Alden Bates (abates) wrote in suggestions,
Alden Bates

Prevent remote linking

Prevent remote linking

Short, concise description of the idea
Prevent users from making posts and comments linking to images on sites which don't like it.

Full description of the idea
Remote linking is the practice of embedding an image in a post or comment which is on a third party site. Some third party sites don't like this theft of their bandwidth and will return a 403 error, however for various reasons this doesn't always deter people. I noticed recently that has a method of preventing this and I think that it would be cool if Livejournal could implement something similar.

When a comment is posted on, the system does a test fetch of any URLs it contains, providing a suitable referrer, and (I presume) complains to the user if it gets back an error.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Increased goodwill among other websites.
  • Less users ending up with the goatse picture on their journal.
  • Can also detect broken links and warn the user.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Increased processing when posting comments and entries.
  • Slow if the end server is slow to respond.

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • When an entry or comment is posted, extract any URLs. Send a test "HEAD" request to the URL, providing "" as a referrer and an appropriate user agent. If an error is returned, let the user know they should reedit their comment to fix or eliminate the bad URL.
Tags: comments, § rejected
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