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A lot of the time I see an honest question. Aside from the wrong assumptions that a user can make, the answers that are provided by some of the users aren't well...user-friendly. It starts to become a bashwar. Something along the lines of "That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard" and a constant tone of cat and mouse. These condescending insults are usually not in black and white, but I can see peoples' frustrations.

Why are so many users like this?

For example, http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3769989/should-linq-be-avoided-because-its-slow

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Are you talking about the comments or the answers on that question, or both? –  mmyers Sep 22 '10 at 15:42
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both, more comments since they can't get railed reputation for it –  Mike Sep 22 '10 at 15:48
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In this case, I don't think it was the question itself that annoyed people so much as the author's follow-up comments. –  Aarobot Sep 22 '10 at 16:07

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Why are so many users like this?

It's just human nature. I'll address this in my updated answer to What aspects of psychology does Stack Overflow take advantage of?. Of course, since I decided to write a paper, and I'm pretty busy with "real" work, that update is slated for release just after Duke Nukem Forever comes out.

For now, if you find something offensive, flag it. If it's not outright hate speech, you can always use the "Requires Moderator attention" option and provide a short explanation. It's well documented that the mods would prefer too many flags to too few.

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This... is a problem, now that DNF is actually slated for release. Well, someone's gotta win next year's vaporware award.... –  Pops Feb 3 '11 at 19:25
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You should schedule it for release after Half Life 2:Episode 3 releases –  Sathya Feb 4 '11 at 13:10

Some users can't see the questions for the flames. They're like moths drawn to the light.

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Its sad. This is usually a helpful community, I guess there are a few bad apples in every tree eh? –  Mike Sep 22 '10 at 15:49

I've also noticed a propensity for sarcastic rejoinders in the place of useful commentary. I think the long term answer is to have the moderators act as newby mentors and compensate for the self important hecklers who don't get the point of a site like this. I have had that happen for me, where a moderator insisted on the importance of allowing my 'simple' question to stand, since if everybody knows everything on SO, then there isn't much point for anyone to come to the site for answers. (See How to make html code inactive with comments) specifically check the comment link 'to the downvoter'.

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