I find that a lot of new users will make one of several mistakes asking questions:
- failure to check Google
- failure to show any effort
- failure to read any introductory material on the language in question
- very bad English
Many users will respond by downvoting the question (maybe flagging or voting to close) and moving on. The idea of prompting for an explanation is nothing new, but the upvoted comments are often something like "what have you tried?", which isn't as useful to new users as a more thorough explanation. To a new user who may barely understand English, we just look like a black-box full of jerks.
Given that any comments explaining the issues tend to get upvoted, I propose some small set of "canned" comment buttons that appear after I've downvoted a question. Clicking on them would do one of the following:
- Leave an anonymous comment
- Leave a named comment
- Leave a vote for the user to be notified (via comment or something else)
These comments could include links to the FAQs, which would save us the trouble of putting links in every bad post, and would be more useful to the poster than a single snarky comment with three upvotes.