Sitemeter Bug Breaks Parts Of The Internet For Internet Explorer Users

A bug in the popular metrics-tracking platform Sitemeter has boxed Internet Explorer users into a quiet little corner of the internet since late yesterday afternoon. Any site using Sitemeter now displays the following cryptic message to IE users: “Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site – Operation aborted.” The bug affects IE 5.5, 6, and 7, but we have three ways—including use another browser!—to restore access to the full internet in all its horrible glory, inside. (Note: we’ve put in a fix so IE users can continue to read Consumerist without changing their settings.)

The Internet Explorer developer’s forum has developed one solution:

Here is the fix for users of IE 6 and 7 who are getting the “operation aborted” message.

Follow These Steps Exactly:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on the menu Tools -> Internet Options.
  3. Click on the tab Security.
  4. Click on the icon Restricted Sites.
  5. Click on the button Sites.
  6. Under Add this website to the zone:
    Type the text ‘ * ’ (with asterisk and dot & without the quotes).
  7. Click the Add button. Click Close. Click OK.

All sites will work again without error messages coming up.

IE users can also bypass the Sitemeter bug by accessing sites through RSS. Here are our feeds:

And our author-specific feeds:

Finally—and IE users should do this anyway and then take a cleansing shower—download Firefox. Quickly become a power user by visiting our ever-organized sister-site Lifehacker.

Worst of all, Sitemeter hasn’t acknowledged the problem. Patching the bug and pretending this never happened isn’t a winning damage control strategy. We don’t need a lengthy explanation, but “Whoops, we broke the internet,” would be nice.

Web Sites Using SiteMeter Are Crashing with Internet Explorer [Wired]
Re: Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site – Operation aborted [MSDN Forums]
Firefox [Mozilla]