Unfortunately you are correct to be reluctant to contribute to IPS.SE in the future. Most especially, when your approach vector is Hot Network Questions (HNQ).
Moderation policies on SE at large
The SE format is tried-and-tested on answers which have fairly definitive right-and-wrong answers (Perl notwithstanding). "How do I hook 12/3 to a 30A breaker" [frame challenge: you don't]. "How best to pack electronic-device power for a 14-day hiking trip". Those forums ruthlessly excise open-ended, subjective or opinion questions like "should I start with gliders or powered airplanes?" or "should I consider putting solar on my roof?" When someone flags or DVs one of these questions, it's fairly clear why.
Further, valid questions inherently invite only those with subject expertise. Nobody needs to tell me not to attempt to answer questions on .NET or hydronic systems.
The moderation policies there follow from that.
This is so consistent on most SE sites that you get in the habit of seeing a question on HNQ, going "I can answer that!" and step over there. I've gotten 100 upvotes on "drive-by" answers in retrocomputing, movies and even aviation. The internal consistency of clear, answerable questions and self-selecting subject experts makes this easy/safe to do.
IPS is different
Enter IPS. This is a stack where questions are inherently open-ended, subjective and opinion based, and if criteria here were comparable to other stacks, there'd be precious few valid questions. Further, "expert self-selection" fails because everybody has some expertise. We are talking about the art of living.
Remember the part where I said "the moderation policy follows from that"? Here that creates a very challenging moderation environment to be manageable.
The problem is, the terms/conditions are extremely inconsistent with other SE sites. The requirement for citations is analogous to, say, Skeptics... but it's difficult to cite basic wisdom and life experience. So they've had to concede exceptions for personal experience, creating the oddity that you must disclaim that you do in fact have life experience.
Note that this differs from other SE sites, where you don't need credentials to answer a Perl question or an extremely complex aerodynamic questions for a person who's designing an airplane -- the upvote/downvote system takes care of credentials. That's another part of the SE model that doesn't work on IPS, in a domain where everyone has some expertise.
This is one of the most challenging stacks to write a good answer. Nothing prepares you for this.
Now in a perfect world, yes. You should click the HNQ, spend 10 minutes taking the tour, learn the moderation policy, read other Q&A, join the chat... but on almost all other stacks, this is pointless since they are so similar, so as a practical matter, people do not, and "getting them to do so" is not gonna happen.
The problem of Hot Network Question presence
Anyway, back to your question, yes -- this ends up being a whiplash-inducing culture shock for people who step in from other stacks. And yes, I agree; that is a flaw in IPS's presence on HNQ.
I have enough rep to see deletes. Every HNQ question is a sea of red. I've seen questions with ten deleted questions, 2 sharply downvoted with 2 "delete" votes, and 3 highly upvoted, and they were also the first 3 posted. (i.e. before it hit HNQ. In other words: by IPS regulars).
In fact, IPS's presence on HNQ has been problematic in the past; again simply because of the dis-similiarty between IPS and other StackExchange family sites. Some infrastructure was laid and now IPS is tiptoeing back onto HNQ.
Believe me, I was on prior to the HNQ drop, and indeed, IPS questions which rose to HNQ were a madhouse. A sea of answers, some drive-by cheapies, but many earnest, well-meaning answers. The moderation then isn't want it is now, and resulted in a sea of answers. Disregarding bad answers, it was so much "signal" that it became noise. It wasn't a pretty sight, though by admitting that, I'm not endorsing draconian moderation either.
What can you do?
This is not a happy situation, and for you dear asker, your "once bitten, twice shy" is probably as good as you're going to get, for now.
As far as IPS, I would say this situation is inherently badly set up. HNQ invites new-users in, and I've seen the most heartfelt, honest, human answers written anywhere on SE. Then the moderation scheme chews them up, spits them out, wastes hours of their work, and very often acts like they're the bad guy. I've seen people horribly mistreated here, and I'm only seeing the ones who speak up.
In my long experience in volunteer organizations, for every 1 who speaks his mind, there's 30 or 40 who clenches his fist and leaves in the same anger, or worse, since he is not even trying to reach out. This is untenable; any such volunteer organization will not last.
The options, in order of severity,
- questions should be protected the moment they hit HNQ, to protect newusers from the culture shock. Of course they can browse around if they're interested, learn the ropes and answer unprotected questions where there won't be such an urgency about housecleaning.
- There should be upfront and clear warnings about IPS's unusual citation and reference policy, and other policies that differ from other stacks "What those need to be" should be based on feedback from newusers.
- Don't be on HNQ at all, since it is inherently incompatible with the notion of "visit new stacks and lend narrow expertise when one has it". You have to admit, things were more peaceful here in 2018.
- Stop even making an effort to make its moderation policies and content quality resemble other StackExchange sites, since it is at its heart an opinion forum, and opinion forums should be open about allowing opinions. Early HNQ was a mess, but it was less harsh on newbies.
- Depart the StackExchange platform altogether, since it is a misfit for SE's basic model.