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Lately I noticed a pattern on several answers on this website. People add images to their answers which do not add anything to them except working as an eyecatcher:

I really don't feel like downvoting these answers because otherwise they are perfectly on-topic and helpful. I edited the second answer to remove the image (which in fact the author literally described as "Possible rep-hoarding assistant" in the sourcecode), but the original author just edited it back in and I really don't feel like going into an edit war about this.

Should we have a policy regarding which kind of images are allowed in answers?

  • 4
    It's mainly done as a joke. I like to add images to spice up what could otherwise be a boring wall of text... to get the reader's attention. A lot of people seemed to have liked it, and others have described it as a as a variation of "rep-hoarding assistant," so I went with it as a joke. Also, some of the exploits make hulk angry... – Mark Buffalo Mar 16 '16 at 16:32
  • Also, I've since removed the Schwarzenegger image since it's causing so many issues. – Mark Buffalo Mar 16 '16 at 16:45
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    @MarkBuffalo - memes are crass, don't fall into the same trap as Stack Overflow team members. An image should aid in conveying your thought and not be a point of cognitive dissonance... – Deer Hunter Mar 19 '16 at 11:49
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    Example 2 has already had its image removed. See its revision #12 for the original example. – Adam Katz Mar 22 '16 at 5:22
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I disagree and believe it does matter - for the same reason that "thanks" and "hi" are removed from post across the network: adding pointless images that do not convey any message directly related to the post they're contained within is noise that doesn't improve (or actively decreases) the quality of the content.

The purpose of Stack Exchange to make finding quality answers to your questions easier, improving the signal to noise ratio by removing everything that isn't relevant to the post.

See also:

14

Sometimes people add pictures because they are trying to get the stress out of a situation, and their sense of humour tells them that a picture is the way to go.

In general, a bit of humour is not only acceptable but often welcome. The danger is in overdoing it. I.e., being funny is good as long as you are funny. In your two linked example, I would say that the Jackie Chan picture is reasonable; the Schwarzenegger one is not (for one, it happens too early in the answer).

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    FINE. It's removed, but Jackie stays! – Mark Buffalo Mar 16 '16 at 16:40
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Bottom line: it doesn't really matter.

Some people like to spice up their wall'o'text with some eye candy. Some people will be 100% verbal until it kills them.

Either way, people are free to stylize and spice their posts as they wish (within certain bounds of decency), much as they would their own blog. It takes a village, you know.

As long as the images (and styles for that matter) do not directly detract from readability, and are not overwhelming (and of course are not offensive, or plagiarized, or or or... well, common sense is always required), let the lying dogs sleep. It doesn't really require an edit on someone else's post.

Of course, you are free to put your own dogs to sleep however you wish. Or not.
As long as there are cat pics.

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