I'm guessing there must be a reason for this but I was wondering why we don't get any points for comments?

As much as I get the idea that an answer should be enough to fix the problem while comments will more often be requesting further information to provide a solution, I've lost count of instances where the question is not complete and therefore a proper answer cannot be given, and a person asks a question which is responded to which then allows the question to be answered.

In those kind of instances the person with the (question in the) comment probably knows what the problem is and is trying to steer the discussion that way, but cannot provide their proposed solution until the situation is clarified, and by then someone else can jump on and provide an actual answer before the person who cleared the situation up.

That got me thinking should +1'ed comments maybe worth 1 point or something? (as well as loosing for -1's obviously).

Edit: What got me thinking about this was an "answer" I left yesterday which with hindsight quite probably should have been a comment but I wasn't 100% so decided I may as well put it as an answer as comments don't get points.

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    Mostly Duplicate: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/81487/…
    – Chris S
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 12:40
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    Sorry - I did search before posting but only on meta.serverfault.com
    – Robin Gill
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 14:37
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    Don't apologize for not being able to find things on the mess that mSO is. ;]
    – Chris S
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 17:41
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    And don't apologise for thinking that issues affecting SF should be posted on MSF. Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 19:21

2 Answers 2


There are good reasons why comments are outside of the rep system. Their listed intent is to be a bit of a side-channel for answerers to get askers to include more information in their answer, and secondly they are ephemeral.

If people have done their job, those comment-streams have resulted in enough edits to the main answer to be actually answerable. At that point those comments can be cleaned out without second thought by a mod. Questions with long comment streams are not readable, and it is in the StackExchange charter (such as it is) that these sites produce high-quality google-bait.

And finally, by excluding comments from the rep system it means that ServerFault doesn't reward snark in any meaningful way. We've all seen them, a question with blithering lunacy that obstinately stays blithering after a few helpful people have tried to steer the person closer to the right path. We respond with snarkasm and mockery as a way to maybe show them that they're in the wrong, and that isn't nice.

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    Of course sometimes snark is totally warranted and deserved. No really bad post should go unpunished. Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 11:56
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    @JohnGardeniers Indeed. All things in moderation. Not to mention that the best part of awful questions is reading the snarky/funny comments anyhow; it's the only way some of these questions have any value whatsoever. Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 18:25

"but cannot provide their proposed solution until the situation is clarified" pretty much covers it. Answers earn rep. Comments are not answers and therefore don't deserve rep (although sometimes I wish we could reward particularly creative comments). I imagine this is also why we can't downvote comments, as desirable as that may be at times.

There are times when someone posts a comment which does in fact answer the question, even though the comment poster may not have seen it that way at the time. Quite often they will be prompted to repost it as an answer and get upvotes, acceptance or both.

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