What is the intended use of down voting?
Reasons I can understand for down-voting:
- If the answer is completely off-topic, not even answering the original question
- The answer is offensive
- Some other extreme circumstance.
I believe just because a passer-by does not like the answer, doesn't mean that the person giving the answer deserves to be down-voted. This discourages people from trying to answer questions. And we are here to help people asking questions after all, no?
There have been a number of times where I refrained from answering a question because I was not sure if some one would down-vote me for saying something they think is "stupid". Then later I notice that someone else has given the same answer I was going to give (which ended up getting up-voted anyway).
So my fear of getting down-voted kept me from attempting to answer someone's question.
Now, even if I didn't give an excellent answer it may have helped the person asking the question and point them in a direction that they can attempt to solve their problem.
I think people should be rewarded for giving a good answer, but some one who is merely trying to give an answer but is not quite so good, I don't think they should be down voted.
I thought down-voting should be reserved strictly for extreme circumstances.
What do you guys think of this whole voting scheme?
Maybe people who are doing the down voting should get penalized a lot more for using it? To keep people from down voting just because they don't like how you answered the question, and often these people are not even the original posters of the question.