I posted a questionand then answered it some days later on. I've seen this done before, almost with aplauses. Shortness, either in questions or answers, can be a virtue. The answer I had given was:

God is The TricksterĀ“s (archangel GabrielĀ“s) father ! ...

Problem here is the answer was first converted to a comment, and when posted again, erased. (Side note: this was first done with cell phone, so the erased post was not visible, later at the pc it showed in shadow-gray lettering.) The possible reason of removable is that it seemed too little elaborate, or not good enough as a direct answer. Which has some logic.

But...if edits and interventions in moderation state that some post is not valid:

shouldn't the question-maker have have some say in the matter?

  • Of course, a further elaboration can go a long way and may be suggested. But why the need to quickly and forcefully leave out a possibility?

Even if a text seems too simple, doesn't mean it doesn't have enough research. In fact, it may be the case that it's polished after been thoroughly taken cared of. (In such a site as this movie SE, and I know I'm reaching a little to the far-fetched side: it could be a bonus if each reader can leave there imagination a little open on a given response.)

Perhaps too much editing is too much?

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    The problem is that this "answer" made absolutely no effort in explaining why it is correct at all. The question akser does have some say on the matter, but only if that say doesn't go against other rules, like answering questions with actual answers. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 13:39
  • @NapoleonWilson How do you know how much effort was put into something? I thought about the answer for a long time. Is the latest edit acceptable to remove erased? – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:02
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    If you thought about it that long, then why not just put those thoughts into the answer then? Noone can judge how much efforts goes into an answer, only how much effort the answer itself makes to answer the question. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:04
  • The new version certainly tries to explain how that single sentence is actually relevant to answering the question. That looks quite like a proper answer. (You could as well have reoposted it rather than putting it into a non-answer that has already been downvoted to hell, but ok, I undeleted it.) – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:08
  • @NapoleonWilson That was one of my first intended points: I think that more dialogue for editing and less criticism/downvotes/removals would be good. Downvotes are used a little abusively. Rather suggesting edits would be a treat. – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:12
  • What made you miss the comment under your answer then, that said how it isn't clear how that answer even tries to answer the question? We can't really do much more than comment to help you see the problems with your post. And downvotes are not to be taken personally. Your answer wasn't only a bad answer, it wasn't even a valid answer. So downvotes are in order for that. In the same way they can always be removed if the post improves later. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:17
  • I think this is a good question. However, no upvotes. Explanation? – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:17
  • @NapoleonWilson As I tried to explain in the post: I didn't see the comments in cel phone. – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:18
  • It's an extremely rare answer that doesn't benefit from detailed explanation, background material, supporting references, links, images, etc. That means that any one-sentence answer is suspect right out of the gate, since it's hard to explain why it's an answer, provide the answer, and provide references supporting the answer all in one sentence. – Todd Wilcox May 23 '16 at 18:02

The problem is that your attempt to self-answer doesn't actually answer the question. The answer appears to be an unrelated remark, not a genuine attempt to explain the answer to the question. That's why it was converted into a comment in the first place.

Self-answering questions on SE is not only allowed, but encouraged. Extremely short answers are also allowed, but the system strongly discourages them. For example, answers that are too short are automatically flagged as "very low quality" and pushed into the moderation queues for community review. But ultimately, the only real requirement is that they follow all of the same rules as any other question: your answer has to be an answer. Otherwise, intentionally or not, you appear to be just gaming the system.


Based on your comments, you seem to be continuing to fixate on length of answers. So let me just be explicit:

Short answers are not a problem. Bad quality answers are a problem, regardless of length. If an answer is too short to be useful, it is bad quality, and will be moderated appropriately.

