Friday, June 22, 2012

Cannot play videos on Yahoo! News?

Symptom: This often happens with users of Firefox and other Gecko-based browsers, when:
• they can't show most news videos on the Yahoo! News website and some other Yahoo! properties;
• the commenting system is not functional (can't properly view and post comments).

Privacy-conscious users, and/or those who wish for their browsers to consume less resources, use a script blocking add-on, such as NoScript. I often have NoScript configured to allow/disallow full domains (like and not just second-level domains (just

As it often happens, allowing only full subdomains instead of just second-level domains brings with itself more issues.

By default, NoScript includes a whitelist of second-level domains without which major services' functionality would be wholly disabled. The whitelist also contains,, and The instructions herein are for users who have chosen to impose a more fine-grained control over the websites they visit.

Right, well, I finally played around with NoScript and found a solution:

    In addition to and and maybe others, allow the following domains essential for video playback:
  • (If you're privacy-conscious, then allow temporarily).

  • 11.07.2012. Update: I later discovered that non-video news items also featured videos, so here's an addition of domains that must be allowed:
  • (important on other Yahoo properties, even if not using video)
• Allow
^ Including only that domain in the Flashblock whitelist will have the video area rendered with the Flashblock placeholder. Clicking on it will start playback (note that ads are also played).
• Allow
^ In regular news items that included video, disallowing wouldn't even load the Flashblock video placeholder.

If you want video to load automatically, allow the above domains, and and (and/or other Yahoo! properties as necessary from the Flashblock toolbar button).


Even if and are enabled in NoScript, the crucial part for some erroneous coding reason is; If that is not allowed, most video code and commenting functionality won't load. Note that is the primary culprit. This has been discussed before at (a NoScript and web security forum).


Anonymous said...

Disabled NoScript/ABP/Ghostry and still not letting me view videos, click on buttons, or comment.

And Yahoo sites with commenting are infamous for buggy/slow Javascript.

Mardus said...

@user who posted on 11 July, 2012 08:29

I've updated the article with additional domains that must be allowed both in NoScript and Flashblock (or your blocking tool of choice).

Note that as far as I know, Adblock Plus can also block Flash. I don't know much about Ghostry.

Note that I am not using NoScript in conjunction with Adblock Plus; extensions with similar functionality might conflict with one another.

Do allow the domains I've added. When making changes, remember to reload the page. And keep in mind that it takes a short while for all page functionality to load.

If disabling extensions still does not show video, run Firefox in Safe Mode.

If yet again video does not show, update your Flash Player. If you experience crashes with FP 11.3 (assuming you're using the newest version of your Gecko-based browser), use the legacy 11.2 version (the latest of which is

If all else fails, create a new Firefox profile and use the trial-and-error method to note what works and what doesn't — gradually include NoScript, Flashblock, etc.