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My question is simple: is there a way to find the most highly upvoted comments on mathoverflow?

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    $\begingroup$ I think that the tags (comments) and (searching) are suitable here - so I added those two tags. I included (support), too - but feel free to remove that one if you think that it does not fit. For example, if you think that the question should be understood as a request for a new functionality (in the other words, if you're not satisfied with the existing possibilities). $\endgroup$ Aug 28 at 14:53

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This seems like something where SEDE could be used as a suitable tool. Using the SQL syntax you can find top comments in the Comments table - and you can add various additional conditions. Keep in mind that the database is updated only once a week - so the most recent comments might not be there yet.

Various parameters in the queries linked below can be changed - number of top comments to be displayed, userid, tag name, ...

  • Top comments ordered by score: main, meta (The same query was mentioned in the MO chatroom.)
  • Top comments ordered by score - with some additional information about the question: main, meta
  • Top comments by a specific user: main, meta
  • Top comments by a specific user who has deleted their account: main, meta
  • Top comments under questions/answers in the given tag: main, meta
  • Top comments posted between two dates: main, meta
  • You can run the same queries for other sites in the network - simply switch the site in the SEDE interface when viewing the query. Here I included links for MathOverflow and the corresponding meta. It is possible to write a query that checks all sites in the network. Not surprisingly, it is dominated by Stack Overflow - being the largest site. Here is a query which excludes SO.

You can have a look at similar questions on other sites - but the solutions posted there rely mostly on SEDE, too. This answer suggests that one could alternatively use Stack Exchange API to show top comments by a specific user. I am not sufficiently familiar with this tool to check whether something similar could be used to get all high-scoring comments (and to modify it to get a better format.)

Incidentally, not too long ago we had on this meta a post asking for high scoring questions: Top-voted questions for the year? Unlike for question/answers, (at the moment) there isn't a way to search among comments built-in directly in the Stack Exchange software. See: Searching for comments and Are my comments searchable?

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    $\begingroup$ Very many thanks, Martin! $\endgroup$
    – Gil Kalai
    Aug 28 at 18:49

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