I only read Meta every so often but I've seen lots of talk about SCITE and FGITW. I have no idea what these are!

Can someone please define and explain these abbreviations?


FGITW - Fastest Gun in the West

The fastest reply to a question. Relevant to how Stack Overflow sorted answers until around August 27 2009. The original sorting was 'number of votes' followed by 'oldest answer first'. This meant that the first answerer was given a natural advantage as their answer was at the top of the page.

This could be seen as a disadvantage to answerers that took longer to write their response to a question. Although their answer might be 'better', the first answer given would often be upvoted first.

SCITE - Slowest Cheater in the East

Relevant to how Stack Overflow currently sorts answers. The current sorting is 'number of votes' followed by 'random'. This means there is no longer preference given to the age of an answer.

This could be gamed when a user copied and/or combined other answers and then strategically vote other answers down. Someone visiting the question would see this combined answer as the best one and vote it up, placing it to the top of the answer list. Once the gamer had enough votes that would remove the downvotes from other answers.

The length of time for an up or downvote before changes were locked was dramatically reduced in an attempt to alleviate this problem.

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    Doesn't FGITW also apply to folks posting a partial answer to get into that "first" slot, and only then start editing (possibly within the 5 minute grace period) to change it into a true answer? – Arjan Mar 31 '12 at 12:05
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    Laughed about the vague estimation in "sorted answers until around August 27 2009". – EverythingRightPlace Nov 14 '13 at 12:33
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    @Alex, How does locking the downvote stop SCITE? The sciter can simply let the downvote stay there and get -1 rep... not a big deal, considering he gets +10 for each upvote. – Pacerier Aug 30 '15 at 22:37
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    Do people actually do SCITE? What benefit would it give them? – Kelmikra Oct 20 '15 at 0:29
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    @Kelmikra I believe the "benefit" is described on SE as rep-whoring. – Masked Man Sep 27 '16 at 18:07
  • @MaskedMan "rep-whoring" is a thing? – Persistence Apr 15 '17 at 22:12
  • The locking system doesn't matter. As soon as you have enough rep to edit posts you can unlock it agian with a simple edit. – shiny-metal Jan 28 '18 at 8:45

FGITW - Fastest Gun in the West - Fastest to reply to a question

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Only noticed someone tagging a couple of posts with scite-problem on questions about FGITW.

So SCITE is probably about Seven Chinese In The East.


  • Slowest Cowboy In The East
  • Stupid Clauses In The EULA
  • Some Clueless Idiot Teasing Ernest Borgnine

Then again, it could be the seven cities in the East short changing internationlists taking earned sabbaticals, charging indignant tariffs everywhere.

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    Second Coming: It's the END! – John Fouhy Aug 27 '09 at 6:40
  • More like Stack Corrupted: It's the END! – nagul Aug 27 '09 at 11:53
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    Or Slowest Cheater In Ihe East. – Anish Gupta Jun 19 '12 at 15:18
  • The last one is actually SCITE-B, an obvious reference to Tim Conway. – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica Jun 2 '16 at 12:17

SCITE - Slowest Cheater in the East

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    Also a kick-ass editor! – Shog9 Aug 27 '09 at 5:57
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    Wait, so what exactly makes a SCITE? Showing up late and copying other answers? – hyperslug Aug 27 '09 at 5:59
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    Also a snotty East-Coast accent. – Shog9 Aug 27 '09 at 6:01
  • Colorado is at the East Coast? Puzzled... – Ladybug Killer Aug 27 '09 at 6:28
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    SCIntilla based Text Editor – nagul Aug 27 '09 at 11:56
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    @hyperslug: Yes. – Billy ONeal Aug 29 '10 at 14:44

Searching for SCITE turns up this question wherein Mehrdad seemingly coins the term.

We all know search sucks, but it's not completely useless :-)

AFAIK, the idea is that you copy the FGITW's answer, then vote them down, thus earning votes and the misplaced-respect of your peers. Although I would have thought that the fastest cheater would do better than the slowest.

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    Slowpoke copier in the Everglades? – random Aug 27 '09 at 6:36
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    It doesn't even always have to involve downvoting. If you post an answer and do not collect any votes, I can come in and copy your answer 20 minutes later. Because we will both have 0 score, our sort order will be randomized so there is the opportunity for me to appear above you, therefore I can collect easy upvotes from people who are too lazy to pay attention to timestamps. If I appear first it is only natural to assume that I posted first. It is also easy to assume that someone could PUNISH you for posting a duplicate, when you were actually the originator. – TheTXI Aug 27 '09 at 11:18

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