This feature is now live across the network.

We've been doing quite a bit of research into ways that we could help new users have better experiences that ultimately lead them to becoming increasingly valuable, long-term contributors to our sites. While this is still ongoing, it's starting to blossom in the form of small but hopefully very effective changes we can make to improve how well we retain great people.

We're very enthusiastic about a new change that's small in scope, but big in potential to help new contributors find their footing. Coming very soon: our shiny (new) new contributor indicator!

New contributor indicator screenshot

tl;dr;: Folks will see an indicator when they go to interact with new contributors (visible for a week following their first post) letting them know that the person is new. A handy link to our Code of Conduct will be in the notification for reference.

What are our goals with this?

  • Help develop and reinforce empathy for new contributors

  • Help new contributors overcome anxiety surrounding asking or answering their first question on our sites

Here's a little more background:

We actively discourage folks from providing information that isn't really relevant to their posts; we would rather folks just get down to business. That's fine, but it doesn't really solve for how apprehensive people feel when contributing to a new community (especially one that's notorious for having lots of rules).

We tend to edit out ways that people try to anticipate and address criticism in advance (stop me if you've heard this one!):

I'm really new at this, so please forgive me if I'm doing this incorrectly ...

Sometimes, people say this because they're new at two skills: whatever they're trying to accomplish and (in many cases) asking questions on our sites. Sometimes, they're experienced in endeavor, they're just new to our engine. The need for a little empathy is the same however, and equally applicable in either case. We agree that this sort of stuff doesn't belong in posts, but we feel like the system should embrace it.

This indicator can speak for new contributors in a friendly way that the system itself reinforces; we hope it will allow folks to feel less apprehensive about jumping in.

If you're thinking something along the lines of 'Student Driver', the analogy generally fits: black-and-yellow striped tape and everything.

What is it going to look like?

Well, it's not going to be black-and-yellow striped tape, even though that would be pretty neat. It's easier to just show you, so I brought some screenshots! While these are still being finalized and tweaked, here's what the indicator will look like when you:

Comment on any of their initial posts, or view their initial questions:

New user indicator mock up - comment on question prompt

Note: the new indicator doesn't actually attach to the user card throughout the site; it only appears where the user card is displayed on posts. This is what happens if you mouse over the indicator:

new user indicator mouseover mock up

Or, write an answer to their initial questions:

new user indicator answer question mock up

.. and the indicator under the user card on answers behaves just like it does in the question view example.

These are the most common pain points when it comes to engaging with new contributors.

The new indicator doesn't alter functionality.

It's a reminder that how you interact with the person could be extra meaningful (any time we help strangers just out of the love for what we do, it's meaningful). But it's not a magic shield of any kind, it doesn't work like spawn protection (where players can't take damage for the first few seconds after entering) in video games.

The new indicator works by the age of a user's first visible post.

This could be a question or answer, and the association bonus won't influence the behavior. While you might not be new to our engine, everyone is new when they first join a new community, so the indicator is shown.

What behavior do we hope to encourage from more experienced users?

We hope folks will try to explain the why in addition to the what or how when you show new folks the ropes of using our system, and try to make them feel like it's within their immediate capability to be successful here. Experienced contributors don't need to know that their formatting looks good when you mention that they forgot to include a version number, but new contributors really appreciate that encouragement.

Other things you can do:

  • Flag comments that are unfriendly or simply unhelpful. New users can do this now on posts that they own, but let's show people that we're serious about investing as much in them as they do in us. Snark sets a bad impression, but snark vanishing quickly sets a much better one.
  • Don't add to 'pile on' scenarios of any kind; let moderators know if something needs immediate attention.
  • Help new users by editing their posts, and leaving them a comment explaining how your edit improved things.
  • Don't forget to upvote posts that you feel have value. It's strange when a question gets three plus answers, yet not a single vote. There's no obligation, of course, but the indicator is a helpful reminder.

Why are we doing this?

Our sites work in a way where it's nearly impossible to guide new users through complete onboarding in a way where we can ensure that they avoid all major pitfalls. There are just too many nuances to how the system works that can't be sufficiently expressed in UX / system dialog; we need a safety net.

We like to take the least invasive approach that's likely to get the job done when it comes to guiding behavior, so we don't want to make changes to tools when a simple sign that says "Hey, those things are sharp, be careful!" would suffice.

Questions? Suggestions? Feedback? Let us know.

  • 4
    The comments were overwhelming the answers. This conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Joe Friend
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 20:49
  • 3
    We're going to be looking at quite a few things posted here, but we're not going to make many (if any) changes beyond bug fixes until we have established some base data. At that point, we'll try tweaking things. I'm now locking this post for comments, because they've been getting way out of hand.
    – user50049
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 13:50
  • Just popping in to note that the new user indicator does not count deleted posts. I posted in the Worldbuilding Meta sandbox, then deleted the answer per the rules. Many months later I asked a question, and the indicator showed up. Not sure if it's a problem or not; it's just not entirely accurate in that instance. Thought I would mention it in case it is of interest. Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 22:57
  • Does the new user see those indicators? It seems like their situation would be a bit more friendly if they didn't, but I am not sure.
    – wallyk
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 19:32
  • 2
    I took a look and added the indicator to the block list, alongside to the hot newtork questions, blog announcements, job ads and whatever dross you've put in the left sidebar.
    – baudsp
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 15:33
  • "This indicator can speak for new contributors in a friendly way that the system itself reinforces" There are a few years of data now. Has this indicator has any impact on the rate at which new contributors explicitly say it anyway (which is noise that we're supposed to edit out of posts)? Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 3:29
  • 2
    @KarlKnechtel the OP here is no longer working for SE and has no way to answer your question. Try asking it as a new question, and there's a tiny chance current SE staff will notice it and reply. (They're very busy.) Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 10:07
  • 1
    Ah, I hadn't actually looked at the name. It's really been more than two years now, wow. Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 5:03

50 Answers 50


After living with the indicator for a while, I think that it is a good feature, but it needs refinement.

  1. It's too intrusive. A friendly waving hand and "New Contributor" label on the user badge should be enough.

  2. We are expected to be nice to everyone, so the CoC link is off-putting and detracts from what I think the real purpose of the "New Contributor" label should be—letting the community know that someone who hasn't participated here before has taken the plunge and might be feeling a little unsure of how they will be received.

