I have a question about the efficient use of downvotes. People are downvoting without any comments; such behaviour is not necessarily constructive, but I generally agree with the logic presented in earlier questions such as this one or this one. However, there are clear downsides for this as well.
- Without any comments at all, there is no way for the poster to know how to improve her/his post.
- Even in the case that the poster "guesses" what could be disliked, and significantly improves the post, there is no way to inform the people who downvoted. When there are comments, you can always respond to the comment and let the downvoter know about the improvement, but without that you can just hope that somehow they come back to the post and reread, which is not very likely.
Such behaviour discourages efforts to improve posts, particularly for the inexperienced people. In order to improve this situation, would it be possible to implement a feature to "ping" the downvoters in the event of significant updates? This would also discourage downvoting, perhaps better than assigning negative reputation.
Or alternatively, could be possible to implement a middle ground solution like this: When a downvote is cast, apply a negative reputation penalty only if NONE of the following is done:
- Write a comment
- Upvote an already existing comment
- Agree to be pinged back
This way, if you are in a bad mood and downvote, you still get the reputation penalty; but if you spend the effort to give constructive feedback, you will not. Moreover, the posters will have a better incentive to improve their posts, as they have a chance to reach back to you and get you to reconsider your downvote and perhaps turn that into an upvote.