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Linking with Stack Exchange gives error "couldn't parse client_id"



I see the following error when I link my account with StackExchange:

Couldn't parse client_id

How we got here:

  • I click on my profile picture -> Click Edit -> Scroll down to Link with Stack Exchange -> Click Authenticate -> Enter my Stack Exchange login credentials.

Preliminary analysis:

I confirmed that my Stack Exchange login credentials are correct as follows:

  • I opened a private browsing window, logged in to my codidact account, then followed the above steps.
  • In the same window (and actually the same tab), I opened after getting the above error, and I was already logged in.

Additional information:

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Browsers:
    • Brave: Version 1.7.98 Chromium: 81.0.4044.113 (Official Build) (64-bit)
    • Firefox: 73.0.1 (64-bit)
  • My account on Stack Overflow is "temporarily suspended".
Why should this post be closed?


Are you doing this here on Meta, or on one of our other sites (Writing or Outdoors)? I'll have to check, but it might not work on Meta because we don't have an associated SE site that we want to import posts from -- but if that's the case then we should have a better response than this error, so thanks for the report. Monica Cellio 2 months ago

@Monica It seems that was the issue here. I tried linking on this Meta site, since I don't have any content on Writing and Outdoors anyway. It would seem graying out the Authenticate button on this Meta site would be appropriate with an indication of why. Masked Man 2 months ago

@MaskedMan not your fault; we just added that "don't post here" language because the software made it too easy to end up here. Every other site we set up will have a meta, so it's baked in for now, but Meta doesn't need a meta... Monica Cellio 2 months ago

@Monica I realized what might have happened. When I saw the error, I first searched here to see if the problem is already reported. I came across this post This was similar to my issue, but not the same. This question was on "meta meta" at the time (I think, don't remember clearly), and on that page, the link still read "Ask Question", so I used that. Masked Man 2 months ago

I know this is still early days, this is still a small community (and most of them are SE veterans anyway), so this "Don't Post Here" is ok for now. However, the "meta meta" site eventually needs to go if it isn't meant to be used. [It is probably already in the plan, I'm still feeling my way around here. :-)] Hopefully the community will grow to an extent where new users (with no knowledge of SE) will join, and this UI will be confusing even more than it is to the SE veterans. Masked Man 2 months ago

Show 2 more comments

2 answers


I had exactly the same poor experience when trying to use this feature after creating a new account and filling out my profile.

If this isn't going to be supported for Meta Codidact, then it should be greyed out in the profile or show some other sort of explanatory message.

Frankly, though, I don't understand why it wouldn't be supported for Meta Codidact. You shouldn't associate yourself with individual Stack Exchange site accounts. That's too much work; I don't want to have to do that for each Codidact site that I join. Instead, you should associate yourself with your Stack Exchange network account; e.g.,


What about cases where somebody has hidden specific site accounts on the network profile? If we could reliably get to all accounts I'd agree with you about just using the network profile; that would be much easier for everyone. Maybe the answer is to support both -- use the network profile in general, but if you've hidden accounts you can override? Monica Cellio 2 months ago

There's also the question of what happens if you want to start over and not have your SE content attached to you on some sites but not others... I can't immediately see why you'd want to do it, but it's plausible that some folks might. That's not to excuse the lousy experience there - this is still very much work-in-progress - it's just another consideration to add to the mix. ArtOfCode 2 months ago

I do agree that we need to not offer the option on sites where there's nothing to connect to. Not all communities here will have associated SE sites. Monica Cellio 2 months ago

@Monica @Art (can I ping multiple people here? or no pings at all?): Those sound like arguments for allowing affected users on this platform to opt out of linking specific SE sites, rather than forcing all users to opt in to every SE site. Cody Gray♦ 2 months ago

You can ping multiple people here, but you have to use the full username :) I can see an argument for opt-out, certainly. Not sure how it'd work yet, but we're a while off coming back to this feature so we've got time to think about how it fits in. For now, I've added a setting so that it can be disabled completely for certain sites, which is now in action here on Meta. ArtOfCode 2 months ago


[Note: This started as a comment to the discussion on Cody Gray's answer, but it became too long so I am posting it as an answer, which additionally allows formatting and adding pictures.]

The SE site linking interface could be modified as follows:

  • Move the Link with Stack Exchange option to the "top level" site
  • Populate the individual SE accounts as a checkbox list.
    • SE sites where user doesn't have any content shall be excluded (or grayed out).
    • SE sites without a corresponding Codidact site shall be grayed out, with link to Site Suggestions.
  • Select all sites by default.
  • Provide options to select or deselect all sites at once.
  • Provide a search box to search for specific sites.

The linking can be done multiple times. Users who wish to continue contributing to SE or contribute to a new SE site after linking can thus import their newer content. However, content which has been deleted on SE after being imported will not be automatically deleted.

Wireframe for linking

With this interface, the most common (expected) usecase of linking all sites requires least user effort. It also enables other usecases, such as skipping a few sites, to be handled with just a little more effort.


This might be something we do at some point, and we'll certainly keep it in mind... but it's not going to be any time soon; we have something that works here even if it's not optimal yet, so there are more important things to work on first before we come back to do a polish pass. is just a static site; there's no server-side behind it, whereas all the communities are full-stack, so it's likely that the code for the import process will still need to reside in the community scope. ArtOfCode 2 months ago

@ArtOfCode Certainly, this isn't a high priority at the moment. Nonetheless, I think it would still be useful to have a "top level" user profile. Of course, that too, can be looked into later. Masked Man 2 months ago

Technically there is a top-level user profile, and it even has the SE account ID stored against it. What it doesn't do at the moment is auto-transfer content from new sites when they start up. ArtOfCode 2 months ago

@ArtOfCode I see. I wasn't referring specifically to the linking usecase though. I meant a "top level" user profile similar to what's there on SE, where there are links to the user's other accounts. I'm also concerned about user profile on each site being nearly completely independent of each other, with the need to login to each separately, separate notification lists, etc. Masked Man 2 months ago

Aye, notifications are on the list to look at at some point, as is login (though that's less critical, once you hit "remember me"). ArtOfCode 2 months ago