I tried to ask a question on workplace, and for what is probably obvious reasons, I did not want the question associated with my account. I looked at, for example, Need to ask a question anonymously, which suggested logging out of all the Stackexchange sites. However, I did that, and then tried to post the question with my actual email, and received the notice:

This email address is already registered. If it belongs to you, log in above or visit our account recovery page to get access to this account.

Obviousy, the whole point of this discussion is that I don't want to associate the question with my existing account. Is there any option available to me?

  • if you really wanna have it as an anonym Question why don‘t you just post your Question and use a Trash-Mail or if you wanna do this more than one time just create a new Free-Mail Account on Gmail or GMX? - If you coul’d have add your normal Mail Adress to a new Account. Someone will somehow, somewhen create a Relation between those two Accounts having the Same Mailadress. – konqui Oct 25 '17 at 6:52

The only way to post questions anonymously is to create a new account (or ask as an unregistered user on sites that allow that) in an entirely separate browser session. You must not use any email addresses or OpenID credentials that are also used by your real account, as this will either be rejected outright as you saw, or could potentially lead to an automatic merge of your accounts.

The automatic merges are not well documented, but they can remove your anonymity if they're triggered. I would always use either a different browser entirely, or a private/incognito session of your main browser to log into the anonymous account, and never log into it with your real main browser session.

For sites that allow unregistered accounts, as far as I know you can put anything into the email field, it won't be verified. For sites like SO that require sign up, you can use a throwaway email provider, or just create a separate permanent email for this.

Don't use the "hidden communities" feature for this purpose, it is not designed for privacy and is trivially defeated in multiple ways.

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  • Thanks for the thorough explanation. It seems unfortunate to me that the process for posting anonymously is so hackneyed. Some sites (and workplaces in particular) are going to lend itself towards OPs not wanting to associate content with their identity. It seems to me that it would be better for SO (in terms of useful signal vs. noise) if existing users could still be associated with content even if that association is kept hidden to the public. – Kirk Woll Oct 27 '17 at 1:37

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