Answers are ordered by up-votes, this is accepted as correct. However, an issue arises when several answers have the same number of up-votes, answers are ordered by creation date, oldest to newest.

I propose this is changed to be ordered by reputation (after up-votes).

Higher reps should be awarded this perk.

Special Case: Zero Votes: Answers with 0 votes should be ordered by creating date.

Is this too complicated, does it add value?

  • 3
    we now order answers with the same score randomly (assuming less than pagination limit answers..) Oct 2, 2009 at 10:30

7 Answers 7


Personally I always view answers in the sort order of "newest first". I like the idea of using rep as a tie-breaker when sorting by votes, but personally I'd order it the other way round. High rep users already have the benefit of name recognition - I think display order should try to mitigate that rather than exacerbating it.

  • Also note that this is coming from someone who would benefit from the proposed sort ordering. Jun 28, 2009 at 17:40

I'm with Jon Skeet on this one. How is the little guy going to become a Jon Skeet, if Jon Skeet keeps sifting to the top of the list because of rep points? Sometimes you need to shine some light on the little tree in the forest so it can grow up to be one of the trees in the forest.



First come, first serve. If the answers have the same merit (same number of up-votes), list them chronologically. Because the user has more rep, does not mean this particular answer is better than one from a low rep user.


In all honesty, if somebody with 10k rep and somebody with 12 rep were to tie on an answer, I'd probably select the 12 reps answer, and upvote the 10k rep. Clearly, if somebody with a much lower rep is competing with those of a higher score, the lower fella deserves some credit.


It would be kinda nice to have a new ordering tab, as I'll admit, I'm too lazy to keep switching back and forth between "newest" and "votes". (The choice is "sticky" and it costs an extra page download!!! :-) It'd be nice to show maybe the top 5 new answers and then the rest ordered by votes, or some weighting algorithm (e.g. count(votes)-K*log(time since ordering) )

Or maybe an option to see both at once in a splitter window.

  • Write a greasemonkey script :)
    – Sampson
    Jun 30, 2009 at 12:56

I think the ordering algorithm too strongly favors those with the greatest number of votes, resulting in "the rich get richer" phenomenon due to folks favoring the answers presented first due to the effect of "getting tired of reading the answers", particular for questions with a large number of answers.

To counter this, I think we should introduce some element of randomness in the default presentation of answers.

Alternatively, or perhaps in addition, I think the popularity based ordering component ought to take into account the amount of time the answer has been posted (e.g. divide the number of votes by it for ordering purposes).


As mentioned by Jeff Atwood in the comments, answers with the same vote score are no longer sorted by creation date. Instead, answers with the same score are sorted randomly each time the page is loaded.

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