EXTRA INFO: I use google OpenID to sign in. Maybe that's the cause?

UPDATE2: and again today (17 Oct 2010).

UPDATE: just happened again (10 Oct 2010), both on SO and here. check out the FAQ!

Maybe there's been yet another rollout? But even if that's what's happened, why log people out?

When I don't visit SO for a few days — not sure exactly how long the time is — and come back, I need to log in again. EDIT NB: if I visit daily, I don't get logged out.

This seems unnecessary, and so the ten seconds I spend waiting for the log in screen, the time spent actually logging in and then the ten seconds I spend waiting to be returned to the site are irritating.

I don't think there is any advantage to SO in logging me out. (Is there any?) In fact, because it is so annoying, I think it discourages use, especially to those at the margin, where growth occurs... it is actually actively hostile to intermittent users. Reddit and HN let me stay logged in indefinitely, and there don't seem to be any problems.

Therefore, this is a feature request: please extend the login time to be indefinite (or at least provide an option for that — is there one already? I couldn't find it).

Or: please stop hassling me and let me participate! :-)

EDIT others have the same problem http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1700682 Note that if you are a regular user (eg visit daily), you probably won't experience this yourself. And that's probably why it hasn't been noticed, why it isn't fixed - and why it isn't quite believed. ;-)

EDIT seems to be a bug, so I'll add details: I'm using FireFox 2. It's an old browser, but I don't have this problem on any other site (eg. reddit, HN, gmail).

3 Answers 3


Er.. what? We can't reproduce this, and there are sites in the network I don't visit very often, too.

Please note

  1. we forced logout globally for any users with a Google OpenID ~ April 10th 2010
  2. we forced logout globally, network wide, for all users on ~ September 10th 2010
  3. we delete any sessions older than 4 months as a matter of course.

So if you visit VERY infrequently, you might have run into one of those.

Otherwise, [status-norepro]

https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/04/openid-one-year-later/ https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/global-network-auto-login/

  • Thanks. It's happened a few times, with just weeks in between. I'll track it carefully from now on, so if it reoccurs, I can provide hard data.
    – 13ren
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 20:15

I rarely, if ever get logged out unintentionally. I believe most of the time I get logged out is after a roll out of a big SO update.

  • It happens all the time for me, but I only visit every few days or weeks. Perhaps you visit too often to get logged out? When I used to visit every day, it didn't happen.
    – 13ren
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 5:15

Are you clearing your browsing history (cookies, cache, etc) every few days? Otherwise I would see no reason why you would ever get logged out, except for when a big roll out occurs like Earlz mentioned.

  • No, I'm not clearing cookies etc; as I said, this problem doesn't occur for reddit or HN. Also, some people on HN have the same problem: news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1700682
    – 13ren
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 5:14

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