Update: We just (3/25/2022) received confirmation that, in response to this post, SE will turn off unregistered posting on the site starting later today.
When I first learned about the concept of an "unregistered user", I was surprised that such a thing is allowed. The benefit seems to be that it lowers the barrier to entry, so that more people can ask questions. However, we're not really experiencing any benefit from this. The vast, vast majority of our users are registered, and those that are unregistered tend to ask extremely low quality questions, and often come to us complaining later that they want to merge their two or three unregistered accounts into another registered account, at which point not even our diamond moderators can do anything, and we need to direct them to ask the CM team to merge the accounts (and the CM team has a large volume of work to do, and therefore can take a long time to respond, at least to every issue I've ever addressed to them).
Somehow recently, we went from having <1% of our accounts unregistered, to having 3 out of our last 10 new accounts unregistered: An unusual pattern of unregistered users?
Do we want to deal with the headache of trying to figure out why that is? Or should we follow Mathematics.SE, Physics.SE, ElectricalEngineering.SE, AskUbuntu, StackOverflow, etc., and just ban them from asking questions?. The few unregistered accounts we have had answering questions, were people that I or Cody asked to answer questions, and they would have registered accounts if they had to. So I don't think we need unregistered users answering questions either. Only Meta.SE and Workplace.SE and all Meta sites ban answers from unregistered users, and I can understand that if some expert sees a question and can answer it, but they don't want to register, we could benefit from allowing them to answer, but it's also pretty much never happened and with our 92% answered rate right now, I don't think we need to deal with the headache of not being able to track those users as easily (e.g. they don't appear in all the searches and reputation/voting/editing tables in which other users appear).
Please let us know if you would like us to ask the SE staff to ban unregistered users from:
- asking questions
- answering questions