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A question that I couldn't find an answer to...

If someone posts an answer to a question, and someone else follows by posting a similar answer, the newest post will be on top, until one of the posts gets voted up, at which point the votes then determine the order. However, if both answers have zero votes, I feel that the first one should have priority/be listed first? This way the first correct answer is more likely to get votes/feedback.

This happened in this post. Evan posted after me, but his answer was on the top when we both had zero votes. Obviously, people saw Evan's post (which is the correct answer) and gave it move votes than mine (which is also the same/correct answer). If mine were on top, it would have received the majority of the votes.

Obviously it's not a huge deal, and the reputation doesn't matter that much, but it does seem to be a bit of an oddity in an otherwise fair system. Thoughts? Or am I missing something?

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  • I'm not sure what the behavior is immediately after you post, but I believe the post order is random. For an example see this post, gis.stackexchange.com/q/19383/751, and refresh your browser several times. You should see the re-ordering. – Andy W Jan 27 '12 at 20:24
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    Have you seen the "Active-Oldest-Votes" option beneath each question to the right? Your choice determines the sequence of the replies. Ties are resolved randomly, which is especially noticeable when "votes" is your option and several answers have received no votes (or the same number of votes). – whuber Jan 27 '12 at 20:44
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I should have posted my comment as a reply. I'll belatedly copy it here so we can have a formal conclusion to this thread (and give people the opportunity for further comment and up/down voting):

Have you seen the "Active-Oldest-Votes" option beneath each question to the right? Your choice determines the sequence of the replies. Ties are resolved randomly, which is especially noticeable when "votes" is your option and several answers have received no votes (or the same number of votes).

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