From time to time I get this error box:

Only 1 comment allowed per 15 seconds; timer reset. (click on this box to dismiss)

It is really annoying, for two reasons:

  1. I can indeed think and type fast enough to put in a meaningful comment in less than 15 seconds. So claiming I can't feels patronizing.
  2. Why reset the timer? I'm not smart enough to time 15 seconds in my head, and I've already typed in the question, so there's nothing else to do but wait. Invariably I click too soon (three times just now) and have to wait again. Sigh. This one feels punitive (though I know it's not intended this way).

Can we reduce the threshold and not reset the timer when re-attempting to post?

  • 1
    re: point #2: right on the money. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks, and it really sucks.
    – Jason S
    Mar 18 '11 at 3:06

This is a long-standing issue, and it is by design.

There have been several attempts to have it changed (and it was shortened to 15 sec).

Here are several of the threads from http://meta.stackoverflow.com

  • 3
    Also - I should note that I'm not entirely in agreement with the decision on this one, but I'm just noting the current status.
    – chills42
    Mar 15 '11 at 16:51
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    Thanks for the pointers, and the solidarity. :) I think this is another one of those dimensions where we are not Stack Overflow - we should be able to control parameters like this.
    – Reid
    Mar 16 '11 at 1:12

This is indeed by design. We prefer that comments be substantive, and requiring at least 15 seconds of "think time" is there to assist.

(it also prevents automated comment spam from a haywire or malicious user from filling the entire site with comments.)

  • 1
    Jeff, I think there are three problems with the timer. First, where does 15 seconds come from? Are there any data that back this choice of threshold? Certainly, it does not match my own experience; it seems arbitrary and patronizing (i.e., "you are not smart enough to come up with a good comment in less than 15 seconds"). Second, resetting the timer and not providing a countdown makes it feel punitive. Finally, it is worth noting that "we" does not include the very high levels of dissent in the threads noted above. This is not a community decision.
    – Reid
    Mar 16 '11 at 15:28
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    @reid I'm comfortable with being punitive on occasion to enforce quality levels. It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken. Mar 16 '11 at 22:20
  • Seems like just the sort of functionality that's tailor-made for attaching to reputation. I can see the wisdom of a timer for a new user who may intentionally (or accidentally) introduce comment spam, but at a certain point a higher reputation user has 'proven' their trustworthiness and the usefulness of their content contributions... A rep of 5000 seems 'right' to me, but I'll admit that's a pretty arbitrary number. Mar 17 '11 at 21:50
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    @jay perhaps, but I've found even the highest of high rep users can be drawn into pointless bickering comment wars (self definitely included..) Mar 17 '11 at 23:05

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