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I post a majority of my answers to GameDev. Due to the context of my answers, I often create small diagrams or animations to help other users. Today, I noticed that an animated GIF I uploaded was not animating. Further tests confirm that this appears to be a bug.

I have also confirmed the same behaviour on Stack Overflow, English Language Learners, Science Fiction & Fantasy and here on meta.


Are you sure it is not just your computer? Yes. Animations work fine, otherwise. Furthermore, answers where I have previously uploaded animated diagrams are still animating.

Why can't you just provide anonymous links? Actually, I can. It appears that if I upload an image via an anonymous account, and then use the direct link to upload the same image to the Stack Overflow account, it works. Regardless, this process is a bit obtuse, and it still highlights the presence of a bug.

Could it be an issue with the imposed size limits? While animation naturally infers an increased size limit, these animations all fall under the maximum of 2MB. I have confirmed this problem on animations ranging from approximately 50kB to 500kB.

Changing the size of your uploaded image with '-s', '-m' or '-l' cancels animation? Sounds like you have your answer. Not by a long shot. I made the mistake of assigning the "medium" variant of my original images, for the purpose of demonstrating the difference in this question. This has been corrected, but it does not solve the actual bug I am observing. Both of the below examples come from the exact same image, and should both be animating.

Are you sure it is not a problem with imgur? Yes. If I upload the same image via an anonymous account, it animates. I directly uploaded the left version of the image, where I uploaded the right version directly to an anonymous imgur account and provided the link.

If I upload an animated image via the Stack Exchange, it loses animation. If I upload an animated image via an anonymous account, and transfer it over to the Stack Exchange account via link, it works.

  • with the images you have posted is the right one supposed to animate? because both don't for me – Memor-X Jan 24 '17 at 1:48
  • Could probably post that as an answer. I extensively use gifs in answers, and I didn't know about this. – Journeyman Geek Jan 24 '17 at 7:20
  • @JourneymanGeek, let me clarify again. The bug is still there; to make my question more readable, I edited it to ammend the "m" to the .gif url. This outright removes animation. I still do not have animation in gifs uploaded through Stack Exchange; BOTH above examples are of the same animated image. – Gnemlock Jan 24 '17 at 7:22
  • Maybe on purpose, to block people from uploading animations as their avatar. (it's possible by exploiting imgur bug) – Shadow Wizard Jan 24 '17 at 7:30
  • @ShadowWizard, they are not blocking animations outright, if they are. When you upload an image, you can upload from your computer, or via a link. Either way, the image provided will be uploaded to the Stack Exchange account, and linked. If the animation is provided via link, animation retains. If I upload from a computer, it does not. – Gnemlock Jan 24 '17 at 7:33
  • Well, something is surely weird, hopefully someone from the team will shed some light soon then. – Shadow Wizard Jan 24 '17 at 7:36
  • I'll be honest, this was a very weird bug, and very annoying. I found a way around it through writing this actual question (talk about efficiency, guys!), but the bug is still there. – Gnemlock Jan 24 '17 at 7:42
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Okay, that was me, sorry about that.

Basically, I've changed some Image Uploading code because on Stack Overflow Enterprise, we don't use the Imgur host that the public sites use, which means that we have two different ways of handling image uploads.

Since DRY is a good thing and since there was a bug in the code, I combined some of it and broke animated GIF upload in the process.

I've undone the breaking change.

GIFs be animated again!

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