When I answer a question, it appears near the bottom among the 0 votes answers (because it is new). However, it does not appear at the very bottom, nor are the 0 vote answers ordered by reputation.

How are the answers ordered?

The question is specifically for programmers.SE (not meta), but does it work the same for all SE (and meta) sites?

  • 3
    Answers with the same score are ordered randomly.
    – yannis
    Mar 29 '12 at 15:15

This has been discussed many times before but there are three sort modes for answers:

  • Active - answers that have been most recently modified are displayed first.
  • Oldest - answers are displayed in the order they were posted.
  • Votes - answers are displayed with the highest voted answers first. Answers on equal votes are ordered randomly, except when there are more than 30 answers (i.e. more than one page of answers). This so that no one answer is favoured.

Votes is the default.

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