Monday, August 26, 2013

Help! Firefox Ate TED! Why videos and websites may not appear in some browsers

My Video Disappeared!

Learn why Firefox 23 or IE 10 may be blocking your content

by Alan Regan

Not seeing an embedded video, image, or web page?  If you're using Firefox 23+ or Internet Explorer 10+, then this is because you're suffering from the "mixed content" blues.

Released in early August, Firefox 23 has a new security feature. It's called "mixed content blocking." The short description: if you are on a secure website (like Courses/Sakai, WaveNet, Digication, and almost every website that requires a login) and the page tries to load content from an outside website that is not a secure website, then the browser will block that content from appearing.  Another way to look at it is if you are on a website and the address begins with HTTPS and you're embedding content and the code references website addresses that begin with HTTP and not HTTPS, then you need to put in some fixes so that your audience sees the content.

So, what can you do?  First, you need to look at your class sites and see if any of your content is being blocked.  Open up your class site or website in Firefox 23 and see if the material loads.  If the page is blank -- then you need to correct the code or re-embed the content for a secure address.

Thankfully, YouTube makes it pretty easy now.  The latest embed code takes out the guesswork and helps professors, students, and everyday users embed with ease. Of course, this new YouTube code started mid-June 2013. So, if you embedded a YouTube video before that time, you need to go back, remove the old YouTube code, and embed the new code.

A ray of sunshine is that our new Sakai 2.9 service now supports the shorter "iframe" embed code! It's currently supported in Forums, Syllabus, and Lessons. (The Home tool does not support iframe yet, but we hope to correct this soon!) This should make the process of re-embedding videos a little easier than in the past. Also, with the new iframe code, mobile participants should be able to play the video.

  1. Visit
  2. Find your video.
  3. Below the video, click Share and then click Embed.
  4. We recommend that you uncheck the box "Show suggested videos when the video finishes." This will prevent potentially unwanted or inappropriate video recommendations from displaying at the end.
  5. Copy the code.
  6. Go to your class site on
  7. Go to a supported tool like Forums, Lessons, or Syllabus (if a tool is not in the menu, use Site Info > Edit Tools to add it).
  8. In the rich text editor, click Source at the top left.
  9. Paste the YouTube embed code.
  10. Click Source again and then finish the posting.
  11. Your embedded video should display fine in all browsers and also on most tablets and smart phones.
NOTE: On the Home tool you will still need to check the box "Use old embed code" when copying code from YouTube. Again, you can use the newer iframe code with Forums, Lessons, and Syllabus.

There is a known issue with videos from the website, though.  This isn't an issue with the web browser or Sakai, WaveNet, etc.  The issue is squarely on the website.  As of this moment, the website is not a secure website.  If you link to a video, it only supports an HTTP connection and not an HTTPS connection.  The solution?  For the most part, almost every video can be found on YouTube.  Embed the video located on YouTube and you should be fine.

You may be asking, "Well, what if I don't use Firefox or Internet Explorer?" That's fine, but know that this security setting may soon be coming to your other web browsers like Chrome and Safari.  Web security is important, so don't rely on "use another web browser" as a fix.  Best practice is to embed content from a secure source when you're on a secure website.

So, now you know why some content may appear for some visitors, but not for others.  The likely culprit is "mixed content" blocking on some web browsers.  You also know the fix: update your web links or embed code to secure versions. We hope this helps you create better online experiences for your audiences!

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