141

You provided us with some really helpful feedback on our first draft attempt to expand our 'Be nice' policy into a formal code of conduct, and we're extremely grateful for your time, patience and insights. This was not an easy discussion to have and we are extremely proud of the civility and insight that everyone brought to the table.

We'd also like to thank the folks who took time to provide us with insight off the stage and out of the spotlight through email, in-person interviews, surveys and other research channels. Your voices were positively critical in forming a well-balanced code that aims to represent all reasonable needs.

Together, you helped us to form a Code of Conduct that reinforces our expectations of civility, charitable intent, mutual respect for individual feelings and the emotional labor that helping strangers entails, and our commitment to always learn and improve.

Please, have a look at the second draft (Google Doc | GitHub PDF), and tell us what you think.

There are some notes that we'd like everyone to keep in mind:

Major changes to the document have settled.

Based on hundreds of hours of feedback (on both your part and our part), we've incorporated all major changes that we felt strengthened the document and ensured that it met as many needs as possible. At this point, we're considering all major construction done - what we're looking for are things like small sentence tweaks, accidental loopholes, grammar fixes, opportunities for brevity, and similar improvements.

Any feedback that needs to be evaluated prior to the new CoC being implemented must be posted on or (ideally) prior to Friday, July 27, 2018.

This document is designed to evolve.

Implementation doesn't preclude improvement, it just means that we have to arrive at a point that looks sound enough to test in the real world for a while, and then see what (if anything) needs to be changed.

We will be opening periodic surveys to solicit feedback on the efficacy of the CoC, and will make adjustments based on the results. Similarly, you can suggest improvements to the CoC by creating a or with the tag to raise any concern. Please open all discussions here, on Meta Stack Exchange, so that everyone interested can find them in one place.

Try not to worry, well, not too much.

In case you didn't hear us, we're extremely proud of you, and thankful that we've even gotten to this point. We want to make sure that we remain a relevant tool that our kids will use one day, and we know that we will.

Teachers have to talk to everyone in the class, even those sitting at the front looking annoyingly over their shoulders at the concealed spit-ball launching arsenal behind them; I learned that in my second year of college.

When you're speaking to something like a code of conduct, you must be extremely clear, it applies to everyone, and we're not making any exceptions.

With that said, we don't expect most folks reading this to find themselves in a precarious place due to enforcement; the worst most might expect is seeing a hastily-written comment that was uncharacteristically insensitive removed unceremoniously by a moderator in flag-processing mode.

You're here talking to us because you care - these aren't easy conversations to have and we get that. You, the folks that put a sincere effort into helping us shape this code are the people that understand why it's so important to embrace the intent of the document, and the ones most likely to learn from mistakes, however unlikely they might be.

The need for this stinks, but embracing it sends a strong signal that we care about everyone enough to commit to not being demeaning and honestly listening to them if they feel like we got that wrong. While that might sound trivial, like something we do every day, it's a major thing for an online community of this size to achieve.

Over to you.

See anything? Let us know. Do you have further questions? Let us know. Please be respectful, try not to assume the worst in folks, and keep in mind that having these kinds of problems is also a sign of lots of other stuff going right - let's not lose sight of that.

Thank all of you again, so much, for your time and patience here. I'm not sure what yet, but we're going to have some kind of decompression festival once this all gets put in place.

