Why would a web app just break like this
January 10, 2021 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Not that I'm complaining but more out of curiosity, and because all of the advice I can google starts and ends at things that haven't worked, for a few weeks (I actually have no idea how long, what is time) when I log into facebook on my computer I can't see comments, make comments or post anything. I tried clearing cookies & restarting. It all works fine on my phone. It seems like a problem with no solution. Am I wrong?

Like I said I'm not complaining and I feel ambivalent about fixing it at all, I just hate finding problems I don't know how to address.
posted by bleep to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Best answer: Are you running any ad blocking software either as a plug-in to your browser or dedicated hardware like a pi-hole? I find that the comment section on many websites is non functional because of the ad blockers I use.
posted by phil at 12:21 PM on January 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

My mom has had this situation multiple times. Eventually it resolves. Googling it showed me that other people have had this problem. COntacting FB has not received a response, and doesn't seem to have sped the time it takes to fix it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:24 PM on January 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Do you have an ad blocker or firewall or PiHole or anything that might do content filtering set up? Web apps won't necessarily load everything it needs to do things right away, and especially larger ones like Facebook may load the libraries/etc. it needs to do Thing X later on in the browsing process. (Otherwise you'd be loading a heckuva lot more code for no good reason - there's bits in there you may not use frequently, or at all, or even have permission to use, so why download it?) That loading process may be getting stymied by an ad blocker or something as sometimes they come from different servers than the rest of the site and thus might be denied by the rules in the ad blocker or firewall. Similarly, it may be trying to just download data for that particular thing and failing for the same reason and then throwing up its hands and giving up. (Anecdotally, I've had some issues with uBlock Origin on Chrome on a few sites lately - not annoying enough to delve into the web inspector in there to figure it out but enough to be annoyed and turn it off for that particular site.)

This may not be happening on mobile using the app itself because it most likely has all the libraries and stuff it needs to use compiled in, so no loading that stuff over the network, and it may be using a different set of API servers and stuff as well. (Or even network protocols. That's a lot less likely, though.)

There's also the (slight) possibility that there's some weird routing issue between your computer and the server that's delivering that particular set of data in general. That's somewhat unlikely but it does happen sometimes.
posted by mrg at 12:30 PM on January 10, 2021

Response by poster: Oh ok yeah you reminded me that I was ad-blocking each of the specific ad areas on there and I guess I went too far for their liking. Thank you!
posted by bleep at 12:38 PM on January 10, 2021

Do you have the same issue in a different browser?
posted by oceano at 12:39 PM on January 10, 2021

When Fb is quite busy, their servers seem to slow way down, and I can't get much content. Middle of the night, no problem, last few days of wild US news creating tons of traffic, fb just kind of stops. It also does this when my laptop is low on memory and/or CPU. It has been a fair bit worse in the last 2 - 3 weeks, which makes me wonder what changes may have been made. Fb isn't really usable without ad-blocking, in my experience.
posted by theora55 at 3:59 PM on January 10, 2021

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