Why do images that get repeatedly copy get have their quality degrade over time?

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Why do images that get repeatedly copy get have their quality degrade over time?

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Just copying a file locally on a computer won’t degrade it. However when uploading to photo sites/youtube/etc, the sites usually will re-encode the image/video (to save space). JPEG is called ‘lossy’ encoding where it throws information about the image away. Normally you don’t notice this for a new image, but if you keep loading/saving a JPEG file repeatedly it loses more information and gets blocky looking.

When you upload a file to a social media site, they use an algorithm to compress the file to save some storage space.

This makes it lose a little quality.

If someone else downloads that image from your post, they are downloading the lower quality version.

If they go to upload it again…then it gets compressed again and loses *even more* quality.

If this keeps happening eventually the image gets to be very low quality.