@Szabo, I get your intention. Feedback is indeed useful, but I don't agree with forcing it in blogging. When you publish, you're offering your finished product. When they don't like, a generic downvote is already much more feedback that a published author usually gets. It's up to the author, to do his or her best, maybe with the help of an editor. Readers should be put in the most comfortable position.
Of course, it's completely different in a learning environment, at school or in classes. But it's a different context. If Narrative was an "educational" context, everything would be totally different.
I'm concerned about abusive downvotes too, but I think they should be mostly detected by algorithms, and they're not a significant percentage anyway. Abusive upvotes are MUCH more, for certain.
I agree - abusive upvotes are a much bigger problem for Narrative's system.
But abusive downvotes, even though less frequent in my opinion, are also a threat to our community's well being and popularity.
Feedback is not something we have a right to expect, but we should consider making a simple, short note mandatory to remedy the abuse. Just because something is not expected, does not mean that we could not have it, and benefit from it, if we decide that's what we want here?
If I consider something low quality enough to downvote it, I am willing to provide a few words to say why. I'd actually really welcome the ability to do so. I think the people who will be put off by this will mostly be the people who don't have a valid reason for downvoting. If you do have valid reason, you tend to want to express it, no?
Could be as simple as:
"There have been too many posts on the same subject in the past two weeks".
"Superficial and poorly researched"
"Disorganized and incomplete"
"Unoriginal photo without any context: no story or reason why people should care"
We could even have it so there is an option to say, via checkbox "I don't want to provide a reason". But in that case, either the downvote has no effect, or perhaps if it is from a higher rep person, it could have a very small effect. And only the downvotes with a reason given would have full weight. These could even have a slightly stronger weight than the current downvotes do... since we would know they are MUCH more likely to be well-considered downvotes.
This would go some distance to create more nuance than just 100% upvote, 100% downvote.
I do agree with you that people are not owed an explanation, but if people have to give a short one, I do believe it would benefit the platform.