Friday, June 30, 2017

Pretty Sleazy, Photobucket or: Why the Site Looks Like Hell

You may have noticed all the big, ugly dials and PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT notices where our site's images used to be. That URL that promises "important info"? It takes you to a whole lot of nothing, so don't waste your time checking it out. Here's what's really going on:

Most of the images on our site are hosted by a service called Photobucket. This service has been offered at no charge for as long as we've been using it. But recently, with no advance warning or notice to its customers, Photobucket pulled a fast one and blocked our site's access to our images, demanding a ransom of $400 per year to restore access. We're not the only site affected by it; lots of sites use the service for image hosting. You can read more about the whole sleazy turn of events in this post from PC World 

Photobucket's behavior couldn't be more underhanded. Of course businesses have the right to charge for their services, but a little advance notice that things were changing was the very least Photobucket could have done for its users. It's such a throat-cutting move, we have to wonder if there's not some kind of accounting scheme straight out of The Producers in play here, where the company is in a position to reap tremendous profits from its own sudden demise. After all, who could ever trust the company again?

We're not paying Photobucket's ransom, so this site (and Josh Alan Friedman's Black Cracker Online, and Rev. Branch's site, and most of our affiliated sites) will look pretty crappy while we reconfigure. Hang in there with us, we'll be back, looking better than ever. Photobucket's future, on the other hand, is looking considerably less rosy.