  3. The indicator should take into account the first visible post on either the main site or the site's meta - the goal should be to try to highlight people who are new to the community.

  4. We may want to make the algorithm a little more sophisticated and maybe take into account how long someone has been visiting the community before they posted. If I've been lurking for a year and just now had a reason to post, maybe I don't need the "new contributor" label. Maybe I get a "emerged from the shadows" label instead ;)

I think that viewing the "new contributor" indicator as a warning that we have to treat that user extra special nice is not the right perspective. We should be thinking of this like a new team member at work being shown around and introduced to everyone. Say hello, give them a tip about how things work around here, and maybe say you're happy they're on board. In short, make them feel welcomed and optimistic that being part of the community is going to be pleasant.

It is hard for some of us to walk into a room full of strangers who already know each other. Even if no-one is overtly a jerk to us, if everyone ignores us, or just talks to us to tell us that we pinned our nametag on the wrong side, it's not an experience we would look forward to repeating.


Generally, I have agreed with the approach being used thus far towards the whole "welcoming" mantra. We should provide the same level of help to new users as to experienced users, and in my opinion that level of help should include courtesy where logical, and perhaps a cold shoulder when not. It seems to me there is a certain degree of zeal when dealing with questions across the board, and while there is definitely more ground to cover progress is being made with regards to dialing that zeal into more realistic expectations.

This feature though, I am not sure I agree with, for several reasons. Primarily, I disagree with the idea of labeling users like this. I don't think it will help, and I think it has a large potential at alienation or increasing friction in certain places.

Remember when we used to show acceptance rates? It was all fun 'n games for those who had a high rate, but, if you had a low rate... watch out. Eventually it was removed because users with low rates were being treated harshly based on the rate, regardless of the content they provided. Which, coincidentally, is the problem here: labeling users makes it about them instead of about their content.

Moreover, what about all those 1 rep users who no longer have the shiny "new user" protection banner? They are still 1 rep, and now that is almost an invitation for users who may have more zeal than most to step in and really remind them, right down to the snarkiest possible statement, what we don't like here, and how they fit into that. Not really that welcoming...

I don't really see a flip side here to be honest. The upside to this whole endeavor is that there is a reminder banner telling us to greet new users? To be honest, I think the community is welcoming, and overall the process of making sure everyone is dialing their approach into something more friendly and less jarring is working due to the diligence and outlook being provided by the team.

Let's not take a step backwards with this.


I'm...not sure about this.

There are a few reasons. Some of the voices I've heard here and elsewhere seem kind of actively hostile towards new users. And, well, at least a few users are probably going to target "new" users because... I donno, they think it's the right thing to do in some perverse way?

And if someone's post needs a fix-up, or somehow is found to be wanting, or they just need a hand with their spelling, grammar, and use of certain confusing words like "its", their reputation does not matter.

We also have the First Posts review queue.

If we're going to experiment, I'd suggest putting this as a privilege for a certain degree of reputation (especially since its purely cosmetic, and I can read someone's reputation), or, if it's not too much work, give it for getting a badge on the new user review queue, so folks who've proven to an extent that they can and do review new user posts can work.

This is an L plate (or maybe a P plate) - its letting us know that this person dosen't know as much as we do. Some people will give way cause they have an L plate. Some would have done it anyway. Some will cut infront of them cause its funny.

We don't need an L plate to help someone in whatever way we can.

  • 5
    I have a feeling in some tags on SO the workflow for some users will be "New user -> downvote -> close -> delete" without reading. Yes I don't think it's a hyperbole. I'm glad I'm not a new user in one of those tags today, it's like painting a target on your back.
    – Magisch
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 8:24

As a pragmatic UX point: At least on Math.SE, the "this is a new user" banner on the answer box tends to look a lot like the dynamic "a new answer has been posted" banner, according to the part of my brain responsible for peripheral vision.

I've already lost count of how many times I've had a question open, trying to figure out a solution to it, and then suddenly "seen" that, oh, someone else thinks they've cracked it, let's check what that is -- only for it to be the new-user banner instead.

At least make sure they have different colors ...


Going with the "student driver" analogy: when an unlicensed driver borrows a car, pulls onto a highway, and causes an accident within seconds, what do you do? Do you give them a "be nice to me; I'm new" bumper sticker? Or do you get that menace off the road and enforce licensing laws that ensure people only drive in a safe and responsible manner?

The questions that would make veteran users fly into a rage if not for a hand-wave icon are not the kind of questions the site needs. Those questions already exist, with millions of duplicates. Good questions - the kind of questions that make veteran users think, "wow, that's a good question that I can't answer myself with 30 seconds of Googling; I'll be interested to see an answer from an expert in this framework so that I can learn today" - don't need the "sorry, I'm new" sign, regardless of who posted them. Wasn't that the key of SO? Content over subjectivity?

This new element just underscores the fact that this site values millions of new advertising targets new users who post garbage and will disappear as soon as their homework is done for them (until next week's homework, with a new account) over a few veterans with ad blockers long-time users who contribute to the site with their time, energy, and expertise.

  • 1
    "Good questions - the kind of questions that make veteran users think..." - The difficulty of the subject material should not be the discriminating factor in question quality. The problem with bad questions generally is that they are either incomprehensible, a multiple-step work order, or else fail to demonstrate an attempt to apply problem-solving skills to knowledge already demonstrated. Heaven help someone who can't figure out that FooError means an error caused by a foo. But may Stack Overflow help someone who doesn't know what a foo is. Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 3:33

I think that this signpost has the potential to help people target new users - in ways that can be good or bad. I don't know for sure how things we'll play out, and whether the good bits will outweigh the bad bits, so I don't think I can support this change, or oppose it.

  • Canned comments: Good! On a couple of sites I use, we have lists of comments established site users can write to new contributors. For instance, a common one on Worldbuilding that uses magic links is

    Welcome to Worldbuilding, (Insert username)! If you have a moment, please take the [tour] and visit the [help] to learn more about the site. You may also find [meta] and The Sandbox useful. Here is a meta post on the culture and style of Worldbuilding.SE, just to help you understand our scope and methods, and how we do things here. Have fun!

    We use these . . . a lot. Ideally, on every new user. They're especially useful because we're making the Sandbox more accessible to new folks, and this sort of thing is an easy way to point them to it. Having a "New contributor" sign quickly highlights potential targets for these comments.

