Thank you for raising your concerns about this. I understand that receiving downvotes and not knowing why can be frustrating. I don't want us to move in the direction where all downvotes require a written explanation, however, I certainly would like to educate and encourage users to comment their downvotes more.
Based on our current experiences, many of such comments currently result in a pushback from the user who received the downvote. What's worse, some of such users even seek revenge - they start to downvote posts of users who submitted the downvote and dared to explain why they downvoted - not everyone is understanding and handles criticism well. To mitigate this a little bit, we implemented the ability to leave anonymous comments some time ago (for now you have to log out and leave the comment for it to be anonymous, there's no switch yet). Long story short - I can understand the users who do not want to reveal themselves.
In order to encourage and remind users that it's a nice thing to explain why a post was downvoted, I have added a reminder whenever a user downvotes a post:
- A message is displayed that encourages to explain the downvote
- A comment input under the post is automatically brought up
I certaintly don't think this is a game-changer and solution to all the problems with down-voting. I do hope however, that this is a good first step towards building a culture of giving and receiving constructive criticism without unnecessary anger, pushbacks, or revenge.
As always, looking forward to your thoughts!