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The Skeptics.SE site has a welcome message:

Welcome!

This is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for scientific skepticism. It's 100% free, no registration required.

All StackExchange sites have similar messages.

While it is true that you don't need to be registered to read questions and answers, but you do need to be registered to ask and answer questions - key functionality of the site.

e.g. when I click "Ask":

You must be logged in to ask a question on Skeptics

Log in below or sign up

This is true for several stackexchange sites, including Skeptics.SE, Politics.SE and Mathematics.SE, but not for others, such as Photography.SE or Poker.SE

The Meta site has an even higher hurdle of 5 reputation on the main site.

This has been a long-term problem.

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    Just because a website says that registration is not required does not mean all functionality is available to anonymous users. Non-registered users can browse the site and see questions asked and answers provided just fine. – Jeff Lambert Nov 12 '20 at 16:00
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    Where did you see this? When I look, I only see “Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. It only takes a minute to sign up.” on the banner that’s on most pages, including the home page. – Laurel Nov 12 '20 at 16:22
  • @JeffLambert Browsing the site is a given. – user14430182 Nov 12 '20 at 16:25
  • @Laurel skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com , to the right. You probably have to be logged out to see it. – user14430182 Nov 12 '20 at 16:26
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    @user14430182 Given by whom? – Jeff Lambert Nov 12 '20 at 16:39
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    Some similar sites paywall answers – Caleth Nov 12 '20 at 16:39
  • I should have been more specific. Where do you see “no registration required”? – Laurel Nov 12 '20 at 16:58
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    When viewing skeptics.meta.stackexchange.com logged out the text reads "Welcome! This site is for discussion about Skeptics Stack Exchange. You must have an account there to participate." which is very different to what you suggested it says in your question. Color me confused! – Jamiec Nov 12 '20 at 17:16
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    I made fairly significant changes to turn this into a bug report. – Oddthinking Nov 12 '20 at 17:38
  • Indeed the banner I see says no says at most "Anybody can ask a question". Did you mean that one? The text you describe I find only on old snapshots of this site? – LangLаngС Nov 12 '20 at 19:15
  • @JeffLambert Why is browsing the site a given? What if they threw up a wall that asked you to pay for access? Is it a given then? Experts Exchange traditionally hid answers, and you had to pay to access them. It wasn't a given there. – Llama Nov 13 '20 at 3:24
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    @John I think that is my point, it is not a "given" at all, like OP has proposed. – Jeff Lambert Nov 13 '20 at 4:37
  • @Jeff Sorry I had a brain fart in tagging you. I intended to add to what you said 😇 – Llama Nov 13 '20 at 4:56
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I edited this question into a bug report because, if true, I think it is an error in the documentation that should be fixed.

However, I have been unable to reproduce it.

When I load different StackExchange sites in a new browser (with no login credentials), the main banner says:

Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. It only takes a minute to sign up.

I can't see anywhere where it has the quoted text. When I google for it, I only find this question.

A screenshot would help.

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    Not exactly what OP describes, but all SE sites incl this one, feature this stub: " Why should I create an account? Registration is not required to participate on Stack Exchange " – LangLаngС Nov 12 '20 at 18:49
  • Can't you submit anonymous edits? That's "participation". – fredsbend Nov 13 '20 at 2:59
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    @fredsbend Yeah, though that's nitpicky lawyer speak. It creates another impression for a newbie on a site that's all about Q&A! — Further: on that link it says: "you can read, answer, and suggest edits as an anonymous user, much like on Wikipedia." And not logged in on SSE you cannot answer! So that part is untrue atm. – LangLаngС Nov 13 '20 at 9:52
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I am guessing that is just global stack exchange information as it is possible to ask questions on other sites without an account.

You can do the following without an account on skeptics

  • View questions and answers on the main site
  • View questions and answers on the meta site

From a quick test it appears that you can ask and answer questions on other sites that did not enable this restriction.

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