As seen here, Stack Exchange has a problem where people are answering as quick as possible and putting minimal effort into their answers. To address this problem, I propose that there should be a 5-10 minute delay before being able to answer a question in order to give answerers enough time to write high-quality answers.

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    Possible duplicate of lock answering for questions for a short time Nov 16, 2018 at 16:28
  • Not such a great idea, people answer questions fast, then they edit it so it can become a high-quality answer. I do that sometimes and it works Nov 16, 2018 at 16:29
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    This doesn't make people write better answers. It just means readers move on to another question.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 16, 2018 at 16:30
  • If you downvote answers which are poor and written in haste, most of the time the answerer deletes them, thus negating any benefit for posting it in the first place.
    – Makoto
    Nov 16, 2018 at 16:32
  • @Makoto The tour page also says: "On posts tagged feature-request, voting can indicate agreement or disagreement with the proposed change rather than just the quality or usefulness of the post itself." Nov 16, 2018 at 16:41
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    @Devealte: What does that have to do with the FGITW problem? Those are meta-specific conventions.
    – Makoto
    Nov 16, 2018 at 16:44
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    @Makoto I'm talking about your comment: "If you downvote answers which are poor and written in haste" Nov 16, 2018 at 16:46
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    @Devealte: Yes, by convention I was referring to the main sites. I'm really not sure why you chose to split hairs on this specific issue.
    – Makoto
    Nov 16, 2018 at 16:47
  • @Makoto Oh, sorry. I didn't understand that well. Nov 16, 2018 at 16:48
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    @rene: The OP literally references that as a discussion point. It's not a dupe.
    – Makoto
    Nov 16, 2018 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


Fastest Gun in the West is a problem, sure.

Locking out people from answering sounds like it can solve the low quality aspect, yes. But, really, all it does is delay it by however long the lockout is.

Delaying answers doesn't increase quality; if users will post quality answers, they'll do it without the lockout. If users can't post their answers instantly, one of two things will happen:

  1. They'll wait until the lockout is done, and post then.
  2. They'll discard their answer, and move on to a different question, where this will repeat.

Neither of those increase quality, nor does it account for the fact that some people are super fast typers, and can answer questions quickly, concisely, and well.

You can't force people to post quality answers. You can encourage them to, by downvoting poor answers (which most instant answers are), pointing out issues, and basically just engaging in proper curation activities.

Downvote bad content. If an answer, as it currently is, doesn't actually answer the question, flag or vote to delete it. Vote to close if it's a problematic question. If you feel up to it, comment on it to point out the problem. Don't refrain from doing either of those if you think the poster hit the post button too soon; that's what edits are for, and you can retract votes after the fact. There's no guarantee the poster will come back, and you shouldn't have to monitor a post.

  • The reason for all this is that the high-quality answers will not show up lower than the low-quality ones. They can all get upvoted at the same time, so the high-quality answers would rise to the top. Nov 16, 2018 at 17:02
  • Which has literally nothing to do with locking people out. People aren't going to race the lockout timer to type something better. They'll either wait it out, or move on. You can't force people to put in more effort.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 16, 2018 at 17:02
  • It does. Temporarily locking a question will allow the high-quality answers to be posted at the same time as the low-quality answers. Otherwise, the low-quality answers would rise to the top just because they were posted first. Nov 16, 2018 at 17:04
  • You're assuming that people would be racing the lockout timer. Most good answers don't come instantly, but hours after the post. Good answers naturally rise to the top. They don't need to be posted quickly.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 16, 2018 at 17:07
  • Most good answers. You only need one good answer. The whole point of this is to reduce the number of upvoted low-quality answers. There's no way to eliminate them, but this will help drastically reduce them. Nov 16, 2018 at 17:13
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    No, it won't. It might catch one or two here or there, but when people want to contribute, they'll find a way to do so, one way or another. At best, this just delays the inevitable. Curate the content. Use your downvotes. That'll do far more (both for future readers, and the system) to keep quality high.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 16, 2018 at 17:15
  • The point is that not everyone will use their downvotes. Most people are not going to go through all the answers. They're usually just going to go through the first few. The low-quality ones will already have risen to the top, and the high-quality ones will be left sitting in the dust. Nov 16, 2018 at 17:18
  • SE depends on the long tail to rise good content. It won't happen instantly, but it will happen over time. We're thinking long term here, not just the day or two after the question is posted. Yeah, not everyone will use their downvotes. That's fine. But that's how you solve this. With time, and working on keeping the signal to noise ratio as high as possible.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 16, 2018 at 17:20
  • Not necessarily. As I said, many people only read the first few answers. They then upvote those few questions because they were answered first and are more easily visible. Because of that, the first answers will have lots of upvote that should have gone to the better answers. It's very unlikely that enough users will read through all the answers and upvote the best ones to bring them up to the top. Nov 16, 2018 at 17:26
  • Late answers not getting enough love is a problem, true. But that problem is entirely separate from the FGITW problem. A ten minute delay does nothing to solve that.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 16, 2018 at 17:43
  • No it isn't a totally separate thing. The first answers will get the most attention, just because they were answered first. That is closely related to the FGITW problem. Nov 16, 2018 at 17:48
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    I disagree. Delaying answers does nothing to improve quality, it just moves the problem around.
    – fbueckert
    Nov 16, 2018 at 17:50
  • Delaying answers allows the bad and good to be seen at the exact same time. If nothing else, the good answers will rise to the top much quicker than they would otherwise. Nov 16, 2018 at 17:52

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