    Really, the big advantage of these isn't the links to the tour and help center - those can be off-putting and might be easily ignored. But canned comments linking to things like a site's Sandbox (if the question might need some fixing), or to the site's tutorial on LaTeX (if there's poorly-formatted equations involved), or to a site policy on how to write a great question specifically about the subject the user is asking about - more specific canned comments than the generic one above can be really useful. And this a way to find targets for them - although BJ's suggestion might be even more useful.

    By the way, these can be done easily using the Pro-Forma comments script (kudos to Cai for pointing this one out).

  • Edits: Good! New users are often unfamiliar with tags, for instance, or code formatting, or links, or equations, and sometimes need to have these pointed out to them. Again, this is a signpost to posts that could probably use some extra editing from community members who are willing to help.

  • Close and reopen votes: Bad? This is coming from a different angle, but new users often don't have a good idea of the scope of the site. This means that their questions may easily be duplicates, off-topic, or unclear. If the "New Contributor" sign is shown in the New Questions list, or on the frontpage, folks will know that the question could be close-worthy. On the flip side, the question might later be reopen-worthy if the user responds well to feedback.

    I have to wonder whether this is going to lead to people downvoting and close-voting more harshly, or if it's going to lead to people being less harsh with close votes and downvotes. The latter wouldn't be great; downvoting and close-voting is good when appropriate, not bad. So I think there's potential here, but I'm also slightly worried that it'll impact community moderation for the worse.

I will say that I wish there were ways to make the helpful links more . . . obnoxiously obvious, but places like the help center and tour aren't always visited by new users. Early posts are the best way to guarantee that they'll see them - provided we get the comments in early.

  • What's the shortcut key or combo key to get the auto comment displayed ?
    – JonH
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 16:47
  • @JonH We typically copy-and-paste directly from the meta post, from what I know. There are a number of different selections, and it's stuff we've written ourselves - not an feature SE made for us.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 16:48
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    Darn that isn't really friendly - I mean copy pasting that is...
    – JonH
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 16:48
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    @JonH It would be nice if there was something built into the system to let you do this with a click. I don't know if anyone's built a userscript to do so - I wouldn't be surprised, honestly. And I don't know for sure what everyone does; this is just the easiest way for me to do it.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 16:51
  • But there aren't a lot of homework questions at that site, right? Someone with a deadline (homework or otherwise) is probably more finicky. Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 16:52
  • Understood I've seen others do it...there is probably a user script for it. Wouldn't be difficult to do anyhow, maybe a predefined list of them.
    – JonH
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 16:53
  • @PeterMortensen Yep, we definitely don't have to deal with homework questions a lot (although we have in the past - there was one . . . surprising case). That said, if a user's only here for homework and won't stop to read much, then there's little we can do but make the information as big and visible as possible. And I'd bet comments are much more effective than, say, the tour in those cases.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 16:55
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    @JonH there is Pro-forma comments for that
    – Cai
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 17:08
  • @Cai Oh, that's really helpful. I see I have a new userscript to install.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 17:19
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    The "Pro-forma" looks interesting. That would be great if there was a Flag "Question/Answer could be improved by ..." and clicking on it leads to a sub-menu with things like "Question Unclear", "Wall of Text", "Lengthy Greetings and Intro/Background, before getting to the Point", etc. Clicking on one of those would leave one comment and subsequent users clicking on the same thing would upvote the single comment (as would directly clicking on 'upvote the comment'). Then everyone could easily contribute a predefined polite comment that "It would be so much better if you ...".
    – Rob
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 22:52
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    I'm going to go ahead and say that more proactive closing isn't a bad thing, at least on SO. Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 16:42

I just noticed that the new contributor status is tracked separately for main and meta site. This means that established users on main would still be marked "new" upon their first post on meta. Is this intentional? It raised some eyebrows on my side.

  • Yes it is intentional.
    – TylerH
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 13:54
  • @TylerH source?
    – JAD
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:03
  • This answer requesting it be changed (or the wording adjusted to reflect "new to Meta") is tagged as status-review by Joe Friend, who also has a comment below the answer supporting that. There's also this comment also by Joe that indicates it is intentional because he says this kind of change isn't critical "because experience on one site doesn't 100% transfer [to other sites]"
    – TylerH
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:14

Can they dress themselves?

Poor Tim

The user ought to be able to click on their 'newbie banner' and dismiss it if they choose. That would remove the biggest complaint we see about this change - labeling.

There is also barely enough space after "Check out our Code of Conduct." to squeeze in "See the FAQ." and have even treatment for all. People whom have been here for over a week know the user has a low reputation for whatever reason and understand that they can click on the avatar to determine if they contribute elsewhere, the new user doesn't need the reminder and a special label.

If there are things new users ought to be doing, be it the Site Tour or reading what is on topic, then a pop-up reminder just for them should be helpful enough. Persons not needing such coddling should know that their actions are subject to scrutiny.

When you introduce someone to your friends you don't say: "This is Tim, he is new, so take care in asking ..." - do you? Just treat everyone normally. An opt-out [X] might be useful.


I don't like label like this showing near my avatar. It offends me because it's implying that I require some "special" treatment.

I don't visit SO often, but have my share in adding stupid questions (and probably will have more). I don't see why pointing some things out is bad, unless it is addressed to the OP's personality, or insulting, etc. Feedback is usually useful, especially at the earlier stages of something.

Agree that this is redundant and not useful at all.


The problem you are trying to solve, is not a new user problem. It doesn't matter if you're a newb. This community, like any, has nice people and not-so-nice people. My feedback is to read BJ Myers answer and implement it for everyone, not just newbs.


Edit in response to the discussion I had below. I don't spend a lot of time caring about the rules here. I simply decided one day to contribute answers to a stack on a topic for which I have knowledge and experience. The issue with the comment flagging system is there is no point penalty. People cherish their internet points. People get upset when their answer is downvoted without a comment. People post answers as comments to avoid potential negative point impacts. In the stack I contribute to we have long time users who habitually post bad and/or mean toned comments, that I flag, that moderators deal with. The moderators have some ability to hand out disciplinary action and partial bans. I understand completely the difference between bad and unacceptable, I understand completely the potential misuse of awarding negative points for flagged comments; and I understand that I'm going to lose points when mine are flagged. This solution dances around the obvious fact that MOST of the negativity here occurrs in the comments, and impacting people's very precious point accrual is the best way to add incentive to niceness.

