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According to The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide creation of comments is limited to 3 per 30 seconds.

However, today I saw a user seemingly post a lot more comments than that limitation suggests. Since I had the post followed, I managed to keep track of all the posts, here is a sample:

14 comments from 2024-01-08 10:43:22Z to 2024-01-08 10:45:36Z

17 comments from 2024-01-08 10:36:42Z to 2024-01-08 10:43:19Z

19 comments from 2024-01-08 10:34:35Z to 2024-01-08 10:36:22Z 3 comments from 2024-01-08 10:34:27Z to 2024-01-08 10:34:33Z

The user posted a total of 55 comments from 2024-01-08 10:34:27Z to 2024-01-08 10:45:36Z (11 minutes and 9 seconds). They could have posted more if sticking to the rate limit:

11 (minutes) * 2 (times 30 seconds) * 3 (comments per 30 seconds span) = 66 comments

However, they had stopped for a short time in between. It seems like the rate limit was not applied to them.

For extra information:

  • This was a 1-rep user, so does not seem to be related to any special privileges.
  • They were posting comments to their own question, not dispersed across multiple posts. Thus it does not seem like the limit is 3 comments per 30 seconds on one post.
  • There was no mod intervention like merging posts or converting answers to comments. Just the user posting comment after comment.

The only "abnormal" thing in the whole situation was that the user was repeating an abusive comment. These were being flagged and deleted almost as fast as they were being posted. I am not sure if there were 3+ comments from the same 30 second span visible at the same time but it seems likely they did. And even if it was the constant deletion that allowed the user to bypass the limits, that does not seem the desired outcome: for a user to be able to post "unlimited" rude comments just because other users are diligent in removing them.

Either the comment rate limiting is broken or there is a very undesirable loophole. If anything, if a user's comments get nuked via flags as they are posted, there should be even stricter limits applied.

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  • 3
    The user was also posting the exact same comment in a loop, and since those were flag-abuse deleted, this pattern could also trigger a automatic temporary ban to post more comments.
    – mozway
    Jan 8 at 16:06
  • 4
    This also shows how annoying "follow post" can be. Why aren't deleted comments removed?
    – Laurel
    Jan 8 at 16:18
  • @Laurel Yes, that's also a problem. I believe there is already a FR for it, though. I don't really find it very pleasant to be able to see all the comments that have been removed for being not nice.
    – VLAZ
    Jan 8 at 16:20
  • I think they are but not immediately, I've seen this behavior: either links in the inbox that were to deleted post, or links that I saw then disappeared while I was doing something else. I had to remember the name of the post to see that they were deleted (or the question was).
    – mozway
    Jan 8 at 16:20
  • @mozway probably deleted if the user themselves does the deletion. Didn't seem to be applied when the comments were being flag-nuked. As can be seen in the screenshot. I still have all of them in my inbox.
    – VLAZ
    Jan 8 at 16:22
  • OK, then that's indeed probably a different behavior.
    – mozway
    Jan 8 at 16:22
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    @mozway apparently [status-bydesign]: Deleted comments on followed posts persist in the global inbox. Although I'm not quite sure I have "seen" the notifications. However, I might have had the notification bar open or something. This might need to be re-tested if it still works correctly. I'm also not sure how good the design of keeping the abusive comments in my inbox is. At least I should be able to purge them myself.
    – VLAZ
    Jan 8 at 16:30
  • 1
    Well, I do hope the troll is suspended for life? (100 years network suspension is the least SE can do to handle such a thing.) Jan 8 at 18:02

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