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68

There are two important reasons to allow anonymous users. There are countries/regions where western education, or women's education in particular is a dangerous issue. There are many more that monitor and censor their citizens' activity online. There are families that may be opposed to their children doing math. If you believe that MO has an educational ...


46

Vote up this answer if you think the instrument of moving a comment thread to chat should be used along the lines of Todd Trimble's comment -- i.e. only if a discussion in comments goes off-topic or becomes contentious. (Vote down if you don't think so, and leave alone if you don't care.)


32

This is an answer as a private member of MO, without my moderator hat on. I'll admit I've never understood the argument that there could be something wrong with linking; the internet is a big scary place, we're (mostly) adults, and you can make a link to something for many reasons, only some of which indicate endorsement. That said, lawyers will try all ...


32

I support Darij completely. I'll even go a bit further and say that any thread that stood open since 2009 until 2019 without any complaints or controversies is good enough to stand forever and I'd rather risk offending a few good people than letting the "social justice warriors" control the discussions in any way beyond politely voicing their suggestions now ...


24

Adding to EJI's arguments in favor of anonymity (please upvote their post if you agree with my arguments): [EDIT: These arguments are in favor of allowing anonymity by default; as far as I understand, this is what the OP invited us to reconsider. I do agree with banning anonymity for particular users that have a history of misconduct.] Some people work ...


24

Tom: after checking tools available to moderators, I see no evidence of systematic downvoting from any particular user. So at the moment I don't see evidence of downvoting that looks 'vindictive'. I realize that unexplained downvotes are an annoyance, and particularly if several happen during a short time frame they might look suspicious, but the system is ...


24

The OCILLA (part of DMCA) already specifies a process (notice and takedown) that takes care of these issues. This process also removes from us the burden of determining whether a particular link is infringing or not: this is now the responsibility of whoever prepares the notice. So MO should continue to process DMCA notices (which it already does), and no ...


21

The main things that are quite irritating now and can easily drive people away (IMHO) is the not always applicable assumption that everything is either a research level question or not, a very questionable assumption that the guys who vote to close always know the difference themselves, and a completely wrong assumption that if something is commonplace/...


20

My apologies for being slow to respond, but I felt there should also be a response from the moderators here. MO is covered by Stack Exchange's Conduct Policy (https://meta.stackexchange.com/conduct) and has no other separate conduct policy. This policy specifically bans harassment, and empowers moderators to impose penalties, up to banning users, in ...


18

You wrote when I ask a question on MathOverflow, or any StackExchange Site, and I either upvote or downvote an answer written by a high-reputation user ... I very frequently get a corresponding upvote or downvote on my question shortly thereafter. It's not clear from that phrasing whether the answer you upvoted is to the question on which you receive the ...


18

There's no clear-cut controversy here: five users closed this as not suitable for this site, then the OP asked to have it deleted, and this was done via two votes (Stefan Kohl being the second). The only debate might be whether it should have been closed, and we have a Reopen thread for that. I don't have a dog in that race. There wasn't much (any?) math ...


15

In the Internet world (and also in the real world) non native English speakers have huge disadvantage. Gaining some attention to one's MO questions and answers due to the need to edit them more is a little compensation.


15

I'd hoped other people would opine before me, but just to get the ball rolling... Partly I think it has to do with mathematical culture generally: mathematicians are exceedingly fortunate to have a criterion of certainty that allows us in most cases to come to agreement quickly. I'd think that the situation might be quite different in other sciences, or in ...


15

Let me chain together some weak syllogisms. MO is such a success because it has many excellent mathematicians reading it. They read it, because the ratio of interesting mathematics to uninteresting is high. For a great many of them, non-research level questions count as uninteresting.* I think at this point the existence of MSE, and the strong impetus to ...


14

I don't think MO should change any policies just because we're part of a network now. Yes, we are going to get a handful of edits, flags, and otherwise suggestions from SE users which have little to no clue about MO and its community, but that shouldn't really bother anyone. MO worked out just fine, and even better than fine, and it should keep up its ...


14

As a longtime Wikipedia contributor who has been around a lot of truly crazy edit wars, my advice is: never revert more than once even if the other person's edit is terrible. Instead leave a comment explaining your objection, and flag the post or open a discussion on meta. There is an official 3-revert limit on Wikipedia but in practice it's preferable to ...


14

The obvious answer: Questions and answers containing harassment can get downvoted. Posts with sufficiently many downvotes can be deleted. Questions, answers and comments containing harassment can be flagged as "rude or abusive" or for moderator attention. Then moderators can delete them. Moderators can suspend repeated offenders.


13

I think whether or which changes should be made to the anonymity policy of MO depends crucially on the nature of the recent "attacks" on MO, and without more information on them being disclosed, a sensible discussion of the issue is hardly possible. That said, on the one hand I think that EJI has raised good arguments in favor of allowing anonymous ...


12

At least from the user side, there is a procedure that hasn't been listed yet: following the link to https://mathoverflow.net/contact and contacting support with "I want to report a Code of Conduct violation". This is, as far as I can tell, the procedure most clearly dedicated to preventing harassment. I don't know how these "contacts" ...


11

Here are some comments on your suggestions and the topic in general: Professional mathematical interest in a question or an answer might well be a good necessary condition for MO but it will not make a good sufficient condition. If the unprofessional content can be cleaned away easily, the posts can and should be edited. If it cannot, then deletion is a ...


10

I am not familiar with software management of MO, so I do not know whether the following suggestion is applicable or no?But I guess that it is easy to be applied. Suggestion 1: Consideration of two types of edit bottons: minor and major. For minor edit, the edited post would not appear at the first page.(front page) This enable the asker to revise his/...


10

Overall, MO is doing well as a research level site and community and has become a very good research tool bringing together junior and senior mathematicians in different places of the world and different areas. The coverage in terms of areas of mathematics has improved substantially especially as very good mathematician from new areas entered the scene. (It ...


10

I would like to answer on the closing policy, which in my opinion is a crucial point. I truly feel we are too permissive to allow MO to truly fulfill what I believe is its main goal: have a place where as many mathematicians as possible are available to answer research-level question, more or less in the same way we are available to answer our lab neighbors ...


9

Sometimes we have to write to some one who is misusing the site in some way, either with good intentions (e.g. over-eager editing of old posts), through ignorance (particularly new users), or simply because they are misbehaving. Very often there's first a discussion on the moderator mailing list. Sometimes we also suspend a user, and we have some (semi-...


9

Dealing with flags for moderator attention is the main day-to-day obligation. Currently (October 2013) we do pretty well at this, averaging under 3 hours to process a flag. For various reasons, there are actually more flags for moderator attention now than there was before the transition to 2.0. The software provides nice tools for going through flags, and ...


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