Why do you need two steps? $\endgroup$ Jan 10, 2014 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, that was unclear - clarified now $\endgroup$ Jan 10, 2014 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thumbs up for #2! $\endgroup$
    – e-sushi
    Jan 19, 2014 at 15:51

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