I am frequently being confronted by this message in Stackoverflow "You can only post once every 20 minutes.". You can find from my profile that I am just asking genuine questions regarding whatever I hit roadblocks in my code and also acknowledge the comments/answers on their receipt.

What is causing this embargo to be frequently being slammed on my contributions to the website?

  • 12
    I think the reasoning is that if you have been stuck on something for less than twenty minutes, you might be able to do more research... Some topics take a while to learn but we can't walk you through every step.
    – Sam
    Mar 26, 2013 at 19:20
  • 9
    You'll also run up against the 6-questions-a-day limit, which you'll probably also find annoying, then.
    – J. Steen
    Mar 26, 2013 at 19:22
  • 1
    If you need to ask more than one question every 20 minutes, then you need to take a step back and do some more research about what you're doing.
    – user164207
    Mar 26, 2013 at 19:49
  • 3
    Rapid fire questions with no research effort behind them aren't generally considered "contributions to the website". Mar 26, 2013 at 19:51
  • @Sam: that's quite a ridiculous statement as it assumes there cannot be two subsequent and yet unrelated questions. Aug 21, 2014 at 9:09
  • @BilltheLizard: as much as I appreciate your contributions elsewhere, I wish I could downvote that comment of yours. I don't think I am the only one who ponders questions sometimes for weeks, but at least for hours - including research - before I post them. Sometimes it's wrong search terms, admittedly. But then the least the question will do is to provide a semantic connection between my wording and previous wordings of the question to non-semantic search engines. Given the original intent behind StackOverflow this doesn't seem like a bad idea ... Aug 21, 2014 at 9:12
  • @0xC0000022L I don't understand your comment. You haven't said anything that supports the idea that you should be able to post questions more frequently than every 20 minutes. Aug 21, 2014 at 11:58
  • @BilltheLizard: I have; whether you deem them supporting arguments or not is a whole different story. My point is that any measures that annoy legit users more than illegitimate ones (i.e. spammers) aren't helpful. But I can see how others have different opinions. On the other side all the arguments I have seen so far make (sometimes offensive) assumptions about the asker of the question, his/her motives and lack of research. Why not make this dependent on the network-wide rep, for example? Makes no sense? Too complicated to implement? Aug 21, 2014 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


You are not supposed to ask every question that comes to mind even if it is a good one.

Do your homework.

After your research you can ask a question. And that should take more than 20 minutes.

  • Do your homework (It means Do your research, but it sounded to me like do your homework and go to bed :P)
    – minmaxavg
    Jul 23, 2013 at 4:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .