In the post Projects that are not questions, prize money that is too low Michael Fields made the following suggestion:
I feel that another area seriously needs to be addressed. Enabling “Experts” to vote and answer up or down. No money would ever be paid to voters. I have noticed that some people who answer questions really don’t know the answers or are suggesting really bad code for the asker’s to use on their sites. This also goes the other way too. If someone geave a really great answer, I would totally vote it up. Just a thought …
Several askers have asked for a similar feature. The askers often say they lack the skill to discern which of the answers they have been given are best. Ideally, when someone posts a bad answer, full of incorrect facts, then the top experts on the site should have the power to vote it down.
We just rolled out this feature. Under each answer, you’ll see a “flag” link. If you click it, you come to a page that has this information in it:
Downvoting should be reserved for answers that post serious factual errors, or for some obvious abuse of the site (such as when someone new to the site uses the answer form to post a question). Downvoting should not be used simply to express disagreement with another expert’s opinion.
An answer can accumulate both downvotes and upvotes. The only purpose of the upvotes is to offset the downvotes. If an answer accumulates a net of 3 downvotes, then it no longer displays in the normal way on the page with the question. (An example of what I mean by net: if a answer has 3 downvotes and 1 upvote then it only has a net of 2 downvotes, and so it displays normally. But an answer with 6 downvotes and 2 upvotes has a net of 4 downvotes, so it will not display normally.)
All voting, up or down, is public. If you vote someone’s answer down, they will know it. I personally participate in some forums, such as Hacker News, that allow anonymous downvoting. I find it frustrating to receive downvotes and yet never know why people are voting me down. I find it frustrating that I’m not able to ask the people who downvote me why they did so. Therefore, there will be no anonymous voting on WP Questions.
This downvoting is something of an experiment. I’m looking for feedback. Please let me know what you think.