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Background

At present embedded videos are supported on the following sites

However all other sites in the network have embedded video disabled.

Feature request

Could embedded YouTube videos be enabled on Stack Overflow itself? Under identical rules to the existing system for the 3 enabled sites.

Justification

There are many graphics libraries that are on topic within Stack Overflow. One such library that I use extensively is . There have been several instances where I feel answers/questions would have been better served by video rather than a screenshot. I will give two such examples here:

jmonkeyengine movement too fast for collision detection

This was a question regarding an inbuilt physics engine which would stop detecting collisions for fast objects. While the question was clear, a video of the problem would have made it more so. Within my answer I included screenshots and a description of how they were moving and what their speeds were; these would definitely have been better as videos.

How to make the camera follow 2 objects?

This was a question regarding automatically orienting a camera such that it was able to view two objects simultaneously even when they moved around/away from each other. My answer again described in detail a physical movement which would have been complemented by a video showing that movement.

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closed as off-topic by Rory, Shadow Wizard, Sompuperoo, ɥʇǝS, Monica Cellio Jul 16 at 2:30

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – Rory, Shadow Wizard, Sompuperoo, ɥʇǝS, Monica Cellio
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I'm getting the feeling people hate the idea of embedded videos, why is that? –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 18:13
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I haven't voted yet, and didn't even know about SE sites that supported them, but I think that your proposal needs more details. What should be the rep needed to post them?, how much spam images SO gets?. I think that this could open the gates to a whole new level of questions just posting a video of their issue and expecting an answer –  Lamak Feb 3 at 18:16
    
@Lamak I didn't include any of that because its a switch, on/off that would use the same rules as the existing 3 sites –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 18:18
    
But SO is so much different that those 3 sites, they can't have the same rules. And, as I said, I didn't even know that those sites allowed videos –  Lamak Feb 3 at 18:19
    
@Lamak As in rep requirement etc to avoid spam –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 18:20
    
@RichardTingle High-rep u$er$ can al$o $ee this a$ an opportunity to "$pam" - not $o much to place unwanted adverti$ing on the $ite, but to generate click$ through to their revenue-generating YouTube video$. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 3 at 18:29
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Can you just imagine the mouth breathers trying to describe their problems in a video versus writing up a concise description of their problem? –  billinkc Feb 3 at 18:56
    
@bilinkc that sounds like massively more effort –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 19:31
    
@Richard what does, writing it up correctly? Perhaps. But then the community can help perfect it. They can't do that with a video. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 3 at 20:14
    
@Aaron no what I mean is making and uploading a video is much more effort than writing something; good or otherwise. If people are being lazy then the keyboard seems the way to go –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 20:16
    
@RichardTingle however being willing to invest more effort does not mean better quality results, either. I know multiple people who try really hard but consistently produce garbage. I think videos will be even harder to do well, regardless of intent - and again, text can be improved by others, no matter how much effort went into the original. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 3 at 20:22
    
@Aaron I would hope (like several other obscure formatting options) that this would be rarely used. Most questions are inappropriate for video. But a few could be improved by them. They would be used for iillustration rather than those horrible voice over things –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 20:25
    
@RichardTingle If only a few, then I don't see any reason whatsoever to investing in changes to make it possible to embed directly, when in those few scenarios you can already easily link to the video. Since outside of those few, it either won't get used, or it will get used inappropriately. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 3 at 20:26
    
@Aaron I believe its a switch, development time would be zero. Which leaves the question of appropriately used; where I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree. –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 20:32
    
Development time is not zero. Even if you're right that this is a simple switch, do you think SO just flips switches and doesn't test anything / everything? You also fail to consider moderator / 10k time. Do you have any evidence that this feature does not cause any more work on the other sites? And finally, you keep saying this would help in only a few cases. Given SO volume, I don't think you've made a compelling argument for this feature, especially when we've indicated several potential problems with it. It may be "ok" on low volume sites but it smells like disaster here. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 3 at 21:20

1 Answer 1

IMHO this is a terrible idea.

Consider that we have rate limiting for things like comment voting and up/down vote retrieval, all in the name of conserving bandwidth. Now you want to force someone to view a video in order to answer a question? I see several problems with this:

  1. What service does any compression / down-sampling so videos aren't 200 GB?

  2. Who is going to view all videos to moderate that they aren't spam, nonsense, or include pornography or graphic violence two minutes in?

  3. What is going to stop people from forcing potential answerers from viewing the videos, if they just post a video and no text? How do we edit these videos to make corrections?

  4. If a video is very helpful in describing a problem (or solution), what is wrong with linking to it on whatever video hosting service you already use? This doesn't solve 1. or 2. but it certainly absolves this network of any of those problems (and places the burden only on those willing to click).

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1  
I must admit I've only seen these come from youtube. I had assumed they never actually touched the stack exchange network –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 18:17
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@Richard Yes, the videos must be hosted on YouTube, you can't just embed a video from anywhere on the Internet. –  animuson Feb 3 at 18:18
    
But why are videos supported on other stackexchange sites? How are they handled? –  Mhmd Feb 3 at 18:19
    
@user689 you can look around their meta sites to see what kind of things come up and how they deal with them. This is the first one I found. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 3 at 18:25
    
@RichardTingle I also think that the network's bandwidth is not the only one we need to be conscious of, but also users in general. Allowing someone to post a question or answer that requires someone to download a video from YouTube is going to make the site very cumbersome or downright impossible to use for some people. That other SE sites have made that decision does not mean we want the trade-off on SO too. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 3 at 18:27
    
@AaronBertrand While true it is becoming less and less true. Additionally the use cases I've outlined have been to improve an existing post to make it completely clear rather than being 100% essential –  Richard Tingle Feb 3 at 18:29
    
@RichardTingle my objection is still that your feature request has the best intentions, but is ripe for abuse by those who don't. Also, "becoming less and less true" is irrelevant. As long as there is one user out there who has no alternative to crappy dial-up, requiring them to download a video to answer a question or to solve their problem is unnecessary. Even those with great bandwidth (read: much of Europe) pays for every byte they download. We've been solving software problems on this site for years without video; what has changed? –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 3 at 18:30
    
@RichardTingle That's the thing, we need to figure it out if making those answers completely clear is worth the bandwith, effort and other resources that this feature will require –  Lamak Feb 3 at 18:30

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