Autoplay problem: UPDATE

NOTE: To see how to solve the problem, please see this later post.

Some readers are complaining that some videos are auto playing (which is of course highly annoying), even though the embedding code I use is supposed to not do that. Others say it is not autoplaying for them. Since this is not a universal problem, we need to narrow things down in order to try and solve it. So can readers (even those not experiencing this problem) please post in the comments this basic information? (I know some have done so earlier, but if you could do so again, we can have all the information in one convenient place for easier analysis.)

  1. Does it autoplay for you at all?
  2. Does it autoplay for all embedded videos or just some? If the latter, identify the general category (YouTube, Daily Show, etc.)
  3. What machine/operating system/browser are you using?

Once we narrow down the problem, maybe we can find a way to get rid of it, though I will likely need help since I am not a techie.



Here are two Daily Show clips embedded differently. Can people please check and see if either or both auto play? The reason I ask is that I shifted from the second to the first method a couple of months ago when some people complained about the autoplay, hoping it would solve the problem. Now some are complaining that autoplay started a couple of months ago and I want to see if the problem lies (at least partly) with that change. If the change did not solve the original problem but created a new problem for others, then I will revert to the original embedding method.

Clip 1:

clip 2:


  1. Emu Sam says

    I’m using Firefox with NoScript. I turned off everything in NoScript with the intention of turning them on one at a time to see what happened. As soon as I clicked Temporarily allow, both videos on the previous post started playing.

    Going to continue clicking through to see if enabling something else also prevents autoplay.

  2. Pteryxx says

    No autoplay here (Firefox with Noscript on old Windows). Enabling scripts for “” allows the Daily Show and Colbert Report clips to load to their play screens, but they still don’t play until I click on the arrow. (Scripts are also enabled for and I’m testing the other scripts one by one.

  3. Emu Sam says

    That’s Firefox 25.0 on Windows Vista Home Premium Intel Cor i7 920@2.67GHz NVIDIA etc . . .

    If and only if is enabled does it autoplay.

  4. Emu Sam says

    That [email protected] is really only a gigahertz reference, which is probably not important. Sorry. Hitting preview this time (requires enabled).

  5. trucreep says

    Windows 7, Firefox 25.0 with Ghostery and Auto HTTPS. Only Daily Show and Colbert Report clips auto-play for me. Youtube seems fine.

  6. Pteryxx says

    Emu Sam, that’s interesting… in my setup, the videos auto *load* (bypassing Noscript) only if is DISabled. (They still stop at the play screen.)

  7. ericjuve says

    I never have autoplay occur on your Blog. I run XP with firefox and have Noscript installed but I “allow all” on your page.

  8. Mano Singham says

    I don’t understand (though I probably should). What do you mean by “if is enabled”? What are you doing to enable it?

  9. daved says

    Firefox 17.0.9 on Linux (CentOS 5, 2.6.18 kernel) does autoplay both Daily Show and Colbert, but not YouTube.

  10. says

    Not for me, using FF25 on a Windows 7 machine. I have noscript and adblock running, and have youtube particularly set to never autoplay or load without asking, because I was having a problem with some videos crashing the machine to a hard freeze (i.e., cold-boot freeze, or “fcuk i have to pull the fcuking battery AGAIN”), and very little is worth having to deal with that crap.

    I want my XP box back again. I hate Win7. 🙁

  11. Emu Sam says

    Sorry, I probably should have replied to my own post at 2 to keep them together. NoScript prevents a number of Javascript and other scripts from running, and they can be turned on or off temporarily or permanently by site name. For instance, this page is running (or not running, as the case may be) several Google sites worth of scrips, Gravatar, some advertisements, some statistics gathering, etc., in addition to our home

    On the browser I’m using now, it is some script that causes autoplay to happen -- I think this means the script is saved on your site server. If I disable, no autoplay -- but also no preview, apparently.

    Hope this helps!

  12. jcsscj says

    I have only problems with The Daily Show and Colbert Report.

    Windows 7 / FireFox 25

    I don’t remember if I also had the problem before FireFox 25 or if I hadn’t the problem just after the upgrade to FF 25.

