Imgur returning 403 Forbidden when referer is newsblur.com

  • 4
  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
I'm subscribed to a couple of subreddits through newsblur, and recently when I've been trying to click through on image links where the image is hosted on imgur, the image just fails to load.

I found out that the response coming back from imgur is a 403 Forbidden status. I copied the HTTP request from the chrome dev tools as a curl request and ran it in terminal and had the same issue, but removing the referer header ('Referer: http://www.newsblur.com/site/6540/funny') seemed to resolve the issue.

This issue also only seems to occur when the link URL is pointing directly to the image file (file extension included). Removing the image file extension from the URL and going to the imgur comments page for the image works fine.

Admittedly, this is possibly more of an issue with imgur than with newsblur, but this is still a problem for you and your users, because they seem to be blocking the newsblur domain as a referer.
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Martin Price

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  • confused

Posted 4 years ago

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chrisr

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I've noticed this too, but couldn't figure out the source of the problem. Thanks for posting.
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chrisr

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Here's a screenshot of the chrome devtools netork tab. You can see some JS loading, but the actual file itself results in a 403. Same URL loads fine in an Incognito window.
(Edited)
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Ambirex

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I am fairly certain that this is http referral blocking, I sent a request to Imgur support to add "newsblur.com" to their whitelist.
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chrisr

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I went ahead and requested too. Support form is here.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Excellent, thank you Ambirex!
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Ambirex

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Not a perfect solution but I installed "Referer Control" (for Chrome) - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/referer-control/hnkcfpcejkafcihlgbojoidoihckciin and blocked "i.imgur.com" referrer headers and it now works for me.
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chrisr

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Extension works great. I was trying to hold out on adding yet another extension, but who knows when this will be fixed. Thanks for the tip.
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ojiikun

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and FWIW, this one has worked for me in Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/refcontrol/
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chrisr

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yep...I re-enabled this extension and it works like a charm now.
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chrisr

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This is still an issue with the desktop browser version. Doesn't seem to affect the mobile versions tho. 
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chrisr

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Anyone else seeing this issue again? Deep links to i.imgur.com aren't loading. Same link clicked from elsewhere or pasted works fine. I'm going to submit a whitelist request as we did above again.
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chrisr

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got a reply back from imgur...

Thank you for waiting. The team has taken the time to review the site further and agree that any TOS infractions have been cleared up and we feel unblocking the website is warranted. Please allow up to 24 hours for this change to roll over. We do apologize for any inconveniences.