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Why is it that people who have low reputation on Stack Overflow have to wait 20 minutes per question asked? I am trying to teach myself python programming and head the club at school - this website has been a magnificent resource. But, as I work on a problem the issues often come up quickly - so once more, what is the reason for the wait.

As an extra question, why is it that the limit is applied to IP addresses instead of accounts?

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    IMO if you're coming up with brand-new questions every 20 minutes you're not doing sufficient research. Even a group of people would be hard-pressed to come up with that many questions, that quickly, and be completely incapable of researching any of them. – Dave Newton Feb 8 '13 at 2:53
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So that you don't flood the site with tiny questions but are forced to think things through a bit and only ask a question when you have something big.

We're not a support forum, we're trying to build a permanent repository of good Q&A knowledge about programming on SO.

If we let you ask every minute, we encourage you to use the site as a support forum, and also we fail to teach you to solve some problems yourself.

The world doesn't need a reference to the process of you writing some code, but might be helped by the solution of some of your bigger issues.

It's at the IP-level to stop you working around the limit.

If you get more rep (100) you'll be able to ask more often. To get more rep, try

  • Thinking carefully about the best ways of asking questions - a well-asked question with the goal of permanently recording helpful information will get more upvotes than a quickly-typed "what should I do next/please fix my code" question.
  • Answering some questions that you do know about.
  • Suggesting some good edits to question to dramatically improve the spelling, phrasing or layout.

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