Help Needed: The Horrible and Totally Preventable Image Data Loss of 2015

Chris Sevilleja
💬 comments

Hello friends. This is a little embarrassing so I'll just get right out and say the main points here:

The Problem

  • A rogue process fueled by the power of 1,000 black holes caused us to lose over 70% of our images
  • No. We did not enable backups on S3. It's not that we didn't know how to or that we should (you should always have backups), it just didn't happen for our images on S3. We do have backups for all of our database, content, and posts. Just images that were hosted on S3 are gone with the wind.
  • We need your help to grab all our images back from your local browser caches.


We've already written a script to recover 30% of the images from We are also in contact with AWS support and have put safeguards into place so that this never happens again.

Table of Contents

    How You Can Help?

    Thank you to everyone that helped send in your images. We got over a whopping 500+ kind citizens to send in their images and it's helped us immensely. We've recovered a solid chunk (over 80%) of our lost images and we can't say how grateful we are to everyone that helped. We appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks.

    We have a JS script that will download all related images from your Chrome browser's cache.

    Here are the instructions:

    1. Go copy the JS script here:
    2. Go to your Chrome cache at: <chrome://cache>
    3. Open Chrome console: ctrl + shift + j or cmd + opt + j
    4. Paste the script
    5. Press ENTER
    6. Email the newly downloaded ZIP file

    Please feel free to look through the script. It loads up jQuery and just decodes the information from the browser's cache. It will then download it to a ZIP file.

    Offline RSS Feed?

    If you subscribe to our RSS feed, and you have your RSS saved for offline mode. Hit us up ASAP. We're probably more than willing to give you more than a shirt for your help...

    What Will You Get? stickers! For your help in recovering our wayward images, we'll send off a pack of 3 of our famous stickers.

    Stickers for EVERYONE who participates and if you have a ton of our images cached, we'll get you a shirt!

    All we ask is that you grab any images from your browser's cache and send them our way!

    Seriously. Thanks for the Help.

    Hopefully with everyone that pitches in to help, we'll be able to recover the majority of our lost images.

    We'll be triple backing up everything from now on and I'll be putting it all on a hard drive and sleeping with it under my mattress.

    Thanks very much for any help and images you can muster.

    Chris Sevilleja

    173 posts

    Founder of Google Developer Expert in Web Technologies. Slapping the keyboard until something good happens.