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I share a public IP with my colleagues here in the office, and sometimes I get the following error message:

Sorry, you are only allowed to ask 6 questions in a 24 hour period.

I was hoping if you guys can add a time reset indication like, "You will be able to ask again after 2 hours," where 2 hours is the remaining time till the 24 hours limit ends.

What do you think?

share|improve this question
up vote 19 down vote accepted

1. Answer to the specific question

I agree that the ending time should be shown when the IP limit is triggered.

However, triggering this limit on an individual account should be an educational experience which teaches you not to hit it again, it should not be optimized to allow you to run as close as possible to the limit.

Additionally, it's pretty easy to determine the remaining time without the limit. To do so, go to your profile, and sort by newest:

Arrow and circle to newest and stats

Then, navigate to the 6th question on the list. You'll see "asked X hours ago" in your user card, subtract this number from 24 and you'll have the number of hours remaining.

If you need more precision, hover over the text to get the time you asked the question in UTC:


and get the UTC time from your dropdown or this site:

dropdown - arrow to down arrow, circle UTC time

Subtract the former from the latter, and you will know down to the second (though caching/implementation details may mess with this) when you can ask again.

2. Analysis of your specific case

The "You are only allowed to ask 6 questions in a 24 hour period" restriction is applied both by account and by IP. Your profile indicates that you've likely hit this limit all by yourself:

enter image description here

Note that the "X hours ago by user" refers to the most recent edit/answer, not the time you posted the question. However, checking the time (see Section 1 above) does indicate that you need to wait to ask more questions. I checked your most recent timestamps.

You asked this question on MSO on 2011-09-28 at 12:10. You asked SO questions on 2011-09-27 at:

  1. 19:34
  2. 16:32
  3. 16:14
  4. 16:02
  5. 15:53
  6. 12:01

Any attempts to ask questions between 19:34 on the 27th and 12:01 on the 28th would have caused this message. You asked your most recent question on 2011-09-28 12:13, which is 24 hours and 10 minutes after this one 6 questions ago. Unless your coworkers asked a question between 12:01 and 12:12 yesterday, they didn't ask anything, and your problem is entirely self-inflicted.

Note that your shared IP will be significant if you get banned from Chat or the site for abuse, or if mods are investigating socks or vote rings. Both socks (which you're not, assuming you've been honest about your situation) and vote rings (which you could be) are handled in the same way, so be careful to avoid abusing the system or you and your colleagues will be banned, and they probably won't like that.

3. Musings on the goal of the rate limit

The goal of the rate limit is to optimize for pearls, not sand. You have 10 pages of questions with 0 votes, and only 4 questions with more than 3 votes, so the blog post is definitely applicable. Work on improving the quality of your individual questions; it's hard to ask 6 great questions in 24 hours.

4. What you should do instead

Spend some time posting more answers! Not only will this teach you about how to ask better questions, researching answers will help you learn and avoid needing to wait to ask a question and wait to get an answer when you have the same problem later.

164 questions and 29 answers is heavily weighted towards the question end of the scale. Answers aren't nearly as rate limited as questions; we don't care much if 0-voted or down-voted answers sit at the bottom of great questions, but low-quality questions waste other people's time (and therefore we rate-limit them to 6/24 hours).

I'm unaware of an answering rate limit for questions that don't get the "low quality answer" flag. (though Jeff does like his rate limits...)

share|improve this answer
It seems to me that looking on his profile won't work -- he's being limited by IP address not by username. He also implies that the rate limit problem is due partially to others ansking questions? Also, if you sort his questions by time, the last page or so nearly all have upvotes, implying his questions are probably getting better (or he's deleted recent low score questions) – agf Sep 28 '11 at 13:27
@agf - I'm not against showing the information when people are being limited by IP address. However, he's being limited by username; his implication is incorrect: the limit is solely his problem (though it may affect his colleagues, who had a 12 minute window today). I've edited to reflect this. – Kevin Vermeer Sep 28 '11 at 13:52
@Kevin Vermeer, honestly, i feel that your answer is very aggressive, and you are just defending about the policy rather than talking about the suggestion, like i am attacking the policy by such suggestion, please don't talk about me like i am a bad person. – Mahmoud Saleh Sep 28 '11 at 14:24
anyway, thanks for your advises, and guides – Mahmoud Saleh Sep 28 '11 at 15:14
@Jsword I strongly disagree, Kevin put way more effort into this answer than I would have ever expected to see. Don't mistake clarity, detail, or a firm opinion for "aggression". – Matthew Read Sep 28 '11 at 16:29
@Matthew, you are right, i am sorry Kevin. – Mahmoud Saleh Sep 29 '11 at 8:56
My experience is that the only questions that get votes are general questions and easy questions. I call that optimizing for dust. – Tomáš Zato Mar 5 '15 at 12:41

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