I was trying to insert a link to an image in my question, but it says

Links cannot contain <IP address> (try a nonnumeric domain or wrap it in a code block)

enter image description here

Because it should show up as an image, I don't want it to be a code block. It should help people understand my question, not make it harder.

I also don't want to misuse one of my domain names just for SuperUser, because it simply doesn't belong to one of the domains. Yes, I know, I could simply register on one of the thousands of image hosters, but why should I do that if I have my own server?

What's wrong in linking an IP address? Actually I think it worked before, because I see that I have uploaded other pictures there already (but maybe it was for StackOverflow).

  • 1
    Why not embed the picture in the question? Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 18:48
  • 3
    Ideally, you should be using SU's image upload functionality. That way, you won't break the post when the images get removed from your own server.
    – Bob
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 18:48
  • @Raystafarian: I am trying to embed using ![comment](URL) syntax Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 18:54
  • No that's a link. I meant upload like @Bob said. Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 18:54
  • @Bob: ok, uploading works (see my updated question above). I think I'll use this approach from now on. But anyway, the question remains. Using a domain name is allowed, but it could also be broken if I unregister the domain. Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 19:03
  • 4
    I'm not sure enough about this to post a proper answer, but it's much easier for a reference to an IP address to break rather than to a domain. Doesn't even require a service to disappear, just a minor infrastructure change. Sure, links to images hosted on domains might break as well, but it strikes a balance between requiring i.stack.imgur and letting anyone link anywhere. Plus, users might link to files on their local network, not understanding the limited access, and use of IP addresses is much more likely there.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 19:14
  • 2
    IMHO the site should only ever accept embedded images from i.stack.imgur.com, the official image host of SE that permanently keeps all images linked to by SE content. It's a potential security issue (CSRF/XSS/HPP, for instance) to allow someone to make anyone who visits a question on SE to perform an arbitrary HTTP request anywhere on the internet. Not all HTTP GET requests are idempotent and harmless, and not all web apps are secure by design. Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 19:15
  • 2
    See this MSO post for some more information on this decision. You're welcome to raise the issue of allowing image links like this, but since there's an easy and better way, I doubt any action will be taken.
    – Bob
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


I think part of the reason is 'security' and more importantly the prevention of link rot. What if you move servers? You can't point the ip address to your new server as easily as you could a domain name.

In addition, SE has an agreement with imgur to host images - this means images you have uploaded here never go down. Its much better than brittle personal hosting.

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