Annual Email re-verification is irritating and needs to be removed

My usual scenario: I walk down the street, open AnkiDroid to learn a few words, and get the toast message with something like “don’t forget to sync you collection”. OK, I click sync and get an error “Cannot sync, you need to re-verify your email” :tired_face:

I read the reasoning in the FAQ but I am not satisfied with it:

  • why should I re-verify my email if I don’t receive any emails from Anki beside that re-verification one (and so no valid/invalid ratio can be affected by my account)?
  • are you sure there are no other ways to solve that: how about not sending further emails to an email box that once replied with a bounce-back?
  • does this measure protect from a malicious user that can register thousands of accounts on non-existing emails: all the initial verification emails would be bounced back and affect the valid/invalid ratio.
  • why early and not every month or 5 years?
  • why not simply ask the user whether his email is still valid without blocking him from synchronizing?
  • why is that a problem for Anki but not other online services?
  • and the most important one: why has this minor technical issue be solved at the expense of the user experience?

Just imagine that every online service would ask for periodic email re-verification? That would be a total nightmare.

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From user perspective, I am a little surprised about the re-verification email for users who actively use Anki. It will make much more sense to require email confirmation that the account is not abandoned if no device synced to such an account for a year or more.

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How often are you being asked to re-verify your e-mail? I get that only maybe once or twice a year. It’s no big deal.

  • Mail providers don’t always send bounce messages when addresses are invalid or the user has marked one of our emails as spam.
  • Users sometimes change their email address and forget to update existing logins. Users also sometimes forget their password, and don’t use a password manager. Once a year verification is not particularly onerous, and reduces the chances that the user will accidentally lock themselves out of their account.

What happens if a user doesn’t reverify the email address? Is there a time limit in days for the reverification to take place before there’s some other action? If so, what happens once the time expires?

My thinking here is that if there’s a window to complete the reverification, such as 10 days, then maybe the client can allow the user to defer the action and continue while warning them that they have a deadline to complete it. Maybe even force the reverification to happen (i.e., what happens now) when it gets near the deadline.

I agree that once a year is not onerous. However, something like I’ve described above would fix the use case that Monsignor encountered and provide a gentle buffer.

I didn’t doubt many people will write “it’s not that frequent, it’s not onerous, it’s not a big deal” - well maybe for them it’s not.

But look, I found this behavior so onerous that I even went so far as to register an account on this forum and to write the wall of text above.

Mail providers don’t always send bounce messages when addresses are invalid or the user has marked one of our emails as spam.

If the user has marked the email as spam, there is nothing you can do, no re-verification would help, besides your entire email server is already marked as untrustworthy. So why bother?

Users sometimes change their email address and forget to update existing logins. Users also sometimes forget their password, and don’t use a password manager.

I really don’t think everyone should have to pay for the sloppy behavior of a small fraction of users.

It used to behave like this, but got lost when AnkiWeb was in the middle of some architectural changes. It would be nice to add back again at one point, when I can find some time.