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Stop Magento from changing image paths / names when Flush Catalog Images Cache?

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When we use System > Cache Management > Flush Catalog Images Cache, Magento generates all the images with new file names resulting in lots of 404 errors for images posted and shared by our customers on 3rd party forums / social accounts.

This is highly detrimental to image SEO and sustainable traffic coming from social networks. A bit too high considering it’s all done via a simple click of a button which disguises itself as a useful feature or something which I don’t know why exists in the first place.

What’s the use of Flush Catalog Images Cache? If it’s indispensable, is there any way to prevent it from changing image file names but use consistent ones across flushes?

If it’s dispensable as not so needed at all, is there any way to remove or disable this button which I’m paranoid that one of my staff would probably click under some curious circumstances?

Any help would be appreciated!

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