69

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 ...


28

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 ...


25

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


16

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 ...


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 ...


15

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 ...


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 ...


13

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 ...


12

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.


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

Moderators of Math Overflow are also moderators in chat. That said ... Math Overflow can certainly have an election like any other site, and the same procedure would apply as on any other site. Once a year, we check in with the moderation teams to ask how they're doing and if they feel they need any additional help - and we generally just go with whatever ...


10

There is only one group of users that can see who voted on specific posts and that is SE employees with developer access. Not all SE employees have that kind of access, only those that need it for their work (developers and the community team, mostly). And even then they can't easily see this information on their own posts (though devs could check in the ...


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 ...


8

The post was flagged as 'spam'. I did not think it rose to the level of spam as I understand that word, and so I declined the flag. (If a vendor creates a link to his or her site for a commercial product, particularly one which is irrelevant to MathOverflow, then that I consider to be unequivocally spam, and as such I usually destroy the account that created ...


8

Users cannot see who voted on things. It is physically possible but extraordinarily unlikely that someone is monitoring your vote count and correlating that with her/his score. Moderators can see some voting information, but I don't think it would be proper to spell out the details. You may be seeing correlations for the following reason: When an old ...


7

I would immensely prefer if nothing were removed which is not explicitly problematic.


7

We try to spend enough time on meta to ensure that questions requiring our input get answered properly. Often this requires looking up some statistics from the moderator tools, helping write a Data Explorer or API query, looking at a deleted post, or merely remembering some ancient thread on tea. Sometimes it requires input from the SE folks, which we can ...


7

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-...


7

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 ...


6

The moderators are also responsible for the long term administration of the site. We don't really know what will be required in the future, but below I give some examples of things we've done previously. (I should also note that individual moderators have contributed in all sorts of different ways to each of the points below; some have been handled by a ...


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