Imgur Great Content Purge

Starting straight from the Gizmodo headline: Imgur bans NSFW Content, Begins Purge. Doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Back in the early heyday of reddit, imgur was created by a sole developer attempting to offer an image hosting solution to a budding reddit in the wake of Digg’s utter collapse. This site has grown massively in the intervening 15 years due to the ease of posting images anonymously, without an account. It was also a major hosting haven for reddit’s burgeoning NSFW subreddits and relevant communities.

Unfortunately, this bastion of free information on the internet is about to begin a major clampdown:

Quoting from Imgur’s official statement which you can read in full here:

Our new Terms of Service will go into effect on May 15, 2023. We will be focused on removing old, unused, and inactive content that is not tied to a user account from our platform as well as nudity, pornography, & sexually explicit content. You will need to download/save any images that you wish to save if they no longer adhere to these Terms. Most notably, this would include explicit/pornographic content.

This of course is going to be majorly disruptive to NSFW subreddits but additionally its going to wipe out huge amounts of historic information from the first eight or so years of reddit’s life. Until reddit made their own image hosting platform in 2016, Imgur was the de facto standard for uploads. Now all kinds of information from old photos, charts, infographics, guides, albums and so on will be lost forever unless forces act to archive them quickly. But archiving them is not always easy, especially since many folks have abandoned accounts and move on.

In my opinion this a dark day for the internet and its continued but unfortunate enshittification to borrow Mr. Cory Doctorow’s term.