Using IE 9 or less, I'm getting a JS error "Object is required" on line 1, position 137 in stub.js.

The script stops and the StackExchange object does not get initialized, so later there are "Object does not support this property or method" on calls to StackExchange.init etc. Basically nothing JS-related works.

The root of the error is this chunk of code:


The function atob() is defined only starting at IE10. See here.

  • Company firewall/proxy probably playing tricks blocking files. Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:03
  • What version of IE? Did you clear the cache? Does it happen with other browsers? Other versions of IE?
    – Oded
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:07
  • @Oded Does not happen in Firefox. Trying different IE versions now.
    – GSerg
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:09
  • @ShaWizDowArd Not really, got all files the page references.
    – GSerg
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:10
  • 1
    Reproduced in IE7/IE8/IE9 browser modes in IE10. SCRIPT5007: Unable to get value of the property 'atob': object is null or undefined; stub.js, line 1 position 137.
    – Pang
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:11
  • 2
    @Pang true. stackoverflow.com/q/11524268/447356 and culprit code is {if(window.location.host==atob("d3d3Lmhvd3MuaW5mbw=="). Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:15
  • Interesting, some special client side code to handle some scrapers?
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:21
  • @ShaWizDowArd - No. This is an unintentional side-effect of trying to ban a scraper. Looking into this.
    – Oded
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:28
  • @Oded yeah, figured it after second look in the code. Cheers! :) Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:29
  • 1
    Reverting the change, will be back in working order in a few minutes.
    – Oded
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:36
  • 1
    @Oded why not post this as answer? Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 8:39

1 Answer 1


We are trying to block a scraper that is scraping against our terms & conditions.

This bug was an unforeseen consequence of trying to ban them client side - not realizing that atob is not supported by IE 7/8/9 (and 10 in 7/8/9 mode).

I am reverting the change and deploying as we speak.

Meta is back to normal now... as is the rest of the network.

  • 15
    You should blame this guy for not letting you know.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 11:24

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