# Every answer I gave on math stackexchange has downvotes, and I just joined. Is this typical for the site?

https://math.stackexchange.com/users/181915/terrence-town

I guess I was wrong with some of my answers like the absolute value one but they seemed harsh.

• May be you failed to follow the general advice of spending a couple of days (or a couple of hours at least) observing how the regulars behave? May be you just decided to crash the party? Anyway, it sounds like in your case the downvotes are a way of signalling a faux pas. Oct 9, 2014 at 6:46

The Math Stack Exchange is the one place you will find on the SE network that embraces partial answers, or "hints." This is probably what happened to this answer which, despite your "I think you can figure out the rest," essentially gives the OP the complete answer without giving him the opportunity to work through the problem himself.

This answer is a comment, not an answer. If you don't have enough reputation to comment, the correct response is to refrain from commenting.

This answer doesn't answer the question that was asked. Again, you're trying to comment when you haven't earned the privilege to do so yet.

• The first answer linked also introduces needless and irrelevant complexity to a very simple question. Oct 8, 2014 at 22:20
• So it does .... Oct 8, 2014 at 22:24
• I think in the first answer he was joking with OP, just read that question :))
– Lrrr
Oct 8, 2014 at 22:29
• Yeah, I didn't look at the question initially, only the answer. Oct 8, 2014 at 22:31

When I want to say something humorous, especially at a poor question, I generally leave a comment rather than an answer. People take answers a little more seriously, I suppose. Meanwhile, while comments cannot be downvoted, i do get some negative responses, in which case i usually delete the comment myself. Others are deleted by moderators; this has never happened when i was actually discussing mathematics, so i do not worry about it.

I have had answers that changed to non-mathematics after people insisted that I was wrong, some of those turned out very funny and I was sorry to see them deleted; for those with 10K Is $1847^{2013}+2$ really a prime? I figure that is the deal, though, it is a mathematics website. The two comments that caused me to replace my answer with an admission of guilt were:

I don't know. But I do know that 6575 is less than 7993 . (And it always has been!) So "You have no way whatsoever" is patently false.

and then

OK, I found this link which suggests that a number of this order of magnitude can be proved prime by Primo on a top-end personal computer in about 40 hours. So it really is time to recant, Will!

It was the word recant that did it.

• "Others are deleted by moderators" Math.SE has moderators?
– Ampt
Oct 8, 2014 at 23:26
• @Ampt, sure, you can click on Users and then on Moderators. If you work hard and keep your nose clean you can be a moderator too someday. Oct 8, 2014 at 23:28
• WillJagy: I'm sure that @Ampt is aware of this. But the moderators on programmers.SE are far more active (or perhaps proactive) than would be remotely tolerated here, for better or worse. Consider some of the stats from this MSE answer. Oct 9, 2014 at 3:03
• @ArthurFischer, right, my guess was that ampt was commenting on MSE moderators being less intrusive. Oct 9, 2014 at 3:13
• For what it's worth, that deleted answer made my day. :) Sometimes I feel like there's an entire "secret sub-site" on StackExchange only for 10k+ users. Oct 10, 2014 at 22:38