I think down-voting is a good thing, but there seems to be an air of negativity around using it.
The purpose of down-voting is to say "this post doesn't offer good advice" and things to that effect, right? So why do people lose reputation when they down-vote - isn't it still a contribution, even if you're causing the poster to lose reputation?
If it didn't affect the user whom is down-voting, then it would be abused to easily to attack people whom they may not like, at least by attaching something to your own profile, then it causes people to really think about when to hand out a down-vote, and at worst, the +1 for daily logins easily balance's out any general down-votes that get handed out.
shouldn't the user be held accountable for the bad behavior?, if you strip out down-votes from having any real affect on the user, then they have absolutely no reason to quit acting the way they do(not everyone of course cares about this, but it is something that alerts other users to that person's tendancy's.).
I think it's a good system that the more experienced members can use to kind of "correct" other members when they say something that isn't helpful or true. However, it seems to be viewed as a way to call out people who are just being rude or flaming others, which is probably better solved by reporting the post and letting the moderators deal with it instead.
I've noticed a lot more down-votes on negative attitude than I have on anything else, and I think down-voting would be better used as a 'red flag' saying "be wary of this advice". Now, it seems to be used more to get rid of someone's reputation because they're always acting rude and you want it to show on their rep. Maybe it'd be more beneficial to the community to just make down-votes be a way of "discrediting" a specific post, not the poster him/herself - in other words, make down-votes not affect the reputation of the voter or the voted at all anymore. Does that make sense?
I do agree that posts with excess down-votes should be marked and/or hidden, as clearly it's not helpful.
I do see the down-votes being used incorrectly in the YA forums, though. People shouldn't down-vote an announcement because they think "this game sucks", because that's not helpful at all; but I think it could still be helpful to say "this advice sucks". Hell, maybe it'd be best to remove down-votes altogether and just force people to voice exactly why they think a post sucks in the first place...
I agree that down-votes shoudn't be included in the YA forums, but defiantly up-voting would be a plus, if a user has a problem with a particular game, they should be forced to tell the OP about the problem, rather than able to hit an anonymous button, and the OP has no real feedback about why they are getting down-voted.
and up-voting is nice because it's a way of showing positive support, even if you don't have many words to say to the person.
as it feels right now, YA feels like a dead place, so many posts, but rarely does any post get a response, or more than 1/2 that arn't from the same user posting updates/asking for feedback.
I think with +1's it'd at least give the OP a sense that people are listening, even if they are not saying anything.