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Why can't community discussions be browsed anonymously?

When looking for solutions or information about JIRA or Confluence features, I'll often start with a Google Search.

Usually there's a relevant posting in the Atlassian community, but when clicking on the link it will immediately redirect me to authenticate.  This interaction is completely off-putting to me; I just want to read people's responses and don't plan to participate in the discussion.  I'm sure many Atlassian users who want information about the products but don't want to create community accounts feel the same way.

I can get around this authentication redirect via Google's cached version of the page.  The cached version has "Sign up" and "Login" buttons at the top of the page and other elements designed to handle unauthenticated users.  This proves there is already security in place for allowing anonymous access.

I would like to understand why this community site doesn't permit anonymous access (and hopefully the reason isn't to "encourage" more people to sign up for accounts), and would like to make a suggestion to change this.

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Answer accepted

Hi @Grant Kidd

thank you for your post. I feel your pain - and I also think sometimes the authentication takes way too long which it shouldn't. I think there are two thoughts to mention:

  1. You can browse the Atlassian Community also anonymously. You can prove that by trying to open this post in a new "incognito window" and it will display just fine.
  2. It will redirect you to authentication when you're already logged into any Atlassian ID account. That's the behaviour you're seeing right now.

I often contribute to the community - and also use other Atlassian tools. That's why I'm usually logged in with my Atlassian ID, but sometimes I also simply want to consume articles - and don't care about the authentication too much. I can bring this topic up with the community team if there's something they can do - and maybe you get a better answer than mine.

Cheers,
Matthias.

Thanks for the quick response @Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ 

I was able to verify that browsing incognito does allow anonymous access and that I must have been seeing this redirect due to being logged in with my work account.

It is a confusing user experience.  I believe I first came across this issue a few years ago.  I tried to authenticate using my work credentials, but when that didn't work and I realized I needed a separate account, I got discouraged and worked around the need to create an account as much as possible.

It would be nice if either the redirect didn't happen or if there was an option on the redirect page to continue browsing anonymously.

Either way, I now have a reasonable solution via Incognito mode.  Thank you!

Like Matthias Gaiser _K15t_ likes this

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