I face the following strange issue: when using any of the Stack Exchange sites the toolbar icons do not show up:

Missing toolbar icons

When I inspect the DOM i see the sprites have not been loaded sucessfully:

Could not load the image

If I follow the link there it will open just fine in a new tab.

Peeking into the Network tab reveals Firefox is not even trying to download the images:

Network debug info

I'm using Firefox 33.1 on OS X.

  1. Is this a bug in Firefox? It seems related to using SVG, if I edit the CSS style and change the image to PNG format it will display just fine.

  2. Why is Stack Exchange using SVG for this sprite and PNG for all the rest?

  • @pnuts I'm pretty sure it's not a bug with stackexchange, it seems to be working in other browsers and the HTML and CSS all look ok.
    – Vlad
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 9:11
  • Yes, including cache flush.
    – Vlad
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 9:19
  • 3
    Is it happening on all of the sites, or just ours? Try disabling all of your add-ins, first please. I don't think this belongs on MSE if it's only happening with one browser.
    – jonsca
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 9:29
  • @jonsca silly me
    – Vlad
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 9:38
  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a browser add-in issue.
    – jonsca
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


This was due to Adblock Plus and Fanboy's Social Blocking List which blocked the following pattern share-sprite*.

Thanks @jonsca for pointing out what should have been obvious in the beginning. The only question left is: why is stackexchange grouping the share images with the toolbar ones in the same sprite?

  • 2
    You're welcome to ask that aspect of grouping the sprites on MSE, but I don't know if you're going to get any answer other than "that's how it was designed", to be honest. I'm going to close this one for now, because I don't know that it will be useful to anyone in the future, and it's marginally on-topic here at best.
    – jonsca
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 9:48
  • 2
    Glad you got it resolved, though.
    – jonsca
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 9:50

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