I've seen several times before (and me self did the same when I was new to SE) that new contributors being original posters upvote many of the comments published on the question page, just because they think that upvoting a comment may award the comment author somehow (in particular give the user some reputation), or will lead to make the answerer more manageable to the OP.

But in reality it only makes the comment chain looks odd like here (sorry for non-English site, you may link to the English one if can found).

comment tooltip

My suggestion is to add to the comment upvote button tooltip some extra text for the new contrubutor only, that will say something like "don't upvote just because you want ... " (see the main idea above in this post).

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    What is weird with upvoted comments? I often upvote comments, to show that I agree with them. – Modus Tollens Jan 18 at 16:15
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    Note that "not actually useful comment"s should be flagged and will be removed, thus cleaning up the comment section. Much better than teaching not to upvote them IMHO. – Modus Tollens Jan 18 at 16:22
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    How do you know that new users upvote comments, and for this reason? Comment votes are anonymous. – TheWanderer Jan 18 at 18:16
  • @TheWanderer suddenly... I just asked him. And as I wrote in post, I did the same before when I only start participating on SE. – αλεχολυτ Jan 18 at 18:32
  • @älёxölüt so you asked one person? – TheWanderer Jan 18 at 19:04
  • @TheWanderer I understand what you want to say, I don’t assert that all new contributors do such upvotes, but I see several when answering on their questions. The last one was today (link provided in my post, you could use Google to translate my comment there, and then followed OP’s answer). – αλεχολυτ Jan 18 at 19:16

I've seen several times … they think upvoting a comment may award the comment author somehow

Where do you see this? — users claiming or acting in a way that suggests they misunderstand or have been mislead about this function?

The comment tooltip says, "This comment adds something useful to the post". The regular post vote says , "This answer is useful." They should both be used for exactly that.

Voting is there to help vet content. The awarding of reputation (or not) should not be the primary decider of whether or not to vote.

You may not like the aesthetic of the comment display, but warning users against voting on that basis doesn't seem useful. Warnings like "don't [do anything] just because you want" seems like a bit of a truism just about anywhere on this site… but adding this additional warning to comments specifically seems unnecessary and out of place.

  • “but warning user....” Just recall the “new contributor” banner on the site. All adequate people know that be polite is normal behavior despite of the user age on the site. Should we then remove such notifications? – αλεχολυτ Jan 18 at 18:39
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    @älёxölüt: Understand that not a lot of users actually wanted that banner, so asking us if it should be removed is probably going to get a different answer from what SE will actually do. – Nicol Bolas Jan 18 at 18:42

It is perfectly true that the person who commented does not gain reputation from being up-voted but if ten comments are up-voted for five (or more) times each the silver pundit badge can be awarded to the author of those comments. Whether this matters depends on how much you care about badges of course.


... they think upvoting a comment may award the comment author somehow

That IS indeed the case, e.g. for posts where there are too many comments to be displayed, only the comments with the highest votes are shown by default.

That's why comments with no votes at all, are the ones that are often excluded n such post. Which is also why I often vote on comments that are excluded by default (provided I think they are worth to be shown by default also).

PS: to my knowledge there is no way to find out who upvoted a comment, so be careful in assuming the original poster upvoted a comment ...

  • If you upvote all the comments ordering doesn’t changed. – αλεχολυτ Jan 18 at 18:41
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    @älёxölüt: Voting on comments doesn't change the order period. Long comment chains will hide comments based on vote totals, but it will never present those it chooses to present out of their posting order. – Nicol Bolas Jan 18 at 18:43
  • @älёxölüt you are right, but I wrote "...comments with no votes at all" in my answer (so inherently I mean that I do not upvote those comments which already have upvotes), get my point? – Pierre.Vriens Jan 18 at 18:46
  • @Pierre.Vriens I got your point, but my question is about different thing. I just want to learn new users that blind upvoting on comments isn’t necessary. – αλεχολυτ Jan 18 at 18:52
  • @NicolBolas you’re right, I needed to say about “visibility”, not the ordering of comments. – αλεχολυτ Jan 18 at 19:06

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