When a comment conversation is moved by moderators to a chat room, the upvotes on those comments are lost. If a comment had 20 upvotes, there is nothing to indicate that once it has been moved to chat. The points that people agreed with are then no longer recognized.

Could the upvotes on comments be translated into stars on the chat-comments?

  • 4
    It's like asking to transfer favorite count of a question to upvotes when migrating. It's totally, utterly, different things. (for start, stars does NOT mean the chat message was good) Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:30
  • 1
    @sha I even think this has been asked a week ago or so. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:32
  • 10
    @ShadowWizard Why are they so different? They are marking comments that I think are significant. And the comparison you drew is at best silly... favorite counts and upvotes can both be done to the original post, whereas upvotes cannot be done to chat and stars cannot be done to comments... Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:32
  • @PatrickHofman I searched before I posted, but if you can find where it was asked before I'd be happy to see it. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:33
  • 1
    I think it has been deleted. Can't find it. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:34
  • @PatrickHofman That's because it was asked on meta.so meta.stackoverflow.com/q/297096/4639281 and it already has a wonderful answer from our Fearless Leader Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 0:58
  • @TinyGiant Thanks for the reference. One wonders why the suggestion got +18 there and -8 here... Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:26
  • It probably got a -8 score here mostly from people who remembered it being recently asked on meta.so Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:29
  • 2
    @TinyGiant that seems like an incredibly stupid voting method... Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:33
  • Probably, but it is often peoples way of saying "I know this has been asked before, but I can't find where". It may not be right, but it is completely within their rights. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:36
  • @TinyGiant Yeah. Going to the people who commented and downvoting a random post of theirs in revenge is also within my rights, but I'll have the simple decency to not punish people just because I can... Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:38
  • 1
    And usually those who comment rarely downvote, for that reason, and those who downvote rarely comment, for that reason. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:44
  • 1
    I definitely wouldn't say that about the general population of the site. In fact, the majority of the population of this site (and most online communities) don't interact at all. For those that do interact, the majoirty are good, honest people. You notice the bad ones because they stand out. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can or should be done about it. This is a community and everyone has equal voting and posting rights. I'm not arguing with you, just bringing up the points which have been brought up before. :) Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 17:51

7 Answers 7


As a moderator on four subjective sites, this would be extremely helpful on subjective sites. It is a common occurrence for extended discussions to crop up on artistic and subjective sites where the end result is likely to meaningfully improve the answer, but comments is not the right place to do this.

My only option when cleaning up these discussions is to migrate the discussion to chat, but in doing so, the support of various points is lost and it makes consensus harder to reach.

Yes, stars and comment upvotes have different meanings, however one is a superset of the other. Stars ARE used for things that are interesting or that people agree with. Upvotes on comments are used for the same. Stars can be used on other things as well, but that doesn't mean that comment upvotes don't map to them well.

As for the concerns about people with low rep not being able to chat, chat users are already created for migrated comments and the posts are tied to that user, so they'd be able to alter their stars if they wanted to under the normal rules. All involved users are also automatically added to the write access of the chat, so even if they have under 15 rep, they will still be able to talk in that room.


I started writing up this request myself before seeing it had been asked before.

This would be great.

Some people have already pointed out that stars and comment upvotes don't mean the same thing. Fair enough.

A reasonable solution might be to distinguish migration-chats as a different class of chats, with upvotes there too rather than stars.

Although I appreciate that the level of effort required to implement this likely goes well beyond what is deemed worthwhile for a mere sub-species of Stack Exchange content.

A compromise might be to convert to stars but just indicate in the room's description that "stars mean upvotes here". Or "stars cast on messages earlier than XXXX-YY-ZZ HH:NN:SS mean upvotes" and block new stars on those messages.

  • I was going to write it up myself, but I guessed it had probably been proposed before. Sigh. It probably does fall below the content-sub-species usefulness bar, but it sure would be nice.
    – Wildcard
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 4:25

While there is some difference between stars and comment upvotes, the benefit of retaining the information about comment upvotes while transferring them to chat outweighs the drawbacks:

  • the information is not lost in the first place.
  • the comment votes are an essential part of a [supposedly healthy] discussion that happened to be in the comments, and if that discussion would have happened in the chat, to begin with, the stars very likely would have been used. This is purely my speculation, based solely on my observations as a chat user and moderator.
  • minor: both comment upvotes and stars have designated badges (pundit—for comments; talkative and outspoken—for chat) with similar requirements. I personally see some correspondence between the two.