  • 45
    A common question I've seen: Do you expect anything to change in day-to-day moderation? Is this intended to change behavior, or just codify the rules we already enforce? – Undo Jul 19 '18 at 16:41
  • 47
    @Undo This just codifies the rules that we already use, moderation is still at the discretion of the individual moderators, and we've clarified that in this revision. – Tim Post Jul 19 '18 at 16:43
  • 6
    @YvetteColomb See sentence right above the "Try not to worry, well, not too much." header – Undo Jul 19 '18 at 16:45
  • 17
    @Dragonrage I'm not sure the SE network gets any welcoming by punishing chatty chat puns with 30 minute chat bans. So I wasn't sure. – Mast Jul 19 '18 at 17:26
  • 8
    The caution about joking is more strongly linked with jokes that are touching on subjects that are sensitive, @Mast . I've been in many chat discussions and explosions that were centered around someone flagging a joke that was taken out of context... and the problem there isn't the person lacking context, it's that the joke is about something that is a sensitive subject to others and probably better suited to a private chat off site. – Catija Jul 19 '18 at 17:33
  • 15
    @Mast the sway some people have in meta. A post with no downvotes and then there's one comment, misunderstanding the posts intent and wording it in a way to derail, rather than clarify, and then all the downvotes pour in. I hate it. There's no chance to rectify, clarify or explain. There's a condemning comment and that's it. There's many aspects of meta I really dislike. – Yvette Colomb Jul 19 '18 at 17:52
  • 10
    @YvetteColomb If it offers you some comfort... I've been in a similar situation on MSO. My answer was nicely gathering upvotes... then Jon Skeet (himself!) commented and only appeared to disagree. Suddenly it started raining downvotes and no amount of explanation seemed to help. It's indeed not a pleasant thing... but you're not alone, I think many of us have been there at one time or another. – S.L. Barth Jul 19 '18 at 18:14
  • 8
    Why did you put an image in the GitHub PDF instead of a proper PDF file with text in it? – Gaurang Tandon Jul 19 '18 at 18:17
  • 14
    @Mast Puns should be dealt with harsh punishment. – Draco18s Jul 20 '18 at 1:16
  • 6
    As I commented on a loss of trust in the last update. I would like to just say that this post (and the changes) feels like a step in the right direction to me - and I hope others. I'm still worried about how it will applied to chat (see @AndrasDeak comment above) and SE as a whole but the tone of the post and changes made in light of the feedback, really help to reassure about SE's direction. – LinkBerest Jul 20 '18 at 16:01
  • 41
    You could Google this in 5 seconds. Isn't posting a zero-effort question a lot worse than this kind of a response? – EJoshuaS Jul 20 '18 at 20:43
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    @PushfPopf You predict correctly. Broken windows theory. TL;DR: Having a lot of a bad thing around tends to make people think that bad thing is okay, thus generating more. Cuts both ways - if there are a lot of snarky comments around, you could get the same effect. Aside from the horrendous issues around defining "illegal", dropping question closure would encourage bad questions and drive experts away. – Undo Jul 23 '18 at 21:48
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    @PushfPopf: If you want a site that is not Stack Exchange, you are welcome to find one. But Stack Exchange's ability to close and delete bad questions is so deeply embedded that removing that would make the sites into something utterly different. It's not quite on par with a suggestion to have democracy without all the messy voting by members of the public, but it's not far short. – Nathan Tuggy Jul 24 '18 at 4:09
  • 5
    @Undo: "Bad" unanswered questions won't drive anybody away. Mean responses drive people away. I have this fantasy that people who are having a problem can come here and ask their question as best they can, and get help or at least be benignly ignored. – PushfPopf Jul 24 '18 at 12:51
  • 4
    "This question does not appear to be about the software that powers the Stack Exchange network within the scope defined in the help center." wut – Kevin B Aug 9 '18 at 16:14

66 Answers 66

-4

It's scary and unfair

Let's me explain. It says that we should be good and kind. OKAY.

But, at the same time, this "code of conduct" (that is a rule) put penalties, real penalties.

In the very first lines, it says "... and mutual respect". How is it mutual respect if we should be kind and the moderation/administration of StackOverflow could punish me because of some vague rules.

I'm not a lawyer but I can see a bad contract, and it is a bad contract.

I wish to see punishment for both sides!

enter image description here
This image is not a joke or sarcasm. It is straight! You are abusing, in the same way, that the character of this cartoon abused of his power.

  • 6
    Are you suggesting that the legal system shouldn't exist, because all laws are essentially just imposing punishments for arbitrary rules for things that someone decided shouldn't be allowed? Without punishment for misbehavior, the rules become meaningless. Why would someone take time to follow rules if there was no downside to disobeying them? – animuson Jul 29 '18 at 17:07
  • 1
    I don't understand how this is actually scary in any real world sense. This site is not about the ultimate service of self-expression without penalty or consequence. That's hedonism. This site is devoted to the sharing of useful knowledge regarding software development and practices. Anything that doesn't advance that notion should have no place here. Additionally, how much does it cost you to stay respectful while sharing information? How much information have you gathered from other people? Were you always rude to them? – Andrew Jul 31 '18 at 17:02
  • Lambs should obey, moderators must do whatever they are pleased. How is it fair? People are dumb to accept such rules, it is clear. The legal system should exist and must be fair, i.e. politicians, cops and citizens must follow it. I never say that it must be an anarchy. sheesh. – magallanes Aug 8 '18 at 18:22
-4

Code of Conduct Re: Question Closure?

