Weird download "swiphy20141103.swf" when scrolling bbs

I have been encountering a strange phenomenon just the past couple of days or so. Sometimes, not always, when scrolling on the bbs, I’ll suddenly get a download entitled “swiphy20141103.swf”. If there is already a copy in my downloads, I get the icon popping on down to the download folder in the dock but it doesn’t make another copy of it there.

Google doesn’t really tell me anything useful.

Running Mac os 10.11.6, Safari 10.0.1

at least by file extension thats adobe shockwave… possibly a browser setting thinking it should download that instead of play it?


I think it’s specifically from this post in the “Trump elected president” thread. From the looks of the code, it’s an embedded link from GIPHY that’s trying to serve a GIF that’s been wrapped in a Flash container. At a guess, the poster probably copied the wrong embed code (though why GIPHY has the option to share a GIF inside of a Flash container is well beyond my ken).

I’ve been getting download prompts for the same file in Vivaldi, which I use at work with Flash disabled. There’s probably some oddity to the way the Flash file is being served that’s conflicting with Apple’s newly-implemented Flash restrictions to cause Safari to download the file instead of blocking it from displaying.


Because it’s not actually a gif. It’s an MP4 that has an associated Giphy player that’s a SWF file. The player is designed to make it act like a GIF in the browser, but since the file is an MP4 video it’s far smaller and less CPU intensive than a real animated GIF.


Yep. If you don’t have flash / shockwave installed, some embedded videos display like that. (Fun fact: hitting reply and quoting the whole message makes it play in the preview window.)

ETA: Found one.


Yep, same issue for me.

Interesting, I had something similar pop up for download today, but I don’t think I was on the BBS at the time.

Using Scriptsafe in Chrome and have disabled Flash so presumably that’s why it appeared.

FYI: if you want to see the raw form of a post you can always copy the link and then when you paste into your browser replace the “/t/title-text/” part with “/raw/”

But, looking at @null’s post above, I realize that the full quote button now basically does that for you…
#Kids these days have it too easy!

Edit:this is what was linked.
NowThis GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


Yup, clicking on that link triggers the download.

But the gif embedded here does not.


Ok I’ll edit that post to change

(huh, also it is needlessly http) with

Now, the obvious question: why would giphy decide to embed FLASH for a damn GIF? Horrible.


Like I said, it’s not a gif. It’s a flash object designed to act like a gif because even with the added player, it’s much smaller to use a swf file playing an MP4, than a real gif that’s, say 500 frames long. As far as I can tell it’s much easier on giphy’s infrastructure to convert all the gifs to video and only serve out the far more efficient video files.


Well yes but any remotely modern browser can play MP4 files. So Flash is useful for…? (waits)


Nothing in particular. Besides making gif links work transparently as a pointer to the video. So it always looks like you’re handling an image file.


Well, here’s what that looks like for me.

Best of all, when I right click to play it, it does… nothing! No video plays. (Flash does normally work if I explicitly click it to play.)

I tested on Firefox and Edge and the behavior is pretty bad on Firefox, as the flash is auto-blocked as vulnerable. Even if you manually enable flash for that domain in Firefox, the actual video viewport is the wrong size.

Good ol’ Flash. Still sucking after all these years.


Hey I didn’t say it was good or works well. Just that that’s what it looks like it’s doing. Giphy is designed for post-millenials who use the tech but have no basic understanding of it, and will leave all their settings on default.

Hmm when I posted this amusing riposte it displayed fine both in the formatted answer display panel and subsequent to pressing “post”.

@codinghorror thanks for the fix!

Huh. Just got that file when I clicked on this link in Hugely successful Facebook fake news author considers himself a “satirist”. First Google hit on the filename led me here.

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Porn? I think that must be the answer

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That and Homestar Runner.


Yet again, giphy “hey, let’s use Flash because fuck you that’s why” bullshit. Edited from