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This question already has an answer here:

I will start with a motivating example.

Earlier today, this question was asked on Math.SE. This question has now -8 votes, and is now put on hold. I answered the question, with a small jab at then end. Comments less than inviting.

The asker won't be back. If I were him, I wouldn't either. We squeezed the interest for Math.SE out of him, in that one question.

To me, it seems that for many people in highly technical areas, it's almost part of the culture to be real a--hats towards those who haven't spent half their life absorbing difficult concepts, and Math.SE is no exception. I can think of several profs like this.

As for myself, I find it more and more frightening to ask questions because of this elitist attitude, people don't seem to understand that what is easy for them is not always easy for me. And there's a difference between formality (no chit-chat) and decency.

Of course, good questions should go up, bad should go down, but at least we should be civil about it, especially towards completely new members who are only "testing the waters".

Is this something that others can identify with, or am I the overly sensitive fringe case? Can we do something about it? Should we?

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marked as duplicate by quid discussion Dec 29 '16 at 0:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    $\begingroup$ If a new user did not peruse the site before posting to see what kind of posts are considered acceptable, it is their fault. If the user did peruse the site, and saw these sort of questions is generally frowned upon, or nonexistent (due to deletions) it is their fault. If the user did peruse the site, and saw that this form of asking questions is frowned up, but it gets answers so regardless to what happens, he's going to get his question answered... well, then, this is our fault as a community. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Dec 29 '16 at 6:21
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    $\begingroup$ "(...)To me, it seems that for many people in highly technical areas, it's almost part of the culture to be real a--hats towards those who haven't spent half their life absorbing difficult concepts, and Math.SE is no exception.(...)" Just recalling the fact of dozens of answers every day and thousands every year to "...those who haven't spent half their life..." makes your entry a rant which simply tries to introduce the nowadays so-called technique of "fake news" into this community. $\endgroup$ – Gottfried Helms Dec 29 '16 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ Based on the downvotes, and the comments, I realize now that the community strongly disagrees with my sentiments. Helms seems outright hurt. Since the community rules by consensus, I will take this at face value, and not post my input on the meta anymore, and stick to the main site. Thank you for your comments, specifically Karagila, whose comment is very lucid. Sorry if I offended anyone. $\endgroup$ – JuliusL33t Dec 29 '16 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ I hope you do not disturb to you with this comment and opinion. First, real life is hard for all people. I am disagreeing with massive downvoting of new users but also I understand that we need force the culture of effort, and I tell you that sometimes I vote up in this situation. Is it a better action than those users that assume different actions? Am I better than an user that votes down or to close a question? I don't assume responsabilities. I each month did a nice comment to a new user. But this new year all us can do better, if we've courage to do it. It is the important fact. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – user243301 Dec 29 '16 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ On the other hand I am agree that could be a problem with users that did a question, and after don't return to this site. Also with the importance of mathematics. If I remember well I did a related question in this META (after I delete it), about how solve it, to encourage users to return actively to this site. Good luck. $\endgroup$ – user243301 Dec 29 '16 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ "Based on the downvotes, and the comments, I realize now that the community strongly disagrees with my sentiments." Did you consider it might play a role that you asked a pretty clear duplicate of a question so recent it's still on the meta front page (leaving aside this came up any number of times)? Did you do any research on the meta site before posting here? Still, you got a detailed answer by a moderator. It's also not clear what your sentiments are: you scolded an OP in your answer, and that OP took offense also at that. Now, you blame the community as if you were not part of it. $\endgroup$ – quid Dec 30 '16 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I know. I am a part of the community, I DID do something wrong. I saw its effects first hand. And I did apologize to the OP, since I was out of line. But that doesn't change that I think people should be aware of this, that's a big part of why I (after some soul searching) decided not to augment my answer to the OP. Look, I'm not going to change my opinion, and I'm aware that those of you who disagree won't change yours. I also think that you could argue that there's a reason for why this question keeps coming up over and over. $\endgroup$ – JuliusL33t Dec 30 '16 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ The downvoting on this question was particularly agrressive, so I did an upvote. I think one or two downvotes for new users could do. And there are already old users flouting these rules (not showing own attempt), still getting upvotes and getting reputation just because their questions were a bit less obvious and someone may have liked them . Example math.stackexchange.com/users/323739/under-sky $\endgroup$ – Swapnil Rustagi Jan 2 '17 at 5:39
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Oversensitive, maybe. Fringe case, not really. This is something we've been talking about for a while here on MSE.

The main issue is that we want questions written according to cultural conventions that new users may not be aware of. Many users here consider posting multiple choice questions, without context and stated in the imperative, to be (at least) impolite. New users who don't know that tend to generate some degree of frustration, particularly because it happens all the time, and because low level questions tend to be correlated with new users, we come off as elitists.

I think the only thing we can do is try to explain MSE etiquette to them without getting too irritated. Make clear that we're format elitists, not content elitists. Some of our best questions here are low level.

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    $\begingroup$ I would not describe it as "elitist" but other than that I agree that the thing to do is to give actionable advice on how to present question in order to prevent poor receptions of a question. $\endgroup$ – quid Dec 29 '16 at 0:21

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