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How often do captchas appear?

Those rules are not true:

  • one edit every 30 seconds
  • one answer every 60 seconds
  • one question every 60 seconds

This was first answer in few hours. Also no questions where asked. During answer submit SO asked to add more characters to answer body. After adding characters, captcha was displayed.

UPDATE: Imagine situation, when you need to add one more character. Then you have to wait 30 seconds before posting answer? Not good.

BTW good usability advise - if there are less than minimum allowed characters in answer body, then just make submit button disabled, or show error text on client side before submitting answer to server.

  • 2
    See this answer for specific reasons why Captcha is triggered
    – Rory
    Apr 10, 2012 at 13:02
  • To make sure that the site is interacting with a real person and not a script. A script would no be able to decipher a captcha. Reading the wiki entry will give you more info.
    – Lix
    Apr 10, 2012 at 13:02
  • 1
    Thanks, I know what captcha is for :) But why stackoverflow asks me to enter it? I'm not first day here and I didn't do something unusual - simple posting an answer. Apr 10, 2012 at 13:06
  • @lazyberezovsky the answer I linked to gives triggers :)
    – Rory
    Apr 10, 2012 at 13:07
  • 1
    @Rory, thanks for link. But it's not the issue, I didn't answer questions few hours now. And this was initial commit, without edits. Well, actually it asked me to add more characters to answer, which I did quickly and then captcha appeared. Apr 10, 2012 at 13:11
  • @ShaDowWizArd, nope. It's actually kind of bug with minimum characters count restriction, I changed the question body to reflect this issue Apr 10, 2012 at 13:48
  • I've seen some pretty short answers on the network, so your answer must have been only a few words long. Seems to me that everything is working as designed.
    – RivieraKid
    Apr 10, 2012 at 13:52
  • 1
    @lazyberezovsky it's surely not a bug because it was never designed to work client side. You can start new feature request asking to apply the character limit in the client side. Apr 10, 2012 at 13:52
  • @RivieraKid, yes, three words was complete answer to question. Apr 10, 2012 at 13:56
  • @ShaDowWizArd, definitely it should be fixed (or added, if you wish). I can't see the reason why not to check message length on client Apr 10, 2012 at 13:58
  • @lazyberezovsky one reason is the formatting. Typing <strong>hi</strong> will appear as 19 characters, but result only in 2. Apr 10, 2012 at 14:03
  • @ShaDowWizArd thats impossible to calculate real characters count in javascript :) Apr 10, 2012 at 14:07
  • @lazyberezovsky everything is possible it's all matter of cost vs. value. Apr 10, 2012 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


The rules are explained in full here, the relevant section being:

There is a maximum of ... one question every 60 seconds

From your comments, you wrote an answer and submitted it. This was then disallowed by the quality rules which asked you to add more characters. As you said, you did this quickly then re-submitted your answer.

This counts as 2 submissions inside of 60 seconds (even though only one made it past the quality filters) which caused the CAPTCHA to be triggered due to the rule above.

With your rep, however, the CAPTCHA should then be muted for a glorious five minutes :L

  • That looks like answer :) But it's really stupid if SO asks me to edit answer, and counts that like my own edit. More like bug to me. Apr 10, 2012 at 13:29
  • 1
    I think that answer length should be verified on client side before posting it to server Apr 10, 2012 at 13:30
  • @lazyberezovsky it's part of the overall quality filter which is server side only. Apr 10, 2012 at 13:47

Dude everyone knows that this is necessary otherwise a hacker could post as many questions as he wanted with some computer program just to mess up our community

  • 1
    Dude, there nobody who looks like a hacker, when I post single answer in four hours. Good try Apr 10, 2012 at 13:13
  • 1
    Not the best example, there are already post limits in place that don't trigger a CAPTCHA.
    – a cat
    Apr 10, 2012 at 13:22

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