To authenticate to unix.stackexchange.com is clearly reasonable that it is necessary to accept a cookie from stackexchange.com which I want and accept. It does not seem reasonable that third party cookies from sstatic.com and imgur.com are also set and used (sstatic.com claims to be a cookie-less site. I do not know what is the relation of stackexchange.com with imgur.com. But whichever it is I do not want their third party cookies).

I also understand and expect that some Javascript from unix.stackexchange.com may be needed and will be useful. But that I also must accept all javascript from


is mindbogglingly extreme. Why should I (also) trust google or adzerk.

All that cookies from imgur.com and javascript from adzerk.com or scorecardresearch.com (clear and known ad entities) do is enable ads.

And ads are finally appearing on the stack exchange network.
As demonstrated by this image extracted from the site:

enter image description here

That an user (like me) which is clearly authenticated and that makes useful contributions to the site is now going to be (also) subject to ads seems just too much to me.

If I were an un-identified user who does not contribute I may understand the need to show ads. But the strange fact is that an un-identified user may block all that crap and still see the site content.

That raises the question of why should users like me need to be subject to ads?

It also raises the question of Why should I authenticate?. It may be a lot simpler to "not contribute" and read the content without authentication.

Maybe that is the reason of so many "look but not vote".

It may seem something very small today, but ads will only grow and get worse with time.

I am just on the border of "dropping authentication on stackexchange" and just read the content without cookies or javascript. It may be "not so pretty", but: "who cares?", the information will still be accessible.

  • 6
    It's possible this is a joke I'm not getting, but you realize that "ad" is the annual April Fools gag? – Michael Mrozek Mar 31 '16 at 23:29
  • @MichaelMrozek For me it is not a joke, not at all. I have had the same uneasy feeling for quite some time about third party cookies, and the need that this site have for javascript from ad servers. – user79743 Mar 31 '16 at 23:35
  • @MichaelMrozek The image is there only to promote something, so, it actually is an ad. – user79743 Mar 31 '16 at 23:51
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    Ads have been around for a long time. That wasn't really an ad, it's a April 1 thing, and not served via SE's usual ad partner, which is probably why it wasn't blocked. – muru Apr 1 '16 at 5:46
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    You might want to rephrase this and remove your mention of ads since what you show is not an ad in any way. It is not promoting anything, it's a link to this year's April fool's gag. – terdon Apr 1 '16 at 7:44
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    sstatic hosts static parts of SE's sites. imgur hosts images for SE. Probably worth knowing before panic sets in. – Journeyman Geek Apr 1 '16 at 8:26
  • @JourneymanGeek First party cookies are ok. But third party cookies are needed only to track users thru sites, read and understand the first paragraph of this answer. Why do I need to be tracked? – user79743 Apr 1 '16 at 20:41

Your browser must have some kind of malware that's serving those ads. I don't see any of those ads you mention, and I'm not getting any cookie either. Here's a screenshot of the home page of the main site:

Screenshot of unix

If you get an ad on startup, it doesn't come from Stack Exchange. To skip this ad, put this line in your init file:

(setq inhibit-startup-message t)
  • 1
    Nice! How do I use this browser? Do I need an additional package, or is it built-in? – MatthewRock Apr 1 '16 at 16:02
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    @MatthewRock Install the sx package. See also StackApps. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 1 '16 at 16:05
  • @Gilles You are answering: "Use my browser". Beside the point that I will take a look into it: That is not an answer to the problem at hand. Why "third party cookies"? The only use for "third party cookies" is to track users in other sites. Why do I need to be tracked in MyBank.com or Facebook.com ? – user79743 Apr 1 '16 at 16:54
  • @Gilles And there is the other problem of Javascript from several sites which is not needed to view questions and answers. Why is a registered user subject to more restrictions than an anonymous user? – user79743 Apr 1 '16 at 20:43
  • @BinaryZebra Did you catch that this answer was posted April 1? It's kinda tongue in cheek. Do you use Emacs? – cat Apr 26 '16 at 14:30
  • @cat I have tried to use emacs several times, but the lack of experience blocks me from learning it. I'll keep trying. :-P – user79743 Apr 26 '16 at 16:02

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