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I have a StackExchange login that I use for all the communities that I'm a member of. If I visit a community that I am not a member of, the title bar shows a "join this community" link. Clicking it brings up a "CONFIRM YOUR NEW ACCOUNT" page:

enter image description here

Clicking the button automatically adds me to the community. Nice and easy.

But, if I'm looking at questions in a community where I'm not a member, and try clicking the "Upvote" button for a question, things will get very complex. First is a popup prompting me to sign up or log in:

"Sign Up or log in"

Since I do not yet have an account to log into, I'll click the "Sign up using Stack Exchange" link (the other options are "Sign up using Google" and "Sign up using Facebook").

This will bring me to another page with the same "Sign Up" options as before, except under "Sign up using Stack Exchange" there are four text fields to be filled in: name, email, password, and password again:

"Sign Up" again

Filling out all four fields works, but why the complexity? Why isn't the first "Sign up using Stack Exchange" link the same as the "join this community" link? (BTW, clicking "log in" on the first popup window is just like clicking the "join this community" link, which is also confusing because I shouldn't be able to "log in" to an account that doesn't yet exist.)

  • The Unified login thing is new and, apparently, still not fully active on the sites yet... they're rolling it out in stages. See info here. – Catija Jul 18 '15 at 0:09
  • (1) This seems to be OBE; I cannot reproduce it.  (2) The problem seems to be just that you are confused as to the terminology.  You have a Stack Exchange account (and, apparently, you have had one for over two years), and you are a member of 40 of the 100⁺ Stack Exchange communities.  (Admittedly, the fact that that your Stack Exchange user page indicates that you have 40 accounts is misleading.)  … (Cont’d) – Scott Jul 29 '15 at 2:27
  • (Cont’d) …  Your question contains its own answer: “clicking "log in" on the first popup window is just like clicking the "join this community" link…”  Exactly!  If you want to join a community, you want to login to Stack Exchange in that community.  “Sign up” always means “create a brand new account.” – Scott Jul 29 '15 at 2:28
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As Catija mentioned in the comments, we're fixing all these cases in stages. The fix for this one in particular rolled out on Friday. You should now see "join this community" in the anonymous vote pop-up as well instead of the "sign up or login in" form that fully anonymous users get.

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