I sure hope this hasn't been reported before, but here it goes:

When I do a search on Stack Overflow (e.g.: sql multiple tables), I get a page full of responses (yeah!) and then they all disappear! I scroll to the bottom and there is a second page link. I click on that and the same thing happens. The screen is painted with all the responses and then they disappear.

I've tried this with Firefox 3.5.1 and with Seamonkey 1.1.17 and IE 6 with the same response.

Is this a known problem or am I doing something wrong?

Further info:
I am running on a Windows XP Pro box with 2 GB of RAM. It doesn't happen if I disable Javascript, but then I lose other features of StackOverflow (like commenting). I have not tried it when logged off because I am now reasonably certain that it is not a problem on my end; three different browsers demonstrate it.

Also, I've been using SO for quite a while and this has never happened before, so I suspect something new.

  • Hmm... works fine with FF 3.0.12, FF 3.5.1, and Epiphany 2.26.1 on Ubuntu 9.04
    – Zifre
    Jul 28, 2009 at 18:38
  • Tell us more about your system/setup.
    – Sampson
    Jul 28, 2009 at 18:44
  • I edited my original post to include more information, but since it doesn't happen on Ubuntu 9.04 (see Zifre, above) it may be a Windows-specific Javascript problem. Or not. Jul 28, 2009 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


It's a simple issue of tag filtering. Filters are applied on the client side with Javascript. As soon as the page loads, all your ignored tags are filtered out, hence they disappear. Whatever you're searching for always contains at least one tag which you've chosen to ignore.

Steps to reproduce.
1. Add a tag such as C# to your ignore list
2. In search, type in [c#] , and hit enter

Notice the resulting search will undergo the behavior you have described.

  • If this is the case, results of a tag search shouldn't be filtered by ignored tags... Jul 28, 2009 at 18:54
  • So how would I ask a question about using SQL to query multiple tables if having the keyword "SQL" disables the display? I don't get this if I ask about: Perl multiple tables Jul 28, 2009 at 18:57
  • If a question contains any tag that you filter it will be removed. This is unavoidable. I agree that filters should not apply to search pages. Remove the filters temporarily, or log out and complete your search. Jul 28, 2009 at 18:59
  • That does it! Until today, I was uninterested in seeing anything to do with SQL and now, for once, I am interested. Now I need to figure out how to remove those tags from my ignore list. Jul 28, 2009 at 19:00
  • This happened to me while helping out a friend... I had [PHP] ignored and then when searching for "PHP XML" (on his behalf) I experienced the 'flickering' show/hide of results. Didn't take too long to figure it out - but IMO if Ignored Tags hides 100% of the page content it would be nice to get a warning "XX results hidden due to Ignore Tag settings"... the flicker-blank behaviour is a little 'weird'
    – Conceptdev
    Aug 30, 2009 at 22:33

Do you have greasemonkey turned on, or some other scripting platform that may be ruining the dom? Try this in IE, Safari, Opera or Chrome.

Perhaps disable Javascript. See if it still happens.

Does it still happen if you're logged out?

  • No greasemonkey or anything similar. I just tried it with IE 6 and it does the same, except slower. As soon as the entire page is painted, it clears out the results. Jul 28, 2009 at 18:32
  • It sounds like a scripting issue - try disabling javascript.
    – Sampson
    Jul 28, 2009 at 18:33
  • That fixes it, however at the top of the page there is now a large red bar with the message "Stack Overflow works best with JavaScript enabled" showing. And I believe it, except for this case. Jul 28, 2009 at 18:39
  • And adding comments here also fails to work with Javascript disabled! Jul 28, 2009 at 18:40
  • Yes. Well at least we know it's Javascript :)
    – Sampson
    Jul 28, 2009 at 18:44

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