Internet Explorer Problems Accessing Blogs.--

I'm having a strange software problem tonight. When I tried to open several blogs, including Volokh, Instapundit, and Althouse, I got an error message that Internet Explorer was unable to load the page. When I tried loading the same pages from caches after Google searches, most of these wouldn't load either. Strangely, I was able to visit many other sites on the internet, including new ones I had never visited before.

I tried several things that didn't work:

1. Rebooted

2. Installed and ran Spybot

3. Downloaded IE 7 and rebooted.

4. Cleaned out temp files and history in IE 7.

5. Added to trusted sites in IE 7.

The only thing that works is to use Firefox. I was able to visit all 3 blogs with no problem, and I am using Firefox to post this.

Is anyone else having the same problem? I note that some other blogs were having problems earlier today, but these seemed related to Blogger.

Does anyone know what's going on with Internet Explorer and some blogs? Or is it just me?

UPDATE: Searching on the web, it appears that others are having the same problem. The suggested solution seems drastic, even if I knew how to do it: remove Sitemeter.

2D UPDATE: Sitemeter has been removed. Problem solved, at least for now.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Sitemeter is Fixed--[Well, Not Completely]--
  2. Internet Explorer Problems Accessing Blogs.--
EricH (mail):
No, it's not you. It's MSIE 7. If you have another browser, the problem won't occur.

Sitemeter is a program that people place on their websites to keep track of visitors. There's nothing, as far as I know, that a visitor can do about it except, as I mentioned above, you try a different browser.

It's a good idea to have a backup browser anyway.
8.1.2008 11:57pm
Ilya Somin:
I'm having similar problems with my IE 7. However, problems like this are one reason why I switched to Firefox as my main browser last year.
8.2.2008 12:16am
Mahan Atma (mail):
Switch to Firefox. It's a superior browser anyway.
8.2.2008 12:17am
Saint Russell (mail):
I'm having the same problem, exactly as you've described. Installing Service Pack 3 for XP had no effect. There is a known bug in IE7, and Sitemeter must be tickling it. (It's said to be fixed in IE8, but that's an early beta that I'd rather not install just yet.) For everyday use I prefer IE, but EricH is quite right: it's good to have another browser installed.
8.2.2008 12:18am
pgepps (www):
I daresay Sitemeter is more popular among bloggers &the blog-reading community than IE.
8.2.2008 12:18am
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I have been told that IE 7 in Windows is not completely html compliant. I run Mac Safari. I saw a mention of the Sitemeter problem today on, I believe, instapundit. It sounds like a very recent problem, perhaps an update issue.
8.2.2008 12:18am
Gideon7 (mail): is delivering buggy JavaScript code.

To fix IE7: Click on the menu Tools -> Internet Options. Click on the tab Security. Click on the icon Restricted Sites. Click on the button Sites. Type the text '*' (without quotes). Click the Add button.

That will fix the problem.
8.2.2008 12:41am
I use firefox. Balkinization and this site often make it freeze. Safari is now my law blog browser.
8.2.2008 12:50am
Saint Russell (mail):
Gideon7's fix worked for me. Thanks!
8.2.2008 12:53am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):

I have been told that IE 7 in Windows is not completely html compliant.

Understatement of the year. No version of IE has ever been anywhere near standards-compliant. Just use Firefox or another browser.
8.2.2008 1:01am
Mark H.:
Yea, same problems here, I had thought it might be an attack on a particular ad server, hadn't thought of sitemeter. I recall sitemeter being a pain in the neck when creating pages in MSFP back when I using their counter, so now it makes sense.

And it'll all be better in the morning via high pressure on them, of course, after the fact that I've re-booted and run Norton and Windows Defender twice each to no avail...
8.2.2008 1:04am
James Lindgren (mail):
Gideon7's solution did NOT work for me.

I emailed EV and someone, probably EV, removed Sitemeter. So that makes IE work on our site.

Gideon7 &St. Russell, Try Althouse's site in IE. She's keeping Sitemeter.

Does your fix really work on her site?
8.2.2008 1:11am
Gideon7 (mail):
Althouse works fine.