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  • Many thanks for reading and taking time. I believe there is a certain tendency to believe that posts are made in not total good faith. That is in fact the point. And a real problem. If something is not satisfaying, it'd be best to dialogue and explain how to improve, rather than removing. Again, thanks for the attention, and please give me your feedback in said post. No intention of gaming the system, sorry if it seemed so. Let the community decide if it's an answer. No need to be the police all the time, let it flow. Cheers. – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:07
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    @nilon There was absolutely no belief that it was made in bad faith, only that it was made being unaware of the rules. This is absolutely no problem, but doesn't keep a non-answer from being deleted. People even explained in the comments under your answer why they don't see how it answers the question before it was deleted (and which you were able to read even after deletion). It's not at all that people didn't provide input how to improve the situation. You might want to not assume that moderation actions are made in bad faith, please, rather than according to the rules of SE. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:10
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    @nilon And we actually do let the community decide if something is an answer or not. And it was the community that flagged your answer as "not an answer", which puts it into a community review queue and notifies the moderators of it. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:13
  • @NapoleonWilson time is key my brother. And sorry, I was just rather surprised by quick reactions and didn't get the impression of being helped to improved. As you said in another general post, I too have to calm down a bit. Best. – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:16
  • This answer adresses the case but not the general question. Can one sentence be ok as response? – nilon May 20 '16 at 20:06
  • Thanks for extra-care and coming back to edit @KutuluMike. The new statement includes that "Extremely short answers are also allowed, but the system strongly discourages". Is the system the community? Also: "answers that are too short are automatically flagged as 'very low quality'". Why is this so? Can't a short answer be great? I keep in mind E=mc2. Other SE clearly accepts one sentence answers. – nilon May 21 '16 at 3:20
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    No, the system is the Stack Exchange software; there are many controls in place to avoid short posts (there are minimum size limits on certain things, etc.). The software automatically flags "too-short" answers for the community to review, because 99% of the time, short answers are bad answers. Good quality one-sentence answers are by far the minority. I can almost guarantee you that TEX.SE answer was thrown into the low-quality queue, where the users who reviewed it decided it was a good answer. – KutuluMike May 21 '16 at 3:33
  • @nilon Now please explain to me what "E=mc2" actually means so I actually do understand its meaning, rather than just knowing that this formula, um, exists. ;-) – Napoleon Wilson May 21 '16 at 13:07
  • @NapoleonWilson a formula can be the answer to a question. Just because it's short doesn't mean it's bad. +1 for using magic word. – nilon May 21 '16 at 14:31

A one sentence answer can or cannot be useful

Sometimes there just is not more to say. But the point depends on many things. Most people may find that one sentence, even if pointing in good direction, may not be explicative or analytical enough to give a more thorough understanding of the question being discussed.

The problem in this case? I wasn't aware on the different politics and customs in different SE environments. I think it fair to say that some sites/users are more in favor of serial upvoting, and others such as here might well encourage the contrary. That's fine. I just want to get back to a point I had in mind as a piece of auto-criticism/self-awareness.

Too much free time

Sometimes I just pass too much time in front of the pc. There's a lot of joy in this and salute all (Hello world!). Online participation, again, brings tons of good stuff and I already enjoy my short participation here at movies.SE. As much as I like to post questions and answers sometimes I need to distribute my time between multitasking, working, and having fun here.

My point on one sentence answers was mainly two:

  • I believe in mysterious, cryptic, and interesting answers that sum up a lot in short phrased ideas. I did that in one of my first Supernatural answers. I understand that the community didn't find it useful. That's cool. It's just that I couldn't change it immediately, hence I was surprised by the quickness, and fact, that I got downvotes. Solved.

  • In order to improve questions/answers we need time. Some may have more than other available. Maybe in between of each input we could grant a reasonable amount of time, say some days at least. Firstly, it could be expectable to check if that who makes the question finds it ok. And then give some time to do so. It's just cautious to wait at least a minimum time to see reaction.

Even if neither of the two previous are fulfilled, it'd be good practice that others in the community help make the answer better: I got comments and downvotes, that's fine because those are the rules here, just we could be a little softer/diplomatic if we assume that some newbies DO follow Wheaton's Law. Instead of erasing. Moderators time is precious as well. But maybe there's not such a big need to follow everything so closely. Closeness is good dependant on context: I prefer a Mom over Police. But I'm not a moderator so that's just an opinion, a respectful opinion. As always my intent is very respectful of others opinions in spirit and words.

