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I noticed that I can only perform certain actions such as commenting a finite number of times in a given period of time. Obviously, rate limiting is in place to prevent accidental misuse or intentional abuse of certain features.

Where else is rate limiting applied on Stack Exchange sites, and what are the limits?

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1  
I thought this information was somewhat of a secret. See the answer to User post limits to be included in the FAQ?. –  Peter Mortensen Dec 25 '13 at 21:07

1 Answer 1

up vote 103 down vote accepted

Rate Limit Rationale

Comments

  • Voting

    Comment Voting Limit reached

    Comment Voting Rate Limit

  • Deleting (treated like voting)

    • 5 seconds
    • no limit for ♦ mods
  • Creating

    • 15 seconds
    • 5 seconds for ♦ mods
    • timer resets
       

    Comment Rate Limit dialog

  • Editing

    • 5 seconds; comments cannot be edited after 5 minutes
    • no cutoff for ♦ mods

Searching

Asking

  • Users < 125 rep, 20 minutes (90 minutes on Stack Overflow)
  • Users < 10k rep trip Captcha if more than once per 60 seconds
  • Users > 10k rep trip Captcha if more than once per 30 seconds
  • On Stack Overflow, Super User, Server Fault and Math (not active on all other sites)

Sorry, you are only allowed to ask 50 questions in a 30 day period

Answering

Accepting

Accept Time Limit

Editing

  • 5 edits on own posts per day, more for high-rep users (scales with reputation), does not apply to ♦ mods

You have already edited 5 of your own post today; futher edits are not allowed until tomorrow

  • 5 deleted old answers per day (not sure if this is counted along with edits or separately, confirm/refute), does not apply to ♦ mods
  • Unregistered Users can't suggest edits on posts < 10 minutes old
  • Users < 10k rep trip Captcha if more than once per 30 seconds, or faster than 5 seconds after starting edit
  • Users > 10k rep trip Captcha if more than once per 10 seconds, or faster than 5 seconds after starting edit

Flagging

Flags per day

Flag Rate Popup

Reviewing

You have no more suggested edit votes today; come back in x hours.

Chat

  • 1 second between two messages, here's the true throttle curve

Chat Throttle Curve

  • There is a similar throttle for starring (details unknown)
  • There is a similar throttle for searching (details unknown)

Voting

  • 30 votes per day +10 for questions only (Q only votes can't be used after 25 votes cast on answers. Source)

Changing Usernames

  • Once per 30 days, 15 minute grace period. Does not apply to ♦ mods.
  • accounts < 2 days old can freely change name

Showing Upvote/Downvote totals

You may only fetch vote counts once every second

Closing

  • Can open close dialog once per 3 seconds

Close Dialog rate limit box

Deleting

  • 5 of a User's own posts can be deleted by them per day
  • 5 delete votes (at 10k) with an extra delete vote for every 1k rep above 10k, max of 30, per day
  • A question can't be voted to delete until 2 days old, unless 20k+ and question score -3 or lower

Winterbash hats

  • Change hat once every 10 seconds

iOS app

  • Due to depending on the API, one second between actions
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1  
How are rate limits for non-humans implemented? Is a count of searches within a short period of time (lets say 5 seconds) calculated each time someone does a search? –  user784637 Feb 19 '13 at 8:41
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+1 Great summary! And nice curves, too. –  Kerrek SB Feb 19 '13 at 8:54
    
Do you know what the rate limits on posting questions or answers are for unregistered users? And if it's by IP or something else? –  Rachel Mar 22 '13 at 21:19
    
@rachel, No idea. –  Lance Roberts Mar 22 '13 at 22:33
    
Great detailed information here thanks guys.:) –  NetStarter Apr 9 '13 at 11:53
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Why are there even limits on the diamond mods? –  Undo May 31 '13 at 15:52
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I ran into a daily comment-voting limit here on meta the other day, but can't remember the number. I want to say it was 30, but... How many comment votes per day do we get? –  Geobits Nov 25 '13 at 18:49
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@geobits, Hmmm, not sure I'll try and figure it out at some point, haven't run into that yet. –  Lance Roberts Nov 25 '13 at 18:54
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@GenericHolidayName, ok, found and edited in. –  Lance Roberts Dec 25 '13 at 20:35
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@AveMaleficum, when you vote on a comment, a timer starts. Everytime you click on the vote or flag button instead of having a smaller amount of time left, the timer resets itself. So you end up trying to time things in your head waiting for it to expire, see here. –  Lance Roberts Mar 9 at 16:00
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There's also a limit for page requests per IP address per time period which I think must have recently been tightened (saw it twice yesterday) but I don't know what the exact limit is. –  Martin Smith Mar 9 at 17:44
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...yay, another 1 secondS. Why is it so hard to not fix all of these once and for all? –  Werner Mar 30 at 14:08
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@michaelb958: Sadly it doesn't answer it. It just gives Jeff's opinion about these things. There are so many quantifiers on this website and I wonder why nobody ever takes to time to consider the singular/plural issue from the start... It seems as simple as writing a function where you pass it the quantity and it will return either an "s" or nothing and append that to the quantifier. It seems so fundamentally straight-forward. –  Werner Mar 31 at 0:58
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@Werner Jeff was the original CTO, and the pluralisation code was written under his watch (if not by him), so his opinion carries a little more weight. The current team could fix them now if it justified the resources, and if they weren't scared of the giant S. (They might be fixing them right now, and they just haven't told us yet so Jeff doesn't find out until that security upgrade's done.) –  michaelb958 Mar 31 at 1:10
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@LanceRoberts How should the chat throttle chart be interpreted? What's the data used to generate it? –  Stijn Jul 28 at 9:27

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