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

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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 whether the site is a main or meta site.

  • When the question reaches a certain threshold of answers (30 on most sites), all comments with zero votes on both the question and all answers will be collapsed.

  • 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, until the flag is dismissed.

  • You cannot upvote comments on locked posts.

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

Comment flags     comment flag icon

  • You have as many comment flags per day as you do post flags. Comment flags are counted separately from post flags.

  • A comment flag counts the same as a post flag for calculating the amount of daily flags earned from net helpful flags.

  • If a comment is flagged by a sufficient number of users, it will be automatically 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.

    • If the comment has no upvotes and no "trigger" keywords, three flags from users will delete it.

    • If the comment has upvotes, it will require more flags to be automatically deleted: one more flag for every 3 upvotes, rounded up. (For example, a comment with 1 upvote requires 4 flags to be auto-deleted, and one with 8 upvotes requires 6 flags).

    • Comments containing certain "trigger" keywords are deleted instantly after a single flag, regardless of upvotes. The list of trigger keywords is kept secret, and may differ per site.

    • A single flag from a moderator will instantly delete the comment.

  • You can always delete your own comments by clicking on the "Delete" button that appears when you hover the mouse over the comment. This is not a flag; it takes effect immediately. Note that there's a rate limit for deleting your own upvoted comments, however.

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

  • Comment flags can be retracted; however, if your flag was one of the canned options and you retract it, you can't choose that flag option again for that comment.

  • If not handled by a moderator or automatically deleted, "harassment, bigotry, or abuse" comment flags age away after 4 days.

  • Comment flags do not affect the commenter in any way if a comment gets deleted, but they do count towards the flagger's helpful flags. A declined comment flag will not count toward a flag ban, but it does count toward one's net helpful flags and can reduce the flagger's daily flag allowance.

  • 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.)

  • Moderators can either mark flags as helpful and delete the comment, or leave it intact and decline the flag. They cannot manually dismiss comment flags, so borderline flags may be marked declined (though some mods may go through the extra step of marking it as helpful and then manually undeleting it). Also, they cannot provide a reason for dismissing a comment flag.

  • You cannot flag your own comments.

  • You cannot (re)flag a comments that you already have an active flag on.

  • Comments by the Community user can only be flagged as "It's no longer needed."

When should I flag a comment?

image of flag dialog

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

  • It contains harassment, bigotry, or abuse.

    The comment attacks a person or group.

  • It's unfriendly or unkind.

    The comment is rude or condescending.

  • It's no longer needed.

    This comment is outdated, conversational or not relevant to the post.

  • Something else.

    A problem not listed above. Try to be as specific as possible.

See also When should comments be deleted?.

  • 60
    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
  • 2
    @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
  • 17
    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
  • 1
    So what is the point of upvoting a comment then? Badges? Nov 11 '10 at 23:56
  • 5
    @javamonkey79, upvoting comments changes the order in which comments are shown. Besides, does every action really need a rep effect? Nov 15 '10 at 10:02
  • 2
    @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. 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. 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: meta.stackexchange.com/q/117854
    – tshepang
    Nov 1 '13 at 21:51
  • Why can't you downvote comments? Jul 12 '16 at 23:26
  • @John maybe this question helps: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3615/allow-downvoting-comments Jul 13 '16 at 23:02
  • I want to cancel my upvote. How do I do that? Nov 16 '16 at 9:36
  • 1
    @markus How often do you get your comments upvoted (you can't seem to even check that as the top comments list mentioned on a blog has not been implemented)? You've got 59 upvotes on your comment. Would, say, 59 rep from that give you some unfair advantage on others? I don't think so. Also the Pundit badge on SO has been earned by only 12k people, which shows that writing a good comment is not that easy as well.
    – EvgenKo423
    Apr 4 at 18:54
  • 1
    @markus Yes. =)) But you probably based it on something. Have you changed your point?
    – EvgenKo423
    Apr 6 at 8:11

Can users see their own comment upvote number somewhere?

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

  • Go to your user profile on the site you wish to view comment upvotes:

Where to find User Profile

  • In the search box on the right, you should see user:#####. Copy this number (your UserID).

  • Go to https://data.stackexchange.com/math/revision/447134/568807/view-comments-sorted-by-score

  • 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 same site that you retrieved your UserID from.).

  • 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 "Userid" 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: math.stackexchange.com/questions/[PostId goes here]

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

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