Your IE7 may have saved the bad .js code in its page cache. If so, you need to clear your IE7 cache: Click on the menu -> Tools -> Internet Options. Click on the button "Delete..." Click on the button "Delete Files..."
8.2.2008 1:17am
David E. Young (mail) (www):
FYI: I also experienced a problem with IE7 earlier tonight. I closed down IE and ran a complete Norton antivirus scan. No viruses detectd. Everything seems fine so far since then.

Whoops, spoke too soon. Just tried to access Clayton's blog. Was able to go to his site, but not from there to his blog. There is some problem with the blogs that I have never experienced previously.
8.2.2008 1:21am
SenatorX (mail):
So glad you posted this as I thought it was a problem with my new laptop. Just spend the last 2 hours doing scans an installed SP 3 for XP. I was getting the error comming to this website (totally unacceptable!) but now I'm good. Other websites though are still not working for me.
8.2.2008 1:32am
BruceM (mail) (www):
Wow I thought it was just my computer, or a Comcast screwup. Can't get to many of my favorite blogs.... some work, some load then say "error can't load" and then go blank. Something's screwed....
8.2.2008 1:40am
Syd (mail) (www):
You don't have to remove Sitemeter. The problem is in where the sitemeter script is placed in your blog template. See the article here I was having the same problem with IE7 on my blog and I moved the sitemeter script from the sidebar to the main index template above the "get footer" line and the problem went away.
8.2.2008 1:48am
Jake LaRow (mail):
I had the same problem as well however I still can't open certain websites like my web based email account or sites like Little Green Footballs or Fark. I could see the sitemeter for those sites, but what about
8.2.2008 2:22am
Saint Russell (mail):
No problems for me now with any site, including Althouse.
8.2.2008 2:41am
Caliban Darklock (www):
@Bill Poser: "No version of IE has ever been anywhere near standards-compliant."

Do you remember the argument about what to do when encountering "almost right" code? The IE approach was to say "well, I know what it's trying to do, so I'll do that". The Firefox crowd cried foul, and claimed the only right thing to do when encountering something that was almost right was to call it wrong and break the site. Failure to do so was, after all, not standards-compliant.

Ironically, both views are compliant; the question is whether almost-right code is "illegal", and must be ignored... or "malformed", which may be corrected at the user agent's option. The CSS standard does not clearly distinguish between the two conditions.

But now here's IE, breaking when served improper code, and the Firefox crowd snorts and says "it's not standards-compliant". Meanwhile, Firefox pukes all over the screen when confronted with trivial applications of the CSS box model, and somehow that's still okay.

More and more of us every day are seeing this politically motivated rhetoric for what it is: bigotry.
8.2.2008 2:45am
bobby b (mail):
There is nothing wrong with your internets. Do not attempt to drop your assigned IP address. We are controlling packet loss. If we wish to make it slower, we will flood your routers. If we wish to make it faster, we will cut out spam. We will control the pixels. We will control the scan rate. We can crosslink your porn to your homework sites, or make it flutter. We can change your home page to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next week, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat, there is nothing wrong with your internets. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... Obama's Limits.
8.2.2008 3:02am
donaldk2 (mail):
I have one trouble with Firefox. In Lucianne, when I read the original article, there is no way back to the list. "close"
exits the whole site.
8.2.2008 3:19am
Jim Hu:
Actually, there is no accepted standard for Javascript IIRC, so if that's right no browser is standards compliant wrt js problems.
8.2.2008 3:20am
Dave N (mail):
I'm glad it was fixed. I use IE (on a Vista machine at home, XP at work) and had the same problem both places. The clunky AOL browser had the same problem (I don't use it often but I was desperate) as IE.

However, I did as Gideon7 suggested and have had no problems with the other two sites I checked (Little Green Footballs or Hotair).

So thank you Gideon7 for suggesting something that works.
8.2.2008 3:20am
LM (mail):

I've been meaning to install Safari. How is it overall, because I don't love Firefox except when I have to use IE.

I miss Mozilla.
8.2.2008 5:02am
Carol Singer (mail) (www):

I had complaints from customers that my website wasn't working today. I tried it with IE and it brought up a weird error message. I tried it with Firefox and it was fine.

Called my webhosting company (Network Solutions) and they told me they've had other complaints and it's a high priority but my site down means money lost.

Did a search, came up with this site and put in my restricted sites because I have sitemeter on my site. That solved the problem for me but I can't expect my customers to put in their restricted sites. Most of them barely know how to turn on their computers. I removed sitemeter from my pages, all 600 of them but easy enough with a global search and replace using CUTE html and site is working fine

I did save copies of the pages with the sitemeter on it in case they fix the problem soon.

