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8:49 PM
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Q: Come Take a Look at our New Contributor Indicator!

Tim Post This feature is now live across the network. We've been doing quite a bit of research into ways that we could help new users have better experiences that ultimately lead them to becoming increasingly valuable, long-term contributors to our sites. While this is still ongoing, it's starting to...

 
I'm predicting that though this may help get rid of the 'Hi, I'm new here...' in the question, it will replace it with 'Welcome to the site...' in the answer :D
 
I dunno; it feels like we're supposed to be giving new users special treatment, for no other reason than they're new. Creating segregation between, "being new" and not is going to cause some major issues when users transition over. Do new users get additional info on how to respond to feedback they don't like, too?
 
I don't mind this change, doesn't really interfere with much and it is just a reminder to be easy on the new guy. Same stuff happens at work. If a new guy shows up we leave a name tag on them and everyone knows not to ask them questions or be a bother to them - essentially same thing here. +1. Not sure why everyone else is resistant to this - its pretty ok looking and doesn't hurt really anyone. For what it's worth it reinforces the policy that they actively worked on and its a simple reminder to go easy on the new person in town.
 
@fbueckert If it's my 15th time coming over to your house and I forget to take my shoes off, I'm totally going to understand if you bark at me about it. The first or second time? I'd think you were pretty rude. Going a little out of one's way to help someone adjust isn't without precedence, nor are expectations changing once one is no longer really a 'guest' :)
 
@TimPost Incidentally, that's a pretty apt analogy; I volunteer at a dance studio, and we have a big honkin' sign that says no outside shoes on the dance floor. And people still miss or ignore it, so we have to repeat ourselves many times. And you know what they do? They apologize and take off their shoes. There's something about being on the internet where that process just doesn't work; we get more hostility than we do co-operation. I know I'd snap way more if most of the new people ignored or insulted me for enforcing that rule.
 
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@fbueckert That would hold up if our big honking signs were obvious to people. A whole lot of research were doing says they aren't. A problem all in itself to talk about another time, we really need this until we can make those signs honk louder, or something, or re-do the entire new user flow (which may be what's needed). So many of our rules are difficult to discover, and that's not obvious to folks that know them (many of which helped write them). Try to see it from a total outsider's perspective.
 
So... after that week passes the notification will be gone. What will prevent users from stop being Nice to this new user? We should be nice to all users, even if they have 1 rep or 1,044,843 reps (like Anne Daunted said)... I like this idea a lot, but it may also give the impression to some that "we should stop being nice to users with more than one week here"... how could we address this?
 
@DarkCygnus the linked CoC. We expect nice all the time. We know there's a disconnect between what we want, and what reality is likely to deliver, so the reminder is what helps while folks (hopefully) learn their way around. There will be people that simply will not be successful, or people that will only ever ask one question, or lots of other possibilities. We hope, by being a little extra careful in the first week, most folks won't need the benefit of others being reminded. If that makes sense.
 
@TimPost Yes, some of our rules are hard to discover, and depending on the site, they also feel rather arbitrary. I get that. My dislike for special treatment stems from the fact that the vast majority of responses to content curation are hostile. We get new users who just don't care, and they're the norm, not the exception. If I kept getting visitors who kept ignoring my requests to remove their shoes, and worse, people already inside encouraging them to ignore me because they disagree with the rule, I'd be ejecting the lot, not trying to explain myself better.
New users are exactly that, new. Which etiquette dictates they should familiarize themselves with their new place, and try to adhere to the rules. Most complaints I see come from new users who make zero effort to even extend that modicum of courtesy.
 
@TimPost ,This sounds great,however,there are some experienced folks who are indeed game our system ie creating multiple accounts thus (spamming) There is indeed a concrete case of two rather active accounts on the AI and computer science StackExchange, from which I've seen so much suspicious stuff happening that I can't believe it's a coincidence anymore as described in my first point above,. Because there is really only a rather small number of new questions on the site every day, this has lead to a tangible negative impact on the site in my opinion.Therefore,will this help us to avoid!
 
@Tim does the new contributor also see this on their own display card? If so - has some consideration been given how as to how prominently displaying such information affects 1) putting people off interacting with a user at all as they're probably not going to be able to/aware of being able to vote/accept answers etc... and 2) How the user themselves will feel in potentially being obviously singled out as a "newb"...?
 
