In these volatile days of dramatic arguments over meta, my suspicion alarm is set to a much more sensitive threshold.

And I wonder, https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/256816/if-n-the-order-of-a-group-and-gcdk-n-1-then-there-exists-an-element-in has garnered over a 10,000 views in just 15 hours.

Sure, it happens with the Batman question (probably?) or with other fairly "popular mathematics" questions. But this is not the Batman question, it is not the Russian roulette question, etc. For one it only has five registered votes at the time (+3/-2).

Furthermore the OP had tried to cover up their tracks by editing the question into gunk, only to be rolled back by Austin Mohr a few minutes later.

All this raises a mighty suspicion. Can anyone shed some light?

Another point by draks, is that the OP had posted another question today which raised over 1,500 views, which is another questionable number of views in a single day -- for a non-popular question (popular as in popular mathematics, e.g. Batman curves).

  • $\begingroup$ His other question has also been viewed 1858 times! $\endgroup$
    – draks ...
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ It's because someone is actively trumpeting them on Reddit and Hacker News as cheating. This is being discussed in the mod chat. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque I don't think it merits a question of its own, so I will just ask here: Was my comment that the OP had blanked a question out of line? I noticed the blanking and made the rollback, and I wanted to inform other users should they prefer not to answer such a suspicious question. I believe I took care not to state the fact without insinuating that OP had done anything wrong. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque I notice that you are battling Qiaochu on main. You have unlocked the post in question - which he had locked - and removed his notices multiple times in the past hour. I find this extremely immature, and I hope that you will stop immediately. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ He has also deleted comments. Note that unlike deleted questions, deleted comments are, as far as I know, invisible to everyone except moderators and cannot be undeleted. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:35
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    $\begingroup$ @AustinMohr I was glad you pointed out that he had blanked his other question. It was a neutral statement of fact, not an accusation or a speculation, and I found it useful to know. $\endgroup$
    – MJD
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ @AustinMohr "I believe I took care not to state the fact without insinuating that OP had done anything wrong." One too many negatives in there... My point is that I tried to provide objective information only. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:41
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    $\begingroup$ Assuming comments have been deleted from other people than the person doing the deletions, I find such behaviour incredible. If this has been done by a moderator, I think it is totally deplorable. Is there absolutely no way that lesser mortals like myself can ever get to see what was deleted? $\endgroup$
    – Old John
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Old John: not as far as I know. Corollary: if you have something important to say, don't say it in a comment. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:43
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    $\begingroup$ @user1296727 You need two people to keep that up, both sides should have stopped reverting each others actions far earlier. If two regular users disagree over an edit, they should not start an edit war. This applies to mods as well, even more than for regular users. Instead of reverting each others actions they have to talk to each other or put it up on meta. $\endgroup$
    – user9733
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Mad Scientist: you are welcome to attempt to talk to Bill about anything. I have given this particular thing up. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:45
  • $\begingroup$ @QiaochuYuan: You can always printscreen and post a copy on meta (you know, for transparency sakes and whatnot). $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ @MadScientist I do agree with you that the repeated reversion (and reversion of reversion, etc.) of the post's closing should be discussed in an independent meta question, or amongst the moderators. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:50
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    $\begingroup$ I'm locking this question for the time being. Nothing wrong with the question or the answer, but the personal disputes going on in the comments are taking over the discussion here and this isn't the right place. We are currently looking at possible ways to resolve the entire situation. $\endgroup$
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:50
  • $\begingroup$ I know this is old, but has anyone noticed that the "professor" commented with only one reputation? $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2013 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


The question was linked on Hackernews, which is a rather high-traffic site: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4910406

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Wonderful. We're seeing the Stack Exchange equivalent of rubbernecking.... $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ On the bright side, maybe the story will deter a few cheaters in the future. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ Do you happen to have the reddit link as well? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ reddit.com/r/math/comments/14q038/… $\endgroup$
    – user414
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 23:13

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