I am an intern at a company where a colleague knows my Stack Overflow account and he just upvoted a question of mine. I was wondering whether this is considered a "sock puppet". I told him not to upvote me because it might be against the rules. He has a legit normal serious account, by the way. So is it considered a "sock puppet"?

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    If your colleague isn't going through your profile and upvoting all your posts, no problem. – yannis Jan 16 '14 at 15:27
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    No, sock puppet means the same person is using more than one account to upvote himself and gain reputation. Voting just because he knows you regardless of question quality isn't a good idea, but not against the rules. If he keeps doing it and won't vote others the system might detect it at some point and reverse the votes though. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 16 '14 at 15:27
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    Voting just because he knows it's you regardless of the question quality is against the rules - it's essentially a voting ring. Vote on quality of the post, not the person who posted it. – Flyk Jan 16 '14 at 15:30

A sock puppet is an additional account that you control that you use to vote on your own posts. This is strictly against the rules and you will be banned for voting in this way but is not a relevant description of the situation you've described.

In your instance, we're talking about multiple accounts owned by multiple different people. This does not qualify as a sock puppet but you can still trip yourself up if you don't vote responsibly.

Provided your colleague is not going through your account and upvoting all of your posts, you should be ok. In the instance you're each repeatedly upvoting each others' content this is essentially a voting ring and will also get you in trouble. However, voting on the posts of your colleague like you would any other post on the site will be fine.

Remember when voting: Vote on quality of the post, not the person who posted it.

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  • Ok well obviously we know eachothers posts. I do think he votes me up because of the quality but it just feels so suspicious as we/he vote eachother too often – Loko Jan 16 '14 at 15:39
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    It's also worth pointing out that, beyond the script that reverses serial votes, it's always a human who reviews these things and acts on them. We only step in for the worst cases of abuse (coordinated voting between larger groups or lots of targeted voting by a few users), because we recognize that friends or people who work together tend to be more likely to vote for each other. When it crosses the line from familiarity and the occasional vote to a coordinated pattern, that's when it becomes a problem. – Brad Larson Jan 16 '14 at 15:50

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