8:49 PM
does this work over duplicate accounts?
 
I'm suspicious. How did Bernard get a rep of 120 if he's new? :) Seriously though, I normally have a quick look at the OP's rep, and if it's under 20 I presume they're new & aren't yet fully familiar with the Stack Exchange way of doing stuff. (OTOH, there are plenty of people who register but then don't get around to posting for ages). I assume most answerers check the OP's rep, so I don't see how this new feature will make much of a difference.
 
This also seems contradictory to the very reason why removing "accept rate" from profiles was done; the concern that it could disincentivize people from wanting to answer/engage. This seems along the same lines but much more prominently displayed and unnecessarily highlighting new users.
 
@PM2Ring It's new to the specific site, not necessarily the network. Someone can have 101 rep due to the association bonus but have never posted on a site before. Different sites guide users in how to post differently, so being new to Cross Validated but experienced on Music doesn't carry over. That user is new to that community. As to I assume most answerers check the OP's rep... I'd assume most would read the question, too... but that apparently isn't always the case. :D I've failed that test, myself in the past.
 
@JonClements - I'd argue that accept rate was removed instead based on the aggressive (and sometimes abusive) comments it encouraged, as well as people being forced to accept incorrect answers to raise rates, not how it impacted whether or not people would answer. In fact, Jeff states that one of the goals of showing accept rate was partially to warn people before participating in a question, which could discourage answers. This sign isn't based on behavior, merely age of the account, and seems a lot gentler in nature.
 
@JonClements your note brought back some memories... "What is more useful to the longer term health of a community: a single OK question, or an engaged community member who assists and participates — as a citizen, not just another drive by hit and run?" (Jeff Atwood has left Stack Exchange and things appear to be now moving in the opposite direction to that of his proposal about citizenship level indicator)
 
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Well, Dan have 101 reputation that means he's not new to SE family. He already made some contribution somewhere in the SE forest and expected to have a basic knowledge on how the community sites works.
 
I started writing an answer but I realized it wouldn't be nice enough for today's standards. So here's the gist of it: I find this new feature in its current form insulting. It implies that the experienced users can't be trusted to act like decent human beings, and that they have to be extra decent with new users. It all doesn't make sense. The blog post, the intrusive comment flag icons, the "thanks for flagging, we're sorry you're offended" popup, and now this...I can't help but feel criminalized. Is this worth it all?
 
@gnat read and upvoted on day 1. Frankly I was hoping that despite the lack of any official acknowledgement that the blog post was grossly out of line there would be some silent convergence back to the land of sanity. I also believe that there are real problems that the company is trying to solve, so I try to be patient. But I see one counterproductive yet obtrusive decision after the other, and I see less and less chance for sanity. It's a shame.
 
You have a remarkably low bar for what constitutes a "contribution". Can't you just call them "new users"?
 
sth
How about instead doing some research how to give your long term contributors a good experience? That might be a good idea if you want more long term contributors.
 
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@AndrasDeak I can't say that making upvote/flag buttons always visible is "instrusive". Post upvote/downvote buttons are always visible, too. I don't find that very annoying, and it makes clicking the button easier on my browser.
 
Ditch the whole proposal, hire BJ Myers and have him implement his plan.
 
Btw. older contributors should be treated just as nicely as new contributors really. So if this "be nice" banner would be displayed every now and then below contributions of mine, I wouldn't object.
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So if it's shown "a week after the first question" that means if my SO "career" started now, I would get this notification at having around 4000 points. That's when I asked my first question. It's probably a rare occasion, but still would be silly to see "here's a new user with 4000 rep points, treat them nicely"...
 
Do I still get to be a jerk to the old contributors?
 
cfr
8:49 PM
While in Be Nice Mode, could you please try a little cultural sensitivity? I'm clueless about the black-and-yellow tape. I associate this with the emergency services, which suggests you think new users are like violent crimes, burglaries, car crashes, fires, heart attacks or strokes. I know some people can be rather hostile to new users, but I've never heard anybody suggest they were genuinely hazardous just qua new users. I assume this has different connotations in the US, but if someone who lived there for a decade still thinks 'Help!', perhaps you should be more circumspect or explain?
 
@cfr "Warning: hazardous material. May flag when agitated."
 
Thanks a lot, this is great. Now we can vote newbie questions down without even reading them.
 
