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Comments can now be upvoted and flagged. How do those features work?

Do users get rep for their upvoted comments? Do upvoted comments have any effect on comment sorting? And can users see their own comment upvote number somewhere?

How do comments work?
The Stack Overflow blog post about comments

Return to FAQ index

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Some parts of this answer are taken from the 2009 Stack Overflow blog post Comments: Now with Flags and Votes. Note that flagging has changed considerably since that blog post.

Comment votes     comment upvote arrow

You need 15 reputation to upvote comments.

  • Upvote a comment by clicking on the up arrow that appears when you hover the mouse over the comment.

  • There is no downvoting of comments, only upvotes.

  • You get 30 comment upvotes per day.

  • Comment votes do not affect comment sort order.

  • When there are many comments on a post, some comments are hidden when the page loads, and there is a button to “show N more comments”. The comments with the fewest upvotes are hidden first. The threshold depends on the number of comments on the post and on the number of answers on the page.

  • No reputation of any kind is earned or lost from comment votes, though the Commentator badge is awarded for leaving 10 comments, and the Pundit badge is awarded to those who left 10 comments, each with a score of 5 or more.

  • Comment upvotes can only be undone for a short time and while you did not navigate away from the page. Once you undo the upvote, you cannot upvote the same comment again.

  • You cannot upvote a comment that you've flagged.

  • No rate limit on comment votes, meaning you can upvote as fast as you want.

Comment flags     comment flag icon

  • You get 10 comment flag votes per day, more at high reputation or if you have a history of helpful comment flags. (up to a limit of 100 per day.)

  • If a comment is flagged by three users, it will be auto-soft-deleted. There is no penalty for this. Flagged comments will be surfaced to moderators, so if you have a problem with a comment, flag it.

  • Comments with upvotes require more flags to be deleted without moderator intervention: 1 more flag per 3 votes above 3 (i.e. number of flags = 3 + score/3).

  • Comments containing certain keywords need fewer flags than normal to be deleted.

  • You can always delete your own comments by clicking on the ⊗ that appears when you hover the mouse over the comment. This is not a flag, it takes effect immediately.

  • Flag a comment by clicking on the flag icon that appears when you hover the mouse over the comment. You'll need to enter a reason (see below).

  • Comment flags cannot be undone.

  • Comment flags do not affect the user in any way if a comment gets deleted, but they do count towards your helpful flags.

  • The system does not notify you if your Comment is flagged

  • Flagging has a rate limit. You can flag a comment once every 5 seconds, and open the flag dialog once every 3 seconds. (More details here.)

When should I flag a comment?

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You must specify a reason for each comment flag. The dialog offers a few pre-filled reasons that cover most common cases:

  • rude or offensive — comments that violate the “be nice” rule
  • not constructive / off-topic — comments that do not contribute to improve the post are ripe for deletion
  • obsolete — for example, criticism of a post that has been satisfactorily addressed by the author
  • chatty — anything that's not really relevant (e.g. “+1” comments)

If you see a post where many comments should be deleted, especially if there's an ongoing discussion, flag the post for moderator attention, and explain what's going on (e.g. “flame war in progress in the comments”).

See also When should comments be deleted?.

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it would probably be quite a bad idea to give rep for comment upvotes, since you can write an almost unlimited number of comments easily (unlike questions and answers) and do some kind of group-rep-ups... – markus Apr 16 '09 at 9:23
@tharkun: Maybe, but there are some uses. Maybe they could just downscale it ..give like .5 a point of rep per upvote or something. – ryeguy Apr 16 '09 at 13:32
I agree, voting for comments must not change the reputation of the user. However, I think it can be a good idea to rewards good commentators by some badge (given, for example, if you get 50 or 100 comments upvotes)... – romaintaz Apr 17 '09 at 6:36
So what is the point of upvoting a comment then? Badges? – javamonkey79 Nov 11 '10 at 23:56
@javamonkey79, upvoting comments changes the order in which comments are shown. Besides, does every action really need a rep effect? – Toon Krijthe Nov 15 '10 at 10:02
@Gamecat, I found it misleading. In reality, no, not every action needs rep effect but when you "upvote" something you have a certain expected behavior. – javamonkey79 Nov 15 '10 at 16:48
This does not seem to answer the question if the accused can tell if his/her comment if flagged... – Aryabhatta Feb 18 '11 at 19:16
@Moron: Not really - xe would see it in the 10k tools, if those are accessible to hir. – Piskvor Mar 4 '11 at 10:33
Does a user receive a notification if one of his comments is flagged and deleted? – Jason C Aug 17 '13 at 18:46
@JasonC no: – Tshepang Nov 1 '13 at 21:51
Why can't you downvote comments? – John Jul 12 at 23:26
@John maybe this question helps: – Toon Krijthe Jul 13 at 23:02

Can users see their own comment upvote number somewhere?

Unfortunately, there is no way programmed into StackExchange, that allows you to view your comments directly. However, you can still do it by using a MySQL query that I just wrote for this purpose.

  • Go to your user profile:

Where to find User Profile

  • In the search box on the right, you should get a gray "user: #####" show up. Copy this number.

  • Go to

  • At the very bottom of the page, there is a "Switch sites:" text box. In that box, type in the name of the site you wish to retrieve comments for. (The name of the site can be found by clicking the "StackExchange" button in the top left corner of the printscreen above, e.g. "Mathematics" or "Stack Overflow").

  • Tip: Clicking the little gear between "Switch sites:" and the text box allows you to switch between the meta site and the regular site.

  • In the User ID box (2 lines above), paste your UserID (which you got from your profile page), and click "Run Query" (next line).

After about 3 seconds, the list of your comments with non-zero score should show up.

  • For the comment you wish to view in context, choose its PostId, and go to:[PostId goes here]

That will allow you to view the post with your comment that got a high score.

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