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We often see that upvotes are skewed towards the first answer to any question. I have observed the following reason in this regard:

There are many random visitors -- They just click upvote for the first answer (even sometimes without reading it fully) and move on to something else.

  • To avoid this, can the answers be shuffled in a semi-random fashion.
  • This would avoid the extra upvotes by random strangers even though answer is not okay. Am I correct?
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Ironically, I agree with your solution but not some of the reasoning.

Are votes biased toward the first answer?: I suspect the answer to this is yes. I say this partially because it's flattering to myself, where many of my answers are decently voted, but neither the first, nor top voted/accepted answer. But I also suspect it's true - and indeed catch myself doing it from time to time, especially on CrossValidated.

There are many random visitors -- They just click upvote for the first answer (even sometimes without reading it fully) and move on to something else.

I am not convinced at all that this behavior is confined to "random visitors", nor that if we had fewer random visitors this wouldn't be a problem.

This would avoid the extra upvotes by random strangers even though answer is not okay. Am I correct?

Your proposed solution would not avoid extra upvotes - it would just distribute them randomly. Essentially, every answer to the question would get a share of "random visitor welfare votes" instead of concentrating them in the first answer.

Whether this would help decrease the votes to "not okay" answers would depend on whether or not first answers are more (or less) likely to be lower quality. I'm also not convinced this is true.

TL;DR: I like the idea of randomizing answer order, but I think some of your underlying premises are flawed.

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For a recent question of mine, namely, Is "Assistant Professor Position (Tenure Track) for a female Researcher" illegal in Austria?, I got several answers, including one, very outstanding, unarguably best answer https://academia.stackexchange.com/a/100606/56935 so far. The best one uses the right methodology, citing the actual laws, while others did not even care looking up the right paragraphs or adopting the right terminology. (One can argue about the quality of the other answers, but that's not the main point here.)

Now, the best answer did not receive the maximal vote, being only on the third place as of now, even though I upvoted it and downvoted the others. We can wait a bit, but, if the situation continues, that would be a red flag to me that the system must be changed. (See Sorting according to the score introduces an unwanted bias)

  • I think the fact that is is only a single vote behind at this point is a pretty good sign that the system actually works. – StrongBad Dec 17 '17 at 17:27
  • @StrongBad Right now, the really best answer is topping. If I count my own votes out, the best answer would be on the second place. We'll see how it evolves. I guess, if someone wants to argue for the change, they must distance themselves from any comments, any voting, and any other kind of influence whatsoever. I influenced the answers to the aforementioned question quite a bit, so, I guess, I should not use it as an argument. – Leon Meier Dec 17 '17 at 22:06

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