Is auto-logout more aggressive? February 22, 2012 11:00 AM   Subscribe

Auto-logout more aggressive?

I've been finding my account logged out quite frequently as of late. I didn't think much of it until today when I posted a comment and about 15 minutes later the system logged me out. Has something changed that is making idle/logout more aggressive?

Apologies in advance if this was covered somewhere and I didn't notice.
posted by chairface to MetaFilter-Related at 11:00 AM (69 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Metafilter doesn't do any idle-based automatic logging out whatsoever. If you are not using some third party tool to specifically log you out (I don't know if anything mefi-specific along those lines exists), it seems likely that something is killing your browser cookies in such a way that your mefi login cookie is going away.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:04 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This seems really weird to me because not one single time since I joined has my account auto-logged out. Metafilter is one of the only websites that never does this to me.
posted by elizardbits at 11:05 AM on February 22, 2012 [15 favorites]


No, nothing has changed on our end. You might try clearing your MetaFilter cookies manually in your browser and see if that helps. Sometimes if you have corrupt cookies the site detects that and asks you to log in again. So that could be happening for you.

There's also a MetaFilter Greasemonkey plugin that causes logouts.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:05 AM on February 22, 2012


An older version of MetaFilter Scroll Tag for Greasemonkey bumped up against Firefox's internal cookie limit. I think that's been fixed in a more recent version, so if you're running that you might make sure it's up to date.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:07 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I get logged-out so seldom (i.e., never) that if I were to accidentally log out (say, by clicking logout instead of Search on my phone) I might not ever be able to log back in, because I'm not sure what my password is.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:14 AM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's ok, leahwrenn. If you have a current, working email address in your profile you can always reset your password if you find yourself logged out.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:16 AM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wasn't sure what the OP was talking about, as the only "auto-logout" I could think of on MetaFilter is the "disable your account" function, a/k/a the Big Red Button, and I thought perhaps the OP was making a request to make THAT function more aggressive.

Something like "Are you SURE you want to disable your account, you pathetic little shit?!? Are you STRONG enough to walk away from MetaFilter?!? Are you SURE!!!???!!??"

Which might be nice!
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:17 AM on February 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


I run MeFi Scroll Tag and MeFi Quote. This is on Chrome, MacOSX. It's happening on both my macs but they both run the same browser setup.

I did not expect it to be an extension but I'll update them and see what happens.
posted by chairface at 11:27 AM on February 22, 2012


I get mysteriously logged out every so often, like once every few weeks. It can even happen in the middle of a browsing section. For example, I'll be reading the front page, click a link to the comments and the ads show up and I'm logged out. Strangely if I use my browser's back button and click a different link I'll stay logged in.

I use the Scroll Tag in Chrome. Anyone have an issue with it?
posted by slogger at 11:31 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have noticed, ever since I've recently had to monitor cookies a few times a day, that it also depends on which metafilter cookie is deleted. These days, ask.metafilter, metafilter, login.metafilter etc all have individual cookies and I've noticed that Firefox's "shall I remember your password?" asks me each time for every thing but has totally stopped showing me prefilled log ins as it used to. Cookies in general have changed a lot in the past few months, imho.
posted by infini at 11:31 AM on February 22, 2012


Oh yeah, Chrome, OSX, me too, me too.
posted by slogger at 11:32 AM on February 22, 2012


Man, some people just can't take a hint...
posted by Grither at 11:32 AM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jokes!! I love you all and am sorry to hear about your logging out issues.
posted by Grither at 11:33 AM on February 22, 2012


Is this the same problem?
posted by mkb at 11:42 AM on February 22, 2012


Yeah, it sounds like Scroll Tag in Chrome is the common denominator. Make sure you have the latest version. And try disabling it for a while. If your login problems go away that's the likely culprit.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:43 AM on February 22, 2012


For what it's worth, I get logged out probably once every other day or so. I've just updated the scroll tag script, so hopefully that will help. I agree that it seems more aggressive, no matter what the cause. It's definitely increased in frequency in the last couple of months.
posted by Eumachia L F at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not having this problem, but I have to say, if I was, I'd post about it here if I was because it would totally freak me out. When I changed all my passwords recently (and Metafilter to one different than those that I change more often), each time I was on a new machine and had to re-login before I could comment/favorite/whatever triggered it felt so weird and wrong. My name in the upper right corner, no ads, and the professional white background sometimes feels like the only consistent thing in my world.

God, I wish I was fully joking
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:46 AM on February 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


You're not alone. The familiar blue, no matter which ridiculous location I'm in (if there's enough signal) that comes up easily without the high maintenance "I notice you're on a slow connection" BS of Gmail, Google Images or Twitter et al, is a comforting sight.

