I have been an on-and-off user of AskUbuntu for 10 years. Coming back this year I notice that the majority of questions on the front page have a -1, often already within the hour after they are asked.
In my recollection this wasn't the case before. Downvoting wasn't something to do lightly, and when you did there would occasionaly be a (moderator) comment "if you downvote, please explain why you did so".
This seems to be different now. I just counted, and of the top 20 questions 4 have a 0 score. 16 have -1 or less.
I can't disagree with the -1s. Questions are worse than they were 10 years ago, when measured against AU policy and the "how to ask a good question" guidelines. Many are little more than "X doesn't work, please help" and deserve a downvote.
I suppose this is the "eternal September" of Ubuntu (yes, I'm old enough to have lived through Usenet's eternal September) and I can only be happy for the many people discovering it. But it's been a bit of a bummer for AU.
Anyway, my question is: has policy on downvoting changed and/or is it OK to downvote a bad question without leaving a comment?