Why are unregistered users allowed to post? This only creates a plethora of accounts who post a question and never come back to provide feedback or accept answers.

  • 5
    I've already tried to make this argument. It went nowhere. Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 14:00
  • @MichaelHampton Reading your question, it seems some sites have restrictions on unregistered users posting a question. This question can then be read as should TravelSE be on that list?
    – RedBaron
    Commented Apr 25, 2019 at 11:35
  • @MichaelHampton I've added an answer showing that at least on Travel.SE unregistered users are actually contributing a lot.
    – JonathanReez Mod
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 20:23

3 Answers 3


Allowing questions from unregistered users has been a feature of Stack Exchange (all the sites) since the very beginning and is not unique to Travel. A handful of sites require creating an account to ask, and I could perhaps interpret your question as a suggestion that Travel do the same.

You theorize that unregistered askers fail to provide feedback or accept answers, and though you don't say so I presume you mean that they do this more than registered users would. That's hard to prove: someone who registers when they don't have to will not behave the same way as someone who was made to register just to ask their question, so observing what today's registered users do isn't a good predictor of what would happen if we made people register.

However you should know that the system has been designed to work with non-responsive askers. If a question is unclear, it can be put on hold until the asker gives the required feedback. If that feedback never comes, the question can be deleted almost automatically. If other people happen to spot a word or two that enables them to understand a cryptic question, they can edit it into a clearer question. If the question is clear and useful as written, it can continue to provide value to future readers, and to attract answers that provide value to future readers, indefinitely. Accepting is less common on this and other not-code-related sites anyway, partly because selecting a single answer that works is not always possible.

For these reasons, I don't support any suggestion that Travel should require users to register before asking a question.

  • 1
    +1 People should be able to ask questions that others may find interesting and that may give rise to useful answers. Feedback and acceptance are there to support the process of asking and answering questions, not the other way round Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 13:23

Here are the top 5 questions contributed by users who never came back to the site after asking (found using Data Explorer):

As a moderator I'd much rather have these questions on the site than enforce registration, even if it means we have to deal with a lot of spam and unclear questions from unregistered users. Overall we've received 793 questions from unregistered users that received at least 5 upvotes, with a combined viewcount of 5,109,487 views.

Finally remember that StackExchange is not meant to assist individual users with their unique problems. It instead strives to create a database of questions that would be useful to millions of people around the world who share the same issues. Therefore it is pretty much irrelevant if OP ever comes back to the site or accepts the answer.

  • This is confirmation bias, because you've selected the 5 most popular ones. Replace them with 5 random ones and let's see. Your argument seems to be "signal/noise ratio doesn't matter if we get a few good'uns". Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 16:39
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica my job as a mod is to filter out the garbage, with the help of our high-rep users who cast flags. I don't mind the garbage as long as we can get the diamonds in the rough from time to time. Though I'm sure the equation is different for a website like SuperUser or StackOverflow. Even if 90% of unregistered users questions are garbage, I still want to keep them to get the 10% which are good.
    – JonathanReez Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 16:56

Allowing questions (and answers) from non registered users may have been a feature of Stack Exchange since the start.
That does not mean that it can not change and I am asking for change every time I discus it with people who might do anything about it.

The more the site gets known, the more spammers and trolls we get, on top of the usual clueless ships in the night who never even come in to read the replies and requests for more information.

I guess that in time registration before participation will become the norm, but for now the people that hold the power to change things do not feel it is needed yet.

So while I agree with the OP here, I can not give a positive 'will be soon' or 'will ever be' as it is not to me to change it.

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