I find it quite irritating and not beneficial at all, when someone downvotes my question without any comment to say why. The current question is this, but I have seen this situation on many other questions. Sometimes you can find at a downvoted question a comment from the asker himself asking "Why the downvote?" or something.
As I understand it you may downvote a question if
- it has a poor quality
- it is not clear
- no web research has taken place beforehand = laziness (obviously hard to prove though)
- no SO research has taken place beforehand = laziness
- it is a duplicate
- it doesn't explain the issue well enough or I can't understand it
- ... etc.
Am I right or wrong here? There doesn't seem to be a topic about voting in the FAQ. I found some questions here on meta that give good clues, like this and this. But they always talk about peoples own opinions. Are there no official guidelines to upvote and downvote? (Well, there MUST be, so why can't I find it?!)
And to the downvoting-without-leaving-a-comment issue:
Any others who can't see the logic here either? What is downvoting good for when I am convinced that my question is fine for the site? Have this been discussed before?
So, I have found that the documentation on how and why to downvote can be found in the list of privileges: http://stackoverflow.com/privileges/vote-down.
Still though the explanation on when to downvote and what to do about it is not very thourough.
I have been thinking a lot about the comments on anonymity. I understand the deal here.
So, wouldn't an idea be then to simply require an anonymous comment from a downvoter? If that could be build into the system.