Just a quick update on the “Like” button and it is mostly good news!
I updated my still-open issue with the Like button on Tuesday. Thanks to all of you who added comments to my post on Monday. The WordPress engineer who received my email agreed that, even though he could not recreate the problem, it obviously was widespread – Thank You!
We exchanged a few emails, he made some changes on the “back end” of their servers, and the problem I was having with Liking posts from my browser dis-a-peared! I checked one blog on my phone, and it seemed to work. It was late, and I went to bed.
On Wednesday, I continued testing, and I was not able to Like posts from my iPhone from Safari (the default browser) or from Chrome. This seemed odd, because, on my laptop, Chrome always seemed to work. I was seeing the same sad story. The post would shrink into a dark background and emerge unliked. I would login and be able to Like, but I’d hav to login again to comment.
After a few more emails, the engineer asked me to see if the setting “Prevent Cross-Site Tracking” was turned on on my phone. It was. He asked me to try turning that off.
That proved to be easier said than done. My phone and my iPad are both subject to the security control of the company I work for. Not only was that setting turned on, it was protected – I couldn’t change it.
Fortunately, our security guru is a member of my department, and he’s a reasonable guy. He modified our “back end” settings to default that setting to be on, but to allow the user (me) to turn it off. A few minutes later, I was notified that a new security profile had been downloaded. I found the setting. I turned it Off and I could like and comment with ease! I could visit, comment, like, tweet – WordPress on my iPhone the way it should be!
For the technically inclined, cross-site tracking is, as the name suggests, an ability for one website to track you as you move to other sites. It sounds like a horrible invasion of privacy, but it’s not…always. In the case of WordPress, it’s a good thing. As you move from WordPress blog to blog, the third-party cookies retrieved by WordPress allow it to know who you are, which allows you to Like, comment, Reblog, etc. Without that tracking ability, you are a new face at every WordPress blog you visit. Apple is getting a lot of flack for adding this feature. Hopefully, in future releases of IOS and MAC OS, they will let us choose who can and cannot use third-party cookies in this manner.
Note: If you think about it, this explains why the problems only manifested themselves on sites with custom domains – https://nofacilities.com = problem https://nofacilities.wordpress.com = no problem. The whatever.wordpress.com is not a different domain, so cross-site tracking isn’t required.
I tried to include a couple of screen shots, but the upload of the images failed.
- Settings (iOS only, I don’t know how to do this on an Android device)
- Prevent Cross-site Tracking
Once again, thanks for your help. Without your comments, I think the engineers would have been (understandably) inclined to thing the problems were all just related to me and my equipment (which some were). I also want to thank the WordPress engineer who read my email, read your comments, recognized the problem, changed their settings and explained what changes I needed to make.