May I ask where are the guidelines on Question Closure? I know Stack doesn't want to move towards a forum but some pertinent questions get closed really fast (like hours or even minutes) - users would find said questions useful, maybe the closure period should be extended to say 72hours after being "flagged" or something?

Would it be beneficial to have Code of Conduct mention Question Closure policies? Confused about this bit.

  • 2
    The code of conduct is about the civility to be applied between users when you are discussing moderation actions. Let's not abuse the CoC to further diminish the useful participation of the caretakers. – rene Jul 31 '18 at 6:42
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    @rene OK thanks for explaining further. – SaltySub2 Jul 31 '18 at 7:11
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    I feel that all negative actions (closure, block, hide, delete, downvote etc) have a very harsh psychological consequences and they all (closure, block, hide, delete, downvote etc) comes within the scope of civility and mutual respect. – Always Confused Aug 8 '18 at 9:58
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    @AlwaysConfused It's a User Experience thing. Like let's say you take Uber, then the driver gives you 2 Stars the first time you ride because you came down from your apartment late. It can be weird because you're like, wait, what? But of course, if you repeatedly do that, it's inconveniencing the driver and you would deserve to be rated that and accept said rating consequences. But for NEW users that's where my (and probably yours) concern lies. And also overall fairness for existing and long-time users overall. Lots for Stack to sort out I reckon. – SaltySub2 Aug 12 '18 at 6:46
-5

About the new code of conducts; I am partly welcoming and partly disagree.

The good thing it remembers us to not tell another "lazy" or that type of discriminatory comment, actually the the person who is being pinpointed, does have her/his own problems and own respects which may be difficult to understand for others. Yes, we need to be respectful to everyone. We can hardly have a "respect all, suspect all" view; but we cannot confirm whether someone is intentionally lazy.

Avoid joke is also a good advice, because jokes are usually "indirect" ways that could delay the convey of actual information, and confuses some people and led to misunderstanding (and simply we can't blame a person if (s)he is unable to crack the hidden meaning of a joke)

But I disagree with the next part; I found 2 big areas in these codes of conduct, are flawed.

ABSENCE OF SEPARATE GUIDELINE FOR USERS WITH AUTHORITATIVE POSITIONS.

1. The most hurting responses are more often obtained from many reputed or highly qualified users than newbie users and students, who are unaware about our website structure. Also the hurting behaviour of most newbies differ from hurting behaviour of most experts. So there must be separate guides for (1) newbie users and for (2) highly reputed/ highly qualified/ more experienced (high activity for more than 1 years).

There must be more exemption from punishment for newbie users. Particularly the "examples" in that page mostly pinpoints new users. Actually new users feel insecurities and panics with fate of their submitted questions, and also tend to use improper wording, failing to express actual question, and misinterpret others' responses. Also in this community we commonly use a specific form of language (a new dialect?), otherwise known as highly formal language (As seen in Dilbert comic strip), and many of common people are unaware of this form of language use, that adds up to misinterpretation. So we must have patience and tolerance to gently teach our community guidelines, and we need to be excellent listeners to newbie users.

And similarly there must be separate guidelines so that experienced users stay alert that they do not show arrogance and do not use authoritative force. Also, experienced users should learn to keep questions alive until it reaches an appropriate audience. A downvote without an explanation, and a very early close vote, should be considered as rudeness. Also the so the experienced users, such as moderators and editors, must learn how not to make newbies anxious. Moderators need to be more caring.

AUTISM-SPECTRUM PEOPLE LACK AN INTUITIVE GRASP ON CODE OF CONDUCTS AND SOCIAL NORMS.

2. The list of unacceptable behaviours: the friendly and unfriendly versions: will cause cumbersome situation on an user with autism-spectrum (such as me); such 'conditions' would be useless because it may be impossible to comprehend what way of saying make people hurt. So whenever implementing such complex norms (which you can't finish with even several million more examples), you do an injustice for an autism spectrum user (whatever diagnosed or undiagnosed).

The injustice will take place in following way.

