I am missing something obvious and can't find the answer after trolling around for a few hours. What is the point of upvoting comments or having one's comments upvoted. I can see the point for answers but my blind eye isn't seeing the association with comments. Is it purely a "nice" gesture?

up vote 13 down vote accepted

One of the original purposes behind instituting comment voting was

There’s a lot of value trapped in the comments and the goal is to bring this to the surface. Voting on comments has no downside, no effect on reputation, and is completely optional.

(http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/comments-now-with-flags-and-votes/.)

Comment votes have the following effects:

  • When there are too many comments to fit on the screen, those with higher votes tend to remain visible by default.

  • There are badges for making comments and receiving votes for them (Commentator and Pundit).

  • Upvotes often provide feedback to the commenter that their message has been read by someone!

  • Voting on comments can send a gentle message concerning the sense of the community to interlocutors in a discussion.

(One source of this information is a Meta SO FAQ post on comment voting.)

  • 6
    I knew I had seen something along these lines before....thanks Bill – user681 Aug 28 '13 at 21:01
  • I also think sometimes answers masquerade as comments, maybe because the commenter was not confident that they had enough information to provide an answer. Upvoting it can prompt the commenter to submit it as an answer. – Dan C Sep 10 '13 at 21:17

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