There was a poll suggesting that women felt unwelcome at SO. So if the poster is female, should there be a similar undignifying notification? Where do you draw the line? And what do you hope to achieve?
 
So, you just add a big warning sign: "This user probably won't accept answers", "This user could blow up if you ask for clarification", "This user probably dumped his question here and went to bed. Don't expect a response within 3 hours." Good idea.
 
Sorry, but this makes Stack Exchange a social network, by focusing on the users, and not on content. Something it tried not to be. Stack Exchange has lost its unique place among Q&A sites, and I'm afraid that with time people will realize it (as quality will start dropping sharply), and move to one of the many other Q&A sites.
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8:49 PM
Let's rename it to what it is: the Puppy License Indicator. Can we add a cute looking puppy instead of the waving hand thing? That would be great. Thanks!
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My "Shiny new 'downvote me' indicator!" comment has been deleted. Did a new user™ take offense at it? Because I was merely trying to say what others have too: that it will place a bullseye on new users. Just like Student driver signs where I'm from, mind you. But it's good to know that meta is also burdened by the most ridiculous things getting flagged (and deleted).
 
@AndrasDeak Avoid sarcasm and be careful with jokes — tone is hard to decipher online. Your comment looked to me like you were suggesting that folks downvote when they see that indicator, perhaps out of protest or something else. But, I didn't notice it until a few other people saw the same thing and flagged it.
 
Since when askers became contributors?
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While several of the answers made good points, pro and con, I like that you're thinking about this. Rather than just stopping at new CoC, it feels like you have an ongoing commitment to improve the SO culture.
 
what's with the hand icon? it's like "don't smack me". Slightly ludicrious if you ask me.
 
8:49 PM
Actually what I want now is a switch to filter new contributors out of my front page.
 
It may have the probable complete opposite side effect of deterring people to comment/answer/etc in this case as it gives the impression that such users, for no real general reason, are given preferential treatments... Indeed being able to filter those would be nice.
 
This just started showing up for me now and to be honest, I don't find that it targets actual contributors when it comes to very poor questions that show no code, nor want to show an effort on their part or wants us to write code / look for tutorials/links for them. It just doesn't fit right with me, it's like a round peg in a square hole. For new answerers, sure yes, that fits better.
 
@TimPost It would seem that the new user indicators aren't taking into account the activity of a user on the meta or main version of a site when posting on the other. So an experienced SO user would still get this notice when posting for the first time in MSO (mentioned here). Is that intentional?
 
Tim Post: Did it occur to researchers to check out whether such a banner as chosen is even wanted by new users? When I first started on MSE, I wanted attention only for the quality of my answers, not due to my initial low rep, or recent arrival. If I knew my first answers would have been stamped New contributor, I doubt I would have continued on MSE. Similarly for meta.se. Not all cultures or genders seek a public banner or parade when first starting here. Some want to let their work speak for themselves.
Also, every time a "new contributor" posts, are they also flashed the "new Code of Conduct"? You need to be working on how to better prepare new users, and not only on how we should all put on kid gloves and put bibs around new contributors, to begin spoon-feeding. Don't confuse paternalism and condescension for true, honest respect for new and not-so-new users, across the board.
 
I'm having a real hard time wrapping my head around this one. According to the 2018 StackOverflow developer survey, 97.5% of the dev community are 18 or older. Do that many grown adults want a sticker attached to their chest saying "Please take it easy on me!", let alone in three places on one single page? I rolled my eyes when I saw it underneath the username, shook my head when I saw it in the comments, and let out an audible "Are you kidding me?" when I saw it in the answer space.
 
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Uh...... most of the community (according to the vote tally of the highest votes answers) disagrees, and this is still implemented?
 
This is all getting way too far. The main problem we have is "new users don't know how to ask good question." Address that problem at the root and we would not need measures to "Be nice" with new users after they ask bad questions. I see that "New contributor" badge as warning and stopping me to interact with that content. With all these changes I am unsure about what is good or bad code of conduct and I'll prefer to stay away from posts which has "New Contributor" badge on it.
 
cde
And those new flag types will quickly get declined by moderators. Nothing changes.
 
@JoeFriend top answer gives a loud "DON'T DO THIS". Yet, three days later, you give us a "This feature is now live across the network." Is Stack Exchange caring at all about its community?
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@Cerbrus (I know that is a joke but) 3rd is not really related. Stack Exchange is by definition not a discussion forum, and we don't have any rule that specifies that an unclear question must be clarified in less than 3 hours since the issue is pointed out.
 
