I'll admit, I'm writing this question out of frustration and that's never a good start.
I've spent some time away from U&L partly for personal reasons, and partly because a user launched a tirade of baseless and frankly libellous personal attacks against me1 leaving me a bit shaken. When I came back months later I began to notice that the atmosphere here feels much less friendly than I remember. Maybe I changed maybe U&L has a little.
Besides the rise in bizarre close votes2, I'm particularly concerned at an apparent rise in in personal remarks (personal attacks). One in particular has stood out to me as totally uncalled for:
OK, there's [technology] but it's far beyond your capabilities
Yes this may not have been intended as a personal attack, but the wording reeks of elitist "if you have to ask you'll never know". It constitutes baseless3 attack and is really rude, especially to a new user. What's worse is that it not only attacks the OP of the question but any future reader who happens to come along with the same question.
It bugs me that the same intent could easily have been worded without attacking the OP: "OK, there's [technology] but it's far beyond most common users". With no knowledge of the OP's background, and no supporting comment as to the complexity of [technology] the statement unjustly implies incompetence. It's rude!
I've ended up writing this post after the flag I raised for "rude or abusive behaviour" was rejected 4.
That decision sends me a worrying message that personal attacks are acceptable.(explained)
Rather than trying to rant about one specific incident, what concerns me the most is that without careful moderation forums inevitably slide into clicky (cliquey) elitist behaviour. Right now I feel that U&L is headed down that path an we are getting a bit too comfortable with rude behaviour5.
- Untrue statements such as "You've only worked on one software project", "you've never done [xyz] development", ...
- I'm still waiting for anyone to tell me how "are Linux drivers available for [specific hardware]" is "opinion based"
- The new user's question, and others they had made gave no picture of their capability as a software engineer
- Rarely a good reason to start a meta post, yet here I am
- It's not my intent to blame moderators new and old, but to call out a particular concern about the state of U&L as I see it.