Brad Fitzpatrick (bradfitz) wrote in news,
Brad Fitzpatrick
bradfitz

Limits

For the past several years, since it started, LiveJournal hasn't really had any limits on what users could do.... sure, you were limited in how many userpics you could have and how big they could be, but that was about it.

We haven't limited posting frequency, post size, number of comments per post, comment posting frequency, protocol request rate, etc....

Our lax policy worked with 10,000 users, but doesn't work when we're approaching nearly a million users. Once you get this many people using the system, there are going to be malicious people trying to break things and be annoying. There's also plenty of people unknowingly harming the system, but how much they're using it.

So, we're finally getting around to doing limits, a couple years later than we should've.

But, don't fear... the limits are all being researched, looking at historic data, so we don't disrupt normal usage patterns. An incredibly small percentage of people will be negatively affected. However, the end result to everybody else using the system normally is less spikes of bad performance, when we're under attack by an idiot with a 10 line Perl script. (and really, we feel like the idiots for letting it go on this long without automation.... blocking these people by hand when detected isn't reliable)

We'll be rolling out the limits one at a time and watching the results until we move on to the next one.

The first limit to be going live is post frequency, per 24 hour rolling window...

Free users: 3 posts (maybe 4 or 5?)
Early adopters: 10 posts
Paid/Perm Users: 20 posts
[See next post]

I know a lot of you are going to be angry about limits that weren't there before, but I hope at least one side of you understands why these are necessary to run a reliable service.

As for the state of site performance lately: we're still moving users to the new database clusters. Once things are leveled out a bit, things will speed up.

Clarifications:
  • posts, not comments.
  • posts to communities count
  • our intention is not to be evil. we may change 3 to 4 or 5, depending on how things look after a couple of days.
  • some communities will be exempt from the count (lj_* site-related ones) and some (paid communities) will allow one free post/day that doesn't count toward your existing limit (but that's not done yet...we just thought of it)


Okay... it's off. It's my birthday ... I don't need a flamewar today. The few minutes it was on though, it stopped a bunch of crap . I'll turn it on in a couple of days after I implement the community posting elements.
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