@user202729: That doesn't make it any less annoying if a user just abandons his question after posting it. Always stick around for a while to respond to comments.
 
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@fbueckert: "And you know what they do? They apologize and take off their shoes. There's something about being on the internet where that process just doesn't work; we get more hostility than we do co-operation" It's because if you had to tell 50,000 people over and over again (like we do here), you'd soon tire of it, and (right or wrong) start getting a bit pissy about it. That then breeds a less than co-operative response. Just the facts on the ground
 
@TimPost What qualifies/constitutes as being a new contributor? I just noticed this answer from this member this morning and there is the "New contributor" showing up under their member name in the answer. Is this a bug or is it because they have not asked any questions yet? They have been a member (on Stack Overflow) for some time now. Edit: Your description under: "The new indicator works by the age of a user's first visible post." doesn't seem to fit the bill here.
 
Just curious what the veteran contributor indicator is going to look like and what the warning to be nice and appreciative to them for taking their time to help you for free is going to say?
 
I find this change insulting.
 
@JarrodRoberson: <sarcasm> Obviously, veteran status is indicated by the removal of the Dirty Handprint of Shame. </sarcasm> Seriously, though, rep and badges kind of serve that purpose already. Although, granted, new users might not always be aware of their significance.
 
@AndrasDeak "It implies that the experienced users can't be trusted to act like decent human beings" -- well, unfortunately, there are experienced users who don't act decently toward fellow SO members, and so we can't necessarily trust that experience is sufficient to ensure decency.
 
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Drowning hand is drowning.
 
@KyleStrand I know there are a lot of users (irrespective of experience) who are problematic, which is why we have problems in the first place that the company is trying to solve. But how would you feel about huge flashing banners all around town and on the bus that say "Mugging people is bad, m'kay?". Of course it's bad! The few problematic muggers won't be any less of a problem (they may even be provoked by these messages), whereas the sane rest of society will feel much worse. My issue is proportionality of how the company is handling these changes.
 
@AndrasDeak That's reasonable; I just don't think "experience" should ever be conflated with "exemplary".
 
@TylerRoper You seem to be unfamiliar with the current political/social debates around issues such as trigger warnings and safe spaces. Some non-trivial portion of adults think this kind of stuff is actually a good idea. Jonathan Haidt has some useful discussion of it.
 
@jpmc26 you should be more patient towards that user, they are clearly new here.
 
aug
@TimPost Is it possible to get a follow up on the result? How are you measuring that new users are feeling more welcomed? Are you using retention metrics? I completely agree with what people are saying here (it's a little too pervasive than necessary). I definitely agree with the points that more can be done to teach new users as mentioned in BJMyers answer. That being said, when I first saw it, my first reaction was somewhat happy that StackExchange is working hard to try and fix this issue.
 
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@AndrasDeak Oh, no! A snarky response! I must flag it!
@TrooperZ You weren't a member 8 months ago. You joined less than 7 months ago. Your question wasn't downvoted because you were new. It was downvoted because it showed no effort or research and just expected that we fix your entire program for you. Instead of limiting your question to one specific point of confusion and trying to better understand how to be effective with your tools, you dumped everything at us, effectively saying, "You figure it out even though it's my assignment." You're not a victim. You just asked a bad question.
 
jrh
@SergeyA well... this is completely unrelated to this hand icon thing (whatever it means, FWIW I'm not a fan of this change), but ideally I think both askers and answers should be "contributors", where askers provide a premise for documentation (the search term), and answerers (hopefully) provide the answer a future Google search is looking for. Both jobs take effort to do well; I think SE kind of lost touch with the "knowledge repository" goal over time.
 
This is a great change. I think it should be longer than a week though, maybe a month. Somebody's rate of interaction when they first start will be slower, therefore learning will be slower.
I'm pretty shocked that people are upset by this tiny little change. It's just a reminder to be nice and a noob isn't necessarily going to mind being labeled as such if it means they are helped out more. If it means they are helped less, well then the community should ask itself why there's an expectation that noobs will treated badly.
 
Anyone else feel like we're going down this road with Be Nice! ?
 