Converting comment upvotes to chat stars for migrated-to-chat comments can also theoretically improve how this moderation action is viewed from the outside and be an even healthier option (not that there is anything wrong with it now). It might mean that a moderator has to manually cancel some stars out; however, usually, that implies that the comment should have been deleted in the first place.

Therefore, I strongly support the implementation of such a feature.

Relevant references:

  • 1
    "if that discussion would have happened in the chat, to begin with, the stars very likely would have been used"...I'm less likely to use stars in chat the same way as comment upvotes, due to the way that chat stars feature the message in the star board. However, I do agree with importing comment upvotes as stars, mainly so that information isn't lost when comments are moved to chat. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 21:44

There are two problems with your proposal.

First, a star in chat does mean something different than up-voting a comment. A comment vote means usefulness, while chat votes can just mean it was important for some reason or maybe just fun.

The second thing is: not all users have an account on chat, or have the privilege to chat. That means votes aren't as transitional as you think.

  • 14
    I think you will find that the highest voted comments are the humorous ones so I don't think most of the users on this site agree with your classification of stars vs. upvotes. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:42
  • 4
    Then they are using the comment vote for the wrong reason. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:43
  • 1
    @yEz Comments aren't supposed to be "humorous" so such comments wouldn't be moved to chat by a moderator, they would be deleted. So "humorous" comments would not have their upvotes turned into stars, they wouldn't get that far.
    – James
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:45
  • 2
    @James consider this comment made by a site mod... Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:48
  • @yEz Ok, the comment on a different post (not mine) has been considered. Is there a point? Or, are you just being unfairly rude to me?
    – James
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:56
  • 5
    @James no I am just demonstrating that many many people do not agree with your assessment of correct usage of comments, including site moderation. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:03
  • 5
    Well, to be fair, not all users of Site A have accounts (and thus votes) on Site B when a question is migrated either, yet upvotes are transferred at migration. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:07
  • 3
    @James I was noting how highly upvoted that comment was. I wasn't trying to imply anything from the content of that comment other than that it was a joke and was highly upvoted and was never removed, and was in fact made by a moderator. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:07
  • @yEz Ok, I wasn't offended by the comment, I have two horns... Anyway, I never said humorous comments don't happen or exist, I specifically stated "humorous comments won't get moved to chat they'd be deleted", and your showing a humorous comment does not change my previous argument :) (+ - Sorry Patrick..)
    – James
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:18
  • @James my showing a humorous comment from many months ago should change it... Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:36
  • 4
    "A comment vote means usefulness, while chat votes can just mean it was important for some reason or maybe just fun." I suggest that this can be fixed by altering what stars mean in chats created from comment threads (or replacing them with upvotes!), rather than by just blindly nuking all the message feedback to oblivion. Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 14:55
  • 1
    Thank you. I can agree with that @LightnessRacesinOrbit Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 15:01
  • 3
    The last point of this post is incorrect. Users are automatically created in chat when comments are migrated and all users with posts are automatically added to the write access of the room, which circumvents the 15 rep requirement. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 16:37
  • 5
    The first point is also somewhat meaningless as what matters is that a star in chat CAN mean that something is interesting and useful. A star may not map well to an upvote on a comment, but a comment being upvoted certainly does map well to a star. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 16:38
  • The transfer of user actions that cannot be pointed to a specific user is exactly what the Community user is for. Your answer gives no useful information and no valid reason for rejecting this feature request.
    – user212646
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 16:17

Every time, when moderator converts my upvoted comment into chat, it feels like I lost something important.

Community votes is like money here, it's just not nice to refuse it.

According to our CoC, we should find a way to not disturb our participants with that sort of losing.

  • "According to our CoC, we should find a way to not disturb our participants with that sort of losing." Which part of the CoC specifically?
    – Mast
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 13:52
  • All of it. But if you need letters, let it be community where all people feel welcome
    – vp_arth
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 14:44

The two things are different.

Upvote on comment is to state you agree with the comment, or it was useful, or points out a valid mistake, etc.

Stars in chat are for chat comments which people thought were useful in chat (or something which was fun or interesting), and they have no relevance or bearing on questions or answers on the main site.

Plus, upvotes and stars are about "recognition", and comments moved to chat don't need upvotes or stars as it's about the discussion continuing away from the main site.
Nothing to do with recognition.

