I've noticed a couple of downvotes on otherwise decent posts, and I cannot figure out why. I looked to the rules for guidance, and they state:

When should I vote down?

Use your downvotes whenever you encounter an egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended post, or an answer that is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect.

You have a limited number of votes per day, and answer down-votes cost you a tiny bit of reputation on top of that; use them wisely.

From here.

Some of the posts that I've seen downvoted are on decent if maybe inaccurate or not fully sourced answers. Most of the time these are on new users who may not be providing a full answer but are not "egregiously sloppy" or "no-effort-expended" posts. Also, some users cannot make comments, so provide an answer. Can't these, instead of being downvoted, be flagged and turned into a comment by a mod?

I think there's something to be said for giving new users a chance, and for established users, upvotes will eventually decide which post is best. Downvotes should be reserved for those that are way off the mark, not where slight disagreements exist.

What does Meta think?

  • What are your thoughts on downvoting questions? Personally, my stance on questions has evolved: while I used to be really strict about upvoting/downvoting questions, I've since relaxed by ideas about what makes a good question. At this point, I only downvote questions if the problems with the question are so significant that they would also cause the question to be closed.
    – user62
    Dec 17, 2016 at 22:16
  • Also, you say that you've "noticed a couple of downvotes on otherwise decent posts." Could you link to those posts so that we can have some examples of what you're talking about?
    – user62
    Dec 17, 2016 at 22:24
  • Also, in case anyone is interested, here is a list of the members of this site ranked by how many times they've voted. Should give people an idea of how many people actually vote regularly, whether it's new users or old users doing the voting, etc.
    – user62
    Dec 17, 2016 at 22:41
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    I don't know if I'll turn this into an answer, but I agree with @Hamlet when it comes to questions. I also don't downvote answers for lack of or poor referencing, but egregious inaccuracies might earn a downvote from me.
    – HDE 226868
    Dec 19, 2016 at 15:16
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    Just on the one particular point, a user not having enough rep to post comments doesn't seem like a good excuse to post them as answers, and downvoting non-answers is appropriate. The rep limit on comments exists for a reason, and whether you agree with that reasoning or not, using answers to circumvent the limit probably isn't a great solution.
    – femtoRgon
    Dec 20, 2016 at 19:07


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