I keep seeing these "+1 because I like how you ..." (freehand circle in an image, quoted a book in an arbitrary source, ...) comments, and I'm running out of flagging capabilities if this trend continues. Really, there's no need to leave a comment for each time you like an answer.

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    neither is there a need to post a meta question every time you get irritated
    – acl
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 21:57
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    I do believe chatty spam comments becoming a regular thing is an issue to be mentioned on meta, sir.
    – David
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 21:59
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    I agree that they can be annoying, but they can also be community building and help maintain the core of the site. As for your question, why should "who invented" be a good meta question? Maybe "are they appropriate" would be better...
    – Simon
    Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 23:49
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    Since the invention of the "You, sir, are an idiot" phrase you can't trust on sir being meant politely ;-) Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 23:55
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    BTW In meta discussions, up and downvotes indicate agreement/disagreement. I don't agree and hence I downvoted. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 0:09
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    I tend to use this construction to emphasize aspects of a question/answer that I like. For me, it's idiomatic. If I can comment on why I didn't like something, why can't I comment on why I like something that in my eyes is worthy of additional attention? If it annoys you, move on. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 2:48
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    At least "+1 because I like..." is a constructive (and encouraging) comment, which is certainly much less annoying than an inane one. Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 1:31

3 Answers 3


Indeed, the question shouldn't be who invented this custom, but whether it's welcome.

In my opinion this is most often done to draw attention to a particular elegant aspect of the answer. In this sense the +1 comments are helpful, especially because you don't have the time to scrutinize every answer.

Other than that I like the community building aspect of it, as Simon already pointed out in his comment. I feel this is also the reason why many people keep on coming back here. Votes are rather faceless, and knowing who voted for you can be nice.

In the case of a downvote I'd say an explanation in the comments is almost required.

I agree with you that it wouldn't be good if everyone would "+1 for..." with every vote they'd cast, but I believe that isn't currently the case and people are using it sparingly.

  • Yes, if it were the case that there was one person posting "+1" comments on every other post, then that indeed would be problematic. But I have thus far not seen any sort of "comment-whoring" behavior in any of the SE sites I am active in. Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 5:14

I find these nice, especially as someone new to SE. I find that the comments make me feel accepted by the community and that my contributions are actually being read which encourages me to make future responses.

There are some such comments that I find less useful, such as...

"@Andy Thanks for the answer!!!"

However, these don't seem to dominate the comment landscape and are generally from first-time posters who are trying to be polite.

For some common ground on the issue, we could propose some etiquette for removing such comments after a certain amount of time or after the intended recipient has had a chance to see it? I don't really know how that would or could be managed.

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    Comments are considered ephemeral, so are subject to deletion on the whim of a moderator. If a significant part of the post is found in the comments, the author of the post is encouraged to incorporate them into it. For the most part, the comments on meta are safe, as the discussion is often vital, but on the regular site, they're subject to arbitrary deletion.
    – rcollyer
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 18:59
  • @rcollyer this is good to know.
    – Andy Ross
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 19:57

The FAQ is clear about this: compliments are not recommended, and "+1, great answer!" is given as a specific example of undesired behaviour.

While I also think David should have talked about this in the chat, as he is not asking a question but complaining, I don't understand why he gets downvotes. The FAQ has a section concerning comments, and as we're in beta, it should be discussed.

The OP should consider editing the question to allow for more constructive debate.

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    The downvotes in meta are an indication of a difference in position from the one stated in the OP. One should not take differences of position too personally. :) Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 3:43
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    Also, votes of either kind on meta do not confer or remove reputation since they merely indicate agreement/disagreement.
    – rcollyer
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 3:44
  • Thanks for the clarification. I still think the question should be edited though.
    – CHM
    Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 3:55

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