    People like me who use NoScript do not automatically run the JavaScript that comes from the different source. For every host we download data from that contains JavaScript we must enable the running of JavaScript.. That is generally done with “Allow “.
    For me for to auto run to work I need to allow the followings hosts:

    Without the hosts enabled I don’t even see the opening screenshot with the Play button.

  13. cafink says

    I’ve never had any of the videos on your blog auto-play. I’m browsing with Google Chrome 30 on Windows 7.

  14. Rob says

    Never autoplays (even with noscript disabled)
    Generic PC with Win7 and Firefox25, generally running with noscript.
    Usually the problem I get with videos is the ‘content not available in your area’ type message, which makes me sad.

  15. Charles Insandiego says

    The two videos on the recent Rand Paul plagiarism post do not autoplay for me. Windows 7, vanilla Google Chrome.

  16. OverlappingMagisteria says

    No auto play for me with the videos you post (except for an occasional advertisment in the sidebar) I visit with the following:

    Firefox 25 running on Ubuntu 13.04
    Firefox 25 running on Windows 7 Enterprise

  17. invivoMark says

    Auto-play happens only with Colbert and Daily Show clips. Windows PC, Firefox.

    I think I remember that at one point those clips did not auto-play, perhaps a couple months ago, but I do not remember the change coinciding with anything like a Firefox update. I assumed that the change was due to something those two shows changed about their clips when embedded.

  18. TomeWyrm says

    Firefox 25, Windows 7 Ultimate.

    All browser extensions disabled (not a fresh install): No auto-play.

    Turned on Adblock Edge (2.0.8) and NoScript (and rebooted Firefox obviously)
    —-Sites allowed to run scripts in NoScript: either OR
    —-No video plays, just the standard NoScript blocked flash content placeholder

    Allowing AND causes both videos to auto-play… which is quite the cacophony.


    Disabling Adblock Edge removed this behavior, re-enabling AdBlock Edge re-instated the behavior… reloading the page again after logging in appears to have removed the behavior without me doing anything else… which is annoying and odd. Logging back out gives me the problem again.

    Can everyone that is not getting the autoplay confirm if they’re logged in, and if so: try logging out and see if the videos start autoplaying?

  19. Chiroptera says

    Firefox on Linux Mint. The videos that you include in your posts never autoplay. Neither do most ads on FtB.

    I say most, because every once in a while I hear voices coming from my computer. Assuming that I haven’t lost my sanity, I assume that an ad in one of the side bars has autoplayed, but I’m usually too lazy to look for it — I usually reload and that solves the problem.

    I have noscript installed on Firefox on my computer at home, so never any autoplay — in fact, ads and videos show up as empty black boxes. Not that I want to deprive FtB of ad revenue, but often either FtB takes forever to load some ad, or it gets hung up trying to load some ad. Drove me crazy.

  20. Mano Singham says

    Hmm…. So far no clear pattern is emerging that I can see, darn it!

    The only solid clues so far is that people with Macs and/or using Safari have not reported any problems (I use both which may be why I was oblivious to this problem), while using Windows and Linux may or may not be a problem.

    Also YouTube is not a problem, just the Daily Show and Colbert Report videos.

  21. says

    Daily Show and Colbert Report clips autoplay. If there are two or three on the page, they will all start playing at once. This has been going on for a month or two, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t change anything when it started. I’m using Chrome on Linux.

  22. Pteryxx says

    Suggestions -- try while logged into and out of FTB, and try with Adblock enabled and disabled. One of my contacts is reporting autoplay *only while* logged out of FTB and *only while* Adblock is ENabled -- that is, adblocking is causing autoplay to happen.

    I have not been able to duplicate this myself, but maybe someone else can. FF 25, WinXP, Adblock Plus.

  23. TomeWyrm says

    With the updated blog post, I get the first video autoplaying whether I am logged in or not. But only with AdBlock enabled. I’m going to start delving into my blocked objects list.

  24. fentex says

    I know we had a discussion about this a while ago -- my Chromium (the Open Source basis of Googles Chrome) would always auto-play your videos and I suggested using different embedding code.

