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My friend constantly sends me links to his questions/answers (to share them, not asking for upvotes). I almost feel bad about upvoting his posts just because I know him, even when his responses are good and deserve the vote.

Should I avoid/be worried about "following" him around?

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Do you and your friend share IPs? –  Won't Mar 28 '11 at 14:13
    
Almost never, unless we are at a coffee shop or something. Lots of good information here, I didn't know what term to look for when searching for information about this. Looks like "voter fraud" would have done the trick. Seems like I shouldn't be too concerned because I'm not really trying to cheat the system. –  kriegar Mar 28 '11 at 14:21
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+1 for being soooo honest/innocent. ;) –  Sachin Shanbhag Mar 30 '11 at 5:25
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You better stop or you'll go blind. –  Adam Davis Mar 30 '11 at 5:25
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Regarding the same IP, at lot of us in the office upvote each other, not just for the sake of it, but quite often we are pairing on a particular problem, so I don't really see how the site could determine between a proper situation like colleauges interested in same question and friends blindly upvoting each other? –  DermFrench Feb 3 '13 at 19:37
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5 Answers

up vote 21 down vote accepted

Too many votes will:

a) Trigger the vote fraud mechanisms - particularly if they are over a short period of time.

b) Be flagged as potential sock puppetry. This is less likely if you don't share IP addresses, but is still something to be aware of.

So as long as you only vote when the post deserves it and these don't form the majority of your votes you should be OK.

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Also, there's no negative impact. All the votes you cast on your friends answers will get deleted, but you don't lose any rep. –  Georg Schölly Mar 30 '11 at 10:00
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Will i get banned if i constantly upvote my friend's responses?

Probably No, but all of your votes to your friend will be cleared once you hit vote fraud threshold.

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Of course, if the account does nothing but upvote one user, it might well be quietly deleted... –  Marc Gravell Mar 30 '11 at 5:51
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You may have votes cancelled if they appear suspicious to the voter fraud scripts, but I don't think that should stop you from voting as you see fit. If you're blindly upvoting everything your friend posts, then that's really not in the right spirit. If you vote on his posts the same way you would on anyone else's, then that's exactly what you're supposed to do.

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Banned, unlikely, unless there is a case of serial upvoting, i.e. spending up all your upvotes on his questions/answers. Also bear in mind there are methods and procedures in place to stop (or negate the effts) of this sort of thing. I would say just a couple of votes is fine.

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If your friend upvotes your answers/questions too often and if you both share IPs your account would be merged with your friend's account and you would be suspended for about a week or so.

Should I avoid/be worried about "following" him around?

Yes!!

Conclusion : Don't share IPs at SO and if you do just don't cross upvote.

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IPs are an indicator, but not the only thing that might be used to make something look... inappropriate. –  Marc Gravell Mar 30 '11 at 5:50
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