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it's not quite as much of a problem as it was around launch when everyone was going wild, but we know it's obnoxious (even dangerous, for some folks) to get a faceful of animated GIFs when you're not expecting it; so now, animated GIFs attached to a post start paused by default. if you want GIFs to auto-play without interaction, you can also go to your user settings page and disable this behavior site-wide.

caveats

  • for right now, this only affects animated GIFs included as attachments on posts. expect changes to follow soon for pausing GIFs you include inline with ![alt text](link), header images, and avatars, after we figure out some small details.
  • there's no good way on our end to tell whether an image you're uploading is animated or not yet, so we use "is this image a GIF" as a cheat. as a result:
    • there's a few animated PNGs and motion JPEGs attached to various posts that won't be paused yet.
    • we treat still GIFs like they're animated, so if you dig up like an old 88x31 browser button from geocities, it'll have a play/pause button that looks like it does nothing.
  • because of how CSS animations work, they can't be paused using this same technique, so we can't commit to a timeline for pausing those by default -- some CSS animation posters are in the habit of using content warnings to hide them behind a click-through, and we appreciate that.

in reply to @staff's post:

oh by the way, on the topic of playing stuff: is it intentional that the <source> tag is currently blocked? <video> is allowed, but it's useless without the src attribute or <source>, is that intentional? because if not, you should also block autoplay on videos by default, because if you use mute autoplay it can still autoplay in most browsers

kinda wish that playing/pausing was per-post instead of per-gif. I have one post with multiple gifs that are meant to be on the same cycle timing which would be broken by having the user click them separately

This is awesome, thank you!

Instead of disabling the mode entirely, could you maybe have the setting toggle it to play by default but leave a pause button? I'd love to be able to pause GIFs when they start by default.