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I'm a frequent reader/lurker but an infrequent contributer on several SE sites. Occasionally I craft an answer to a question which is better-received than usual, and one or two kind users add a comment which is basically a compliment - "I especially liked the bit about X" or "the way you explained Y".

Should I upvote such comments? I like to acknowledge that I appreciate such positive feedback, but at the same time it feels like blowing my own trumpet: "I agree with your opinion that my post is great".

What is the primary implication of upvoting a positive comment in this way - agreement, or acknowledgement?

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Comment upvotes are one of the least important parts of SE's functionality, so officially it doesn't matter - you definitely won't get in any kind of trouble for upvoting these kinds of comments on your own posts. And your conscience is your own affair: you'll need to decide for yourself whether or not you'd feel bad about upvoting such comments.

What is the primary implication of upvoting a positive comment in this way - agreement, or acknowledgement?

In general, there are many different reasons for upvoting a comment:

  • It's useful. If a comment adds something useful to the post, or makes a good suggestion for how to improve the post, then it's likely to get upvotes for that reason.
  • People like or agree with it. Even if it doesn't actually help improve the post, a comment making a point which people agree with, or a joke which amuses people, will often get upvotes.
  • For visibility. In a long comment thread, the default is to show only the most upvoted comments. I'll often upvote a comment which is important for some reason just so that it's seen.

Don't overthink it. And remember, comment upvotes are still anonymous, so even if you do upvote a complimentary comment on your own post, nobody will be able to think badly of you for it, because they won't know it was you who upvoted!

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No need to think so hard over this, those are just comments, and comment upvotes have no impact.

So yes, upvote whenever you like, it's better than posting a comment reply which will just be noise. :)

  • 1
    Thanks for pointing out "comment upvotes have no impact" - you're right this makes the answer obvious! – IanF1 Mar 14 '17 at 11:39

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