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Recently, I came through a question answered by Anonymous. First I thought it as some account and I found lo link with the name. Below is the screenshot;

Screenshot

What are Anonymous postings?

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....Cowards.... –  j08691 Aug 19 '12 at 18:50
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@j08691 Well spoken jay-zero-eight-six..... –  Bart Aug 19 '12 at 19:46

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Most likely this is a case where the original author of the post asked to have the post disassociated with his account.

Post dissociation is a right that every post author has under the CC-by-SA license.

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How is a post dissociated? Via flags? Or is there an automated option? –  hexafraction Aug 19 '12 at 19:50
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Does someone have some confirmation on the "...deleted his account or..." part?, I have seen these and I believe they become faded unlinked userIDs (not "Anonymous"). Someone correct me if I am wrong –  ajax333221 Aug 19 '12 at 23:30
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@ajax333221 poking now to see if that has changed. You're correct, (RPG at least, still uses anonID) –  wax eagle Aug 20 '12 at 2:00
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@waxeagle It has changed in the opposite direction: userID format is used since mid-2011. The screenshot predates this change. –  Thursday May 8 at 19:09

You can posts answers on Stack Overflow anonymously, see the FAQ:

You can answer and suggest edits as an anonymous user, much like Wikipedia. There are some things you won’t be able to do on the site without registering, such as vote or ask new questions.

You can't answer anonymously on Meta sites; you need reputation to post there.

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4  
would not appear as anonymous though. it would just be as an unregistered user. –  wax eagle Aug 19 '12 at 20:05

This was a post by a user who set display name to Anonymous before getting the account deleted, following advice by Atwood. In the early years of the network, usernames of deleted users were retained; not replaced with userN as is done now. The change happened in the second half of 2011, but was not documented among other feature changes.

Disassociation of a post from account replaces the username with "anon", not "Anonymous". Another sign that this is not what happened here are the comments under the answer: some of them are by the same user "Anonymous", and the username is not clickable either: the account is gone.

One more scenario in which un-clickable usernames appear is migration to a site where post owner does not have an account. This is not what happened here, though.

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