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Fastest Gun in the West Problem

How can stack overflow more favor accuracy and correctness of an answer rather than submission time?

It's my bet there is a strong statistical correlation between answer submission time and which answers are up voted. Perhaps some UI tweaks could remove some of this correlation?

Yes, timely answers are appreciated, but I personally am fine waiting a bit longer if that means quality is higher. Maybe there could be a knob that can be tweaked for each question by the submitter?

2 Answers 2


They've tried to implement some things to solve the Fastest Gun in the West problem, like the random sorting of same-vote-number answers. It's a tricky wicket of a problem, but then again I like fast answers when I'm looking for them, so I don't want to disincent people from giving them.

  • I like fast answers too, but there's much LESS incentive to give long thorough answers. Both types of answers deserve to be rewarded, but the point is, quick and dirty answers garner much greater rewards than long thorough ones in a way that does NOT necessarily reflect how valuable quick and dirty answers are compared to long thorough ones. Mar 8, 2010 at 2:31

It's hard to argue against a well written post that was the first response. If you look, it's not like really bad responses are getting voted up just because they were posted first. If an answer is at all reasonable and is posted quickly, it makes two people happy.

More elaborate answers may not go noticed right away but the hope is that people looking for similar answers in the future will get to see all the contributions and vote from there.