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?


5 Answers 5


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.

  • 70
    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
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 12:05
  • 29
    Laughed about the vague estimation in "sorted answers until around August 27 2009". Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 12:33
  • 4
    @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
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:37
  • 4
    Do people actually do SCITE? What benefit would it give them?
    – Kelmikra
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 0:29
  • 1
    @Kelmikra I believe the "benefit" is described on SE as rep-whoring.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 18:07
  • @MaskedMan "rep-whoring" is a thing? Commented Apr 15, 2017 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. Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 8:45
  • @Pacerier it doesn't stop it, but it helps to mitigate it. Some questions can get dozens of answers, and the SCITE would need to downvote all of them to bump their own post up, taking possibly 3 or 4 upvotes worth of rep loss - without locking in the down vote they would get that back, putting a time limit to change the vote changes the cost/benefit of being SCITE.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 16:44

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


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.

  • 18
    Second Coming: It's the END!
    – John Fouhy
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 6:40
  • More like Stack Corrupted: It's the END!
    – nagul
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 11:53
  • 3
    Or Slowest Cheater In Ihe East. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:18
  • The last one is actually SCITE-B, an obvious reference to Tim Conway. Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 12:17

SCITE - Slowest Cheater in the East

  • 2
    Also a kick-ass editor!
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 5:57
  • 8
    Wait, so what exactly makes a SCITE? Showing up late and copying other answers?
    – hyperslug
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 5:59
  • 1
    Also a snotty East-Coast accent.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 6:01
  • Colorado is at the East Coast? Puzzled... Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 6:28
  • 8
    SCIntilla based Text Editor
    – nagul
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 11:56
  • 1
    @hyperslug: Yes. Commented Aug 29, 2010 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.

  • 3
    Slowpoke copier in the Everglades?
    – random
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 6:36
  • 4
    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
    Commented Aug 27, 2009 at 11:18

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