What's the preferred mechanism to demonstrate disagreement with user actions that aren't questions or answers on the main site?
I often see newbie questions handled downright hostilely by (presumably) well meaning users in comments or vote-to-close actions and the like. I consider this a real problem for the community, as many coders I know in real life are essentially terrified of asking or answering questions on SO for fear of being ridiculed. These are smart people, and the community is losing out.
This is fundamentally a subjective grey area, and it might just be that the community wants the site to be something different than I want it to be. But I'd like to have my peace, and try to combat what I consider hostile or nonconstructive activities. If IMO someone is being way too strict or hostile on a new user, I'd like to demonstrate that I disagree with that hostility.
The obvious way would be voting. If these comments or actions were answers, I'd downvote them. Burn some of my reputation to subtly nudge the community in the direction I'd like it to go. But you can't downvote comments, and you can't downvote close actions. I could post a comment, but that's certain to derail any question already on a slippery slope towards being closed or deleted. Comments can be upvoted (doesn't award reputation, IIRC), and that's usually done to express agreement, but there's no symmetric way to express disagreement. You can flag comments, but that's meant for more actual abuses, like spam or death threats or the like. I could edit the question or write a really good answer, but that's not quite the same thing as letting someone know they handled something in a way I don't agree with.
I could message users privately, but that seems like the worst possible way to do this sort of thing.
If anyone's familiar with the site Quora, I've been very impressed with it. There's all sorts of very interesting and useful answers posted to some downright stupid questions. I'd like to nudge SO and other SE sites in that direction, less stick and more carrot. Being hostile to hostile actions would be the obvious means to that end, but I don't know how to do that in any meaningful way.