I agree, but I'd like to explain. I think there aren't any hard lines to draw in cases like this so it's hard to take immediate action, but I'd personally like to see more help and less of an obsession over weeding out the bad posts. These questions have particular issues but I agree that most of them shouldn't have been downvoted.
I know many of us are problem-solving people, but the interpersonal problems are just as big as the question-quality problems here. Scaring off a user usually isn't the best solution (I say usually because some users do refuse to follow the rule and improve their posts). We don't want to be like some user forums or Reddit subs that drive people away by having difficult-to-understand rules. We also don't want to take Draconian action like closing questions when a comment would have been more appropriate. However, (although it sounds cold to say) we can afford to mark unclear, hard-to-answer questions as such, even if it means driving off a small percentage of users who won't improve their questions to meet quality standards.
There are some bad reasons to downvote, which may be in play here:
- The asker sounds naive (but otherwise the question is answerable).
- You don't like the topic
- You find the question hard to answer (but an expert on the topic wouldn't)
- You don't agree with the opinions of the asker ("The FAA is totally awesome guys, so...", "I think planes are just way too loud....")
I used to struggle to understand why downvoting even exists, but it in part exists to clearly segregate high-quality questions, that are researched, thoughtful, and clear, from low-quality questions. Low quality questions aren't just boring, they're hard to answer correctly. Low quality questions attract answers that don't actually solve the asker's problem.
Downvoting without leaving a comment is allowed because it's supposed to be anonymous, which yes does attract some judgmental or even sadistic behavior. However it's also unreasonable to expect every downvoter to comment on a post.
However, most of these questions listed do not fall into that category of questions that are hard to answer and probably won't solve the asker's real problem (with the exception of the PIC question, and maybe the "How big" question).
Some of these questions have legitimate issues. For example,
- "Why don't..." questions often show little research. Even if they are well researched, they're hard to answer concisely unless the asker has listed a narrow scope and their specific assumptions about why it would be better.
- The "how much bigger" question has a very broad scope and shows very little preliminary research.
- "Where can I find" questions in general are often hard to answer because there often is a reason the asker can't find the information (e.g. it's valuable and protected by corporations).
That being said my personal policy is "Don't downvote because the question sounds dumb. Downvote because the question seriously needs to clarify something or change something, and leave a comment if you can. If the question personally frustrates you, it's usually best to move on to questions you do want to upvote."
You may find the following post helpful:
What purpose does downvoting questions serve?