To explain a point on this question, I made a video at screenr.com and linked to it.

I tried to use object/embed markup, but it was just ignored, which is a good thing because it would not be a safe solution.

But it would be nice if Stack Exchange found a safe and easy way for users to create quick screencast videos just as they did with pictures. The best solution would be like the new photo upload button, e.g. a "full-screen video recording button." Perhaps SOIS could outsource/partner with a company like screenr.com or YouTube or Jing to make this possible?

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    @Arjan thanks for clarifying that: I mean looking for a SAFE way to allow embedded video, just as Stackoverflow has obviously made an agreement of some kind with imgur.com, I'm sure there is a way to do this with youtube or screenr or jing so that the act of recording a quick screencast video to explain a point is quick, easy and safe. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 11:40
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    You can click the tick mark next to an answer to select an answer. That doesn't do much but increases your accept rate.
    – abel
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 11:52
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    @abel But on meta it really doesn't matter, right? I see meta as just a way to throw around ideas about the real site. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 12:52
  • @Edward, it's an interesting approach, dismissing the relevance of the site you're posting on. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 14:27
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    @Edward: that approach is also somewhat offensive, many users have invested time and energy into answering your questions, and accepting an answer and upvoting helpful stuff is a small reward...
    – studiohack
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 14:53
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    @GeorgeEdison @DavidThomas @studiohack I think it is generally held opinion that accept rate has no meaning on meta sites as is indicated in the answers here: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/66774/… Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 19:33
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    This has been implemented on gaming, here's an example. (You just post a bare youtube URL and it's converted to an embed.)
    – Jeremy
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 4:34
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    Related: Allow embedded HTML5 YouTube video (cf. embedded Flash)
    – Pops
    Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 19:25
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    gamedev.stackexchange.com could definitely benefit from embedding videos to show bugs that are hard to explain with words.
    – Jan
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 19:13
  • stackoverflow.com/a/39524311 supports your request
    – bobobobo
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 4:28

9 Answers 9


YouTube embeds (just paste the URL in a post) are now enabled on a per-site basis, right now that list is

... with possibly more to come in the future.

[Editors note: a more recent list can be found here: Which sites have YouTube embedding on? ]

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    I would like to see this on the language sites
    – Pekka
    Commented Aug 28, 2011 at 9:16
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    Jeff how do we about requesting roll outs to other sites?
    – ahsteele
    Commented Sep 10, 2011 at 4:29
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    I think this could get out of control and take up space with providing no value to little value. Although, a question like this: stackoverflow.com/questions/8791879/… could definitely be answered with a video like: youtube.com/watch?v=mGwG8-chUEM with a short description. The video would look really nice embedded as an answer, I think. Additionally, many YouTube videos contain resourceful links as this example does. So, maybe allowing YouTube embeds based on Rep for certain sites? Just a thought. Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 16:59
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    @Jeff Atwood I would really like to see that for Travel SE. Could be sometimes really useful. Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 22:40
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    Some obvious sites that could benefit from this are Anime.SE and Movies Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 17:50
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    @DavidStarkey, It's working on movies.SE now movies.stackexchange.com/questions/21101/… . Seems to be activated somewhat a week ago, see discussion on meta.movies.stackexchange.com/a/1311/11086
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 12:17
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    Could we add Islam.stackexchange.com ? Or are beta sites not priority right now? Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 14:29
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    Woodworking, please!
    – Jason C
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 14:17
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    I would really like it if there were actual instructions on this. "just paste the URL in a post" is not working for me no matter what I do. I've tried maybe 15 to 20 times over the last couple years to embed a video and I've never gotten it to work. Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:07
  • security.SE has lots of questions (like this one) along the lines of "I saw this cool thing in a Def Con talk," including a link to a video of the talk and a question like "how does it work" or "how do I defend against it." I'd love to see a new policy allowing videos in questions (subject to the same restrictions as images) on all sites. Frankly, I think it's important for answers, too. If users can be expected to handle images responsibly, why not videos too?
    – Adam Katz
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 21:55
  • is it possible to embed videos in your own profile? Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 22:14
  • @Rakitić no, only links to such videos, possibly with thumbnail picture. Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 14:19
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    This list is outdated. See Which sites have YouTube embedding on? for a more complete list
    – Stevoisiak
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 13:14
  • would be really handy on Blender, as quite often we like to render to video
    – Moog
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 18:15

Allowing arbitrary <object> tags is definitely out of the question, but what about allowing, say, YouTube embeds (by entering the video ID only)?

