I have been using SO off-and-on for about a year now

I have dozens of answers and questions. My reputation is about 1500. I have never spammed or done anything that could potentially result in my being flagged as a problem (at least I think)

Yet, I am often forced to enter a captcha when posting. In the case that I create a question, then immediately edit it, I always see the robots from Flight of the Conchords. (btw, I don't like this show at all)

Why do I need to enter a captcha so often? Is there a reputation level where I won't be required to?

  • 16
    It's because of your dislike of Flight of the Conchords. The people can't tell, but the robots can sense it. They want to bother you as often as possible until you like their show. May 22, 2010 at 1:33
  • 1
    that is so funny ><
    – Tom
    May 22, 2010 at 1:38
  • 1
    Your robot side could take over your human side at any moment. The frequent CATPCHA checks will help determine the exact moment this happens.
    – user27414
    May 22, 2010 at 3:01
  • so knocking FotC gets you a barrage of smart-ass comments instead of an answer. btw, all of your jokes are terrible.
    – user136507
    May 22, 2010 at 3:16
  • 2
    I think the bots sense your complete lack of sense of humour and it gets triggered by that.
    – Pekka
    May 22, 2010 at 8:54
  • 4
    that is EXACTLY the sort of thing I would expect a robot to post on meta May 22, 2010 at 10:34
  • I almost downvoted this because of your blasphemy towards FOTC.
    – Fiksdal
    Jun 18, 2016 at 16:07

4 Answers 4


I've never really understood this for the normal user population:

  • If a spammer was going to flood the site, why would they go to the trouble of hijacking someone's account when they could simply register new accounts?
  • There are other flood control measures on questions and answers, so throttling edits in the context of spam reduction makes no sense (yeah, a spambot would accidentally spell "watches" wrong, and then be smart enough to go back and make a quick edit)
  • When is it necessary to flood control edits over multiple questions/answers of your own? (Spambot makes legitimate questions/answers, then suddenly edits ALL of the posts into spam content)

From a personal perspective, it's actually not even doing its job as it is! In a retagging spree, even with captchas on every edit, I can average 7-8 edits in 60 seconds. Of course, I could go much faster without the captcha, and that may be a bit of a localized problem, but I did come up with a solution.


Because the makers of StackOverflow don't really care for usability and the fact that some people open a 30 tabs at once and might need post an answer to a question hours after the tab got opened (it would be easy to identify the users who have such a use pattern).

  • +1 because I'm not the only one whose tab bar can only show the favicons. Oh, and the makers of SO do care about usability when it also applies to them. Feb 5, 2012 at 13:07

Assuming you are a logged in user and have >= 200 reputation:

After successfully completing one captcha, we now suppress captcha for 5 minutes on your account.

Additionally, captcha rates are permanently reduced at 10k rep.

  • 1
    +1 for addressing my 6 month old complaint
    – user136507
    Nov 1, 2010 at 17:33
  • could you tell me all the captcha images?
    – kinokijuf
    Dec 5, 2011 at 20:54

I used to be annoyed by this too, but I think might actually be a good thing.

  • It is spam control.
  • This being annoying actually might force you to think about what you write. And, we already have a preview feature which lets you see what your post would look like.

Of course, spam control would make more sense if we had it when a poster posts multiple answers/questions too quickly, as spambots trying to edit their own/old posts does not make much sense to me. Of course, we might already have it in place, but I have never hit that one.

  • No, it's not. The more you develop captchas, the more spammers develop ways to avoid them ... in the end, the quantity of spam is equal to what you had when you started, but you made life worse to a lot of normal users. It's like trying to solve a conflict by putting bigger and bigger guns on both sides.
    – Rook
    May 23, 2010 at 2:02
  • @Idigas: Perhaps I could have phrased it better, but I did say that having spam control for edits is pointless. Having spam control for creating new questions/answers makes sense and it won't inconvenience normal users. I was just saying maybe some good came out of it(captcha for edits) anyway, by making people think twice before posting something. By saying "it is spam control" i was talking in general and not just in reference to edits.
    – Aryabhatta
    May 23, 2010 at 6:26

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