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Why are so many forum users hostile to someone asking questions?

myrtlebee

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 9, 2011
2,548
1,923
Maryland
This has happened to me multiple times. I will ask a question (always about tech) - I am not the most tech-literate person, despite my being on this forum - and then I will have waves of responses by users calling me lazy, asking why I didn't find the answer myself, claiming I want to be "spoon fed" answers. No empathy for the fact that maybe I did look for the answer myself elsewhere and couldn't find it or might have overlooked it or misunderstood it. I've been here since 2011 and it makes me not want to frequent the forums, or at the least not want to ask questions, which I thought this forum was for. In summary, the forum culture is toxic and hostile for asking questions and I wonder what can be done about it. I can't imagine people completely unfamiliar with Apple and tech being comfortable asking questions.
 

myrtlebee

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Jul 9, 2011
2,548
1,923
Maryland
Some people can be a bit abrupt. But lots of people on here are really helpful and I've fixed lots of issues with the help of the MR faithful. Just ignore trolls. Report anyone who is braking the rules and the Mods will deal with them.
Thanks for your response. This has happened to me nearly every time I ask a question though. I haven’t reported anyone because I don’t think they’re breaking any rules, just being nasty. I mean, if a mod wants to check out my latest thread they are welcome (and feel free to lock and delete it since I did get a kind and helpful response from someone in the midst of the attacks). Fair warning, I let the posters get under my skin and told them off.
 
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Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,973
2,835
East of the sun, west of the moon
I'm sorry to hear that happened to you as well. I read through some of the responses. Just so you know, telling someone they should have searched for it is, in fact, against the rules, i.e.:

"Instructing other members to search. Instructing members to search themselves for an answer or responses such as ****** ("**************************") are experienced as rude and condescending. We don't have an issue with people linking to Google search results, although we prefer that members also link to a specific page that addresses the question being posed. A few words explaining how you got your search results makes your response even more helpful."

Don't hesitate to use the offending post Report button to briefly explain that it's rule breaking and you are offended. I completely agree with G.McGilli's suggestion too about hitting Ignore for some users. Also there's no harm in simply walking away from the thread when someone responds to you in a way that's offensive or rude. The chances of changing their mind or attitude is pretty slim.

Edited: LOL that Macrumors redacts with asterisks its own Rules when pasted in, but you can find full text under the Rules Things Not to Do section.

Edit #2: here's a screenshot of the rule

1605837002219.png
 
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AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
4,943
23,988
Edited: LOL that Macrumors redacts with asterisks its own Rules, but you can find full text under the Rules Things Not to Do section.
That's… actually sorta brilliant. It forces anyone who would originally tell others to Google their questions to retype their comment, encouraging them to revise it so that it's actually helpful.
 
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Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,973
2,835
East of the sun, west of the moon
That's… actually sorta brilliant. It forces anyone who would originally tell others to Google their questions to retype their comment, encouraging them to revise it so that it's actually helpful.
Yeah I agree, it's great that it gets redacted, forcing the user to revise. I didn't realize it would do that after pasting in the rule, but a post is a post.
 
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retta283

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2018
2,187
1,994
Victoria, British Columbia
It does happen sometimes, some people just are that way, no specific reason it just happens. For the most part, I would say the people on this forum are very helpful and that's why I spend a lot of time here. Reddit by contrast I have been shouted at by people and almost all my posts are ridiculed, even some deleted. Different atmosphere. (This does depend on the subreddit, I probably have just had bad luck)
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,654
36,096
The iPhone forum is by far the worst, which I left recently mainly just because of the trolling, constant bitterness, attacking, the list goes on. I like to think that I have decent knowledge reference the Apple Watch and iPhone, but after so many years dedicated to the iPhone forum, I decided to venture away for reasons as such. That said, for the rest of the site and other forums, I generally find it beneficial and helpful with Quite a few knowledgeable members in the ‘tech sector‘. And even the community forum, I’ve established quite a good few relationships with members who have been on here for years, [one Member who specifically does Not live that far from me, that I’ve met.]

That said, The ignore functionality is perfect. It’s completely locks out that person’s opinion, viewpoints, anything that they can attempt to contact you. On the entire site of Macrumors, I only have one person on my ignore list, which that person had/has a Unhealthy obsession of following me around.
 
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bluecoast

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2017
1,379
1,208
Hi OP. I think it’s great that you ask questions - keep doing it!

I think that some people disparage others as a way of burnishing their uber geek credentials.

In general, I think that there are more nice people here than not. And forum moderation helps too 😊.
 
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ZipZilla

macrumors regular
Dec 7, 2003
183
61
I've been here forever and the good outweighs the bad.
As elsewhere on the internet, there will be plenty of snobs, keyboard commandos, people who are condescending. Don't let that steal your joy.

We are entering a new renaissance for the Mac with Apple Silicon. It's an exciting time. I feel like I did back in 1998-2006.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,228
12,404
Gotta be in it to win it
My own take on this is: if the same language or tone some posters used on the forums was uttered to their friends / significant others / family, I don't think these people, for the most part, would put up with it.

