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.
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?