While this is only my third question on SE, I've used the site for years. As an amateur science enthusiast, I Google frequently for answers to science questions and often find myself on one of the SE sites. What has struck me over the years is the frequency with which a question is closed for being too broad, claims to having it already been answered, or other reasons.
But more concerning was how often I thought that neither the question was too broad, nor the supposed other threads adequately answered the question. As a result, I've hesitated ever asking a question here, deeming it more trouble than it was worth. Lately I've been asking a bunch of science questions at my usual forum so to avoid wearing out my welcome, I decided to ask a question here - in Chemistry SE to be specific. I ALWAYS exhaustively search for an answer to my question before asking one.
Here is a link to the question for those interested (though I include it below):
The question received 6 upvotes and was answered twice (with one answer being unexplicably deleted at one point). Then I saw the question was closed for "having been answered elsewhere," with a message that I should edit the question. I edited the question indicating (with admittedly some frustration) why the other answer did not answer my question.
I come back a few hours later to find 5 people closed the question, citing it was too broad. My question was :
How does the energy released during a bond formation typically manifest itself on atomic level?
With a clarifying question inside asking:
"When two atoms of Hydrogen combine to form H2, how does the energy decrease manifest itself if their are no surrounding molecules?"
There are many other clarifications in the text.
As far as I can tell, this is not a broad question. If it is, then I'm not given any reason why. Perhaps it's my lack of understanding about the issue that makes it so broad, in which case someone could tell me why it's difficult to answer to increase my understanding and perhaps allow me to tighten the question. If it was closed in retribution to my very slight frustration, then that is also symptomatic of a toxic culture.
This leads to the fundamental issue at SE : it appears there's an elitist Comic Book Guy attitude here of finding any and all reasons to close a question. It's almost as if there is a competition amongst those with the power to close to be the most martinetish. I can totally understand the desire to maintain quality questions and answers and avoid re-anwering the same questions again and again, but it's become extreme. It appears people don't even mine the questions for subtleties and differentiators and instead just reflexively put the burden of proof on the asker of the question.
People are trying to learn here. How about giving them the benefit of the doubt and make the default action leaving the question open?
So my question (and I'm sure someone will link to another question claiming it's been answered - but as far as I can tell, there is a difference between complaining about the situation here and finding out who to contact about this issue) is :
Who can I contact to make the case that the culture here needs to change because it's currently hostile and antithetical to learning( whether through policy changes or some "culture statement")? Is there someone below the CEO who would have the willingness to listen and the oowermto initiate a change.