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Why don't we give reputation for upvoting comments? I don't know what else to say. It seems like, just like the answer, they often give valuable insights that just don't accomplish the task from start-to-finish, but it seems like they might still deserve something. Thoughts?

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  • $\begingroup$ Many heavily upvoted-into-the-multiple-digits comments can be conversational rather than topical. $\endgroup$ – Adam Hughes Nov 2 '14 at 0:37
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    $\begingroup$ The only positive outcome from having reputation from comments is that it will essentially add the possibility to downvote comments. And there are a lot of them that need downvoting. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Nov 2 '14 at 5:02
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    $\begingroup$ We prefer comments that seem just like the answer, with valuable insights, to actually be answers here. There is no positive outcome from encouraging answers in comments, it really messes up our scheme, that being great questions followed by great answers. Great answers in comments get reputation when they get migrated to answers, which is, of course, the other half of what we want here. $\endgroup$ – J. W. Perry Nov 2 '14 at 5:06
  • $\begingroup$ A better process for migrating comments to answers would be better, IMO. $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Nov 2 '14 at 10:48
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    $\begingroup$ Even though upvoted comments do not carry reputation, users can consider them as a kind of recognition. You can find users with most upvotes on their comments here. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Nov 2 '14 at 17:39
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Reputation for comments? has . And I agree with the decision, because comments are, by design, merely incidental to the question. I quote three top-voted comments on this site, all time:

  1. This is simultaneously wonderful and sad. Wonderful for the student who was level-headed enough to answer this question correctly, and sad that this teacher's mistake could be representative of the quality of elementary school math education.
  2. Only for very large values of $\pi$
  3. It would be deliciously ironic if this got closed for not being a real question.

Now, there are also comments that are in fact answers. This is not a desired state of things: answers should be presented as such. (One of reasons is that a comment-answered question appears to be unanswered and cannot be a target for duplicate.) The issue is somewhat complex due to hints and tentative answers on unclear questions, and it was discussed many times on this meta. See http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/16620/ for example. Awarding reputation for comment-answers would make the problem worse than it already is.

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    $\begingroup$ But note the Pundit badge for garnering a certain number of substantially upvoted Comments. $\endgroup$ – hardmath Nov 2 '14 at 23:34

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