I got an answer with a screen shot out of the documentation for the program I was asking about. In the comment thread below, the person who posted the screen shot seems to be alleging that screen shots are preferred over links due to link rot. The wording seems to me to imply that this is site policy (the "we" in particular). Is that really the case?


Screenshots or any image inserted using the "insert image" button will be automatically uploaded to a dedicated Stack Exchange account on Imgur. So long as the answer lives and receives some views then the image is likely to be available longer than the source page that it came from.

In most cases I would personally prefer the source to be inserted as inline text as it allows for better searchability, but in this case the formatting would be difficult to preserve so an image works and it is a bit of a coin toss as to which way you go.

At the very least we do prefer the content to be mirrored here in some form as the internet in general does change quite a lot and we do end up deleting a good deal of answers that were nothing more than a link. Links go dead and those answers are then useful to no one at all, having the content here provides some future proofing.

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    Sort of makes you wonder the reason Stackexchange does not have its own image hosting functionality ( a justified reason isn't hard to guess ) but one could extend the link rot problem to the situation where Imgur stops existing and thus the answer in question would just be a dead link :$ – Ramhound Jul 6 '15 at 19:08
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    You would assume that were Imgur to announce bankruptcy or that they were otherwise discontinuing the service then the contract would state that Stack Exchange would be guaranteed to be provided some means to access their content or backup thereof. Other than that it's much the same as any other case for outsourcing vs doing it in house. – Mokubai Jul 6 '15 at 19:21
  • I was just being sort of being cynical. Imgur indeed is likely to offer a period of time to transfer everything, which is the reason I always reupload an images there for users. Does lead to an interesting what came first the chicken or the egg type problem. – Ramhound Jul 7 '15 at 1:56

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