If you post an incomplete answer for FGITW, and then edit it in the intervening five minutes, adopt the last time of the five minute window as the actual timestamp. So this timestamp adjustment then becomes a penalty for abusing the privilege of editing within the time window.

Maybe that only takes effect if you add more than 50 characters on the subsequent revisions?

  • 2
    Still doesn't stop the votes they accrue pre-edit, which I think is far more of a problem than the post-edit voting.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 15:35
  • @GraceNote So do we hide some of the usercard info in the first five minutes of an answer being posted?
    – jcolebrand
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 15:37
  • 1
    That's been suggested often, but I don't think it'll help. These kinds of things happen regardless of who posts them.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 15:38
  • @GraceNote Yeah I was pretty sure I had seen that suggested on here too. But if they are only doing FGITW to get the Enlightened badge then this may help prevent that badge-whoring mentality.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 15:44
  • 10
    I'm a fan of any plan that gets people to stop posting on meta about the FGITW "problem" Commented May 3, 2011 at 15:57
  • FGITW == Fastest Gun In The West?
    – John
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 16:01
  • @Michael I'll buy that.
    – jcolebrand
    Commented May 3, 2011 at 16:14
  • @GraceNote I disagree, I noticed people do not vote on the answer until they read the other answers and add the majority of the other answers into their FGITW answer, which then makes it look like it was the first and most efficient answer. Edits should show if you edit your answer at ANY time
    – Bot
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 16:12
  • Is it true that this is fixed now since the sorting of answers is by random when number of votes are equal?
    – Andrew Mao
    Commented Feb 28, 2013 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


I think we are focusing too much on the game aspect of the system. There are likely a multitude of ways to "fix" FGITW, depending on what you view as the worst aspect of it.

But it only affects the first five or ten minutes of a given question.

As long as the answer is good within the short editing window, then the purpose of the site has been served - a question got an answer.

The purpose of the site isn't to gain reputation, nor is it to make certain that people get their reputation in the order they stood in line, read the question, or answered it. Those are important aspects of the system - they provide the motivation for answering questions - but they aren't the purpose of the system.

Right now, FGITW doesn't significantly reduce the motivation for people to participate, nor does it break the primary purpose of the site.

Further, people do get dinged when they post incomplete answers - they get downvoted, and sometimes flagged. The system does provide the means for others to make sure people know that incomplete answers are not acceptable. I don't participate in real time now, but when I did I found more often that what some thought of as "incomplete" were really good enough to solve the problem. I don't recall the last time I saw an answer that was truly just a placeholder, or didn't give some insight into the question.

If you see someone performing that sort of abuse, especially on a regular basis, flag it and explain to the moderator that the first edit truly was a placeholder, nt an answer, or misleading.

I suspect that the problem is small enough that it can be taken care of without changing the system.

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