I have been on this site for about a month, I think.
And I have to say, this site is extremely HOSTILE.
Many of my posts have been downvoted.
Personally I don't care about downvotes, but I think this is extremely detrimental to the site because it punishes the very people this site was designed for: beginners in Japanese.
Most users of this site are foreigners (non-Japanese) that are starting to learn Japanese.
If you downvote their answers just because they are a little wrong, you discourage them from participating. Sooner or later they end up leaving the site.
The vast majority of people that posted questions have left the site.
There is only a half-dozen people posting answers.
We are all amateurs here. Who in here is a professional certified teacher of Japanese language?
If we are all amateurs, it is natural that we make mistakes. You cannot expect perfection from amateurs. So most answers will be a little off. You should not downvote answers just because they are a little off.
We have to encourage everybody to post answers (not only questions), so they can discuss and learn.
We are all here to learn Japanese. That is what we all have in common.
We are all volunteers trying to help one another. I am not making any money on this site. I don't think there is anyone being paid to post answers here. Why would you downvote an answer posted by a volunteer that is trying to help out of goodwill?
We are all trying to be nice and help people completely for free without receiving any payment, without any self-interest.
Downvotes are tantamount to harassment.
Downvotes are tantamount to bullying.
People being downvoted get disgusted and eventually leave the site.
We have to prevent harassment on this site.
Where are the moderators of this site?
It is the job of the moderators to prevent this kind of abuse.
Below is what the help page has to say about downvotes:
"Voting down answers is not something we want you to take lightly, so it is not free.
Downvotes on answers remove 1 reputation from you, the voter. You can vote 30 times per UTC day.
The up-vote privilege comes first because that's what you should focus on: pushing great content to the top. Down-voting should be reserved for extreme cases. It's not meant as a substitute for communication and editing."
The moderators should strive to prevent downvoting as much as possible and encourage people, especially beginners, to contribute with their answers, regardless if they are right or wrong or just opinions or ideas. Since we are all here to learn we have to allow people to speak out as much as possible.
If you don't like an answer, do not downvote it. Post a comment or post your own answer.
Do not harass the other members just because they don't know Japanese. Of course they don't know Japanese, we are all here to learn Japanese, that is what we are here for.