  • A. I agree, sometimes an action like edits or normal feedbacks could be misinterpreted as rude or deleterious. In such case, please do not keep the norm hidden within only examples. Explicitly mention, "Please explain if your action is not rude. Such as if an user express a discomfort seeing the submission edited, tell the user that an edit is a routine part of a review , which can actually improve the submission, and the original poster can again improve the question"

  • B. Language can only sugarcoat intentions. Language can't change intentions. We require good intentions, and we do not need a bad intention in a disguise that is even more harmful than a bad intention without disguise. So we should request people to really have good intentions than disguised language.

  • C. Directness in work environment is important for survival of an autism spectrum person. Also directness can provide a friendly and simple world for neurotypicals too, directness is a prerequisite for autism spectrum.The problem is two-fold. (1) Unfortunately, in a "normal" conversation the neurotypicals watches and listens a lot of complex parameters other than the intended meaning. So in cases an autism spectrum person aware about only the literal information content; many neurotypicals may mistakenly interpret it as rude, and misunderstands. (where it doesn't mean anything else than the literal information) (2) Neurotypicals, while delivering their turn, often sugarcoat their message, such as by adding extra words, or telling about something else and expecting the listener will 'teleologically' understand the meaning. But this is a very wrong way of communication with autism-spectrum people because they'll perhaps fail to decipher the metaphor. Now if you punish an autism-spectrum person for not being able to sugarcoat the message, it is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe you don't know how ridiculous it is. It is as ridiculous as to punish an earthworm for not being able to fly. Take a simple example. A current example says “Are you speaking English? If so, I can’t tell.” It is a simple and direct statement, and I fail to figure out why it is offensive. Its simply an user is telling (S)he don't know English well, and is unable to respond to certain request. Now suppose if I wrote "I can't answer this part of your question because I don't understand the quantum mechanics"... I have to face punishment! What a hell of injustice.

  • D. Even a neurotypical person's talk are misinterpreted in many cases (in real life); and moreover in this global community with members from various cultures and languages, misinterpretations would be very high.

  • E. There are scopes of intentional misuse of these punishments.

I think, a fast action should be taken ONLY if the speech is "clearly offensive" such as hate-speeches, sexual harassments, personal attacks, etc (and I think such level of is rarely reached). In case of comparatively milder situation, (Including my example when a sentence carrying an unintended "neurotypical" gesture but the speaker is unaware of it), and other cases like a mild level of arguments; an immediate block or immediate punishment would worsen everything. Instead they themselves or other users could positively help them to come out of misunderstandings.

  • 2
    "There must be more exemption from punishment for newbie users" Hmm. Nah. They can already be pretty exempt just by creating a new account. And since punishment starts at "silently deleting comments", escalates to "politely worded mod warning", and only after that starts showing teeth, there's really no call for "exemptions". – Nathan Tuggy Aug 8 '18 at 11:12
  • 4
    Also, I didn't downvote, but comments to the effect of "please explain downvotes, otherwise they're useless" are never very worthwhile. Votes are useful to indicate sentiment on meta sites or quality judgements on main sites, and that's their primary purpose: that is, allowing moderately senior members to collaborate on informing others which posts should have the most attention paid to them. Feedback to authors, while very handy, is secondary at most. – Nathan Tuggy Aug 8 '18 at 11:15
  • @NathanTuggy Thanks very much for explaining. But how can I know "Votes are useful to indicate sentiment on meta sites"? is there any help article explicitely meaning this? – Always Confused Aug 8 '18 at 11:23
  • 3
    What's Meta? covers this from a somewhat idealistic standpoint. In practice, meta voting tends to always be at least a little more sentiment-based than main-site voting, although it's most noticeable on feature requests. – Nathan Tuggy Aug 8 '18 at 11:28
-6

The issue I have with the code of conduct is around 2 related things:

  1. How vague/specific is my question;
  2. Could I have easily googled it;

— because I think this is very presumptive on the part of others ... let me explain.

My question is as specific as I can make it given my current understanding AND my question is as vague or general as it needs to be so that the scope covers everything I want to know AND it’s as vague as it has no other choice in being, given what I don’t know about the subject ... AND IT IS EXTREMELY UNHELPFUL when people tell you what you already know about the fact your question may be a bit vague — ie: they should just help or be quiet.

