I spend as much time trying to maintain the usefulness of SO as I do answering questions. To me, the best tool for the job is the mighty close button. By limiting me to 12 closure votes per day, you're allowing SO to get more polluted with superuser/serverfault/doctype/nonsense questions. What's the rationale?


Everything is rate limited.


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  • So it's a way of preventing attacks? That's what your article seems to be about. – Jonathan Feinberg Dec 8 '09 at 2:58
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    in our experience, anything that is not rate limited will be attacked and/or exploited -- only a matter of time. So we rate limit everything out of the box. – Jeff Atwood Dec 8 '09 at 3:55

The rationale is to keep you from spending too much time on Stack Overflow by limiting your daily actions.

If you spend too much time on Stack Overflow, you turn into a sad approximation to a man with over 8000 meta reputation points. Do you really want that to be you?

Other people have close votes and can pick up where you left off when you reach your limit.

This same reasoning is the basis for all of Stack Overflow's limits: voting caps, reputation caps, spam and offensive flag caps, deletion caps for 10k+ users, et cetera. There are enough users with the privileges to vote that the things that really need the votes get them in spite of rate limits.

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    Heh. "over 8000 meta reputation points"... happens to be exactly 8086 at the moment... now you just need to figure out how to lock it to that. ;) – retracile Dec 7 '09 at 21:03
  • Too late. BTW, @sycophant, when'd you change your name again? :) – John Rudy Dec 7 '09 at 21:13
  • I don't think there is a deletion cap for 10k+ users. I've been deleting a crap-ton of 2008 material lately and haven't hit any limits. (Crosses fingers and hopes that his magical uncapped delete ability isn't a bug that will be corrected now that he has divulged its existence.) – gnostradamus Dec 7 '09 at 21:16
  • gnostradamus, maybe you should move your comment into an answer? – Jonathan Feinberg Dec 7 '09 at 21:19
  • @Jonathan: Delete votes are different than close votes, so it doesn't really fit your question (but sycophant does mention them in his answer). – gnostradamus Dec 7 '09 at 21:22
  • "Sycophant" is short for "Sick Elephant", isn't it? – mmyers Dec 7 '09 at 21:27
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    @gnostradamus: Let's hope that doesn't change. There aren't all that many people deleting stuff, at least not yet... I suspect the "waiting period" does more to discourage excessive deletion than a vote-cap would anyway. – Shog9 Dec 7 '09 at 21:43
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    Dammit, now I have to complain again about not being to upvote people's profiles. – RichieHindle Dec 7 '09 at 21:48

I think there are enough 3000+ users to close things, that all the important ones get closed.

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