One of the odd patterns I've noticed on SO goes something like this:
- Person A asks a question.
- Person B very quickly delivers the minimum viable answer, with minimal explanation.
- B's answer starts to receive votes for being 'correct' even though it may not actually help the poster due to its sparseness.
- Person C started composing their answer at the same time as B, but instead delivers a detailed, well thought out reply with examples and explanations. They receive fewer points due to the time difference since they took longer to compose their answer.
- Person B then later edits their answer to include more detail to a similar quality as C's. People tend to be more generous with points to the earlier answer so the effect continues.
This strikes me as a cheap way of gaming the system for points by just making sure you have a 'correct' answer as soon as humanly possible to be available for votes.
My question is whether or not this is a behavior that should be discouraged or not, and if so - what could be done about it.
If there is a consensus that this is to be discouraged, I'd like to suggest that for very new question, for the first 15 minutes or so - answers given appear in a random order, and the number of points for each are not shown (except to moderators) and only the voting arrows appear - this would eliminate this kind of pattern I've identified and encourage higher quality answers out of the gate by eliminating order effects and the first poster advantage.