This recent question has gotten a surprising response. As it turns out, it is a cross-post from this question on Math.SE. There are currently two answers, one by Adhvaitha and one by Tito Piezas III.

When I first stumbled upon this question, I was surprised to see that the answer by Adhvaitha was accepted even though it has no mathematical content, while Tito's answer seems much more serious and extensive. However, as the comment chain below Tito's answer shows, his answer is a literal copy of his own earlier answer on the Math.SE version of the question. This led to the above-mentioned chain of commands, which look quite unconstructive.

What do we do here? Should we allow the copy of the question, is it appropriate to downvote, should action be taken to remove this answer? In fact, perhaps one could even argue that the existence of this answer demonstrates that the question should not be crossposted on HSM at all, although I personally think it is a good question that belongs on this site. Please let me know what you guys think.

Furthermore, there are some serious problems with the other answer as well. Adhvaitha's answer is not really an answer. It only points to some online research which supposedly shows the answer, but the link is broken. Not only is it effectively a link-only (with broken link) answer, it also contains a strange, much longer, section giving examples of the noble attitude of Indians. This last section seems, in my opinion, inappropriate for our site. To be honest, it sounds like some kind of propaganda to counter the supposed oppression of Indian researchers by Westerners and others. So, in a response to this question, I would also like to hear about your opinion on this answer: Is it appropriate here on HSM?

Update (11 December 2014): We have decided to delete the answer by Adhvaitha, since there seemed to be little chance that it would be 'fixed', and deleted the unconstructive comment chain under Tito's answer.


3 Answers 3


Given the specific circumstances the situation seems fine to me (except for Adhvaitha's answer but this is orthogonal).

I am largely in agreement with Andres Caicedo. Mainly I answer to point out what I think so far was not yet mentioned, namely, that OP was told on math.SE to post here; or at least they got a comment pointing out this option. Moreover, the question got votes to close on math.SE.

The fact that OP followed this advice thus does not suggest they were looking for a different type of answer, which makes the repost of the answer even less problematic. In fact, the posting here happened before the answer on math.SE was given. It also happened before the counter-position on math.SE (on-topic there too) was formulated.

To sum it up: somebody was told on math.SE they should post here, they did, and somebody then answered both versions of the question (and I think this is alright, it is unlikely but not unthinkable that question on math.SE still gets closed and deleted).

The situation is not optimal, as OP rather should have asked for migration than just cross-post. But it is also not a big deal. We could ask for a closure on math.SE or even more correctly for migration and then dupe-close, but this seems a bit fuzzy to me, and might create debate on math.SE.


I am not sure I understand what the issue is with the reposting of the answer. (I am not saying there is no issue, simply that currently I do not see it.)

The audiences of both sites are different, and rather than having different people duplicate effort, this way we know for certain that people in either site will find the relevant content, and there was no unnecessary waste of resources.

If an answer of a different nature is later found here (one that, for instance, emphasizes the historical context in which Ramanujan's deduction or prior efforts took place), it will benefit from the content already in place.

Personally, rather than reposting the answer I would have posted a link to it, add a brief summary, and perhaps additional context that may have felt unnecessary or out of place at the other site. (An example: MO, MSE.)

But that's personal taste, I do not think this should be a matter of policy.


I dislike both answers, but for various reasons:

Tito Piezas III's answer

This answer is fine taken out of context. It's a perfectly good explanation that seems to answer the question, and it was recently accepted on Mathematics. My objection to it is that it is the exact same answer that he posted to the original question on Mathematics. I don't know the exact reasons that user 170039 cross-posted it here, but it seems to indicate that s/he wanted a different style of answers than the one(s) on Mathematics - including Tito's. In this case, Tito's answer is irrelevant - it's just re-posted information.

Adhvaitha's answer

I took issue with this one for two reasons:

  1. It's a link-only answer. Nobody anywhere on Stack Exchange likes these. And the link was broken, to boot. I tried to find another to replace it, but that didn't pan out. So the information contained in it is inaccessible, which makes the idea of having users cite their sources pointless.
  2. It had a rant. Danu edited out a final bullet on it, but previously there was w third numbered section, ranting about how Indians are very forgiving towards the rest of the world. It (and possibly the other two points above it) is irrelevant.


In terms of voting - I upvoted Tito's before I realized his was a copy, and found myself locked in. After the edit, I tried to unupvote, then thought better of it and re-upvoted. I now cannot unupvote unless another edit is made. I did not vote on Advaitha's answer in part because I could not check the information, and was a little confused by the rant. It's up to everyone to make their own choices about voting, as it always is.

The thing I dislike about this whole scenario is that it was the result of what I'll call a "manual migration" - cross-posting from one site to another after the user decided it would fit better somewhere else. user 170039 could have asked the Mathematics mods to migrate it - after all, it's only two days old - and everything would be fine. But now we have a duplicate answer, a rant and a meta post about it all. This is not the optimal situation.


We technically can't close this question. It's not a duplicate of another answer on HSM, it's certainly on-topic, it's quite clear what the OP is asking, it's not too broad, and it's not opinion-based. We also can't reject a migration, because - as I said before - it's not a migration. In terms of resolving this, our best shot would be to get this question deleted from either Mathematics or HSM. The problem is, there's no rationale to do that on either site - it's fine on both! At the same time, though, the cross-posting is an issue.

My suggestion is that we let new answers come to the question here. We'll get some, I think. I don't think that we should keep Tito's answer, and I don't think Adhvaitha's should be kept here until the link is fixed. So I would delete both answers for now, and let the question evolve. They can be undeleted later, although Adhvaitha's is a better candidate for undeletion - Tito's is unnecessary.

I don't believe we have anyone yet who can vote to delete answers (and we probably won't have anyone for a while, reputation-wise), but pro-tem mods will be appointed in the near future, so they may be convinced to temporarily delete (and later undelete, possibly) the answers.

But for now, our hands are tied, unless we ask Tito and Adhvaitha to delete the answers.

Adhvaitha's answer (and some comments) were flagged for various reasons. I have deleted two comments that were flagged as offensive and considered deleting the answer, but I won't take further action until a consensus has been reached (which it may well have, being a consensus against my proposition). If the community wants to keep it how it is, I won't delete or otherwise modify the answer unless it is flagged again.


Two hours ago, the question was closed on Mathematics, so it appears our only choice is to keep the question.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think you might want to take into account that the questioner was recommended on math.SE to post it here. Also, the question has votes to close on math.SE. I will elaborate in my own answer. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Dec 7, 2014 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ @quid I didn't know about the Mathematics close votes (I don't have the rep there). I did know that the OP was recommended to post it here, but another user commented that it was find on Mathematics, and I assumed s/he was implying it should stay here. I'll be interested to read your answer, though. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Dec 7, 2014 at 21:24

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