The ability to vote negatively on a comment would do FAR more to curb the meanness and nonsense that this silly indicator seems to seek to address. There is a voting system to promote good answers and bury bad ones. The voting system also awards internet points to the positive contributors as a reward mechanism.

The fact that users can run a muck leaving useless comments with virtually zero repercussions or negative feedback is the issue. If my opinion means anything, I'd say that comments need a downvote function that buries and disables the comment after some threshold is met and the weight should be more than -1 rep point; and should not disappear if the comment is deleted.

Far and away my biggest irritation as a contributor to a stack is the useless peanut gallery comments, that can be overly curt at times. The bulk of the "meanness" I've ever seen addressing new users comes in the form of comments; typically related to a question being off topic. If you want users to temper their tone when addressing other users, including new ones, the incentive system should include a stick on all content that's contributed; not just questions and answers.

The people answering questions are far and away the most valuable part of the stack model. There is no shortage of questions out in the ether, there is no value without answers. I've spent a lot of time answering questions on one of the stacks and at times toy with disassociating my answers and deleting the account. I don't even have words for this move to warn the question answerers to "be nice because this person is new" and the fact that my answer here includes that "new contributor" banner is inane.

You want positivity? First, let users punish bad comments. Second, remove the barriers that exist in the current bounty system to allow users to award eachother additional points for good answers.

  • 2
    What you suggested is already possible via flags.
    – user202729
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:39
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    @user202729. No it's not, because there is no stick. I am suggesting a stick.
    – quid
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:40
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    @quid, no, you can award a bounty to any answer you choose. See meta.stackexchange.com/q/16065/307622
    – Wildcard
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:45
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    @quid: "* I am suggesting a stick.*" First, flagging is a stick; it removes bad comments, and moderators can sanction users who repeatedly make them. Second, sticks can be used against you as well as for you. The last thing we need is to have pro-new-users and pro-status-quo sides fighting it out with comment voting. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:55
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    Flagging is not a stick because there is no punishment. A stick is a punishment.
    – quid
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:56
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    @quid: "there is no "add a bounty" link." You can only add a bounty on a question that's 2+ days old. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:56
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    @quid: What part of "moderators can sanction users who repeatedly make them" doesn't seem like "punishment" to you? Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:56
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    @quid: "And the fact that there is no punishment makes it seem like there is no punishment." And the fact that moderators can issue punishments means that there are punishments. Just because they don't talk to you about them doesn't mean they don't happen. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:58
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    So we can run around in circles or you can accept that I am suggesting that there should be more immediate punishments given out by people other than moderators the same exact way that users can punish bad answers.
    – quid
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 0:59
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    @NicolBolas, I'm reminded of Heinlein's passage (in Starship Troopers) about "training" a dog without ever smacking him for piddling on the floor because "he's just a puppy, he doesn't know any better," until one day you notice that he's a grown dog and still not housebroken, so you whip out a gun and shoot him dead. (It was in the context of discussion of velvet gloves used on juvenile delinquents in the 20th century history in-universe, followed by capital punishment of adult criminals.) Yes, comment bans are a stick, but there's not exactly a lot of fine tuning available, is there?
    – Wildcard
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 1:00
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    @Wildcard: "Yes, comment bans are a stick, but there's not exactly a lot of fine tuning available, is there?" Which is why moderators can warn users too. What I don't want is the ability of a random user to harm another random user just because they decided to say something that random user 1 didn't like. By keeping moderators involved, it prevents this. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 1:01
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    @quid: Questions and answers are the primary content of this site. Determining their quality is important. Expressing gratitude for good content (ie: reputation) is important. These are not important for comments, as these are not the tools by which content is delivered. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 1:09
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    And somehow the comments are the source of the negativity this new indicator seeks to curb. The first point listed in "what can I do" is report nasty comments. Why not just empower high rep users to punish nasty comments directly? Of the four things listed in "what can I do" two address comments, one addresses not piling on to a bad situation (presumably in the comments) and the last encourages addresses upvoting questions. Seems the comments are the area of toxicity.
    – quid
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 1:14
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    @quid: Lastly, you don't seem to recognize the difference between "bad" and "unacceptable". "Bad" content gets downvoted; "unacceptable" content gets flagged and removed. The issue with comments is about "unacceptable" comments being posted. The correct course of action is flagging, not voting. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 1:30
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    I'm far from a new user in need of welcoming. We simply have a philosophical disagreement about comments; this has nothing to do with you being right and me being unable to recognize some nuance. I think that there needs to be a mechanism to deduct points due to comments. That can mean something like one downvote equals a one point deduction or something like five flags gets you a 50 point deduction. Comments should not be free of potential point impact.
    – quid
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 1:46

My main comment is about the perceived problem and the criterion identifying new users:

  • First, it's almost always obvious when a user is new to the site. I normally look at the reputation and that hardly ever fails to give a good indication (I can't imagine that one can get experience on the site without accumulating more than 10-30 rep)
  • This was mentioned by others: age of first post is just one of many criteria. As an example, I don't really know whether I'm doing something wrong with this very post. I'm both old and inexperienced on this site. It's because of the rules and the expectations of those correctly considered as experienced. What they expect is right, I'm ignorant, although it goes without saying that feedback should be kind and constructive. But the fact is I must get educated.

And regarding the problem:

  • Being a welcoming site is only one part of becoming a friendly site. Further, being told that a user is new doesn't ultimately rouse the genuine kindness this community is hungry for (and I'm not saying it's futile).
  • Experienced users also have an excessive sense of belonging. This doesn't just show in interactions with new users, but also among themselves. So yes, users get unfriendly towards posts, not users; but making the site friendly takes far more than making the interaction with new users friendlier.

This is a sign that practical steps are being taken to improve the overall attitude on the site, but, even in the face of the many complexities that you've mentioned, we have a long way to go.

I would just add:

  • Make a system of giving positive feedback to new users (maybe a badge after x "useful feedback acknowledgment" given by new/experienced users) - "feedback" concerning proper use of the site. In my opinion, this will increase the awareness of the need to be kind in general
  • Extend this in some way to experienced users. While this is community-driven, I think that we may in fact be supposing too much that experienced users are likely to use the site correctly. Giving a modicum of "voice", probably not "power", to new users may be a way to start managing the bias. New users and experienced users jointly make this site useful.

