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For a few months now, it seems that I have to reenter my login credentials more and more often (it used to be once every few months, and it is now several times per week) when navigating Stack Overflow and other sites that share the same account (Travel, Sound Design, Expatriates, Signal Processing, and Video Production). I visit these sites almost daily.

I'm running Firefox (currently 83.0) on macOS v10.13.6 (High Sierra). I have the uBlock Origin ad-blocker activated and the native Firefox tracking protection enabled in standard mode.

I remember seeing some alert messages mentioning the need to load scripts from external URLs on the Stack Exchange websites recently, so maybe there's a link. (These message where solved by accepting to load from an alternative URL.)

[Edit]

In an answer to the questions about third-party cookies, there isn't any mention of such cookies any more in the Firefox privacy settings which would allow to explicitly set the permissions. Here is a list of cookies currently stored on my PC found on the stack domain:

stackapps 2
stackexchange 2
sound.stackexchange.com 2
stackoverflow.com 3

In addition, when on Travel SE, for example:

  • uBlock Origin does block one domain: www.googletagservices.com

  • Firefox tracking protection does not block any domain.

When going to the Network Login Troubleshooting, I have a messaging failed information, and therefore a Communication with stackauth.com skipped information as well.

Unfortunately, as of today (December 20, 2020), there has not been a really convincing answer to the original question.

There seem to be a consensus that some interaction between the browser, it's privacy settings, the uBlock Origin extension and the server code is the cause of some unpredictable logging out for me.

If the issue was an impossibility to log in or a systematic log out, I would have tried some workaround that have been suggested here (disable ad-blocker, try another browser, ...) but given the erratic behavior of the problem, I don't expect these suggestions to give an answer to the why (other maybe than does not reproduce with such browser).

As I am currently moving from MacOS to Ubuntu, with the same browser settings and extensions, that will be an opportunity to see wether this has an impact on the issue.

[/Edit]

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  • 3
    Do you have third-party cookies disabled by any chance? Dec 5, 2020 at 15:19
  • 1
    I haven't had to log in for months - I do allow cookies. Nothing to do with external URLs though, so that may be a red herring
    – Rory Alsop
    Dec 5, 2020 at 15:23
  • This only happens when your session ends after a very long time or something or someone alters or deletes your cookies, if your save any. For example, when you clear your browser cache/session data, then all cookies will be deleted, too.
    – Tom
    Dec 5, 2020 at 15:43
  • 4
    I've some times had Firefox log me out for no apparent reason. It's more rampant on Mobile FF for some reason, although that can usually automatically log back in my terminating the app a few times. Have even had it happen on desktop while browsing the site. For me though, it didn't happen several times per week, but it did (does?) happen a few months apart. If this is a bug though, assuming it's with SO (which is likely, I've had no other site behave like that), actually finding it is gonna be a pain unless someone finds a way to consistently reproduce it. Dec 5, 2020 at 16:31
  • 1
    I don't know how strict Firefox tracking protection in standard mode is, but a related question mentions that 3rd-party cookies are needed to stay logged in. Dec 5, 2020 at 17:00
  • @Zoe same here, happened to me 2 or 3 days ago for the first time in a couple months, only affects FF, just have to click the log in button again Dec 5, 2020 at 21:57
  • @MetaAndrewT. This happened before Firefox's tracking protection was rolled out extensively as well. Third party cookies being blocked would also cause more frequent, and more importantly, consistent issues, which this issue doesn't show Dec 5, 2020 at 23:10
  • Related: Which browsers are officially supported? And what else do I need?. It contains input for JavaScript allowlisting, cookies, etc. Dec 6, 2020 at 10:49
  • 1
    FWIW, I also get "Messaging failed" and "Communication with stackauth.com skipped" in Network Login Troubleshooting but haven't experienced getting logged out of Stack Exchange sites. Dec 12, 2020 at 6:40
  • 1
    @KodosJohnson the messaging failed is something I have an open report on from a few years back: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/298028/… I suspect by now that is status-bydesign.
    – rene
    Dec 13, 2020 at 18:40
  • 1
    Did you sign up with goggle? This was happening with me on some other site, I logout from all goggle accounts, then re-login again, it helps 99% website.I still have to issue on one particular website. Something I followed.
    – Earid
    Dec 14, 2020 at 4:04
  • @Earid : no, I did not sign with Google. I signed with a native Stack Overflow account.
    – audionuma
    Dec 14, 2020 at 7:17

2 Answers 2

1

How about this, try:

  1. Unblock (and turn off) all extensions that block domains (Disconnect, Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin...) and reload the page. Then try signing in again (if prompted). Then try to reproduce the problem.
1

From my (limited web developer) experience, people usually need to log in again when:

  1. Their session cookie expired

Or

  1. They "lost" their cookies

So, my guess here is that you have a Firefox preference somewhere that say "remove every cookies" any time you close Firefox (or, I guess it could also be a temporary thing. Like "remove cookie every 24h").

Anyway, I would suggest you either:

  • Try using a different navigator (not a great solution IMO)

OR

  • Completly uninstall Firefox (and I mean completly. You will have to hand delete some stuff because your computer won't do it). And then reinstall it with the default settings

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