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?

up vote 4 down vote accepted

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!

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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