Comment Voting

I've been wondering what the purpose of comment voting is and a recent channel talk post inspired me to ask everyone else. Originally, comment voting wasn't voting at all, but either applauding, marking as inappropriate, or flagging as spam. As I remember it, an aesthetic decision was made to change the 'applaud comment' and 'mark inappropriate' links to a pair of arrows, because the second line of text under comments was found to be too busy. Since that time, comment voting has evolved into more of a mechanism of agreement/disagreement with the content of the comment, instead of its original intent of applauding a well crafted comment (regardless of the opinion expressed) or marking it as inappropriate for being an ad hom attack, bigoted or otherwise hateful speech, etc.

My question to everyone is whether the community sees this as a good thing or a bad thing, and if there is any desire to return comment voting to its original purpose.

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