YES I KNOW there’s a limit to this — ie: you can’t just ask “explain Linux”, BUT I think the line has been drawn a hell of a long way from that part of the sandpit based on my own experience of people’s responses.

ALSO AND MORE IMPORTANTLY — given the capacity to update a question — often a good strategy would be to ask an initial question that might be a little vague, and as the answers start coming in, and you learn, you can modify the post, adding your own comments, and thus for the newbie they get to see the journey of learning, which might help them directly or indirectly by explaining things along the way they hadn’t thought to ask, or which point out the gap in the knowledge which concerns them, and thus helps them resolve their own issue.

So the assumption that such vagueness is always bad, is just plain wrong.

MEANWHILE on the topic of googling, how the hell would anyone know what someone else can or can’t google for? That’s just wrong also ... in order to successfully google a topic, not only have you got to get past googles commercial bias, the lack of sophisticated advanced search function in it, and the fact that you don’t exactly know what you’re searching for ... but you’ve also got to get around what terms to use in the search, and the fact that countless billions of pages exist ( many of which might be too technically complex to understand ) ... so this part of the code of conduct is again counterproductive towards actually helping people ... if you don’t want to help, don’t, but don’t tell them they can’t even ask.

  • 3
    It sounds like you're choking a bit on the fact that SE sites close questions that could conceivably be answered by someone in a way that could help you — if they believe the answers couldn't help anyone else. This is understandable, but unfortunately this is not a problem with the Code of Conduct: it's part of the fundamental design of the sites. SE is designed to get good answers for lots of people to find and read. It's tough to work out which questions are and aren't going to collect those answers, but that's why closing requires so much site experience. – Nathan Tuggy Aug 31 '18 at 6:13
  • That’s not my issue at all, and I’m pretty sure I just stated that fact – Mr.President Sep 1 '18 at 9:27
-13

IMO, the site feature of down voting questions and answers should just be removed completely. It's never really helpful and only fosters a negative and elitist sentiment. Just let us like(upvote) correct or exceptional questions and responses.

If the intention is to filter out the noise and riff raff, this would be better served with a basic comment flag feature that mods would be alerted about and deal with themselves.

  • 4
    Do that, and the whole network will go to pot. Downvoting is a primary curation capability, one that helps filter the good stuff from the bad. – fbueckert Aug 1 '18 at 20:26
  • Being able to flag a comment would enable the same type of curation capability and filtering. Being able to still upvote would facilitate the same kind of ranking/reward system the site has now. – webnetweaver Aug 1 '18 at 20:39
  • 3
    No, it wouldn't. All it does is push the decision onto someone else, overburdening them. Upvotes without downvotes just removes half of the quality metric. – fbueckert Aug 1 '18 at 20:42
  • 1
    Abuse of the downvote feature is obviously an issue with many members on the site. Personally, I would never downvote an honest attempt at an answer. As long as the best answers float to the top, and bad ones fall to the bottom I don't see what the difference would be. The fact is this site can be self-curated without the downvote feature. Some folks just enjoy having the ability to express negative sentiment toward a response. That is, in addition to the comment section. – webnetweaver Aug 1 '18 at 21:42
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    Citation needed. I don't believe they're being abused. Show evidence that they are. – fbueckert Aug 1 '18 at 21:44
  • I think the number of answers that suggest revamping the downvoting provides good context for this, and the site's seeming inability to even discuss changes to downvoting would also back up that up as well. There are no guidelines on how to cast a downvote. It is often for trivial reasons, or over-zealous mods. A large part of the Stack Exchange community is calling for a revamp to welcomeness and entrenched users often ignore the issue, despite the relevance of the site declining because of the aggressive exclusiveness of the site. – Andrew Aug 3 '18 at 3:40
  • 5
    @Andrew The reason people are unwilling to discuss this is because it's been brought up in one form or another at least once a week for the past 9 years. Anyone suggesting such a thing could easily find 50+ topics where their idea has been picked apart and voted on by the community already. People aren't reflexively downvoting the idea, they're reflexively downvoting the lack of effort to look for similar suggestions before making them. – Magisch Aug 3 '18 at 10:48
  • 2
    Also citation needed that a admittedly not trivial amount of people who don't research before posting == a large amount. – Magisch Aug 3 '18 at 10:49
  • 1
    @Andrew As always, citation needed. You're also equating downvoting, which is a curation activity, with welcoming, which is an entirely separate issue. Correlating them won't get you much traction here, as they aren't meant to be the same thing. – fbueckert Aug 3 '18 at 13:37
  • @Magisch, are you implying that the existence of people who disagree with your opinion should be considered reason to not post your opinion? I hope that's not what you're asserting here. I started my post with IMO for a reason and I doubt any amount of searching will change the reason for my post. – webnetweaver Aug 3 '18 at 16:29
  • @fbueckert I'm still waiting for you to provide citations for the assertions you've already made. Here's your homework assignment:"Correlating them won't get you much traction here," please provide evidence or citation to support this statement you made about the community. – webnetweaver Aug 3 '18 at 16:34
  • 1
    Your evidence: The votes on your proposal here. I'm still waiting on you to provide evidence of your statement. Time to show us the money. – fbueckert Aug 3 '18 at 16:36
  • 2
    @webnetweaver No, I mean that if you have an idea, you should check if your idea is at all novel over the 200 other threads of almost exactly the same idea. And if it's not, what makes you think the outcome of the discussion will be different then the last 10 times it's been discussed? If you made this as a feature-request tagged question, it'd be closed as a duplicate. – Magisch Aug 3 '18 at 16:59
  • @Magisch I can understand what you mean but Im not looking to sway or persuade here. I know people are firmly entrenched in their thoughts about this because they have expressed it...which is what I'm doing here...expressing my thoughts. No delusion of novelty here and no delusion or expectation of anything different than the response I've received. – webnetweaver Aug 3 '18 at 18:29
  • @fbueckert I believe Magisch can direct you to approximately 200 other threads with comments expressing the thoughts I'm expressing here to the point where this is identified quickly as a duplicate. You guys should get together and share notes :) – webnetweaver Aug 3 '18 at 18:31
-14