Well, I have to say it, I'm not sure I know all the rules, so I'm practically new here.

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    The problem with using reputation is that there are a TON of users with low reputation who are just... Bad at this. They're not new, in some cases they've posted quite a bit... They just haven't posted anything particularly useful yet. So if you assume low-rep == new, then you very quickly start to assume new == terrible. If you want to avoid bad posts, filtering out posts from users with < #RepThreshold# is a reasonable approach; but if you want to welcome new users to the site, posts from low-rep users is gonna burn you out. We kinda made this mistake with the Help & Improvement review.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 19:10
  • 1
    @Shog9 I agree that improvements is needed in posts by new users. But new users are part of the community, so the solution shouldn't take into account just/primarily the perspective of experienced users. As a community, I wouldn't strive to eliminate bad posts by new users, I would strive to increase good posts by new users. That's a different effort altogether. But your explanation of the problem makes perfect sense. Thanks
    – ernest_k
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 19:21
  • @Shog9 I wonder if this will create a new sort of identifier (low rep + not new), that may bias the community against interacting with the type of user who may need the most help. I'm not saying I think it will necessarily, but the idea occurred to me when I was reading your comment. Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 21:07
  • 3
    I'm not sure that we can provide a place to help the folks who need the most help, @Don't. I am sure that it isn't a Q&A site.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 21:11
  • @Shog9 sorry, I meant specifically people who need the most help learning how to use the site, not help with whatever specific thing they're asking about, or just generally "need help". I know there's a reasonable limit to how much help we can give them, though. Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 21:22
  • It is nothing but obvious when a user is new to the site with the cycle of dropping and creating accounts in each new question. Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 22:10
  • The problem is that the problem "contributors" are not contributors. They do not care about learning how to use the site properly or "contribute", they only care about getting what they want want spoon fed answers to their endless stream of duplicate questions with as little effort on their part. If they wanted it quickly, they would learn to use the site properly, because there is ROI in that. This is a solution in search of a problem. This is the ultimate X/Y Problem incarnate.
    – user148287
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 16:11
  • @JarrodRoberson It's supposed to be a community. If some of those that meet the criterion of "experienced" are "problem contributors", then either there's a fundamental problem in the system or your view is just one of many subjective views (you being a good contributor, commenting about problem contributors). If you believe that the system doesn't need to be fixed, then I suppose we have to live with an unbalanced community where experienced members eternally complain about inexperienced ones. But my opinion is that new members are as much part of the community as the others.
    – ernest_k
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 16:21

Thanks for crating the SO "New contributor" hell.

Ever since handle "New contributors" with kid gloves became Prime Directive on SO, people keep creating new accounts daily to get everyone tiptoeing around them while flooding the community with low quality content, you have to waste your valuable time to sift through, and contributing nothing... good job.

  • 2
    Is there any evidence for this? How do you know that people are frequently creating new accounts? If you can provide some evidence for this, I think it might be helpful for getting things changed. Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 18:34
  • One data point I can imagine to test this theory: use SEDE to graph the distribution of questions asked per user, and how that changes over time. Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 3:30

Where I can understand why you are making this change I cannot see how it is going to help really. We already know the user is new to the site based on their rep. So having a redundant indicator is just clutter on the screen that is not needed.

I can think of a possible better use for this than simply being new to the site. Maybe have an indicator that shows the person is new to the TAG instead. For example I am not new to python and at this point have around 6k rep (Stack Overflow). However I am new to VBA so maybe my questions could have already been answered but I just didn't find what I needed before asking my questions about VBA code or I just lack the understanding of the syntax to get the job done.

As you can see maybe a notification like this could be useful for people new to a tag but at this point it is simply redundant for indicating new users.

Another possible option is to instead prevent new users from asking questions in the first place before reading How to Ask and/or Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example. Or similar guidelines for other sites. Maybe not force the user but strongly suggest they read the guidelines before posting.

It is not really even a matter of being kind to the new user. If a post is a bad post it should still be treated as such so the "Be Nice" has no baring on how the post should be treated. With bad post we already link to stuff like "How to ask" and the "MCVE" and when a post is closed it has helpful information telling the OP why it was close.

Really reminding people to be nice to new users is something that should already be applied to all users. Being nice is the default desired behavior and not just for the new user. Actually seeing this notice makes me think its only an issue for new users but not so much for veterans.

  • "We already know the user is new to the site based on their rep". Not true. There are new users with lots of rep from one action that still don't know the site too well. There are also people that have been here for years with little to no rep.
    – chevybow
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 20:39
  • 2
    @chevybow Little to no rep is a very clear indicator that the user is most likely new and/or not knowledgeable in the sites guidelines. Sure there will be a few outliers that spend most of their time researching and not posting questions/answer but at that point they should know how to post a good question/answer. When you have a person with low rep and their post is "bad" then it its likely they are just a new user.
    – Mike - SMT
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 20:41
  • 4
    @chevybow: The only way either of those situations will trigger the new indicator is if any posts they made have been deleted. If this is the case, they aren't a "new" contributor. They're a "nearly post-banned" contributor. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 3:33
  • @NathanTuggy That's my point. They wouldn't count as "new contributors" but by looking at their rep you would assume they are new.
    – chevybow
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 14:20
  • 3
    @chevybow: The indicator doesn't help with this, because it's willing to call someone with 5 deleted posts and none visible a "new contributor" when they next post. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 17:22
  • @chevybow People that earn a ton of rep within a few days is very rare. Given how much you've used the site, you've most likely never come across one. This feature isn't worth it just so that when you come across the one in 100,000th user that got a ton of rep off of their first post you know that they're still new. It's just so rare that it's not added value. For people who've been around for years and have no rep, an old account doesn't mean an experienced user. If they haven't done things to earn rep, they haven't experienced enough to not be "new".
    – Servy
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 21:44

I think this is a good feature 1

Almost every other answer has been negative, so I'm going to add a positive note. It absolutely has changed my behavior already. I'm a 200k rep user so I've been around the block. I've written thousands of answers and no doubt just as many comments, if not more. I write answers not because I like the game of garnering rep points, but because I truly like to help people. I've been answering questions on the Internet literally decades before Stack Overflow came on the scene.

