Does it make sense to lower the character limit on questions/answers for new users and increase it after a reputation threshold of, say, 2K? Surely new users are more likely to try posting a logfile or a code dump, while experienced users may put these characters to good use while writing a long detailed answer. It doesn't make much sense to have the same limit for everyone.

Check this question for example. Instead of trying to figure out an MCVE that reproduces the problem (at which point they would likely figure it out themselves), the OP posted their whole project code in the question. Does it feel a bit long to read? Well, it's only 7,636 characters long, far from the current 30,000 limit! One could have posted 4 times as much and the question would still be accepted.

A quick look at the 500 longest SO questions (dumb query counting all characters) reveals that the majority of them are indeed logs/code dumps, posted by users with <100 rep. More than half have a score of 0 or less.

A lower limit (5,000-15,000 characters) would force people to figure out minimal examples reproducing the problem (and the error message about the limit could advise about using MCVEs). On the other hand, people with enough rep could benefit from a higher limit; I personally don't see this as necessary but it could be considered.

One argument against this change that I foresee is that users will tend to post their code dumps elsewhere. Well, they already do that, because posting code on SE requires figuring out markdown formatting. Besides I don't see it as a big loss if we get fewer 10K+ character code dumps posted in questions.

Another counter argument would be digging up long questions which are actually good. I'm sure a few such examples can be found, but I don't expect them in significant numbers.

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The perceived benefit of this is good; it would prevent new users from posting novels while relaxing restrictions as users earn trust. The idea coincides well with how other privileges and relaxed restrictions currently work.

However, it's an implementation nightmare if you consider that anyone can edit. While edits that near character limits would probably be rare, we have to account for all of the paths where they could occur in the code, and that's ... not going to be fun to maintain.

If a post were outside of someone's limit, and they made a good edit that should be approved, what happens if the post can't be saved because it's too long? Accounting for those cases starts to look like spaghetti once you think about it.

While you don't have a bad idea, and the outcome is quite desirable, I think the best approach is to continue to work toward doing a better job of helping new users understand what we need from them overall.

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    I must say that I've completely failed to consider the editing scenario when thinking about this. Thanks for the insight! Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 22:28

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