I put up a question earlier today regarding water fluoridation and government motivation behind why it was done, and received heavy backlash for it.

My question was within the guidelines of the site, and I would like some insight into how this is justified considering no reasons were given.

I understand that certain people will have an aversion to a question based on a dislike of the subject matter, but that does not make the question invalid nor is it acceptable to open a question to criticism based on that matter.

I have also had requests to close the question, though I cannot read what for.

1 Answer 1


One thing I noticed about your question is that it straight up tell us what the purpose of fluoridation is(dental benefits), and then goes on to ask what the real motivation behind it is.

The problem with that is that even if there is some hidden motivation behind it, then we, by definition, don't have sufficient proof of the motivation, and therefore would be unable to come up with an authoritative answer.

Politics.SE has a custom close-reason for this purpose:

Questions asking for the internal motivations of people, how specific individuals would behave in hypothetical situations or predictions for future events are off-topic, because answers would be based on speculation and their correctness could not be verified with sources available to the public.

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    I think I should have worded my title differently. I know what the purpose of water fluoridation is, I was interested in why it was in the governments interest considering they do not benefit.
    – Charlie
    Aug 13, 2017 at 22:45
  • @Charlie - Was your question aiming for something like, "Why does the government want to support dental health?" Aug 14, 2017 at 16:55
  • @indigochild exactly
    – Charlie
    Aug 14, 2017 at 19:34
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    @Charlie I think the "they don't benefit" part is very much depending on your view of government. If you think that actions which are to government's benefit are those actions which solidify the power of government, then it doesn't make sense. If you believe the government (or at least parts of it) are trying to help the people, it does. That underlying implication may also attract downvotes. The fact that fluoridation is a common conspiracy theory probably doesn't help, even though your question isn't from that angle. Aug 14, 2017 at 23:19
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    @ChrisHayes Hits the problem on the head. Particularly in a case where conspiracy theories are dominant, if you want to make a completely different point you can't be the least bit subtle about it and you should also be very explicit about the assumptions you are making as the premise of your question which may not be widely shared.
    – ohwilleke Mod
    Aug 17, 2017 at 5:42

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