In recent times, several users, including myself, have posted questions where the first vote was a downvote but no explanation was given. Here are some examples:
- Why does Han Solo's carbonite slab have a vital signs panel on the edge?
- This answer to "How many days passed between the initial outbreak and “Chupacabra” in The Walking Dead?"
- First reference to extraterrestrial life forms who weren't considered Gods in sci-fi?
- Were Men forbidden from going to Aman prior to the creation of Númenor?
(Granted, not all of these questions had their first vote as a DV, but several of them did with no explanation provided)
I am aware that there are protocols in place to avoid users going on downvoting-rampages from negatively impacting the community, but it got me thinking about a policy we could implement.
What if we had a policy whereby users who downvote a question, and that vote is the first vote, they are required to indicate the reason for that downvote. This would be similar, I envisage, to the process like when voting to close where you have several pre-defined options or an 'other' category where you can write your own reason. That would allow for the OP to gain an understanding of where they've gone wrong in their question and improve the quality of it, but would also hopefully reduce the proportion of rogue individuals downvoting for no apparent reason.