The main problem with this code of conduct, that not only the negative comments are expelling the new users.

The voting moral is expelling them, more exactly the attitude of the community expels them. The comments in negative tone are only a maniphestation of this negative attitude.

I think your idea is essentially bad from the view, that it ignores the voting moral, which is at least so important part of the welcoming-ness of the sites, than the attitude of the comments.

More clearly: you essentially want to make the negative comments much more seriously punishable. Ok, then people won't comment, they will just vote down (close, del). I don't think that a site where never, nobody says any negative, only it is simply impossible for a newbie to join the community because of the Q/A-ban, or to get an answer to his question because the close votes, would be more welcoming as the current system.

After many years of experience of many sites, my rock solid opinion is that a large part of the most active voters are motivated by an irrational urge to cause so many harm for others, as it is only possible.

These are very hard to track, much harder as to simply suspend productive answerers because they said some negative to crap posts.

I think you are now going to the least resistence, and it won't work.

What I would suggest instead of working on Cyril Northcote Parkinson's Law of Triviality, do this:

Utilize real data mining to calculate the net effect of users to the site. It is hard, much harder as to simply creating beautiful diagrams and inserting them to strongly upvoted blog entries. You will probably need soft methods, too.

For example, a user casted already terrible mass of downvotes expelled probably a lot of users from the site. But he also helped a lot the site to show its content more attractive to the googlers (suspecting he voted really the bad content down and not every afternoon shoot out his daily 40 "rockets" randomly, just for fun). How can you say, that his net effect is positive or not? You don't say, you are simply ignoring this a whole. Say it, calculate it! You have the voting data, you have the data of the deleted posts and the user activites.

Build probability models for that, try to model the behaviors and the feelings of the users with them! Use massively soft models, use AI, use probability networks and Markov-models, and then predict the behavior of the induvidual users and their net effect to the site, depending on the events what happen to them.

I am sure, that you don't do it. Why? I don't know, but I suspect. And I suspect that you simply don't trust these advanced methods enough, to base important strategical decisions to them.

Google trusts them. Microsoft trusts them. Ok, they have much more money, but... also you are a medium-sized company in the US. You are still one of the top100 content providers of the world. And you are the only site of the world, which produces mostly better google results if I narrow down the search pattern to you with a site:something.stackexchange.com suffix.

I can't believe that you couldn't pay a small team of data scientists/AI researchers and integrate their work into your software development.

This way will work.

Building yet another committe to write yet another document, it won't.

