Since the new forum was completed, we haven’t had to worry about hotlinking images from places like Photobucket, however many of the old threads from before the changeover have images linked from people’s photobucket accounts. I do, and all of my images are fine (I guess because I have a paid account at photobucket?), but many others are not. I am not sure exactly what the problem is, other than maybe a policy change at Photobucket where free-user’s images are blocked if they exceed a certain amount of activity or hotlinking? I don’t know, but some of the images are fine, and some are not. I suspect this to be a ploy by Photobucket to get more paid members since paying their annual fee seems to alleviate this concern. The need from this as far as they probably feel is that they are continually losing revenue due to so many new forums like ours having built-in photo hosting, which is the standard these days. Glad we have it now anyway.
It has been suggested that users should download their album ASAP lest photobucket crash and your images are lost. They also apparently have some issues with malware, viruses, or other things at their site.