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As many of you have noticed, there's a lot of new users asking basic mathematics questions. This is not the only site in the network with this kind of problem; on Meta Stack Exchange we get all kinds of random questions and dubbed those users 'lost souls'. A while ago I wrote a userscript to make moderating those questions easier; depending on your privileges and the current state of the question, it will leave a comment, vote/flag to close the question, downvote it and eventually even (vote to) delete it.

I've been using it for a few months now here as well; you might have seen the comment generated by it:

Hi [username], welcome to MathOverflow! This site is for mathematicians to ask each other questions about their research. Please have a look at Mathematics to ask general mathematics questions. Check How to ask a good question to make sure your post is in good shape. Your question is definitely off-topic and better deleted here.

(Now that I think of it, it only works if you opt-in for viewing users' reputation - I might adapt the script so that it works without, if there's a demand for that.)

This question is posted partially because I'm looking for ideas about improving this comment; the other part (I hope that is allowed on this Meta) is encouraging you to try it out - especially if you're active in the review queues, it will save you many mouse clicks and keyboard strokes in the future. If you're not familiar with userscripts, here is some more information about them, including an installation guide. FWIW, that tag has a lot of other interesting scripts.

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    $\begingroup$ Some suggestions can be found here: Comment template for questions more appropriate for MSE. However, I do not see there a template which I would consider an improvement of your wording. $\endgroup$ May 18 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ BTW I was considering the tags (user-scripts) and (comments) for this question. $\endgroup$ May 18 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ Why does it only work if you opt-in for viewing users' reputation? Surely a question is blatantly off-topic because of its content, even if asked by a high-reputation user. $\endgroup$
    – LSpice
    May 18 at 21:46
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    $\begingroup$ @LSpice true; the link to activate the script is only shown when the user meets certain conditions. This is mainly to avoid accidents (though there is a confirmation popup as well), and on Meta.SE I've used it hundreds of times already and only last week I noticed a 'lost soul' which the script didn't detect as such. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    May 19 at 6:32
  • $\begingroup$ I’ve seen those comments, but the first sentence is too friendly and too false for my taste, since the following sentences are not welcoming the poster here. $\endgroup$
    – Matt F.
    May 19 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ Compare: “Hi, welcome to the club! This site is for people cooler and with a different orientation than you. Please have a look at this other club which has a more general clientele. Check their guidelines for attire to make sure you are in good shape when you go. Your clothes are definitely not good enough here and better suited for hanging out at home.” $\endgroup$
    – Matt F.
    May 19 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ @MattF. fair enough, thanks for the feedback. Any tips to make the next sentences more welcoming? $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    May 19 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel, my preferred edit would replace the whole phrase “welcome to MathOverflow!” with a simple period. I don’t see how or why to welcome a poster with an inappropriate question and no history of activity on the site. $\endgroup$
    – Matt F.
    May 19 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ @MattF. right. I guess we (the Meta.SE regulars) appreciated that part because a while ago we were told we need to be more welcoming and I recall some iterations for the comment regarding that during the inception of the script. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    May 19 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ Some possible comments were discussed here - although that post seems to be specifically about homework: How to make welcoming comments on "homework-like" posts that will be closed? $\endgroup$ May 27 at 5:21

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I think ---though I have no data on this --- that posters who ask questions like this are extremely unlikely to do the work of rewriting those questions in a form that would be acceptable either here or at math.stackexchange. Moreover, I doubt very much that the pointer to the "How to Ask" page is going to change that.

Therefore I expect that of those users who follow your advice to visit math.stackexchange and then end up posting there, the great majority will post something that needs to be closed and deleted. For the sake of the users and moderators over there, I'd prefer to omit that advice.

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    $\begingroup$ The link to Mathematics is also in the standard close reason MathOverflow is for mathematicians to ask each other questions about their research. See Math.StackExchange to ask general questions in mathematics., that was my main motivation to include it too. They'll see that link sooner or later, and I thought it better to give them some guidance. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    May 19 at 6:27
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    $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel: Yes, I'd very much like to see that standard close reason eliminated also, or at least used only sparingly for well-posed questions that actually would be appropriate at MSE. $\endgroup$ May 19 at 10:22
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    $\begingroup$ This reminds me a bit of the previous discussion here: Homework and migrating to math.se. Of course, if there are some suggestions how the custom close reasons should be changed, one of the moderators recently asked for input from the MO users here: Revamping the closure reasons in 2022. $\endgroup$ May 19 at 10:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Glorfindel that close reason is not to be used for the kind of questions we are talking about. I personally consider using it only if I'm confident that the question would fit math.SE if posted verbatim. $\endgroup$ May 22 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ @DenisNardin Of course, the other close reason ("This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics within the scope defined in the help center.") might lead the user to Mathematics - but in that case, they have to do a few more clicks and the link is much less prominent. (At the same time, if the user is willing to read help center here at MO, they are more likely to do the same on Mathematics.) $\endgroup$ May 23 at 10:04

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