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Can I please be trusted to not to script a bot that dumps an endless stream of spam messages into the chat?

[This must have been mentioned before but I’m unable to find it.]

After you post a message in chat, it takes a few seconds (3?) before you can post again. You can submit the message but it will be retained and you need to wait for the amount of time, and click on a link to re-send it.

I get the underlying idea: Flooding is bad, let’s protect against it. Very well.

However, the long delay is prohibitive in normal conversations that often consist of rather short remarks, chained together. It gets worse when posting “smart links”, since links need to be in a separate message to be to be prettied up by the chat system. Consider the following (quite common, I assume) situation where a user is soliciting comments on a source code.

Regular expressions are pretty incomprehensible
What’s going on here?

… try posting that in the chat. It took me perhaps five seconds to write. But if I’m unlucky, it takes > 10 seconds and two clicks to appear in the chat.

Of course, the two first sentences in the message above could have been coalesced. But that’s not how a chat is used. Furthermore, there would still be the problem of posting smart links.

  • 1
    Are you suggesting the removal of the system, or just to tone it down? Your choice of "defuse" implies the former but it's not quite clear to me.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jan 13, 2011 at 19:00
  • 3
    What's even worse is that someone might slip in something between those lines, making it much harder to follow the conversation. (And using multi-line messages instead has other problems.)
    – sbi
    Jan 13, 2011 at 19:00
  • 3
    Tentative +1 because I find this problem annoying too; hopefully we can come up with a workable solution.
    – Pops
    Jan 13, 2011 at 19:02
  • 1
    @Grace: not sure. In principle I’m against a removal. On the other hand (if I see this correctly) not everybody can post in the chat anyway so it may well be that flood control is entirely unnecessary. I would do very careful testing before trying that, though. Jan 13, 2011 at 19:04
  • I definitely agree that the current detection is oversensitive. I frequently send shorter messages and often run into this problem.
    – DeadMG
    Jan 13, 2011 at 19:05
  • I support this - I vote for setting the thresholds for flood control much higher, and revisiting the decision if a bad flooding actually happens at some point.
    – Pekka
    Jan 13, 2011 at 19:05
  • 3
    Just for reference: There's no fixed minimum period between two posts; the absolute minimum is one second, and it increases based on how often you post in quick succession.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jan 13, 2011 at 19:30
  • Feel free to roll back my edit if that's not what you meant.
    – Jon Seigel
    Jan 13, 2011 at 23:32
  • 1
    It would be nice if, at the very least, a link immediately following a bit of text were allowed, as in the case of smart links as mentioned. Pretty much every single time I paste a link to a question, image, video, etc. I have to resubmit it.
    – nhinkle
    Jan 14, 2011 at 7:34
  • 1
    I can testify that @DeadMG's style of posting in the chat is very hard to follow due to others chiming in between hist short bursts. :)
    – sbi
    Jan 15, 2011 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


There's no fixed minimum period between two posts; the absolute minimum is one second, and it increases based on how often you post in quick succession.

We do not feel one second wait between messages is prohibitive.

  • 5
    @Jeff: it is when you’re posting “smart links” accompanied by text: obviously you want them to be posted together so you try to be fast, lest somebody else squeezes a message in between. Jan 14, 2011 at 10:19
  • 5
    That's exactly where I have the problem, too. You want the posting to inline, but you want to put a comment to it, too. So your write your comment, hit enter, paste the link, hit enter again... and the damn thing puts the brakes on. By the time you have found and hit "Retry" (with the mouse, mind you, which I need to grab first), someone else has slipped something between your two messages, making it much harder for others to understand them. When the chat is busy, it's very hard to follow those exploded postings.
    – sbi
    Jan 15, 2011 at 18:26
  • It's not about one second wait, it's about when you want to post and I took over a second to write the message and then I have to wait for five more to post. It's especially irritating because I have to spam retry manually and can't go on writing the next message, and retrying clears the text field.
    – DeadMG
    Jan 15, 2011 at 18:32
  • 4
    I personally think this could be relaxed according to user's reputation.
    – jweyrich
    Jan 15, 2011 at 18:43
  • @Jeff: Could we at least have this start from the third message instead of from the second message? It would at least solve the smart links issue.
    – Macha
    Apr 5, 2011 at 20:38
  • @Jeff - The one second wait isn't prohibitive, it's the fact that I'm forced to take my hands off the keyboard, reach for the mouse, click "Retry", and then return to the keyboard before continuing that is prohibitive. This is a request that another press of the "Enter" key function identically to the "Retry" link. Jun 9, 2011 at 19:48
  • One point that may also help us arrive at a solution is that this problem is often brought on by trying to post smart links, oneboxes, quotes, or other copy-pasted content that should follow the previous line but needs a newline for mini-markdown. Perhaps if the previous line ends in a colon we could relax the restriction? Additional heuristics like typing rate and markdown invocation could also be useful to determine that the posting follows the pattern we're complaining about. Jun 9, 2011 at 19:54

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