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In this case, we replaced the old method of generating site-skinned entry pages with the same backend system that's used to generate journal-styled comments. So, much of the underlying structure has changed; we ran the changes through the beta features system ahead of time and did several iterations.
We can't provide support for people who are using extensions or plugins to change the way the site looks, and we do reserve the right to make changes to the underlying HTML structure of the site from time to time -- in this case, the changeover was necessary to reduce code duplication and to make it easier to extend and change things in the future. So, the best thing to do is to contact the script author and let them know they'll need to make edits.
The site itself doesn't allow images to be visible or links to be clickable in comments from anonymous users -- this is to help prevent a common spam vector, since a nontrivial number of anonymous comments are spam advertising and clickable links and displayable images help to reduce the motivation for spammers to spam.
Best guess over here is that you had a script or extension installed locally that would make those links clickable and make the image display, and the changes to the underlying HTML when we switched from generating entry pages through two separate ways (through the site engine and through the journal layout engine) to a single way (through the journal layout engine). You'll need to contact the script or extension author and let them know that it's stopped working; they'll need to make changes to the script.
Unfortunately, that is really, really likely. We only support the latest
few major releases for the major browsers, and 3.6 is.... not that. :( so
sorry to be the bearer of bad news! Try upgrading, if you can, or use
Yes, there is.
I explained it in comments above: the short version is, spamfighting features are not something we can allow anyone to opt out of, because once we make them optional and people start disabling them, the site as a whole will suffer for it. When a site gets a reputation for hosting spammers, the entire site is penalized: search engines downweight results for that site, for instance, making it harder to find things, and email from that site is more likely to be greylisted (delayed for a while before delivery) or blacklisted (completely refused).
Changes that are necessary for the safety, security, or long-term health of the site will never be optional, whether opt-in or opt-out.
No. Too many people were using those methods to a) post commercial spam, b) break the display of comments for everyone reading the page, or c) attempt to exploit details of the HTML cleaner to circumvent prohibitions on what can and can't appear in anonymous comments.