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Next to comments there are two options - one is to flag it, the other is an up arrow ("this is a great comment"). Other then letting users know which comments are valuable, do the up arrows "votes" have any other role?

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  • You had two questions in here. This site works better when there is only one question per question. That way, it's easier for other people to find solutions if they have the same problem. I've edited out your second question, but feel free to ask it separately.
    – Daniel Mod
    Jun 19 '12 at 21:27
  • You might want to enter the [now removed] second question as a feature request, BTW, although there are some longstanding reasons why I expect it will be turned down.
    – Daniel Mod
    Jun 19 '12 at 21:28
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The only other function they serve is that, in cases where a question or answer has many comments, and the displayed list is abridged and the Add/Show x More Comments link appears, up votes are used to determine which contents remain displayed while others are hidden.

Beyond that, it has no other mechanical effect, other than providing a visual indicator to other users that some number of people thought a given comment was worthy of additional attention in some way.

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