What are the new user restrictions?
New users cannot:
- post images
- post more than two hyperlinks at a time, either in a post or their user profile
- contribute answers to protected questions
- ask or answer questions too rapidly
Why are restrictions placed on new users?
Because we allow participation from anonymous internet users, we must take some precautions to ensure that the rare malicious or spammy anonymous user doesn't ruin the experience for everyone else.
I understand the reasoning for disallowing images, protecting questions and for rate-limiting new users. I don't understand how restricting the number of links for new users does anything useful. The privileges page suggests that it is meant to limit the damage malicious users or spammers can do.
For spammers, I don't see the difference whether they link one time to their site, or a dozen times. The spam post will be deleted shortly in any case, I can't really see any advantage to restricting the number of links.
For malicious users you don't really need more than one link to a NSFW site to cause trouble, I also fail to see how the restriction should help there.
I unsuccessfully lobbied to remove this restriction on Skeptics, I'd like to understand how this restriction is supposed to help SE sites. It's a significant annoyance for new users, especially on sites like Skeptics, and I'm doubting whether this restriction is useful at all.
I'm thinking about requesting to remove this restriction everywhere on the SE network, but I'd like to understand the reasons behind it and it's effectiveness better before I do that. My perception of the usefulness of this restriction seems to me vastly different to what the SE team thinks of it.
The link restriction has been removed on Skeptics for a while now, and I haven't seen any increase in spam.