I have accounts on two kinds of sites:

  • ones I'm interested in (and with active participation)

  • ones that are heavily spammed (flagging is almost my only participation there)

But Blender.SE is in neither one of the above, so I don't have an account there.

Today SmokeDetector reported a vandalised post on Blender.SE, and I went to check it. What I saw was a +20 post, with no recent edit history. That confused me for quite a while before I noticed that the question ID was different. It then took me another while to realize that the "anonymous user duplicate redirect" mechanism was in effect, because I could see my red inbox and green rep change on the top bar. It was then clear that I was treated as "anonymous visitor".

Even if a logged-in user doesn't have an account on the particular site, can we please not treat them as "anonymous" for purposes of redirecting them away from dupes without an answer? Or at least those that have the association bonus?


2 Answers 2


I agree. It's happened several times here on Meta that users ask questions about duplicate questions on sites where I don't have an account, and they don't know about the duplicate redirection feature (or simply forget about it) so they don't put ?noredirect=1 at the end. In those cases I edit to add ?noredirect=1 at the end, but in the mean time I got confused and others may also have gotten confused.

A recent example of this is this question, where the OP says that they just created an account on Android Stack Exchange (where I don't have an account). They then link to their own question on that site which happens to be a duplicate, even though they don't mention it. When I followed the link it sent me to a question asked by a user with 1.8k reputation. In the beginning I thought it was really weird that a user who just signed up already had that much reputation, and it took me several minutes to figure out what was going on. I was very confused, and since my edit adding
?noredirect=1 came more than an hour after the question was asked, it's likely that others also got confused before me.

This has happened to me several times on Meta. A lot of users don't know about the duplicate redirect feature, and even if they do, they're likely to forget. Now that I think about it, I've forgotten about that myself when I asked this question, where I linked to a duplicate on Stack Overflow without adding ?noredirect=1. I never even thought about adding ?noredirect=1 to that link before I started writing this answer. Now it's not a big deal anymore since the question I linked to is deleted and only users with 10k reputation on Stack Overflow can see it anyway, but I wouldn't be surprised if users without an account on Stack Overflow got confused before that.

Since most users active on Meta have an account on at least one Stack Exchange site, the feature proposed here would solve the problem I mentioned.


This is an extreme edge-case involving folks who are:

  1. Not a member of the site (not just "not logged in")
  2. Wanting to assist in the responsibilities of site members

I'm sympathetic to the folks who help out with the Smoke Detector project, but even there this can only really happen once per site - once you've signed up (as you would need to in order to flag), then you'll automatically be logged in in any scenario where the system would be able to alter the redirect behavior.

Meanwhile, it would ruin the intended purpose of the redirect (getting folks from a search result to an answer) for everyone else who happens to be logged in anywhere, even if they had no intention of ever creating an account. And sites that throw up pointless interstitial pages for folks coming from search results in a misguided attempt to inflate signups are the worst.

  • Then what about stop redirecting those with the assoc bonus? One with AB should unarguably have been around for a while. Feb 5, 2018 at 5:20
  • And TBH, I don't plan to sign up for Blender.SE even so far, for the reason given in the question. Feb 5, 2018 at 5:20
  • IMO it's really not that much trouble for SmokeDetector to put ?noredirect=1 in its links. Feb 5, 2018 at 5:31
  • @Ano well, it kind of is, because chat messages have limited length and we're trying to cram a lot of information into a single chat message.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Feb 5, 2018 at 9:19
  • @Glorfindel This could be implemented as a user script, then. Feb 5, 2018 at 9:20
  • Yeah, that's not a bad idea. We already have a userscript (AIM) which modifies chat messages, this could be added as well.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Feb 5, 2018 at 9:27
  • 2
    @Shog9 Any comment on my similar proposal to avoid redirects if the origin is another SE site (or maybe even only if it's a meta site)? That shouldn't interfere with the main purpose of the redirects. Feb 5, 2018 at 9:45

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