There's been some recent discussion on meta and in chat about the direction of the site. In general there seems to be a tension between
- a desire to maintain academic rigour in questions and answers
- to welcome questions and answers by non-experts both for the aim of growing the site and for providing a bridge between experts and non-experts
One area where this issue manifests relates to downvoting answers.
We have had a recent case where a user had a large number of their answers downvoted at once. This was not experienced as welcoming behaviour. I'm not making a judgement either way about whether the downvotes were justified in that particular case.
- Assuming you have decided to cast a vote, what influences whether you cast no vote versus casting a downvote on an answer?
- What is a reasonable decision rule when choosing between no vote and a downvote on an answer?
- In justifying such a decision rule, how does this relate to the competing goals of providing a welcoming site and maintaining a high standard of questions and answers?