Jeff asks Should the weight of downvotes be increased? and I think the value of downvotes is too low, especially given the "pity upvote" problem, which is very real.
But there's another problem. Most days, from a pure rep perspective, giving a downvote to a high rep user is completely pointless. Most days in the last 6 months I've hit the daily rep cap so a downvote usually doesn't counter (unless you do it at the right time). Now this is because a change was made so that upvotes received after a downvote would counter that downvote (effectively)—a change I support. It wasn't always that way.
Now that doesn't mean I (as one example) don't care about downvotes. If I've made errors I want to correct them and improve the overall quality of anything I post. But I don't have much time for people who downvote just because, for example, they don't like Visual Basic (regardless of its appropriateness to the OP). Nor do I have much time for downvotes lacking comment.
That aside, the cost of giving a downvote does counter against the daily rep cap. I can understand the rationale for this. I guess it stops people going on a downvoting spree because one upvote can counter 10 downvotes given. That argument has two problems:
- If you don't hit the daily rep cap the above is true;
- If you hit the daily rep cap and do so often I think you've demonstrated a greatly decreased likelihood for that to happen.
You can then get these weird situations where by giving someone a downvote it costs you something and costs them nothing. Sure there's the question/answer ranking part of it but still, it's a disincentive.
Should anything be done about this?