Why not get rid of down voting altogether? In reality, and has happened, someone could down vote out of malice, or because they don't know what they are talking about. Also, perhaps complaints could be dealt with in a separate forum?
In the early days of the 'net, typically the only ones you would find using it would be those who knew what they were doing and talking about, having an interest in the in's and out's of computing, geeks. Well, they were very much in the majority, at least. I'm not saying that Daniweb is behind the times at all, because it isn't, but its ever growing user base is of a different techno-generation.
These days the 'net is not only a communication tool, it's an education tool to a greater extent than it ever has been in the past. Computers and computing is now intertwined with every walk of life, and software development and the hardware it controls is bringing these people from all those walks of life to Daniweb. It's clearly evident that for whatever good purpose down-voting was originally introduced, something has changed and it's now being used as a virtual slap. Nothing stifles communication and learning better than a good slap, and a slap from some hidden, cloak & dagger, slapper.
Why not have a complaints forum, with a moderator that deals with situations in a sincere manner. It has to be sincere too, because if it isn't then there will be a real loss of face and credibility, and more cross-forum "bar brawls". If a user Complains in any forum other than the 'complaints forum, their post can be moved to it and be dealt with suitably. People who have a genuine complaint are looking for a peaceful resolution, and don't mind where it is done as longas justice is seen to be done, or whatever. Trolls would just want to make personal attacks, which is bad enough, but they also do it without any justifiable reason.
In the past I was a mod for many years, (in a different forum) and I never want to be a mod again, so I admire you, and thank you for all of your hard wonk. With 1 million people signed up to these forums, and however many there are that actively use them, any professional looking method of dealing with these situations can only be good for Daniweb's image.