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I had an old question that I revisited in order to link it in a new answer. I noticed that in the comments Steven A Lowe had a funny comment that I -- at the time -- had responded to with "why can't I upvote comments?"

Well, of course, now I can. So, I voted Steven's comment up then went to delete mine. I got the warning box that I can only submit comment votes once every 5 seconds. This seems like a bug to me. Deleting is not the same as voting.

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I noticed this, too: adding a comment also sets vote timer. – Joel Coehoorn Aug 13 '09 at 12:41
Wish I could add a new tag..."bug-by-design". Nothing wrong with the concept of rate limiting...just needs a tweak in implementation. – Gerrat Jun 4 '12 at 16:00
IMO if I'm cleaning up my own comments (e.g., removing obsolete comments) I should be able to do so without counting to five between each delete. – Dave Newton Aug 10 '12 at 15:51
Ping. This is annoying. – Dave Newton Jul 19 '14 at 1:04
up vote 73 down vote

I came here to log this as a bug and found this question - surprised it's still not addressed.

If comment deleting and upvoting are to be considered similar actions for the purpose of throttling, then I think the message to the user needs to be modified to better reflect what's happening. "You are only allowed one comment action every 5 seconds" or something like that. The message is simply saying the wrong thing, from a user-experience perspective.

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But it was addressed - by Jeff Atwood on Aug 14 '09. I personally think it's the wrong answer, but it's not my site. – Mark Ransom Mar 14 '12 at 18:45
I think this only really bothers people who are also bothered by the pluralization "bug" – bobobobo Jul 25 '12 at 16:57
It sounds to me like the throttling engine (no pun intended) watching comments was poorly written in the sense it views all comment actions as a whole and not what the action is, therefore making it "difficult" to nail down the appropriate message. – Dan Aug 22 '13 at 17:57
A "comment action", however, is not entirely accurate, since comment creations are throttled differently. My guess is, as @bobobobo, alluded to, that nobody really wanted to fix the messaging to be longer and technically accurate, for minor benefit. – Paul Draper Jun 11 '14 at 23:55
up vote 30 down vote

Nearly 4 years later, and this bug is still in place.

Simply change the message as follows: "Comment votes, edits, and deletions may only occur once every 5 seconds"

Steps to reproduce a bad message:

  1. Post a comment "this is a test" underneath another comment.
  2. Upvote the comment above
  3. Within 5 seconds, try to delete your test comment

This results in the nonsense message:

enter image description here

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Have fun posting a comment this is a test, it's too short. ;) – nyuszika7h May 4 '14 at 14:44
This is patched; it's 2016 now, 7 years later!! – Έρικ Κωνσταντόπουλος Jul 20 at 9:07

The entire idea of rate limiting comment deletions is redundant. Why? Because we already rate-limit posting comments. Comment deletions are, in effect, rate limited as a result.

Rate limiting is intended to prevent DOS on the SE servers. However, this can't happen with comment deletions for two reasons: First, because there are only so many comments to delete, and second: because adding comments is rate-limited, inherently rate-limiting comment deletions.

I think this should be reconsidered entirely, as it's completely redundant in its current form (ideally removed).

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hmm ... don't think that the delete limit is a directly related to the comment limit: posting a comment has 15s, while deleting is 5s – kleopatra Aug 4 '13 at 11:10

As I've started to comment more often, I stumbled upon this "by-design" bug quite naturally.

The scenario is that I add a comment and, as the comment gets added and the comment section refreshes, I notice someone else made a similar or better comment. So I want to remove mine and upvote the other's.

For anything else, the throttling is fine as it is, but I honestly think an exception should be made for deleting one's own comment.

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Deleting a comment is like voting to delete. Only it takes just one vote.

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But voting for a comment is not like voting for a question/answer -- you can't delete anyone else's, just your own and you can only upvote a comment. – tvanfosson Aug 13 '09 at 15:11
If you have a high enough arbitrary number, you can delete other people's comments. – random Aug 14 '09 at 4:47
@random -- I don't think I can delete anyone else's comments and my arbitrary number is pretty high. – tvanfosson Aug 25 '09 at 0:31
Hmm, then it's probably just the mods that can "vote" to delete other people's comments. – random Aug 25 '09 at 10:44
It may be "like" it from the code's point of view, but that's the wrong point of view to be using. To a user it's a completely different operation. – Mark Ransom Mar 14 '12 at 18:42

rate limiting requires this. Everything is rate limited for a reason; explained in podcast #65.

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But it's a different thing. That's like saying you can't submit an answer for 30 seconds after you add a comment. Or is it the case that you can't do anything for 30 seconds after you do something? – tvanfosson Aug 14 '09 at 13:39
I confess that I don't listen to the podcasts, but I do read your summaries. I just had to wait 30 seconds to add this. Yuck! – tvanfosson Aug 14 '09 at 13:40
There's no question that throttling is needed, it's the messaging that's wrong... – RedFilter Apr 26 '10 at 14:26
Convenience link: – Pops Apr 26 '10 at 15:26
I wasn't aware there were podcasts...where can I see them/hear them if I don't have an iPod? – JPM Oct 20 '11 at 18:52
@JPM, there's a Flash-based player embedded on the blog post, as well as a download link for the actual MP3 file. – Charles Mar 14 '12 at 20:30
"rate limiting requires this". ...more accurately: "this is the way we've implemented rate limiting...we consider voting to delete your own comment the same type of thing as voting on others comments. – Gerrat Jun 4 '12 at 15:58
I suspect the truth is somewhere between "Jeff wrote that code" and "ugh, don't really want to add another field to the dbase table". Practical stuff. – Uphill Luge Jul 24 '12 at 0:05

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