Almost every time a colleague of mine asks a question, we have discussed this problem beforehand. Also, we sometimes meta-discuss the question for stackoverflow (why did I get the "this might be subjective" warning, is this understandable enough, etc). This is less so with answers, but I could believe for some groups this works the same. For now I'll stick to questions, but you could
s/question/answer if you like.
The resulting question is almost always
- Interesting for me, and a problem I don't know the answer to.
- I probably would favorite it
- According to me a valid and good question (as we talked about it beforehand)
- I would probably want to upvote it.
Now I believe to read that "ring voting" is a thing, and I tried to find some questions about this, but didn't find many. I did find and read this blogpost from 2008: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/12/vote-fraud-and-you/ .
It reads to me that upvoting 'fraud' is more commonplace then downvoting and it might seem anomalous that I would upvote almost all questions from one user. If all colleagues would do this to their team, you'd get some mediocre questions getting a lot of votes, and some users getting a lot of attention, points etc from that. If you would -as seems to be done -, sort the amount of upvotes for my colleague, you'd get me being 'anomalous' in front of the crowd.
On the other hand, as explained above, I do want to upvote almost all stuff some of my colleagues put on here for (I believe) the right reasons: they are questions I consider good and interesting. It's just that I know of all their questions (as they tell me about them), which obviously isn't the case for a random user.
So what is the deal?
- When is upvoting content from one user frowned upon?
- Would my usecase be in danger of being a (what I consider 'false') positive for the fraud-detection? (and would you agree with that or not)
- How to prevent this false positive (if you agree with me it is one, otherwise this is a moot question) -> As noted in the comments: I'm not looking for tricks, so an answer could be "don't vote for your colleagues". I agree that there should be no to 'tricks' around that could be used for real fraud of course