I have learned to gloss over those posts (reporting if I think lines have been crossed).

An "old expression" seems apt: "never argue with an idiot, they'll drag you down and beat you with experience."
 
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dmr727

macrumors G3
Dec 29, 2007
8,699
126
NYC
My own take on this is: if the same language or tone some posters used on the forums was uttered to their friends / significant others / family, I don't think these people, for the most part, would put up with it.

I feel like this phenomenon has gotten noticeably worse in the last decade or so - not just on MR, but across the internet as a whole. Trolls/jerks have always existed of course, but I don't remember it being quite as bad as it is today. And MR is one of the better message boards out there, IMO.

Maybe I'm just getting old. :)
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,654
36,096
Just a quick plug for the moderators:

I don’t think It gets said enough how much they are needed and appreciated on here. I was on an investor website recently where there’s a lot of forum discussion between other members Over economic conditions, and it’s amazing how adults can denigrate and slander each other with, and that site allows that type of garbage with little existence of moderation. I always appreciate the Macrumors moderators addressing concerns in a timely manner. You would have a lot of longtime members on here not participate if it wasn’t for the moderators. So thank you!
 
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uuaschbaer

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2009
204
29
I think some people base their self-worth partly on the kinds of forums they visit. Since people are insecure and seek validation they want to show others that they have certain standards which, they think, reflect well on them. One way to do this is to imply that simple questions are beneath the consideration of their superior intellect. I.e. they’re using you to flex on others.
 
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fatTribble

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2018
59
54
Comic Book Store
Very sorry to hear about your bad experiences. I’ve only recently started posting. I try to be polite as possible and make some jokes to keep things light. When people still feel the need to reply in a negative way I just try to assume they’re having a worse day than I am. To me, the best response to the negativity is no response.
 
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mmomega

macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
3,649
1,834
DFW, TX
This has happened to me multiple times. I will ask a question (always about tech) - I am not the most tech-literate person, despite my being on this forum - and then I will have waves of responses by users calling me lazy, asking why I didn't find the answer myself, claiming I want to be "spoon fed" answers. No empathy for the fact that maybe I did look for the answer myself elsewhere and couldn't find it or might have overlooked it or misunderstood it. I've been here since 2011 and it makes me not want to frequent the forums, or at the least not want to ask questions, which I thought this forum was for. In summary, the forum culture is toxic and hostile for asking questions and I wonder what can be done about it. I can't imagine people completely unfamiliar with Apple and tech being comfortable asking questions.
They're fiesty and angry, bored, sitting online doing not much other than telling other people what they "should" or "need" to be doing.

I have sections I stay out of just for my own sanity.
 
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ChedNasad

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2020
8
9
Probably a knee jerk response. There are definitely people who will ask a question that can quite literally be pasted into google and yield the correct answer as the first search result. Doesn't make it right but I do get why it can happen.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,654
36,096
Probably a knee jerk response. There are definitely people who will ask a question that can quite literally be pasted into google and yield the correct answer as the first search result. Doesn't make it right but I do get why it can happen.

That’s sort of true. Google doesn’t always provide the most relevant and accurate responses to some things that others can contribute detailed feedback, like iOS faults, hardware problems, etc. I can tell you this, you will receive a lot more personalized feedback on a site like this versus just googling, even if it seems remotely obvious what the answer is to the question, when not everybody interprets things the same way. There’s Nothing wrong in asking a question, rather it be obvious or complicated, no one should have to be intimidated because they don’t know the answers to something or maybe they’re inept to how technology works.

I’ve learned more from members on forums like the iPhone and Apple Watch than I ever would from just googling, rather it would be simple or complicated.
 
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7thson

macrumors demi-god
May 13, 2012
844
574
Six Rivers, CA
+1 of the opinion that there are those that are far too comfortable doling out criticism in anonymity that they would otherwise be more circumspect about when in company face to face. It’s a drag when you encounter them here, but I don’t think MR would exist as a place that we all enjoy hanging out if they were the dominant factor.
Block/ignore as necessary and report when it’s valid. Look for the good and look past the negativity.
To address the title of your thread, some people thrive on confrontation and being argumentative. It’s tedious but I’ve found that these attributes don’t necessarily disqualify other attributes that they shine in. We might never see them shine, but that doesn’t mean they can’t.
 
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cp1160

macrumors member
Feb 20, 2007
63
57
I can tell you I have seen many people respond rudely or condescending over the years....but this board is friendlier than many.

Here's my rule of of thumb....if my mother would have given me the "stare" for saying something, I should be be saying it. Same with a post.

Now the issue we face is that many people just claim "I say it like I feel", or "I'm a blunt person" or "I disagree", or "You're an Idiot" or "I'd expect someone to do the same to me".

Just don't.

Sorry you've seen some things that were not what you liked, overall this is a friendly place.
 
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alex00100

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2011
376
697
Moscow, Russia
I don't think macrumors is bad at all in regards to this. But in general I've seen this kind of treatment when the question can be googled in 3 minutes. Because yeah this isn't your IT department. People want interesting discussions.
 
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