It seems Stack Overflow has gone full Reddit in my absence:
No[t] only is Stack Overflow plagued by overzealous trolls, but it is a community where the trolls are actually in charge.
That article rings kinda true from my recollection of occasional recent visits.
SO was one of the first sites to embrace “gamification” whole-hog: not just karma or achievements, but actually granting new privileges based on level-gain. I guess in retrospect it seems obvious that if you make an app feel like a game, some people with time on their hands will treat it as nothing more than one. This is true even on sites where karma has no value, like Reddit; let alone sites where your rep could very well get you a job.