When I click the "logout" link, I am taken to a separate page that contains nothing but a "logout" button. I don't really see the point of this; I suggest removing this page and having the logout link actually log you out.
While we're on this topic, can we please fix the spelling of that text to "log out"? "logout" is a noun, "log out" is a verb.
(This was covered earlier at Use of login/logout is inconsistent and incorrect, so please go upvote that question
I think I remember a blog post by Jeff talking about adding this so a malicious script didn't do naughty stuff to you, but I can't find it (I don't even remember if it was on codinghorror or the stackoverflow blog)
In any case, I bet you it's there for a reason.
As Arjan says, you'd be logged out if someone includes
<img src="https://meta.stackoverflow.com/users/logout"/> in a post
On sites that don't have a confirmation, I do occasionally click the "logout" button and it is a bit of a pain to have to log in again. I am also sure that the majority of the times I have hit the logout button, not just here but other sites, I didn't want to. I have never used this site from a public computer and so the additional step saves me time.
The other issue is it isn't like you never have your mouse near it. The the
tools button is right next to it and either too much or too little coffee could lead to me accidently hitting logout rather than tools (and I have done it) a few times.
In other words, some sort of confirmation is definitely required. I must admit the current text is strange.
You're a registered user.
You can log in or out at any time using the OpenID you've already associated with your account.
Something more along the lines of "Are you sure you want to logout" would be much better.
While I never log out, I would think we'd only need a confirmation popup, just in case we accidentally hit the button.
I have to agree. This is not a damaging function. The page that "logout" displays simply tells you that you are a registered user and that you can log in or log out any time.
To which my response is, "DUH." I know I'm a registered user, I know I'm logged in, and all I want to do is log out. It really should be one-and-only-one click.