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Considering the average number of votes we see on Meta posts here, the 11 upvotes on the question Does the Matter Modeling community want to ban unregistered users from asking questions? and 9 upvotes on the answer by Tyberius (along with the 0 downvotes on each of those), indicate that our community agrees to ban unregistered users from asking or answering questions here, more so than we've ever agreed on anything since January 2021 when we were still less than a year old. You can see Meta posts from highest score to lowest score here and can see that the discussion about banning unregistered users is by far one that has received the most attention in more than a year.

However banning unregistered users requires action from the SE company, and in more than 2 months they haven't done anything (not even left a comment). Therefore, we may have to decide ourselves what to do about this (at least in the interim).

  • Shall the accounts of new unregistered users be deleted immediately in order to "effectively" implement a ban on the users? The post can still be kept on the site if it's useful, but the user that posted it will not be able to write a comment or engage with the post unless they register an account (which is what we want). This is an example of a post by a deleted user: the post is still visible, the user just needs to create/register new account if they want to do anything again.
  • Is there some other idea you might have as to what we can do to "effectively" ban unregistered users without the SE company implementing it explicitly?
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  • $\begingroup$ I'm closing this question and redirecting to the original because it seems to be a moot point now: SE will start blocking unregistered accounts from posting as of today. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Mar 25, 2022 at 15:52

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The reality is that SE gets a lot of these status review and I imagine they seem this a pretty low priority if they are aware of this request at all and it isn't just stuck in the backlog.

I definitely don't think we should be deleting these users (and I'd probably get removed as a mod if I just started doing this without some explicit approval from SE). At most, I think posts by unregistered users should be closed/deleted with a comment added that they can be reopened if the user registers.

At the moment, I don't think this is necessary either or at least doesn't require a new policy. We already close/delete abandoned questions and very low quality answers in general, which should cover the case of unregistered users. Until there is an actual automatic process for blocking these accounts, manually closing/deleting low quality q&a where the OP is not responding is what we are already doing.

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  • $\begingroup$ That SEDE query results in 128 rows, which I honestly do not actually think is a lot. On QuantumComputing.SE there's a status-review question that's been there for almost 3 months and all it's asking for is to add the mchem extension for MathJax there. About the rest of your answer, my concern is about the possibility that an unregistered user gains rep and then uses it causes damage, which probably hasn't happened much yet, but due to at least one previous unregistered user who seemed to ask a question with malicious intent, it does concern me. $\endgroup$ Mar 19, 2022 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe we should just delete the posts if they're low-quality (and have a much lower bar for considering something "low-quality") and comment saying that it will be undeleted when they register. It might seem like it goes against our mission to grow and welcome all new users no matter what, but out of our 4000+ users, if we only had to do this ~40 times, it would be 1% of the time, and my guess is that anyone who genuinely has a real question/curiosity, will register their account immediately after seeing our message to them, since they'd need to do that to get their question answered. $\endgroup$ Mar 19, 2022 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ "We already close/delete abandoned questions and very low quality answers in general" -- true, but in addition to that I think your idea of deleting posts by unregistered users, with a comment telling them why it happened and to register, would be my preferred course of action. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2022 at 23:11
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    $\begingroup$ @NikeDattani I think that's reasonable. I'll consider it "decided, pending SE implementation". As long as nobody from SE voices any major concerns about it, I'll start deleting unregistered user posts. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Mar 21, 2022 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ I wish I could give a bounty to that comment! $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2022 at 1:14

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