I just noticed that unlike on stackoverflow and other stackexchange sites, here I cannot ask a question anonymously, neither on the main nor on the meta site.

Why is that so? Because the site is still in beta?

I think parenting is a very sensitive and "human" topic, last but not least simply because it relates to "family". My username unfortunately includes part of my name and cleary visible my actual face as a profile picture. Even if it wouldn't use both (but I generally want to), I showcase my SE network profile on my blog through the SE widget and am very open in general.

But that is exactly why I want to be able to ask anonymous at times. Because while I can and want to be open about everything, I can't just put every last piece of my life online, especially if this "piece" is an "issue", i.e. a problem that needs remedy.

What do you guys think about this? Is it a mere technical issue or is this on intention?

  • This sounds like a bug! I know it used to be possible to ask anonymously, at least on the main site. And why not also on meta, it should be the same. I don't think it's intentional. We'll need to raise this with Stack Exchange staff. Sep 29, 2012 at 10:33
  • Thanks for your comment! So you could reproduce this issue? Sep 29, 2012 at 14:04
  • Yes I could. Usually, to post anonymously, one only needs to log out. I did that, and then I was asked for login both for answering and asking. I just didn't have the time to escalate it, but I will tonight. (So could you, btw: post this in meta.stackoverflow.com - but I'll handle it!) Sep 29, 2012 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


It's not a bug, but we need to study the site's documentation to find the explanation. I didn't remember these details and that's why I, too, thought it was a bug. Live and learn:

This is how:

If you're logged in as a registered user, then just sign out. When you post, there'll be a login link and fields for registering a new user account, but here's the trick: just leave that blank, and submit your post anyway. That will be an anonymous post. The anonymous user is retained via a cookie on your computer, so as long as you don't remove that cookie, you could, if you wanted to, register later and receive ownership of those anonymous posts - and earn reputation from them, too!

  • Thanks for the "tutorial"! But to be honest: The fact that it needs "tricks" and/or a "tutorial" means that if someone wants to post anonymously, this is far too complicated, thus not fostering participation as it might be the case otherwise. Sep 30, 2012 at 15:54

There's another option: you can maintain two separate SE accounts.

Currently, the architecture encourages users to associate all their content under one username. That's understandably frustrating for users like yourself, who would like to keep their work and personal lives separate.

If you would like to create a separate account, follow these steps:

  1. Log out of all accounts, or use a new browser that you aren't signed into yet. Alternatively, use Chrome's Incognito Mode, or Firefox's equivalent anonymous browsing mode.

  2. Attempt to sign into the site. When creating the account, use a completely separate email address. If your email matches the one for your current account, the system will attempt to log you in.

  3. Participate on the site -- but do not let your accounts cross at all! Don't vote twice for the same questions, don't vote for each other, none of that. Any attempts to do so will be viewed as vote fraud by the system, and your accounts will be merged.

I hope this helps. Please also see this post: Is it possible to separate professional Stack Exchange accounts from personal ones?

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