First, "All images whether they are characters in threads, posts in finders and keepers, or my brownies in the doormat thread must be first uploaded to the wiki." I am especially curious about the bold. I'm curious because many of us have invested much time setting up rather intricate photobucket (or other image hosting) accounts and use them regularly and have been for several years. Is there flexibility in the new rule for linking images from random sites?
Photobucket, flickr, etc, are fine. Continue to use them if it is easier. The goal of the new policy is to protect members from going to a thread in "Finders and Seekers" and downloading or displaying content from a hacked site. Most often, these are porn sites, and most commonly it happens with GIF images.
We would like users not to use sites that are not specifically hosting sites, and if they don't have their own photobucket account or want to upload something against photobucket's TOU, the wiki is there.
Second, is this edict only for unused future image posts? Meaning, if I currently have a character and post his image left aligned and have been doing this since the game began and the image is hosted on my photobucket, in my future posts am I now expected to upload this image to the wiki and alter my template code?
Yes to the first question, and see above re: photobucket for the answer to the second question.
Lastly, are the images posted on the wiki property of Elliquiy? Example, last year I posted several images from my UK trip. In 7 short days I will be on my Ireland/England trip and would like to post again. Is there a policy on the wiki that states the images are just hosted on the site and not owned (like photobucket's policy)?
Elliquiy policy has been outlined previously as "You still own it but you confer us the right to host it indefinitely". This applies almost exclusively to writing (as in, we frown on it when folks damage the writing of others by going on a deletion spree in their story threads) but we have been known to make sure tutorial images and the like stay in place, even if the tutorial author is no longer an active member. Personal photos get uploaded and deleted on the wiki all the time (I know because I'm the one that deletes them) but if you're more comfortable using photobucket, please feel free.
The policy may change or be updated in the future to accommodate the images being uploaded, but that is what it currently is.
I mean no offense at all, but I find the wiki difficult/cumbersome to manage and as far as I can tell is not a format that is intended to be a photo storage website like photobucket.
None taken - you are most certainly not the only person to feel this.