I like to think I'm a fairly responsible, conscientious contributor, but I also know that I get awfully tired of bad or low quality questions that show absolutely zero effort, and that weariness colors my responses. I tend to downvote quickly, and I suspect that some of my comments may sound off-putting to others even though I think they are reasonable in my own head.

Seeing these reminders has really helped me pause for an extra few seconds to think about what I'm about to post. Whether it's helped me make better answers or better comments, I don't yet know. What I do know, however, is that it has helped me to think a bit more before responding to a new user, and that's a good thing.

1I think the idea is fantastic, though I think the implementation needs perhaps a bit more work. There's a lot of new stuff added where maybe just a single icon, badge, or banner might do. Still, I've enjoyed being notified when I'm answering a new user. It makes me feel good, and I think it has helped me to write a couple of better answers.

  • 6
    @intentionallyleftblank: interesting. For me it's an instant downvote repellant. Why do you instantly want to downvote a new user instead of helping them learn how to be a positive contributor to the site? Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 14:44
  • @intentionallyleftblank: but people are (arguably) the solution to "∞ questions coming in all the time". The more people we can get who stay around, learn the rules, and become contributors, the better the site will be, and the more we're able to handle the influx of questions. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 14:51
  • 7
    @BryanOakley If those people want to curate, sure. But those people will already be here, because they put in the effort to learn and adapt. These new users we're currently targetting will probably have less propensity to invest and maintain the site. Either way, though, it generally doesn't scale; we already get far more questions than we can properly curate, so increasing that number isn't going to help.
    – fbueckert
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 15:03
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    To counteract the instant upvotes said indicator will influence.
    – Kevin B
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 15:17
  • 2
    I agree that an indicate might be helpful but only for the right kind of indicator. I think a "New User" indicator is much less helpful vs say a "New to TAG" indicator.
    – Mike - SMT
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 19:14
  • 6
    @BryanOakley Downvoting bad content is in no way contradictory to helping a user be a positive contributor to the site. Providing accurate feedback on the quality of their posts is how they learn whether they're doing something right or wrong. In fact, by refusing to provide accurate feedback on post quality for new users, as you're doing, your making it harder for them to learn to become positive contributors. If you want to comment and provide even more detailed guidance, by all means, do so. Voting accurately in no way conflicts with that.
    – Servy
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 21:41
  • @Servy: "In fact, by refusing to provide accurate feedback on post quality for new users, as you're doing" - what do you mean "as you're doing"? How do you know what I'm doing? I guess we disagree on the point that a downvote is "accurate feedback". Or, perhaps we disagree on whether the goal should be to provide accurate feedback or helpful feedback. I'm definitely a believer that we should give helpful feedback. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 23:51
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    @BryanOakley I know what you're doing because you're telling everyone what you're doing. If you're not doing what you're claiming to do here, then sure, I don't know, but I'm believing you when you say you're voting based on how new the author is instead of the quality of the content. And yes, apparently you think that fraudulently voting in ways that are contrary to the posts usefulness is actually "helpful". I personally think that claiming that a bad post is good or that a good post is bad isn't helpful, and that giving people accurate feedback on a post's quality is helpful.
    – Servy
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 13:23
  • 1
    @Servy: "I personally think that claiming that a bad post is good or that a good post is bad isn't helpful," - I agree with you 100%. I think you are completely mischaracterizing what I've been saying. I vote purely on the quality of the question. When I vote, and whether I give a simple comment or perhaps a more longer comment, may depend on whether I know that the user is new here or not. If I think someone is new here I plan to work a little extra hard to make them feel welcome. I will still downvote bad questions, and still use my power to close questions that deserve to be closed. Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 13:35
  • 3
    @BryanOakley Well you've said the exact opposite many times throughout this thread. This is the first time you've said that you don't actually vote differently based on whether the user is new or not. Even including the comment you posted just before that one, just a few hours ago, where you said that you don't think voting accurately on the quality of a post is helpful.
    – Servy
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:25
  • This is the little answer that could! It keeps getting voted up to zero or one, then back down to negative one, then back up to zero or one, then back down... I think I can, I think I can! I'm quite surprised about how much some people really seem to hate this idea. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 21:37

I really appreciate any new ideas that add real value to the community! But I am wondering

what's the added value of this new feature!!!

I also have two main notes:

  1. The attention message in the answer section

Actually, I don't think you need to say for someone who tries to help, be nice!!

He/she comes to help so he/she is a NICE and his/her contributions should be appreciated.

So the attention message in the answer section does not show any type of respect!

  1. The New contributor alert below the new user avatar

As contributors, most of us come here for helping all as much as possible in a nice and professional manner regardless of the type of user, his/her nationality, his/her religion, his/her color, etc.!!

So we don't care about the type of contributor. We care of providing a good answer in a nice manner that should help the OP to solve his/her problem regardless WHO IS HE/SHE?

That will lead to

  • The new contributor will be happy because he/she found a good answer that helps him/her to solve his issue.
  • He/she will come back to ask his/her new questions because he/she trusts this community!

In this case, the community achieves one of its main goal that is TRUST.

But this trust will be nil if the community does not also care about:

The contributors who provide good answers without any type of appreciation and feedback from the OP as well as the community, This makes them feel disappointed. I think this will lead to many unanswered questions and a few of new contributors!

So, I hope also the community and all contributors to take care of the good volunteers and appreciate their effort and time by providing innovative ways to encourage them to continue as well as by altering the OP with different ways to appreciate the provided answers in case it helped him/her!

If you are looking for good volunteer continuity, increase your appreciation for it,

Let's summarize the above points:

  • New contributor alert is useless, we already know this info from his/her reputation!
  • The attention message in the answer section is not suitable and does not show any type of respect!
  • The community should think about new features that guide the new contributors how can use and appreciate any type of help!
  • The community should think about new features that increase the trust.
  • The community should think about new features that appreciate the volunteer's effort and time like tangible awards, please check Is there a tangible award for the Most Active Contributors in SE?
  • Are you suggesting pushing new users to upvote more? or am i completely mis-understanding the point here
    – Kevin B
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 15:20
  • I talk about there points, 1. helping all as much as possible regardless of the type of user, his/her nationality, his/her religion his/her color ....etc!! 2. guide the new contributor to appreciate the provided answers in case it helped him, most of the new contributors didn't read the welcome tour guidelines so he get the answer without mark it as accepted , some other get the answer and mention in comment thank you without Mark the answer as accepted so we must find a practical solution to guide them how can accept the answer in case it helps. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 17:12
  • 1
    3. we should also care about good volunteers who provide good answers, wh should find any way to appreciate their time and effort! Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 17:12
  • 1
    Sounds like just a request for reputation.
    – Kevin B
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 17:55

I like this, but my gut feeling says that one week is way too short. How about a larger timespan?