It would serve the original purpose of illustrating a question using video. YouTube's content filters and manual checking will reduce the possibility of abuse to a minimum. Together with a reputation threshold (say, 100 or 200) I think this could work well.

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    You don't own a mac, don't you? (I know that there're several solutions to the bad performance of flash on the mac like html5 embedded YouTube videos or even FlashBlock, but I like SO and StackExchange because it's lightweight) Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 11:33
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    @Henrik nope, PC only. But the essence of what I mean is, allow videos to be embedded from a popular platform that does content filtering, to save a lot of hassle. The technical details would be the next step (although I find it hard to believe that the world's most popular video platform is unable to serve its Mac users well. Is this really as bad as you describe?)
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 13:20
  • @George and because of that, using an external provider to allow video is not an option at all? I don't follow
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 18:05
  • @Pekka: I don't like the idea. No matter what provider you use, they're going to be using Flash - and Flash doesn't run quite perfectly on Linux. (Well actually it does, it just slows down the page.) The user could just as easily post a link on the page instead of embedding the video. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 18:07
  • @George okay, I do agree that no solution must be used that makes content un-browsable on certain platforms. Still, HTML 5 video is coming - slowly and with very few supported formats, but it is coming. Even if it were not immediately implementable, this is something worth having an eye on IMO. Especially as 3rd party portals like Youtube have a business interest in spreading their content on as many platforms as possible, with as few problems as possible
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 18:09
  • @Pekka: What can YouTube do about the lousy Flash performance? Only Adobe can do anything about that. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 18:14
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    @George HTML 5 Video will not rely on Flash anymore.
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 18:25
  • @Pekka: HTML 5 is even worse, at least in Google Chrome. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 18:47
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    @George I use Ubuntu and Flash works fine. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 19:26
  • @Null: So do I, but I am using the 64-bit edition - which is notoriously slow for some reason. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 19:29
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    @George I sympathize with that, but IMO it's a weak argument against allowing online video, something probably 90% of computers in the western world are able to play back halfway decently.
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 19:36
  • @Pekka: Other considerations: YouTube might cause problems with corporate filters. ("Why is Jeremy going to YouTube during work hours?" / "But boss, it's part of StackOverflow!" / "Stack- what?" / "It's a... programming... site..." / "What does that have to do with YouTube?" / "Uh........") See where this leads? Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 19:49
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    @George If you're in danger of getting into trouble over YouTube URLs, you need to block that domain anyway. YouTube videos get embedded on a lot of main-stream sites these days. Also, every request to an ad-driven site will result in dozens of requests to all sorts of sites, all outside of your control. You have a point but it's not strong enough to block videos altogether IMO
    – Pekka
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 20:46
  • @Pekka: I can think of another more serious problem - bandwidth. Yes, I realize that the videos don't play 'till you click on them - but the extra DNS lookup / transfer takes its toll. Dial-up users will be mad. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 23:29
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    @George There aren't that many dialup users any more, and most video players don't start loading the video until you press "play." SE is already pretty hard to use on mobile devices; I've tried. And this is for more than the trilogy; there are some topics that are quite simply better illustrated using video than using text and images (and there are some topics that are better described in text than video; for most programming topics, I find a good writeup much better than a screencast, but other people have different opinions). Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 20:27

I like the idea and I don't know why there's so much opposition to it. By allowing embeded videos from trusted sites only there shouldn't be a problem with safety. And we can post images anyways, which can be much bigger than the Flash player videos use (without loading the actual video).

Also as Pekka mentioned, a rep threshold of about 100 or 200 reputation points would minimize the potential for abuse. You only need 15 rep to post images and I have never seen an abusive/spam image.

We should remember StackExchange is not just about StackOverflow any more, there is now a number of sites that could benefit greatly from videos/screencasts (SuperUser, Gaming, Cooking, etc.)

I support this request.

  • surely design oriented sites would benefit from a way to demonstrate a "technique or approach" that really can't be fully described with text and images (strange though that there don't seem to be any graphis/photoshop groups on area51 with more than a handful of commits: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/12179/graphics-software) Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 13:48
  • I decided to try my hand at proposing a juggling StackExchange area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/22684/… . Because juggling is so visual and dynamic, it really helps to have videos or animations to illustrate many points; you can get by with diagrams and text, but video can really help bring the point across. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 20:24

While you can't embed YouTube videos on SO or SF, you can embed a link and thumbnail, using code like this...

[![Video thumbnail](https://img.youtube.com/vi/gUmMcecHN9s/mqdefault.jpg)  
**SAML101** on YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUmMcecHN9s)  

Simply replace gUmMcecHN9s (in both places) with the video ID of your choice and alter the caption.


