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When you are new user trying to ask your first question, you'll get stuck after 5 steps:

  1. Go to http://stackoverflow.com
  2. Click ask a question
  3. Click click here to sign up
  4. Wait +/- 15 seconds
  5. Enter a username and password
  6. Error appears: Third Party Cookies Appear To Be Disabled

"Reset all zones to default level" leaves IE in a state where it blocks third-party cookies. If Internet Explorer disables third-party cookies by default, why does Stack Exchange use them?

And it looks like Firefox will soon block them too, and Safari already does.

If Stack Exchange requires the cookies, should it include instructions on how to "add an exception"?

14
  • 1
    What makes you assume that cookies are disabled by default in IE? Are you sure you haven't simply disabled them even though that's not the default behavior?
    – Servy
    May 6 '13 at 15:20
  • 5
    @Servy: "Reset all zones to default level" leaves IE in a state where it blocks third-party cookies. Looks like FireFox will soon block them too.
    – Andomar
    May 6 '13 at 15:23
  • 1
    @KnightswhosayNi What broader concern of cookie use?
    – user102937
    May 6 '13 at 15:32
  • 2
    So are we making the claim in this question that advertisers who place ads on Stack Exchange are using third-party cookies, and that Stack Exchange won't let you use the site unless third-party cookies are enabled?
    – user102937
    May 6 '13 at 15:44
  • @Robert Ah, whoops. My confusion.
    – user206222
    May 6 '13 at 15:48
  • But I thought that you could now signup on SE using a simple ID/Password combination. Why would StackAuth (if that's owned by SE) be considered a third party? Because it's on a different domain?
    – user102937
    May 6 '13 at 15:50
  • @RobertHarvey: the question is about what a new user who is trying to ask a question for the first time experiences. Not sure where you got the advertiser reference.
    – Andomar
    May 6 '13 at 15:52
  • 3
    That's what a "third party" is. An advertiser. Do you see where I'm going with this? Turning on third-party cookies just to satisfy StackAuth is a major inconvenience, if your MO is to always have such cookies turned off to block advertiser data mining.
    – user102937
    May 6 '13 at 15:52
  • 1
    The error message doesn't come along with a link that lets you continue anyway?
    – Tim Stone
    May 6 '13 at 15:55
  • 1
    Related: Stack Exchange and third party cookies
    – user102937
    May 6 '13 at 15:59
  • @TimStone: That link is no longer there. It just says "This site depends on third-party cookies, please add an exception for openid.stackexchange.com."
    – Andomar
    May 6 '13 at 17:30
  • @Andomar Let me know if the answers in the other question don't help you. It is pretty old, but it can't hurt to try.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    May 7 '13 at 4:09
  • @AnnaLear: I know how to enable third party cookies ;) The question is if this is an acceptable experience for first time users.
    – Andomar
    May 7 '13 at 8:05
  • I have third party cookies disabled in opera but I don't have any problems with SE. So I wouldn't be surprised if that error message is a red herring. May 7 '13 at 8:54

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