I'm of the opinion that it's not productive nor is it helpful to downvote questions from newbies and I'll give some of my reasons why.
- It's my opinion that if you're going to downvote, you should explain what's wrong with the question (or answer) that you're downvoting.
- Heaping downvotes on a newbie doesn't help them learn how to use the forum if you're not explaining what's wrong with their question.
- For most, it's already intimidating enough to ask their 1st question in the forum to begin with without being bombarded with downvotes should they make a misstep.
- Newbies have only 5 Reputation to lose, so the downvote has little if any impact.
- I've observed that some will seem to "pile on", knowing their points will be returned once the question is closed. My thoughts are:
- The behavior doesn't help the newbie learn to use the forum.
- The behavior seems malicious and intimidating to a newbie.
- It definitely isn't welcoming, as in "let us show you how to use our forum".
Finally, I'll add that if it were entirely up to me and the platform supported it, I'd require that users comment on what's "wrong" when they downvote. I think people need to know why they're being downvoted so they can learn from it. To me, a downvote without a comment tells me very little I can learn from.