A bit of background: I have Asperger's syndrome. One consequence of that is, generally, even a simple half-a-page post takes from 30 to 60 minutes to write and leaves me quite tired. (Which, as far as I'm aware, is much slower than average.) On the other hand, sometimes I get in the mood, feel all giddy inside and enter a sort of word-mincing berserker rage, in which case the words seem to flow a bit better and faster and less tiringly.

Also, due to various life-related reasons, at the moment I have about 4 hours of free time I can spend with computer.

So, for this reason, I have created a list of topics I would like to ask (and been wanting for quite some time) on various sites of Stack Exchange, and been carrying it around for two weeks until I finally got into a mood where I can write at a reasonable pace and had enough time.

Perceived cause: 40-minute limit per question seems to be applied across all sites of Stack Exchange, even on unrelated sub-sites (possibly applicable only to the stackexchange.com domain).

The problem: I posted a question on Sci-Fi StackExchange. Then I tried to post another question on Sci-Fi, but ran into the 40-minutes blockade. That's perfectly reasonable and understandable - a common mechanism to stop the site from being flooded with spam.

So, I switched to Gaming SE, wrote a question from the list... and was greeted by the same message. Even though the last question I posted there was 20th February. I checked back to the question on Sci-Fi SE and, sure enough, its timestamp said it was posted 33 minutes ago.

The actual question: Is that a bug, or is that a feature? If the latter, what's the justification for it?

If that's intended, does this mean that instead of writing questions and posting them once I finished, do I have to save them to a text file, and then post them throughout the day with an egg-timer in hand?

EDIT: Posting here, on Meta SE, did not re-trigger the limit, and I managed to post a question on Gaming SE, but when I tried to post a question to Sci-Fi SE, I got the "You can only post once every 40 minutes." again - 1 hour after the original question on Sci-Fi SE.

  • @angussidney It doesn't run on a different server.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 23:55
  • @AdamLear my mistake, I must have gotten confused with chat Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 23:56
  • @angussidney No worries. :) As I think about it, it technically is on a different set of web servers (MSO and MSE run off of ny-web10 and ny-web11 while prod Q&A sites are on ny-web01 through 09), but that has no bearing on site features.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 23:57
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  • @JeffreyBosboom Ah, so it was implemented after a historical precedent. (Also, I'm really glad you commented.)
    – Dragomok
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 13:00
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    I got this error message after posting a question on a site I have had very little activity on, and then trying to post a question on another site I have had very little activity on, despite having more than 20K rep on Academics SE and more than 10K rep on ELU SE. Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 22:29
  • @aparente001 Sounds like a (possible) bug warranting a separate thread.
    – Dragomok
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 13:50
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    @Dragomok - I think I figured it out. When an established user creates a new account he starts out with 101 rep, but the minimum to avoid the 40 minute message is 125. It took me a while to find this information, but I'm convinced that's where I ran into trouble. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


That's perfectly reasonable and understandable - a common mechanism to stop the site from being flooded with spam.

I understand your concern about this feature, but the reason I think it's there is exactly that - to lower the spamming opportunities for new, low-rep users.

Accounts on Stack Exchange are shared across the network. Sure, a profile is created for you on a specific site only after you ask for that, but your account is still network-wide. Thus, if you have an account on one site, you can easily go across to another site, create a profile in two clicks, and (if this block wasn't in place) post there.

That's spammer heaven. (Well, ignoring all our other mechanisms.) And though it sounds a little inconsiderate, I'd rather a few legitimate new users got blocked for a few minutes here and there than we removed this block and had even more spam to deal with than we already do.

This block is removed once you have 125 reputation, so it won't stick around for long.

  • Is the limit removed once you have the association bonus? because then you could advice the user to focus on only one site to reach the 200 rep. I guess their rate limit might drop there while they are getting to 200 rep and once reached they are clear to post on all other sites without this limit.
    – rene
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 17:59
  • @rene The limit's removed when you have some rep - I'm not sure how much that is.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 19:30
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    It is 125 rep, based on the rate limiting guide
    – rene
    Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 19:38
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    @rene The link is a good find and has a rationale for network-wide lockout. I feel like it probably should be appended to the answer proper.
    – Dragomok
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 11:53
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    @Dragomok Your wish is my command.
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 16:36

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