There is a recent Question that popped up in Close Review. It had been on-hold for several days because it came from an on-going online competition, but it seems the deadline passed.

My question is whether it's anyones responsibility/right to remove the Note about the CodeChef competition, whether it should be left to the Moderators to do so (perhaps by flagging?), or if the Note should be left intact for historical reference.

[Not really my point here, but a good case could be argued for closing the Question as off-topic simply because of its focus on achieving programming results rather than mathematical ones. I chose to Skip in the Review and have no strong feelings one way or the other.]

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps this should be tagged as (contests)? Although I am not sure whether your post is intended to be about contest questions, or about moderator's notices in general and contest question sever merely as an example. $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2014 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ About that particular question, after a competition complete, CodeChef will post an editorial for that problem/competition. Since that question is both unclear and program oriented, there isn't any real reason for math.SE to keep a separate copy of question here. IMHO, close and delete that question is more appropriate. $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2014 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak: Good idea to add the tag, should anyone search for like issues. I cannot think of any other occasion when Mod notes typically time out. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Sep 17, 2014 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


This might all become mostly become moot when we introduce a site-specific "contest question" post message. Until then a couple thoughts.

  • Editing out these "Moderator's Notes" is often something that doesn't require moderator involvement, so please feel free to do so when appropriate. (As a rough guide, if you can edit it out — so that the question is not locked — it almost certainly means that the Note is no longer necessary.)

    If the question is still locked and you feel the Note is no longer needed, then flagging is appropriate/necessary.

  • Sometimes (often?) answers would have been (soft-)deleted at the same time the lock — and Note — was introduced. Since these would have been deleted by the moderators, regular users will be unable to undelete them. I would then recommend that in addition to editing out the Note:

    • if you are below 10K (and cannot see deleted posts) to raise a flag for us to check for (and undelete) these answers;
    • if you are at least 10K to check for, and flag, these deleted answers.

(As some background, these orphaned "Moderator's Notes" would have been left behind when we set a question to remain temporarily locked for a specific length of time, and then don't keep good enough track of them. We're pretty good at removing them when manually unlocking a question, but in those cases we have to first remember to unlock the question at all.)


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