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I have been active on various Stack Exchange sites for about a year and a half, that includes the meta sites.

Suddenly, I cannot log into the the meta sites. When I go to one of them, I am not logged in automatically, so I hit 'log in':

"You are currently logged in as "

Oh, so I am already logged in?

"Add another way to log in using any of the following services."

Why should I add a new login?

To continue without adding a new way to log in, click here

Yes, please. [clicks link].

Redirected back to the meta site, but without being logged in.

I'm using Firefox and tried it over https, http, with and with all add-ons disabled. I also tried in Midori and Epiphany. My OS is Ubuntu 16.04.

Do I really have to get myself a Google or Facebook account to log in when I already have an account here?

  • 2
    Did you try doing this from https or http? Try switching the protocol. Which browser? OS? Any plugins/scripts running? – rene Mar 4 '17 at 16:49
  • @rene Firefox over https, http, with and without all addons disabled. I also tried in Midori and Epiphany. Edit: OS Ubuntu 16.04 – Hohmannfan Mar 4 '17 at 16:51
  • Did you had an account merge recently? – rene Mar 4 '17 at 16:53
  • No, I have not. – Hohmannfan Mar 4 '17 at 16:54
  • This is your network profile, right? – rene Mar 4 '17 at 16:55
  • Yup, looks like me. – Hohmannfan Mar 4 '17 at 16:56
  • I'm out of options. This needs Adam Lear to sort out. – rene Mar 4 '17 at 16:58
  • @rene Thank you anyway, all of the above could be a probable cause in many cases. – Hohmannfan Mar 4 '17 at 16:59
  • Can you try clearing any cookies you have for meta.[the site you have this issues on].com. oh wait, no, you tried other browsers as well... this is not good. – rene Mar 4 '17 at 17:02
  • 1
    @rene Most users won't have cookies for individual sites anyways, only Local Storage. The account cookie is stored on the base .stackexchange.com domain, not per-site. Could try clearing that and re-logging in to see if it helps. – animuson Mar 4 '17 at 17:24
  • As an aside: adding another credential will not help you whatsoever. It's asking you that because per-site Metas have no login mechanism, so it redirects you back to the main site to complete login where it detects you are already logged in and isn't sure why you're visiting the login page. Adding a credential does not change how the site recognizes you as logged in, i.e. we don't store which method you used to login to the site in your session data and it would be irrelevant to the issue you're experiencing. – animuson Mar 4 '17 at 17:28
7

Case solved (at least partially).

I tried to connect to another network than usual, and then it works just fine. Switching back to my regular network, however, still has the same symptoms.

That proves there is nothing wrong on Stack Exchange's end, and that things should be ok on my computer. Why this particular network connection has this issue however I don't know, and I likely do not have the technical knowledge to find out.

Meta not working on: Home network (ISP: Ice.net).

Working on: A School network. Update: ...and any other network I have tried to connect to.

Thank you for the help with this. I can update this answer if I find out more.

  • Can you share what the difference is between those networks or would that be sensitive information? If it is just a different ISP it would be worth knowing. – rene Mar 4 '17 at 19:20
  • @rene The one not working is a home network, a standard solution from the Norwegian ISP Ice.net meta login worked just fine until now. The other network (working) is a school network. I am not sure what ISP they are using. – Hohmannfan Mar 4 '17 at 19:25
  • We has seen issues with some ISP when they switch the IP address of your connection repeatedly (this is not usual). – Oded Mar 4 '17 at 20:23
  • Hm. IP address changes for browsing shouldn't matter, only for the actual authentication exchange. Then again, key word there is "shouldn't". My money off-hand would be on something on your end stripping out cookies on meta sites. (Clicking "log in" puts you back on the main site, which recognizes you as logged in.) I'm 100% puzzled on what would do that or why, though, so I'm looking forward to any updates if you get any more clues. (cc @Oded) – Adam Lear Mar 7 '17 at 6:22
  • When you're on a meta site that exhibits this problem, do you see an "acct" cookie in the browser dev tools? – Adam Lear Mar 7 '17 at 6:24

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