Last week, I spoke to a colleague who had some problems where he asked me for help but I didn't knew an immediate answer. I suggested to ask a question on ServerFault, but he denied, claiming this site to be "worse than usenet". I shrugged this off as his loss and as an exaggeration, but somehow this resonated with me and with something that bothers me for some time now.
Usenet, especially in Germany, had a reputation for an overly strict requirement to follow a somewhat arbitrary set of rules (the Netiquette) and even really minor violations resulted in very harsh responses that often ended in totally OT flamewars.
Some comments to a question today (which has been deleted since) illustrated what bothered me and apparently holds off the colleague from joining. This question is a catastrophe, it's off-topic, written in bad english (from a native speaker, apparently), the OP doesn't has the start of a clue what he is talking about or where he asks the question. In short: A prime example of a bad question.
I think the immediate closure the question received was absolutely warranted and so would have been a comment along the lines of "This question is off topic here, please read our FAQ". What he received instead was an all-capital/shouted reprimand by a moderator to read the FAQ and only come back when understanding the site, followed by a cynical recommendation by another high-rep user to drop the computer class and take english instead. What's even worse is that these comments have been up-voted by other users.
I can understand theses responses and I am also extremely annoyed by the steady influx of clueless newbies who don't bother at all to think before posting but I believe this kind of reaction should be unacceptable here and it does us a disservice. It doesn't help at all at stopping said users, but prospective new pro users of the kind we want to attract are easily being put off when reading comments like that. Also, it leads to a bitter atmosphere where people might think harsh responses are normal and adapt their writing, ending in a spiral of doom.
So, if you can't stand it anymore, please take a while off, concentrate on the good parts of SF or do something else entirely for a while. In case of mod overload, maybe we should try to either hold another election to have more moderators and/or relieve long-serving current ones or alternatively we could try to convince SE staff to give more mod-like powers to high-rep users.
Anyway, I hope I didn't step on anyones toes too heavily, and please be assured that none of this is meant personal in any way.