Two things have changed recently.
A lot of new users have begun using the site. Not surprisingly, they're not seriously reading the tour or the Help Center. And none of them save one are showing up here in Meta.
Almost all of them are getting seriously down voted and/or closed.
As an example, consider: Moons day vs year
- No, it's not a great question.
- Yes, it was probably asked by a non-native English speaker.
- Yes, it's most likely asking a Real World question about Earth and its Moon.
- No, (by the time I'd arrived) the user of reputation 1 hadn't even taken the tour yet.
@AlexP and @EscapedDentalPatient chimed in with good comments even before the Community BOT stepped in to indicate the question didn't meet SE's minimum standards for a question. But that didn't stop three down votes, two close votes, and a closing hammer from @L.Dutch.
Should the question have been closed? I'll admit... probably. It should have been closed as "needs more details" or "needs more focus." Of all things, it was closed as "not about worldbuilding as defined in the help center."
finally closing Real World questions? I'm all for it. While I initially supported the Real World Question policy, I've since come to despise it as I believe it's significantly led the Stack away from it's imaginative roots to become Physics-lite. However, I'd like someone to actually say that's the case (and delete its link in the Help Center) before I jump on the bandwagon and start playing my banjo.
But the negative votes... I'll grant, the question obviously indicates insufficient research into basic terrestrial astronomy — but we don't know anything about a user with a reputation of one and not a single badge other than the English looks suspiciously like a 2nd language to me.
I'm all for beating the snot out of users with 30,000+ reputation. I've taken a few punches myself. But by that level of experience they should know better than to post a question that will draw the ire of the Community BOT. I'm even willing to slap users above 2,500 rep pretty hard because, honestly, they should be figuring something out by that time. But brand-spanking new users?
I consider myself the most ruthless community moderator on the Stack. I've been rightly blamed for being arrogant, overly zealous, draconian... you name it. But it's really rare that I down vote anything and fairly uncommon that I VTC a user under 2,500 reputation without first asking them to improve their question with frequently lengthy comments as to why and how.
So, folks, what gives? Why the sudden effort to take a steel-edged ruler to the knuckles of users who don't understand why the rulers, why the steel, or why the knuckles? I can't even guess why the tidal wave of new users has come in, but that's not a bad thing. But I don't understand why we're treating them so harshly.