There have been issues with the cookie box for a while, but this is ridiculous. It reminds me of late 2017 Stack Overflow, but this time it's network-wide.

A Stack Exchange site. The top part of the site is the navbar. About half of the remaining vertical space is a banner advertising Teams, with a cross in the top right corner. Overlapping with this, in the bottom left corner, is a large “Your privacy” box that is not obviously dismissable. The only remaining visible parts of the site are the "Ask Question" button, the sorting buttons for the questions list, and the Area51 site stats.

  • The banner must be scrolled past (or dismissed) on every page unless both first-party JavaScript and first-party cookies are enabled.
  • If first-party JavaScript is enabled, and the banner is visible, the rest of the page jumps up and down every so often.
    • Under certain circumstances (not quite sure what they are, yet – a direct link to an answer, maybe? I'm seeing it here) the entire page jumps up and down a line every few seconds even when the banner is off-screen.
  • The cookie banner keeps coming back unless both third-party JavaScript and third-party cookies are enabled (and the “consent” puzzle is solved).
  • The cookie box occludes the “Learn more about Teams” link in the banner (with default Firefox window sizes) and the Job / Teams link in the sidebar.

As it stands, Retrocomputing Stack Exchange – a site for hobbyists and researchers, whose audience is not very likely to purchase Teams – is much, much harder to use, for no benefit that I can see. Can you roll back this change, please?


1 Answer 1


Yesterday a banner about Stack Overflow for Teams was made live and we've heard how this has been impacting community members' experience on the site. This coupled with some known bugs around the cookies prompt, have obscured the view on the site for a number of users.

We apologize for this experience on Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network that has been far from user friendly and wanted to share how we are fixing it.

In response to your concerns, we've removed the banner.

The bugs related to the cookies prompt are a separate issue and are being inspected and worked on by the team. We will be posting an update on that separately once we have one.

We want to thank everyone who brought this to our attention and again apologize for anyone who's had a negative experience on the sites over the past day as a result. We take user experience seriously and are working hard to resolve this and ensure that these issues don't happen again in the future.

  • 13
    "ensure that these issues don't happen again in the future." Although very thoughtfull of you, please don't make promises you can't keep.
    – Luuklag
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 18:14
  • 10
    "anyone who's already dismissed the banner won't see it again." Well, that can only be true for users who allow cookies (or who are logged in assuming there will ever be an opt-out preference). Those who, for privacy concerns, reject, erase them or use private browser sessions will be forever, repeatedly pestered by banners. That's why large banners are always a bad idea, they harm privacy concerned visitors.
    – Quasímodo
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 19:35
  • 4
    @Quasímodo And those who are using browsers with legal-in-all-jurisdictions, sensible defaults (e.g. Safari, if rumours are true) that they haven't changed.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 20:42
  • 3
    @Quasímodo if you opt to browse incognito you know that a side effect will be that you don't have any cookies stored. That's a choice you as a user make, you can't blame a site for that.
    – Luuklag
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 20:48
  • 4
    @Luuklag - They could just use a user preference for the cookies and to determine if the banner should or should not be displayed. This won't help unregistered users, but those users are already shown ads, besides the cookie prompt is just broken using Safari on a supported iOS device so the justification of "that being a side effect" is complete baloney
    – Ramhound
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 21:04
  • 4
    @Luuklag Yes, I can! We are someone, whom web devs seem to all too easily overlook. A legit use of cookies would be, e.g., to keep a user logged in between browser sessions. On the other hand, no tracking is necessary to convey "I don't want banners"; a signal suffices. See Firefox "don't track me" signal. Would Stack honor such request? I doubt it. To me, it is a matter of respect that unidentified users should not be treated like second-class visitors who must endure rubbish. If that is a side-effect of a banner, it's actually an alienating bug.
    – Quasímodo
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 12:42
  • @Quasímodo well no, if they opted to use a regular cookie to store your preference on the banner, you would still be faced with it every time you open it in an incognito tab. So you really need to look at yourself and ask yourself if you're behaviour is worth the consequences.
    – Luuklag
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 12:49
  • 2
    @Luuklag It feels like the web equivalent of hostile architecture; it's certainly not very welcoming. This isn't some grand compromise; it's a perfectly normal browser configuration. How'd you feel if somebody said “You can't see the page properly? Works fine with screen-readers, and you're not deaf; is your behaviour worth the consequences?”?
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 12:51
  • @wizzwizz4 no, its perfectly normal to store user preferences in cookies. So there is nothing hostile about that. If third party cookies are the best approach for that, I doubt it.
    – Luuklag
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 13:00
  • 4
    @Luuklag Except all my other preferences are stored in the site's preferences system.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 13:07
  • 8
    @Luuklag If a site cannot be used properly by a first-time (or unidentified) visitor without dismissing purposely intrusive and useless elements on the interface, chances are such elements are rubbish. Requiring cookies to clear the mess is the wrong approach, the correct one is to clear the mess. See for example that they can detect if one blocks JavaScript, a red header bar pops up. Do they take care of removing banners that can't be dismissed without it? Surely not, but they could. It conveys: "You're not welcome here with those browser settings."
    – Quasímodo
    Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 13:14
  • 6
    btw, to anyone who says "just use the userscript and move on" - this (the response) is exactly why these issues should always be brought publicly and discussed on as many channels as possible. P.s. @Rosie - we do appreciate when SE reacts to feedback in a constructive way and actually addresses the concerns, thank you! Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 1:25
  • 3
    @OlegValter Not to mention, many companies have a policy that you can't install new extensions, including userscripts. Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 1:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .