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So in a question, I asked recently on the regular sci-fi fantasy stack exchange site Where Did The Myths of Dragons Come From? The answer I wrote was a heavily researched theory I came up with. And the thing is, the question (which I wrote) was asking for theories. And I presented my theory and people downvoted it. No one commented on any problems, and my question and answer were both on-point, and heavily researched. So why the downvotes? I was even told that it looked like I was showing off, which I dont understand because I wasnt.

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    FWIW I will repeat it here, even though someone mentioned already on your question, self answers are encouraged, not discouraged. The whole “it’s annoying” and “showing off” comments of that user are that user’s opinion and not those of SE or the community at large.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 22:59
  • @TheLethalCarrot - I've noted that in a comment to him.
    – Valorum
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:00
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    I’d also like to note that asking for theories would be “Opinion-based” and so close worthy. You can ask where did they come from and try and get a factual answer to it, but requesting speculative answers is the very definition of opinion based and so would be closed. I linked it to you previously as well as someone has on your question but you really should take the tour if you haven’t already.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:01
  • @Valorum aye, that’s what I meant by someone already mentioned it.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:02
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    I think you’re also confusing reasons for downvoting. People downvote questions in general because they don’t think they’re useful or don’t like the question. Downvotes on answers are usually because people don’t think the answer is correct and a comment, even if incredibly blunt, does point to that user thinking your answer is wrong.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:04
  • sure but it was completely based off of evidence I have found. If he had evidence saying otherwise, I would understand someone downvoting it, but no such evidence has been provided
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:51
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    Just a note on your answering style, you hand write the full post with links at the bottom. It would be helpful to include quotes from the links which back up your point and include them at the appropriate sections in case the links go down and so users don’t have to go hunting to find the supporting evidence. Also the onus is generally on the poster to provide compelling evidence not the commenter. Though I agree some better comments would have been helpful to you.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:53
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I'm the one who responded to the OP in the question at hand.

@TheLethalCarrot: I'll just state for the record that, while I personally find self-answering to be an annoying habit, though not showing off, I do understand that it is permissible on SE. I don't think the practice should be encouraged, though. As a rule, I don't answer those questions, and generally just ignore them.

The only reason I stopped by here was because this new user was receiving what I'd consider to be a fairly abusive round of downvoting without any kind of explanation or guidance from either the moderators or community leaders.

This is very disappointing, actually. Even now, as of the time I'm writing this, the question & the answer each have five or more down votes & one up vote each. There are two votes to close. The OP is a new user with less than 100 points. NO ONE has bothered to help him with addressing the issue. And the only response other than mine is a complaint directed at my complaint regarding self answering. Way to drop the ball, guys!

In any event, Firestryke, to answer your question properly and on the record, I think it's just as I addressed in the comments directly to you: the question is off topic in that it has nothing to do with any particular work of science fiction or fantasy. It is actually a perfectly fine question! And, as I suggested to the moderators, would be a good candidate for migration to Mythology & Folklore.

As for why your answer was so heavily downvoted, I'd hazard the guess, though could be wrong, that it was some of the same people slamming you for your question. Bad question = downvote = might as well downvote the OP's answer too! (Though in all honesty, I think your answer needs far more work than your question! Formatting / style edits would help; content edits might help more!)

I know SE cultures vary, but we've had this very discussion, e.g., on Worldbuilding about the ethics of downvoting an answer that's been given to a bad question. Community there is of the opinion that the answer ought to stand on its own merit; thus regardless of how off topic and how excoriated you were for your question, I think your answer should have just been left alone. Reason being: it actually strives to answer the question! (Though in so far as it may not meet that goal, I think a couple of those down votes are understandable.)

One thing you need to understand about Stack Exchange in general is that it is highly compartmentalised. This forum only deals with fantasy & science fiction genre media (novels, stories, comics, movies, radio & television serials, etc.) for example. Even though dragons make their appearances in many fantasy stories, that's not what you're asking about! It's simply because your material is mythologically oriented that it was, rightfully, understood to be off topic. Had you asked this question in the history or literature forums, your question likewise would have been closed for being off topic. This is why I suggested to you that you look into joining the Mythology & Folklore forum! Your answer might be similarly downvoted in that forum, but at least your question would be entirely on topic there.

Also for the record: I did not down vote either the query or the response, choosing in stead to hope that the Mods will migrate it before this turns into too much of a disaster for you; I did not vote to close; I did petition the Mods to migrate the question to the forum where it would actually be on topic.