    When you changed your code it didn’t change my browsers behavior, but after a recent update to Windows 8.1 I decided to do some house keeping and cleared away my browser and re-installed the latest version.

    I no longer have a problem with inapproriate auto-playing on your site.

    So in my instance it was a bug in my browser since corrected or a glitch in my O/S -- Browser combination since cleared away.

  25. Rob says

    Re your update, when noscript deactivated both load as far as the start button, but neither autoplay for me.

  26. Mano Singham says

    So it may be that my switching to the method used in clip 1 was a mistake and that it was a browser glitch at the viewing end. Interesting.

    Let’s see what others say about the two clips.

  27. Mano Singham says

    I am becoming convinced that switching to the method in clip 1 did not help and may have made the problem worse.

  28. mnb0 says

    On freethoughtblogs I never suffer from autoplay. Latest IE (is it 10?) on Windows 7. Just checked: with Opera I can’t play your video’s at all.

  29. TomeWyrm says

    Update the second: I think I figured out the culprit. At least for me: a filter in my adblock settings.
    Specifically: ||^$object-subrequest,third-party

    Putting this in as an exception
    causes the first video to stop autoplaying.

    I have absolutely no idea why it does this, and I’m posting the problem (generalized slightly) on the support forums of the filterset I use which included the block originally.

  30. TomeWyrm says

    I would ask if anyone is using adblock could confirm that adding “@@||^$object-subrequest,third-party” (without quotation marks) into their adblock filters and then reloading the page fixes the issue.

    Note: this only works on Firefox, with AdBlock plus or AdBlock edge.

    Either left click on the AdBlock icon (should be close to one of the corners of your browser) and go to Filter Preferences
    Or you can left click on an empty portion of the page (some text works fine as well), then ctrl+shift+f to bring up your filter preferences for AdBlock

    Make sure you’re on the “Custom Filters” tab
    In the upper right there should be an “Add Filter” button, click that.
    Paste the next line into the text entry box which should appear in the window
    Then hit enter and make sure the filter is enabled (via the check box to the left) and refresh this page.

  31. AsqJames says

    Being the subject of a tyrannical monarch rather than a free citizen of the liberty loving United States of Awesomeness, comedy central knows I am too infantilised by my nanny state to appreciate their humour. Consequently this is not a an issue which affects me personally.

    However, I would like to say that I very much admire Mano’s consideration for his readers, of which this post is but one example. He daily provides us with information, entertainment and education free of charge and yet exhibits an attitude to “customer” service which would shame many people/businesses who seek our coin.

    I’m sure he sees what he is trying to do with this post (and with things like the tips under each clip for watching from outside the US) as just common courtesy and, if he reads this, may even be embarrassed that anyone should think he is doing anything unusual. If that’s the case, tough. I’m equally sure he would not hesitate to express gratitude when given considerate and thoughtful service by others, so allow me to express mine.

    Thanks Mano.

  32. filethirteen says

    I’m running Windows XP and Chrome, and I have both Ghostery and AdBlock running. *Both* of the above clips autoplay. But if I disable BOTH Ghostery and Adblock and refresh, the clips do NOT autoplay. However if I activate either and refresh, both of the clips autoplay again!

    So for me, this is the answer. I suspect it might be worth taking a straw poll among those having trouble as to who also runs ad or tracker blockers.

  33. filethirteen says

    Adding @@||^$object-subrequest,third-party to AdBlock as suggested is a fix for that. Now it only autoplays if Ghostery is running. I’ll try and find what exactly is the culprit here.

  34. filethirteen says

    Ok, it’s disabling FreeWheel that’s the problem. Enable that in Ghostery (under Advertising) and add that AdBlock filter and the problem goes away… for me anyway.

  35. physicsphdstu says

    I see that you have updated in the latest post (which does not autoplay), but let me add a data point.
    Clip 1 auto-played. Clip 2 did not.

  36. TomeWyrm says

    I originally got my filter set (Fanboy+Easylist -- Merged Ultimate List) from the Fanboy site (fanboy dot co dot nz)

    It appears to be from Fanboy’s Adblock List, though I have no idea for what reason it was added, nor the original source.

