I remember the discussion which led to allowing only registered users to ask questions: Let's require registration to ask a question. (It was marked in October 2016.)

IIRC, unregistered users were still allowed to answer questions. As far as I can tell, this is no longer the case1 and that this was changed some time ago.2

Basically I wanted to ask:

  • When was this changed?
  • Was this changed for our site, or globally in the whole network?3,4
  • What were the reasons behind this change?
  • Is it possible to switch back on our site? (Naturally, a discussion among this site's users would be needed before that. Personally I do not have a preference either way - but it would probably be good to know about the reasons why this was introduced.)

1Here is a screenshot showing what I see when I visit the site while I am not logged on. There is a text saying: "You must log in to answer this question."


2Trying the Wayback Machine on a rather random (but not too old) question, I get a snapshot from November 2023, which includes the text: "You must log in to answer this question."

A bit more searching revealed a snapshot from December 2022 where the answer field is visible to the Wayback Machine - and, consequently, to a user without an account. But here is a snapshot from January 2023 which contains the text "You must log in to answer this question." So it seems that the change happened somewhere around the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.

3I found this question on Meta Stack Exchange: Can unregistered users be blocked from answering on some sites? The accepted answer says that it is possible, but it was never used on any site. This answer was posted in 2020 - so it probably reflects the status at the time.

4There is this post on Meta Stack Exchange: Why are unregistered users not allowed to post questions on some sites? The accepted answer contains a list of such sites and it says that the sites marked with asterisk also require registration to answer questions. In the current revision, Mathematics is listed without the asterisk.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It is not a global change for the whole network. On Stack Overflow and on Code Review, for example, I can see an answer field with a “Post as a guest” option when not logged in. $\endgroup$
    – Martin R
    May 15 at 12:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Even MathOverflow has the “Post as a guest” option for answers. $\endgroup$
    – Martin R
    May 15 at 12:54
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I hand't noticed. I don't remember any discussion or announcement about this. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    May 16 at 18:04
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This was discussed in Math Mods office and math mods chatrooms and was done to deal with a spate of poor questions by unregistered accounts. I had made a formal request to CM team in Dec 2022 to enable this setting for mathse. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    May 17 at 19:28
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @ParamanandSingh: A “spate of poor questions by unregistered accounts” is an understandable reason to require registration to ask questions. But this is about the required registration to answer questions. $\endgroup$
    – Martin R
    May 18 at 2:54
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @MartinR: I need to check the exact chat message discussion to see if this was about questions or about posting any content. The reading of the accepted answer on meta.stackexchange indicates that restricting questions on mathse was done in 2016 and therefore the change in 2022 applies to answers as well, but the CM team perhaps did not update the meta.stack answer. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    May 18 at 4:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here is a link to a brief conversation in chat related to this question. $\endgroup$ yesterday
  • $\begingroup$ TIL you could even post an answer as a guest at one point. $\endgroup$ 3 hours ago


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