According to How do unregistered accounts work? over on meta.stackoverflow.com only few sites allow unregistered users to post questions. From the accepted answer:

On Stack Overflow (and a few other sites in the network), you have to log in (i.e. have a "registered" profile) before you can ask questions. Answering doesn't have the same limitation.

Why does AvSE allow those? I'm under the impression that unregistered users often pose "funny" questions. I know my very own questions are not the best or most interesting either, but at least I google first to avoid dupes and then I try to make my question clear.

What annoys me most isn't the lack of that "pre-processing" prior to asking a question but -- to my experience -- the fact that these unregistered users usually

  • don't reply to comments,
  • don't upvote (my guess), and
  • don't accept any given answers (definitely not my guess).

I can think of some reasons for allowing unregistered users to post questions:

  • nobody has thought of it and I'm the only one who cares
  • it attracts more participants because you don't even have to register to ask why Boeings are pointy-nosed
  • it's too few to care about

What are your thoughts?

By the way, according to Mr. Atwood himself, an unregistered account can be turned into a registered account.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ My anecdotal evidence suggests that unregistered accounts often post unclear questions and then don't engage with the community to fix them or don't stick around long enough to even accept an answer; so I wouldn't mind a registration requirement. That being said, your question is why do we allow it, not if we should, and only the old timer mods will be able to answer that one. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ @AEhere And that pretty much just narrows it down to one person, since one of the original mods hasn't been on since April and another hasn't been on in over 2 years. $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ Turns out I should have better asked should we…? instead of why do we…? I'm not so much interested in the historical reasons for the decision but rather if we should hold onto it. $\endgroup$
    – PerlDuck
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 8:52

1 Answer 1


It has to do with the volume of questions per day, we get around 9.8, compared to 6.5k per day on SO (66,000% what we get).

This was implemented for SO in 2011. Similar situation exists for the Physics (76 Q/d) and Mathematics (503 Q/d) sites.

I've asked on Meta SE's chat what the threshold is. There isn't one. The community decides.

On the Mathematics site it was requested in 2014, and implemented in 2016.

So to answer your question, it hasn't been requested yet, and we don't get many questions per day (possible we'd get even fewer questions if registration is required).


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