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55

In the comments to Qiaochu's comment, there is a dispute about whether moderators should delete/close questions from ongoing contests rapidly before they can attract answers. For example, Bill Dubuque writes "moderators should not execute unilatateral deletions on such contentious matters..." while Jonas Meyer writes "we would want a moderator to be able to [...


39

Why do we have a policy? First and foremost: we believe that the responsibility for the integrity of an exam, contest, competition, etc. ultimately falls on the shoulders of the organizers. That said, the Mathematics Stack Exchange community is not an island unto itself: rather we exist within a larger macrocosm of people who do or are interested by ...


34

Those in favour of giving away IPs of suspected cheaters should imagine that such a policy would allow me to obtain the IP of anybody asking a question here: Simply copy-paste a recent question asked to a throw-away website that looks like an online contest and - as "organizer" of the "contest" - claim that the asker is cheating in this "contest" and demand ...


31

In the past we agreed on a policy to not allow questions from on-going contests. This is enforced. With zeal. Personally, I shoot first (=lock/delete), and interrogate survivors afterwards. The one piece of advice I want to give is Flag it for moderator attention. Explain the problem. Ideally with a link to the website of the contest (more often than not ...


23

Done. Some clarifications for everyone else: As Mad Scientist says in the comments, the SE privacy policy does not allow us to release anyone's IP addresses. This is not under our control. I strongly disagree with mixedmath's answer in the linked thread. When it is brought to my attention that a question is from an ongoing contest, my policy is to delete it ...


22

If anyone notices this happening, it is nice to inform the contest coordinators. On the other hand, I don't think it is reasonable (nor realistic) to have a policy against this.


21

If we get information that a question is from an in-progress online contest, I think we should make every effort to ensure that the question is not answered on MSE before the deadline. Prompt closing seems like a good idea, possibly with reopening after the deadline has passed. Or else a warning sign that is difficult to miss. Edit: I would prefer closing ...


20

Consider the following extract from our contest question policy: What is a contest question? For the purpose of this discussion, a contest question refers to a question that is originally published by a third party, for the purpose of inviting submission of solutions: this could be an actual competition where a prize of some sort is given, or ...


19

The current policy is good and works. There are many people diligently looking at the contest problems and once a candidate is identified it isEDIT its answers are quickly (soft-)deleted. Let us consider the thought of extending this to deleting the post altogether (so including the question itself).This means that the post does not show up in many lists ...


17

Since the recent comments on a posted contest question links here, let me state my answer: While there can be no obligation of this site to do detective work and be responsible for never answering a contest question, I strongly feel that if someone provides a link that it is a contest question, it should indeed be swiftly deleted. It is not reasonable to ...


16

I honestly think that nothing special should be done about this. I do think that people asking such questions should be explicit about the source of the problems, just as people asking questions from books and such.


16

My thoughts: It is not our responsibility; the moderators do not actively hunt for competition questions, and we don't expect users to do so either. But it never hurts to play nice: if it is brought to the attention of the moderators that a question is from a competition, we may do something about it. As a user you are free to follow the request by PRIMES ...


16

This is just a transcription of the questions from the 2015-16 USAMTS Round 1 problem set. As last year, your benevolent overlords moderators request your help in finding them when they appear on the main site so that they can be locked as per our policy on contest questions. Fill in the spaces of the grid to the right with positive integers so that ...


15

Here is what I post as an answer sometimes, if I see a question quickly enough for it to make the slightest difference. I have learned to post it CW and not to reply to comments, the people who want help here for these questions want what they want and are unpleasant. Meanwhile, one may claim separation of church and state, nothing I can do about that, but ...


15

Do these guys have no shame asking ongoing competition qustions? Some people simply don't. Whatever it takes to get ahead, I guess. Cheating has always been a thing in any form of competition - athletic, academic, what-have-you. Really not surprising when you think about it. Do they just think SE as a problem-solver? Some people do indeed treat MSE as ...


14

I disagree with this proposition. Problems from ongoing contests should receive neither solutions nor hints until the deadline. Problems from past contests should not be treated differently from any other question (that is, it depends on the context and the judgment of the answerer whether a hint or a full answer is appropriate). I think that we should ...


14

I'll just parrot Mariano's answer from the PRIMES question: This should not be too difficult to handle. I expect users to flag questions containing this (sic) problems for moderator attention, and with luck (depending on timezones and what not...) they can be handled quickly.


14

I have other reasons not to upvote that question, but I would not downvote or vote to close it either. The official reason for closing many a question is "off-topic -> missing context". Some users mistakenly equate "missing context" with "missing work/effort shown". The linked question gives context on the first line - it is from an Iranian math contest. I ...


13

While it is indeed despicable if someone takes part in a contest and cheats in this way, I am surprised everyone seems to agree that questions should be closed and accounts should be blocked. But calm down. When I look at https://math.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic I don't see a regulation that says: don't post contest questions if it is not allowed by the ...


11

Is it unfair to post a live journal problem? Yes. Don't do that.


10

I would like to make a counter-proposal: If a moderator receives a request to temporarily remove a question from someone, the moderator uses their judgement to determine whether the request is reasonable and comes from a credible source. If so, they close and delete for the appropriate amount of time. In cases where it's not obvious that it's a reasonable ...


10

Despite the new closing system, I am still feeling that a moderator lockdown+notice or temporary deletion is a much better solution (it also prevents fights in the comments, or answers in the comments).


9

Added: I tweaked the wording slightly to make the rendering a bit more tidy, but for the most part it is what was suggested above. Reminder: you can search currently-locked questions.


9

If we decide to allow ongoing journal questions, I think we should at least do the following: We should have a [journal-problem] tag, a meta-tag much like the homework tag, where submitters add it if the question is a journal problem. This way, people who like to write up journal solutions won't suddenly happen across a solution to a problem they're ...


9

In general for seemingly hard problems without a reference, looking like C&P you can (in addition to voting to close once you're at 3k rep) check google if a contest comes up. As user7530 also noted, questions including a current data (year, for example) often come from contests (or past contests). You should ask the OP directly if the question comes ...


9

So please enlighten me as to why we (or perhaps more specifically our moderators) should be expending any effort enforcing CodeChef's rules. All that the contest problem policy requests from moderators in particular is to handle questions from contest problems which are reported by flags. In particular (and I quote the contest problem policy): moderators ...


9

While "it is likely impossible that [you] have time to look at each question on the ongoing contest," I recommend picking the Questions you choose to invest in with consideration of the following: (1) Assigned exercises (and contest problems in particular) are likely to be mathematically sound and interesting (they are intended to be challenging, at least ...


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