Also, why the need to change status of the situation? that is, from answer to comment...

More info from another SE site suggests that downvoting shouldn't come easily. Maybe it's different here, I just wanted to leave for checking opinions.

not-good posts should not receive votes and really bad or incorrect posts should be down-voted.

But again each SE is unique, on that other one they even go further:

here we pride ourselves on up voting a lot on both questions and answers, and down voting very sparingly. [...] So down voting here is really infrequent

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  • It's irrelevant if the person who asked the question finds an answer ok if the answer isn't a genuine attempt at answering the question at all but just a comment. The asker is not supposed to claim that a comment is an answer singlehandedly. If you however saw any way to improve on that answer to turn it into an actual answer, then there's nothing stopping you from editing it and flagging it for undeletion, or just posting a new proper answer, or just posting a new proper answer after the first one was already turned into a comment rather than reposting the exact same comment again. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 13:48
  • @NapoleonWilson please, stop questioning other's genuininty of intentions. I took time to elaborate an answer. Just because you disagree that doesn't mean you should downvote, as far as I understand. – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:10
  • I didn't disagree with the answer, it just wasn't a valid answer at all. There's no problem with downvoting bad or invalid answers. And if you are talking about this meta answer, then I downvoted it because of the accusatory tone and because it entirely missed the actual problem as well as how things are done on SE, as explained in the other answers here. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:21
  • @NapoleonWilson I don't find it having a accusatory tone. My apologies for giving that impression. – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:23
  • @cde I understand this not to be the intention of downvoting. Downvoting is not in general encouraged in SE in general as I understand, and done so only after trying to improve a post because it lacks effort. Downvoting is for when none of the previous is achieved. If you don't agree with an elaborate post, because you don't share the view, I understand that through respect for the time taken in elaboration, one should not downvote. Perhaps I'm missing something. Or maybe custom is different at this SE. I have all intent to keep learning. Best – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:30
  • @nilon "Downvoting is not in general encouraged in SE in general as I understand" - Um, that is just not true, downvoting posts that deserve downvotes is highly encouraged and a very important thing to do. Votes are our primary means for assessing the quality of a post and it is not only your right but your duty to downvote posts that you deem downvotable. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:37
  • Downvoting is not done after a post failed to get improved, it is done in order for a post to get improved. If a post is bad, you don't wait for it for days to not be bad, you downvote it now, so the asker has a motivation to improve it and everyone else knows that the post in that current state is bad. Always remember that downvotes don't have to be permant and can always be removed if the post is improved later. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:39
  • The length of a post is entirely irrelevant to its quality. Even a bad answer can be long or short. This is not about length here, it's about proper explanation, as explained in the other answers. And on meta specifically downvoting is also done to express agreement and disagreement. This has always been the case on each and every SE site, to which this is no different in any way. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:42
  • @NapoleonWilson link? Doesn't seem right but i respect your view. Seems like punishing a child as first response. Why not ask to change? – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:44
  • @NapoleonWilson your last comment seems an answer – nilon May 20 '16 at 14:45
  • I don't have a link right now, that's just how it has always been done everywhere on SE for the 6 years I know it. Downvotes are not to be taken personal, that is something you definitely have to learn. People are not downvoting you, they're downvoting your answer. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:46
  • @nilon Answer to what, this question? It doesn't really seem to adress it that much, and KtuluMike's answer already answers it sufficiently well. – Napoleon Wilson May 20 '16 at 14:47
  • @NapoleonWilson are there good short answers? – nilon May 20 '16 at 20:09
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    @nilon meta.stackexchange.com/a/62137/165776 "Downvotes are important (very important!)" as well as the numerous other posts on downvoting on meta.SE. I've heard a number of people at SE claim that downvotes are often more important than upvotes. – KutuluMike May 21 '16 at 14:44
  • @KutuluMike very at the point. Thanx. But it still states: it's "slightly discouraged". – nilon May 21 '16 at 14:55

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