Today I came across a
rel attribute specifies the type of the link, i.e. the kind of the relationship between the document and the linked resource. Usually just a few keywords, like
icon, are used. Although many other keywords have been proposed and registered, most of them are write-only: they are meant to express something, but nobody cares (no software uses the information).
The extension mechanisms of HTML5 include, in the description of link types, a somewhat obscure mechanism that allows, in theory, anyone register his favorite keyword in the existing rel values wiki to make documents using it as
rel value “conforming”.
image_src has indeed been registered there, with the information that it is used to “specify a Webpage Icon for use by Facebook, Yahoo, Digg, etc.”, no specification has been identified but an article about it is linked to, and it is “probably redundant with rel=icon”.