I saw that this answer now has a single hot linked 8 MB GIF.
If I understand correctly, anyone viewing this page will have their device sent to Wikipedia to download the image promptly.
8M isn't a lot for most people, but we have many people viewing the site on phones (both using the app and from browsers) who have low data rates and some with very limited data plans.
Four 2MB pngs using imgur already gets to 8 MB so I don't think this crosses a line, but a 100 MB hot linked GIF could devastate some user's data allowance for a month. We have readers from all over the planet. I've done this in the past and received several complaints, so I try to switch to JPGs or use the imgur resizing feature which can display smaller images while allowing a clickable full-sized option.
- Is hot linking to images in Wikipedia okay for medium sized images, as long as they aren't "too large" (see item #2)
- What's a reasonable size cutoff for hot linked images, at what point would a GIF be considered unacceptably large and impolite to hot link in a post?
- Is hot linking to images hosted on random sites besides Wikipedia okay as long as they are not "too large" (see item #2)