# When is it appropriate to include a picture in an answer?

In spite of this moderator edit, which removed a picture that didn't add anything to the post besides a remotely on-topic caption about strings (the post was about string concatenation, the example with cats; the picture was a cat, with a string. haha...ha.), I promised myself (and the moderator in question) that I'd be more careful in the future.

(besides it was a bad one)

So in my original answer (here), I decided to proactively remove the picture/cartoon that I wanted to put there, but the more I think of it, the more I find it could be in context. It's a [well-known/classic] cartoon that complements this following question I'm asking the OP:

What happens when authorlnf contains the value "Robert'); DROP TABLE author;--"?

...which pretty much quotes the cartoon:

As a compromise, I've decided to remove the picture but still leave a hyperlink to it.

Three questions:

1. Should I leave the cartoon in the post, or have I made the right decision by just linking to it?
2. When is it appropriate to include a picture in an answer?
3. Is it ever appropriate to use a cartoon to illustrate a point?
• Side note, I'm not really self-debating whether the cartoon was appropriate - I edited it out because I think it wasn't. But I think this question deserves to be asked, since there's this "add image" button in the toolbar of every edit screen. Nov 14 '13 at 3:06
• The easy answer seems to be: when it provides adequate and necessary support to your answer. Or if you're on meta and have single-handedly burninated an evil tag. :-)
– Jamal Mod
Nov 14 '13 at 5:01
• Side-note: I do wish I could understand that cartoon. :-(
– Jamal Mod
Nov 14 '13 at 5:14
• @Jamal if the parameter value is just a string and it's concatenated into another string that just goes "INSERT INTO [author] ([authorlnf], [authorfnf]) VALUES ('" & authorlnf & "', '" & authorfnf & "');" then by providing appropriate parameter values you can thwart the SQL insert as a user of the application, using the parameter(s) to execute malicious SQL - that's a SQL Injection Attack. See this. Nov 14 '13 at 14:15
• I'll need to study that a bit. But wait... did I ruin the joke by asking what it means? :-P
– Jamal Mod
Nov 14 '13 at 16:19
• Yeah you did - but the joke is meant to teach you something so if you don't get the joke you don't learn anything... so it's worth explaining :) and I need to study that as well, there's much more than what I thought I knew in that article! Nov 14 '13 at 17:01
• The first one about the for-loop on the chalkboard still cracks me up. Even more so considering that there were no line breaks.
– Jamal Mod
Nov 14 '13 at 17:08

Well, certain topics, such as , couldn't reasonably be discussed without inline images. Here's a blatant plug for my favourite example.

I would say that the XKCD Bobby Tables cartoon is relevant and contributes meaningfully to your answer. If the cartoon makes it just a bit more likely that a programmer somewhere will remember your advice when composing the next SQL query, then Randall Munroe himself would be proud. Go ahead and embed it. (Just be sure to include attribution to comply with XKCD's CC-BY-NC license.)

This answer on the User Experience SE also works on me — the image somehow makes an impact.

Perhaps some people find the lolcat amusing. However, I don't think it contributed to making your point. I agree with its removal.

• Or codesparkle just isn't a cat person. :-) I kid, I kid. But yeah, I agree with its removal. I also like to think that images should be kept to a minimum so as to ease page-loading for those with slow connections.
– Jamal Mod
Nov 14 '13 at 16:21
• I totally agree with the lolcat being removed, it was a stretch. Now I have reinstated the cartoon since 1) this answer is very good, and 2) my answer looks much better with it. If it ought to be removed as well, I'll leave it in the hands of moderators. @Jamal I don't think slow connections are much of an issue though. It's more about being relevant than having pity for the poor nerd stuck with a 56k dial-up connection! Nov 15 '13 at 1:43
• @Jamal Perhaps it would be possible to check with the StackExchange folks if there is any data available for which connection speeds our visitors have? Although perhaps not the effort of checking because I agree with retailcoder (and I also think that few people have 56k dial-up nowadays) Nov 17 '13 at 21:52
• @SimonAndréForsberg: I don't have such a connection speed myself, but I have to deal with some somewhat slow ones daily (not that slow, though). Then again, I suppose this would only matter if someone posted a GIF...
– Jamal Mod
Nov 17 '13 at 21:54
• You're all kidding about bandwidth being a concern, right? Stack Exchange is one of the least graphics-intensive websites around these days. Anyone on a slow or expensive link would have images disabled or be using Opera Mini. Nov 18 '13 at 2:17