  • 1
    I can't think of a comment that I would upvote while it was on the main site that I wouldn't upvote when it was moved. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:41
  • You can't upvote comments in chat, so how could you?
    – James
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:43
  • Thus I said "would." That's exactly my point - if I were able to upvote in chat, I would upvote exactly the same as I did in the thread. Comments in chats moved from posts are very different than comments in unrelated chatrooms - I can't think of a situation where I upvoted a comment that I wouldn't upvote it in chat were that an option, which is what I do by starring it. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:46
  • "if I were able to upvote in chat" ok so if you accept you cannot "upvote" in chat, then there is no "upvote" ability in chat, then how can you transfer "upvotes" to chat? Stars are not upvotes. You are thinking "I would star this comment if in chat, and upvote if on the main site" well fine, but they're different. If comments get moved to chat then star them until your heart's content :)
    – James
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 21:55
  • 4
    I don't know who created this axiom that stars and upvotes are apples and oranges. In all my experience, they are used the exact same way. You people have way too many arbitrarily rigid definitions. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:06
  • @yEz "I don't know who created this axiom that stars and upvotes are apples and oranges" no-one did as far as I can see. You've just done that yourself. I said stars are stars, and comments are comments, and stars are not comments, and comments are not stars. I don't recall mentioning fruits at all.
    – James
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:10
  • @yEz "In all my experience, they are used the exact same way" Ok, If they're used in the same way, please, I will put 500 bounty on this question, you answer, and I will award it to you - IF - you star this comment...
    – James
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:12
  • 3
    I don't know what you are having trouble with. I acknowledge that there does not currently exist a way to upvote chat comments or star thread comments. I am saying that starring chat comments is used the same as upvoting thread comments. I am not saying that I have ever starred a thread comment or upvoted a chat comment. I am saying that I star chat comments for the same reason that I upvote thread comments. Is there something complicated about that analogy? Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 22:36
  • 3
    The point is that when multiple people are involved in a discussion, knowing what others are feeling strongly about is helpful to discussion. Losing that information when something moves to chat is counterproductive. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 16:40
  • 1
    "Nothing to do with recognition". False. If enough comments accrue some will be hidden to shorten the page length. Highly upvoted comments are favored over others and remain shown. Users accustomed to this might expect a link to chat to show original values, rather than a plain data dump to a garbage bin.
    – user212646
    Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 16:25

What if moved comments retained upvotes, and they would look like upvotes? Re-using the star feature as an easy way out sounds... well, it's a hack, let's be honest about it. What about spending a bit more of development time and implementing chat message upvotes for chat rooms created from moved post comments? Stars would still keep their original meaning, and chat message upvotes would only appear in these types of chat rooms.

  • I certainly see your point; however, to me, it looks like making the interface overcrowded and too unnecessarily complicated. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 23:14
  • @AntonMenshov and what the sites are about is trivial and primitive? I get that "less is more", but conditions apply. In the case of a site aimed at professionals and enthusiasts, I am more than confident that users will be able to figure out an additional button. Forgive me, but I am so tired of the "too complicated" excuse where, in my opinion, it has not been appropriate from the start. As a counter-example, discord chat messages have reactions, and the users seem to know what they are for and how to use them. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 23:27
  • I think that both opinions have their values, their advantages and drawbacks. I, myself, like simple things, sometimes even simplistic, and still consider myself "a professional". I do not doubt that users will be able to figure out everything. I just don't believe there is a legitimate need to do so. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 23:31
  • 3
    This requires writing new features in chat, and chat doesn't receive much development work these days, and so this is unlikely to be implemented. Importing them as stars uses already-existing features and would take less time to implement. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 23:34
  • There has never been a need to do anything that this site does, but it is nevertheless good when useful tools exist, and when they are improved when flaws or deficiencies are discovered. I think that not retaining the comment votes as something is a missing feature that, if implemented, could be useful. Repurposing another already established feature for a different thing is not a good user experience move, in my view. So I propose to have the chat message upvotes to be added, specifically for moved comment chat rooms. I think it would be less confusing and better than how things are now. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 23:36
  • @SonictheMaskedWerehog I get that, but not doing anything would take even less time. Win-win, am I right? :p I specifically proposed to "spend a bit more development time" because I believe it is a valuable feature to have it spent on. Otherwise, if votes are converted into stars, my next proposal will be to add a dedicated upvote metric to chat messages. Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 23:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .