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I wanted to start a bounty and I thought of getting to the unanswered ones. This one in particular is where I placed it.

I waited for a while and no one still answered, so all that was left for me to do was to answer it. However, the answer is basically copied from a MathOverflow answer that was actually mentioned in the comments of the MSE question.

If you take a look at my post, it gave credit towards the original poster, so this likely means I'm not a "plagiarizer", but it still bothers me that negative results are the income (downvotes, deletion, made community-wiki while I have a negative score).

At this point, I'm wondering if this is even allowed. Is it though?

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    $\begingroup$ Without looking at your links, if an answer elsewhere on the SE network answers the question, then it is likely that the question didn't belong on Math SE in the first place. My inclination would be to add a comment pointing to where the answer was found, then delete the question on Math SE. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Dec 20 '20 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson The question is pretty old, to be honest. Look at the comments there too. $\endgroup$ – Mark Giraffe Dec 20 '20 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ As I said, I didn't look at the links above. You asked general question, and I gave a general response. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Dec 20 '20 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson Understandable, though I really suggest that you check out the question. Should we delete it or keep it? $\endgroup$ – Mark Giraffe Dec 20 '20 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ Having now had a chance to read over the linked question, I think that the right course of action is to lock the Math SE question, and leave a link to the older MO question. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Dec 20 '20 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson Thanks for locking it! Pretty much necessary. $\endgroup$ – Mark Giraffe Dec 20 '20 at 18:19
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson Re: if an answer elsewhere on the SE network answers the question, then it is likely that the question didn't belong on Math SE in the first place. Well, I am not sure to which extent this is true in general. But MO definitely is a special case, where the situation is rather different - by definition anything which is on-topic on MO is on-topic also on Mathematics. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Dec 20 '20 at 18:38
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak (1) Cross-posting is generally discouraged; presumably this applies to Math SE and MO, as well. (2) I think that it can be argued that there are plenty of questions which are off-topic, but on-topic on MO (and vice versa---e.g. open ended research questions are typically off-topic here, but can be on-topic on MO). (3) If the goal is to answer user's questions, then adding a pointer to an answer elsewhere on the network and closing the question seems to make a lot of sense to me. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Dec 20 '20 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson However, I am not talking about cross-posting. Perhaps there are some things which are on-topic on MO and not here. But certainly there are some questions which could go on either of the two sites. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Dec 20 '20 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ Something's not clear to me, Mark. Did you put a bounty on a question to which you already knew the answer? I don't see what the point would be, in doing that. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 20 '20 at 21:52
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    $\begingroup$ The lock notice on main says, "This question and its answers are locked because the question is off-topic...." The question is absolutely not off-topic on math.stackexchange. There may be good and sufficient reasons for locking it, but "off-topic" is not one of them. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 20 '20 at 21:58
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson (1) I argued above that if a question is on-topic on one network site, then it is likely off-topic on other SE sites. Thus I disagree with your assertion. However, even if I agreed with you, (2) posts can only be locked for canned reasons, of which there are very limited choices. This is not a contest problem, nor is the content disputed. Indeed, the only reason I see to keep it on Math SE is as a road sign to the MO post---basically, the question has historical significance (perhaps you should focus on the phrase "historical significance", rather than "off-topic"). $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Dec 20 '20 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ "I argued above that if a question is on-topic on one network site, then it is likely off-topic on other SE sites." Yes, you did, and it was noted in reply that questions that are on-topic at MO, are generally also on-topic at m.se. But I take your point about canned reasons for locking posts – perhaps that matter should be taken up on meta.stackexchange. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 20 '20 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ Or perhaps when a moderator locks a question, and the canned reasons don't exactly cover the situation, the moderator can put a note somewhere giving a more fitting reason – edit it into the question as a "moderator's note", or leave a comment perhaps. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Dec 21 '20 at 5:35
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson I suspect a (preferably community wiki) answer saying, essentially, "this is an open problem, there is some discussion of it on MO at this link, where the best known results are (whatever)" is a far better way to direct users there than the link in the comments - I think I'd be very confused if I randomly stumbled into the question in its current locked state. It's definitely on topic (I don't think a question being open or cross posted makes it off topic) and it has an answer ("it's an open problem") - why not just have that answer in the usual place? $\endgroup$ – Milo Brandt Dec 21 '20 at 19:45

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