There have been a couple of questions here on meta asking about changing questions to fit existing answers. However, this presupposes the existence of a question for which there exists a question/answer mismatch.

I am wondering if it is ever okay to go somewhat beyond this and contrive a question to which a known answer will be given.

For example, I was recently helping someone and although I could unit test my small piece, I could not end-to-end test the solution because I was missing some of their precursor code. They then offered to provide it. It occurred to me that since that bit of information is useful to me, and is useful to them, and seems a priori to possibly be useful to others, then as an answer to an implied question in the comment thread, namely "how to transform a square-pixel image into a hex-pixel image?", that such a question might deserve to be asked. Presumably, the other user in the comment thread would then provide an essentially ready-made answer to that question.

So, how does the meta community feel about this type of behavior? Are there any psychological pitfalls I might fall into by practicing this sort of thing? Are there any sociological pitfalls that might emerge by encouraging this sort of thing?


1 Answer 1


It's not that different from a self-answer, which is explicitly encouraged. I'd recommend writing a (small) paragraph about the background of the Q&A, so that people aren't wondering where the instant spot-on answer came from (such things sometimes indicate voting fraud). Of course, both the question and the answer will be held to the same standards as other posts (in terms of usefulness, clarity, etc.)

  • Ah! "If you have a question that you already know the answer to, and you would like to document that knowledge in public so that others (including yourself) can find it later, it's perfectly okay to ask and answer your own question on a Stack Exchange site." --your link. This language in particular seems to answer the above question.
    – Him
    Mar 13, 2019 at 13:54

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