• @quid: I suspect it is related to his later question math.stackexchange.com/questions/1348950/…. – user21820 Jul 4 '15 at 11:33
• Now this appears. – Mark McClure Jul 4 '15 at 11:46
• That self-deleted question originates from an online contest. No wonder my effort get wasted. – achille hui Jul 4 '15 at 12:01
• I guess that this question should be locked, or something, at least for a while. @achillehui: Please consider deleting your answer for the time being. – Asaf Karagila Jul 4 '15 at 12:49
• Indeed, it is now locked. @achille's answer is (temporarily) deleted. Shame on the OP (of that question). – davidlowryduda Jul 4 '15 at 12:51
• @mixedmath: What about the one that Mark mentioned? – user21820 Jul 4 '15 at 12:53
• @user21820 someone flag them, we'll handle them. – davidlowryduda Jul 4 '15 at 14:15
• @mixedmath As discussed here in the past, deleting the answer is not a good resolution, since it gives the particpant(s) who have seen the answer an unfair advantage over those who have not. – Bill Dubuque Jul 4 '15 at 16:00
• @BillDubuque: Based on the current contest, it's arguable either way. If it stays there, more participants can cheat by finding it online, and they will be more likely to do so since it is not them who posted the question. If it does not stay there, it is true that the asker has cheated already, but at least we can hope that it discourages the asker from doing it again if there is community consensus that it is unacceptable behaviour. Leaving it there may convey (like it or not) that we cannot really be bothered by cheating. – user21820 Jul 4 '15 at 16:09
• @BillDubuque: Of course, more should be done, and I have always thought that if we are stringent in what we consider questions that show work, and guide askers to the correct understanding without simply giving straight answers to the actual question, we effectively would weed out a lot of such cheaters because it would take them sufficient effort to learn that they would be too lazy to attempt to get answers here. This is just my opinion though, which is not the norm; most answerers don't even guide the asker to discover the solution, but rather just spoon-feed them. – user21820 Jul 4 '15 at 16:12
• Undeleting the answer is not a good resolution either, since it gives the participant(s) who will see the answer an unfair advantage over those who will not. – user14972 Jul 4 '15 at 17:22
• @Bill: "Deleting the answer is not a good resolution" is not an example of such.. – user14972 Jul 4 '15 at 18:25
• @Bill: That sounds quite reasonable, once you delete your comments starting from "Deleting the answer is not a good resolution", I will delete my responses to them, and we can ask user21820 to do so as well. – user14972 Jul 4 '15 at 18:30
• @BillDubuque: IMO, it is contests, not MSE, that require better design to deal with these issues. Agreed, but that does not diminish our own responsibility to do what we can, however little that is. It is just like if we observe someone cheating during an examination but the invigilators and everyone else do not. We cannot say we shouldn't do anything. I said earlier that it's arguable whether we should lock the question and hide the answers (though I think it is usually the right thing to do), but I also hinted that the main problem is our general attitude in answering questions. – user21820 Jul 5 '15 at 2:39
• @BillDubuque: By the way, I think I had read most of the previous discussions on this. If you notice, in my question and comments I wasn't the one who brought up the locking of the question and the hiding of the answers. Later I was simply responding to your comment with my own views, which you are free to reject on your own grounds. – user21820 Jul 5 '15 at 2:42