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Web Etiquette For Newbies

Hotlinking images is bad. Hotlinking images is defined as using the graphic image of an external site in your own code. If you work off the assumption that the hotlinker doesn't know that what they're doing is a bad thing, Redstate gives a text book example of how to deal with a sites that hotlink your images...

Click image to see in context

There's a word for that... The word is:


It's all fine and good to give a hotlinker a break, but the best way to turn newbie hotlinkers into respectable Interweb citizens is a dose of public embarrassment.

The Huffington Post probably got the message...

Update: Several items worth mentioning...

  1. According to e-mails I got from both Mike Krempsasky and Andrew Breitbart, the folks at Redstate got a very nice apology from The Huffington Post team.

  2. Based on some question in the comment section and via e-mail contact, that point of the story (What is "hotlinking," and why is it bad?) seems to be of interest.

  3. Additionally the point wasn't to punish anyone at HuffPo, but to use the incident to raise awareness overall. In that regards including the name of the HuffPo author (Newswire stories carry no byline) was a mistake on my part. It served no purpose other than to show that I could unearth it. Though it's now removed, I'm sorry I originally published the author name.

  4. The rest of the comments concern the p0wn3d vs pwn3d debate. I'll just say without the "0" it doesn't work for me visually...

  5. Some have suggested using "vivid" pictures if your images are being hotlinked - a time honored FARK tradition. Wikipedia has a big collection if that's your thing...


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Web Etiquette For Newbies:

» HundredPercenter linked with HUFFINGTON IS HOT-LINKING

» the evangelical outpost linked with A Lesson in Web Etiquette for the Huffington Post

» Reasoned Audacity linked with Max Blumenthal Gets A Lesson In Web Etiquette

Comments (15)

Maybe she was just trying t... (Below threshold)

Maybe she was just trying to be like Drudge, the biggest hotlinker of them all.

Those huge investors didn't... (Below threshold)

Those huge investors didn't invest enough, apparently.

actually, i think the prope... (Below threshold)

actually, i think the proper spelling is "Pwn3d"... but i could be wrong

Google says <a href="http:/... (Below threshold)

Google says p0wn3d is pretty good...

This <a href="http://www.ur... (Below threshold)

This history of "pwn3d" suggests that Daniel is, er, righter than Kevin on its correct spelling, the reason being that Daniel's spelling is explained by the "typo" history, while Kevin's is not so easily explained.

On the equiquette of hotlinking, I understand some of Redstate's point, but not all of it. Stealing bandwidth can cost the victim money, so that's obvious. But it seems that hotlinking is less likely to steal "credit" than copying the file and offering it locally. Readers are going to know where the hotlinked file came from. In fact, hotlinking leaves the linkee with the option to pull the file -- in effect, to revoke the license -- which copying does not do.

I think the argument against it hangs on the the poaching of bandwidth, rather than the swiping of credit, which is no more probable in the hotlinking of images than otherwise.

"Readers are going to know ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Readers are going to know where the hotlinked file came from. In fact, hotlinking leaves the linkee with the option to pull the file -- in effect, to revoke the license -- which copying does not do."

Depends what is being hotlinked, whether or not it is obvious where it came from, but overall I agree that the real issue is the stealing of the bandwidth.

Just Me is right. Most ima... (Below threshold)

Just Me is right. Most images that are hotlinked are just something the hotlinker thought was funny, ironic, etc., such as a cartoon, and those viewing it are not likely to click it and find its true source or author.

I looked at the other image... (Below threshold)

I looked at the other images on the site ... it looks like the Huffington Post makes a practice of stealing other people's images and bandwidth, not even crediting them.

I especially curious about images from traditional media sites ... did the Huffington Post secure permission from those outlets before using the images?


They should have changed th... (Below threshold)

They should have changed the image to Goatse.cx

It is definitely "pwned". ... (Below threshold)

It is definitely "pwned".

It derived from the common ... (Below threshold)

It derived from the common mistyping of "owned".

UMMMMM.Did you guy... (Below threshold)


Did you guys look at the blogroll on the Huffington Report blog? It's pretty offensive.

Vokapundit: http://vodkapundit.blogspot.com/
should be: http://vodkapundit.com/

WindsOfChange: http://billmon.org/
should be: http://www.windsofchange.net/

It's all outlined on this blog: http://aarons.cc/2005/05/22/2441/

Bizzare. Specially since one of the people working on the Huffington Report used to sub for Matt Drudge, so you'd think he'd know his ass from a hole in the ground.

But evidently not.

If I include someone's imag... (Below threshold)

If I include someone's image in a page, their server will receive a request for that image coming from my page. If they then return that image, aren't they giving permission for that image to be contained in the page?

The alternative is to request permission to hotlink or to copy the image to your server.

And, another alternative is just to copy the image to your server without permission. Overall, it would seem the first two are better, or at least more legally defensible, than the third.

Kevin: Interesting post. I... (Below threshold)
Carrick Talmadge:

Kevin: Interesting post. I disagree slightly here: ... but to use the incident to raise awareness overall. In that regards including the name of the HuffPo author (Newswire stories carry no byline) was a mistake on my part. Posting the author's name did serve a constructive role, even if your motives (gasp!) were less than pure.

I can't argue of course with your motivations. However, I see absolutely no reason to apologize. In my opinion, there were two transgressions: 1) the author hotlinked an image and was bitch-slapped for it and 2) didn't follow web etiquette by not including his name. In my opinion, the web demands greater transparency and hence greater accountability.

In my view, your including the author's name since posting it had the effect of pushing the author to hold to the high level of accountability of the web. When you make mistakes, you post the correction along with your name. The people at the HuffPo have a lot to learn, I think.

In the context of Newsweek, I think the argument goes that in addition to the word-smith there is a research staff and editorial staff who deserve credit for their contribution to the story, so why single out just one person. There is no such logic that applies to personal posts on a blog. Leaving your name off there resembles an act of cowardice and should be reacted to.

Instapundit's "give the new... (Below threshold)

Instapundit's "give the newbies a break" remark is laughable. Actually, quite tragic.






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