@Stephen It's not just a "tiny little change." It's a change that fundamentally violates one of the core tenants of SO: that it's the content that matters, not who writes it. It is also one small part of a destructive social mindset that SO has decided to pervasively dump on the community all of a sudden. In that light, it's not shocking at all that people are upset about it.
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ray
I can't help but wonder if my recent question has gotten barely any attention (36 views in 2 days, no comments, zero votes, etc.) because this stupid "new" user indicator is simply flagging me in a bad way. My question count is not relevant; their quality is, i.e. it "shows research effort; it is useful and clear". "New" & "Good" are not mutually exclusive; new users can ask good quality questions, too. Our tools don't care if we're "new" to them; they treat everyone the same and will fail accordingly unless used correctly. Avoid double-standards.
Also, SO cannot expect to improve the experience of all users by pushing problems the system can solve over to people. It seems the "researchers" were quite selective and biased in their population sample. Where high-rep users included? Did they bother trying to understand the frustration that's probably caused by having to repeat the same thing over and over a thousand times when the system could've done a better job at educating new users as they try to post their first question?
 
8:49 PM
So my first reaction is that this is essentially reintroducing the old ranking system from phpBB (etc) forums from back in the day that almost every other discussion site uses... e.g. first post, "newbie" title or 1 star, 100 posts, "user" title or 2 stars, etc.
 
Ranking system? It's an indicator that disappears after a week, it's not a ranking system.
 
So, is the expectation that your comment is targeted at the OP, or does the notification detect which user you've targeted with @?
 
@TimPost Clearly you're here and reading all this negative reaction to your campaign. When are you actually going to respond to all of it?
 
@mason I have zero hopes of succeeding in a many:1 dynamic right now, and honestly, I don't earn enough money to subject myself to that kind of emotional beating. We'll let some time pass, see what we can find from constructive feedback folks care to offer, do more interviews and testing with non-meta users that are very active on our sites, and go from there. Responding to comments here in hopes of anything good coming out of it, given the hostility and tone? No way, nope, nope nope nope nope. I'm paid to listen, not take punches.
 
@TimPost You're the community manager. The community is here giving you feedback, mostly negative. And your response is that you don't want to deal with it because the response is too negative? That sounds exactly like the time a community manager needs to step in, undo the changes, apologize, and promise not to try this again without more input from the community on the best way to proceed. Instead, you shove it down everyone's throats and say you're here to listen to feedback but that you won't because we're so vehemently opposed to changes. Then what exactly are you paid for?
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I also don't see what "emotional beating" you're talking about, why you think constructive feedback hasn't been given, what hostility and punches are you experiencing? Is Servy's answer and all the upvotes it received somehow hostile?
 
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There's a difference between negative, and just outright berating and insulting. An alarming amount has been in the berating and insulting category, and I'm quite frankly not going to engage with it. I don't know if you realize how condescending what you just wrote actually read, @mason.
 
@TimPost What part is condescending? The part asking what you're paid for? You brought that into scope when you stated you're not paid to listen to all this negative feedback. I feel like it's a legitimate question. This is exactly the time when a community manager should be stepping up to the plate and listening and responding. Do you not agree? Can you tell us what you believe your role should be when a change is made to the website that elicits such a negative reaction from the experienced users? You again repeat that people are "berating and insulting" but haven't provided any examples.
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@TimPost What is unconstructive about, "This feature is against the core virtues SO has expressed since its founding and should be undone immediately?" "Constructive" doesn't mean "willing to accept." Yes, you're being berated because this is a really bad idea and warrants a harsh response. There's nothing unconstructive about that, as SO's own founder has demonstrated he believes. Does the fact you have fractured the entire community with all this "welcoming" stuff mean nothing to you?
 
@jpmc26 As much as I agree with the sentiment, I think Tim's got a pretty good point. Yes, we're the core userbase, and we are overwhelmingly against this change, and we definitely feel this is a Bad Thing. But you're also proving his point in that there won't be much constructiveness due to the harsh language being used. I firmly believe we should still be listened to, and the harshness used to demonstrate the passion of the community. But I can't honestly blame him from disengaging in that process; it's emotionally draining for everybody, and there's only one of him.
 
