I was wondering if there's a way to request an answer from a particular user, who, for example, is well-known for giving good and sharp answers in a particular subject. Sort of like A2A on Quora. If not, what could be the pros and cons of such a feature, if introduced?

This is my first time asking a question here, please bear with me.

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    $\begingroup$ I removed the feature-request tag as you do not only propose a specific feature. If the discussion should yield support for the idea, you could later post a specifc request separately. $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, thank you for your consideration $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ To answer your question: no, there is no way to request an answer from a particular user. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 23:29
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    $\begingroup$ math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/13083/… $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose that you could add a comment using @username to attract their attention. When you include someone's username in a comment like that, it sends them a notification $\endgroup$
    – Qudit
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 1:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Qudit, that only works if that someone has already participated in the question in some way. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 4:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Gerry Myerson: I didn't realize that, but given this then it's simply matter of putting the comment in one of his/her answers (then deleting the comment when you know they've seen it, or after a few days if you still don't know whether they've seen it). I'm pretty sure I've done this a few times myself. I also think that on rare occasions (and probably not in several years) I've posted a comment saying something like "I suspect AT-username is knowledgeable about this topic", with the intent of attracting AT-username's attention to the question, and I guess all those attempts failed. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 7:36
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    $\begingroup$ You could attempt to ask the user via chat. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ @DaveL.Renfro ... It should be considered rude to put a request like that as a comment on another question. $\endgroup$
    – GEdgar
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Regarding "the pros and cons of such a feature," note that Math.SE (like all StackExchange sites) emphasizes Community Moderation. Much as all Users are equally entitled to ask about the various mathematical topics, all Users are equally permitted to attempt answering any posted Questions, or to propose improvements (edits) to posts so long as the intent of the original author is preserved.

Mathematics is particularly opposed philosophically to "authority" as the basis for proofs or solutions to problems. While no human enterprise is devoid of "appeals to authority", when invoked in mathematics without the ability to demonstrate claims by rational argument, it is disparaged.

A proposal of a feature for "assigning" Questions to particular Users will immediately meet that headwind. Users differ in their topical abilities at exposition and insight, but the author of a Question should know what they are asking well enough to discern for themselves "good and sharp answers" for that particular subject. Thus an OP should judge the Answers received rather than pre-judging who best will provide a response.


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