Possible Duplicate:
Please return the comment rate limit to a flat 30 seconds
If I can’t comment for 30 more seconds, why is the Add Comment button enabled?

So, I go to comment on someones answer, and then go to comment again on someone else's answer. I get stopped by the comment timer thingy. I stop, I refresh the page a couple of times to check how long it is until I can comment again (looking at the time stamp of the old comment)

30 seconds come along, I try to comment. Doesn't work. I come back 15 seconds later, because I thought I might be off by a few seconds. Nope, still doesn't work.

Kept up like this for a minute. Then just decided that it wasn't worth it to comment.

Is this the intended purpose, to just make people so frustrated that they just don't comment? Or is it a bug in the system?

  • 1
    This isn't quite an exact duplicate; but that other thread should explain things... basically, it used to be that if you saw the message you had to wait a few more seconds. Now you need to wait another 30 seconds if you trip this message. Jan 16, 2010 at 22:39
  • 14
    I realize that it resets .. the 'bug' was the 'frustration' caused by it reset an indefinite amount of times, meaning that if I didn't know any better, I could try to comment every 15 seconds for an entire hour, and the comment would never get posted. I think that THAT is the bug. Jan 16, 2010 at 22:42
  • 15
    I apologize for sounding 'attacking', but the entire notion that I have to play a cat and mouse game to get my comment posted is obscene. Jan 16, 2010 at 22:46
  • 5
    I'm not disagreeing. Simply that the existing thread would be a better place to discuss it ;-p And IMO yes, there is at the minimum a usability issue if it wasn't already obvious to you that it meant another 30 seconds. Jan 16, 2010 at 22:51
  • 15
    @Chacha102: There are many, many of us who agree. Although I don't like to attack either, I try to stay level-headed, but it's extremely bad usability to have a sliding timer like that. I think, sadly, that the intent is to discourage the use of comments.
    – John Rudy
    Jan 16, 2010 at 22:51
  • @Chacha102: other people complained about that indeed, on another question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/35443/…
    – Gnoupi
    Jan 16, 2010 at 22:52
  • Thanks @Gnoupi - I've added that link to the question. Jan 16, 2010 at 22:54
  • @Marc I know you aren't disagreeing. I'm just stating that I was aware of the change :) Jan 16, 2010 at 22:54
  • 1
    please come up with a better solution. This is really really really annoying and the resetting timer turns what should only be a quick 15 second wait into a 1minute+ wait and a mental disruption.
    – Jason S
    Jul 6, 2010 at 13:41
  • This is status-completed, but which of the two answers is the one that got implemented? The "accepted" one or the one downvoted into oblivion?
    – RomanSt
    Jan 3, 2011 at 11:52
  • 1
    @romkyns The one that got downvoted into oblivion. Jan 3, 2011 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


I agree with the OP. I don't have a watch out in front of me, and don't feel like doing exponential backoff algorithms in my head. The new "timer reset" sucks.

If you (stackoverflow gods) want to prevent spammers / net traffic, have two timer thresholds:

  • start the timer after a comment is posted.

  • if someone attempts to post a comment before the timer reaches 5 seconds, complain and reset the timer.

  • Otherwise, if someone attempts to post a comment before the timer reaches 25 seconds, complain (but DON'T reset the timer)

  • After the timer reaches 25 seconds, accept the comment.

  • I'd make it like 15 seconds for the first timer. But yeah, something like that. Jan 21, 2010 at 20:13
  • 3
    Do I hear 10 seconds? :-) If someone is just continuing to press "add comment" because they're waiting for the timer to run out, give them a break. sheesh.
    – Jason S
    Jan 21, 2010 at 20:16
  • I agree with your bullet points, but "I don't have a watch out in front of me" seriously? you're at a computer...
    – wchargin
    Jun 9, 2013 at 17:20
  • 1
    yes seriously. why the f--- do I have to go out of my way and play games with the StackOverflow engine? I should have to open up a clock application just so I can follow some artificial rules?
    – Jason S
    Jun 9, 2013 at 20:54

Two modifications:

  1. Message changed to be more clear

    Only 1 comment allowed per {n} seconds; timer reset.

  2. Multiple comment rate limiter reduced from 30 seconds to 15 seconds.

And like the 15 character requirement, yes, the intent is to discourage rampant adding of multiple low-value comments.

If it isn't worth 15 seconds of your time to compose that second comment, is it worth 2 seconds of my time to read them both?

  • Oddly enough, the main time I trip this is(/was) because I was having a comments to/fro on some specifics of an answer, and need(ed) to tell the poster that I had responded (so drop a comment on the question). With the new @reply feature I don't need this! So I don't expect to see that message very often. Happy customer. Jan 17, 2010 at 9:31
  • 5
    I suggest "Only 1 comment or comment attempt allowed per" because when the timer is reset the comment is not posted.
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Jan 17, 2010 at 9:50
  • Three more downvotes and you get the reversal-reversal badge.
    – user102937
    Jan 20, 2010 at 20:03
  • @John This clearly should not apply to comment attempts, so I've made a bug post: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/103037/…
    – user154510
    Aug 18, 2011 at 21:18
  • @John ... and that's now fixed :)
    – user154510
    Nov 22, 2011 at 5:25

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