Twitpic to vanish, taking 800 million images with it


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(in the “Khaaaaaan!” style)


I’m having GeoCities flashbacks.


Shit! I’m going to lose zero pictures!


You call, and are assured they’ll send you your prints, at least. But all that arrives in your mailbox is an empty envelope–or perhaps one containing a rag soaked in cat piss.

This is what’s about to happen with twitpic, for years the go-to service for posting photos to Twitter, and the people in charge appear to be doing what they can to prevent the Internet Archive preserving the database and to deny users functional archive access to their own uploads.

Did twitpic ever assure people they would always have access to their photos? And if the photos people uploaded were so important, one would have thought the uploaders would have saved copies locally.

Pre-internet establishments also went bankrupt and/or closed, which frequently involved people losing out on servies they had already paid actual money for and were contractually entitled to receive goods/services for. Pretty outrageous, I know.

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LUCKY!!! I want an envelope containing cat piss rags delivered to my mailbox! Does Twitpic offer this service to anyone?


Just order Daily Mail like everybody else. :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m not sure every bit we produce should be preserved forever, archaeology wouldn’t be much fun if there was no mystery involved. Won’t someone think of the archaeologists 3000 years from now?

They deserve to have a debate over whether we worship cats, or just think they’re really goddamn funny.



My friend Steve has this really big thumb flash drive thing, can’t we just download to that?


Isn’t the point of the article that, yes, the failure of businesses is a known problem, but, unlike with brick-and-mortar establishments, this is a problem of bits, not atoms, and there’s a group actively trying to copy these bits for the betterment of the user community? And the TwitPic people are saying stuff you, we won’t help?


I had a couple of dozen pics up and - as twitpic offered to send them - I gave their recovery offer a whirl, expecting image files and not actual prints (I’m a reasonable person). The response indicated it might take a while and I gave up refreshing for any sign of a download link after a several attempts. I believe the link to a zip finally turned up about 24 hours later. Downloaded from chrome on windows, the zip saved as a few Mb but opened up blank.

Which was weird1.

Luckily, 7zip revealed and extricated the paltry contents without bother.

So there’s that2.

(1,2) Only two TWMs used in this post.

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Those of you who are saying that you can at least get your own pics are missing the point. This breaks a whole lot of links to these pics, and makes them unrecoverable without help from the original poster (assuming the original poster even knows about it).

I really wish they’d just let mirror their whole site. Problem at least partially solved, since you can at least look up the pic you can no longer see directly on the Twitter feed.


Is it really for the betterment of the user community that someone I’ve never agreed to deal with hosts all my photos with no way for me to remove them?


Yes. Same thing happened when posterous bit the dust. No practical way of re-establishing links to cross-posted articles containing images, or other material, hosted on posterous. All the dead links on other blogs resulted in those blogs being made effectively de-googlable since too many broken links make it a locus-non-grata.

Had adopted them, I daresay it would have been a simple matter to process each surviving blog and re-url there. Some solutions were offered, but it would still have been an awful lot of hassle.

Where did you get that idea? The Internet Archive has a removal policy just like any other host:


There was actually a grab of Posterous by ArchiveTeam. I believe that it’s more or less complete. I’m not sure whether all of it has been imported into the Wayback Machine yet, though.

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There’s nothing worse than a bored archaeologist.

Even if they didn’t, I’m sure their users just thought it was implied. Nobody uses a services thinking it’s going to shutter. And if they felt their photos were that important to worry about, I’m sure they archived them on their own.

I still remember both of my 4 digit GeoCities “addresses” and “street names”(TimesSquare and Hollywood). Unfortunately, both were part of the group that didn’t manage to get archived. My dancing babies, over-sized webring images and blinking comic-sans headers are in the big intertubez in the sky. :frowning: