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I think the difference is that ar Xiv papers don't have the same perceptions of low prestige attached as a random blog or a 4chan thread does. Well, my own very reliable academic web page has been removed by sysadmins without notice after graduation because "we don't maintain accounts".2. Ar Xi V won't have it - unlike, say, the 4chan thread in question. Not to mention ads, memes and NSFW content - which is also there----------The other reasons are less important, but are still valid:3. Something on the Ar Xi V probably is formatted and structured like a readable paper; there are baseline expectations. The reputation of Ar Xi V is that most of the people who do serious work put it there. A proof on 4chan is somewhere in the same category.----------The disclaimer here is that this applies mostly to new results in mathematics.
The issue isn't that the work is (yet) unpublished or that its obscure: its that it is from outside academia or traditionally prestigious sources.academia or traditionally prestigious sources. You can't even remove your own paper once you make it public there. Do I really want to explain to people that I wasn't citing getting "14 * 14! Reading someone's scratchwork is borderline painful, and a proof on a webpage is usually just that. Most of the people produce nonsense (possibly including yours truly) also put it there, but the probability of any work having been done by someone who is willing to put effort into it goes down dramatically if the work is not on Ar Xi V.5. Since it's so easy to post there, any work not Ar Xi V is signaling "I don't care about my work being available to other people in the field". A result on Ar Xi V makes it easy for me to attribute the result to someone. Old results are not necessarily available online, and often we don't have a choice. I've had very important work taken by professors and published by them from my websites without attribution - even my own old professors!
As if going through the motions of scientific publishing should somehow elevate arguments to truth.https:// not that nobody knows how to cite it, it's that nobody wants to cite things from outside of academia, perhaps because it lowers their own perceived prestige.
Arxiv is used by fellow pirates, so it's off limits, on this view.I've even seen blog posts and email correspondence cited.In fact, in one of my own papers I cited an unpublished manuscript which you can't even find on the internet - you have to personally contact the author, who hasn't touched the thing in the last 25 years.It is a fun little event that something posted on 4chan is used in a research paper.But that nobody knows how it should be cited is just plain wrong.