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In reflection of recent shenanigans on superuser, I was wondering if it would be worthwhile to mandate new users (Under 15 rep or something low) not be able to post new answers repetitively. Make them wait 10 or 15 minutes.

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  • I like your suggestion, but it's important to not get too bent out of shape over things like this. Kids will forever be kids, and technology will not stop them. May 5, 2010 at 4:31
  • True, but we also have a 20 minute limit between questions for new users, it would make sense to have the same limit on answers.
    – Josh K
    May 5, 2010 at 4:35
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    as that user pointed out, a rate limit won't prevent someone from using proxies to post 50 times to the same question from 50 different accounts. May 5, 2010 at 4:54
  • @devinb: See my comment.
    – Josh K
    May 5, 2010 at 17:16
  • To continue... The possible damage of repeated questions is also much higher, because they will spam up the main page, which has limited space. Whereas spamming with answers does not have that visibility. Also, users who are spamming answers can be shut down pretty quick by the moderators.
    – devinb
    May 5, 2010 at 18:53

2 Answers 2

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This site is designed to encourage new users. We want them active and helping as much as possible. If a new user finds a question that they like and they answer it, it is completely reasonable that they may find another question and answer that too. The last thing that we want is to say "you're too new for us to want your answer" because their response would be "Okay, I'm navigating away". Remember that the users are offering their own free time. The last thing we want to do is reject it.

As for spammers, if we shut them down from posting multiple answers, they'll create multiple users. If we shut them down from creating multiple users, they'll disguise their IPs. That's why we have spam-detecting algorithms.

Every new barrier to entry damages the site usability. Don't Do It.

EDIT

In response to Josh K mentioning the 20 minute limit on questions:

There is a fundamental difference between questions and answers. Receiving an answer is something to be acted upon. So, if a user has more than one question in twenty minutes, it is reasonable to assume that they did not give enough time and effort into their first question. Or rather, if they are completely separate questions, perhaps they should focus on solving the first one before they move on and ask their second. This delay does not exist for answers. Once you have answered a question for a user, there is nothing more to do. It is hopeful that they will move on and try to answer another one, we don't want them logging out, or hovering over the one answer they are allowed to give, in the hopes that the OP posts a response or comment.

Answers are something you deliver. Questions are something you engage in. Therefore, timelimit on questions is reasonable, timelimit on answers is not.

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  • Again, what about the twenty minute period between asking questions for low-rep users?
    – Josh K
    May 5, 2010 at 17:15
  • @Josh I have amended my answer for you.
    – devinb
    May 5, 2010 at 18:37
  • My daily vote limit is reached, but I agree with your logic.
    – Josh K
    May 5, 2010 at 19:55
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I can envisage legitimate users answering questions that quickly. Maybe only introduce such a limit if one of his answers has been deleted as offensive.

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