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Due to the recent low-quality posts on U&L, I've asked the Community Managers to disable unregistered participation on our site. They have recently enacted that change. Hopefully this encourages positive participation and isn't too much of a hurdle for earnest participants in our community.

Update on 2023-07-07: this change (enacted May 29th) has prevented further low-quality posts, and -- at a glance -- has not seemed to create much of a hurdle to participation. I grabbed a screenshot of the site analytics for the past 2+ months; here's the chart of posts (questions + answers):

site analytics

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    What does "unregistered participation" mean? I thought you needed an account to participate... May 29, 2023 at 23:33
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    @StephenHarris yes, but there's a distinction; a registered account is tied to an email address (where you receive a verification email of some kind), at which point your account becomes "registered". Unregistered accounts typically fill in junk for the email address, as many of them have no intention of participating positively; others may simply want anonymity.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    May 29, 2023 at 23:40
  • It's been a few years since I registered, so forgive me if I'm fuzzy on the details of the registration process itself. Unregistered users (some would call accounts on each site a "profile") have a badge next to their name on their profile that says "Unregistered".
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    May 29, 2023 at 23:42
  • So in other contexts this might be called an "unverified account". I can see this acting as a barrier to entry for people who want an answer, but I can also see it avoiding a lot of low quality questions from "1 point" accounts who haven't bothered to do any research. Hmmm. May 29, 2023 at 23:50
  • @StephenHarris It also avoids a lot of spam.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    May 30, 2023 at 5:57
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    @StephenHarris until yesterday, when this change was activated, you could post on U&L without creating an account. You have (had) the option of posting a question as a guest. See i.imgur.com/2Ezdrxn.png (screenshot from Bioinformatics since I couldn't do it here anymore).
    – terdon Mod
    May 30, 2023 at 12:47
  • I genuinely didn't know this was an option. So users can still be "anonymous" to the community, just not anonymous to StackExchange, Is that correct? Jun 2, 2023 at 10:34
  • This is unlikely to be helpful. The truly harmful contributions usually come from people who will definitely bother to register (cf. Wikipedia article creation).
    – Nemo
    Jun 11, 2023 at 13:39
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    @Nemo I'm not sure what kind of harm you're thinking of, but disabling this unregistered participation has definitely put a stop to this particular rash of low-quality posts.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Jun 12, 2023 at 11:50
  • I applaud this, but I feel compelled to ask what's the furthest time boundary on "temporary"? (see first word of title) Has this become permanent yet?
    – Sotto Voce
    Jul 20, 2023 at 3:06
  • That's a fair question, @SottoVoce. My best answer right now is to wait for the end of the moderation strike (including the Charcoal spam-fighting project), so that we have as much automated --and manual-- effort available to keep low-quality posts at bay. I'm encouraged that U&L participation hasn't been drastically affected by requirement to register.
    – Jeff Schaller Mod
    Jul 20, 2023 at 13:27

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