Video thumbnail
SAML101 on YouTube


Ignoring the technological reasons for or against allowing videos on SO, I believe it may have a negative influence on the quality of questions being asked.

If videos are encouraged, programming problems (especially ones related to user interface and graphic programming) are a lot easier to post as "Why is this happening?". This makes it nigh on impossible for anyone to get benefit from the answers in the future unless the problem is also described well enough in English to allow search indexing.

Furthermore, trying to describe a programming problem forces the writer to think about the steps that are going on in the rendering process, which is part of the process in solving the problem.

The site already allows users to post pictures which are all that should be needed to illustrate a well worded (and therefore valuable) question.


This has extremely high potential for abuse. Consider the danger of embedding any ActiveX object in a page - plenty of room for exploits. What's more, the control could do all kinds of useless and annoying things - things that have nothing to do with the question.

I cannot support this idea at all.

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    I agree with you, big-time! +1!
    – studiohack
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 5:22
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    Totally agree - at least those of us already using FlashBlock wouldn't have to see them unless we wanted to. And if this is ever enabled and people can make their videos autoplay, I'm taking my toys and going home. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 5:44
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    I doubt the question is about allowing <object>? The OP just tells us what he tried.
    – Arjan
    Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 10:11
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    If you allow only links to Youtube, Vimeo and/or other trusted sources and you restrict the feature to only users with a reputation beyond a certain threshold, there is very little potential for abuse. Yet, the advantages are great, as videos can offer a lot of info additional to pure textual information and images. Commented May 8, 2015 at 22:14

I second the request and I also want "play on load" midis and animated gifs(all my forums have them, SO is so 1970s!) to be added to SO.

That was in jest. Nice question, a higher reputation should be necessary after which the content would be viewable by members and pre-approval by moderators for video content before the video is viewable by all.

AND no animated gifs, we have 4chan for that.

However I am in two minds, will we have Reddit style [Includes PICTURE] and [INCLUDES MOVIE] in SO question titles after this?

  • 3
    Animated gifs work if you link them instead of uploading them. Commented Dec 16, 2010 at 11:14

I agree with @George Edison...this has a lot of negative effects...regardless of the purpose of the site.

Some potential problems:

  • The Stack Exchange servers would fill up many times faster, because video takes up much more space than just images and text...thus a much larger footprint, in resources and time.
  • More flagging would result, and more work for the moderators, because of more: spam, junk, noise, etc.

Also, embedding of anything other than simple URLs is disabled across the Stack Exchange network, in all text fields to prevent extra junk data, etc...This includes question fields, answer fields, and even the "About Me" field on your profile...You can post your Stack Exchange flair in your "About Me" field, but that's it.

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    The videos wouldn't be hosted here (likewise, images are hosted on imgur). Also a rep threshold of 100 could make this work. You only need 15 to post images and I haven't seen any spam in images so far. Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 14:34
  • @Null: What about mobile users? Commented Oct 9, 2010 at 0:31
  • @George StackExchange is not well optimized for mobile phones, so it's not likely many people will be using it there. On my phone, I can play flash video, but I have it configured so that the plugin won't load until I tap on it, so I don't have the extra download or CPU time used if I don't want to actually watch the video. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 20:21
  • Most spam that I see is linkspam, which SE already has to deal with. I'm not sure that there's be a very large uptick in people posting video spam, especially if it's all hosted on third-party sites that already deal with spam issues. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 20:22
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    If you allow only links to Youtube, Vimeo and/or other trusted sources and you restrict the feature to only users with a reputation beyond a certain threshold, there is very little potential for abuse. Yet, the advantages are great, as videos can offer a lot of info additional to pure textual information and images. Commented May 8, 2015 at 22:14

What about a dedicated server run by Stack Exchange to process all posted videos? Then, embedding a video becomes a trivial exercise, using the SE server video links.

For smooth operation, the poster submits a file to the site through a form, in which the video headers are read, and rejects if the file is too large, or in the incorrect format etc.. If all is good, the user receives a toast notification indicating ready to imbed in his/her post.

For space considerations, the server retains a (say) small/medium/large copy of the video, which is selected according to the resolution the browser runs in. That entails a drag/move video crop box on the submission form according to set limits on video dimensions.

As audio increases file size, a policy for audio on videos may apply to the youtube embed Stack Exchange sites listed here, perhaps. The rest would be silent avi format or similar.

Ultimately, something for the company suggestion box, might take a bit of doing though.

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