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Why sometimes the preview part of Facebook post sharing a post from StackExchange site remains empty? (By preview part I mean the picture which usually contains site icon. IIRC if the question contains some images, Facebook allows you to choose one them, too.)

I have first noticed this when trying to share a post on Facebook. The preview was displayed empty. So I tried to see whether this happens to other people who share posts from SE sites. I will post some examples below.

I have tagged this rather than . It is possible that I am doing something incorrectly when sharing posts. And it is also possible that Facebook is to blame for this and not StackExchange. After helpful explanation by Shadow Wizard in the comments I have added the tag.


Here are some examples (with screenshots) showing that the preview (site icon) is sometimes displayed and sometimes not. First two examples are from StackExchange FB page. The next two examples show posts from MathOverflow. (I first searched for such posts, since I have first noticed this problem on a post from this site.) The fifth one is an example from March this year. (Just to show that this does not happen only for old posts. It is the most recent post of this type on Stack Overflow FB page.)

https://www.facebook.com/stackexchange/posts/965095386865761

screenshot

https://www.facebook.com/stackexchange/posts/955296161179017

screenshot

https://www.facebook.com/stackexchange/posts/753201551388480

screenshot

https://www.facebook.com/noah.schweber/posts/10153794744159807

screenshot

https://www.facebook.com/officialstackoverflow/posts/10150605560949971

screenshot

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    Probably because the image URL in the og:image meta tag for science fiction has invalid character: http://cdn.sstatic.net/Sites/scifi/img/apple-touch-icon@2.png?v=21318a38b766&a (direct link - the @ isn't valid in URL as far as I know, though Chrome appears to ignore that. The URL for LH is correct: cdn.sstatic.net/Sites/lifehacks/img/…. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Apr 22 '16 at 14:07
  • Thanks, I did not know that og:image is for selecting images by FB. Several SE sites which I have tried have there (at the moment) a picture with @ in the url/filename. So I guess only SE has possibility to correct this. (Perhaps this should be tagged as bug after all?) – Martin Apr 22 '16 at 14:50
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    That is true, and bug tag is indeed appropriate. Let's hope a dev will take a look and fix it soon. :) – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Apr 22 '16 at 14:58

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