    Someone apparently had this issue before, and narrowed it down to the same filter. They submitted a thread in the Fanboy List forums ( The admin who looked into the issue could not reproduce, and the thread appears to have been abandoned after only 3 posts.

    Unfortunately I don’t know enough about the process involved to dig in and figure out why blocking that particular address using CSS via content policies causes the autoplay/autopause to break.

  37. lorn says

    They autoplay on my box. Running Win7, using Firefox v24 latest version and most recent update, Shockwave Flash v11.9.900.117 updated Oct 8 this year.

  38. eigenperson says

    Clip 1 autoplays.

    Clip 2 does not.

    Windows 7/Firefox 24.0/Flash 11.9.900.117/ABP-Easylist.

    The ABP filter change suggested above fixed the problem.

  39. Frank says

    MAC OS X 10.6.8. Safari 5.1.10

    Autoplay has never happened, even when using later versions of OS X. (Had a hard drive issue recently where I had to revert to 10.6.)

  40. fentex says

    I add I am using the same collection of plugins now that I was before, so I don’t think my problem was inherent to any plugin (although it may have involved a corrupted setting in one since cleared away).

  41. Kilian Hekhuis says

    All on Windows 7: IE9. No autoplay problems. Chrome: both videos autoplay. Firefox: only the second video autoplays. Safari: FtB renders horribly, no autoplay but second video is not shown (just a black rectangle). In al cases, the preview for the first video is rather stretched.

  42. khms says

    Thanks to @30 TomeWyrm and @35.2 filethirteen, I’ve got autoplay stopped.

    Enabling just FreeWheel/Advertising stops the second autoplaying, the AdBlock filter alone doesn’t help, doing both stops both autoplays.

    So the problem is that the player tries to talk with FreeWheel (, and if that doesn’t work, starts autoplaying.

    Thanks to everyone!

  43. says

    I have not had a problem with auto play at all but for the last few weeks if you embedded a video (which I enjoy by the way) I have not been able to play it on my iPad. I read your blog using my iPad 3 and if there is a video I now have to go to my Mac to watch it. I am running iOS 7. With respect to the current post it looks like I can see the bottom most embedded video but not the one just above it.

  44. Mano Singham says

    That problem was due to the embedding type. I have switched it and you should not have any more problems.

  45. Thud says

    IPad retina, iOS7, Safari
    Clip 1 does not appear at all.
    Clip 2 plays only if I tap it as normally done to star/stop.

  46. Henry Gale says

    IE 11 on a Windows 7 machine -- neither clip autoplays.

    FF25 on same machine with Ghostery and Adblock Plus both clips play.

    FF25 on same machine with all addons disabled neither clips play.

  47. drdale says

    For the update.

    Windows 7 x64

    Opera 12.15.1748 Win 32 Both clips autoplay
    Opera 12.15.1748 Win 64 Neither clip autoplays
    Firefox 25 neither clip autoplays
    Internet explorer 10.0.10 Neither clip autoplays
    Opera Next 18.0.1284.26 win32 Neither clip autoplays

  48. PeterG says

    Late to this, but for the record I have no autoplay ever on any website.

    Win7, Chrome 31.0.1650.57 m

    I don’t think these are doing anything for me in this context, but my Extensions: Ghostery & AdBlock, HTTPS Everywhere, LastPass Chrome-to-phone

    I have disabled plugins using the following method:
    Settings --> Show Advanced Settings --> Privacy --> Content Settings
    -Plug-ins set to “click to play”

    When I load this page I see two grew boxes where the videos are. There’s a broken puzzle piece icon in their middles telling me that this is a plug-in (most often Flash), when I click on it the landing screen for the video displays, then the video pre-loads. A second click will start the video playing.

  49. lanir says

    I’m also using linux & firefox. The videos autoplay… but only if I disable the Flashblock add-on. Generally I have it on so video clips are a simple click to get working.

  50. Mano Singham says

    Thanks for the kind words. But you are right, I had not thought that I was doing anything unusual.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *