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If you upvote a comment and then try to remove the upvote, you get the following message:

Are you sure you want to undo your upvote on this comment? You will not be able to upvote it again

And sure enough, when trying to upvote afterwards:

enter image description here

What is the purpose of this feature? If I accidentally upvote a comment and decide to remove the upvote, I still want the ability to upvote it if I decide to do so later on.

When voting on questions and answers, you can toggle votes on and off as much as you want for at least 5 minutes, after which they lock. Even after a vote is locked, you can change the vote if the post is edited. Why do comments, which hold much less data integrity value for the site, have more restrictions than questions and answers do? It doesn't make much sense to me.

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    $\begingroup$ Unless I am mistaken there are similar restrictions on up/down votes. I doubt this is a change that could be made without making it network wide. If you feel really really strongly about it you could take it to meta.se. $\endgroup$ – James Oct 11 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ Probably (probably) to avoid DOS attacks? I bet a lot of actions are limited in some fashion or another. $\endgroup$ – Ranger Oct 11 at 19:19
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    $\begingroup$ I suspect it is part of a parcel of features that are intended to discourage commenting. SE wants questions and answers, and any other stuff can go in a chatroom or other forum. Any requests to improve commenting features are unlikely to be successful. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Oct 12 at 13:36
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To answer the why: once upon a time, you couldn't retract your upvote at all. This ability was added later mainly to help with mis-clicks rather than as part of the full-fledged voting system posts use. From the linked post:

  • You can un-upvote a comment within the first 60 seconds, provided you did not navigate away.
  • Once you un-upvote a comment you can not upvote it again.

We do not want flip flopping, nor do we want people to un-upvote stuff from the past. The only use case is undoing a mis-click.

The reduced functionality around comment voting is part of the broader pattern that comments are second-class citizens compared to questions or answers. You can't even downvote a comment, much less edit one more than 5 minutes after posting.

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