I was trying to show Academia.SE to a friend yesterday, and let him browse a bit. As we were using his computer, not mine, I obviously wasn't logged into my account.

I was surprised that even after 10 minutes, I couldn't find any link to the highest voted (answered) questions. When I am logged in, I would click on questions and then I would get link-options: newest, featured, frequent, votes, active, unanswered and I'd chose the votes to get to this content. However, when accessing the site anonymously, the only sub-link I can access is newest.

I also tried all other link-options I had, thinking it might just be slightly different when not logged in, but no luck finding it.

I am hoping this is a bug: I would assume that it is in the community interest to show those questions. After all, those are the best questions and answers this site has produced, excellent for new potential users to get interested and/or familiar with the website.

So, if this is really a bug, then this is the bug report. If it was done on purpose, I would be really interested in the reasons for not making our best questions easily accessible to new users.

1 Answer 1


This is SE-network-wide behavior. It has been brought up on MSE and is by design. The answer to why is "performance reasons" (specifically, to deal with a denial of service attack):

Requests from anonymous users to some of these routes were causing an unacceptably large performance hit a few days ago, potentially hurting the experience for many other users.

As a result, they were disabled for anonymous users. They may be re-enabled at some point when we have had time to implement a less drastic solution.


  • Hey, thnx for the fast reply. I just read through those posts on MSE. However, what I'm reporting is slightly different: it's not while browsing a specific tag, just browsing general questions. Also, unlike the current behavior described there, when I am logged out and go to academia.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=votes I actually do get the questions sorted by votes (it is not disabled like it says on MSE)
    – penelope
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 15:37
  • I'm just clarifying the situation, since if this is by design, then this might be a bug in the by-design behavior (something I can not access by visible links, but the link still works if typed directly)
    – penelope
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 15:43
  • @penelope The issue was first reported for tags, so the explanation was posted on the question on tag sort; the later question on general sort order is marked as a duplicate of that one, i.e. it's for the same reason.
    – ff524
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 15:57

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