Jul 062015
 

fb-blue-ballHave you been getting an endlessly spinning blue ball when you visit Facebook using Firefox? I recently found out why and found a temporary workaround for the problem. The explanation and instructions for implementing a workaround are below. (Of course, if you find this too technical to do yourself and would prefer to have me do this for you, please contact me).

Facebook changed its code and is now not supporting web browsers that are non-webkit compliant. Every web browser reports to a website what type of browser is running and the website can chose what and how data is sent back. The ID for the browser is called the “UserAgent string”. If your UserAgent string reports a non-webkit browser, you get served by Facebook a page with coding errors that show a blue spinning wheel, ball or ring. You might see the error message “inline cursor: pointer never removed from document Element, persistent cursor: progress“, or you might just see the spinning blue ball.

FOR PC USERS—> Here are your options:

  • You can wait for Facebook to fix its code for non-webkit compliant browsers
  • Use a webkit compliant browser such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer
  • Wait for the non-webkit browsers to upgrade their browser’s code to be compliant
  • Use a workaround by spoofing your browser’s UserAgent string to a webkit compliant string

If you choose the last option above, as I did, here is how:

First, install both of these Add-ons:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/uacontrol/
https://addons.mozilla.org/…/fi…/addon/user-agent-js-fixer/…

Restart Firefox > Goto Tools > UAControl Options >
Add Site > Site: www.facebook.com > Select Custom > Paste this string into the Custom field:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.16 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/10.0.648.151 Safari/534.16

It is recommended to remove the custom string when Firefox is updated to be webkit compliant or if Facebook changes their site’s coding again.

FOR MAC USERS—> Here are your options:

  • You can wait for Facebook to fix its code for non-webkit compliant browsers
  • Use a webkit compliant browser such as Safari, Chrome, or Opera
  • Wait for the non-webkit browsers to upgrade their browser’s code to be compliant
  • Use a workaround by spoofing your browser’s UserAgent string to a webkit Compliant string

If you choose the last option above, as I did, here is how:

First, install both of these Add-ons:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/user-agent-js-fixer/?src=search
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/uacontrol/

(You will have to restart Firefox to finish installing one or both).

Once you have them installed, go to Tools/Add-ons/Extensions – then on the UAControl preferences add www.facebook.com at the top of the window, click Custom and paste this string into the Custom field:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/33.0.1750.166 Safari/537.36 OPR/20.0.1396.73172

Click Okay at bottom right and restart Firefox again.

NOTE: Whether you are using a PC or a Mac, it is recommended to remove the custom string when Firefox is updated to be webkit compliant or if Facebook changes their site’s coding again.

UPDATE: As of July 10, 2015, it looks like either Facebook or Firefox have modified their coding, so the problem seems to have been resolved.

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