And I truly appreciate the size of the pages and the loading times.
posted by infini at 11:55 AM on February 22, 2012


Aww, schmoop.
posted by Night_owl at 12:07 PM on February 22, 2012


chairface, anecdotally, since I started using Chrome I've noticed I'm logged out more often - like maybe once a month or so. I'm being hugely stoic about it though.
posted by Jofus at 12:24 PM on February 22, 2012


You can log out of MetaFilter?
posted by Splunge at 12:48 PM on February 22, 2012


Sure, but you can never leave.
posted by Grither at 12:51 PM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can log out of MetaFilter?

Yes, but Metafilter never logs out of you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:53 PM on February 22, 2012


corrupt cookies

Curse you Otis Spunkmeyer!
posted by yoink at 12:58 PM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ohhh, I didn't know the scroll tag problem had been fixed, huzzah! Thanks to team lowkey and Plutor!
posted by deborah at 1:06 PM on February 22, 2012


In vindictive, socially conservative Soviet magical living forest, log outs you!
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:11 PM on February 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


What's the opposite of a "favorite"? A "groan"? A "sad trombone"?
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:18 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter is autologinical.
posted by Elmore at 1:19 PM on February 22, 2012


Curious Artificer, you just gave me a great idea...
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:20 PM on February 22, 2012


I get automatically logged out every time I get a new computer. This bug has been around forever, and frankly, it's a little embarrassing that nobody has gotten around to fixing it yet.
posted by aubilenon at 1:27 PM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Curious Artificer: "What's the opposite of a "favorite"? A "groan"? A "sad trombone"?"

We're not supposed to use favorites for that too? Guess I'll just have to go back and remove all favorites given to puns.

not true, puns are my favorites
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:29 PM on February 22, 2012


Cortex stole my line and made it far more nuanced. *boo*
posted by infini at 1:37 PM on February 22, 2012


note to self: stop logging out when using someone else's account.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:42 PM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I used to have this problem all the time. Disabling the MeFi Scroll Tag script solved that problem and the updated version of the script solved the problem of me missing the script's functionality. Hasn't happened once since I installed the updated script.
posted by dg at 2:19 PM on February 22, 2012


The logout button is at the natural place for my thumb when picking up my iPad. I thought something was logging me out, and then I realized I was doing it by forgetting to turn off the screen before picking it up.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:51 PM on February 22, 2012


Maybe it's our Astral Mod, floating through time and space and logging people out?
posted by rtha at 3:09 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is that happening when you are using your AT&T at home? AT&T has consistently done this to me on everything for the almost two years I've had it.

(I almost never use MF at home. My phone has many many problems, but auto logout is not one.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 3:17 PM on February 22, 2012


I've been having this problem about once every few days ever since I switched to chrome. It's totally irritating.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:31 PM on February 22, 2012


iamkimiam, do you use MetaFilter Scroll Tag?
posted by pb (staff) at 3:52 PM on February 22, 2012


When I get auto-logged out, it means I won't be logging back in for a week.
posted by Trurl at 4:10 PM on February 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


My autonomic logorrhoea system is also more aggressive lately.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:24 PM on February 22, 2012


I have that logout problem both at work on Windows XPSP3 and at home on Mac OSX 10.6.8. I am not using that scroll script that pb and others mentioned. However, I am using adblocker plus and ghostery. I first noticed it about the time Firefox updated to version 7, or 8 - last July, anyway, on both platforms. Chrome - um, I use it when FF is just too balky but I don't like it, not yet, anyway. Any hope for me?
posted by Lynsey at 6:08 PM on February 22, 2012


I hate auto-logouts because between my various devices and multiple browsers I have approximately six different places to log in. Mefi ftw.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:26 PM on February 22, 2012


Happens to me but only at work. Haven't figured it out yet.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:28 PM on February 22, 2012


Lynsey, AdBlock Plus shouldn't cause any problems but Ghostery might. Can you disable it for MetaFilter for a while to see if that clears up your login issues?
posted by pb (staff) at 7:12 PM on February 22, 2012


Are you deleting cookies? That would do it.
posted by theora55 at 8:13 PM on February 22, 2012


I tried to post a comment in this thread about this and I WAS LOGGED OUT. I give up.
posted by Danila at 9:12 PM on February 22, 2012


I'm sorry you're frustrated, Danila. If you could let us know what browser/OS you're using and whether or not you're using any browser add-ons that might help us shed some light on login problems.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:41 PM on February 22, 2012


