I have been on Stack Overflow for well over a year now, and I can say first hand that some users are very rude about answers. Some could actually call it condemning at a certain point.

I understand most users don't know that I am a college student still learning how to program. Is Stack Overflow doing anything to make sure that people aren't being scared off the site with rude comments and being talked down to because they don't understand concepts that may be simple to others?

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    Any examples? - – Mateen Ulhaq Jul 6 '11 at 18:12
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    Have you tried flagging their comments as being rude or offensive? – Brandon Jul 6 '11 at 18:13
  • I assume this is the issue in question? stackoverflow.com/questions/6599834/… – staticbeast Jul 6 '11 at 18:16
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    stackoverflow.com/questions/6599834/… from today. yeah, I have reported them... but isn't there something bigger that could be done to make stack overflow more polite towards those whom are new to coding? – kylehotchkiss Jul 6 '11 at 18:18
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    That example does not seem very rude at all. Were there comments deleted? – Bill the Lizard Jul 6 '11 at 18:21
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    "@Kyle Hotchkiss: Well, it's rude to call normal things "rather odd" too, especially when you have no idea what you're talking about. – Jochen Ritzel" – kylehotchkiss Jul 6 '11 at 18:24
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    That comment came in after you told everyone that they were being rude. – user102937 Jul 6 '11 at 18:28
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    Does not seem rude to me but it is a very newbie question, like a child asking why is the sky blue. – Brian Jul 6 '11 at 18:34
  • @Bill There was at least one additional comment when I looked at it before posting the link. – staticbeast Jul 6 '11 at 18:40
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    I've cleaned up the comments. Pfft. PHP devs are so testy. – user1228 Jul 6 '11 at 19:10
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    I personally wouldn't consider those comments rude, at least in my definition of the word. Is it really rude that KevinDTimm answered your question, and that Wooble simply stated that PHP variables were also case-sensitive? They were both trying to help you. – Kevin Yap Jul 6 '11 at 23:28
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    I agree with the general sentiment. People are rude here. – Adam Cross Feb 17 '12 at 3:05
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    I agree. People are very rude, defensive and it's all about how smart they are. – James Bailey May 14 '13 at 18:11
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    Rudeness is encouraged and enforced on all Stack Exchange websites. They always say they are enforcing the rules, which serve no purpose anyway except to allow people to lord over each other. – Adam Cross May 6 '15 at 20:16
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    @staticx, FYI, "why is the sky blue" is a pretty complex question. Do you know the answer? – Pacerier May 18 '15 at 15:35

Rudeness is never acceptable on Stack Overflow. That said...

I assume you are referring to this question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6599834/is-there-a-certain-reason-that-true-and-true-arent-the-same-as-true-in-python

We have had so many bad questions asked on Stack Overflow in the past year that Stack Exchange has instituted some automatic quality filters to intentionally block the worst of the worst questions from being asked at all.

The remaining questions have to pass through several conceptual filters, one of which is: Have you done your homework? Does your question demonstrate that you have performed a minimal amount of research already?

I am personally a big believer in being polite. But if you've seen the sewage I've seen pass through here, you would understand why we get a bit crotchety sometimes.

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    Maybe we should add a total-newbie tag to prevent rude and impatient people from answering those questions. – Marcelo Jul 6 '11 at 18:21
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    @Marcelo: See here: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/08/the-death-of-meta-tags – user102937 Jul 6 '11 at 18:21
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    Yeah, yeah I understand that. I am referring to that question and various memories from the past. I use this site to learn why things are and I honestly didn't understand that concept. If what I said was that wrong, wouldn't flagging it as a bad question be more acceptable than telling me I have no idea what I'm talking about? – kylehotchkiss Jul 6 '11 at 18:22
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    @kyle: Wouldn't you prefer the opportunity to edit and improve your question rather than having it summarily deleted? That's the purpose of comments on your post. Granted that some members here can be abrasive, but you can in future try to take it as a sign that your question may need work. And flag outright rude comments for deletion. – jscs Jul 6 '11 at 18:49
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    +1 Since I agree with must of the answer, except for this part: "...you would understand why we get a bit crotchety sometimes". It just sounds as a lame excuse for being rude. – yms Jul 6 '11 at 20:55
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    @yms: It isn't an excuse. But it happens anyway. – user102937 Jul 6 '11 at 21:00
  • The thread you mention have been removed. A proof of rude behaviour. What else proof do you want ? – kmoksha Aug 17 '14 at 4:41
  • How does a bad question hurt anybody at all? People down vote and close questions just to be rude. – Adam Cross May 6 '15 at 20:15
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    @AdamCross: Limiting and removing bad questions and answers is pretty much the reason Stack Exchange exists. Why sift through a mountain of junk to find the answers you need, when you can just keep the good stuff and look through that only? – user102937 May 6 '15 at 23:17

I would say that if you are asking questions that can be easily found by doing a couple minutes of Googling you are going to get people that will be rude to you. If you take the time to write a good question showing what you have done to try and solve your own problem before just asking for help you will get a much better response from people. Therefore, if you are trying to get a positive response out of people with a well thought out, friendly answer you need to put the time in yourself by doing some research and writing a good question.

Most people I have seen answer on SO are not rude but I tend not to look at questions that people don't try to answer themselves or that are so poorly written I cannot understand them.

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    +1 - Expect the effort people put into avoiding rudeness to be proportional to the effort you put in to figuring it out on your own. – JNK Jul 6 '11 at 19:21
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    Expect the effort people put in avoiding rudeness to be proportionally inverse to their own arrogance... – yms Jul 6 '11 at 19:44

For the question cited:


There was a bit of frustration expressed over such a simple, basic question, but I don't think it would be fair to characterize it as overt rudeness.

That said, per https://stackoverflow.com/faq#etiquette

Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated.

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    Is the "General Reference" close reason close to being tested? We could really use it on Stack Overflow, for cases just like this. It lets people say "Way too basic" with a vote rather than a comment. – Tim Post Jul 9 '11 at 0:49

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