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I think this is somewhat a rare case. We are allowed to invite friends and family members to join an Area 51 proposal and contribute to the proposal. We can also share a link to Social media plat forms and send a question who can answer. I have done it a couple of times. So, this seems no problem till here.

When one of our friends or a family member joins the site and answers, we should be careful while voting to them as it may look like serial voting and sock puppetry should be avoided in most of the cases. But the thing I'm concerned about is reviews.

I think if two or three family members (living under the same roof) are members of the site, it is a common thing to come across each other posts. Similarly, it happens in the review queue too. When one family member suggests an edit, others might see it in review queue if they have privileges. Same for other review queues too. If they act in favor of the question (like approving an edit or leaving open in the queue), is it considered a part of Sock Puppetry? Because we never know if it is the same person who operates the accounts and vice versa.

Should we review the item just like we do for other users or let the other users review it? If it is left to other reviewers, we don't know what other users think of it and this may effect on the closure or sometimes existence of the post too. So, what is the best way to deal with them?

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    Looked it up because I couldn't remember: you'll never be punished for using Skip – SOLO Jul 27 '18 at 18:26
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    If it's all done in good faith, you're unlikely to get penalized. but... that depends heavily on your own ability to judge quality independent of the author. Skipping is a safe bet. – user400654 Jul 27 '18 at 18:29
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Just review it based on the merits of the post / edit. If it feels odd, skip it. If you're worried about folks being under the same roof introducing bias into what's otherwise a pretty objective decision, go outside.

Actually, go outside regardless, it's good for you, unless you live in space, or underwater, or in lava or something.

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    Haha. I'm not worried about people around me but the folks and diamonds on the site might feel same person is suggesting and reviewing and sock puppetry. So... – Nog Shine Jul 27 '18 at 19:01
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    @NogShine As long as those reviews seem mostly sensible, nobody would really care (much less bother looking). It's only when awful stuff gets approved that moderators raise an eyebrow. So, as long as you're reviewing based only on content, it doesn't matter who the person is. And you can just as easily make an honest mistake reviewing a post written by someone you know, it's not like that would make you more at fault if the review was honest so .. don't worry too much, just review carefully, and nobody's going to care much if you make an occasional mistake. – Tim Post Jul 27 '18 at 19:08
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Stack Exchange has the principle of "judge the content, not the user". In almost any cases, users should try their best to judge the content regardless of the user, and I believe this also applies to review items from family members.

Another thing is to avoid action on a targeted/specific user, like deliberately searching their review items to be done. This is to prevent the suspicious of sockpuppetry, even though they are not. So, if they catch the review item naturally (i.e. from the review queue), I think it's acceptable.

Combining both concepts...

If they act in favor of the question (like approving an edit or leaving open in the queue), is it considered a part of Sock Puppetry?

Should we review the item just like we do for other users or let the other users review it?

As a user, I don't believe it's considered sock puppetry as long as their actions are reasonable. Approving a good edit and leaving open an unproblematic question is certainly preferred.

However, sometimes there will be a case when family members know about something better than the community, perhaps due to their commonly shared family background. In this case, suggest an improvement, like commenting on the post to clarify the question. I'd avoid improving the post directly because it can look more suspicious unless it's something obvious that the community can fix too. If you're unsure of what you should do, just skip it.


Now, personally, I haven't had this experience, though I know a work colleague who's using SO and I decided not to moderate their content due to different knowledge skill.

On the other hand, on another site where I'm an active reviewer, there were a few users who were active in suggesting edits, and I was almost always the first user to review theirs. Most of the time, I approved theirs because they're good suggestions in my opinion, though sometimes I also skipped when I was not sure what to do. Now I could look like their sock puppet, but as of now, nobody seems to suspect me...

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