Some things I noticed:

  • Editing inline is broken
  • The editing toolbar is missing on the old editor
  • Tags don't appear
  • Can't "Review question" to be able to post normally

An error is present in the console on each page load.

Here's one example, when trying to load Meta Stack Exchange's home page:

Uncaught ReferenceError: gtag is not defined
    at Object.<anonymous> ((index):4295:30)
    at i (jquery.min.js:2:27449)
    at Object.fireWith [as resolveWith] (jquery.min.js:2:28213)
    at e.<computed> [as resolve] (jquery.min.js:2:29192)
    at stub.en.js?v=fb1564797261:1:12177
    at Object.<anonymous> (stub.en.js?v=fb1564797261:1:17647)
    at i (jquery.min.js:2:27449)
    at Object.fireWith [as resolveWith] (jquery.min.js:2:28213)
    at e.<computed> [as resolve] (jquery.min.js:2:29192)
    at Object.<anonymous> (stub.en.js?v=fb1564797261:1:17281)
  • 16
    that's on me! fix going out now folks
    – Felippe Rangel StaffMod
    Aug 24, 2022 at 19:52
  • 10
    Nicely done posting a question when most question-posting is broken! It takes a worse bug than this to block the valiant efforts of MSE to report issues. Aug 24, 2022 at 19:54
  • 3
    Just curious, how did you make this post if posting is broken? an API?
    – wjandrea
    Aug 24, 2022 at 19:55
  • 7
    I didn't think I would be able to post a question, but all it took was to hit "enter" in the tags field (and fill out a CAPTCHA).
    – Laurel
    Aug 24, 2022 at 19:56
  • Makes sense. The button can probably do a raw POST
    – Machavity
    Aug 24, 2022 at 19:56
  • 2
    @Machavity would be awesome if it could also do a raw steak! :-) Aug 24, 2022 at 19:58
  • @Felippe please share the details once done, the more details the better! (And more rep, hopefully ;)) Aug 24, 2022 at 19:59
  • It looks like it is fixed on MSE, but still broken on SO I think
    – cocomac
    Aug 24, 2022 at 20:10
  • 2
    @cocomac New builds hit Meta SE and Meta SO first, then deploy to the rest of the network over time.
    – Spevacus
    Aug 24, 2022 at 20:10
  • 8
    @ShadowTheKidWizard I always share the dirty details, don't worry!
    – Felippe Rangel StaffMod
    Aug 24, 2022 at 20:11
  • 2
    @Felippe yeah, we're eager to hear the story about the lost gtag and how he found the way home. :D Aug 24, 2022 at 20:12
  • 4
    Given the long time it takes for builds to be deployed over the network, it would be nice if a notice was published on all sites: "We are aware of an issue making it unable to posts questions or answers, or perform other actions. We are working to resolve the issue and full functionality will return soon." Aug 24, 2022 at 20:19
  • 10
    we're back, answer coming soon tm
    – Felippe Rangel StaffMod
    Aug 24, 2022 at 20:22
  • Ctrl + L (in an edit view) resulted in the focus changing to the address bar... (in Firefox). At least there was a time correlation. At first I thought it was a problem with my macro keyboard. Aug 24, 2022 at 23:09
  • 4
    "JavaScript is broken" uh...yeah? You found that out just now? Oh... you mean something specific on this site? Yeah, that, too :)
    – nvoigt
    Aug 25, 2022 at 6:35

1 Answer 1


So, we're upgrading to Google Analytics 4, because whoever owns GA decided GA3 (Universal Analytics) isn't good enough and will be discontinued in a few months (July 2023).

During this transition we have 2 main concerns:

  • Folks that do not consent to being tracked must not be identifiable in GA4 (cookie-less pings)
  • GA3 needs to remain enabled while we transition, with existing behavior, so that we are sure we're not losing any data while we test GA4

Our GA implementation is (naturally) heavily dependent on our consent handling. We use a lot of custom code for both since we have aggressive page load performance targets internally (and getting faster, more coming soon tm), and that custom code had to be heavily modified to handle both GA3 and GA4 running simultaneously, while maintaining those performance targets.

On the final straw of the code sculpting, I changed one small line to pass the gtag function to our initializer, for pretty reasons... However gtag doesn't exist when GA4 isn't enabled (and it won't be enabled until we're sure things are beautiful)... JavaScript decided to not just undefined that for once in its life, and it broke subsequent JS loading from that point.

The fix was simply to force that parameter to be undefined when GA4 is disabled for the request.

Just acknowledging some of the comments in the question, I agree that we should have a better integrated incident process where a post notice goes out to the network, and we're working on that. We're also working on tooling to quickly reverse bad publishes, that should come out soon. We're also thinking of ways to block this from happening with more advanced automated testing processes that's coming later.

My sincerest apologies for this disruption.

  • There is no such this as GA3. The last version of Google Analytics is called 'Universal Analytics" or "UA" for short. Aug 25, 2022 at 0:25
  • @StephenOstermiller well, they probably call it GA3 internally, though better mention this in the answer to prevent confusion. Anyway, another minor mistake is "few months", according to this, it will be discontinued in July 2023, which is almost a year. Aug 25, 2022 at 6:47
  • 1
    Felippe, this is great answer with just as many details as one can wish for, thanks for that! :) Aug 25, 2022 at 6:48
  • 3
    added the extra info to the answer, thanks folks!
    – Felippe Rangel StaffMod
    Aug 25, 2022 at 17:31

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