UO Libraries Home Page

Firefox not displaying content and external links

Two months ago, a Blackboard bug (which has since been fixed), added an “s” to links and made them not work. Instead of going to http://…, the link redirected to an invalid one with https://… when the link was saved in a content area.

Now, the reverse is happening. Firefox blocks mixed http://…, https://… active/passive (dynamic frames/images) content in web pages, and will not display them within the same page.

There are a few easy workarounds for both the instructor and the student:

One workaround for a student is to copy and paste the URL directly into the browser and add the http(s):// then press enter and the page will load. However if you’ve added it as a “Web Link” already, there is a default setting that says “Open in a new window” and if that was selected, it should open fine in a new window. Again, this is only for content with an “s” at the end of http.

The second thing a student can do, is to simply switch to a different web browser. The browsers that currently work fine with links are Chrome and Safari (Chrome being the better choice with Blackboard).

A third option is that links added to a text editor area (such as adding links within an “Item” instead of a Web Link and copy/pasting your link address directly into the item content area) also works fine now. If you already have your links in an item or a content area like this, you shouldn’t have to worry about them not working.

Another, more complex workaround is to recreate the content by going to “Build Content”, then use the “Web Link” content builder and in option 4. select “Open in New Window “(or add http(s):// to the link if you know this won’t break the link URL). This option allows for the web links to display properly.

Again, Safari and Chrome do not block the content, therefore if Firefox doesn’t work, we recommend you try those browsers. Just to reiterate Blackboard is doing the links correctly. This is a browser issue. The latest browsers are blocking any content links to http media if they come from an https page. Since this is happening in the browser there isn’t anything Blackboard can do. This also affects all of the other LMS along with any web sites that use https.

The only workarounds right now are to either set up your media to open in a separate window or to ask the sites hosting the media to make them available using https.

Here is a forum on Firefox for those interested: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/967760

Comments are closed.