@fbueckert So let me get this straight...if the company releases a change and it provides a mild negative reaction, they'll be all ears to hear the feedback. But if they release a change and it provokes a strong negative reaction, they'll just say "sorry you didn't like the change, but so many of you didn't like it that we're just going to ignore you because we're not paid to deal with the veracity of such feedback". Is that a fair restatement of what you just said?
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@fbueckert I think were we're differing here is in the kind of response we expect. I'm not suggesting Tim sit here and argue with everyone. That isn't the point. The point is that on every point of this "welcoming" push, SO has chosen to double down instead of back off. They're accelerating their push, not slowing down. We're not looking for words. We're looking for actions, and that doesn't require anyone to sit around and argue. The damage this entire episode has done to the community is obvious, but I've seen zero sign they actually care about any of the concerns dissenters have raised.
 
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@fbueckert You seem to be okay with them ignoring us when we're really opposed to the changes, since you think Tim has a point. I don't think he's got a leg to stand on. When the feedback is that overwhelming, the company should undo the changes, return to status quo, and evaluate how they went wrong. Get more community input before implementing such a change in the future.
 
@mason No, I'm not okay with them ignoring us. And I do believe we're justified in using harsh language in our interactions to show dissatisfaction with current actions. But we're just the noisiest section of users; yes, we're the most passionate and most invested, but I think something that many of us forget is that we're not alone. For instance, I just argued this in the Bridge, my home site's chat. There, I was the minority, where everybody else was supportive of this change. I definitely don't agree with them, but we're not the only ones that use the site.
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@jpmc26 I agree; everything has been about doubling down and pushing forward. I also agree that it's the wrong way to go about it; it sets an awful precedent of users coming before content, and I absolutely despise it. But all I'm doing here is pointing out that Tim's got a point; nothing good is going to come out of him trying to convince anyone here in the comments that it's a good thing. I think I can disagree with him, while still seeing his side.
 
Well I agree the comments aren't the place to provide a solid response: it needs to be a post somewhere in order to do the response justice. And it needs to happen quickly.
 
@fbueckert I see his side, but what I'm saying is that it's entirely the wrong emphasis. Like I said, no one is advocating for sitting around arguing in the comments; that's irrelevant. What's really concerning (and is what I emphasized in my comment) is the summary dismissal of those who are upset by what they're doing to SO's core values. Tim doesn't even address that in his last 2 comments; he doubles down against us again by trying to cast himself as a victim of us for being mean or something.
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@jpmc26 Well, then you know what to do; we have a Meta site where we can give feedback. I'll even upvote it. But seeing as how SE is really invested in being welcoming, don't expect them to reverse course. We've gotten all the info we're going to, I think, and SE sees this approach as it's only path for long term viability. There's going to be very little point in trying to convince us that it's good for site health when we're already convinced it's going to do exactly the opposite.
 
@Tim Post - it's been a week and there's a lot of feedback here that seems to indicate an overwhelming dislike for this new indicator. Do you have any idea what will happen next? Is it going to go away or is this here to stay?
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8:49 PM
@billynoah I guarantee it's here to stay.
 
@fbueckert Then they should post the truth and stop hemming and hawing over it: they should openly admit they don't care about anything we have to say. They won't do that because they know it's wrong and would be even more damaging, but they won't admit that there's something wrong going on either. I've been mulling over some kind of "plea for sanity" posts for months, but I know that assembling it in some reasonable form will probably take a couple of days of man-hours, and I don't have that time right now. In the mean time, all I can do is respond to specific circumstances, as I've done.
 
@jpmc26 not that yet another plea for sanity post would change anything. Good for farming rep, absolutely nothing in the way of effecting change. Frankly I'd be much happier if the company gave up this pretense of being community-oriented (or even community-driven!) and just switch to "Dear users, here's this, deal with it". We'd basically get the same amount of support as now without the frustration stemming from being consistently ignored when it comes to anything more substantial than the number of pixels in a border around an icon.
 
9:00 PM
guess this is the polite way to nuke the comments
isn't that why the "show X more comments" feature exists - to cap comment real estate at a certain point?
 
9:23 PM
@billynoah You mean ”this is the way to hide comments that contain difficult questions we don’t feel like answering”
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9:43 PM
i honestly don't know what I mean... I didn't know that an entire comment thread along with upvote history could just go away like that. it's a confusing event for me
 
10:25 PM
@billynoah Comments have always been second-class citizens. You should never grow attached to them. Joe could've as easily just purged the whole thread and be done with it. Or Tim for that matter.
not even second-class citizens, actually; the word usually used to describe them is "ephemeral"
 

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