Your Country Can Only View This Image By Logging Into ImageShack

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 7, 2011
Updated • Dec 7, 2012

ImageShack is one of the popular image hosting websites on the Internet. The service has been around for a long time and open to users from all over the world ever since it was created. Up until February of 2011 everyone was able to embed images on their own website. Visitors were able to view those images, regardless of the country they came from. This changed on February 23 when ImageShack began to enforce a new policy that separated users from "first world" countries from the rest. The change however did affect all users of the service, either directly or indirectly.

The policy changed to whom images are displayed on third party websites. Users from the US and Europe were able to see ImageShack images that were embedded on third party websites.

Users from other countries however could not see the ImageShack images anymore on those website. They would see a dummy image instead that informed them about the change with the sentence: "your country can only view this image by logging into ImageShack". To make matters worse, some webmasters noticed that the images they had embedded on their websites were replaced as well with another dummy stating "Unregistered domain. Go to to register". And this change affected users from all countries.

These are two related issues. It appears that ImageShack is checking the IP address of every user who is requesting an image that is hosted on their site. If the IP lookup reveals that the user is not coming from a country in the whitelist, the dummy image with the log in to view the image is displayed.

your country can only view this image by logging into Imageshack

Webmasters who have been using ImageShack to directly embed images on their websites that they have uploaded to the image hosting site will see a slightly different version of the frog in ice.

unregistered domain go to http imageshack com to register

This basically means that ImageShack performs two checks: They check the user's IP to see if the country is in the whitelist, and they check if the website the image is embedded on is registered.

What ImageShack Wants You To Do

ImageShack displays solutions to resolve both situations on the dummy images. Users from blacklisted countries need to register, log in and stay logged in to view images on third party websites.

Webmasters are asked to register their domain so that the replacement image is removed and the "real" images are shown on the website again. The Imageshack homepage does not link directly to the domain registration form, nor does it reveal any information about the process. The Faq and Blog do not reveal information either.

Webmasters need to visit this page to register their domains with ImageShack.

Regular users need to visit the ImageShack sign up page instead to register an account with the image hosting site.

What You Could do Instead

Webmasters have only two choices. They can register their domain name, which they should do anyway to display the images again on their website. They then have the option to use another image hosting service for future images, preferably one that is more reliable and communicative when it comes to changes that impact embedding images on third party websites.

Another option would be to move the ImageShack images to another hosting service. This option may not be practical depending on the amount of images and pages of the website. A user with 100 pages and 10 images on each would have to upload 1000 images and change the embed code on all images.

A viable hosting alternative that webmasters may want to take a look at is the image hosting service TinyPic.

Regular Internet users from blocked countries can alternatively use a web proxy, virtual private network or other tool to hide their original country so that they can view the embedded Imageshack images directly without having to register and stay logged in. Check out or web proxy listing for a start.

Possible Motives For The Change

Why did ImageShack make the change? (Please note that this is all theory, the company has not made an official statement as far as I know)

Bandwidth could be a core reason, or more precisely the bandwidth to ad revenue ratio. Ad revenue is highest for users from the US, Canada, UK, Europe (west) and some other countries. Maybe they have found out that it is not cost-effective to display images to users from other countries. Many factors do play a role here though that they would have to add to the calculation. Just look at the bandwidth consumption vs. the ad revenue would not be enough. Indirect factors, e.g. how many visitors from whitelisted countries view images on unregistered domains or the mouth to mouth advertising come to mind.

It could also be that ImageShack tries to grow their registered user base and domains that they serve, for instance to show growth and make the company more attractive to potential advertisers and buyers.

But this is all speculation on my part. The fact that stands is that ImageShack has made a change to their site that affects many users and webmasters. To make things worse, the company failed to communicate that change to their user base.

Then again, it is their good right to make changes to their service, even if it alienates a large part of their user base.

Have you been affected by the change? What were your consequences?


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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