I wrote this question, Can a signed downloaded file be securely verified if you only control the private key and the download/verification algorithm?

Which boils down to "I am planning to have this setup, is it secure?"

And about an hour later, I realized I had made a mistake in my reasoning. The setup as described was not secure, it was easily breakable. So I wrote an answer on my own question. https://security.stackexchange.com/a/85988

And now I'm getting downvoted and comments on how my answer doesn't answer the question. ... What the... ? How does the answer "It is easily breakable via method X" not answer the question "Is this setup secure"?

Maybe I'm wrong to answer my own question like this and I should update my question with my idea instead. Except that invalidates an existing other answer. Also, it's basically moving the goalposts by going "come and help me fix my system."

The other action I can see is just deleting the question. I already have my answer, thank you, so the question is no longer needed. That's... not what StackExchange was made for. It's a Q&A meant to become a reference guide. "I have my answer, so lets remove the question" doesn't match very well with "let's make a reference guide".

So what would you have me do?

I don't have the expertise to enhance my answer further.

I'm apparently in the wrong by answering my own question.

I don't see how editing my question would improve the situation.

I don't think that deleting my question is the correct course of action.

Also, canned snark like "This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post." does not help when you're both answer author and question author - what, you want me to ask myself?

I say my answer is okay.

2 Answers 2


I think your answer post is valid. I'm guessing that some of the canned comments on 'requesting clarification' is down to the limited options.

Sure, I can imagine a few minor edits that could make it clearer, but I think it is OK.

  • Thanks for making my answer clearer - I guess the "I made a mistake" made my answer look a lot more like it didn't answer the question?
    – Pimgd
    Apr 14, 2015 at 22:30
  • 2
    Yes. That was all I changed. I think it helps.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Apr 14, 2015 at 22:39

"you can’t please all of the people all of the time” -Lydgate

Some answers just attract criticism. This is not a response to the quality of your question, or answer, or criticism thereof: just a reminder that some issues promise only diminishing returns. Learn what you can from asking and answering and move on.

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