This little survey is pretty revealing. The main driver for downvoting is that we do not like the person. The actual content of the things being downvoted isn't really the issue for most of us. So those of you complaining about being stalked by downvoters are in fact quite possibly right.
i only down vote degrading statements or vulgar opinions on things or people who are being plain jerks to the question asker and not really helping them by answering. one girl on here I dislike who is an obnoxious snob tests me sometimes although I've never given her a down vote just because I don't like her attitude
i downvote if the comment is offensive but sometimes I just ignored them.
dont be bothered by the down votes , the reaction to it is more important.
The only time I ever downvote an answer is if it's completely offensive. I don't downvote answers simply because I disagree with the answer. Just because I disagree doesn't mean it's not still good advice or a good answer.
I find people downvote me for opinion, when they ask for my opinion... Don't get the point in asking for someones opinion then downvoting because they disagree.
I generally don't upvote or downvote, unless the advice is very relevant or completely useless. There are people on here with an agenda though to downvote everyone, or specific people they've taken a dislike to.
What often ends up being the case is that people will downvote you just because its you and not because of what you said. It's the reason why I've started posting anonymously more often. I say the same things as I did before, but now with a lot less downvotes