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I totally agree that the key feature of a high level academic forum is the audience choice, which is by all means given in terms of up and down votes. Nevertheless, I would like to point out some little misbehaviours thereof and suggest if, at least for some sections, downvotes could be removed at all.
I am a theoretical physicist and, although having always been a big fan of this platform, I have only joined it actively lately. The reason is that most of my colleagues and my community left the forum after a while due to the ridiculous way people downvote correct proofs in mathematics without even giving (possible) counterexamples. I regret I have to say this has been happening to me as well and is giving me good thoughts to drop the forum as they did, without wasting any more time if people do not even read the solutions.
If you find the answer useful then one may upvote. If not, one can just not upvote it, leaving it to zero score. Downvoting an answer without counterproofs, besides questioning someone else's effort and time, also evens out and discards all the ones who had previously upvoted the same answer. Especially in technical areas (physics, mathematics, chemistry and so on) a proof is either true or false and I would suggest that in those sections downvotes, if still useful at all, should be allowed only after proving the related answer to be explicitly wrong, giving a counterexample or meaningfully expanding it. Otherwise, no downvote should be allowed.
I have seen that many other users pointed out, along similar lines, the same feeling. What's the state of the art about this issue here?