A little while ago someone asked (now deleted, but link still here: https://mathoverflow.net/questions/314572/advice-on-how-i-can-i-publish-my-solution-of-the-riemann-hypothesis?noredirect=1#comment784775_314572), somewhat pretentiously, how they can publish their proof of a 'famous conjecture in analytic number theory'. It is later revealed that the 'famous conjecture' in question is actually RH, and soon after they posted the full 'solution' in the question component. It was downvoted hard, but before I saw the end of it it was deleted.

Just a few days later, this question popped up: https://mathoverflow.net/questions/314776/on-some-expression-in-bui-et-als-paper-and-the-riemann-hypothesis

It is extremely likely that both the asker of the question and the user 'YNWA' are the same person, and both are the same person as the original poster of the deleted question. Their posts are virtually identical, and the accepted 'answer' is almost verbatim the 'proof' in the deleted question.

Thus, it seems to me that this is all a somewhat elaborate ruse on the part of the user to get their 'proof' accepted by the mathematical community.

I don't think this kind of behaviour belongs on MO; it attracts the wrong kind of crowd here. I would be very much incensed if people constantly post dubious, two-page 'proofs' of famous conjectures here and ask for approval from professional mathematicians who frequent here.

Is there any official stance on such phenomena, and if there is a policy in place, whether effective enforcement methods are put into place?

Edit: the title refers to a triple of questions, and the third one is this (also deleted): https://mathoverflow.net/questions/314792/an-integral-involving-log-zetas

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    $\begingroup$ Do you think that downvoting, closing, deleting and flagging are not sufficient to avoid such posts cluttering the site? $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl the question mathoverflow.net/questions/314776/… is still there, and has 7 upvotes. Typically such a question would be considered in good standing, so I am not sure what we're doing currently is enough $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know how it comes that such question has 7 upvotes. -- Possibly there is some sock puppetry going on there. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ The question is no longer there. $\endgroup$
    – LSpice
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ There was also some sockpuppetry related to recent RH-crankery - not sure if this is the same user... (don't have the relevant deleted questions bookmarked on this computer, can look when I get home) $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ Hmm, it might be the same person (under different user identities), since the author of the questions Stanley is referring to has a profile linked to this other MO account mathoverflow.net/users/123416/user123416 and a physics.SE account responsible for this question physics.stackexchange.com/questions/424247/… on the DeBruijn-Newman constant which has the same level of misunderstanding as the deleted "DBN constant" questions on MO... $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ It seems that in your first link you link to a comment rather than using link to the question. I am not sure whether it is intentional (whether this comment has particular significance) or whether it happened by mistake. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ Also I will add that if your post is mainly about this particular situation, the tag (specific-question) might be suitable. (See the tag-info for more details.) However, from the wording of the post it seems that links to the three questions serve merely as an example and you want to discuss this issue in general, not only this particular instance. (In which case, this tag is not needed.) $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 9:26
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl I'm pretty sure I've seen that question in the HNQ, that could also explain the upvotes (especially since the association bonus is enough to upvote but not to downvote). $\endgroup$
    – Arnaud D.
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 10:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't have a rigorous proof but I believe it is impossible in principle to machine-, rule- or otherwise automatically/formally recognize and block such cases. On the other hand I believe the community deals with them quite efficiently, with minimal intervention from the moderating team. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 6:12
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    $\begingroup$ What abou this question? Is it related? mathoverflow.net/questions/315019/… $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ @AndrásBátkai Looks like it, and once again we have a new user accout to deal with. Note that this new user mentions the paper of Bui et al which is also referred to in one the questions Stanley noticed: mathoverflow.net/posts/314776 $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 18:52
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    $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi That link gets a 404 - is it a typo, or did it get super-deleted? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 21:59
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    $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi: And what about this answer? mathoverflow.net/q/315923 $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ @AndrásBátkai Yes, seems to be the same person $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 23:56


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