I asked What metric to imperial conversions should I know for traveling to the US? on Travel Stack Exchange.

But I'm not really going on holiday. Was it okay to ask this, considering I'm making up some of the facts?

This applies to all the sites - can I make up facts like this?

  • 10
    You can always state that it's a hypothetical, if it's really bothering you. Then again, it's worth taking a moment to consider if anyone cares whether it's a hypothetical statement or an actual statement (in some context's it'll matter, and in some it won't).
    – Servy
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 17:48
  • 1
    To be perfectly blunt, this almost feels like this is a "hey look and upvote my question on another site" question. Yes, that one is a good question, but this one is not. This is zero indication on the other site that suggests people have a problem with your post Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 23:51
  • @psubsee2003 I wanted to know for future reference. Another question (separate site, now deleted) didn't have such a good response.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 14:36
  • I lied in this question (webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/93970) My site wasn't penalized by Google for cloaking. I was just curious to know WHAT IF?
    – clickbait
    Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 18:16

3 Answers 3


Think of it in terms of value:

  • Is it likely that someone will travel to the US and need to know this?

The answer is yes, therefore it is a useful question. Same goes for any question that may be relevant to the target audience (on whatever Stack Exchange site it is)

If your question is only applicable to your made-up scenario and will never benefit anyone then I'd argue it isn't worth posting


Asking a question to get a useful answer for others is allowed, and even encouraged, on SE sites. You can even offer your own answer before posting the question, if you feel the question is common enough, and the answer important enough to be included on the SE.

I would not encourage you to lie about your qualifications - if you're asking this question hypothetically, you should say so specifically in the question, and provide a realistic scenario where one might actually need the answer you're trying to find.

Additionally, if you do opt to provide an answer, keep in mind that all the rules about basing answers on actual knowledge and experience still apply.

For your specific case, your actual question is a good one, so I would take care not to edit out the details of the question if you choose to alter it to be more 'honest'.

You could (and should) also ask on the Travel.SE Meta - they may have different rules regarding qualifications for questions that general SE sites don't.

Personally, your question looks useful and has resulted in an informative answer, so I don't see any huge problem with it as-is, but in the future, you don't need to be afraid of asking questions you either already know the answer to, or simply want to ask to add to a site's wealth of knowledge.


Don't lie. Just as a general rule, you should avoid lying on the internet.

There are scenarios where adding information like "traveling to US" or "writing a book" or "going to a restaurant" could be useful text to have in the body of the question. Remember that the point of the question is to help future people find the information they need.

In most cases, you can add that information in a statement like "When traveling..." or "When writing..." In your case, you're using the lying bit of information to focus the question. That could easily be accomplished using something like "Especially units related to purchasing food to cook."

There's no reason to say things that aren't true, so don't do it. There are potential conversations

"Dad I'm so excited we are going to Disney!"

which can easily be avoided.

  • 4
    I'm 16 have no kids and can't drive :P But fair point. I shall have to bear that in mind.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 20:11

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