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I am registered on about 80 SE sites, am an "avid user"(>200 rep) on about 30, and a modest user (103-199 rep) on about 20 more.

Once when I tried to ask a question on Open Data (my "new user" site), the "systemwide" 40 minute rate limit kicked in. So I asked on meta why, given that my previous post on the site was days ago. So a mod commented by telling me about the systemwide post rule and asking me if I had just come from another site. I said, yes, History (my best site, 40K rep.)

I can see why I would be rate limited on Open Data. I can understand that I would be rate limited if I had come from say, Open Source, another site where I'm a new user. But did the system "rate limit" me as a new user on one site, based on my activity on History, an "established" site?

Also, about the one day new user rate limit after a question is downvoted: Suppose a question on the previous site receives two upvotes and one downvote (net of one upvote). Is that a different situation than receiving one down downvote and no upvotes? Or does the downvote count in both cases, including the one where there were offsetting upvotes? How about if the downvoted question on the previous site was deleted?

I don't have this problem when going from one "established" (greater than 125 rep) site to another. I understand why a person would be "rate limited" going from one new site to another; SE wants people to ask questions 40 minutes apart on their new sites. In my case, I was blocked when I left an "established" site (my best) to go to a new site, which is almost the same as going to a new site de novo. Why would this be? Or can't the system tell that my "first" site was an established site? Would I have been similarly rate limited if I went first to the "new" site, and 39 minutes later to the established site? Or does the rate limit apply only when the "destination" site is the new site?

Put another way, there are four permutations of established and new sites: 1) established to established 2) new to new 3) established to new and 4) new to established. The block doesn't apply in the first case, does apply in the second case, and apparently applies in the third. What about the fourth? And why? Because it is not "uniform" across sites in the four cases.

Edit: Unlike the other question, this one is not about the general rule. It is about the "special case" described in the paragraph above.

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I think down voted, in this case, means less than 0. So only net down votes count.

The comments on Shog's answer here should give some answers:

how this system is supposed to work if user is established at site A (say, Math) but new at site B (say, Programmers)? Would they be rate limited on site B? would they be rate limited network wide? – gnat


Everywhere except Math, @gnat. – Shog9♦



In addition, Tim Post (here) also has relevant information:

Testing [rolling rate limits] on Stack Overflow and several other large sites has gone very well, so we've enabled this throughout the network. Most users on smaller sites probably won't see these kick in, and that's fine - but they're in place for those that can really benefit from them, just like those brave souls that teach folks how to drive.

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there are four permutations of established and new sites: 1) established to established 2) new to new 3) established to new and 4) new to established. The block doesn't apply in the first case, does apply in the second case, and apparently applies in the third. What about the fourth? And why? Because it is not "uniform" across sites in the four cases.

... It is about the "special case" described in the paragraph above.

You're thinking too much in to it—there is no special case. There is no interaction between where you previously and subsequently ask a question. You are limited from asking question on sites where you are classed as a "new member" regardless of where the previous question was asked.

Shog9's answer here should answer your question:

the default rate-limits apply to new users on every site (where "new user" is defined in a way that requires some nominal participation on that site), forcing a waiting period between posting a question or answer after having previously posted one anywhere else on the network.

Added emphasis mine.

  • OK, so "new user" applies to the "destination" site, making the ban operative for case 3, but not for 4. – Tom Au Sep 20 '16 at 19:56
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    Yep. You're not a new user in case 4 so it wouldn't make sense for the limit to apply. Just don't think about it as origin/destination. You're limited on new sites only, it's just that the limit itself doesn't care where you previously asked questions – Cai Sep 20 '16 at 20:03
  • The point of this discussion is the direction or flow of questions. So you should ask a question on your "new user" site first, then the "established" site in order not to run into the ban. Basically, the first question doesn't "count" but the second (and subsequent ones) do. – Tom Au Sep 20 '16 at 20:46
  • Why does the definition of "new user" apply for a single site? For example, if a user has high rep at the math site, but has never used the programmers site, why are they classified as a new user at the programmers site? I realize that this is currently how it is handled, but I am trying to understand why. Users with high rep who navigate to a site they never used before may very frequently have a good reason for not getting tripped up by the same kinds of limitations that effect totally new users. Rate limitations intended to prevent spam seems like a compelling example. – ely Oct 28 '16 at 19:07
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The site seems be operating under a "one bite" rule, whereby (overall) new users get only one chance every forty minutes, (during which a majority of the initial down votes are cast). It therefore wants to prevent such new users from asking a second question within that forty minute window, until their first question has "survived."

The typical profile of such new users is that they are "new" on both the first and the second sites. So the algorithm focuses of "new" second sites within the forty minute window. That's the "new to new" branch.

This seems unfair to established users who know the rules, have been working on an established site, and then decided to "try out" a "new" site. But that is a rather untypical profile of the user of a new second site that the algorithm is designed to catch. That's the "established to new" branch. The solution is for the established user to ask a question on the new site first.

Perhaps another, better filter, is that the 40 minute ban does not apply to people with an overall SE system reputation totaling 1000 (or 10,000 for that matter). This would not include association bonuses.

  • unfair, ha! See here an ever-growing list of established users from one site (rep 1K to 5K, years of participation) dumping totally inappropriate garbage at another – gnat Aug 27 '17 at 23:32
  • @gnat: OK, the 1000 threshhold was too low. Maybe we need to make it 10,000 total, or even 10,000 on the best site. – Tom Au Aug 28 '17 at 0:16
  • I fail to see how raising the threshold could help. These users, they look OK at their site. And their site looks OK too. The wildly inappropriate questions at different site appear to be caused by big difference in asking / answering culture between two sites (which is in turn caused by big difference in topics and audience). No matter how much more time these folks would spend at originating site and no matter how much more rep they would gain over there it won't help them learn about the other site – gnat Aug 28 '17 at 6:18
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    Sounds like the threshold shouldn't be based on their total rep, but based on the number of sites they've managed to get over a certain threshold... at which point we're looking at fixing this for a relatively few people who have gotten used to it. – Ed Grimm Feb 21 at 5:37

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