I think I'm just about over this. This new newb banner is stupid, and the discussion around it in the main meta section has more or less soured me on this entire platform. If there is some expected user attrition in the apparent quest to entice more question askers then I suppose I'll be one example.
I'm aware that this is wildly off topic for the meta and I apologize for the length but here it is: I started contributing here because I do have an education in finance and some experience in financial industries. I don't get everything right all the time and I have certainly gleaned some great ideas from other users and hope that I've been able to help people make good financial decisions.
I've complained about comments before, and have since flagged a lot of them.
The issue I have applying this format to this topic is that answers to questions that are not not directly related to the definition of a word or something very specific like "given these terms how much interest do I pay in the first year?" have an opinion component. "Should I pay the highest balance or highest interest rate first?"
The comments here are never, "hey you misspelled that word." Comments tend to be "why would you do that? That's terrible advice, you should ALWAYS pay the highest rate." Largely, I'm ok clarifying my stance, my gripe comes from the users we have who seem to only comment. Comments here tend to detract from answers because they'll address a perceived opinion with a divergent opinion and are almost never accompanied by an answer from the user. There is a contingent of users who tend to post psudo-answers to questions and make no honest attempts to improve anything.
To the stupid new contributor banner and the reason I started this thread.
The very first item in what can I do is:
Flag comments that are unfriendly or simply unhelpful. New users can do this now on posts that they own, but let's show people that we're serious about investing as much in them as they do in us. Snark sets a bad impression, but snark vanishing quickly sets a much better one.
Punishing snark might actually curb it. The problem this platform has is comments. Bad answers (and, really, perfectly fine answers that people disagree with) are downvoted. Users are rewarded for good questions and answers and dinged for bad ones. Bad comments get to exist. In fact, the construct that exists to punish bad answers gives incentive to for people to post a bad comment pseudo-answers instead.
I've seen my own comments be deleted so I know there's some amount of moderation but there is absolutely no transparent, direct structure to curb improper use of comments. And, to my knowledge I've never been punished for my deleted comments.
I'm not sure yet if I'll delete my account, but I'll be taking a break. I appreciate the comments below.