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Recently this question was posted in form of proof verification or to review claiming to solve one of the greatest open problem in number theory. But the response (in any form) of the community to this question is not like about other questions. Why is it so? Is this because the sensitivity of the claim or is it because of the amount of false claims that people often made regarding the solution of open problems? Or that community is not ready to take on these type of matters?

Note: I am not saying the post in concerned is false, as I have not understood any bit of it.

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    $\begingroup$ From what I've seen: It has been one of the mildest reactions to a "proof" of an extremely well known open problem: a single comment (mine), and no downvotes or votes to close (although I expect that to change with your meta post). Often they're hopelessly incomprehensible (as you say, "I have not understand any bit of it") and are received poorly. Sometimes these posts have a certain je ne sais quoi (perhaps brevity and the "clearly I must have made a mistake; where?" attitude) that results in modest upvoting, but that's not common. $\endgroup$ – pjs36 Jun 2 '16 at 2:19
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    $\begingroup$ I think the response of the community is to shrug its collective shoulders and sigh, "Ah, another one who thinks he can solve a notorious mathematical problem with a little high-school algebra," and then to move on to something more likely to be rewarding. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jun 2 '16 at 3:25
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    $\begingroup$ If someone actually solved a famous open problem, he/she won't post it here for proof verification ( for the fear someone will steal the main idea). Instead he/she will submit a paper to reputable journal or at the least a preprint to place like arXiv which can be used as an evidence of precedence $\endgroup$ – achille hui Jun 2 '16 at 3:40
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    $\begingroup$ @achille: This assumes that that is the medium by which the solver wishes to share their result, that solver is knowledgeable of how to get papers published, and that the solver in a position of being capable of doing so. $\endgroup$ – Hurkyl Jun 2 '16 at 4:02
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    $\begingroup$ I consider it important that the site accept and answer claimed solutions of conjectures provided that postings meet some minimal formatting constraints: they are short enough to fit in one question, are mostly text, are readable enough to evaluate, do not cross-link between multiple questions. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 2 '16 at 4:40
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    $\begingroup$ The following meta question is similar, if not a duplicate: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/19652/… $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Jun 2 '16 at 5:24
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    $\begingroup$ Great question ! Now, as much as I'd love to answer to it, I'm afraid I'm a little caught up at the moment, since I have to go over my thousand page proof for the abc conjecture just one more time, before publishing it on a reputable research site (like vixra, for instance) tomorrow. $\endgroup$ – Lucian Jun 4 '16 at 8:33
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    $\begingroup$ I gave +1 to the linked OP because he reminds me of me when I was a few days younger. $\endgroup$ – Fred Kline Jun 7 '16 at 2:44
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    $\begingroup$ Speaking only for myself: with severe skepticism. $\endgroup$ – Mr. Brooks Jun 8 '16 at 20:50
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Considering on the linked question I was the only upvoter versus six downvoters, I don't expect this answer to go down very well; but maybe someone will agree with me :-). In any case, this is how I respond, and my justification...

I always like to see these questions, and have upvoted them before. I find it quite interesting to see where elementary proof methods fail (maybe it is just me!), and these questions serve as a way to show future visitors exactly that. But the crux of the matter is that this site welcomes those who study mathematics, and if a post helps someone (anyone) learn, it is in my opinion on-topic. I will quote the help center (my boldface):

Mathematics Stack Exchange is for people studying mathematics at any level and professionals in related fields. We welcome questions about:

  • Understanding mathematical concepts and theorems.

Seeing where elementary methods fail can shed light on some theorems and help with understanding the mathematics behind it. Moreover, if someone believes they have solved an open problem (working on the assumption that they are wrong) then they are not understanding some concept correctly somewhere. By pointing out the error we have aided their understanding of any related topics, as well as anyone else who visits the page with the same question in the future. That is (unless I am misinterpreting the Help Center) exactly the kind of question Math.SE welcomes.