Thanks so much. I am back in business.

8.2.2008 6:40am
Modus Ponens:
lol @ IE users
8.2.2008 7:54am
mls (www):
I was having the exact same problem until just now.
8.2.2008 7:55am
Benjamin Davis (mail):
Yeah I am having the same problem except everything is fine for Volokh and But I am getting the same message on and Jurist (
8.2.2008 8:49am
Two words: Mozilla Firefox.

Microsoft has had compatibility issues in its web tools and browsers for years, although I'm pretty sure this particular one is inadvertent. If the current problem is caused by buggy JavaScript code from Sitemeter, it's somewhat interesting that Mozilla and Safari engines can either parse or ignore it, but not IE.

Other Microsoft incompatibilities in the past were not always an accident. Way back in the U.S. v. Microsoft case nearly a decade ago, there was a good amount of evidence placed in the record about Microsoft deliberately messing with Internet standards in FrontPage and its other web tools with (according to fairly spectacular admissions from Microsoft internal documents and threats delivered in person to Netscape execs) the intent to "break" competing browsers; in the old days MS did this without any disclosure so that somebody using their web content authoring tools might well inadvertently make their work product Netscape-incompatible. And for many years Microsoft included unnecessary non-standards based ActiveX controls on its own web site to ensure that only IE users could access important things like its Knowledge Base (this latter activity, while boorish, wouldn't be illegal since it's their own site and they can set the terms of access, unless a court adjudicates that it's an essential facility under the antitrust laws). James Gosling of Sun (the inventor of Java) had some really good testimony on MS incompatibilities. And I believe Professor Ed Felton did some work on the incompatibility issue, although the main focus of his trial testimony related to removing the allegedly "integrated" IE engine from Windows.

For the truly curious, Phil Malone at the Harvard cyberlaw clinic would undoubtedly remember all the details (or one could spend days and days of fun wading thru the trial transcripts and D.D.C. Findings of Fact if one were so inclined). For a contra view, I recall Dave Kopel writing some op-eds at the time about how U.S. v. Microsoft showed the Sherman Act needed to be repealed outright, a position he has apparently abandoned with his more recent advocacy of using ยง1 of the Sherman Act against OPEC.

OK, that's enough Microsoft-bashing for one Saturday morning... sorry for the digression...
8.2.2008 9:00am
Katl L (mail):
I use IE 6 and cannot see Marginal Rvolution
8.2.2008 11:18am
Katl L (mail):
I use IE 6 and cannot see Marginal Revolution
8.2.2008 11:19am
Mark Field (mail):
Boy do I feel better now! I assumed I'd done something to screw it up. Thanks.
8.2.2008 11:43am
CDR D (mail):
Thanks folks. I shut down in frustration last night...

Good info. Clayton's blog still a no go.
8.2.2008 11:44am
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Word is that it's an interaction between IE and the latest update of Sitemeter. The update apparently explains why it happened to many blogs at once, and yet not to all.
8.2.2008 12:25pm
Dennis Nicholls (mail):
I've had this problem accessing the Washington Post's opinion pages.
8.2.2008 12:57pm
Fat Man (mail):
8.2.2008 1:46pm
Gideon7's fix worked for me. Thanks!

Me Too!!! Thanks!!
8.2.2008 1:46pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
I still use the last version of Netscape.

It has the best crud filter of any browser I use and none of the above mentioned glitches.
8.2.2008 3:51pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Caliban Darklock,

Your argument is with yourself or someone else, not me. I have said not a word about the proper handling of "almost right" ill-formed code. If you think that that is the only way in which IE has been non-compliant, you have no idea what you are talking about. For example, IE6 was only 52% compliant with CSS2.1. IE7 improved that by a whopping 2%, attaining 54% compliance. Firefox 1.5 was already at 93%. Opera 9, 96%. Microsoft's non-conformant Java implementation is of course well documented due to the fact that Sun was able to put a stop to it by legal action. My comment that no version of IE has ever been remotely standards compliant was correct, and that is true if we ignore issues pertaining to "almost correct" code. Looks like you're the one with a political chip on his shoulder.
8.2.2008 8:12pm