Over the last few days I’ve been asked if there’s a way to enable “liking” or otherwise rating comments here on Whatever. The answer is: Yes, there is, but I prefer not to. The reason is that I think they’re a distraction from the comments themselves, and I also think they can be used as a tool to make people uncomfortable or afraid to comment because they’re worried about getting a flood of downvotes. Conversely, if people start tuning their comments simply to get upvotes from others, something will get lost.
Ultimately I think the best way to upvote or to downvote a comment is to make your own comment, explaining in a civil fashion why you disagree with a particular comment, or adding perspective to a comment you agree with.
(I can also thread comments here, but I like keeping them unthreaded because I like the idea of folks reading all the comments and not just the ones where they’re having their own little discussion. Adds to the cross-pollination, if you will.)