I use Chrome and Adblock plus and have never been unintentionally logged out. Of course, I have a prehensile penis, but not sure what that has to do with anything, so please stop bringing it up in public.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:58 PM on February 22, 2012


Logging out sounds a bit heretical to me.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:30 AM on February 23, 2012


Thank you for asking this question, chairface! I use the Scroll Tag script (and love it), and have been having this problem for a few months now. I thought it had something to do with the internet in my building (I moved in right after I reinstalled my OS and all my programmes) and that there was nothing I could do. I would basically have been dealing with this issue for the rest of my life if you hadn't said anything.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 4:01 AM on February 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lynsey, AdBlock Plus shouldn't cause any problems but Ghostery might. Can you disable it for MetaFilter for a while to see if that clears up your login issues?

I'm running Ghostery on Firefox (on OS X). No auto log out issues here.
posted by hoyland at 7:01 AM on February 23, 2012


"What's the opposite of a "favorite"?

A dolor, perhaps?
posted by TedW at 7:03 AM on February 23, 2012


I'm running Ghostery on Chrome, and never get logged out.

It's kind of a dumb pony and not useful to me personally, but might it be worth attempting to detect people whose cookies are getting stomped on and show them a warning linking them to this thread on the login page?
posted by contrarian at 7:22 AM on February 23, 2012


...attempting to detect people whose cookies are getting stomped...

The problem is that getting stomped is very vague. Once we know a specific problem we can potentially fix it up if it's on our side. Problems with extensions and Greasemonkey scripts are at the browser level. We can't control those.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:25 AM on February 23, 2012


Still, its a very warm and fuzzy thread nonetheless and makes me want to give everyone a hug
posted by infini at 7:41 AM on February 23, 2012


I'm another person who has had trouble with being randomly logged out over the last few months. I'm using the scroll tag greasemonkey on firefox / iceweasel on linux.
posted by jepler at 7:54 AM on February 23, 2012


I would like to apologize to each and every one of you who has been logged out by the old bug in the Scroll Tag script. But more importantly, I'd like to apologize to pb, who has been nothing but patient despite being blamed for my own bug. Sorry, guy.
posted by Plutor at 8:10 AM on February 23, 2012


I also have this issue, firefox/win 7 with the scroll tag extention. Thought it was just me! I'll update and see if that fixes the problem.

Plutor, no worries. It's only been a minor annoyance to me. Having scroll tag has been worth the occasional log out. :)
posted by WowLookStars at 9:23 AM on February 23, 2012


No problem at all, Plutor. You're doing great work implementing features that people want. Part of the problem is that there's no better mechanism than MetaTalk for alerting folks who use your scripts about changes.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:43 AM on February 23, 2012


Re, cookies: there are over 30 cookies associated with Metafilter. I fear to nuke them all because I have my font, size and other preferences just the way I want them. How do you choose which cookies to delete? I'll try disabling ghostery on each platform and see if that helps.
posted by Lynsey at 9:56 AM on February 23, 2012


Your MetaFilter preference cookies will be set to your current preferences when you log in. So you can delete all of your cookies.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:01 AM on February 23, 2012


Ionce fired up an old laptop I hadn't used in years and it was still logged in here.

AS A SOCK PUPPET ACCOUNT THAT WAS CLOSED.

How weird is that?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:00 AM on February 23, 2012


How weird is that?

We don't authenticate until you try to add something to the database. So you might have the cookies on your machine that gives MetaFilter enough info to say, "Hi puppet", but you'd be notified of your closed-account status pretty quickly if you tried to comment with it.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:03 AM on February 23, 2012


Chrome annoyingly has decided to log me out of ALL THE THINGS every time I start a new browser session. I have no idea what's up with that and I actually run no scripts at all, but I have valiantly persevered in my Ask love affair.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:27 PM on February 23, 2012


I just want to say that I am kind of sad that no one described this sudden logout situation as 'a pain in the Ask'.
posted by mephron at 2:12 AM on February 24, 2012


DarlingBri, Chrome has a cookie setting that tells it to remove cookies at the end of a browsing session. Have you checked to make sure you don't have that set?
posted by pb (staff) at 8:28 AM on February 24, 2012


"...and the professional white background sometimes feels like the only consistent thing in my world."

posted by MCMikeNamara

What is this mythical "Professional white background" you speak of?

Blue ftw.
posted by marienbad at 1:00 PM on February 25, 2012


For the record, I haven't had this problem since I updated the Greasemonkey script.

Also: I <3 Plutor.
posted by slogger at 12:23 PM on February 27, 2012


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