A favorite, on Explosm, is a measure of popularity, and may be awarded to comics, shorts, or comments by users with an account. It is the equivalent of a like or an upvote on other websites, and is represented by a star icon.
A rough approximation of how well a user is liked may be derived from what is known as comment-favorite ratio. It is calculated by dividing the total number of favorites a user has accumulated by the number of comments they have posted. In general, this is a number between zero and one, with higher numbers indicating a higher favorite per comment count. If the resulting number exceeds one, this indicates that the number of total favorites a user has received surpasses the number of comments a user has made.
Interesting enough, commenters can favorite their own comment with no negative repercussions or any indication of their foul play, which may lead to an inflated comment-favorite ratio. Alternatively, a user may create alt-accounts for the sole purpose of giving favorites in order to inflate their favorite count, as there are no algorithms in place preventing them from doing so.