I am a relative new-comer to perl and perlmonks. Having received valuable advice from monks on various perl issues, I try in turn to make an honest and genuine effort to help others, when I feel I can contribute to a question.
While contributing in this way, I have had useful feedback from several monks when my suggestions in reply to questions are in someway deficient, or better alternative approaches exist. This feedback is really valuable to me, because it helps me learn faster.
I understand in this respect why negative voting could be useful. For example, it would be useful for an original poster, or someone searching for threads on a previous topic, to be aware that a particular reply was felt to be good or bad by the general voting population.
I'm not so sure about the usefulness of anonymous negative voting without feedback. Particularly for someone like me starting out, knowing that an anonymous person doesn't like my reply isn't very helpful to me by itself. And I find that the negative votes I've had are generally without feedback. This also seems to me to be of little use to the general readership, who can't see that a post has been voted negatively (or positively), unless they have votes themselves, and want to vote on the post, just to see the score.
Would it be a better system if either the current vote tally on all posts was visible to all users? Or at least that if someone feels compelled to vote a post down, they should give some reason as to why? Surely, that would help people learn faster generally?