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?

3 Answers 3


Everything is rate limited.


  • 1
    So it's a way of preventing attacks? That's what your article seems to be about. Dec 8, 2009 at 2:58
  • 5
    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. Dec 8, 2009 at 3:55
  • 1
    I think this logic is faulty though, as it inherently assumes that rate limiting will prevent said attacks and exploits, which is not necessarily the case. This yields a false guise of security while simultaneously restricting users. Therefore, I contend that rate limiting should not be at the top of the list, and instead, further thought should be given towards more desirable alternatives which would have greater effectiveness.
    – Andrew
    Nov 10, 2020 at 11:58

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.

  • 1
    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, 2009 at 21:03
  • Too late. BTW, @sycophant, when'd you change your name again? :)
    – John Rudy
    Dec 7, 2009 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.) Dec 7, 2009 at 21:16
  • gnostradamus, maybe you should move your comment into an answer? Dec 7, 2009 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). Dec 7, 2009 at 21:22
  • "Sycophant" is short for "Sick Elephant", isn't it?
    – mmyers
    Dec 7, 2009 at 21:27
  • 2
    @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, 2009 at 21:43
  • 3
    Dammit, now I have to complain again about not being to upvote people's profiles. Dec 7, 2009 at 21:48

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

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