Dan, I want you to know that I agree with you about the friendliness. It is an issue on other SE sites as well. I've discussed this also with staff.
What's happening is the workflow of self-management. SE is "managed by the community". So, hundreds and thousands of high-rep users review new posts. It's all voluntary. They want to see "good quality". When something isn't "good quality" (whatever that means to each person), they take action against the post. There are many, many new posts constantly being reviewed, so they get in a bit of a hurry.
The issue is with the tools to review and address "low quality" posts from new users. There aren't always the right buttons to click right now. Only, downvote or close or comment, which makes it difficult to review the load of many new posts while being both fast and friendly and helpful for new users to understand. So, it is the friendliness that may often get dropped.
That's not any excuse, that's just the status quo explained in a nutshell.
For me, I want to lean on the side of being too friendly, not cold and callous. I went through the challenge and unfriendliness on many SE sites. It did make me better at asking questions, but the unfriendliness is indeed a problem.
The best thing to do for now is:
- Continue asking specific questions and raise awareness like this meta post does
- Do your own review and comment, being the friendly person the site needs
- Talk with other users on Hermeneutics in the site chat room
- Wait for updates for SE software to introduce tools that will make empower a friendlier welcoming party
- Use flags: If you see a post being treated badly, click "Flag" and explain to the moderators your concern. If moderators have already reviewed it, bring it up in the chat or make a meta question about it here
Thank you for this. I hope you continue to contribute and be part of the solution. And, please comment.