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Idea: Automatically download and embed+store external images


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Hi guys, as I'm preparing for the upgrade to 4.4 series from 3.4 I was browsing my forums' topics feeling nostalgia like never before but some of that experience was ruined by non-existing images.

You know, when people create posts they embed images they host onto various imagehosting sites which come and go (remember how popular was imageshack.us and how much images it took down with it when it went premium?) so I'm sitting here and thinking that this doesn't have to be for much longer.

Isn't there a way that for example the following could be done for IPS:

1. a member posts/embeds an external image within a post and the post goes live
2. a cron job that runs once a day like at dawn takes all those external images, uploads them into the forums' server and changes the URL in the post so it would then load image from the server
3. OR just do the #2 automatically in real-time when posting happens
4. Images stay forever in topics and discussions are never broken, tutorials are never incomplete, memories preserved.

However I have concerns. Can such tactic be used for virus spreading linking malicious code with jpg extentions and whatnot?

A tool to browse such automatically imported images would be also nice and even setting some restrictions not to download extremely large images which are bigger than X megabytes. And also if a topic or post is deleted which has an imported image associated with it - then the image also gets deleted not to take up the space.

Are there any more weaknesses here?

Lets discuss.

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