I remember a time when anonymous users could post questions without an account on Stack Overflow. IIRC, this is no longer possible.

I don't mind the removal. I DO, however, find it interesting that it was built and then removed. What was the rationale? Are there any blog posts talking about it? Are there any stories from the trenches that lead to the decision?

Why did Stack Overflow drop anonymous content?

I ask because I'm faced with a similar situation and tested wisdom is interesting.

(Again, I don't want this to be a feature debate, but rather a historical recounting).

  • 4
    I don't know the date, but it was quite some time ago. Like several years.
    – Servy
    Jun 26, 2013 at 16:35
  • 4
    I think the anonymous questions will be pretty much needed in case this site gets launched ;-)
    – Tomas
    Jun 26, 2013 at 16:38
  • If it is true that you can no longer ask questions without bothering to register, they really should stop advertising this on the about page: "...you can ask or answer questions without even bothering to register."
    – user200500
    Jun 26, 2013 at 16:42
  • @Asad log out and try, doesn't appear possible. Right? Jun 26, 2013 at 16:53
  • 2
    @Asad: Stack Overflow is the only exception in the SE Network, AFAIK.
    – user102937
    Jun 26, 2013 at 16:55
  • 3
    @Robert: Programmers
    – ale
    Jun 26, 2013 at 17:01

2 Answers 2


When: September, 2011

Why: With a question volume of between 4,000 and 5,000 questions per day, it no longer "made sense"


Programmers (now Software Engineering) followed suit a year later


The SE platform optimizes for high-quality answers; for that, the starting point is high-quality questions. See Optimizing for Pearls, not Sand. Note that posting an answer is still almost frictionless; anyone can post an answer to a question, even anonymously.

To that end, requiring registration became part of a comprehensive effort to combat a flood of low-quality questions that were plaguing Stack Overflow in late 2011.

See Also
Clarify the "No registration required" message
Encouraging users to create an account (and keep it)

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