Also, that time span could be cut short if a certain number of posts have been made, on the theory that continued posting indicates the user is becoming increasingly familiar with the site.

  • 19
    Welcome, new contributor! I see you've been a Stack Overflow user for nine years. Now what was it you were saying about one week being too short? (Note for future readers: yes, this post has the "new contributor" indicator on it.) :)
    – Wildcard
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 1:02
  • Even on meta, I'm seeing @JensBannmann as a Member for 5 months.
    – martin
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 1:13
  • @martin it starts counting on the first post, not the moment of account creation.
    – JAD
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 11:22
  • @JAD That explains it then.
    – martin
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 13:53
  • 3
    I agree with Jens...instead of phasing out the "New Contributor" badge for a user after one week since s/he first posted something, how about making it last until the user has posted N separate times instead? The N variable could be 3, for example. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 16:00

From my experience (and perhaps it relates to my personality), a more important point than articulating good comments is to help novices understand these two things:

  • The downvotes on well-input questions
  • The close votes as unclear or off-topic on "crystal clear" questions

A novice cannot have the perspective of the experts to see why their questions are unclear, yet however hard the experts explain the novice cannot understand it, to the point of satisfaction. I think, if the experts see that the only way for the novice to understand is to gain more knowledge and experience in the field, then at least they should say so, so that they can at least stop wondering what's wrong with them.

As @Masked Man said:

This is actually a reasonable answer, and I'm disappointed to see some users calling it "off-topic". The maximum new user complaints pertaining to the hostility from the site result from the downvotes (especially downvote piling) and closing questions. The nasty comments are a distant third on the list. Since the stated purpose of the new contributor indicator is to make the new users feel more "welcome", it is worth questioning why the top 2 complaints aren't being addressed by it.

For example, see Why is the question asking about views on logical quantifiers off-topic?, How to ask the question about Poincaré's quote about mathematics? (require 10k rep in Math), or What to do with seemingly anecdotal questions but actually because of lacking of terms? in Psychology & Neurosciences.

  • 1
    This problem still bugs me as an experienced user, so I think it's suitable to speak here. Why is it bad?
    – Ooker
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 16:30
  • 5
    I don't think it's bad. (And I didn't downvote this answer.) I just don't quite see how it relates to the question at hand.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 21:35
  • @Wildcard my answer aligns with Magisch's answer (not an exact duplicate though)
    – Ooker
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 7:30
  • 3
    See how you get voted down for complaining about getting voted down? This place is rotten. Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 8:38
  • 12
    @StefanReich Meta voting culture is a bit special that way. Although you'll get downvoted on main too for complaining. Generally speaking talking about not liking downvotes in some way is gonna get you downvoted in some weird variant of the streisand effect.
    – Magisch
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 13:04
  • 1
    Maybe the downvotes are because the Ooker is complaining about downvotes however I think the downvotes are more related to this answer being off topic in the sense that SO's post is about the new user feature and not about the downvotes and close votes features.
    – Mike - SMT
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 20:20
  • Voting is a bit awkward on Meta.SE because users are encouraged to vote based on agreement / disagreement, but it does affect your rep. It's kinda weird. What exactly does rep even represent on Meta.SE? Popularity?
    – jrh
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 0:10
  • @Mike-SMT no, I complain about the confusion for cannot pinpoint what exactly is wrong with the well-input questions, but asking around the experts cannot give a satisfactory reason. I think the new feature is a way to solve this problem, and I want to talk about it.
    – Ooker
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 2:34
  • 1
    @Magisch I had to google streisand effect. Too afraid to ask here ;-)
    – noob
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 19:18
  • 4
    This is actually a reasonable answer, and I'm disappointed to see some users calling it "off-topic". The maximum new user complaints pertaining to the hostility from the site result from the downvotes (especially downvote piling) and closing questions. The nasty comments are a distant third on the list. Since the stated purpose of the new contributor indicator is to make the new users feel more "welcome", it is worth questioning why the top 2 complaints aren't being addressed by it. Perhaps the answer could say that a bit more explicitly.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 4:43
  • @MaskedMan I've slightly edit it, what do you think? (I don't know what to add more)
    – Ooker
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 5:08
  • @Ooker I think this is much better now. Of course, I immediately understood what you meant, I just hope the edit makes it clearer to others. :-)
    – Masked Man
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 5:19

I like this - it's helpful, and not too intrusive.

I think that a "new user" indicator could also be useful when reviewing suggested edits: if a new user's post has been changed, could we (edit reviewers) be alerted that the OP needs extra guidance? We could then pay extra attention to the quality of the editor's comment.

Ideally, we'd also be able to improve the edit comment (assuming the edit itself is worthwhile).


I am on the side of Tim and SE staff that new users are not treated properly in SE. Some pro users are really rude with the new user when they make a mistake. Although, the rudeness should not be tolerated against any user, but the new users are extremely vulnerable to that.

Even if there is no rudeness in comments or answers, there's an indirect form where they get downvotes and closed/deleted questions without much of an explanation.

I have seen people complaining about this behavior of SE community at other places such as Quora, devRant and various Facebook group. I am managing a team of new coders at my work and whenever I ask them to post their questions on StackOverflow they get scared to death about it. It also happened to me.

So the point of the above text was to acknowledge that there's a problem (contrary to what I can sense in some other answers) even if you're not actually involved in it in any way. Now the next point is whether the provided solution is a good one or not.

I am not so much excited about the new user tag. It's good that SE knows about this issue and trying to solve it. While the new user tag is solution directed towards the existing users asking to be nice (which would be great if they do), I agree that they might get overwhelmed with all the welcome comments (Being too nice).

