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Answer sort order unstable - is it just me and my browser? [duplicate]

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Closed as duplicate by elgonzo‭ on Jun 25, 2021 at 14:13

This question has been addressed elsewhere. See: Randomize order of answers with same score

This question was closed; new answers can no longer be added. Users with the reopen privilege may vote to reopen this question if it has been improved or closed incorrectly.

The question "Threaded comments are here!" currently has 5 answers.

I noticed that the "Score" sort order (the default sort order) does not appear to work reliably. This behavior also occurs when the "Score" sort order is explicitly specified in the URL, like https://meta.codidact.com/posts/282342?sort=score.


Often, Lundin's answer (current score +7/-1) is shown first, followed by hkotsubo's answer (current score +4/0). This is alright and makes sense, as of time of writing Lundin's answer has a better vote "ratio".

But sometimes when revisiting or refreshing the page, hkotsubo's answer appears first, followed by Lundin's answer. (large screenshot) The vote count and the score of the answers have not changed, though.

I also noticed Peter Taylor's answer (score currently +4/-1) sometimes swapping places with FoggyFinder's answer (score currently +2/0). (large screenshot) while the score of the two answers remains unchanged. The occurence of this is independent of Lundin's and hkotsubo's answers swapping places.


Worth mentioning is also the observation that during my trials, only the 1st and 2nd answer swapped places, or the 3rd and 4th answer swapped places. It never happened to me that 2nd and 3rd answer swapped places, and the 5th answer with the lowest score always was shown as last answer, too.

UPDATE: Based on hkotsubo's comment, i realized the 1st and 2nd answer having both the same calculated score, and the 3rd and 4th answer also having the same score. Thus, it's reasonable to narrow down the problem scenario to groups of answers with same score in which the intermittent change of order takes place.


Only the "Score" sort mode seems to be affected. I could not observe similar ordering issues when using the "Active" (age) sort order.

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Maybe status-by-design? (8 comments)

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