There is a user on this site, who I have nicknamed the shotgun. Him/Her answers almost every single question on this site, some answers are ok, but alot are very low quality and don't get close to answering the question.

I understand why it's being done, being the first answer invariably gets you the votes and rep.

I'm not a fan of this behaviour, I like to see thorough well researched answers, that take to time to address the question. There is nothing wrong with being eager but not if the quality of the site suffers.

I'm not sure what I'm asking, maybe just for other peoples thoughts on this behaviour.

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    For a historical perspective, see meta.stackoverflow.com/search?q=fastest+gun Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 13:54
  • @robert this was a great read, it made me happy (yes I'm strange) we're growing as a site, this is obviously not a new problem :) I'm really pleased with the constructive comments from everyone. Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 6:23

4 Answers 4


That's an interesting scenario. I think the best bet to start with would be to either put comments on the low quality answers suggesting that they need to be improved, or to actually vote them down.

Down-voting the ones that are of poor quality while still up-voting and accepting the better answers should help encourage better behaviour in that regard.

Of course if the problem persists or even gets worse, there are other options to discuss the issue with the shotgun directly.

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    I'd argue not enough voting is one of the core problems here. If bad answers are consistently earning you negative rep you very quickly stop posting them. Likewise good answers are often not upvoted more than a handful of times, so grabbing 1 or 2 quick easy votes for being first can earn more rep than a really good answer can. Get out the vote! Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 23:34

I don't think there's anything wrong with giving quick and dirty answers as long as they are helpful to the OP. One of the best features of SO is that I can ask a question and get a response within minutes that is good enough.

With that said I think the main issue is that good or great answers aren't being upvoted enough relative to mediocre answers. A great answer should have at least 2-3x times more upvotes than a mediocre answer but what I mostly see is that a great answer gets voted to the top and then people stop voting on it.

It seems like people are treating the votes as a ranking system where if the best question is already at the top (with only a few votes) they won't give that question any more upvotes.

  • Excellent point! Periodically, I take time and read a whole bunch of older questions/answers tagged for subjects that interest me or that I don't know as much about. Also, sometimes I'll read a bunch questions/answers of a person in the community that I see consistently giving solid contributions to learn from them. During that time, I'll vote up answers and questions. I haven't really found much to downvote during that time, but then again, I haven't done it in a month or so. Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 0:42

Yeah I know whom your talking about ... it's annoying ... I post a question and I get a response like a minute later

I asked the moderators to warn them which kind of slowed them down... I found downvotes help but they usually earn you a retributive downvote as well

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    This is my biggest concern as well, I want to downvote and provide feedback why, but don't want the retribution a downvote invariably brings Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 10:58
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    I've had to flag multiple comments There were nothing more than personal attacks over downvotes. The stifling of the conversation over internet points is stupid and petty. Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 16:27
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    @DanielBlackhall You shouldn't refrain from downvoting just because of retributive downvotes. If you are getting maliciously downvoted you can flag the question/answer for a moderator to review it. It also costs a small amount of reputation to downvote so if this person has to try and downvote a bunch of different people this will become a self-correcting problem. Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 1:15

@Daniel Blackhall I totally agree with laceySnr.If they are not best answers those should be downvoted instead of the upvote.There is nothing harm in answering quickly as this gives lot of ideas to the person who has raised his concern and if those are not best answers then should not be encouraged via upvote .

The person who has asked a question badly needs an answer and a quick answer gives possibility of thinking from an another perspective that do help indeed in reaching to conclusion.And ofcourse the site is so well that you always have option to mark which is right .As grigriforce said good about stackexchange is we get answers pretty sooner than anywhere else and also people are considering reputation as Ranks and they are little jealous of other persons being gaining more points and moving upwards and hence they raise some concerns on this .

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    I don't know what anyone else is thinking, but I don't think that jealousy is a factor and, although I cannot read minds, I didn't think or interpret that Daniel's question was based on him being jealous of anyone. It is my feeling that we are a community working together and when I see someone in the community gaining a lot of deserved rep, I'm generally happy for them. Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 14:52
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    I'm ok with quick answers. As long as they answer the question. Far too often I see an answer that is almost off topic, giving me the impression the answerer hasn't even read the question. Reading and understanding the askers problem, and answering that problem is what this site is for Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 6:16
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    I do hope you are not referring to me with your jealousy comment. I participate on this site to share my Salesforce knowledge, and because there are alot of people on this site with more knowledge than me that I learn from. If I was jealous I wouldn't be here I would be keeping what I know to myself. Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 6:18
  • @DanielBlackhall I do hope same that somebody is not refererring to me as shot Gun answerer.I answer quickly thats a fact and this is to not to disappoint the person posting question here and provide the OP with different perspective .Most of times it do happens that people accept the answer and most of times also i am happy to correct myself in the process and experiment .I am also on this site to learn from others and i do appreciate people like Ritesh or metadady or infact LaceySnr and they always appreciate right answers and leave comment if i am wrong Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 9:08
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    The only thing I would like you to take away from this thread is that answering quickly is fine, even encouraged. But too many answers are wrong or off topic, and waiting for someone to correct you is not the right approach. Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 21:36
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    Accuracy is far more valuable than speed.
    – metadaddy
    Commented Oct 23, 2012 at 23:47

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