I don't mean to sound whiny today, but in between all of my XP gains for the day, I've lost at least 10-12 XP due to downvotes (which tells me I got a lot more nodes downvoted than 10-12). This morning there was no obvious indication which nodes were hit, so I assumed somebody was just blowing their votes on older nodes so they could get the "use all votes" bonus for the day. Fine, whatever. Lame, but OK. Nothing I can do, and I think we all get hit by those kinds of people.
But then this afternoon, every time I would post, I would get downvoted. Not once, but TWICE. Here's a list of all (or those that I noticed) of the comments that were affected:
Now, one person, OK. For whatever reason somebody doesn't like me or just wants to annoy me. Fine, I can live with that. I get far more positive XP in a day than I do negative, so it's not a big deal.
What bothers me is the fact that most of these got downvoted twice. Could I have pissed off two people? Possible, but I really don't see how. I'm one of the most polite people you could meet. The only one I've probably chafed in the last week or so has been Aigheararch (thread here). Could this be random acts of downvoting? Possible. Could we have a user with multiple voting accounts? Maybe? We've joked in the past about getting bots on PerlMonks. Rack up some XP for each of them and we'd have an effective little army. I never thought I'd see examples of something like that put to use. Could we have two users with 5 votes apiece acting in this capacity?
So I guess I'm sort of railing against two things right now. The first is the "use all votes bonus", which seems to be doing nothing but encouraging people to waste them. And if you're of that mentality, why would you promote other posts when you can demote them, giving yourself a miniscule boost over other users. These users aren't contributing, they're competing. I do not believe this bonus helps get the user into the spirit of things, and it's turning out to be simply a nuisance.
The other is indiscriminant downvoting. If you have a legitimate reason for downvoting a node, please let the author know why you did it (even if you have to do it anonymously). If you feel they were off-base, I'm sure they (and everyone reading their node) would appreciate knowing why, and knowing what alternatives they could take. If you're down-voting users just to be pissy, we do not need you on this site. Go away.