So I have posted a question on MO. It may not be the greatest question in the world, but for some reason it is attracting the attention of some crank user repeatedly signing up as a new (different) user & posting the [same answer] (https://mathoverflow.net/a/185444/45057). Slightly more annoyingly, its appearances seem to tie in with downvotes. I am not sure it is the user in question (or even whether a new user can downvote?), but it seems likely. Does this happen a lot on MO? I have flagged the post on 3 separate occasions. Do I keep doing this ad nauseum?


Since link has died, at Incnis Mrsi's request, have copied text from first annoying post here:

You plotted nothing and it's clear that your intersections are not on the critical line since they describe a sinusoidal sequence. Sorry to be tough.

Someone has posted a question with 2 interesting links of the visualization of the Riemann Zeta Function I don't know why his question was on hold but that is what the critical line would looks like. See here and here for the 3D plot


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    $\begingroup$ Presumably the same person has posted also a lot of other junk, so it doesn't seem this is targeted at you. I think this would be a case for blocking the offender's IP number(s). By the way, downvoting requires 125 points -- see mathoverflow.net/help/privileges. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Mod Oct 26 '14 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl OK thanks - I wondered if something could be done on the IP front. What would you say is best to do in the meantime - just leave it if (when!) it happens again? $\endgroup$ – martin Oct 26 '14 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ I think this would be something to decide for the moderators or the SE staff. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Mod Oct 26 '14 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl OK thanks. $\endgroup$ – martin Oct 26 '14 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ If a crank wants to continue "contributing" to MO, they will probably find their way back. And if they don't, a colleague will. Although there will be a more or less constant flux of cranks, there is a good chance that they will no longer find your question when it gets old enough. If they don't, the question can be protected. I strongly believe that the junk is not targeted at you but at questions related to a famous open problem. $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Oct 26 '14 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ @JoonasIlmavirta Yes, I will certainly think twice about tagging a question "Riemann Zeta Function" in future! $\endgroup$ – martin Oct 26 '14 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ On your side question: new users cannot vote at all (needs 15 points), and for downvoting one need 125 points even see mathoverflow.net/help/privileges Furthermore, unregistered users cannot vote either (not sure they were unregistered but it is not rarely the case for such type of users). $\endgroup$ – user9072 Oct 26 '14 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ @quid ok - at least that gives a little peace of mind then! $\endgroup$ – martin Oct 26 '14 at 22:30
  • $\begingroup$ The link under “same answer” rotted. Explicate the problem, please. $\endgroup$ – Incnis Mrsi Nov 7 '14 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ @IncnisMrsi please see update $\endgroup$ – martin Nov 7 '14 at 11:39

Rest assured that the moderators are well aware of this user and his sockpuppets.

I have now placed this question under protection so that these entities cannot post further nonsense. The usual basins of attraction for this particular user involve RH, the Goldbach conjecture, the abc conjecture, and sometimes primality testing, and I have occasionally placed other questions which have these terms under protection as well.

Added 12/22/14: May I please request that all discussion with this user (in comments below his nonsense posts) cease altogether? I cannot help but think that such comments only encourage him to post further. The most recent instance is someone who is gently pointing out the problems in his post in mathematical terms, but I am certain this will only reinforce a belief in him that it is worth his while to persist, since there are apparently some out there willing to engage with him seriously, despite the persecution visited on him by the evil mods.

Please, just flag for deletion. Not only are the mods tracking these posts, some of the SE Community Managers are too, and spending quite some effort doing this and trying various things. This is a quite unusually determined individual. I think it would help us if no one engaged with him at all, ever.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the action you took! As I said to JoonasI lmavirta above, I will certainly think twice about tagging a question "Riemann Zeta Function" in future! $\endgroup$ – martin Oct 26 '14 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ @martin You shouldn't have to worry about using the venerable name Riemann, which should be open to all responsible users. Please feel free to flag to place a question under protection if you find you accidentally attracted the attention of a spammer. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Mod Oct 26 '14 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ OK thanks for your help - will do. $\endgroup$ – martin Oct 26 '14 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ Since the moderators are already closely watching this user, I wonder if flagging his posts on sight is actually useful, or if I’m just adding to your workload? $\endgroup$ – Emil Jeřábek Oct 27 '14 at 12:33
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    $\begingroup$ @EmilJeřábek No, you are absolutely not adding to the workload; all such flags are very useful to us. The vast majority of flags I process are deemed 'helpful'. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Mod Oct 27 '14 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Todd, you may want o contact SE, they might be able to blacklist the user. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Nov 15 '14 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh They all know all about him, and they have their methods. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Mod Nov 15 '14 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble, if you want no one to even comment at his posts, you should make this announcement more visible at meta. A new post with a title about such a request might work better than this one, and it would be easy to bump it to remind people when the user returns. $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Dec 22 '14 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @JoonasIlmavirta Thanks; I've already been considering doing that. $\endgroup$ – Todd Trimble Mod Dec 22 '14 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ "RH, the Goldbach conjecture, the abc conjecture, and sometimes primality testing"-What about reversible and quantum computing? $\endgroup$ – Joseph Van Name Apr 8 '19 at 11:42

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