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Embedding rich media

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Sometimes it is useful to embed media from third-party sites into your Consultation records.  Many sites provide 'embed codes' which are snippets of code that make it easy to include their content.  For example, you can embed videos from YouTube, maps or interactive street views from Google Maps, PDF documents or slideshows from Slideshare.  You can embed rich media into Citizen Space anywhere you see a rich text editor box.  This includes the main consultation record and the fact banks and explanatory text components inside online surveys.  Note that embedded media requires the visitor's browser to support Javascript, and may reduce the accessibility of your consultation.

Step 1: Copy the embed code

Different sites show this in different places.  For example in YouTube there are sharing options underneath the main video window.  This is what the YouTube embed code looks like.  Copy this embed code to your clipboard:

embed code

All Citizen Space sites are served via 'https'. This means that your site is certified and protected. It also means that any embedded content will also need to be served via 'https' otherwise it may not load correctly.  Typically, this means checking that any URLs in the embed code start with 'https' rather than 'http'.

Step 2: Edit your consultation

Navigate to the consultation record or survey question where you want the embedded media to appear.  Click the 'Embed rich media' button on the toolbar of the rich text editor:

image of rich text editor with rich media embed highlighted


A box will pop up where you can paste the embed code and enter more information about the content you're embedding and where the content comes from.  This information is important so that visitors to Citizen Space can make an informed decision about whether to view the embedded content or not:

Embed rich media screen with embed code section, description and providers name and site


When you click OK, a placeholder will appear inside the Rich Text editor.  This shows that your content has been embedded successfully:

example of rich media embed

Step 3: Viewing embedded content

You can preview your consultation to view the embedded content.

Whenever anyone (in Europe) visits a page on Citizen Space that contains embedded content, a yellow bar appears at the top of the page asking whether they want to display the content*. Visitors can optionally save a setting that automatically loads all embedded content on the site for the rest of their visit:

Browser overlay bar asking if embedded content should be loaded and if your choice should be remembered


More cautious visitors can read more about each item of embedded content before loading it.  A placeholder appears instead of the item, with a brief description and a button to load the content:

If the EU Privacy Law does not affect you, you may prefer to load all embedded content automatically without warning visitors first. This privacy feature can be disabled site-wide by Delib on request.  However, you should check your territory's privacy and cookie regulations before doing this.


* An update on embedded content warnings for EU customers (from March 2014)

The embedded content warning and explicit consent request was a privacy feature originally added to Citizen Space as a default (for customers based in the EU) in order to comply with EU privacy regulations in regard to third-party cookies. 

However, this guidance was relaxed in 2013, and therefore we can disable this functionality on request, given the following guidance:

  • Let your users know about any cookie implications in the text *preceding* any embedded content (perhaps linking to your Cookie Policy). For example, cookies will be stored once a user plays a video from YouTube.
  • Update your Cookie Page to reflect any changes. We'd recommend looking to the ICO site for guidance:

Specifically in relation to embedding videos from YouTube:

  • When you embed a video, enable YouTube's 'privacy-enhanced mode' (so YouTube won’t store information about visitors on your web page unless they play the video). See
  • We'd really recommend against enabling auto-play. This has implications for the user not just in terms of cookie storage, but also their data usage.


[Disclaimer: this article does not constitute legal advice]