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My answer to Non-associative, non-commutative binary operation with a identity was deleted. Why/how did that happen?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm seeing your answer right now. Did you undelete it? COuld you have inadvertedly clicked "delete" instead of "edit"? $\endgroup$ – Arturo Magidin Mar 15 '11 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Arturo, I wasn't planning to edit, but, yes, it's possible that I inadvertently clicked "delete", in which case, my apologies to all concerned. I didn't see an "undelete" option at the time, but I did see one when I went back to look again, and I exercised that option. All is well now. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Mar 15 '11 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ It did not say "deleted by owner" which presumably implies that it was deleted by someone other than Gerry. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Mar 15 '11 at 4:34
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    $\begingroup$ It looks like the first answer was moved to the comment section by a moderator. $\endgroup$ – t.b. Mar 15 '11 at 4:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Theo, yes, I just noticed that my answer shows up in the comment section. I know enough not to argue with the moderators. If a moderator sees fit to move my edited answer up to the comments as well, so be it. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Mar 15 '11 at 5:08
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It was almost certainly deleted and turned into a comment by a moderator, as it was originally much more comment-like than answer-like.

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  • $\begingroup$ thanks. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Mar 15 '11 at 6:02
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Gerry, I understand your frustration and not being about post comments yourself yet on the main site. But that "answer" you gave was not an answer. Akhil Mathews (a moderator here) converted that to a comment based on that. And I just converted the edited version of that "answer" again into the comments since it is still a discussion of what the student ought to have done, and not the mathematics involved.

(I am sure you will have no problem clearing the 50 rep hurdle for comments quickly here at Math.SE.)

Also, while I understand your concern about students posting questions from homework sets on Math.SE, maybe in the future you can make some indication about the fact that you are in fact the lecturer of said course and the person who assigned the problem, and that you know the student in person? The original version of your answer comes across as somewhat demeaning without these additional information, and concerns were raised about whether it constituted "offensive content".

I suspect that if the moderators were not all familiar with your name from MathOverflow, your comment would have been summarily deleted for just being offensive and off-topic.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm fine with the conversion of answers-that-aren't-answers to comments. An unfortunate side effect is that Vafa seems to think that I repeated my answer as a comment after he had already replied, but he and I will sort that out. In hindsight, I could have handled things better, not least by sending Vafa email instead of posting an answer/comment. Thanks for your forbearance. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Mar 15 '11 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Gerry: Dear Gerry, Willie is exactly right here on the details of the event (and had I logged in earlier today I would have answered this myself). $\endgroup$ – Akhil Mathew Mar 15 '11 at 16:56

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