As for voting on the questions, which I understand is subjective, the linked question

  • shows research effort (doesn't look like a 5-minute-job to me!),
  • is clear (lovely formatting), and
  • is useful (that is, to anyone who (say) recreationally tries to solve this conjecture with the same elementary methods).

More generally, a good quality [proof-verification] question is not synonymous with a correct proof. This tag is not described in that way. If the situation was someone answering their own question "Are there infinitely many twin-primes?" with a false proof, then I would agree that down votes are justified, but that is not the situation here.

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    $\begingroup$ The comment from the OP to the given answer is pretty much par for the course in these situations. And this is why the community usually has no interest in these types of questions. $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Jun 3 '16 at 4:29
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    $\begingroup$ @TobiasKildetoft, the OP responded reasonably so far, especially after the first comment. If they believe that the exposition is clear and sufficient, the first comment is also understandable. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 3 '16 at 5:33
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx You clearly have more patience for being called ignorant than I would have then. $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Jun 3 '16 at 6:03
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    $\begingroup$ In that direction he said only that I "clearly did not understand the paper". In some ways that is true, and from the point of view of an OP who thinks all that he wrote is completely clear, it would also seem to be true. What is more important is to answer questions about the text, which he has been doing (so far). @TobiasKildetoft $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 3 '16 at 6:07
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx Well, he also claimed that yo made no sense. I guess my patience for such has just been used up, but it is good that some still have the patience to answer constructively (and I agree that the OP is by no means on the bad end of behavior for people who propose nonsense proofs). $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Jun 3 '16 at 6:10
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    $\begingroup$ If the worst-case assessment is that the OP has one comment that is aggressive, the question is a successful use of MSE. He posted, got an answer and detailed comments, and the discussion has fairly quickly reached a conclusion. If the OP wants to acknowledge that the proof is incorrect or accept the answer or whatever, that is his business, but the MSE side of things has gone smoothly. The question should be reopened in case anyone else would like to write an answer. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 3 '16 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ The aggressive comment was withdrawn (self deleted by the OP on his own initiative). @TobiasKildetoft $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 7 '16 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx Sure, and he has also made clear in comments that if the proof is not understandable then that is not his fault but the fault of the reader for not being a real mathematician (ok, that is going a bit far in the paraphrasing, but he is not far off). $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kildetoft Jun 7 '16 at 7:42
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    $\begingroup$ Look at it from OP point of view. An OP is totally convinced that his method works, but not of his ability to write the proof to mathematical standards, and posts it as a [proof-verification] here. The respondents do in fact "not understand" many points. And when he tries tries to explain to them, he gets comments telling him (sometimes incorrectly) what he is trying to say rather than always pointing to specific lines and words in the argument. It does not fit the official story of how mathematical proof verification works, that the OP's might have expected when posting to MSE. @TobiasKi $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 7 '16 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Are you still paying attention? $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 9 '16 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Apparently not (but one of the problems with the approach you propose). $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 10 '16 at 7:17
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    $\begingroup$ To who else would I be talking when I comment on your post. I was referring to main not meta. As you said you are interested in it. To me it seems the post is by now at 7 revisions with no end at all in sight and it generated a poorly received spin off question. Whether OP is polite or not is rather secondary. (Though " it still seems some users are more interested in trolling and territorial marking contests about site policy than actually doing mathematics " in the latest comment leaves quite a bit to be desired, me thinks.) The thing just seems going nowhere. $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 10 '16 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx The first question is just the usual moving target such posts are. On the second it does not so much ask it, it asserts it. "In conclusion, these are useful formulae for analyzing the primes and can be used to answer previously unanswered questions about the topic." I don't blame you that you did not, or so it seems, read to the end. $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 10 '16 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx maybe let us just agree the questions are poor. $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 10 '16 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx there was a comment (technically two) where you did express a critical opinion. My last one was a reply to it. You cannot just delete and try to pretend it was never there. $\endgroup$ – quid Jun 10 '16 at 19:21

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