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What has happened to the sorting of answers on stack overflow?

As I understand it, the OP cannot accept an answer within first 15 mins (or some time limit like that). I assume that's to correctly prevent the OP from "hastily accepting" an answer when a better answer might show up the next minute.

In the same vein, people sometimes "hastily upvote" the first answer reflexively if it's adequate. So if an answer is voted up really quickly, but another better answer comes around, then the first, lesser, answer already has the momentum of people hastily upvoting it.

In other words, it might be better to slow all answers' momentum during the first 15 mins by randomizing answers regardless of upvotes.

Does that conceptually make sense?

  • Not only does it conceptually make sense, it (or something similar) has been suggested before. I don't have the link at hand, but I'll look.
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 14:00
  • 2
    This is yet another rehash of the now-trite fastest gun in the west problem. The problem is that there's no actual problem. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 14:06
  • oops. I looked for this question already because I hate it when others repost questions, but obviously didn't find it with my search words. Thanks for the link @Cody. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 14:11
  • 1
    Well, this isn't an exact duplicate by any means--I didn't actually vote to close. You're proposing a separate feature request. The point is just that the request is designed to solve the same problem, and a lot of people (myself included) don't think it is a problem. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 14:11
  • True, but I guess that I myself would prefer to centralize discussions like this. Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 14:16
  • Also related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/68815/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/58823/…
    – Pops
    Commented Aug 11, 2011 at 14:28

2 Answers 2


No. I'm against this; it would totally override the preferences of individual users.

I have set my sort order to "votes". Do you think it would be a good idea to show me randomized answers even though I've explicitly requested that they be sorted by the number of votes?


Answers with equal votes are already randomised when the sort order is "votes".

As the default sort order is "votes", this isn't a real issue

"Active" and "oldest" don't randomise.

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