I'm asking if question 455497 could be undeleted. It was about multiplicative persistence. Even if the question itself was not that well-prepared, it was a valid question about research (at some level anyway -- if you are willing to entertain the notion that recreational mathematics can count as research -- which may be debatable).

Down the drain with the question went my answer, where I offered advice to the OP about what to do in such situations. Now this is of course only my humble opinion, but I thought that advice was not worthless to other readers either. Apparently a moderator had another opinion.

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    $\begingroup$ Deletion-by-moderator has the nasty property that it can only be undone by a moderator – the software prevents other users from voting to undelete. In my opinion, the question of "multiplicative persistence" is a question of math research and as such a suitable topic for MO. But OP of 455497 is almost certainly mistaken in the claim made in that question. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2023 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Gerry, I agree that the OP probably is mistaken about what they found. That was in fact the point of my answer. To summarize: (1) A researcher thinks they may have found something previously unknown. Asks if it would indeed be new, and needs advice on what to do next. (2) That would certainly not be the first researcher in such a situation, and yes they need advice. (3) I take the OP's concern seriously. i mention why the particular claim is probably false, and explain how to proceed. IMHO the advice may be useful both the OP and to others in similar situations. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2023 at 3:48
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    $\begingroup$ (4) The community can then express its opinion on the the merits of the question and the answer. IIRC the question got something like -4 votes and closure, and the answer got +8 votes. To my understanding, this would be the ordinary thing to do with a question that is on-topic but not that good. (5) However, this question-answer pair was so extraordinarily bad that an extraordinary moderator action was needed. Voting and closure are not enough: the question and the answer have to be deleted out of sight of everybody. They are that bad. // Now this last part I do not fully understand. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2023 at 3:57
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    $\begingroup$ To me, the question seemed a clear case for deletion (it is a question concerning decimal digits of a number which hardly relates to any interesting number theory, and it got downvoted and closed by the community). Since people other than the OP themselve disagree with this judgement, I undeleted the question again to leave the decision on whether or not to delete it to the community. -- Apologies for the inconveniences! $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Sep 30, 2023 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you. For what it's worth, MathWorld: Multiplicative Persistence cites, among others, M. Gardner, R. Guy, N. Sloane and P. Erdős having been interested in the topic. Now I fully understand that some mathematicians may not personally share that interest. But I am astonished if lack of personal interest is a sound basis for moderator action. -- All the more because moderator deletion is such a heavy gun as Gerry mentions: it practically overrides the community mechanisms for judging interest or lack thereof. $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2023 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ The question didn’t last a day. We could’ve waited at least 2 days to give OP a chance to reveal their result if they were so inclined. Although I suppose if they have a real result it would eventually become public. Realistically of course they have made a mistake $\endgroup$ Oct 7, 2023 at 4:55


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