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While I certainly think that the OP of the question Non trivial zeros of Riemann zeta function definitely abuses MO in a couple of ways, still I believe it is a good example for the question in the title.

There is one question here on meta addressing this, Dealing with possible incorrectness, and the accepted answer (by a moderator) suggests to edit into the answer your opinion and provide a separate answer. Happily, the OP was unable to edit the answer, but was able to post two separate answers (under different usernames) trying, more or less, to disavow that answer. These answers have been both deleted by a(nother) moderator.

There is certain inconsistency here, I believe. Thinking hard, I do not know what would be correct actions in this situation. What do you think?

What puzzles me most is that the counteranswer might be found incorrect by somebody else who might indicate this in a separate answer. Then in turn the OP (or again somebody else) might find this separate answer incorrect and post still another answer explaining this, etc. etc., which would ultimately add to MO a piece of garbage.

PS Most probably there are some additional appropriate tags that I cannot discover. Please add them if you know some.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes -- in theory, one can imagine very complicated situations. -- However, what is relevant in practice is which situations one encounters in practice. Can you perhaps link to some more examples? $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Jun 22 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl No, I can't. I think I encountered a couple of others but I don't know how to search them. Still, I believe there must be a rule about such situations written somewhere. $\endgroup$ – მამუკა ჯიბლაძე Jun 22 at 15:59
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    $\begingroup$ I'd say -- just act according to common sense. Situations may differ, and one cannot make a fixed rule for every conceivable case. If similar situations happen to occur repeatedly, it may be the right time to think about a rule for those cases. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Kohl Jun 22 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ Luckily honest mathematical disagreements are almost always resolved by back-and-forth discussion. Thus we should only see repeated "error-finding" if someone is behaving unreasonably, in which case moderator intervention may be necessary (as often happens when someone is behaving unreasonably, regardless of the exact rules of the site). $\endgroup$ – Will Sawin Jun 28 at 22:13
  • $\begingroup$ @WillSawin I believe there are three (maybe more) different issues involved here: abuse of the site, abuse of mathematical reasoning, and abuse of social/personal interactions. While there are more or less reliable means to detect the first two, one has to be much more careful with the third because some users might have poor manners and/or have psychological problems but be perfectly honest and mathematically sound. Whereas "unreasonable behavior" as such, I think, sounds too general to be commonly agreed upon in practice. $\endgroup$ – მამუკა ჯიბლაძე Jun 29 at 5:05
  • $\begingroup$ @მამუკაჯიბლაძე It's true that poor manners can be a problem but if the participants are also mathematically sound, it shouldn't lead to cascading answers pointing out mistakes in other answers. In any case the moderators have powers to deal with this, such as editing answers and comments to make the same point but be more polite. $\endgroup$ – Will Sawin Jun 29 at 17:28

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