So... This is one of those ideas that sounds really caring. Who could possibly be against expressions of gratitude!
I mean, sure, they get noisy for 3rd-party readers after a while, but hey, small cost compared to making authors feel good right?
Well... After a while, they ain't that much fun for authors either
Thing is, our traditional solution - an FAQ / Help Center blurb discouraging them in favor of votes - doesn't actually work all that well. Folks post them anyway, in pretty big numbers. Yes, we can flag 'em and get rid of 'em after a while, but that's work. We could probably implement an automated script to get rid of them, but...
...there is another option, if we really care about both the optics of not explicitly discouraging gratitude and the practicality of avoiding excessive noise. A couple of years ago, GitHub faced the same problem: phatic responses to comments and actions that cluttered up threads and notification feeds without conveying any useful information. In response, they implemented reactions - instead of writing a comment, you can select a cute emoji and communicate precisely as much information - with the added bonus of feeling like one of those hip teenagers.
We already accept anonymous feedback from anyone viewing a post: click up- or down-vote, and that gets recorded in the PostFeedback table (and... ok, nothing else happens, but in theory it could). If we combined the comment field with a "reaction" selector, and let folks select a "thumbs up/thanks" option... We could silently convert that to an upvote (if privileged) or anonymous feedback (if not privileged) and display this as a little emoji, without pinging the author or junking up the comment thread.
Friendly, cute, hip-like-tinder, quiet. What more could we ask for?
(aside: Zuckerbot joke is ironic given facebook's popularizing of the phatic like)