  • 11
    After many years of experience of many sites, my stone hard opinion is that a large part of the most active voters are motivated by an irrational urge to cause so many harm for others, as it is only possible. Thats a pretty insulting and offensive way to speak about people who spend their highly valued free time to help curate this online resource. I won't r/a flag this, but I strongly urge you to consider removing or at least rewording it. – Magisch Aug 1 '18 at 8:37
  • @Magisch Saying that it is true or not, I should not write it, it may be a strong argument (if it is enough well reasoned). Simply denying the problem and stating that all the massive downvoters, all of them without a single exception, are just good-hearted crusaders helping the site to show its best possible face to the google, well the strength of this "argument" nears zero. – user259412 Aug 1 '18 at 8:42
  • 4
    There are ways to phrase what you want to say without directly insulting people, however. – Magisch Aug 1 '18 at 8:43
  • @Magisch I can't see any direct insult in the post. Beside that, the essence of the first half of the post is that improvement of the comment attitude is inseparable from the improvement of the voting attitude. I think it is right, however exactly the most massive downers will likely strongly disagree it. They will likely vote this answer down, however they vote my posts always down -> there is no motivation for me to make my posts acceptable for them. I think it is better if I simply say the truth (or what I think is the truth). – user259412 Aug 1 '18 at 9:06
  • 1
    this answer appears to substitute one problem with another. Rudeness is definitely a problem (and always was). But whether "expelling the new users" is a problem is really unclear - I just checked traffic stats and top 20 sites all show tens or hundreds thousands more visits/day than questions asked. Meaning that even if we assume that all questions are asked by new users, their amount is totally insignificant compared to visits and their contribution to site success is very minor. Whether it goes a bit higher or lower, this won't make much difference – gnat Aug 2 '18 at 5:13
  • ...heck even if new users questions would go an order of magnitude higher, it won't really matter because it would still be thousands / tens thousands times less than visits/day. Except for maybe that flood of low quality questions would repel answerers (who contribute content that appeals those who make "visits/day) which in turn would lead to decrease of major success factor (visits). And Stack Exchange would eventually turn into yet another useless Quora / Yahoo Answers – gnat Aug 2 '18 at 5:17
  • @gnat Yes, more welcome-ness causes quality decrease, which causes user loss. But also overmoderation causes user loss, particularly if it is often not fair. How can you decide, which is stronger? Do you have any quantitative analysis for that? No. Does the SE have? I think, they have not too much - they seem to favor human micro-management to AI methods. The post tries to focus on that. – user259412 Aug 2 '18 at 14:18
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    yes, please check my prior comment. I started searching for quantitative data as soon as I found that you substituted one problem for another. I thought maybe the other problem you presented somehow correlates to make a substantial impact so I looked for where I can find data to estimate it. I found this data in traffic stats referred in mentioned comment and it suggests that this problem is insignificant. I would be happy to learn if I missed something – gnat Aug 2 '18 at 14:30
  • How does more welcomeness decrease quality? Which exact action is being considered as more welcoming that leads to a decrease in the quality of Stack Exchange? – Andrew Aug 3 '18 at 3:35
  • @gnat You are generating verbal models on not enough data. We could play that you explain some correlation with a strong phylosophical flavor, and then I answer with another correlation with a similarly strong phylosophical flavor. This is what is going on the MSE infinitely long. All of them are only small parts of the big picture. We can't make the whole, because we don't have access to all the data (and processing it correctly is a much bigger work than writing some SEDE queris). We can only infinitely long debate about different small parts of the picture, but it won't worth too much. – user259412 Aug 3 '18 at 7:16
  • @gnat The focus of the post is a suggestion to the SE to build that whole picture, and use it for the community control (here "control" means as control in "control technology"). – user259412 Aug 3 '18 at 7:18
  • @Andrew The fear of the deletionists here is that not expelling the LQ posters will lead to quality decrease. It is obviously so. But having a too high limit leads to a quantity decrease (and many whining). The SE has to balance between them: 1) not allowing the site quality to decrease 2) but trying to expel the possible least users. The essence of the post is to use more advanced, objective methods for that than the current human micromanagement. – user259412 Aug 3 '18 at 7:23
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    @Andrew check Gnat's this comment, I think it is essentially the same answer to your question, but from their view. – user259412 Aug 3 '18 at 7:25

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