Users are confused about daily like limits

I’m just a bystander who has never hit the “like limit” in my life, but larger issue here seems to be the entire concept of a limit is confusing — seems reasonable for a user to get mixed messages here: likes are good and useful mechanism that you should use, but…not too much?!

From what I’ve seen, some users never use likes at all and some enjoy liking as much stuff as possible. Since it’s never really going to be the case that all users use “likes” in a consistent way, what negative consequences really arise from letting users like to their hearts content? If it’s server constraints or actual spam indicator issue, maybe there’s a simple way in the messaging of indicating why the limit exists so it feels less arbitrary.

Buried in the lede is the way they messed with trust levels. I expect the really active likers would have gotten to TL3 which has a huge daily like increase of 2×. See Understanding Discourse Trust Levels for details.

So this is, in some sense, a self-inflicted wound.

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I’ve read that post many times and it never occurred to me daily like limit modifiers are presented in a balanced way and don’t mess with them.

Given they were messed with, and produces an error message that looks the same shape as another error message (I’m proposing none of us can expect the messages to be read, given the activity that triggers them), it seems like the solve is for that instance to change those error messages to explain more for their community, which is awesomely large and have it’s own culture of interaction.

@ClawdiaWolf and @Heather_Dudley, I propose strategic use of weird emoji. :alien: :rainbow: :dolls:


All I can think of is this change

You’ve reached the maximum number of daily likes. Please wait 14 hours until the next 24 hour period begins before trying again.



You’ve reached the maximum number of likes. Please wait 14 hours before trying again

This is fine if you’ve run out of likes. However, you also get that same message if you triggered the rate limiter. Maybe a different message for the latter? Something like:

You’re liking topics too quickly. Please wait 10 minutes before trying again.

Just to let users know to back off and slow down.

At least that’s where the confusion came from in my case. I received the maximum likes message but I’m able to like things again within the same day which made it hard to build a mental model of how things work. Had I not come here, I wouldn’t even know that the rate limiter for likes existed.


Aha! Oh my gosh I apologize if that is happening now it all makes sense! @tshenry can you repro?


On dev I am unable to repro, this is me liking stuff like crazy and hitting the global rate limiter.

@rkda what is the repro here? Sounds to me like simply UTC confusion cause you will be able to like stuff even if you hit the limit within the same day unless you live in UTC-0.


If people are expecting the UTC “day” will line up with their local time “day”…


On April 20 (on another forum), I hit the daily likes limit at UTC 06:40.


However, I was able to like stuff again three hours (UTC 9:40) later. Is it possible for it to reset earlier?

I hit the likes limit later in the day (UTC 14:50) and was told my likes will reset in 14 hours


which doesn’t make sense unless the reset time has changed. It was in the same UTC “day”. Granted this is all anecdata (not an admin at that forum so I can’t check the logs).


Is the server time broken? Where is that server hosted? Possible the server is misconfigured and isn’t running UTC time, perhaps?


:crossed_fingers: Hopefully, this still fits in somewhere, but to build on @rkda’s anecdata and clarify @Heather_Dudley’s user experience frustration:

  • Sometimes, you get the “wait however long” message, wait the time, and are allowed a few likes before getting the message again with a different wait time.
  • Other times, you get the same “wait however long” message, wait the time, and then seem to be completely refilled for daily likes.

This is confusing. It’s like there’s two different “like jails” (stealing, btw)–one where you’re just on a temporary hold to sober up, and one where you’re actually incarcerated and get small rewards for good behavior…but you don’t know which you are. :woman_shrugging:


Will have the ask the admin. Will post as soon as I get an answer.

Oh, encountered this so often too :laughing: That’s how I ended up settling with the mental model below :point_down:

It’s the only one that sort of made sense based on my experience.


This is sounding more and more like a rogue server, if it is a server we host, we should be able to diagnose it…

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One thing I’m seeing that might be helpful to improve is the illusion that you are a able to like beyond the limit. This might help with some of the confusion? You’ll see in the video below that it gives the appearance that you are liking posts, but when you refresh the page, they all go away (tested on Try).


Looking at the RateLimiter code, UTC date factors into it nowhere, and it follows the “exact rolling timestamps” model. secs is equal to 1 day in seconds.

The code that notifies you about reaching your max # of likes in a day, however, does appear to use UTC date.


Interesting! So this may be a bug on our end.

Thanks for helping us drill into this, everyone. I want good outcomes here.


To further clarify, I’m not part of @Heather_Dudley’s /NaNoWriMo’s forum…I just recognized the issue from my communities, as did @anBroc:


Did we resolve this @riking?


Sorry for the bump, it seems like this bug is still persisting. (Our forum is hosted by Discourse)
One of our users reported this issue today:

So, I’ve been noticing that when we run out of likes, it says something like: You have run out of likes, you can like again in 17 hours.
So we wait awhile. Eventually we reach 17 hours and we like someone. After a like or two, it says: You have ran out of likes, you can like again in 20 hours.
We’ve waited 17 hours, got to like twice, and now we have to wait another 20 hours. This is very frustrating.


This is probably worth assigning @eviltrout it looks like Kane found the reason for the bug so all that is left is normalizing the code.