The website’s users criticized the company for basically demanding “ransom” to get their photos back. The website which was founded 14 years ago, silently changed its policy to bar users from posting content hosted on the site on third-party websites such as Amazon, unless they pay $400 per year.
Photobucket users who used the service to host the photos they needed for their auctions, internet forums, and blogs saw their pictures replaced by a message demanding to update their accounts.
The whole thing happened without previous warning, but the site announced an update to its terms of service in a blogpost dated June 26. The controversial change featured at the end of the post.
Users Take to Twitter to Voice Frustration
The policy update means that millions of images hosted on the Internet will appear as broken links unless their owners change to a paid Photobucket subscription plan.
Photobucket have killed the internet … Well done,
tweeted one disgruntled user.
That user also wanted to know why would a free service now hold the photos of so many users to ransom for $400 a year. Another user noted that she has five years of ‘ruined’ blogposts because the photos were hosted on the site. “My blog looks like s***. Thousands of articles — SEVEN years of work,” another blogger tweeted.
Many users consider the move to be “corporate suicide” as the harm grows worse every second even if it’s reversed. Other users see an association between Photobucket’s change of policy and ransomware attacks that ask user to pay a ransom to get their files and devices back.
Image Source: Printscreen