1969: Not Available

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If my country ever picks a new national flag, this is on my shortlist for designs to argue for, but I think in the end I'll go with the green puzzle piece or broken image thumbnail.
Title text: If my country ever picks a new national flag, this is on my shortlist for designs to argue for, but I think in the end I'll go with the green puzzle piece or broken image thumbnail.


A green puzzle piece.
Previous versions of Firefox shows a green puzzle piece.
A blue puzzle piece.
The current puzzle piece. It may change colors depending on system running, but the light blue shade is used by default.

A very common, yet frustrating, issue on the Internet is finding a broken link, taking you to an "Error 404" page (see "missing xkcd comic" 404: Not Found). The purpose of the page is to tell the user that the content they were looking for has been either moved or deleted or was never there in the first place.

Randall has suggested replacing the standard "page not found" text, to "This content is not available in your country". This could fool the user into thinking the media they are looking for is actually there but is region locked, which is another great source of frustration for Internet users. Using a VPN and/or Tor to try and access the content from another country wouldn't work, because it isn't actually region locked; it is just an error 404 page, wasting even more time, most likely frustrating the user a great deal in the process. Error code for "content blocked for legal reasons" is actually 451, referencing Fahrenheit 451.

The title text suggests setting the picture as a national flag. This would be very ironic, as it would suggest that the country's flag itself, something that is used to represent the country across the globe, is region locked. The country in the title text likely does not refer to the United States, but rather to the new country featured in 1815: Flag. The first flag of this country included a phone notification bar, so changing it to a "page not found" icon would continue with a trend of technology imagery. Instead, he argues for a green puzzle piece, which was Firefox's icon for add-ons (it is now a light blue puzzle piece that changes color or becomes monochrome depending on context). He also argues for an equally frustrating broken image icon (which is used in lieu of a photo that is either missing or incompatible with the browser).

Most modern desktop browsers can extend their capabilities by allowing third-party programs to integrate into its browser. In most browsers, there are two types: extensions, which uses the technologies already available on each respective browsers, and plug-ins which adds new technologies on webpages. Extensions are now more commonly used as they only used browser-approved methods to provide their services while plug-ins are full-fledged computer programs which means that plug-ins are less secure (with the popular plugins like Flash and Java having newly discovered security problem nearly every day). Fortunately, plug-ins are on the way out, however visitors of older sites that relies on plug-ins will see a "plugin missing" message (which is previously a real message, now a misnomer as plug-ins are being phased out).

Shown on the left, Firefox uses a broken document for its broken image icon. It is a blank document with a fold on the top-right corner and ripped horizontally. On the right, Chrome's broken image icon is a picture depicting a green hill on a normal day with a cloud on its top-left corner and a neutral sky-blue background. There is a fold on the top-right corner and a clean cut from the center of the bottommost part to the center of the rightmost part.
Different versions of the broken icon. On the left is the Firefox version, while on the right is the Chrome version.

The "broken image icon" is the icon that a browser shows instead of an image when that image can't be found or when the browser doesn't recognize it as a valid image. It is similar to the icon shown when the image has not been loaded yet (such as in the rare case when the browser is set to not load images until requested, in order to save on bandwidth, or if the connection is too slow to load pictures quickly), which is commonly a simplified picture frame containing a simple painting or picture, except on Firefox where it appears to be a blank document. The broken image version usually has a corner cracked off the picture frame. Usually, a broken image icon is the result of the source picture being moved or deleted from the location referenced, or if there's an error in the reference (like the filename being misspelled).


[A gray box on a black background with white text:]
This content is not available in your country.
[Caption below the panel:]
If you ever really want to make people mad, set this as your 404/"Not Found" page.

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


I think this should be set as explainxkcd.com's 404 page. 13:40, 21 March 2018 (UTC)

For a second I thought my government actually blocked a page. We "reelected" Putin today, so I thought it is somehow related. -- 18:35, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

I think I'm the first to implement this? Blacksilver (talk) 17:12, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

This comment is not available in your country. 15:31, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

This is probably related to some websites adding this type of banner to support Net Neutrality. Miguel Piedrafita 15:35, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

Not sure about the green, but old versions of macOS (and possibly other systems?) showed inproperly/nonexistent embedded images in websites as a blue puzzle piece with a “?” in it. I think this is what Randall’s referencing in the title text. Oddly a google image search is not finding any examples, so I may be misremembering the details somewhat. PotatoGod (talk) 16:22, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

I think it refers to the general icon for a browser plugin which is often a green puzzle piece. 20:19, 19 March 2018 (UTC)
... which was used as a placeholder image in cases when user lacked the plugin necessary to play the content. -- Hkmaly (talk) 21:25, 19 March 2018 (UTC)

I honestly thought for a moment that this comic is actually not available in my country, then I laughed.Boeing-787lover 18:19, 19 March 2018 (UTC) -- Xkcdreader52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Maybe we should add the fact that, this is shown while the fact hit the news that the EU is forbidding Geolocking within the EU staring from the 1. April. .UserM 16:38, 20 March 2018 (UTC) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

dgbrtBOT was not available

Sorry for that, the bot lost it's internet connection. I've changed the picture to the common normal size, when saving a comic picture from a browser you typically get the larger version (file_2x.png instead of file.png) but everything else looks fine thanks to RamenChef. The bot should do it's work again for the next comic. --Dgbrt (talk) 15:57, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

I've added an explanation about the broken image icon. I found an example of two, I think Firefox's and possibly Chrome's, but on a cursory glance I can't see how to upload a picture to the wiki. Since the legality of doing so might be questionable, I'm not trying any harder. It's on a blog post about fixing a broken image issue on WordPress. The title picture offers two examples of the "broken image icon". NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:16, 30 March 2018 (UTC)

The explanation says that the error 451 references Fahrenheit 451. Is there proof? aaaaaaaaaaaoijgpisbHtejsykl7ekderhtsjk6r64os4kys\\\[]jsrtjgdrghtvgwrhtejyku5dli6;78t7l6rk5j4h|||||#Rty-----WWWWWWfflfllfllfllfeogk0q9wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww4-cv;c;;c;c[;]z\]d;v[\]????????OH GOD IT'S CRASIHNG MY PC����������������������������������������������� (talk) 07:24, 14 November 2020 (UTC)

Yes. https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7725 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jun/22/ray-bradbury-internet-error-message-451 b? (talk) 23:22, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

of course the "forbidden because law" error is 451. of course. An user who has no account yet (talk) 18:48, 6 September 2023 (UTC)