You're right in stating that this might be an old subject.
It seems to come up in one form or another about once a
week (most recent discussions of downvoting were
usually the discussion is about downvoting the individual
rather than the post--something I (and many others,
I think) find wrong--rather
than the suggestion that posts not be voted down.
It depends what you mean by 'just trying to help another
monk'. Someone might be 'just trying to help' but post
something which is wrong or dangerous. Good intentions
do not ensure good content, and what is being voted on
is the quality of the post, not the intentions of the
As far as downvoting opinions is concerned, I would say
that the current site design encourages that. Take a
look at voting guidelines and you'll see
that a reason to vote down a meditation is 'if you
strongly disagree with the idea'. For discussions it
says 'if it would make the site less enjoyable'. Voting
allows people to indicate approval or disapproval for the
idea. The alternative would be a mass of 'me too' (or
anti-me-too) posts as people jostled to make their opinions
heard to keep vroom from implementing something or
encouraging him to do something.
But those are just guidelines. If you personally feel
that you should only vote down things which are screwed
up, by all means do so. I imagine everyone would write
those guidelines differently. Mine, for instance, would
include something about improperly formatted posts made
by anyone over level 1, which is one of my pet peeves.
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