As I've been patrolling the review queues on a couple of my more active sites lately, I've been noticing a lot of really poor answers from unregistered users. (For example, this or this or this or this.) Not bad enough to warrant deletion, at least according to the current guidelines, just wrong/bad/useless answers.
I understand that the rep loss on downvoting an answer is an as-designed situation, which isn't likely to change, and I've read the reasoning why, but it seems to me that the issue of rep loss from downvoting a an unreigstered user's garbage answer hasn't been thought through all that well, or given any attention.
The downvotes don't have any impact on unregistered users, since they're unreigstered - not like any privileges from positive reputation are going to apply, and reputation can't go below 1 anyhow - but the reputation loss does impact the downvoter. Granted, it is only a
-1, so it's not a huge deal, but there is an effect.
It's more psychological than anything else, but it kind of makes it feel like I'm being punished for going through the review queues - I know I'm going to lose rep, and it's not going to impact on the [unregistered] users spewing crap about the site, and I'm not going to get anything out of it, especially on the sites and queues I've got the relevant Steward badge on. So, it's something of a perverse disincentive to go through those queues that probably need the most attention, and are most likely to garner deserving downvotes (Low Quality, First Posts and Late Answers).
To be honest, I'm not even entirely sure that removing the downvote penalty against unregistered users is the best approach, and I can think of a couple other approaches (having the auto-delete fairies cull bad, downvoted answers like they do with questions, for example), but since the downvote penalty isw hat grabbed my attention, I figured that's what I'd ask about.
Is this intentional, and more importantly, is it [still] desirable to have this downvote penalty in place against unregistered users? Should it be changed or not, or there maybe a better solution?