First time I ever saw an exception on StackExchange site.
It appears constantly on this page on both Chrome and Safari on Mac.

Update (after 27 minutes):

I'm unable to reproduce the issue on that page now.


 Newtonsoft.Json.JsonReaderException: Unexpected character encountered while parsing value: <. Line 1, position 1.
   at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonTextReader.ParseValue(Char currentChar)
   at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonTextReader.Read()
   at Newtonsoft.Json.Linq.JObject.Load(JsonReader reader)
   at StackOverflow.Views.Ads.AdModel.ProcessQuestions(StringBuilder sb, String json, Int32 chance) in c:\Builds\StackExchange-Network\prod\source\StackOverflow\Views\Ads\AdModel.Render.cs:line 67
   at StackOverflow.Views.Ads.AdModel.get_MetaHouseAd() in c:\Builds\StackExchange-Network\prod\source\StackOverflow\Views\Ads\AdModel.Render.cs:line 41
   at ASP._Page_Views_Ads_DynamicHeightAds_cshtml.Execute() in c:\sites\stackexchange-network\Views\Ads\DynamicHeightAds.cshtml:line 9
   at System.Web.WebPages.WebPageBase.ExecutePageHierarchy()
   at System.Web.Mvc.WebViewPage.ExecutePageHierarchy()
   at System.Web.WebPages.WebPageBase.ExecutePageHierarchy(WebPageContext pageContext, TextWriter writer, WebPageRenderingBase startPage)
   at StackOverflow.Controllers.StackOverflowController.RenderPartialRazorViewToString(Controller controller, String viewName, Object model) in c:\Builds\StackExchange-Network\prod\source\StackOverflow\Controllers\ControllerBase.cs:line 867


On a side note, StackOverflowController is sexy.

  • @slhck: For me, visiting the linked page always triggers the exception.
    – Dan
    Jul 30, 2011 at 22:26
  • I see the same thing with Safari 5.1 and Mac OS X 10.6.
    – apaderno
    Jul 30, 2011 at 22:26
  • I saw this about 5 hours ago, on either Travel or Home Improvement, but not that particular page. Jul 31, 2011 at 0:02
  • I see you haven't changed 'StackOverflow' to 'StackExchange' in your code yet :) Jul 31, 2011 at 4:59

2 Answers 2


Some bad settings ended up on a few of our API servers, leading to some internal requests failing against a small subset of sites.

This manifested as broken ads. It's been fixed, hopefully anyway.


It looks fine on my side


(I do not think it depends on browser)

  • It looks fine to me now as well.
    – Dan
    Jul 30, 2011 at 22:56

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