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Disclaimer: I'm not a native english speaker, so feel free to improve this question

Premise

People on this section are probably familiar with the difference between personal conviction and evidence based conviction.

Most of the time our society doesn't act on the basis of studies based on null hypothesis or formal verification. So one person or 10 thousand persons can be easily wrong and take years to get to rational conclusions.

Main content

After years of complaining about the impolite behavior of many users the community has finally achieved a very functional self organizational tool: https://stackoverflow.com/conduct

Why did it take such a long time to realize that high rep users being impolite to new users was harmful for the community?

In this section we are familiar with confirmation bias, self deception, rationalization, cognitive dissonance. So.. it's not a surprise.

Although it could hurt someone, it was pretty obvious that the main motivations behind many users which spend many many hours on SE network and behave like a Bastard Operator From Hell (BOFH) is probably not so functional.

Any serious test trying to evaluate the usefulness of those users with BOFH behavior would have shown that they were harmful, and also that their reasons were personal and not functional to the community. And probably a bit neurotic (not adaptable to the context).

The question

Still SE has a lot of rigid opinions that are seen as dogmas. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5792388/is-there-something-in-php-equivalent-to-linq-in-c

This question, which was voted as useful by dozen of users, is marked as "closed as off-topic" by 4 persons.

I am pretty sure that any experiment would show that closing those questions is not functional in any way to the community.

But the community reacts very rigidly to criticism.

So could someone please help me to improve this post in a better way?

I will answer to the questions posed in the first answer:**

The primary discussion over the years was not whether or not the community could be perceived as impolite or not, but whether or not this is a necessary evil to make the community work the way it does.

That was the bigger issue. Many OP takes as ipothesis and dogmas many assumptions. They confuse personal conviction with facts. They don't doubt that question like this are bad for the community. They know they are right. So they think are sure they are acting for the best.

The problem is that... also criminals think they are right.

5

Having spent almost 8 years in this community, of which almost 7 years as a moderator on this site, I believe I can give you a fairly qualified, but obviously still subjective, answer to this question.

Why did it took such a long time to realize that high rep users being unpolite to new users was damaging the community?

In short, because it is not all that black and white (as nothing is in life). This is a straw man argument. People did recognize that the 'SE model' is perceived as impolite and confrontational by many. However, at the same time one should not forget what it has achieved. The primary discussion over the years was not whether or not the community could be perceived as impolite or not, but whether or not this is a necessary evil to make the community work the way it does.

Receiving feedback (constructive or not) is inherently confrontational. But, knowledge creation only works by incorporating feedback (quality control) and removing noise (keeping content relevant). Even the latest implemented code of conduct recognizes this and this has not changed. It still does not provide clear guidelines on how to deal with some of the content as you linked to. The previous SE policies still hold; the Q&A format is not designed for open-ended discussions. What fits the model and what does not is a moving target. But, just because a question is popular, does not make it a right fit for the Q&A model!

For the specific 'list like' question you link to, that is a separate discussion which I will consider outside of scope of your particular question here. Many opinions can be found on this on Meta (and they are definitely not unanimous)!

  • Steven.. the problem is that saying: "just because a question is popular, does not make it a right fit for the Q&A model!" DOES NOT PROVE THAT THE QUESTION DOESN'T FIT THE Q&A model. This is the HUGE BIAS which has characterized this community along years. – Revious Oct 5 '18 at 12:44
  • A rational assumption is: "I have NO IDEA if this popular question fits or doesn't fit this community model so I will neglect my ego and my bias, put away my convictions, and conduct experimental tests to try to check if I am wrong or the people who vote that questions are wrong". – Revious Oct 5 '18 at 12:46
  • When this doesn't happen in psychology, and a subject thinks that his convictiona are right on a prejudicial model, it's called mental rigidity and inability to adapt. In other words.. you think you are doing something good for the community by closing that question, but you should do a huge effort trying to achieve an objective valuation of the exact reason WHY the community would get any benefit by closing question of that kind. Then you have to write in a formal manner.. like people do in researchs.. – Revious Oct 5 '18 at 12:48
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    And what is that bias, exactly, then? You don't put it in words, and it is unclear which exact bias you are referring to. For now, assuming you mean the belief that not all popular questions are a good fit (this is not a bias, but a belief), this belief is rooted in how the site originally started in the first place. The failing of noisy competing Q&A sites. The fact that Stack Overflow succeeded where prior Q&A sites are now replaced with SO, to some degree is proof that the SE model works better, making the belief somewhat substantiated. – Steven Jeuris Oct 5 '18 at 12:55
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    Certainly, this can be studied more rigorously, but how do you propose to do so, without risking/undermining the very principles the site was built on? SE is not research, it is a community. – Steven Jeuris Oct 5 '18 at 12:57
  • I've tried to answer to your question in my onening post. However, let's try to be very 'strict'. Let's examine sentence one by one. Let's start with this one: "the belief that ALL popular questions WHICH ARE CONSIDERED OT were not a good fit is a belief but also the result of some cognitive distortion. Do you agree or do you prefer me to list which one? – Revious Oct 5 '18 at 13:03
  • But furthermore it's rhetoric.. it's like saying: "why to investigate if someone is innocent or not? not all the person which are popular are innocent". – Revious Oct 5 '18 at 13:04
  • Second big error in a discussion: "this belief is rooted in how the site originally started in the first place. The failing of noisy competing Q&A sites. The fact that Stack Overflow succeeded where prior Q&A sites are now replaced with SO, to some degree is proof that the SE model works better, making the belief somewhat substantiated". It's called "false dichotomy". – Revious Oct 5 '18 at 13:05
  • And strongly related to Black-and-white thinking.. since YA Answer failed the exact opposite is the best solution ever. Which extreme is better? intermediate shades are bad.. being adaptive is bad.. only one extreme and an extreme rigid ruling is good.. – Revious Oct 5 '18 at 13:08
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    Sorry, but I am unable to follow you and do not see anything meaningful coming out of carrying on this discussion. You drop discussion threads left and right (i.e., what is that bias, exactly, then?), misrepresent what I stated (i.e., 'ALL popular questions', and calling qualified statements including expressions as 'somewhat' a false dichotomy), pick up on new topics left and right without motivating why (i.e., cognitive distortion), and overall present yourself incoherent and non-grammatically (i.e. "which are considered ot were not a good fit"). – Steven Jeuris Oct 5 '18 at 13:23
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    And just to highlight you are putting up a straw man here, I am all in favor of making the community more welcoming and have actively pursued endeavors in the past to this end (which have even been implemented): Improve Not a Real Question close reason message – Steven Jeuris Oct 5 '18 at 13:27
  • yes.. discussion in comments don't help and my english knowledge neither. My fault. Thanks anyway for your time and I appreciate your effort in pursuing endeavors for making the community more welcoming. – Revious Oct 5 '18 at 15:09

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