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So I was looking at this question, which has a lot of answers. It is tagged , meaning that someone working at Stack Exchange responded to it. However, there isn't a quick way to find an answer by an employee about what's happening with the request.

I think it should be easier to find employee answers, i.e. any written by Community Managers, developers, or people who were employees at the time of writing. Some questions (an extreme example is How do I undo the most recent local commits in Git?) have more than 50 answers. If I were trying to find an official response on a question with this many answers, it could take a really, really long time.

If we had this sorting feature, I'd think it should sort by employee answers with the most votes and then by active — votes to ensure that the best-received official response shows up first and active as a way to avoid the FGITW problem. Using this method, it would sort as:

  • jmac's answer (a former employee of some sort) with 129 votes
  • Tim Post's answer (Director of Community Strategy) with 8 votes
  • kipbits' answer
  • Lyndon White's answer

and so on.

  • May I ask what's bad about the request? – Stormblessed Jul 10 '19 at 18:55
  • What about the questions where Tims answer got to -86? – rene Jul 10 '19 at 18:56
  • @rene well I'd like to be able to see what the people with the most power on the whole Network are saying. It would not be the default sort, just an option. – Stormblessed Jul 10 '19 at 18:56
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    I think this drastically over-complicates the issue at hand, which is that you want to be able to find the official response more easily. Something like having a separate flag similar to the accept mark except that only staff can use and simply marks this answer as an official response would be far more viable. And it has the added benefit of allowing employees to participate as regular users without their answer taking more precedent over others. – animuson Jul 10 '19 at 18:58
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    In many cases the one marking the bug/request as completed or declined leaves SE at some point and is no longer employee. What you suggest to do in those cases? – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Jul 10 '19 at 18:58
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    @ShaWiz do something like mark the account as a former employee and if the timestamp for when the answer was written is from before they left sort it as an official response. jmac's answer would sort at the top. – Stormblessed Jul 10 '19 at 19:00
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    They might think they have power. If we all leave, their "power" evaporates rather quickly. But I honestly don't believe SE is that naive. – rene Jul 10 '19 at 19:00
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    How many posts are there where the question is cluttered with so many answers that the ones from SE staff that are to be considered the official response are not present on the first page? – rene Jul 10 '19 at 19:04
  • @rene Not a ton, but it'd still be nice to have a way to quickly locate them or, as animuson suggested, at least make them stand out more. – Stormblessed Jul 10 '19 at 19:06
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    Only 98 questions on MSE where you need to look through multiple pages to read all answers. – rene Jul 10 '19 at 19:12
  • Not exactly what you're asking but Stack Overflow Extras (SOX) has a feature that adds the SE logo next to employees wherever their username appears, making it a bit easier for you to spot when an employee is commenting/answering/asking – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Jul 10 '19 at 19:22
  • I think the easiest (at least for the Devs) way, where this is important to you, is to: #1 Sort by Votes and look at the first few, #2 Sort by Oldest (usually Staff answer last and a so-called better answer is rare but not impossible) and finally look for the Most Downvotes (and not deleted), the staff can accumulate 100's of DVs and the answer (or question) won't be deleted - while an unfortunate person whom accumulates an extreme number of downvotes usually won't exceed ~20-40 (and often deletes). --- This isn't Animal Farm ≢ . – Rob Jul 11 '19 at 7:08
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This may be relevant for "feature-request" questions, (in which we may hope for developer input), or maybe also for questions tagged "bug", but not at all relevant for most other MSE questions.

There are different questions, some perhaps answered by developers, others by long-term users of SE who also have had moderating experience, a few by experienced users across SE, and still others by community managers.

Only a fraction of questions are best suited for/answered by one of these groups in preference to all others. Deciding which employees, if any, should get preferential listings of their answers, and in which specific circumstances, is a recipe for disaster: too much confusion for everyone, too much complication, and too much possible contention, etc.

Users are free, wrt any answers to any/all questions, to check the profile of each answerer of a question to gauge their role on SE, and vote accordingly.

But also realize, developers and community managers come here originally relatively new in their new employment status and responsibilities. A developer on board for only one month, who answers a feature request question, likely ought not to be auto-set at the top of all answers, when other answerers may better be aware of duplicate posts, problems historically with implementing the feature, etc.

I'd really rather not make MSE about a hierarchy of qualified answerers, dictated to all readers. Each of us can delve into an answerer's background. I don't think it's a great idea to force an automatic ranking of which answers appear first. I think it is contrary to the spirit of SE, which is to let votes, (or another user-chosen parameter like to sort by newest or oldest), determine the order in which answers are listed.

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    This would not be the default. Much of the time, CM answers matter more; there are some questions (e.g. meta.stackexchange.com/q/2645/399694) where an answer by Jeff Atwood has an extremely low score and an opposite one by a normal user has an extremely high one but Jeff's answer is the one that wins due to being by the founder. The thing is, while it may seem like it would make a hierocracy, these answers have much more gravity than normal users', especially on feature-requests. – Stormblessed Jul 10 '19 at 19:13
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    @Stormblessed while that might be the perception this answer nicely explains that SE staff, nor anyone else, answers shouldn't have more gravity, which I happily agree with. – rene Jul 10 '19 at 19:17

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