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This question already has an answer here:

Try it yourself. You can't downvote comments. Why? I'm really frustrated when I see tons of crappy comments. They meet the minimum requirement -- no insult, no cursing, just without quality. Not helpful. Not constructive. A waste of space. I wanted to downvote them, but there's no downvote button. Why?

marked as duplicate by Aziz Shaikh, ShaWiz discussion Nov 27 '14 at 10:43

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I've wanted this a million times (more or less), too. It'd be super nice.

But I think the idea is just that comments aren't supposed to be that important. While it often doesn't carry through to practice, the theory is that a comment would be:

Could you explain why you used x when y is more common?

Or:

This answer is now out-dated and this function is deprecated. You might want to consider use of the answer below.

In those cases, down-voting doesn't really make sense. They don't necessarily add anything to the post, they're just kinda there. That's what comments are supposed to be in most cases.

Up-ticks become important when a lot of people have separate ideas of what might improve a post, then. If someone says:

It would really help if you formatted you code.

And someone else says:

It would really help if you actually told us what problem you're having.

The second comment is probably a little bit more important, so it deserves the attention that a few up-ticks will afford it. Either way, the comments will both be deleted in five minutes when the poster fixes the issues.

But if we introduced down-voting, it would start to promote conversations in comments, which is strictly not what they're for.

Downvoter of my comment, could you explain the problem?
-1 to your -1. That only matters on leap years.

can you tell I'm feeling stretched for good examples?

So although they'd be really nice sometimes, they're also something of a step in the wrong direction for what comments should be used for. That would introduce a feature, meant to support an unsupported use-case.

  • I see you don't let minor things like disabled submit button stop you... :D – ShaWiz Nov 27 '14 at 10:47
  • @ShadowWizard Willpower. :P – Matthew Haugen Nov 27 '14 at 10:50
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You can flag a comment as "not constructive". That is the reason why we don't need to be able to downvote them.

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