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  • I’ve not got time to read this all yet but on a quick note on the top few points. Various users, myself included, had already given a lot of tailored and general advice to this user on their other posts all tonight in the past few hours. And of course moderators may not even be on never mind seen the post.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:47
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    @TheLethalCarrot -- That's why I flagged the question. To make sure the Mods become aware.
    – elemtilas
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:48
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    Finally someone not slamming me
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:48
  • And Im not upset about flagging, I flagged it myself
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:48
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    @Firestryke I’ve tried to give you helpful advice on various posts of yours and on meta here. I’ve certainly not been “slamming you” myself. If you feel I have anywhere point me to it and I’ll try and explain what I meant better.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:49
  • @elemtilas well the mods don’t need to see it, if by mods you mean the elected mods. The community can handle this perfectly fine.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:50
  • @TheLethalCarrot -- I took a look at the advice on the OP's other answers. That's fine, though is not germane to what occurred in the question at hand. I appreciate that you (specifically) and the others generally helped with formatting and linking issues, but that doesn't take away from the fact you all dropped the ball here.
    – elemtilas
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:54
  • @TheLethalCarrot Im not upset at you but I have been getting slammed by several others
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:55
  • @TheLethalCarrot -- Um, no, the community can't "handle" this perfectly fine. Migrating a query is something that only mods can do, as I understand the process. If by "handle this perfectly fine" you actually mean "we're just going to throw this person under the metaphorical bus", then fair enough! Point well made.
    – elemtilas
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:56
  • I in fact flagged requesting deletion just because of all the flak I've been getting (not including rep, I understand that I can eventually recover from that)
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:56
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    @Firestryke I think people have been a bit blunt and I agree some comments aren’t great. However, honestly I think most of the comments to you have actually been more constructive and helpful than anything else. That’s of course my opinion though.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:57
  • Still my heavily researched theories are getting slammed
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:58
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    @Firestryke FWIW your answers seem to be generally well received. I think you just need to learn a little more for what sorts of questions are a good fit. You might also want to note that quality is preferred over quantity here. So don’t just try and create a lot of content but rather try’s me create a lot of good, evidenced content and you’ll do well! :)
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 25 '20 at 0:15
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    @Firestryke -- Now, don't get your knickers in a twist! Apart from this one messed up query, you're actually doing quite well. You've been most active here in SF&F where ALL of your negative votes can be pinned to that one question. Myeh. You'll get over that. Otherwise, you've gotten a number of bronze badges and all your other answers have all positive vote counts. The other forum you're active in is Arqade, where one of your queries has gotten a gold badge and you've got a positive vote balance as well. Don't cry sour grapes just because you got slammed for this one faux pas.
    – elemtilas
    Nov 25 '20 at 0:19
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    Regarding your third-to-last paragraph: scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12232/…
    – Alex
    Nov 25 '20 at 1:35
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The question.

I downvoted this for a variety of reasons; That it's about mythology rather than science fiction or fantasy, that it's not in the least bit clear that all of the myths about dragons (English, French, Chinese) come from the same derivation and basically that you're fishing for theories without offering a question that can be definitively answered.

Note that I also voted to close as off-topic for much the same reasons. I could just as easily voted as 'VTC - Lacking focus' and 'VTC - Opinion-based' but I thought it more appropriate to vote as off-topic because it's not a good fit for the site.

The answer.

I downvoted this for the simple reason that it seems to be a collection of half-baked theories and nonsense about dinosaurs surviving in the modern age.

In conclusion.

While self-answered question are generally to be encouraged, when you're self-answering a question that's firmly off-topic (in a variety of ways), you're almost certainly going to see a range of downvotes for a range of reasons.

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  • The answer was NOT half-baked in any way, shape, or form. We are talking about years of research here. And I even cited as many sources as I could.
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:11
  • And there is tons of evidence that dinos are still alive. Legends are based on truth. People have found forests of trees that were thought to be extinct. And I never said modern age, I said medieval times.
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:12
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    Which brings me neatly to point 4, that you seem to be using the site as your personal soap-box to promulgate this theory.
    – Valorum
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:13
  • woah woah that is a false accusation
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:15
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    I was sharing the info I have found. All of this is based off of hard facts, NOT my "personal soap-box"
    – Firestryke
    Nov 24 '20 at 23:16

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