I usually answer questions on SO and pretty familiar with its culture. Today I answered a question on a non-technical site. When I was creating my answer I got a pop-up that stated that there were such and such number of already posted answers and wanted me to confirm that I really wanted to add yet another one.
That episode prompted my inquiry. My understanding of SE model was first to attract multitude of answers (i.e. posts that truly aim to answer the question) and then let OP and community at large to decide what's helpful and what's not by voting on them. There's also a chance that different people could post very similar or even identical answers. I such cases I believe that the time of posting could be taken into consideration (i.e. we can see who provided this particular type of an answer first).
So, how does the attempt to limit the number of posted answers benefit the site that implements such functionality?
To avoid confusion and/or misrepresentation I'm posting the actual pup-up below.