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I understand that upvoting someone's comment will not give them any reputation points, and I'm fine with that. I have no desire to change this functionality.

However, I AM curious - what was the original reason for setting it up that way and not, say, give someone 1 rep point each time their comment gets upvoted?

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    This would probably be better on meta.stackexchange – The Fallen Mar 13 '15 at 17:06
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    @SSumner you mean: meta.stackexchange.com/a/197642/165776 – KutuluMike Mar 13 '15 at 17:08
  • @MichaelEdenfield - would that be the answer to my question then? That comments were never meant to award rep, because that's something that only proper questions & answers should do? – Omegacron Mar 13 '15 at 17:15
  • Yes but I'll expand on it in an answer, gimme a sec. – KutuluMike Mar 13 '15 at 17:18
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There have been occasional questions about this on the meta.stachexchange, or back when it was meta.stackoverflow, including this answer that explains why they aren't going to change the behavior.

Reputation for comments?

The answer there doesn't come right out and say it, but the reason that comments don't have rep is because rep is for good questions and good answers. There's really no such this as a "good comment" or "bad comment", apart from obvious policy violations (spam, harrassment, etc).

The idea of comments is that they are transitory. After a while, you don't even see them; in fact, it's not uncommon for users to go back and delete old comments, or for moderators to come in and delete comments en masse when thy get particularly out of hand. That kind of variability would play havoc with a rep system.

Getting reputation for comments would essentially elevate them to the same level as questions and answers, when they are purposefully intended to be second-class citizens. We don't want people getting a "reputation" for being a really good commenter, because ultimately that doesn't advance the goal of Stack Exchange: to explicitly not be a comments forum.

Lastly, if you allowed + rep points for comment upvotes, you'd ultimately need to allow - rep points for comment downvotes, but it's not clear what a downvote on a comment would mean. Comments often contain opinions, suggestions, or requests for clarification -- we don't want people penalized for making suggestions that just happen to turn out to be bad.

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    Additionally, some comments get a lot of upvotes for being funny. Being funny is not the same as being helpful. – phantom42 Mar 13 '15 at 17:25
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    @phantom42 See: Clowns versus Politicians. One is only good for laughing at, and the other is a clown. – Zibbobz Mar 13 '15 at 18:49
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    Notable: if the primary purpose of comments is to inform useful edits to questions and answers (and it is), then we get rep for acting on comments, as peer-reviewed edits grant small amounts of reputation. – BESW Mar 13 '15 at 21:41
  • @BESW But not for editing your own question, and comments are mainly to notify the OP, not random passersby, of useful edits. – Rand al'Thor Mar 14 '15 at 9:45
  • Worthy comments and dutiful posters means ultimately if a comment is useful, the information will migrate back into the answer thus improving the overall information quality of the site in general. – Thaddeus Howze Mar 25 '15 at 22:47

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