There're few suggestions I could think of to make the experience better (Feel free to agree, disagree or improve on them)

  • Workplaces have the buddy system for new joiners. We can take that idea and use it. For eg., having a separate chat room for newbies where they can ask their dumb 'how to' questions and will not receive the scary downvotes. The buddies there can help them direct towards right FAQs on how to write good questions and probably edit their existing ones.
  • Have a preference for opting out of all those new user functionality. It will be helpful for pro users with multiple accounts or experienced use joining a new SE site.
  • Speaking of which, the new user features should consider the experience in all the SE sites, so that joining a new SE site doesn't bring unnecessary help for an experienced user.
  • Probably consider showing the label when downvoting or closing a post written by a new user too. Having some text is always useful, even if it's somewhat rude. Having your question downvoted or closed without any explanation is much ruder. It should just remind the downvoter to add a useful comment.

So, people actually do not agree that newbies need some special treatment. "Shouldn't we always be nice?" Of course, we should, but people keep forgetting this when noobs are involved. Dealing with newbies require patience, they don't get a lot of what we assume to know already. Just have a look at this post on devRant. It's really common there to call SO guys a**h*les. If there was no problem which needed to be addressed, then we shouldn't be receiving this title.
Somebody even suggested an ad block setting in the answer to block the label. Seriously? That's really ignorant. My suggestions could be dumb here, but at least get out of your cult-zone and try to see properly. Why not you aactually talk to a new programmer and without helping them, just ask them to try to get their issues resolved by asking questions here. Probably you will acknowledge the issue.

  • 6
    There was a mentorship project, not sure if SO (the company) intends to continue it. A buddy system / mentorship system could work nicely for the smaller SE sites. For SO (the website), I think it doesn't scale - which is sad. Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 10:00
  • @S.L.Barth I think having a separate chat room should work. The SO UI can just add a link of the chatroom in the 'ask question' page. I am not aware of the mentorship project though.
    – noob
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 10:08
  • Chat could work, but again the problem is scale. Filling a chatroom with new users is just shifting the problem - far more new askers than people able to help them. It could work if you can filter the new question askers effectively. You'd want only those genuinely interested in improving their questions in that chatroom. But how to create that filter, that's the hard part. Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 10:23
  • 1
    I just entered mainly Unix&Linux around 2 years ago, and have now 40k. If people would be so hostile to newbies, newcomers would not be able to build reputation as I did. Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 22:13
  • @intentionallyleftblank There're many posts about that in various forums. This was the first result in my search on Quora - quora.com/What-is-bad-about-Stack-Overflow Apart from that I have mentored a team of new coders and they all have bad experience about SO. I don't think there's any post (surprise me) where they felt welcomed by SO.
    – noob
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 5:09
  • @RuiFRibeiro That's really great. However, my personal experience is mostly about StackOverflow. People complained that it has become a cult (Please check my earlier comment on it). Not so sure about Unix & Linux SE though, although I don't see any reason it won't turn into a cult either, probably in future if adequate measures are not taken.
    – noob
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 5:12
  • 1
    @noob We also have our share of people making the same complaints about Unix&Linux. Often the most vocal are long time low rep users. IMO it takes work, a lot of energy and time, and some are not willing or cannnot keep up with the effort, and then wonder why their questions are not so successful in the gamification of the site as others. It can take up to 30-45 minutes to write a good question, and my high voted answers often represent hours of effort, both in improving the English, and improving the technical side. Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 9:41
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    perpetuating the myth that down votes, close votes and anonymous votes are rude is what needs to change. How you spending some time educating people that this is not the case instead of reinforcing the rhetoric that it is mean, or rude or malicious in anyway when it is not. How about helping educate new users to be more patient and respectful of the people giving them free help and actually follow the instructions/advice left in the comments instead of complaining about it and calling people names and posting down voter explain!.
    – user148287
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 14:48
  • @JarrodRoberson So, at least you acknowledge that there's a problem there somewhere which needs to be addressed. I am using SO for 7 years now and it took me a while to understand that downvotes can be good too. They seemed rude when you're new, probably that's the reason Facebook never added a dislike button. Just imagine if people tell you on your face that they don't like what you said without explaining why? Won't that be rude? Why not here? We oldies know that it's a feedback process, but new users can't understand that. They already have a lot of rules to understand when they start.
    – noob
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 15:32
  • 9
    nope I acknowledge no such thing that you are inferring. I will say if something seems rude to you, and objectively it isn't, it is you who has the problem taking anonymous activity on the internet as a personal affront, nothing more.
    – user148287
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 15:41
  • @JarrodRoberson Do you know that even if I intentionally reply with something with super rude or abusive here, that'll also count as an activity on internet too? Not that anonymous, as my profile is linked with my real home address (if you are keen to find it). And it's not just me, SE staff agrees that a change is needed. And I found this post on devRant which tells that at least 400 people agree with me devrant.com/rants/1620622/…
    – noob
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 18:57
  • 3
    @noob - read for comprehension, clicking an voting arrow on this this is anonymous activity that you are perpetuating as rude behavior if someone does not take precious time out of their short life to explain their reasoning to someone who will at best not care and at worst and most probably just attack them because it has now become not anonymous. You claim down voting without comments is rude, I am telling you that is your problem that you are inferring personal affront and neg meaning to something that objectively has none. not the person that anonymously clicked the arrow.
    – user148287
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 19:43
  • 2
    the corollary to that ridiculous link you posted is that the number of people that post questions that deserve the same label or even worse outnumber the complained about1000:1. Using a troll site like that as proof of your argument just disqualifies it even more so because Appeal to Popularity on top of the already fallacious Appeal to Emotion - "Think of the Newbies" and .
    – user148287
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 19:51
  • 4
    besides that troll link is just Confirmation Bias of the most obvious and worse sort. Just the fact that site brought you hear means you had already made up your mind. Go head preach to the choir that thinks the same, and more and more people like myself who have quit answering questions because I do not want the lazy people as my peers ( or my peers peers ) in the future will quit soft moderating the site and it will just approach Yahoo Answers entropy that much quicker. I have wasted enough of my time on this at this point 10X over.
    – user148287
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 19:56
  • 6
    I actually agree with the fact that we need to deal with SE's reputation but I disagree with most of the rest of your post. For instance, even if there is no rudeness in comments or answers, there's an indirect form where they get downvotes and closed/deleted questions without much of an explanation. Ignores the fact that the new policy and statements by SE seem to be to just downvote or close and leave no comment. Note, when I see the new contributor indicator I find myself less likely to leave explanations or advice because its not worth my time to deal with flags for being unwelcoming. Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 18:15

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