I've mentioned this before and it seemed people agreed but I heard nothing from the SE Overlords. It'd be great if we can get this addressed before graduating - we'll hopefully start attracting a lot more regular mainstream designers once we look like a proper design site, and it would suck if this problem gave them a bad first impression or deterred them from getting involved and spreading the word.

Most design questions involve images. Some completely depend on images. Even questions that aren't at all about any specific image, style or effect can usually be improved by adding an image to illustrate the sort of thing question is about.

(think of it like code in stackoverflow questions - sometimes essential, always potentially relevant, even if just as an illustration, and definitely a good practice to encourage)

The problem is, new users to this site with the initial 1 rep aren't allowed to post images. Not only that, but it's in the form of a red "error" like message saying "You need at least 10 reputation to post images." without the slightest hint of a suggested workaround (clicking on it just makes it disappear):

enter image description here

It's a big wall of "COMPUTER SAYS NO". This is bad for us for several reasons:

  • Sometimes, users think to look for image hosting sites and then post links to these. This at least means the user gets through - but even this creates tedious, unnecessary work for admins and regulars. It's potentially compromising work too, if while vetting an image you follow a link to an image on a site you don't realise is not the sort of thing you want on your work browser history. Even visiting, say, gaming sites would look bad in some workplaces.
  • There's not even any clue that sneaking images in as links like this is allowed (let alone encouraged). We have no idea how many potentially good users see this error message, think "Seriously? I can't post images on a DESIGN site?!?" and never come back.
  • It penalises good questions - it wastes the time of good new users who went to the trouble of showing what they're talking about, frustrating and blocking them for doing the right thing.
  • It discourages exactly the kind of people we most need to attract - mainstream design professionals who will usually start at 1 rep. It's a particularly unfortunate type of bad first impression to give since Stackoverflow and family already have a reputation they're trying to shake off for being (at best) fussy or (at worst) hostile or obstructive. It might sustain what is (hopefully by now) a misconception.

I have seen a few occasions where people wrote a question, added an image, got the DENIED message, then in exasperation finished the question with a lot of confused frustration and complaining and hit 'post' anyway. I'd expect at least 20 times as many people would just leave without posting and forget the site than just post a question that now makes no sense. I'm sure this does already cost us good users.

A few possible options:

  1. We do what is suggested in this Meta-Stackoverflow question - don't "COMPUTER SAYS NO" the user or force them to throw away or "sneak in" the image as a link, instead, tell them that the image will be shown when it's been vetted, post the question with a text placeholder, and put an automatic edit into the existing edit queue so regulars/moderators can approve or block the addition of the image as quickly as possible through the existing system for approving edits (without needing to follow a potentialy dodgy link to do so)
  2. We just let people post images
  3. We let people post images, and if they're below 10 rep, it gets highlighted in that moderator queue thing so the regulars/admins can edit out spam pics faster
  • 3
    My vote would be #2. If there are bad images posted, they'll be caught, edited, and flagged pretty quickly.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 22:16
  • I personally like #3 although it doesn't seem that spam abuse is worse when we allow images which I assumed was the reason for the 10 rep feature. I wouldn't foresee a problem with 2. Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 22:55
  • 1
    I personally prefer #2 or #3, I wouldn't mind having to approve images, as we don't get as many new questions a day yet. I don't know how much of a problem it could become in the future (and just how complex it is to implement, as it would require rolling a new feature).
    – Yisela
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 23:09
  • 1
    I'd prefer #3 - it'll increase the review queue but we'll catch errors pretty quickly
    – Dan Hanly
    Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 12:34
  • I couldn't agree more. I like #3 the best.
    – Hanna
    Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 22:01

2 Answers 2


We examined this issue and decided that on most sites, the restriction is doing more harm than good. The restriction has therefore simply been removed on all sites except Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Ask Ubuntu and Super User. We may revisit this list if we notice, or the moderators inform us of, unexpected issues.

The default for newly created sites is that this restriction is off – i.e., that new users are allowed to post images unless we specifically decide to reinstitute the restriction.

The privilege wiki has been updated to remove any mention of images in the "remove new user restrictions" privilege.

  • 2
    In the worlds of the immortal Mr. Burns. "Eeeexcellent."
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 17:23
  • 2
    In the words of his loyal employee, "Woohoo!" Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 19:34

I'm with you on 1 or 3, preferably 3. I think it's a good idea to auto-queue them for moderation.

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